SCOUTING: Florida 8A Final
Tracy Howard

Posted Dec 18, 2011

The state finals for the big schools in the state of Florida took place over the weekend so lets take a closer look. This story focuses on the Class 8A final.

The Game: Plant High has been one of the state's premier programs over the last five years and this season was no different. They used a different approach. After making state title runs with quarterbacks like Robert Marve, Aaron Murray, and Phillip Ely, the Panthers used a different approach in defeating Miramar (31-20) last night. Plant ran for over 250 yards, while throwing for under 100. Their defense was very good, as usual, though and they were able to cap off a 14-1 season by knocking off the Patriots, who went into the weekend as the nation's third-ranked team on the Scout Top 50 list.

Best Player: One of the reasons why Plant threw for just 47 yards, and just 44 to their receivers, was because of Miramar's shutdown corner, senior Tracy Howard. One of the state's premier cover guys, Howard had his side of the field on lockdown and even picked off a pass. He doesn't play offense but did an excellent job in limiting Plant's passing game.

Top Prospect: Howard. At 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds, he lacks elite level speed but the kid can flat out cover. He can flip those hips as well as anyone at this level and has the natural cover skills that you simply can't teach. One of the nation's top-rated cornerback prospects, Howard seems to be favoring Florida State and Florida at this point in the recruiting process, although Miami is still making a run.

Top Underclass Prospect: Austin Roberts caught just three passes for 29 yards but he's the real deal. At 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, Roberts is only a sophomore and is the son of former NFL tight end Alfredo Roberts. He lacks elite level speed but is a big, physical, and very talented pass-catcher who has Plant coaches saying he could end up being the best prospect in school history by the time he's done.

Other BCS prospects: Miramar Sr WR Malcolm Lewis (Miami); Miramar Sr WR Davonte Mathis (West Virginia); Miramar Jr LB Jermaine Grace

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CB Tracy Howard (profile)
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