Simmons: 10 Things I Learned in Florida

Scout's National Recruiting Analyst Chad Simmons spent three days in South Florida last week and he saw a lot of prospects. Here are 10 things he learned last week.

  • Matthew Thomas is even better than advertised. Scout placed Thomas in their initial Scout100 last fall and he has lived up to the hype. Thomas is a 6-foot-4, 210 pound athlete out of Booker T. Washington in Miami and he is impressive. He was all over the field against Ely in the scrimmage I saw Friday night. He drops into coverage well, he showed great range, and he tackles well through the opponent. Thomas is currently no. 19 in the country, but could push for top 10 when all is said and done. He has a very high ceiling.

  • Look for Khairi Clark to be highly rated in 2014. The interior defensive lineman out of Chaminade-Madonna has put on about 10-15 pounds since last year and he is a very strong 6-foot-2, 300 pound prospect. Clark is explosive and I stopped in to check on him last week. He has a great attitude, he has a nice offer list, and it is only going to expand in the coming months.

  • I saw a number of talented 2015 prospects in the area last week. Kendall McFadden is a safety out of McArthur that could grow into an outside linebacker, Tim Irvin is an athlete out of Westminster, Jordan Cronkrite is a running back out of Westminster, Devante Peete is a wide receiver out of Ely, and Torrance Gibson is an athlete out of American Heritage in Plantation. Look for all of these guys to emerge as top prospects in the coming years. McFadden already has offers and he will become a national name early.

  • Robert Miller was one of the best looking prospects I saw on this trip. He is a solid 6-foot-1, 190 pound athlete out of Travella and he is still waiting for his first offer. He already has a qualifying test score, he makes plays, and he is a true sleeper. Camp performances could lead to offers for him this summer. Keep an eye on this one.

  • One of the top defensive prospects in Florida's 2014 class will be Richard Yeargin. The 6-foot-3, 205 pound rising junior is now at Chaminade-Madonna. He transferred there from Cardinal Newman earlier this year. He looks like a younger Matthew Thomas of B.T.W. and he will start getting big offers in the near future. He was impressive to the eye and a very mature young man as well.

  • Gregory Hankerson may not be a big name out of Boyd Anderson, but he was impressive in the Cobras loss to University School Wednesday night. He plays quarterback for B.A., but will likely be a slot receiver or corner on the next level. He threw the ball well on the run and he showed good arm strength throughout the night. He has quick feet and he is one that stood out to me because he was not one I had high expectations for going into the scrimmage.

  • The name Tony Baxter emerged last year at Hialeah before going down with an ACL injury. He is currently taking classes at North Park High School to get on top of his grades and that is where I traveled to see Baxter. He is a very impressive young man physically at 6-foot-3, 287 pounds. He is going to have his senior season cut short due to his age and I was told he would likely be able to play eight games in 2013. He is on his way back from ACL surgery and he should have a big year in 2012. No offers yet, but they will come.

  • Clemson has signed some top prospects out of Florida in recent years and they could be on the verge of landing a top 2014 running back. The buzz in South Florida was Dalvin Cook is leaning heavily towards the Tigers. Cook is an elite back with great speed and the ability to make big plays from anywhere on the field. He is teammates with 2014 Florida State commit Jospeh Yearby at Miami Central.

  • Nobody could block Joey Bosa Thursday night at St. Thomas Aquinas. Coach Casulo decided to go with an intersquad game instead of scrimmaging another school and I do not think it would have mattered. Bosa was dominant. He moved from inside to outside and he was effective all over the line. He registered four or five sacks in limited time in an eight minute quarter game. STA has some good OLs, but it was hard for any to slow him down.

  • Maquedius Bain is a Scout300 prospect on Scout and we have him rated as a defensive tackle. He was the highest rated prospect in the University School-Boyd Anderson scrimmage Wednesday, but he did not perform like it. He just was not involved as much as I would have liked. He has gained some weight since last season and he could end up being an offensive guard on the next level. He is not as quick off the ball as he once was and he just was not an impact player in this game. He is still a big body with good feet and good athleticism, but he just did not play to his ranking in this scrimmage.

    Look for interviews, photo galleries, intro pieces, and analysis features on many prospects I saw throughout the week on Scout.

    Chad Simmons is currently a National Recruiting Analyst for FOX Sports/Scout. He started with Scout in 2003 and then moved on to another Recruiting Service from 2004-2008 before returning to Scout the first of 2009 to become South Recruiting Manager.
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