Miami Columbus Is Loaded

Miami Columbus HS was undefeated until the playoffs when they met the buzz saw that was Northwestern. That team had a good amount of talent placing several players in Div. 1 schools, including talents such as: OL John Goodman (BC) who had offers from schools all over the country, QB Dan Parker (Troy) who lit up the Dade All Star Game, and athletic defender Derek Crumpton (Middle Tennessee St).

This year’s team will once again be led by an underclassman in Junior RB Jakhari Gore, the cousin of NFL Star Frank Gore. Gore will be a national recruit next year.

But this upcoming senior class has some very talented players that will make noise at both the high school and beyond.

The star of this class will be 6’3 300 lb DT Antwan Lowery. The younger brother of current Rutgers LB Antonio Lowery, Antwan will be one of the most pursued players in Dade County.

“He’ll be very highly recruited. We have about 80 Division 1 programs come through our school every year and a good number will be all over this young man. His upside is through the roof. When people come down to Dade County, they look for something in a player. This kid has it all. Very large young man. He has skinny ankles. He is explosive. He has a great burst. On film, he is the kind of kid that not only makes plays within the tackle box, but he’ll chase you down and run sideline to sideline. His recruitment will explode. He had Syracuse and NC State take one look at him and they offered on the spot. The USC coach that came in wanted to offer him but needed to further discuss it with their staff“, stated Coach Chris Merritt.

DE Cesar Rodriguez (6’3 215) is a player Coach Merritt is very high on. The DE prospect contributed with 10 sacks last year. “Cesar will definitely be a Division 1 kid. He is a very high character kid and a very likable young man with a great work ethic. Most importantly, he has a passion for the game. He keeps on getting bigger. He played end for us at about 6’2 200 last year. He is close to 6’3 210-215 right now, and he is going to continue to grow. With his frame and the way he hit’s the weight room, he should be around 230 lbs by next year. He has a very long, lanky yet strong frame. He runs well and is a high motor kid that gets after it from snap to whistle“. We spoke to Rodriguez last night and he shared some things that add to his success. “I have been the defensive captain of this team the last two years. I try to be a leader. I am a very straight forward person and I think my teammates respect me for that. I am working out hard this off-season and am now one of the strongest kids on the team. I am getting close to 300 lbs on both by bench press and power cleans“. Rodriguez is getting letters from teams all over the country. Coach Merritt stated “The NC State coach came in here and really liked him. They may be close to offering him”

WR Gary Bush (6’2 180) is a big time athlete. “He is the kind of player that really passes the eye ball test. Very good athlete and very good basketball player. Runs well. Had a 4.6 40 yard dash (electronic) and 4.3 shuttle time at the recent Nike combine. Has a good vertical jump. He has the package, athletically that people look for. As a football player, he has talent and upside but needs to continue to work hard at developing as a player”.

WR Ken Whittaker (5’10 170) played last year at Chaminade-Madonna HS in Broward County. “He was a first team All Broward player. He runs good routes. He cuts in and out of his breaks well. He has a lot of quick twitch muscle fibers to make people miss. He is an elusive kid“. Whittaker is getting interest from schools such as Wake Forest, Indiana, BC, Purdue, Rutgers, UNC, NC State, Wisconsin and Colorado.

In regards to football skills at the WR corps, the best player may be Erik Lora (5’11 160). “Erik is a flat out football player. He was similar to a kid we had two years ago, Matt Guinn. He is not as fast as Matt, but just a gamer. On 3rd and 7, he is the guy who gets his name called on a lot to make big plays”.

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