2014: Southwest Florida Top Defense

Southwest Florida had 31 prospects sign National Letters of Intent last Wednesday and that number has continued to go up over the last decade.

Some stand-out college defensive players from the area:

Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida (Cape Coral)

Tre Boston, S, North Carolina (North Fort Myers)

Aaron Lynch, DE, South Florida (Island Coast)

Brodrick Jenkins, CB, West Virginia (South Fort Myers)

Jhony Faustin, CB, Northern Illinois (Lely)

Jimmy Stewart, DE, Vanderbilt (Island Coast)



The Super Bowl introduced "God created a farmer" for a commercial, a similar phrase could be used for DeMarcus Christmas if you insert 'linemen', likely defensive linemen. At at legit 6'4 and 265+ he carries lean weight and has the athleticism schools are looking for. His game improved from sophomore to junior seasons and a similar step should have him as one of the most productive defensive linemen in the state. Christmas could also move to the offensive line down the road, likely as a tackle. FILM

One name that is on the rise is South Fort Myers Joe Gold. The 6-3, 270 pound Gold could end up at OL, DE, or DT depending on scheme. A lunch pail hard-working athlete, all he does is make plays. Gold continues to add weight and strength, he should be very impressive in the Spring and get plenty of looks from BCS schools. FILM

Lehigh's Josh Kendall has the body that colleges covet. At 6'2+ he will be well over 300 pounds down the road. DTs that have great size tend to see their stock rise throughout the process and we could see that happening here. Kendall has flown well under the radar up until this time. FILM

A complete wildcard for 2014 is Gulf Coast's Fritz Desir. At 6'2+, 240 he is a long and athletic, but is new to the game of football. He will need to show something in the Spring.

Dirogene has potential at a number of positions
Geoff Vogt, Scout.com


It is a year of "2's" at the linebacker spot in SwFla.

South Fort Myers has a pair of outstanding linebackers. D'Ronzjiah Mathews (6'0, 210) is one of the top linebackers in the state. A wide body, he has good feet, instincts, and relishes contact. A two year starter already at LB, there are a few schools that are recruiting him as a running back. Mathews already holds multiple BCS offers and there is a good chance he stays some place in the South. FILM . Theron Fuller (6'2, 200) is more of an outside linebacker. His brother, Tajarvis, signed with Illinois two years ago and Theron is a little bigger and little more rangy. He has played Safety as well, he may be In the process of out-growing the position. Fuller also holds BCS offers. FILM

Heading down to Collier County, Immokalee's Jimmy Bayes committed to South Florida a few weeks ago. The 6-3, 200 pound athlete could play LB, WR, TE, or DE at the next level, we think he settles in at OLB. He lined up mostly at DE and WR as a junior, but there is no question he can play in space at the next level, he has consitently shown that at camps and 7on7's. FILM Lely's Karbiel Dirogene is anther intriguing athlete. Dirogene has played QB and DB in the past and is an very fluid athlete. He is up around 6'1, 200 today and was moved closer to the line of scrimmage where he made a big impact on the game. We can see a lot of schools likeing him as an OLB. FILM

Cape Coral has a pair of linebackers that are getting D-1 interest. Island Coast's Christian Banasiak (6'3, 230) is one of the most physical players in the area. The transfer from Riverdale is a country boy that plays the game with an edge to him. He seems to really enjoy contact. He has ideal size and is receiving heavy interest from USF. FILM Ida Baker's Johnny Garrow (6'1, 195) is another prospect that has played all over the field including RB and S. He will also be moved closer to the line of scrimmage at the next level and we like him on the outside. Garrow is strong and is not afraid to lay some wood. FILM

The Sarasota/Bradenton area also has two linebackers on the radar. Riverview's Austin Walker be the most intriguing player in this group. The 6'3+ athlete is an exceptional basketball player, but seemed to find a home on the football field as well in 2012. Walker could be a S, LB, or TE at the next level. He reminds us of Orlando Evans LB Roderrick Hoskins that signed with FSU a year ago. He is raw, but there is no question the athleticism is there. FILM One player that is not raw is Manatee's Raland Brewer. The 6'1+ MLB made a living around the football in 2012 and he follows in a long line of outstanding LBs at Manatee. Brewer will stay in the middle at the next level and his overall skill-set should be in high demand. FILM

Austin Walker, Raland Brewer

Sawyer is one of the elite CBs in the state
Geoff Vogt, Scout.com


One position the area consistently produces is at defensive back and 2014 will be no different. East Lee County's Kendall Sawyer does everything for his team. Sawyer will line-up at RB, WR, QB, KR, CB, S, and any place else that he is needed. He produces too. Play-maker. At 6'0, 180 he has ideal size and length at the cornerback position. There is a very good chance he is a top 5 corner in Florida and could be no. 1 overall by the end of the cycle. FILM

Another corner with ideal size is Ida Baker's Roy Denson. At 6'0, 185 Denson excels at WR and CB, but it is at CB where his ceiling resides. Denson is an athlete----he is a stand-out baseball player----and there is little tht he can't do. He may even develop into a Safety down the road as he has a frame for weight. FILM Staying at Ida Baker, Lamar Dumas (5'10, 180) is an athlete that could end up at either WR or DB, we like his ability his quick hips and explosiveness at CB. He could be a bit of a 'play-maker' there down the road. FILM

We profiled Dwight Reynolds yesterday at WR, his twin brother Dwayne Reynolds projects as more of a Safety. At 6'1, 190 Reynolds brings ideal size, speed, and athleticism to the table and he also makes an impact on the offensive side of the ball.

As usual Dunbar is loaded at DB with Tajze Battle and Joe Williams. Battle, a UNC commit, is one of the most football savvy prospects we have come across, he is truly a coach on the field and understands the intricacies of the game. He could end up at CB or S down the road as well as potentially helping at slot receiver. At 6'0, he has added some serious weight over the last six months. FILM Williams has lined up mainly at wide receiver, but we see him as a defensive back at the next level, likely at free safety. At 6'1, he has a ton of range and this is a stand-out former basketball player that is still new to the game. USF has offered and several schools are monitoring him closely. FILM

Recruiting fans will be familiar with this last name as Rhasheed Jiles brother, T.J., signed with UNC a year ago. The younger Jiles is a more physical version, despite lacking ideal size (6'0, 160). Few players come up with his authority and he brings it all game. He will likely move to CB at the next level. FILM

Southeast produced Brian Poole a year ago a now it is Troy Thompskin who will move the forefront. At 6'2 he has ideal length and size at the CB position, the big question is whether he can play CB at the next level. His stock will rise considerably if he proves he can. We think he can handle CB and his size will be coveted. FILM

Wildcards: Southwest Florida has a pair of wildcards at DB: Tarique Bodrick (Island Coast) and Bobby Haines (Southeast). At 6'1 Bodrick is another long corner with all the athleticism, but he suffered an ACL tear in pre-season. He is expected to be 100% by the start of the season. At 6'2 Haines has ideal size at Safety and was a stand-out as a sophomore, he was not on the field a year ago.

Fightin Gators Top Stories