BOOKER T. WASHINGTON TORNADOS
Linebacker Matthew Thomas dominated this game from start to finish. (Seen HERE) The 6'3 athlete lined up at MLB, OLB, and DE on his way to double digit tackles. Thomas is ranked as a five-star prospect and proved it as he was the best player on this loaded field Saturday night. His ceiling is way up there and he should help relatively early in his collegiate career (Miami, Alabama, Florida State).
Offensive linemen Denver Kirkland is not far behind Thomas as he is a massive athlete that plays with a mean streak. The 6'4, 320 pound Kirkland lined up at OT, but could easily slide inside at the next level. The top linemen in Dade from a year ago (Ereck Flowers) is challenging for immediate playing time at the next level, Kirkland is a worthy successor and could do the same. He appears to be the top interior line prospect in the state.
Florida State defensive back commitment Michael Johnson was his usual steady self. Johnson did not get beat, was great in coverage, and made a couple of key open field tackles. While he lacks ideal size (5'10, 175) at Safety, he makes up for it by being a savvy football player. He also punts and kicks for the Tornado's. Running Back D'Von Ballard made his presence felt the first play of the game with a 70+ yard TD run. It was impressive not only for the cut in the hole, but the fact he did not get caught from behind. He is a player that is well under the radar.
As loaded as the '13 class is (3 potential Big 3 kids), the '14 class will likely be better. Treon Harris led the offense to victory as a QB and he pretty much had his way all night against the big, physical defense at Northwestern. He has 4-5 star tools at CB, but at this stage he seems intent on playing QB at the next level. A CB that plays CB is Nigel Patton. Patton was very impressive on Saturday night displaying pure cover skills and plus athleticism. Not the tallest corner(5'10), but he brings that Dade County competitiveness to the table and can flat cover.
Defensive linemen Chad Thomas will be heavily recruited. At 6'4, 230 he played mainly at DT, but he will play DE at the next level. When the first 'Thomas' was not making a play, this one was. He is fierce competitor and a great athlete, it is all about adding size to his frame.
Miami commitment Artie Burns is clearly the headliner in this class for the Bulls. The 6'1, 185 pound Burns best plays came on offense as he made two nice catches and provided a brief spark tp the Bulls. He also delivered one of the big shots of the game as a safety and almost broke a kickoff return. There is no question about the tools, but Burns does have work to do technique wise as a DB. He could project to either CB or S at Miami.
Two years ago Gerald Wright was playing DT, but Yonel Henri is there today. We liked the move for Henri who may see his stock rise as a potential space eating DT (rather than a slightly under-sized OG). He has good size inside and a big body. Wright (committed to Marshall) has settled in on the offensive line and projects to OG. He is more comfortable and better player than a year ago. At 6'3, 310 he has good size.
Linebacker Darius Redmond and Defensive End DeAngelo Reynolds are other seniors on the radar. Redmond is playing in the middle and made some plays Saturday night. Reynolds has a world of talent and at 6'5, 250+ a world of upside, however he only played on special teams in his first game as a Bull. He had a productive summer at camps where he showed off some rare athletic tools.
Florida State commitment JoJo Robinson is the headliner in this class. The 6'0, 180 pound wide receiver did not get much opportunity, but still flashed the skill-set that has him on the radar early. While he played exclusively WR, there is a chance he flips over to CB at the next level. He is Northwestern's top offensive target and they will need to find a way to get the ball in his hands.
Linebacker Michael Smith is a long athlete with upside. At 6'2, he can apply pressure from the outside and was excellent in space. He just needs to add some weight over the next year and he should see BCS offers.