IN THE HUDDLE: Tony Wilson

After watching him at camps, practices and in football games, there is little doubt that this standout is one of the best all-around athletes in the Class of 2006 in the state of Florida. Coming out of one of the state's most impressive programs, Daytona Beach Mainland, colleges are all over this rising star.

During the summer and into the season, 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: Tony Wilson
POSITION: Wide Receiver/Cornerback
SCHOOL: Daytona Beach Mainland
HEIGHT: 5-10
WEIGHT: 172
40 SPEED: 4.5
HEAD COACH: John Maronto
www.floridakids Summer Ranking: 36

For the past two seasons, Daytona Beach Mainland has been one of the top football programs in the state of Florida. Two years ago, the Bucs beat Naples to take home the 5A Crown. Last year, it looked like Mainland would make another run at a state Championship but they came up short.

The memory that I have of this team was last November when they made their way down to Hollywood for a meeting with the same Chaminade-Madonna squad that got the best of them the year before in Daytona Beach. This meeting was no difference as the 2A power beat the 5A power, easily.

As we watched this Mainland team prepare for the meeting with Chaminade-Madonna, it was evident that this was a program, loaded with quality athletes. Tight end, offensive line, running back, linebacker, tight end, nose tackle. Look in any direction and you will find great players.

While most fans were there to see cornerback Avery Atkins, quarterback Jonathan Garner and tight end Brian Ellis, it was Tony Wilson that pretty much stole the show on a down day for the Bucs. He played receiver cornerback and returned kicks and punts. This junior was easily the class of the program on this day.

With Fox Sports South cameras recording the entire game, the fans had the chance to see a player who was truly a star for the future.

STRENGTHS:Wilson is another great athlete that has come through the Mainland system under Coach Maronto. While he is not as highly rated as his former teammate Atkins, Wilson, in my opinion as a talent evaluator, is just as productive in high school.

Whether it's on offense, defense or special teams, Wilson relies on his speed and quickness to make plays. As a receiver he is not going to blow by defensive backs, but he has more than enough "shake-and-bake" to make a defense pay.

On the defensive side of the ball, Wilson has the athletic ability to stay with the very best receivers he will face this season. He has good ball skills, tremendous vision, a keen sense to know what a receiver is thinking and always has a knack of making things happen!

WHAT HE NEEDS TO WORK ON: While Wilson is a great athlete, he is far from a finished product on the football field. He needs to learn to play with more consistency from one play to the next.

While I can see him as a good receiver in college, he still could improve on his route running and overall concentration, which has led to dropping balls. If he can improve that part of his game, Wilson can play on offense.

As a cornerback, the only question that needs to be answered is Wilson strong enough to handle the more physical receivers, he will face in college. That may be a minor issue to address right now, but overall, it is something that is paramount when evaluating a player at this position.

OVERALL: While Wilson can be a solid receiver in college, it's on the defensive side of the football that I believe he can make his greatest impact. He has the body-type of a cornerback and that is the side of the football Wilson seems more comfortable on.

As a receiver, I just don't see a kid with as much upside as he would on defense. With his body-type you would think that Wilson is not going to gain much weight. If he can't add the weight to play receiver, Tony would be best off trying to defend them at the next level. One thing is for certain, Wilson is a high level D1A prospect.

COLLEGES ON THE HORIZON: With offers already coming in from schools such as University of Georgia, Florida, LSU and Tennessee, he has plenty to look forward to. There are also schools such as USC, Florida State and Miami who remain in that elite mix.

MORE FISHBEIN ARCHIVED STORIES:
IN THE HUDDLE: TERRON SANDERS – BRADENTON SOUTHEAST
IN THE HUDDLE: DEANDRE MCDANIEL – TALLAHASSEE GODBY
IN THE HUDDLE: ORLANDO FRANKLIN – DELRAY BEACH ATLANTIC
IN THE HUDDLE: BRANDON THOMPKINS – PALM BEACH LAKES
IN THE HUDDLE: MICHAEL JOHNSON – WESTON CYPRESS BAY
SPRING REPORT: Pompano Tornadoes
BOYD ANDERSON: A Force In 6A?
DAVIE NOVA: A Program On The Rise
MIAMI CENTRAL: A True 6A Powerhouse
NEW SMYRNA‘S ONE, TWO PUNCH
THE TWIN TOWERS: Pasco's Brown & Davis
STEPPING OUT THE SHADOW: Gene Atkins Jr.
HIDDEN GEM: HECTOR HERNANDEZ
IMMOKALEE: NICE GUYS DO FINISH FIRST
POMPANO BEACH ELY RUNNING BACKS
IN THE TRENCHES
SOUTH FLORIDA LINEMEN – PART I
SOUTH FLORIDA LINEMEN – PART II
SOUTH FLORIDA LINEMEN – PART III
IN THE HUDDLE – TYLER RICE
IN THE HUDDLE – KENRICK ELLIS – Greenacres John I. Leonard
IN THE HUDDLE – EMMANUEL COOK – Palm Beach Gardens
IN THE HUDDLE – KEVIN HOLLOWAY – Miramar Parkway Academy
PALM BEACH LAKES
PAHOKEE
KICKIN' UP A STORM

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