Three of the best running backs in the nation among the Class of 2014 were battling it out in south Florida this past Friday, as Miami Central beat Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage. That was one of 116 high school games we were at this weekend. Check out this weekend's National Recap of Scout on the Town.
Chad Simmons, National Recruiting Analyst
Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage vs. Miami (Fla.) Central
This game ended 42-20 in Central's favor but it was closer than that. Central is the better team and they road their horses in this contest. 2014 Scout 100 running backs Dalvin Cook (Florida commitment) and Joseph Yearby (Miami commitment) accounted for 380 yards rushing and six touchdowns. Yearby showed elite quickness and the ability to change direction on a dime. He finished with 238 yards. Cook was all about speed and he added 142 yards on the ground for the Rockets. That's all Central needed.
Five-star back Sony Michel for American Heritage finished with 55 yards on 11 carries. His biggest plays were both negated due to penalties. 2015 quarterback Torrance Gibson struggled to get into rhythm as a passer in this contest but he did score on an 80 yard run late in the game.
The Central defense was strong. They had big bodies in the box all night. 2015 defensive end Fermin Silva finished with two sacks. He is a junior to keep an eye on for the Rockets.
Tavarus McFadden and Edgar Cerenard of American Heritage had solid games. Cerenard is a senior defensive tackle with 20 plus scholarship offers. He played with good leverage and power. He was in the backfield many times. McFadden had to check talented Central junior wideout Da'vante Phillips (Florida commitment) and they had some good battles. Phillips finished with a handful of catches and McFadden had a couple nice break-ups. McFadden favors LSU early in the recruiting process. The Tigers have offered.
Miami (Fla.) Jackson vs. Miami (Fla.) North Miami Beach
Jackson took the lead early when Quinton Flowers connected with Jovon Durante (West Virginia commitment) on a 70-yard touchdown pass. Flowers, a senior, and Durante, a junior are both four-star prospects. Flowers ended the night throwing for 200-yards and two touchdowns and adding 138 yards rushing and two more scores. He is a great athlete who wants to play quarterback on the next level. He was committed to South Florida for a short period of time.
There were quite a few dropped balls that could have gone for big plays but Jackson still won easily 38-21. Durante is a slick junior with very good hands and great speed. Flowers is an athlete who was on and off as a passer on this night. He has the ability to change the game on any given play.
Steven Ishmael is the top prospect for North Miami Beach and he rarely left the field in this game. He played cornerback, wide receiver, and returned punts. He finished with 86 yards receiving and two touchdown receptions. Ishmael is being recruited by numerous schools including Illinois, Syracuse, and West Virginia.
Jamie Newberg, National Recruiting Analyst
St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood vs Clearwater (Fla.) Countryside
In this season opener, Countryside upset Lakewood 15-13 and spoiled the debut of new Spartan quarterback Ryan Davis, one of the top junior prospects in the Sunshine State.
Davis was up and down. He recently transferred from St. Petersburg Northeast and the lack of rhythm with his new teammates showed all night, as the Lakewood offense really struggled to put anything together. Davis had a few really good throws, highlights by a frozen rope to one of the Spartan wide receivers over the middle. While he lacks your typical quarterback size (5-11/165) he does possess an above average arm. Davis's main attribute is his pure athleticism. He's quick and he's very fast. Davis can extend a play and really makes things happen when the pocket breaks down. He did that on a few occasions against the Cougars. Davis also had a few long runs on designed run plays for him. This is a team that once it put things together and they all get on the same page, could turn into a potent offense.
Georgia commitment, Isaiah Wynn, had a good game. He started and played at left guard. Wynn, close to 6-foot-2 and 270-pounds, had a good game. This four-star showed all the things in what makes him a high profiled recruit. Wynn's getting bigger and he's just as physical as ever. He gets off the ball well and has such good feet. What I like best about Wynn is the way he finishes off blocks. He's getting his first start inside. Prior to this season he was playing left tackle.
Jocqui Ellison got show off his speed on an occasion or two but for the most part he was kept in check. Lakewood is home to twin wide receivers Andrew and Adrian Davis. Andrew did have one catch and run. These two are clearly underrated. I know they didn't exactly go off but they have a terrific combination of size, speed and athleticism and should have big years this fall.
Countryside is led on the offensive front by senior tackle Giovanni Negron. He has good size (6-4/285) and plays left tackle but I think he slides inside and plays guard at the next level. He has a good frame and long arms. He gets off the ball well and has good feet. At times he would just throw a Lakewood defender to the ground. He plays with an edge and a nasty attitude. He at some really good moments both run blocking and in pass pro. Negron has been offered by Arizona and he has several other D1 offers.
Another 2014 standout for the Cougars is cornerback Mike Johnson. He has good size and long arms. He runs well but doesn't have elite speed. He didn't really get challenged by Davis and his Spartan wide receiver corps. He did allow one reception and he came up and made the stop. On another he recorded a pass break up. This is a corner that to me is better suited for zone schemes than heavy man-to-man. He does a nice job of reading quarterback's eyes and has good awareness.
Amy Campbell, Southeast Field Reporter
Friday: Prattville (Ala.) vs Montgomery (Ala.) Carver
Carver pretty much had its way with Prattville Friday night, taking the 20-7 win in Montgomery. The Prattville offensive line struggled and the Carver defense was able to shut down Auburn running back commitment Kamryn Pettway, who ran for 74-yards and had two fumbles. Alabama linebacker commitment Shaun Hamilton was solid in the season opener. The Carver standout blocked a punt, forced one of Pettway's fumbles, and added a handful of tackles in the victory. Carver quarterback Draequon Murphy split time at quarterback with Mike McKenny. Murphy scored first for Carver with a 5-yard touchdown run to get things going. Another name to know is Carver 2015 defensive end Ricky Scott. The junior recovered two fumbles, had one sack, and a couple of tackles for loss. Ole Miss commitment Charles Standberry had two catches for 35-yards.
Patrick Burnham, Regional Recruiting Analyst
Crawfordville (Fla.) Wakulla vs. Tallahassee (Fla.) Florida High
Wakulla High School quarterback Feleipe Franks
and his brother wide receiver Jordan Franks
hooked up on seven passes Saturday afternoon in Tallahassee in route to a 37-14 victory over Florida High School. Feleipe Franks, a sophomore, got off to a slow start in the first half with two errant throws to start the game. The athletic passer then found his rhythm hitting eight of his last ten first half passes including one that was dropped. For the afternoon the quarterbacking Franks completed 15 of 24 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns. The sophomore showed a strong arm but does need to work on his accuracy. Early in his development he has a tendency to be high on his throws. As he continues to grow into his 6-foot-5 and 190-pound frame we will only see an already strong arm get stronger. When he is comfortable in his read he can really turn the ball loose. It was easy to see why all the colleges in Florida have already offered Franks.
His brother, Jordan, also had a tremendous day grabbing seven catches for 142 yards and touchdown. The eldest Franks is long at 6-foot-4, 200-pounds and has very good hands. He competes for the ball and does a good job of adjusting to throws that are off target. While he runs well the pass catching Franks isn't a deep threat at the next level and several BCS schools are looking at him as a tight end/H-Back.
Sophomore free safety/wide receiver Keith Gavin sure does look the part in his uniform at 6-foot-4 and 200-pounds. Gavin who came into the game badly some minor injuries played decent in the first half but not up to his ability. With the game in hand Gavin rested on the sideline in the second half after making one catch and being in on a couple of tackles early in the game.
Florida High was led by junior quarterback/cornerback Ronnie Harrison. Harrison, who is already committed to North Carolina, played hard and it was easy to see his athleticism and toughness. He played almost every snap at quarterback and cornerback on a very hot and humid Tallahassee afternoon. He was often left to defend Jordan Franks by himself. Harrison is a good looking athlete at 6-foot-2, 200-pounds. He has long arms, runs well and gives tremendous effort. At this point in his development he is more of a natural at cornerback/defensive back than he is at quarterback. With his size you could easily see Harrison transitioning to safety when he gets to college.
Offensive tackle Garrett McGhin, who is committed to South Alabama, continues to show why the Jaguars may have gotten a steal out the Tallahassee prospect. McGhin is very athletic at 6-foot-5, 250-pounds. Against Wakulla he lined up at offensive tackle, defensive tackle, tight end and fullback. McGhin bends well and had good feet. With some dedication to the weight room the sky could be the limit for McGhin.
Connor Jackson, who is committed to Furman, also showed some solid play against Wakulla. Jackson played both center and defensive tackle for Florida High. At center the 6-foot-3, 240-prospect displayed good feet and toughness. Jackson moves very well at center and uses good leverage.
Offensive guard Andrew Harrell had a decent day but you would like to see him more dominant when run blocking, as that is the strength of his game. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Harrell lined up at both tackle and guard on Saturday but his future in college is as an offensive guard.
John Garcia Jr., Alabama Recruiting Analyst
Tanner (Ala.) vs. Madison (Ala.) Madison Academy
We knew this one was all about underclassmen and that's how it turned out on Thursday. The battle of state champs ended up being a rout, as Madison Academy scored early and never looked back. The Mustangs 48-6 win was keyed by two-way junior Kerryon Johnson, who put in over 150 yards on offense and contributed a few tackles on defense to go along with an interception. The four-star, who sports offers from most of the SEC including favorites Alabama, Auburn and ACC program Florida State, electrified the crowd with an 89-yard run in the second quarter. Johnson showed elite speed, vision and the ability to set up defenders in the open field. He also lined up at wide receiver offensively, contributing a handful of catches. On defense, he skied for the interception and made some physical tackles en route to the big win.
Sophomore Madison Academy standout Malik Miller also shined on each side of the ball at about 220 pounds. Offensively, he's as punishing a runner as you'll find in the state, churning in-between the tackles for approximately 100 yards including some timely short-yardage conversions. Miller, who has early offers from Auburn, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt, was even better on defense. He showed the ability to rush off the edge, forcing a pair of turnovers because of his hits on the quarterback, and held his ground at the second-level while leading the team in tackles. Miller is instinctive and finishes plays with power.
Rochelle (Ga.) Wilcox County vs. Irwinton (Ga.) Wilkinson County
Scout entered the game focusing most of its time on four-star Alabama commitment Johnny Dwight, who started as a left tackle on offense and played all over the defensive line, but junior Quinn Tisdol stole the show for Wilcox County. The 6-foot, 150-pounder had four touchdown receptions and nearly had a fifth score after a 70-yard kickoff return to open the second half. The speedster accelerates with ease and displayed the ability to make cut-back moves look easy in space. Perhaps most impressively, though, were his hands. Tisdol set the tone with a diving score early on and added to his self-proclaimed "best game ever" with screen passes he was able to take the distance including one on 4th-and-goal from the 16 yard-line to help put the game away.
As for Dwight, he showed why Nick Saban covets his ability on defense, proving versatile enough to come off the edge with efficiency and power at 300-pounds. While on the inside, he often defeated double teams en route to a nine-tackle effort that included a sack and at least four quarterback hurries. Offensively, Dwight showcased above-average feet as a pass-protector in addition to finishing run blocks with power and relative ease against most of the defenders he faced.
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