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: Javarris James
40 SPEED: 4.55
HEAD COACH: John Weber
www.floridakids.us Summer Rating: 27
I recall the first time I watched him run. It was as a freshman, when the Indians started their three-year run toward a state title. At 5-10, 165, James was quick, hit the holes fast and showed signs that one day, he would be equally as impressive as his famous uncle, Edgerrin, who starred at Immokalee, University of Miami and then with the Indianapolis Colts.
While I had rated his uncle No. 1 in the state when most felt that he was a low D-1A prospect, I felt that Baby J, as most have called him, would have the same kind of career as his uncle. He had that same body type and running style.
The first time I saw him was against Hallandale in a playoff game. At the tender age of 14, he ran for 123 yards in the loss to the Chargers, but still showed why he would be a tremendous sophomore the following year.
In his sophomore season, I saw Javarris just once, and that came in the playoffs against Chaminade-Madonna, where the damage he did was after the Lions had scored 40 plus points. Still, you could see that this was a talented football player at the age of 15, and now at 5-11 and close to 180 pounds.
After rating him a top 10 player in the pre-season top 100 among rising juniors, I had the opportunity to see James in his very first game last year. It was ugly as Naples bottled him up, often never letting him get back to the line of scrimmage. He ended the game with 17 carries for 2 yards.
While I realized that he would get better when his line started to block and the quarterback opened things up, it turned out that I was right on target with the assessment. Over the next 10 weeks, he would average over 150 yards a game and begin to blaze a trail that would end up in Gainesville as his Indians surprised nationally-rated Madison County in the state title game.
Running against the best defense in the state, James managed to gain 45 yards on 17 carries, but pounding his way against a quality defense, he made me a believer that when things started to fall into place, he would indeed be that back that most had predicted he would.
When this off season began, James was up to 205 pounds and over 6-feet tall. Even when Charles Fishbein of FloridaKids.us went to see him, he was impressed at the way he looked and acted.
"That is one quality young man," Fishbein said. "He really cares about the community and the team he plays for. That's something that is hard to teach."
While James isn't the blazing runner that you like, he does make up for it in other ways. That's what colleges from Florida to California have noticed
STRENGTHS: Tremendous vision and the ability to make cuts in full stride is something that you just cannot teach a back. Those instincts are developed over time, and whether it was watching him as a freshman or at the end of his junior year, you could tell that he is certainly an athlete who will only get better.
Watching him come out of the backfield and match up with a linebacker on passing downs is also a signal that this young man has worked extra hard to improve his overall game. Often times, you have a running back who works exclusively on carrying the ball, but if you want to get to that next level and be a major part of that offense, you try and do as much as you can. He has!
WHAT HE NEEDS TO WORK ON: From the first time I saw him, Javarris ran way too straight up. He seldom lowered his shoulder to use his power and strength to wear down the opposition. What happens is he ends up taking far too many hits during the course of a game.
I was once told by a college running back coach that if you have a runner who carries the ball straight up, you are looking at someone who is at risk for more injuries. In James' case, he may be able to avoid being hit high and low at the high school level, but at the collegiate level you are more at risk for injury.
OVERALL: If you've watched this young man play and practice as much as we have, you get a sense that he will be able to carry over his many talents to the next level. In his two toughest games last year, against Naples and the battle with Madison County for the 2A title, James ran hard and never gave up. College coaches were watching and believe me, they appreciated it!
COLLEGES ON THE HORIZON: While Miami would be the natural spot for him becuse of family ties and being just two hours from home, USC, Florida, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State remain in the picture as well.
Get IN THE HUDDLE with some more of Florida's emerging stars:
IN THE HUDDLE: IAN EVANS – CLEARWATER COUNTRYSIDE
IN THE HUDDLE: TERRON SANDERS – BRADENTON SOUTHEAST
IN THE HUDDLE: DANIEL WENGER – FORT LAUDERDALE ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
IN THE HUDDLE: DEANDRE MCDANIEL – TALLAHASSEE GODBY
IN THE HUDDLE: ORLANDO FRANKLIN – DELRAY BEACH ATLANTIC
IN THE HUDDLE: TRAVIUS THOMPSON –LAUDERDALE LAKES BOYD ANDERSON
IN THE HUDDLE: BRANDON THOMPKINS –PALM BEACH LAKES
IN THE HUDDLE: JOSH LONG –FORT MYERS
IN THE HUDDLE: DARON ROSE – TAMPA JEFFERSON
IN THE HUDDLE: MICHAEL JOHNSON – WESTON CYPRESS BAY
IN THE HUDDLE: TANNER JONES – CRAWFORDVILLE WAKULLA
IN THE HUDDLE: CHRIS UHRIG – TAMPA JESUIT
IN THE HUDDLE: JOSEPH JACKSON – MIAMI BOOKER T. WASHINGTON
IN THE HUDDLE: SAM YOUNG – FORT LAUDERDALE ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
IN THE HUDDLE: MELVIN PATTERSON – ALACHUA SANTA FE
IN THE HUDDLE: CHANCE ATTAWAY – BLOUNTSTOWN
IN THE HUDDLE: GEORGE ROBINSON – MIAMI CENTRAL
IN THE HUDDLE: TIMOTHY BROWN – MIAMI NORTHWESTERN
IN THE HUDDLE: XAVIER HARRIS – FORT LAUDERDALE
IN THE HUDDLE: DANIEL LINCOLN – OCALA FOREST
IN THE HUDDLE: PATRICK ADOLPHE – DELRAY BEACH ATLANTIC
IN THE HUDDLE: QUINTIN HANCOCK – ST. AUGUSTINE
IN THE HUDDLE: CHARLES DEAS – LAUDERDALE LAKES BOYD ANDERSON
IN THE HUDDLE: DONALD BOWENS – ST. PETERSBURG
IN THE HUDDLE: ROBERT LOVE - PAHOKEE
IN THE HUDDLE: CAZ PIUROWSKI – LAND O'LAKES
IN THE HUDDLE: STERLIN JAMES – SPARR NORTH MARION
IN THE HUDDLE: JOHN WARE – FORT LAUDERDALE CARDINAL GIBBONS
IN THE HUDDLE: MARKEVIOUS POWELL – ORLANDO EVANS
IN THE HUDDLE: BILLY LOWE - LAKELAND
IN THE HUDDLE: JAVON HILL – MIAMI MONSIGNOR PACE
IN THE HUDDLE: CODY CLINTON – BOCA RATON
IN THE HUDDLE: JARED MARTIN – DAVIE WESTERN
IN THE HUDDLE: COLIN MCCARTHY – CLEARWATER CENTRAL CATHOLIC
IN THE HUDDLE: DONTAE JONES – ORLANDO EVANS
IN THE HUDDLE: DAMON PIFER – GREEN COVE SPRINGS CLAY
IN THE HUDDLE: CHRIS SORCE - PACE
IN THE HUDDLE: SHOMARI GRANT - HIALEAH
IN THE HUDDLE: DARRELL ROSEMAN - DUNEDIN
IN THE HUDDLE: JAMES POE – ORLANDO FREEDOM
IN THE HUDDLE: RYAN ELLIS – PONTA VEDRA BEACH NEASE
IN THE HUDDLE: COURTNEY JONES: PENSACOLA
IN THE HUDDLE: BRYAN THOMAS - ZEPHYRHILLS
IN THE HUDDLE: JORDAN DALRYMPLE - OVIEDO
IN THE HUDDLE: PRESTON PARKER – DELRAY BEACH ATLANTIC
IN THE HUDDLE: SABBATH JOSEPH – MIAMI CENTRAL
IN THE HUDDLE: RYAN KHAWLY – HOMESTEAD SOUTH DADE
IN THE HUDDLE: BRANDON JAMES – ST. AUGUSTINE
IN THE HUDDLE: KEITH HOUSTON – IVES ESTATES DR. MICHAEL KROP
IN THE HUDDLE: REGGIE ODOM - DELAND
IN THE HUDDLE: C.J. SPILLER – LAKE BUTLER UNION COUNTY
IN THE HUDDLE: RILEY COOPER – CLEARWATER CENTRAL CATHOLIC
IN THE HUDDLE: JAMES JAMISON – STARKE BRADFORD COUNTY
IN THE HUDDLE: DESMOND GEE - MADISON COUNTY
IN THE HUDDLE: RICKY GARY - PAHOKEE
IN THE HUDDLE: LAURANCE MARIUS – KEY WEST
IN THE HUDDLE: KENRICK ELLIS – GREENACRES JOHN I. LEONARD
IN THE HUDDLE: RICHARD JACKSON – CLERMONT EAST RIDGE
IN THE HUDDLE: LABRANDON GLOVER - PENSACOLA
IN THE HUDDLE: Javarris James
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