Geoff Voght, Florida Recruiting Analyst
Tallahassee (Fla.) Godby vs Immokalee (Fla.)
Godby defeated Immokalee 21-20. The Indians score as time expired but missed the extra-point to win by a point.
Godby has a versatile offense where the Cougars can beat you via the air or on the ground. On this day it was the rushing attack led by their talented junior quarterback J.T. Bradwell. Bradwell and Kentucky bound running back Khalid Thomas combined for 147 yards on the ground. Thomas had the game winning score from 28-yards out. Thomas's partner in the backfield is Tim Longmire, another senior standout. He helped the Cougars offensive attack is the passing game, where he completed two pass on half-back options for 54 big yards. He also caught three passes for 57-yards. Both Thomas and Longmire lack big size but they are versatile as runners and receivers out of the backfield.
One of Godby's defensive stars of the title game was junior defensive end Jacob Pugh. He finished with seven tackles, two sacks and two tackles for a loss.
Pugh, 6-foot-4 and 210-pounds, is long and rangy with excellent speed off the edge. Even against the athletic Immokalee Indians he showed out and was one of the top athletes on the field. A fault is that sometimes Pugh gets a tad aggression and would love contain. Overall though Pugh played a super game and looks to be one of the better defensive prospects from the state next season.
A sophomore standout for Godby is athlete Jaylin Hayward. Against Immokalee he lined at running back, receiver, quarterback and cornerback. He can do a little bit of everything. At 5-foot-9 and 170-pounds, he can fly. College programs have already taken notice. He currently holds [verbal] offers from Florida State, Florida, Miami and Kentucky.
One of the most clutch performers for Immokalee has always been quarterback Tshumbi Johnson. While he struggled early, he came on late to lead Immokalee back with no time remaining. Unfortunately a botched extra point sent the Indian's home, but Johnson proved once again he can make plays when it matters. The 5-foot-11 and 170-pound Johnson could line up at quarterback, running back, wide receiver or cornerback at the next level due to his elite quickness and toughness (played much of the season with a severe shoulder injury). We like his potential at wide receiver, particularly in the slot. Tshumbi's brother, junior Dee Johnson has really developed over the past year and is now is likely to land at the BCS level. Johnson showed a tremendous amount of versatility with big plays in the run and passing game. We also love his ability to run inside and he has a lot more wiggle than many believe. Dee needs to continue to add weight and get faster.
Mackensie Alexander, J.C. Jackson, and Xavier Richardson each play wide receiver and defensive back for the Indian's. Alexander is a unanimous top five cornerback in the country, but it was on the offensive side of the ball that he made most of his plays (Godby ran the football). Alexander's combination of physicality, pure cover ability, and instincts should make him an instant impact type at the next level. Jackson is just a junior (and FSU commit). He can flat out run with anyone. Mostly a wide receiver heading into the season, he really developed at cornerback, and may play there at the next level. Richardson, a USF commit, made an interception at safety and came through with several huge catches at wide receiver, including the touchdown to potentially tie the game as time expired. He is another player that entered the season at one position (WR), but may have ended it with another (safety) being his future. Richardson has ideal size.
Deadrin Senat (6-1, 310), Mackenro Alexander (6-1, 190), and Jimmy Bayes (6-4, 190) are the top talents in the front seven on defense. Senat never leaves the field playing both defensive tackle and left tackle. He has unbelievable strength and is an explosive athlete for his size. Once an FSU commit, he is now evaluating his options. Mackenro settled into the middle linebacker position position where he will leave as the all-time leading tackler in Immokalee history. His ability to play sideline to sideline and drop into coverage is what makes him special. He has the potential to slide back to safety in college. Bayes plays defensive end and wide receiver. He has outstanding length and just needs to add weight. He looks like he will be recruited at the outside linebacker position and should land at the BCS level.
Miami (Fla.) Central vs Gainesville (Fla.)
Miami Central won their second state title and appeared in the championship game for the third straight season as they ascend to the top of the Dade County food chain. Junior running backs Joseph Yearby and Dalvin Cook were their usual incredible selves. It was Yearby's consistent rushing that led the team to victory, but Cook provided the big play on a a reception early in the first quarter where he was off to the races. Yearby is like Frank Gore, Cook is like Darrin McFadden. Both will be ranked in the top 10 running backs in the country next year and now can walk with three state titles.
Junior offensive linemen Trevor Darling (Miami commitment) and Reginald Bain will also be heavily recruited. At 6-foot-4 Darling is an ideal offensive tackle because he of his athleticism and raw size. Darling has gotten more physical over the years and is on track to be an early producer at the next level. Bain is not a household name now, but his length (6-4) and athleticism should make him an intriguing prospect in the spring. Bain played mainly inside this year, but could slide to tackle next year.
Sophomore wide receiver DeVontae Phillips will be a national prospect, he did not get much opportunity in this game due to the running game hitting on all cylinders, but at 6-foot-1 with legit speed, he should be very heavily recruited.
Defensively Miami Central is just so fast at every level on the field. Marquez Hodge (Syracuse), Ahmad Thomas (Oklahoma), and Deatrick Nichols (junior) are probably the top prospects on that side of the ball. Hodge is always around the football and probably will be a middle linebacker at Syracuse. Thomas plays safety and may stick there (definitely has the speed), but he could grow into a weak-side linebacker where he would have plus coverage skills. Nichols was one of the few non-senior starters on the 2010 state title team, now as a junior he is on track to being a BCS recruit. He is tough as nails with man coverage skills.
Unfortunately Gainesville couldn't get much of anything going against Central but the Rockets dominated the line of scrimmage. Linebacker Keith Kelsey showed by he was one of the most underrated players at his position in the state. Kelsey has good size (6-foot-2 and 215-pounds) and looks even bigger than that. He moves well laterally and downhill. Kelsey is aggressive and physical. He finished with double digit tackles even though the Hurricanes were outmanned from the start.
Offensively, the bright spot for Gainesville was running back Raphael Webb. He outraced a very fast Central defense for an 80-yard score. That was impressive in itself. Webb, 5-foot-10 and 190-pounds, runs with a little power and determination. Junior running back Tony James and Florida-bound receiver Chris Thompson were non-factors.
Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas vs Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln
John O'Korn started this season with many questions as he had not played much in Florida, but he ended the season by answering many of those questions with a brilliant performance in the state title game. O'Korn threw for close to 400-yards and ran for close to 100, but it was not just the total yards that was impressive, he did it at key times. O'Korn, a Houston commit, has the size, arm strength, and athleticism to be a difference maker at the next level. His toughness, both mental and physical, is extremely endearing and he left it all on the field.
Running back Fred Coppet was sensational and instrumental in St. Thomas's state championship win in 2010, but he has not always shown that game breaking ability in the time since. STA went to him early and often and he delivered some excellent runs in a very consistent manner. Coppet has 4.4 [forty] speed and should fit in a more spread type offense at the next level. Junior wide receiver Corey Holmes has all the talent and he was flat out unstoppable in the first half with three big catches in the passing game. STA is on a run with wide receivers (Leonard Hankerson, Duron Carter, Dwayne Difton, Phil Dorsett, Rashad Greene) and now Holmes is clearly in that class. It is the above mentioned Greene that is the best comparison to Holmes and it was Holmes sneaky speed that stood out the most in this one. The offensive line is littered with young talent.
St Thomas defensive linemen Joey Bosa (6-4/ 270) and Anthony Moten (6-2/ 280) were their usual disruptive selves. Bosa looked like an NFL player physically and played with a good motor. His best fit may be in the five technique in the 3-4, but he can easily play on the strong-side at defensive end or slide inside to defensive tackle on passing downs. The son of an NFL first round pick, Bosa has the bloodlines and now the skill-set (and coaching) to help immediately. Moten is just a junior and figures to be heavily recruited in the next cycle.
Lance Vigille, Al Harris, and Franklyn Richardson all enjoyed solid games for the STA defense.
Lincoln did have a few bright spots on this night. Super sophomore John Burt returned the opening kickoff for a score, showing why he will likely be the next big thing for the Trojans. He broke a tackle around mid-field and showed outstanding speed.
Senior Taj Williams stood out on both sides of the ball at receiver and cornerback. This is a big kid at 6-foot-3 and 195-pounds that made plays at cornerback. He has in on a handful of pass breakups and had some key receptions for the Trojans. He does have a good shot at playing defense at the next level. Williams unique because you don't find corners with that size.
Georgia commit Reggie Davis had a handful of nice plays. This is a future slot receiver with excellent speed and quickness. He's the fastest player on this speedy Lincoln team. This kid has a great burst once he gets his hands on the ball.
A sleeper among the Lincoln seniors is free safety Jameron Blount. He had one of the plays of the game in the first quarter. O'Korn was trying to go deep and Blount made an outstanding play on the ball, showing great range, speed, athleticism and ball skills in making an acrobatic interception. A fraction of a second any later and it would have been a touchdown.
Apopka (Fla.) vs Weston (Fla.) Cypress Bay
Apopka defeated Cypress Bay 53-50 in one of the most thrilling high school football games you will ever see. The Blue Darters were led by junior signal caller Zack Darlington. He accounted for 254 yards passing and 130 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Darlington, 6-foot-1 and 190-pounds, showed why he will be considered on Division 1 quarterback next season in the class of 2014. He has a strong and accurate arm. Darlington throws with velocity and touch and can make all the passes. He can also beat you with his legs, showing good speed, the ability to extend a play and run the football.
Cypress Bay senior running back Matt Dayes rushed the ball 22 times for 174-yards and scored four touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 36 yards. On this night, he was a thoroughbred. He has good size at 5-foot-10 and 200-pounds. He runs with tremendous power. In fact, most of his yards came after first contact. He has good speed and balance and made a few ‘wow' runs on the night when you thought the defense either had him stopped or pinned. Dayes was previously committed to N.C. State but has backed off his pledge.
Lightning wide receiver Alex Montgomery was equally as impressive. He caught nine passes for 199-yards and scored three touchdowns and had a key two-point conversion. Montgomery, 6-foot-1 and 195-pounds, made two spectacular touchdown receptions on virtually identical catches. Both were one-handed grabs over a defender draped all over him. Time and time again, when the Lightning needed to move the chains or need a big play in the passing game Montgomery was their go to guy. Montgomery was previously committed to Wake Forest but has opened up his recruitment.