Focused on the Season

Skyline High School is coming off a 12-1 season and the Raiders, thanks to players such as Marquel Bryant, are poised for another great year in 2010. Which schools have offered Bryant? Does he plan to commit soon? What are his thoughts on Skyline's Labor Day matchup vs. Florida powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas?

It's quite possible that the Skyline Raiders could field the best defense in the nation in 2010 and a key member of that unit is defensive end/outside linebacker Marquel Bryant.

In 2009, Skyline won its first 12 games and the Raiders limited opponents to single-digits in seven of those contests. Bryant and his teammates will be on the big stage this year, as Skyline opens the season with two high-profile opponents from Florida.

On August 28th, Bryant and the Raiders will travel to Daytona Beach, Florida, to face Glades Central of Belle Glades. The following the week, Skyline will play host to St. Thomas Aquinas of Fort Lauderdale.

Over the past five years, Glades Central has posted a 59-10 record, including a 13-2 mark in 2009. The Raiders are led by outside linebacker/tight end Robert Way, running back Neville Brown, and quarterback Jamarious Rowley.

St. Thomas Aquinas has been arguably the most successful program in the nation over the past five years, winning 67 games against only five losses. In 2008, the Florida powerhouse went 15-0 and claimed the mythical national championship.

STA, which also uses the Raiders as a mascot, has a bevy of college prospects, including quarterback Jacob Rudock, three-star wide receiver Phil Dorsett (Miami commit), four-star wide receiver Rashad Greene (Florida State commit), four-star offensive tackle Bobby Hart, and safety Marcus Roberson (double-digit offers, including Florida and Miami).

Bryant is taking the high-profile matchups in stride, however.

"Everybody's talking about how these will be two good games," he said, "but I'm not worried, not too much. I heard that Glades Central has a decent squad with speed. I haven't checked into St. Thomas Aquinas too much, but we'll watch film on them as the game gets closer. It will be a big crowd watching at Texas Stadium."

Bryant, who holds offers from SMU, Colorado State, Texas Tech, and Kansas State, recently visited the SMU campus and came away impressed.

"Oh, it's really nice. I checked out the school on June 6th. I saw the campus and it's really nice. I'm going to take my official visits, but I'm not sure yet which schools that will be. I'm just taking things day-by-day right now and focusing on the season."

Bryant, who says that he's being recruited by the Mustangs as an outside linebacker, likes to talk about his teammates. The Raiders have an intimidating defense, led by Bryant, four-star linebacker Anthony Wallace, four-star safety Frank Shannon (Oklahoma commit), and OLB/DE Mike Moore.

"Anthony and Frank are good people with good heads on their shoulders," said Bryant, "but they turn into different people on the field. I enjoy playing alongside them. Mike probably uses both his head and his hands a little better on defense than I do at times.

"We don't have any troubles on defense. I'm really confident about our defense."

Bryant said he's currently at 6-foot-2, 217 pounds, and that he won't be attending any camps the rest of the summer.

"I'm doing some type of conditioning every day. I'm running and lifting - practicing for the upcoming season."


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