Coker Visits Top WR

In a very strong and deep year for wide receivers in Florida, Sarasota (Booker) standout Sam Shields is trying to emerge as one of the best. At 6-feet and 175 pounds, Shields has big time speed and athletic ability.

"I've been timed at 4.37," Shields said. "I ran a 10.9 last year in track and I'm trying to get down into the 10.7 or 10.8 range this year."

Shields, who carries a 2.8 GPA and will take the SAT for the first time next month, will soon be entering his third year as a varsity starter. Only injuries -- and certainly not any opposing defense -- was able to slow him down as a junior.

"I missed five games because of an MCL injury but I still had 568 yards and 10 touchdowns," he said. "I just know how to have fun at the position and I think I can catch everything that comes close to me."

The standout receiver prospect will be among the state's most heavily recruited players at his position this coming season. Heading into March, he already claims four written scholarship offers.

"Duke, Louisville, and Iowa have offered me," he said. "And LSU just offered me today."

While those schools will obviously get strong consideration from Shields, it's another program that has his attention.

"I definitely like Miami the most," he said. "They're on top -- without a doubt. I grew up a Florida State fan and really like the way they use their receivers in that offense but Miami's where I wanna be."

Shields talked more about what he likes about the Hurricanes.

"Baraka Atkins went to Booker and he's having a great career," he said. "Hopefully he'll be in the league by next year. I've been to Miami before. I went to the Virginia Tech game last year. I was real impressed at the atmosphere and I really liked the coaches. They make you feel real comfortable and they obviously know what they're doing because Miami's always putting a lot of guys into the NFL and that's where I wanna be someday."

While Shields is getting lots of hand-written mail from UM, he hasn't landed an offer yet. However, he does know that Coach Larry Coker was by his school earlier in the year.

"Coach Coker stopped by my school last month," he said. "I guess he was in the area recruiting (seniors) and he stopped in to check on me. That was real cool."

Shields has the Hurricanes at the top of his current list of favorites.

"I also like Florida, Virginia Tech, even though they're not writing me, LSU, and Florida State," he said.

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