Florida Recap: Scout on the Town

We were at games all over the Sunshine State. Here's some news, notes and evals

Jamie Newberg, National Recruiting Analyst
Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake vs Bradenton (Fla.) Southeast

Manatee beat East Lake 38-7. The Hurricanes got their running game going early with Trevon Walters. He scored a pair of touchdowns and had some nifty runs. Walter's is not a big back but runs with some power. He's patient and has good vision. Of course the Hurricanes have a terrific offensive line led by bookend tackles Mike Galati and Jake Stickler. Galati, who's committed to USF, looks to be closer to 6-foot-3 not 6-foot-2. He had a nice game and battled East Lake junior standout George Campbell a lot on the night. He gets off the ball well and can really move. It's impressive watching him pull and block on the run. The same can be said with Stickler. Of the two, there's no question that Galati looks further advanced. But Stickler is so big, so long and has great feet. He's headed to Georgia Tech.

Defensively, DeMarcus Christmas was pretty much held in check. East Lake game planned against him well, going with a lot of chop blocks and the quick passing game. Christmas is a four-star recruit committed to FSU. Lining up next to him is junior defensive tackle Ryan Fines. He moved in from Colorado after last season and looks like a BCS recruit for the class of 2015. A senior linebacker emerging for Manatee is Greg Reaves. He has outstanding size, length and speed and could develop into a major recruit this fall. Reaves is 6-foot-2, 197-pounds.

For East Lake, it was a big night for four-star wide receiver Artavis Scott. He made plays on offense, defense and on special teams. Scott played running back, wide receiver, cornerback and returned kicks. He had a long touchdown reception on a simple fly out where he took off and ran under a well thrown ball for the score. Scott had a few nice runs showcasing his speed and quickness. He also had several very good kick returns. Then on defense he had perhaps the biggest hit on the night on a Manatee receiver. Scott, who's committed to Clemson, was in on several tackles. He really had a nice game against one of the better teams in the state in all areas of the game.

You can't say the same for 2015 five-star wide receiver George Campbell. He dropped what would have been an easy touchdown reception in the first quarter. He also had two fumbles. Campbell lined up at defensive end and safety and made a few plays on that side of the ball. He's so big, fast and quick. Campbell is a tough matchup at whatever position he lines up at. He just had an off night. He has already committed to Michigan.

Also headed to Ann Arbor is East Lake senior Mason Cole. Cole looks the part of an offensive tackle. He's huge and has a super frame with long arms. Cole moves exceptional well. But for some reason he really struggled in pass protection against Manatee's defensive ends. They were smaller but quicker and used their speed to beat him on the edge. Fortunately for East Lake they mainly went with the quick passing game. He did give up one sack. Cole fared better when they ran the football. He gets out of his stance quickly and has terrific feet.

Another East Lake player that struggled was Devin Abraham. Abraham is a safety that's committed to USF. He was missed several tackles in the open field that led to touchdowns.

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Amy Campbell, Southeast Field Reporter
Miami (Fla.) Jackson vs. Coral Gables (Fla.)

Senior quarterback Quinton Flowers looked very strong for Jackson in its 21-11 win over Coral Gables. The 6-foot, 210-pound athlete threw for more than 200-yards and three touchdowns on nine attempts. On the ground, Flowers accounted for 18 yards on three carries and two scores. The top uncommitted 2014 recruit in Florida is looking at South Florida, Marshall, West Virginia, Nebraska, and Tennessee.

Junior wide receiver Jovon Durante is primed for a big season. The West Virginia commitment transferred from Dr. Krop to Jackson. With a quarterback like Flowers, the two could do some damage this season.

Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas vs. Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Dillard
Both teams were clearly working out a lot of kinks in this one but that's what the preseason is for. St. Thomas Aquinas took the 21-10 win over Dillard Thursday night. The Raiders were penalized 15 times for 165 yards and Dillard 14 times for 76 yards. St. Thomas' senior defensive tackle Anthony Moten was dominant and disruptive up front. Sophomore defensive end Nicholas Bosa (brother of Ohio State freshman Joey Bosa) was also dominant and looks to have a big season. Senior receiver Corey Holmes struggled with a hip injury this summer and sat this game out as a precaution. Junior receiver transfer Devante Peete looked solid for the Raiders. The 6-foot-5, 200-pounder accounted for 63 yards and had two nice touchdown catches. On the ground, senior running back Madre London rushed for 52 yards on 11 carries and one touchdown.

Dillard's Dennis Turner, a Miami commitment, had three catches for 67-yards. Safety Randy Ramsey had two sacks and a forced fumble.

Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) Dwyer vs. Miami Central (Fla.)
The theme of penalties continued Saturday night at Dwyer. Miami Central put a 44-13 beat down on the Panthers as flags flew left and right. The Rockets were dominant despite 205 yards in penalties. Dwyer had 175 yards in penalties. The stellar running back duo of Joseph Yearby and Dalvin Cook combined for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Cook also had a 55-yard punt return for a touchdown. He picked up a personal foul for diving into the end zone but it really charged up the crowd. Fellow Florida commitment, 2015 wide receiver Da'vante Phillips, had a nice 70-yard touchdown catch. South Florida cornerback commitment Deatrick Nichols picked off a pass and returned it 65-yards to the 15-yard line. Nichols and the Central defense were successful in shutting down Dwyer's star receiver Johnnie Dixon, who accounted for less than 30 yards. While Central was dominant, coaches and players were still very unhappy with the amount of penalties and sloppiness. They play at Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage next week.

Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School vs. Homestead (Fla.)
There was plenty of south Florida hype surrounding this game. These two teams have been talking about facing off for months and none were more excited than University School cornerback Quincy Wilson and Homestead receiver Ermon Lane. The two recently pledged together to Florida and had been eager to match up against each other, especially on a big stage. University School took the 41-21 win. Wilson said the U School defense had a plan for Lane, and they were able to contain him. Lane caught four passes for 42 yards receiving and had a nice 58-yard punt return. Wilson returned an interception for a touchdown.

University quarterback Sean White had some good moments and some bad moments. The Auburn commitment threw for over 120-yards and two touchdowns. He also threw three interceptions, one of which was returned for a Homestead touchdown. The star of the day for University School was Duke commitment Chris Taylor. Taylor was the most dominant receiver for the Suns, scoring three times. Notre Dame linebacker commitment Richard Yeargin blocked a punt. Homestead's Gilbert Johnson added a touchdown for the Broncos. The Georgia pledge caught four passes for 67-yards receiving on the day.

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Patrick Burnham, Regional Recruiting Analyst
Perry (Fla.) Taylor County vs. Tallahassee (Fla.) Leon

Wide receiver/ tight end Moral Stephens was the story offensively for Taylor County as they fell short on a comeback attempt in a 34-29 loss to Leon. Stephens hauled in nine receptions for 162 yards and two touchdowns. His two scoring plays accounted for 120 of his yards. On his first touchdown the receiver showed why he is getting major college attention, making a fantastic over the shoulder catch between two defenders and going to the house. Stephens does need to be more consistent and more physical with smaller corners versus man coverage. Offensive lineman Jacob Barr had a decent night but was not dominant.

Leon found out they have two capable quarterbacks and both should have colleges from all levels checking in on the Lions. Sophomore Darius Bradwell got the nod over junior D'Anfernee McGriff but both played and played well. Bradwell was the more efficient of the two passing completing six of ten passes for 110 yards and three touchdowns. The sophomore also ran the ball 13 times for 41 yards. McGriff, a junior, had huge night on the ground running the ball 15 times for 192 yards and two touchdowns and showed a knack for making plays out of nothing. The athletic McGriff also lined up at wide receiver where he got to balls for 15 yards.

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Geoff Vogt, Florida Recruiting Analyst
Ft. Myers (Fla.) Riverdale vs Cape Coral (Fla.)

Cape Coral has suffered through a few down years in a row but they showed a much improved overall team with a 41-24 victory over Riverdale. Senior Rhasheed Jiles was a leader on both sides of the ball catching a touchdown and delivering several bone jarring hits. The Seahawk defense locked it down after some early struggles. We love Jiles as a physical corner and his stock should continue to rise through his senior season.

Riverdale has an excellent junior class led by athlete Ryan Pulley. Pulley displayed the type of potential to be a future Scout300 member. At 6-foot-0, 190 pounds he has ideal size at cornerback and elite athleticism. He also made an impact as a kick returner and wide receiver. Junior quarterback Jesse Lighthall and running back Van Edwards give the Raiders a nice trio of young talent to build around. Lighthall has good size at 6-foot-3 and Edwards runs very hard between the tackles. Both teams will be fighting for playoff berths this year.

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