IN THE HUDDLE: Montel Gamble

If you thought we were finished looking for the hidden prospects in the state of Florida this summer, you are mistaken. Florida Kids continues to come up with legitimate rising stars for the 2006 season, and here is a perfect example of a player who has big time potential!

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: Montel Gamble
POSITION: WR/S
SCHOOL: Tarpon Springs
HEIGHT: 6-2
WEIGHT: 180
40 SPEED: 4.4
HEAD COACH: Don Davis
www.floridakids.us Pre-Spring Rating: Not rated

This past spring, I received a tape in the mail. Usually, I like to hold off watching a tape until I see the athlete play live. But in this case, as I flipped the machine on, I started to watch and enjoy.

As I continued to watch Tarpon Springs play, this safety continued to capture my attention. When I found out who it was, and that he was equally as impressive on the other side of the ball as a receiver.

Football players such as Gamble need to be watched. It's like beating a dead horse, but there are so many things that you simply cannot see by just watching game film. Here is a classic example of that.

Of all the people I have talked to who cover recruiting, nobody had ever heard of Gamble. They still have no clue who he is. But if this young man can keep his head on straight, he is a D1A football player - all the way!

STRENGTHS: On the defensive side of the ball, he hits like a truck and will mix it up with any receiver because of his size and strength. He defends the pass very well, picking the ball up and making his move early on in the play. It‘s his experience of playing on offense that gives him an advantage.

Speaking of offense, I watched him recently at the University of South Florida Sling & Shoot and he was very impressive. He has great explosion off the ball, is strong enough that a defensive back will not stop him and he has the speed to pull away after catching the ball. He is also aggressive when he goes up for the ball.

WHAT HE NEEDS TO WORK ON: No matter what level he plays at, Montel will need to understand that he has to go full out on every play. Even when the ball is not coming his way, he needs to be in the game and making sure that he is doing his part to help the team win.

While he may not want to be a leader on this team, the talented athlete simply has no choice. He has to step up and lead by example, which the younger players and the coaching staff will respect.

OVERALL: For a program that has produced such stars of the past such as Kipp Vickers and Leonard Conley (University of Miami), here‘s a solid chance to have another athlete who more than has the athletic ability to make anything happen.

COLLEGES ON THE HORIZON: Right now, the lines of communication haven‘t been active, but I guarantee once Montel begins turning his play up a few notches, coaches will be flocking to Tarpon Springs - and not just to have some outstanding Greek food!

Get IN THE HUDDLE with some more of Florida's emerging stars:
IN THE HUDDLE: TRENT PUPELLO - TAMPA JEFFERSON
IN THE HUDDLE: SAM SHIELDS III - SARASOTA BOOKER
IN THE HUDDLE: KEVIN PEREZ - MIAMI KILLIAN
IN THE HUDDLE: JORDAN DELEGAL – CHAMINADE-MADONNA
IN THE HUDDLE: ROBERT BALKUNAS - BOCA RATON
IN THE HUDDLE: MICHAEL GUILFORD - BLOUNTSTOWN
IN THE HUDDLE: JOSEPH MYERS - MIAMI PALMETTO
IN THE HUDDLE: DEVIN JACKSON - KISSIMMEE POINCIANA
IN THE HUDDLE: MARK ALLEN - ST. CLOUD HARMONY
IN THE HUDDLE: DARON LOVE – PALM BEACH GARDENS DWYER
IN THE HUDDLE: CORY MATHIS – LAKELAND GEORGE JENKINS
IN THE HUDDLE: MARKIHE ANDERSON – FORT MYERS DUNBAR
IN THE HUDDLE: TONY WILSON – DAYTONA BEACH MAINLAND
IN THE HUDDLE: TERRY WILLIAMS – MIAMI CENTRAL
IN THE HUDDLE: JAVARRIS JAMES – IMMOKALEE
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
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IN THE HUDDLE: MICHAEL JOHNSON – WESTON CYPRESS BAY
IN THE HUDDLE: TANNER JONES – CRAWFORDVILLE WAKULLA
IN THE HUDDLE: CHRIS UHRIG – TAMPA JESUIT
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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
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IN THE HUDDLE: JOHN WARE – FORT LAUDERDALE CARDINAL GIBBONS
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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
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