During the spring and into the summer, www.floridakids.us will bring you our IN THE HUDDLE segments with football players throughout the state of Florida.
These are similar to the evaluations we pass on to the hundreds of colleges who visit our website, call us on the phone and correspond via e-mail.
Here is another top football player to keep an eye on this season – and beyond.
PLAYER: Caz Piurowski
SCHOOL: Land O'Lakes
40 SPEED: 4.75
HEAD COACH: John Benedetto
www.floridakids.us Pre-Spring Rating: 22
Having followed football in this state for a number of years, two seasons ago when I first heard the last name Piurowski, it brought back some fond memories for me.
As someone who grew up listening to all the college football teams in the state, I recalled the name Paul Piurowski, who played for the Florida State Seminoles in the 70s.
I remembered Piurowski because he was a hard-hitting linebacker who flew to the ball and made plays from every place on the field. That name stuck with me because he was easily one of the hardest working the players the Seminoles had. He was later rewarded by being inducted into the Hall of Fame in Tallahassee.
When I first saw Caz Piurowski, I was shocked to see someone so tall. His father was just over 6-foot, so to see a player who was nearly 6-foot-5 at the time was a surprise.
At the recent Scout.com camp at the University of South Florida, I had the pleasure of talking with Paul, who is a proud father and so much enjoys watching the "real" athlete in the family compete in three (football, basketball and baseball) sports, and do them all very well.
When he talked about the possibility of his son attending FSU, Paul Piurowski smiled. He then thought about all those fans, like myself, who would start to compare the two.
"Maybe it wouldn't be a good thing for Caz to attend FSU," Paul said with a smile. "They will then see a real athlete. I wasn't close to having the athletic ability he does."
These days, Paul Piurowski is watching his son become one of the most sought after tight ends in the state of Florida. He is also watching a tremendous first baseman/pitcher on the baseball field, and saw him dominate inside as a center for the Gators' basketball team.
"There is nothing more that I can ask from Caz," Paul said. "He is a great kid, is a tremendous athlete, maintains very good (3.4 gpa, 1100 SAT) grades in the classroom and still calls me dad. I love that young man!"
STRENGTHS: As you watch Piurowski play football, you ask yourself so many questions. First of all, will he play this position at the next level, and right now, I think he can.
While his blocking is improving, he does get up field well, uses his size advantage in so many ways, and has soft hands, which have been enhanced by his play on the basketball court and as a first baseman.
His ability to run patterns has also improved over the year. Sometimes it's difficult for a taller player to work against shorter, strong opponents. They often cut block and go for the knees, but Piurowski is an athlete and anticipates very well.
Would he be better off playing defensive end or perhaps see what happens if he gains more weight and moves over to tackle? I think it all depends on his maturity and growth over the next three seasons. He is right now a pure tight end prospect, but with taller athletes, things change!
WHAT HE NEEDS TO WORK ON: Blocking. That is almost a must. If he does end up at FSU, which right now looks good, tight ends block first and then catch later. Like a lot of schools, they use the tight end position as an extension of the line.
As a pass catcher, he needs to start mixing up his patterns. Watching him, he has a habit to run some of the same routes, but that is also something you have attribute to coaching.
OVERALL: Two years ago when I saw him as a sophomore, he caught 37 catches for 530 yards and five touchdowns. The quarterback in that offense was Drew Weatherford. Last season, he caught 29 passes for 410 yards and six touchdowns. He also started at defensive end and handles the punting.
His quarterback this coming season will be rising junior Joe Weatherford, who admits is on the rise and "getting better all the time."
COLLEGES ON THE HORIZON: FSU should be in the lead right now, but the University of Florida could end up being a player in this, especially because they recruited a tall Piurowski-type of athlete a year ago in Tate Casey
Auburn, Miami, South Carolina and Louisville have also been mentioned as teams he will keep and eye on.
Get IN THE HUDDLE with some more of Florida's emerging stars:
IN THE HUDDLE – STERLIN JAMES
IN THE HUDDLE – JOHN WARE
IN THE HUDDLE – MARKEVIOUS POWELL
IN THE HUDDLE – BILLY LOWE
IN THE HUDDLE – JAVON HILL
IN THE HUDDLE – CODY CLINTON
IN THE HUDDLE – JARED MARTIN
IN THE HUDDLE – COLIN MCCARTHY
IN THE HUDDLE - DONTAE JONES
IN THE HUDDLE - DAMON PIFER
IN THE HUDDLE - CHRIS SORCE
IN THE HUDDLE - SHOMARI GRANT
IN THE HUDDLE - DARRELL ROSEMAN
IN THE HUDDLE - JAMES POE
IN THE HUDDLE - RYAN ELLIS
IN THE HUDDLE - COURTNEY JONES
IN THE HUDDLE - BRYAN THOMAS
IN THE HUDDLE - JORDAN DALRYMPLE
IN THE HUDDLE - PRESTON PARKER
IN THE HUDDLE - SABBATH JOSEPH
IN THE HUDDLE - RYAN KHAWLY
IN THE HUDDLE - BRANDON JAMES
IN THE HUDDLE - KEITH HOUSTON
IN THE HUDDLE - REGGIE ODOM
IN THE HUDDLE - C.J. SPILLER
IN THE HUDDLE - RILEY COOPER
IN THE HUDDLE - JAMES JAMISON
IN THE HUDDLE - DESMOND GEE
IN THE HUDDLE - RICKY GARY
IN THE HUDDLE - LAURANCE MARIUS
IN THE HUDDLE - KENRICK ELLIS
IN THE HUDDLE - RICHARD JACKSON
IN THE HUDDLE - LABRANDON GLOVER
IN THE HUDDLE: Caz Piurowski
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