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USAPrep.com Free Update (Florida Edition)

Buckeye Dan

USAPrep.com Free Update
Courtesy: USAPrep
Release: 06/24/2004


All info from Tom Lemming as told to Matt Egermayer ([email protected])

This week we are devoting our update to the state of Florida.

Florida is the definition of loaded this year and has so many major prospects that we felt it deserved its own update. The top guys in the state, and then some sleepers lost in the shuffle that major colleges are really missing out on. Hope you guys enjoy.

This year, the sunshine state is the number one recruiting state in the nation. With all due respect to California and Texas, Florida is on another level this year. What makes it fun that Florida is the best this year is that it is such a recruiting savvy state. The top kids, through experienced coaches and advisors, really know what to expect and how to handle the recruiting process. As a result, the major players in this state will usually take all their official visits, wait till the end of the process and then make an educated decision. The point is, most of the top guys I’m listing below are just getting warmed up and it will be interesting to follow them over the next eight months and see where they end up.

The other cool thing about Florida is how spread out the talent is. There is talent everywhere down there. It seems like every small town you go to in the state has somebody who could play division one. Also, keep in mind that when we refer to the Big 3 schools, we are refrring to Florida, FSU and Miami.

Enough stalling, here we go…

Avery Atkins (* * * *)
6’1 190
Daytona Beach (Mainland)

Atkins is a big time corner back. Very fast and very aggressive. You can count on him to make big plays in your secondary. Runs a 4.4 forty but if possible, almost looks faster than that on film. Can be used as a complete cover man or a safety. Has been offered by everyone in the country.

LSU and the Big 3

Elijah Hodge (* * * *)
6’0 200
Fort Lauderdale (Dillard)

This was someone who Tom really liked. He can run, he can hit, he can do it all. His brother Abdul plays for Iowa as a linebacker. Very fast and gets around very well. Not the most intimidating looking guy, but this guy can play.

Big 3, LSU, and Iowa

Harrison Beck (* * * * *)
6’2 205
Clearwater, Fla (Country Side)

Harrison Beck is the best quarterback in the state. Earlier in the year, Tom saw him and rated him as an early four star. Since then, Tom has seen more of his film and had a chance to see his arm in person. That his lead to his decision to make him a five star. Not a whole lot of qb's get five stars because so few of them have potential to be four year starters, but Tom is confident that Beck has that ability. With his commitment to Nebraska and the sketchy QB situation there with the new offense, he might get a chance to prove that. Beck has an absolute rifle for an arm and is a true blue chip quarterback.

Bryan Evans (* * * *)
6’0 195
Jacksonville (Ed White)

Runs a 4.37 forty. Is awesome in a kick return setting. Lightning fast and can make guys miss. Tom thinks he is an All American talent. Right now is sitting on 14 offers, but every school that comes and sees him will offer him. Very underrated. Will end up with many offers months from now.

Big 3, NC State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee

Maurice Wells (* * * * *)
5’10 185
Jacksonville (Sandalwood)

Rushed for over 3,000 yards last year and 30 touchdowns. One of the two superstar running backs in the state along with Antone Smith. Has blazing speed with a 4.35 forty. Great instincts with the ball. Has the whole country coming after him.

Oklahoma, LSU, Ohio State and the Big 3 are doing the best job of recruiting him

Antone Smith (* * * * *)
5’9 190

Small but incredibly strong. Tom spent two hours at his school recently watching film on him from the last two seasons and walked away very impressed. He has great cutting ability. Runs with power and vision. Everything you could want in your backfield.

Curently leaning towards Miami over FSU and USC

Smith and Wells are the real deal. Two of the best backs you will see in the nation.

Ricky Jean-Francois (* * * *)
6’2 245
Miami (Carol City)

A real muscular, physical pass rusher. Is very quick coming from the outside. Has linebacker size with the ability to play end. Could develop in to a very special player.

Miami, FSU, and LSU not that far behind

Gino Hayes (* * * * *)
6’2 215
Greenville (Madison)

This guy is a phenomenal ball player. One of the better players Tom has seen on film in the country. A great undersized pass rusher who has the ability to be there on most every snap. Regularly dominates whoever lines up across from him.

Florida State fan, but is also looking at USC and Oklahoma

Ken Phillips (* * * * *)
6’3 205
Miami (Carol City)

Really impressive looking player. Looks right now like he could play in the NFL. Can hit like a ton of bricks. Moves well on the field. Most of all is great kid. Has very good character and is a leader on the field.

Getting offers from every team in the country. This one will go down to the wire.

Conredge Collins (* * * *)
6’1 220
Miami (Monsignor Place)

His dad Tony Collins played for the New England Patriots. A big back that you want at fullback. May be the best fullback prospect in the state.

FSU, Miami, Iowa and NC State

Matt Hardrick (* * * * *)
6’6 330
Orlando (Edgewater)

The best offensive lineman in the state. Has the two things that you want in you lineman, moves well and has long arms. Would be a major addition to any line.

Big 3 and Oklahoma. Whoever gets him lands a future All American.

Fred Rouse (* * * * *)
6’3 180
Tallahassee (Lincoln)

We saved the best for last. Rouse may be the best wide receiver in the country. An exceptional athlete who stars as a receiver on a run oriented team. An explosive return man who barring injury will wind up in the NFL. The only other receiver Tom has seen that comes close to Rouse is Patrick Turner from Nashville.

Florida State is the early favorite


*After Beck, there are a lot of potentially good quarterbacks, but no other blue chips.

*Running back wise it is a very good year with Wells and Smith leading the way.

*A weak year at wide receiver.

*An average year for tight ends and offensive lineman.

*A banner year for pass rushers. Stud defensive ends and linebackers are everywhere

*Lastly, it is a huge year in the secondary.

Florida Sleepers:

We just listed all the big guns above, but there are also some great players who are getting lost in the shuffle. Here are the sleepers that the major schools need to get a look at. All these guys could realistically be just as good as the guys above one day.

Neil Jones
6’4 235
Orlando (Dr. Phillips)

Tom liked him a lot and thinks he has a ton of potential. Is definitely worth taking a chance on especially for school that is thin on the line. Has no major offers as of now.

Richard Gordon
6’5 240
Miami (Norland)

Has an NFL body but is not producing very much on the field. This guy could be real good but he just isn’t getting it done. That aside, his size and athleticism alone make him worth it for a major school to go after. Has a group of offers from some solid schools, but really should have more interest heading his way.

Kalvin Bailey
6’0 240
Seffner (Armwood)

A big time full back that could also play linebacker. Is not as powerful with the ball as Conredge Collins, but is still an excellent fullback. Currently has around 10 offers and should get a lot more in the future.

Roy Upchurch
6’0 186
Tallahassee (Godby)

This guy needs some major offers now. A very productive back. Along with Bryan Evans who we listed above, is a huge mystery as to why he doesn’t have more offers. Our guess is that will change soon.

That is it for this week. If you have any questions or comments, you can send them to [email protected] Thanks everyone for reading and we will see you next week. Have a great weekend.

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