Here's a look at some of the games we attended this weekend from around the southeast. We were all around the state of Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
Chad Simmons, National Recruiting Analyst
Savannah (Ga.) Johnson vs. Hinesville (Ga.) Liberty County
Liberty County controlled this one from the beginning and they went on to cruise to a 40-20 win. The biggest stars of this game were 2014 Scout 100 linebacker Raekwon McMillan and 2017 safety Richard Lecounte. McMillan finished with double-digit tackles in front of Florida coach D.J. Durkin Thursday night, but he also added two touchdowns. He had a rushing score and a 67-yard touchdown reception. McMillan is an impressive specimen and he is in great shape. He is a strong downhill football player with a real presence in the middle of the defense. His first official visit is coming up in two weeks at Georgia.
Lecounte is a name to remember. The freshman had an amazing one-handed interception inside the five yard line and he is very athletic. He is going to start popping up on many radars in the coming months.
Ponte Vedra (Fla.) vs. Jacksonville (Fla.) Providence
Everyone was talking about Ponte Vedra as the favorite here coming into this game with a 2-0 record, but Providence really controlled this game from start to finish. In the end, Providence walked away with a 28-16 win. Providence athlete Peter Gilligan scored a touchdown rushing and receiving to help the Stallions and they did some good things as a team on offense, defense, and special teams.
The top prospects in this game were Tennessee commit Dillon Bates of Ponte Vedra and offensive tackle David Sharpe of Providence. Bates blocked a punt on special teams, he sealed the edge as a blocker on Ponte Vedra's first touchdown, and he was in on around 10 tackles. He was used as an inside and outside blocker, he blitzed some, and he dropped into coverage some. Bates was great at chasing the ball, he was in the backfield a couple of times late in the game as a blitzer, and he had a solid performance. He is very smart and took good angles to the football. Sharpe has really improved over the past year after not playing football as a sophomore. He is up to 295-pounds and at 6-foot-6 with long arms, he has the frame college coaches look for. Sharpe showed flashes of why he has the offer list he has. He is still very raw and learning on the run, but he was solid in pass protection and he a couple blocks where he drove guys down the field. He needs to work on sustaining his blocks, his punch, and his feet, but you could see why he is being pursued by schools like Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia and others. He is being coached by former All-Pro Tony Boselli. Boselli has a son in sophomore offensive Andrew Boselli and he is one to watch down to road.
Lithonia (Ga.) vs. Atlanta (Ga.) Mays
New Mays head coach Corey Jarvis faced his old team for the first time and his team took care of business 36-28. There were plenty of athletes on the field in this contest, but one really stood out. Natrez Patrick of Mays caught a touchdown pass as a tight end and that may have been his most impressive play as a big (6-2/235) athlete, but he was all over the field on defense. He had a sack, he had tackles for loss, and he pressured the quarterback as well. Patrick is a Scout 100 prospect in the 2015 class and the Mays junior has over 40 scholarship offers. Florida and Georgia are both thought to be high on his list.
Mays junior offensive lineman Dallas Warmack played some guard and tackle in this game, but his home is in the interior. He is a guard or center on the next level and he will be playing in Tuscaloosa since he is committed to Alabama. He was solid in this game, but looked much better and much more comfortable when inside at guard.
Like Mays, M.L.K. will have many players that sign scholarships in the coming years, but their top two prospects are 2014 cornerback Wesley Green and 2015 rush end Arden Key. Green played free safety in this game and was not too big of a factor. He was the centerfielder and did his job, but was not in on too many plays. Key chased the ball well, but he has to great stronger and add weight. He is very thin (6-6/195), but athletic and he has good speed to the ball and long. He has upside, but he has to get bigger. Both Key and Green are committed to South Carolina.
Jamie Newberg, National Recruiting Analyst
Sanford (Fla.) Seminole vs Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips
This game was over early (42-7), as Dr. Phillips dominated from their first possession. On the game's second play, senior running back Deionte Gaines took a short pass and exploded through the Seminole second and third level for a 74-yard score. This kid is a small running back but an ideal piece for a spread attack. He's so quick and fast and has nice vision. Gaines is terrific in space and not afraid to run between the tackles. He had several nice plays in this game and his night was over early because of the score. Arizona, Middle Tennessee State, Appalachian State, and Middle Tennessee State have all offered and are showing the most interest in Gaines.
Two other senior notables for Dr. Phillips are cornerback Davin Pierce and wide receiver Roderick Proctor. Pierce is an fascinating prospect. He's a huge corner at 6-foot-2 but looks like he can play the position. If not, he can play safety for sure. He played safety as a junior and moved to cornerback this year. Pierce is committed to Cincinnati. Procter is also committed, as he made his pledge to Memphis. This is a nice pickup for the Tigers. While he may be on the smaller size (170-pounds), he give this Dr. Phillips passing attack a super down field threat. Proctor has good speed and hands. He had a nice 59-yard score where he showed his speed, running under a deep ball on a vertical route down the sideline.
As good as this trio is what's behind them is very interesting. Junior safety Vernon Walker looks like a super BCS caliber safety. He has size, speed and range. Walker had two monster plays in this game. First he scored off an interception from 35-yards out. After Walker caught the ball Walker showed excellent speed to reach the end zone. On the following possession he made a big time hit on a receiver who would have scored had he hung on to football in end zone.
Sophomore linebacker Jonathan Pollock is a versatile talent. He lines up everywhere at the position, from inside to outside. He can play in the box or make plays in space. He can run the passer or drop in overage. Pollock is still young and a tad undersized but he certainly has plenty of time to mature. Pollack has committed already to Mississippi State.
Hands down the most intriguing prospect for Dr. Phillips is 2017 starting left tackle Calvin Ashley. This kid has no idea what he's doing yet but he has all the physical traits you look for in this position. He has size (6-5/256) and length. Ashley is a basketball player with extremely long arms and great feet. He gets off the ball very well and can drive block. He can slide side to side in pass pro. At times he would be too aggressive and over-reach or take the wrong step and would get off-balance. Patience and better technique will come with age and experience. He may be the best freshman offensive linemen I have ever seen. Then again, you don't see too many freshmen starting on the offensive front. Ashley's upside is off the charts. He has a chance to develop into one of the very best recruits in his class regardless of position.
Geoff Vogt, Florida Recruiting Analyst
Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington vs. Miami (Fla.) Carol City
Booker T. Washington continued their run to a national title with another impressive performance on Wednesday night defeating Carol City 45-0. All of the usual suspects were dynamite as quarterback Treon Harris made plays with his arm and feet, sophomore sensation Mark Walton ran the ball effectively, and wide receiver Lamar Parker put on a show with his speed. The Booker T. defense was equally effective completing shutting down a pretty potent Chief attack led by Miami commit Trayon Gray. Booker T. does not get any time to rest as they face another difficult test this week with neighborhood rival Miami Jackson on the schedule.
Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade vs. Miami (Fla.) Gulliver Prep
Chaminade came out with a purpose and played a terrific first quarter behind stand-out defensive tackle Khairi Clark and athlete Alex Thomas, but it quickly unraveled in the second quarter as the young talent at Gulliver took over. A pair of sophomore wide receivers, Dionte Mullins and Dontay Mayfield, each made plays on the outside and the defense was led by junior Dominic Sheppard as they shut down the Chaminade rushing attack. Gulliver pulled away for a 34-7 victory on Thursday afternoon. Clark was in better physical condition as Florida Head Coach Will Muschamp looked on.
Plantation (Fla.) vs Miramar (Fla.)
The fireworks began an hour before kickoff as both teams (and coaches) were having a little South Florida talk before the game and the teams backed it up with a physical game in front of a large crowd Thursday night. Miramar quarterback Nick Jeanty made good decisions and running back Eric Pittman was sensational slicing through a tough Colonal defense. Miramar's vaunted "Dark Side" defense held quarterback Chris Lammons in check on their way to a 28-14 win. We were impressed with Miramar's nationally rated junior cornerback Tyrek Cole who displayed big-time potential. Plantation tight end Ravian Pierce was more involved on both sides of the ball and had a very good all-around game (nice kickoff return, big reception, solid on defense).
West Palm Beach (Fla.) Cardinal Newman vs Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy
IMG Academy moved to 3-0 in their first season as they rolled in the fourth quarter for a 43-24 victory over visiting Cardinal Newman. This game featured a pair of true college quarterback legends as head coaches as IMG's Chris Wienke (National Champion, Heisman Winner, FSU) took on Cardinal Newman's Steve Walsh (National Champion, Miami). IMG's Bo Scarborough did not touch the ball a ton, but when he did he showed why he is one the nation's top recruits. Silky smooth, he carved up the Newman defense showing vision and athletic ability. Quarterback Michael O'Conner is clearly developing under the tutelage of Weinke. We love how quickly he gets the ball out to his play-makers. Cardinal Newman stayed in this game because of two reasons: Steve Walsh is a rising star as a head coach and athlete Travis Rudolph made many terrific plays on both sides of the ball.
Amy Campbell, Southeast Field Reporter
Apopka (Fla.) vs Apopka (Fla.) Wekiva
Apopka may be without starting quarterback Zack Darlington
, but that didn't stop them from putting up 80 points against Wekiva Friday night. Junior fullback Chandler Cox stepped up in the quarterback role for the Blue Darters. Cox had 84-yards on 12 carries and one touchdown in the victory. The real stars of the night on offense were junior cornerback and running back J.J. Simmons
and senior cornerback and running back Robert Thomas. Simmons scored six touchdowns on nine carries and rushed for 273-yards in the victory. Thomas added 228-yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. The senior standout also had five tackles and one interception. On defense, senior defensive ends Isaiah Buehler and Eric Jackson
put pressure on Wekiva all night. Bueher had two sacks, but still felt the defense as a whole could have done much better.
Central has a few sleeper seniors to keep an eye on and they flashed in the losing effort. Quarterback Vincent Davis has a pair of offers to his name (Alabama State, Alabama A&M) but he has the talent to see more come his way with good speed and wiggle as a runner at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds. Fellow senior Ronderek Rice Jr., a linebacker at 5-foot-11, 200 pounds has the same pair of offers. Another linebacker to watch on the Falcon roster is Cedric Beal, a rangy 6-foot-2, 215-pounder with some power behind his pads upon contact.