April 29, 2012

Rivals/VTO Florida: Top storylines

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The Rivals.com/VTO Sports Florida Elite 100 is taking place on Sunday at West Orange High School with a loaded group of players set to compete from predominantly the Sunshine State. Here are a few story lines to watch for at the camp, led by the group of early commitments from around Florida set to take the field.

1. Commitments represent

With prospects committing earlier and earlier, it isn't uncommon for them to put a halt to the recruiting process and decide against attending camps. That won't be the case at the Rivals.com/VTO Sports Elite 100 event in Florida on Sunday. At least 10 prospects committed to schools are expected in attendance, led by a contingent of in-state commitments to the Gators. Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian Rivals100 four-star safety Nick Washington, Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland four-star linebacker Quinton Powell, Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage three-star offensive tackle Roderick Johnson and Winter Haven (Fla.) three-star running back Adam Lane will all be representing the Orange and Blue at West Orange High School. The other two top in-state schools will also have current commitments in action as Florida State four-star cornerback commitment Sojourn Shelton from Plantation (Fla.) and Miami three-star defensive tackle commitment Keith Bryant from Delray Beach (Fla.) Atlantic are set to participate. Citra (Fla.) North Marion three-star cornerback Reggie Wilkerson (Georgia), Navarre (Fla.) three-star tight end Jordan Leggett (Clemson), Jacksonville (Fla.) Wolfson three-star athlete Jasper Sasser (South Carolina), and St. Louis (Mo.) Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School offensive guard Jack Kurzu (Oklahoma State) are the other commitments expected to participate.

2. Battle for best Sunshine State safety

Two of the nation's best safeties will be at Sunday's even as Seffner (Fla.) Armwood Rivals100 four-star Leon McQuay and Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips Rivals100 four-star Marcell Harris are both set to compete. Both prospects are incredibly competitive and willing to compete in any and all settings. McQuay is the small, more sleek defensive back that has the capability of playing cornerback in addition to safety. Harris is the thicker, more bulky defensive back who is viewed by some as a sort of hybrid linebacker down the road. Two very different styles, but both get the job done. Will be interesting to see who has the better day against similar competition.

3. Senior offensive talent

In addition to the commitments from the 2013 class and the two top safeties, plenty of other standout Division I prospects from the next senior class are set to compete. The offensive side of the ball has plenty of prospects in the rising senior class that already claims early offers and interest from Division I schools. At quarterback, you have Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage three-star quarterback Tyler Cogswell who already holds a few offers and Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake three-star quarterback Pete Dinovo who is still looking for his first offer. Fort Pierce (Fla.) Fort Pierce Central three-star running back Marcus Levy already claims over a half-dozen offers. At wide receiver, Lakeland (Fla.) Lake Gibson three-star Eric Carter, Orlando (Fla.) Evans three-star Dominic Walker, Tampa (Fla.) Tampa Bay Tech three-star Richard Benjamin, Fort Myers (Fla.) Dunbar Johnell Barnes, and Deland (Fla.) Dantwaun O'Neal all have received verbal offers from college. St. Petersburg (Fla.) tight end Jeremy Kerr recently received his first offer from Miami. On the offensive line, you have Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas offensive guard Kyle Schafenacker.

4. Senior defensive talent

The defensive side of the ball has just as many prospects to keep an eye on. The defensive line group is headlined by Miramar (Fla.) Everglades three-star defensive end Alvonte Bell and Miami (Fla.) Norland three-star defensive end Paul James, both of whom already have a number of major BCS offers. Providing some girth in the middle of that group will be Pasco (Fla.) Dade City defensive end/tackle Joey Ivie, Plant City (Fla.) defensive tackle Devyn Salmon, and Miami (Fla.) Carol City defensive tackle Aaron Thomas. The linebacker group includes Hollywood (Fla.) McArthur three-star linebacker Jeremy Benjamin, Lake Mary (Fla.) linebacker Jerod Fernandez, Fort Walton Beach (Fla.) linebacker Zachary Cresse, Tampa (Fla.) Plant linebacker Mitchell Wright, and West Palm Beach (Fla.) Dwyer linebacker Evan Harvey. Roaming the secondary will include Miami (Fla.) Southridge three-star cornerback Lamar Robbins, Miami (Fla.) North three-star cornerback Troy McCollum, Miami (Fla.) Carol City three-star safety Simeon Thomas, and Apopka (Fla.) Wekiva three-star safety Terrence Ross.

5. Future looks bright

While the 2013 class makes up a significant portion of participants in Sunday's event, the rising junior and sophomore classes will also have a presence, including some names to remember in the Sunshine State. The 2014 class includes representatives from around the state such as Apopka (Fla.) quarterback Zack Darlington, Orlando (Fla.) Lake Nona running back Wadzaire Blanc, Winter Garden (Fla.) West Orange wide receiver Garrett Johnson, Fort Myers (Fla.) Dunbar wide receiver Ryeshene Bronson, Perry (Fla.) Taylor County wide receiver Moral Stephens, Miami (Fla.) Coral Reef wide receiver Jacob McCrary, Tampa (Fla.) Plant wide receiver/tight end Austin Roberts, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood offensive guard Isaiah Wynn, Fort Pierce (Fla.) Fort Pierce Central defensive end Rashawn Shaw, Wauchula (Fla.) Hardee defensive end Keyon Brown, Bartow (Fla.) defensive tackle Romante Bell, Palm Bay (Fla.) Bayside defensive tackle Travonte Valentine, Jacksonville (Fla.) Atlantic Coast cornerback Step Durham, Seffner (Fla.) Armwood cornerback Kyle Gibson, and Daytona Beach (Fla.) Seabreeze safety Charles Nelson. The 2015 class is a select group but has the likes of athlete Jacques Patrick from Orlando (Fla.) Timber Creek, Saint Cloud (Fla.) Harmony athlete Riley Nicholson, Glen St. Mary (Fla.) Baker County defensive tackle CeCe Jefferson, and Frostproof (Fla.) linebacker Cecil Cherry.



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