Belle Glades (Fla.) Glade Day vs Yulee (Fla.)
It was a grand night for a high school football game in north Florida as five-star running back Derrick Henry and Yulee hosted high four-star running back Kelvin Taylor and Belle Glades Glades Day in front of a packed house.
In the end, the massive Henry stole the show, rushing for 369-yards and six touchdowns, in routing the Gators 42-6. Henry, who committed to Alabama on Friday afternoon, celebrated in grand style. He scored on runs of 65, 37, 30, 5, 19 and 26-yards. The previous week he rushed for 502-yards and six touchdowns. For the season he has 1,760 yards and 23 touchdowns in Yulee's first five games. He now has 39 consecutive 100-yard games and is closing in on 10,000 career yards and the national career mark which stands at 11,232. Henry now has 9,723 yards.
The thing that's so impressive with Henry is the defense knows what's coming and they still can't stop him. He's a freight train who happens to be 6-foot-3 and 243-pounds. He had 35-carries on the night and one reception and didn't seem to lose a step in the second half or late in the game. Henry runs with power and has very deceptive speed and athleticism. He can change directions for a big back and has nice balance and vision. Sure he runs high but what 6-3 running back wouldn't?
Taylor finished with a quietest 235 rushing yards I have ever seen. His longest run was 37-yards and he also had runs of 30, 21, 20 and 19-yards. In his defense the Yulee defense did a nice job most of the night surrounding him and not really letting Taylor get loose.
Like Henry, Taylor had 35 rushing attempts and he also caught two passes out of the backfield. He had the Gators lone score on a short run in the first quarter. This future Florida Gator is impressive. He runs with speed and power. Taylor is blessed with outstanding instincts, vision and balance. But what sets him apart is his feet. He has tremendously quick feet and it's that quickness that sets up everything he does.
Yulee has a great looking 2014 wide receiver and defensive back in Tristan Bennett. He stands at least 6-foot-1 and weighs 183-pounds. In fact, I would bet he's closer to 6-foot-2. Bennett had several nice grabs on the night and also came down with a spectacular catch going over a Glades Day defender in the second half. He runs very well and is long. Bennett plays cornerback on defense. He looks like a sure-fire BCS kid next season.
Chad Simmons, National Recruiting Analyst
Columbiana (Ala.) Shelby County vs Calera (Ala.) Calera
This was not really a contest, but a junior and freshman stood out. Calera won the game 49-0 and 2014 athlete Ronnie Clark and 2016 offensive tackle Tyler Pritchett both were impressive. Clark played both sides of the ball and he made a couple of nice tackles on defense and he scored a touchdown on offense. He is a versatile athlete that I like potentially as an outside linebacker on the next level. He showed good speed to go with size (6-3/210) and he is a good player in space. Pritchett is only a freshman, but the 6-foot-3, 260 pound tackle showed very good feet and balance Thursday night. He has a lot of potential and he will continue to mature physically and as a football player.
Florence (Ala.) Florence vs Oxford (Ala.) Oxford
Oxford got up 28-0 in the first half and the game was over after that. The final was 35-7 and 2014 running back Racean Thomas led the Yellow Jackets to victory. He finished with two touchdowns (one rushing and one receiving) and he continued to show why he will be considered one of the best at his position in 2014. He has quick feet, he runs very tough on the inside, and he has the speed to get to the edge. He really kept his legs driving all game and got a lot of yards after contact.
Other top prospects on Oxford are Ulric Jones and Trent Simpson, who are committed to Mississippi State. Both are ranked by Fox Sports Next as defensive end, but Jones played more offensive tackle and defensive tackle in this game. Jones is a very good-looking prospect on the hoof (6-6/260) with long arms and the frame to add good weight. He needs to get stronger, play with better leverage, and get better at the point of attack. Simpson is a very high energy guy who plays until the whistle in blown. He played his assignments well and he recovered a fumble on the first play of the game that set the tone.
On the other side, Florence has some young guys to watch in the future, but the two we will talk about here are Ole Miss commit Rayshawn Smith and 2014 quarterback Kendrick Doss. Smith was not a big factor in this game, but he is an athlete with good size and likely a future outside linebacker. He was in on a few tackles this game. Doss is a very intriguing prospect and he could play a few different positions on the next level. As a quarterback, he really has to work on his mechanics and become more accurate. He is very athletic, he has a very strong arm, and he can run. He is drawing a lot of attention and he is a 6-foot-2, 210 pound junior to keep an eye on.
John Garcia, Southeast Recruiting Analyst
South Gwinnett (Ga.) at Central Gwinnett (Ga.)
We were on hand to check out class of 2015 running back prospect Jonathan Hawkins form Central Gwinnett, but South Gwinett's L.J. Gainey stole the show. The senior slot receiver had nearly 200 yards and a score on the evening, but it was how he ran after hauling in pass after pass that impressed the most. At just 5-foot-10, 175 pounds - he uses crisp routes and above-average acceleration to create separation while displaying superb moves in the open field to capitalize on every inch of grass on the field. Gainey made the play of the night as well, when he capped off a 50-plus yard catch-and-run with a stop and stutter move that caused a defender to fall down in the open field without any contact. Gainey has offers from Ohio and Troy, but is interested in BCS schools that run the spread. Hawkins looks the part of the SEC prospect that he is, but a shoulder injury limited his availability in the loss.
A pair of linebackers each held their own in the game as well. Central's Trey Johnson, who is a soft verbal to Auburn, finished with the game-high in tackles. He will take official visits to Ohio State and Florida State in the coming months. Johnson always seems to be around the ball no matter the situation, and he showcased his explosion as a blitzer in the loss. When the senior gets to the ball, he brings the lumber more times than not. South's Reggie Carter, a firm Georgia commit, played defensive end more times than not. He projects as a middle linebacker at the next level - and he showed all the tools while leading his defense to a big performance. Carter has excellent bend off the edge and a strong burst in tight spaces to go along with a eye-test-passing 6-foot-2, 230-pound frame.
Mike Bakas, Florida Recruiting Analyst
Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland vs Sanford (Fla.) Seminole
Simply put, Ronnie Moore was far and away the best player on the field in this game. At 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds, Moore does it all for his team. He plays some running back, some receiver, some defensive back, and is always a big play waiting to happen. He scored as a slot receiver on the first offensive play of the game for Seminole. He later scored on a touchdown run to the outside. He has above average speed for his size as a major college prospect but he does a tremendous job of making people miss in the open field. Most of the times he touches the football, he's making at least one defender miss. While he's at his best in the open field, he does get the ball between the tackles and runs like he's much bigger than he is. He's tough, explosive, and a flat out playmaker. Because of his size and short-area quickness, he projects best as a slot receiver at the college level. Cincinnati is his only BCS offer right now but he'll likely add more once his September senior film goes out. His brother plays at Tennessee-Chattanooga, who has also offered.
One of the better wide receiver prospects in the central Florida area, E.A. Watkins had a quiet night in this one. He caught just one pass, even though it went for over 30 yards. Watkins goes about 5-11 and 190 and lacks ideal speed to be an X receiver on the outside. He doesn't have great short-area quickness to be an ideal slot receiver at the major college level either. Is he physical enough to be a Z? Some of those questions went unanswered with his performance in this game. He claims offers from schools like Kentucky, Georgia, and West Virginia.
There wasn't a more athletic player on the field in this game than Quinton Powell. Lining up as a defensive end with his hand on the ground most of the time, Powell made some very athletic plays. With one of his tackles behind the line of scrimmage, he brought down Moore in the open field. He also had two sacks in the game, which were athletic plays and not just coverage type sacks. At 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, he lacks ideal size and strength (he isn't nearly as effective when teams run right at him) to stay at DE in college but he looks to have the necessary athletic ability to be an outside linebacker. He has long arms, good straight ahead speed, and shows the ability to change directions. The only question mark that you couldn't see in this game is how good he'll be able to diagnose plays in front of him as a linebacker. All the physical tools appear to be there with the possible exception of being a bit light and not really having a huge frame to add a lot more. The 4-star is firmly committed to Florida.
Geoff Vogt, Florida Recruiting Analyst
Miami Southridge vs Miami Northwestern
Artie Burns (Northwestern) is playing mainly free safety this season and has added 10-15 pounds of muscle. It looks more and more like that will be his position at the collegiate level, although he has the tools to play cornerback as well. The 6-foot-1 and 195-pound Miami commit can run like the wind and has improved both his tackling/hitting and ball skills, and we think he is a candidate to make an early impact in college. While he took an official visit to FSU for the Clemson game, Burns is still considered a solid Miami verbal commitment.
The second Miami commitment at safety in this game, Jamal Carter played a lot closer to the box than Burns and is the more physical player. He has had some bad luck with injuries, but seems to be past that. Southridge really struggled on offense, but Carter gave them a shot in the arm with a reverse where he showed off his obvious athletic gifts. At 6-foot-1 and 190-pounds he has prototype size for a safety at the next level.
Devonaire Scott a 2015 wide receiver/tight end from Southridge that's blessed with all the physical tools. A legit 6-foot-5 or 6-foot-6 he made several catches look easy and was comfortable in space. We would expect him to develop into a tight end because he is already north of 200 pounds, but he will be a major receiving threat regardless. This young man has a very high ceiling. FSU has already offered.
Estero vs Palmetto Ridge Nick Nataro is a 6-foot4 and 215-pound 2014 TE from Estero and is his team's leading offensive weapon. He logged over six catches in this one and got loose down the sideline for a big gain. Nataro was spread out wide 75% of the time, but will certainly be played more inside in college as a traditional tight end. He is big, athletic, and has quality hands. This is a player we expect to get quite a bit of attention over the next year.
Ron Johnson (Palmetto Ridge) is a 5-foot-10 and 205-pound running back that has prototype size and the track times to project deep speed. Johnson never got loose to stretch his legs as Estero stacked the box, but the physical gifts will make Johnson a BCS prospect for the 2014 cycle. He ran hard and was not afraid to mix it up inside.
Kristen Ledow, Southeast Field Reporter
Woodstock (Ga.) vs Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter
Lassiter took a commanding 30-7 win at home over Woodstock on Friday night. The win sealed a 5-0 start to the season for Lassiter, while Woodstock fell to 0-5. Eddie Printz, senior quarterback at Lassiter, was recently committed to UCLA and has reopened his recruitment. Printz is now in discussions with Missouri, Wake Forest and Yale, and plans to officially visit each this fall. Seniors Ryan Jenkins and Juwan Dickey were both sidelined from the game, Jenkins with two fractured ribs and Dickey with a bruised right knee. Both plan to return in the coming week. Junior Chris Murphy is one to keep an eye on in the class of 2014, with impressive cornerback play and major collegiate interest. Lassiter faces Marietta Walton on Friday.
Amy Campbell, Florida Field Reporter
Lawrenceville (Ga.) Archer vs Dacula (Ga.)
Dacula fell 17-14 at home to Archer on Friday night. Archer seemed to have the win locked up until Dacula senior running back Marcus Cox stepped up with a couple of big plays to keep it close. Cox had a 50-yard punt return for a touchdown and an 81-yard touchdown catch in the second half to keep his team in the hunt. Cox has several offers and has named Appalachian State as his leader.
Archer defensive end Antonio Riles struggled with back spasms for most of the night but still performed well. The 2013 Florida commitment is still solid to the Gators but says he'll take some visits and hopes to see Michigan State and UCLA.
Archer senior cornerback and wide receiver Deondre Singleton had a slow start but made some nice plays in the second half. Singleton has seven offers including Georgia State, Miami (Ohio), Howard, Marshall, Air Force, and Elon. The 6-foot, 176-pound athlete says he's hoping for an offer from his would-be-leader, Appalachian State.
Ernest Alexander was out with a knee injury but plans to be back on the field for Archer next week. The 2013 running back has offers from Air Force, Navy, and Presbyterian, and he's hearing a lot from Georgia Tech. Alexander likes the Yellow Jackets a lot and hopes for an offer soon.
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