Chad Simmons, National Recruiting Analyst
Jacksonville (Fla.) Raines vs. Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast
Raines jumped out to early 7-0 lead and should have had a two touchdown lead early in the game, but a turnover cost them a score and it gave First Coast some momentum. First Coast ended up taking care of Raines 27-7 in the end.
First Coast has a number of top prospects and linebacker Daniel McMillan, a Florida commitment, may be ranked the highest, but Seyvon Lowry (UCF commitment) and Tyrell Lyons (Florida State commitment) made the most plays for the Bucs on the defensive side of the ball in this game. Lyons was outstanding at strongside linebacker and he made a huge play on a blitz when he hit the quarterback and running back at the same time and it led to a fumble and score for First Coast. Lyons does not get a lot of pub, but he has good instincts, he is very strong, and he has good speed to the ball.
Lowry was quick off the ball all night and he pressured the quarterback for four quarters in this game. He needs to improve at the point of attack, but his speed is a real weapon on the edge. McMillan was solid too and he made a couple of nice plays when the ball went in another direction.
Defensive backs Darius Whitty (South Florida commitment) and Dorian Killings (UCF commitment) both played well in the secondary too. They each batted at least one ball away and were very strong in coverage.
On offense, 2015 Florida State commitment DeAndre Johnson led the Bucs. He threw for 184 yards and two scores. He missed on his first three throws and then hit on nine of his last ten. He is a smart quarterback and he has very pocket awareness. His head is in the game at all times and he is really developing nicely. He throws a good ball, he has nice touch, and he is a real leader on the field.
Raines does not have the individual talent that First Coast has when talking prospects. Their top prospect is 2014 offensive lineman Travaris Dorsey and he is out with a broken leg. They have a junior quarterback in Marvin Zanders and he is one to watch. He has good size, he showed good mobility at quarterback, and he has an above average arm. He looks to be best in a zone read type of offense to fit his skillset. Another junior is Alex Gardner and he did not have a lot of running room in this game, but he scored the lone touchdown for Raines on an 18 yard screen pass. He has good vision, good quickness, and very nice hands.
Jamie Newberg, National Recruiting Analyst
Orlando Evans vs Orlando Dr. Phillip
Tony Stevens had a relatively quiet night for Evans. This four-star receiver did have a 43-yard touchdown reception. On this play he ran a simple go route. Stevens beat the defender and Dr. Phillips safety Marcell Harris could get over in time. Stevens is every bit of 6-foot-3 and runs well. He is definitely a big time deep threat. He's a graceful long strider that also plays free safety, although he only played sparingly on that side of the ball on Thursday.
Four-star outside linebacker Rodderick Hoskins had a solid night. This Florida State commitment was in on a handful of tackles. Like Stevens, he's tall and lean and has a great frame to pack on the muscle and weight once he gets to Tallahassee. Hoskins had a very nice pick six, where he dropped in coverage, intercepted the ball and then took it to the house. He showed some flashes of dominance, especially when he's attacking. That's when he's at his best.
Dr. Phillips four-star safety Marcell Harris had a good game. He was in on several tackles and had one bone crushing hit on a defenseless Evans receiver going over the middle. Harris shows good range, whether it's run support or in coverage. He got hurt in the 3rd quarter returning a kickoff and did not return.
The star of the Dr. Phillips defense was Boston College commitment Matt Milano. He's not the biggest or the fastest but this kid makes plays all over the field. On one play he's line up in the box and then he will be back playing the normal safety spot. But most of the time he's close to the line of scrimmage. Milano was in on two first half sacks and had a super interception on the sideline helping out his corner on a deep route, showing range and athleticism. This kid is physical and just always seems around the ball.
Eric Harrell is a smaller back at 5-foot-8 and 190-pounds and this kid is tough to bring down. He had a good game against Evans, especially later in the contest. He's quick, has good speed and runs with deceptive power. He also has good balance and stays on his feet. Cincinnati and FAU have offered him.
Deionte Gaines is a junior athlete that plays running back and in the slot in Dr. Phillips spread attack. Only a junior, he had a good performance, returning a punt for their first score. He also caught a late touchdown reception.
Punta Gorda (Fla.) Charlotte vs South Fort Myers
Clemson commitment Jayron Kearse has had a great senior campaign, playing mainly linebacker/defensive end and wildcat quarterback. But on this night he was playing free safety. Kearse was banged up (knee) and the coaches wanted to try and protect him as best they could. He was only in on a few tackles on the night and was never really challenged in the passing game.
D'Ronzjaih Matthews was challenged on this night. This South Fort Myers junior standout linebacker had the daunting task of trying to corral Charlotte running back Clyde Newton (see below). Matthews is a very good looking '14 recruit who already has a bevy of BCS offers from the SEC and ACC. He's explosive and hard hitting.
Two other juniors to keep an eye on are offensive lineman Joe Gold and safety The'ron Fuller. Gold is a physical and aggressive tackle that plays on both sides of the ball. He has great feet and can be nasty on the gridiron. Gold shines in the run game and is a terrific drive blocker. He's only 6-foot-2 and will likely be a center in college. Fuller is also a bit undersized for the secondary but this kid can hit. He gets to the ball in a hurry and is not afraid to be physical with blockers or
There's no question that the star of this game was Charlotte running back Clyde Newton. Once again he proved to be their workhorse. Newton had 30 rushes for 215 yards and a touchdown. Simply put this kid had an awesome night. He ran with power. He ran with quickness. This is one cut runner that has deceptive speed. Newton has balance and a terrific spin move. On Friday, he was like the Energizer bunny, who keeps going and going and going. Newton just committed to Indiana and looks like a great find for the Hoosiers. He has to be one of the most underrated kids in the state.
Dwight and Dwayne Reynolds, twin receivers and defensive backs for Charlotte, both had big nights on offense. Dwight had a 20-yard touchdown reception and finished the game with three catches for 61 yards. Dwayne had five receptions for 80-yards. They are smooth, fast and both have terrific hands. They made most of their plays running outside timing routes.
John Garcia, Southeast Recruiting Analyst
Lithonia (Ga.) Martin Luther King at Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson
In a back-and-fourth game Friday, one prospect stood out a bit more than the rest. King's DeMarquis Polite-Bray did it all for his team, on both sides of the ball. Neither defense really held down the fort in a high-scoring affair, but Polite-Bray did his part on the edge of the unit when action came his way. The senior was solid on D, but superb on offense and special teams. He made noise in the return game, even taking a kickoff to the house before a holding penalty brought it back. But where Polite-Bray shined most was on offense, getting behind Stephenson's defensive backs as a wideout. He scored a pair of touchdowns after displaying great route-running skills and even-better hands. He has special speed and makes things look smooth in the process, which is why he continues to snag offers late in the process.
Geoff Voght, Florida Recruiting Analyst
Palmetto(Fla.) vs Manatee(Fla.)
Manatee is a defending state champion, Palmetto was eliminated in the semi's. Both entered this game ranked No. 1 in their respective classes in Florida. Both were undefeated. The teams play a scintillating contest last year that went down to the wire and Manatee won. The teams are separated by a river and just 2.5 miles. For these reasons this Friday night game was expected to be 'one for the ages'. Well, it was, for one team - Manatee.
The 'Canes put a 62-0 beating on Palmetto by dominating in all three facets of the game. Mississippi State commit Cord Sandberg did not even have to throw the ball as Manatee gashed Palmetto on the ground. Palmetto said in the newspapers that Manatee's defensive line was not the best in county history. Well DeMarcus Christmas (6-4/ 270), Derrick Calloway (6-1/310), Blake Keller (6-3/220), and Marquis Dawsey (6-0/225) made a strong case that they, in fact, are. Manatee also showed that young play-makers Marquel Hines, Kevin McKnight, Trevon Walters, and freshman Johnie Lang are up to the challenge. Palmetto has too much talent on offense to not respond next week in another Manatee County showdown with Southeast (for the district championship). Running back Josh Hicks and wide receivers Shaquille Harris and Cory Crawford are difference makers.
Carol City (Fla.) vs. Homestead (Fla.)
This game was played Saturday afternoon due to games being cancelled on much of the East Coast Thursday and Friday due to Hurricane Sandy. The weather still played a huge part in this game as gusts of wind had to be in the 50 MPH range at times. Both of these teams are great stories this year in Dade County as both had performed above expectations heading into this game. The road was a simple one for the Carol City Chief's--- win and you are in the playoffs as the No. 2 team to Miami Central. They could not have gotten off to a worse start as they fumbled on their first four possessions (at least heavily influenced by the wind). Homestead capitalized with sensational junior Ermon Lane. The 6-foot-2 athlete never left the field wide receiver, tight end, cornerback) and showed why he might be Dade's top prospect in a year's time. His best play was an over the shoulder catch where he had to beat a top cornerback (Simeon Thomas), time the ball (in the wind), and accelerate to get it. Beautiful play and he is clearly a top prospect. Homestead held on for a 23-22 victory. If Homestead beats Northwestern next week they are in the playoffs as the No. 2 team. If Northwestern wins, Homestead and Carol City will join them for a three team tie-breaker for one spot.
Cardinal Gibbons (Fla.) vs American Heritage-Plantation(Fla.)
A pair of undefeated 5A teams met with district title implications on the line Saturday night. AHP rose to the occasion and played 48 minutes of inspired football to win the district. Whether it was quarterback Tyler Cogswell (Arkansas), running backs Sony Michel, Isaiah McKenzie, or Walter Tucker or defensive stalwarts like Michael Deeb (Notre Dame), Bryant Gross (BCS offers), and Torrance Gibson, they all played tremendous games to lead the Patriot's to a shocking 70-19 win. Michel is 100% back from a knee injury and is a tremendous combination of size (5-11/205), speed (4.4 forty), and elusiveness. He is Scout's No. 2 ranked running back for the 2014 class and might have only one direction to go. Gibson was the surprise of the night, the 6-foot-3 sophomore played safety and was rangy, violent, and fast. He will take over at quarterback next year and the sky is literally the limit for this young man. AHP is now the clear favorite in the 5A classification. Gibbons has a very good junior class of talent and must re-group to play Hallandale next year where a win will get them in the playoffs. A mistake filled second quarter really hurt the Chief's.
Mike Bakas, Florida Recruiting Analyst
Orlando Timber Creek vs Orlando University
The best player on each team was the starting running back for each. For University, it was senior Shadon Seabrook. At 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds, Seabrook ran for over 300 yards in this game and turned in an excellent performance. He runs with good vision, showed good cutback ability, and simply makes a lot of things happen when the ball is in his hands. He lacks ideal size to go between the tackles and doesn't have tremendous breakaway speed on the outside. However, he's a very good high school football player who will get a chance to play college football somewhere. He's a bubble Division 1 prospect right now and is getting some looks.
While Seabrook had the most productive game, Timber Creek running back Jacques Patrick was clearly the best prospect on the field. At 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, Patrick is a beast out there. He has the size and toughness to get yards between the tackles. He's a downhill runner with good vision and shows the ability to make the first guy miss on a lot of his runs. He also has the speed and athletic ability to make things happen on the perimeter. He ran for almost 200 yards in this game and looked very good in doing so. He already has major offers from all over and the sophomore looks to be one of the state's elite 2015 prospects. He has the potential to be a five-star prospect down the road. His best days are likely way ahead of him.
Steve Robertson, Southeast Regional Analyst
Wayne County (Miss.) vs. Brookhaven (Miss.)
A pair of Southern Miss commitments paired off in an important district game. OL Devin Farrior of Wayne County did some nice things and looks to be in even better physical condition than he was last fall. Farrior is both bigger and trimmer which is a testament to his off season conditioning. On the college level, Farrior could play either of the guard positions or play right tackle. He has a good initial punch coming off of the line and he does a nice job of keeping his man out and away from his quarterback in pass protection.
Wayne County junior wideout Dejarvis Chambers has the look of a D1 prospect. Chambers is a bit on the thin side, so he will likely spend his college career as a slot receiver. Chambers is a gifted athlete who moves well away from the ball, a skill lost on a lot of high school players. Chambers will likely be a guy who needs to go to camp to distinquish himself from other receivers in Mississippi, but he has the chance to be a very good prospect.
Defensive end Jaboree Poole of Brookhaven is a very physical player who appears to get stronger as the game moves along. Poole could be a weakside defensive end or he could bulk up and slide inside to play defensive tackle. Poole is very athletic and he has the versatility to play a couple of spots which makes him even more valuable. The name of the game with Poole is effort.
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