Brian Monroe Interview

Palm Beach Gardens' standout kicking specialist Brian Monroe is rated one of the top recruits in the nation, and that was pretty evident Friday night in the Gators' playoff game at Pompano Beach Ely High School.

Despite his team's 28-7 loss to Ely, Monroe (6-2, 185, 4.6) had an outstanding performance and single-handedly kept his team in the first-round playoff game. In the pre-game warmup, he routinely kicked 58-yard field goals and hammered kickoffs into the back of the end zone, but he saved his best for the game.

In a hotly-contested first half, Monroe, who also started at cornerback and, according to his coaches, is the best athlete on the team, repeatedly helped his team with field position by pinning Ely deep in its own territory with booming punts. And Monroe's season-long reputation obviously preceded him, as the Tiger punt returner would stand 70 yards downfield as Monroe prepared to launch another missile.

In fact, Gardens' lone score in the second quarter came as a direct result of its special team's play. The left-footed Monroe demonstrated his athleticism by leaping to catch a high snap from center, then crushing a 56-yard bomb under a heavy rush, which sailed over the returner's head and was downed at the 1. Ely fumbled on the next play, and one play later Gardens punched it in to tie the game at 7.

"I was just trying to get it off since it was over my head," said Monroe, who had four punts of over 50 yards. On the night, Monroe averaged 48.6 on five kicks, with a long of 60. A 57-yarder was called back because of a roughing the punter penalty, and Ely managed only four return yards. He also had a touchback, and said he will primarily punt and kickoff in college.

"It's probably UM. Also, FSU's in it. I'm going to UM next weekend and talk to the coaches after the Pitt game. Ohio State was No. 2 before, but my coach told me UM and FSU were going to offer me, and I want to state in-state, so it's going to be one of those two."

Canes Time Top Stories