"Miami's Definitely No. 1"

With so many big and physical wide receivers dominating the recruiting charts these days, the smaller guys seem to be an afterthought. However, that's a mistake and Winter Haven's Zach Charles is a good example of that.

At 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, Charles will be one of the state's fastest players this coming season. He ran a 4.44 at the recent NIKE Combine and has a vertical leap of 32 inches. The talented wideout, who is still only 16 years old, is coming off an impressive junior season -- 24 receptions for 500 yards and five scores.

"Our old coach was steady on the run," Charles said. "However, we got some really good receivers here. We're getting a new coach and he's already told us that he plans to utilize all his weapons. He told us to start tuning our routes and things like that."

Charles, who carries a 3.4 GPA, is now gearing up for track season where he'll be one of the top sprinters in Polk County. He believes his speed is a big advantage on the gridiron.

"My speed gives me a chance," he said. "But it's the way I run my routes and how well I'm able to get off the line. I'm not the biggest guy but I'm real quick and I dont allow cornerbacks to keep me from getting off clean."

Charles, who has lived in Miami and Naples previously, has been getting a lot of interest from college coaches -- including Miami.

"I get letters and stuff," he said. "Miami is definitely No. 1 right now. I went to their camp last year but didn't participate. Coach Johnson sent me something about coming down on June 11-13 for their camp. I'm probably gonna go because that's where I wanna play in college. Miami's always been a powerhouse and they have the ability to spread the ball around to all their receivers pretty well."

In addition to the Hurricanes, Charles has some interest in several other programs as well. However, the in-state schools are at the top of his list at this point.

"I also like Florida State and Florida but I'm just keeping my options open," he said. "Whichever schools offer me a scholarship first, that's who I'll show even more interest in. But Miami's at the top right now."

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