Chad Simmons, National Recruiting Analyst
Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes vs. Gaffney (S.C.) Gaffney
Byrnes entered this game undefeated, but they left with one loss. Gaffney scored late in the game to upset Byrnes and get a huge win. A big part of that win was quarterback Shaquille Davidson. He is a four-star wide receiver on Scout, but Coach Jones wants the ball in his hands as much as possible, so he plays him at quarterback. He made some big throws and big runs in this game, and he showed great wiggle, quick change of direction, and the quickness that makes him a top receiver prospect.
Jaylin Miller is their top 2013 prospect and he really got after it on the defensive line. He had two sacks, numerous pressures, and he really forced Byrnes offense to go the opposite direction. He is very strong at the point of attack, he played with great leverage, and he closed on the quarterback well. 2014 running back Hyleck Foster is more quick than fast, but he has great vision, and he played a very big role in Gaffney’s win. He is a junior to watch.
On the other side, Byrnes does not have the Marcus Lattimore, Corey Miller, and Brandon Willis type of talent it had a few years ago, but they still have some prospects. There top two prospects both play the wide receiver position. Akia Booker is a senior and the 6-foot-1, 210 pound wideout scored two touchdowns in this game, and he finished with over 10o yards receiving. He is a very strong wideout who can catch the ball in traffic. He is having a very big senior season and is a legit Division 1 talent who can play at the SEC level.
Their next top recruit may very well be another receiver in Tavin Richardson. He really catches the ball well with big hands and he is already around 6-feet 4-inches tall and over 200 pounds as a sophomore. He looks more like a possession receive now, but could be a real weapon inside the red zone in the coming years.
Jamie Newberg, National Recruiting Analyst
Hollywood (Fla.) Hills vs Plantation (Fla.) South Plantation
South Plantation standout and five-star running back Alex Collins had a solid game but you have to give a lot of credit to the Hollywood Hills defense. They did a very nice job of preventing Collins from exploding for big gains and long scoring runs. At the same time a few of his better runs were called back because of penalty. Collins finished the game with 15 carries for 83 yards and one scoring run of three yards before leaving the game late in the third with a bruised lower leg. Collins had to run with a lot of power on Thursday night. He loves to dip his shoulder and initiate contact with the defender. In fact, Collins did that a lot. He's not a dancer. Collins is decisive, strong and has very good balance. He's a put together 207-pounder with great speed, quickness and vision. His better days are in front of him.
Quarterback John Marvin also had a solid night, He rushed for 40-yards and completed nine of 18 passes for 77 yards and one touchdown pass (12 yards). What surprised me was his arm strength. He had a very good arm. Marvin's accuracy is up and down and that will be something he has to work on to continue playing that position in college. As a runner he has very good speed and quickness and is tough to bring down in the pocket.
Grffin Goins does a little bit of everything for Hollywood Hills. He plays linebacker, fullback and punts. He's thick, runs pretty well and is very aggressive at the point of attack, whether he has the ball in his hands or is chasing the ball.
Meanwhile, Hollywood Hills has a great looking freshman receiver in Darnell Solomon. He's already 6-foot-3 and runs like a deer. He was open all night long but Hollywood Hills just couldn't get him the ball. They tried and he was open but they just couldn't connect. Definitely keep an eye on this 2016 recruit.
Tampa (Fla.) Catholic vs St. Petersburg (Fla.) Northeast
Quarterback Ryan Davis is a name you will be hearing a lot about over the next two and a half seasons. This kid is only a sophomore and he has an incredibly bright future ahead of him. Davis finished 16/24 for well over 200 yards and three touchdown passes. He also threw for a late interception. Davis rushed for 104 yards. That included two jaw dropping runs from the pocket, where he eluded defenders, showing blazing speed and quickness. Davis is a handful because if you bring the rush he's virtually impossible to sack. If he has time in the pocket he's got a good, accurate arm to pick you apart. In fact, despite his age, Davis does a fine job of taking what the defense is giving. He plays with patience, which is surprising in a younger signal caller. The only thing I would be concerned about with Davis and playing this position is size; he's only 5-foot-10ish. But, he's just 15 years old. Davis is the younger brother of former FSU star Chris Davis. He already has scholarship offers from Florida State (as an athlete) and Indiana (quarterback) and Arizona (quarterback).
Junior running back/slot receiver Keith Harrington is another top flight prospect from Northeast with offers already from Arizona and Indiana. He had several big plays on Friday in the run game and as a receiver out of the backfield. He's a bit on the smaller size (5-8/165) but this kid can flat out fly. And he's quicker than fast.
Other Northeast standouts that made some plays are wide receivers Terio Fowler (junior) and SeKendrick Biddines (sophomore).
Auggie Sanchez is the Northeast senior leader. He is playing middle linebacker for the first time this season and he had a stellar game on this side of the ball. He had three tackles for a loss on crucial fourth down plays. Sanchez made plays all over the field. While he doesn't have great top end speed he does play fast in the box. He's strong and physical. Sanchez had to have at least 15 tackles on the night and one interception. Offensively, he had one touchdown reception.
Juniors T.J. Harrell and Kenny Bryant are the two main ball carriers for Tampa Catholic. Harrell rushed for well over 100 yards. This kid is a no-nonsense runner who's a north-south guy all day long. He's a long strider with deceptive speed and good power. There's no doubt he could play this position at the next level. Harrell could also play outside linebacker. That's his main position and the one he starts at. But he wasn't as effective as he normally is because of the way Tampa Catholic was trying to defend Northeast's spread attack. Much of the night Harrell was lining up over the slot. Bryant also had a big night and this kid has a chance to play at the next level. He has many of the same running traits as Harrell - he's powerful and has nice vision. This two give Tampa Catholic a good one-two punch.
Corey Martinez is another junior standout from Tampa Catholic. Like Harrell he has many big time BCS offers already. Martinez, 6-foot-4 and 290-pounds, plays right tackle but looks better suited to slide inside. He moves very well, as this kid has very good footwork. One of his key traits is Martinez could play any position along the front, even center.
Zach Benjamin is a senior receiver with about a dozen D1 offers. He's 6-foot-5 and 192-pounds. Known as 'Big Bird' he had Tampa Catholic's big play going into half. He took a short dig right over the middle 63-yards for a score just seconds before half. On that play Benjamin showed outstanding speed to outrace the Viking defense to the end zone.
Michael Clark, Atlantic Recruiting Analyst
Bailey (N.C.) Southern Nash vs. Wilson (N.C.) Hunt
On Friday Night, Hunt moved to 8-0 with a 30-21 victory against Southern Nash. Due to an injury to their starting tight end, Warriors’ star defensive end Lewis Neal (committed to LSU) was forced to play both ways. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Neal handled the increased role well. The three-star prospect did a nice job blocking all night. However, it was on the defensive side of the ball where Neal made the biggest impact. With Hunt reeling after Southern Nash tied the game 21-21 in the fourth quarter, Neal had two critical sacks. The first came early in the fourth when Southern Nash had good field position from a kickoff return, and the last one resulted in a safety with less than two minutes left in the game. The Hunt standout used his trademark quickness to beat the offensive tackle both times. Neal has a great motor and plays would good leverage. He is also a great leader with a tremendous work ethic. He is a really good pickup for LSU and look for him to be a very good player for the Tigers in the future.
Hunt senior running back Josh Joyner continued his stellar play, finishing the evening with 180 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. Joyner has close to 1,500 yards on the season and 22 touchdowns. It is hard to believe he has no scholarship offers. He has good vision and quick feet. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound playmaker has the unique ability to make cuts without losing speed. He is a patient runner, but once he sees the hole, he hits it hard. Although he is not the biggest back, Joyner does a nice job running behind his pads, which allows him to be able to run inside and outside. He is an instinctive runner, who is more quick than fast. Joyner is also a good receiver out of the backfield. Joyner is a high-character kid with great grades. Appalachian State, East Carolina, Richmond, UNC-Charlotte appear to be the main schools interested in the running back. Landing Joyner would be a nice addition for any one of those football programs.
2014 Hunt safety Dexter Wright was impressive on Friday night. The state of North Carolina has a talented junior class. While Wright is flying somewhat under the radar, look for that to change. At 6-foot, 205 pounds, he already looks like a college safety and could even grow into a linebacker. Wright made numerous big plays against the Firebirds. The junior had several tackles, broke up passes, and had two big kickoff returns. He runs extremely well and is a big hitter in the secondary. He also does a nice job reading the quarterbacks eyes and is a smart football player. North Carolina State appears to be the school pursuing him the hardest, but look for several other teams to get involved in the near future. Other than the Wolfpack, Wright has also heard from Duke, East Carolina, North Carolina, UCLA, and Wake Forest. I expect him to pick up his first of what should be many scholarship offers very soon.
Mike Bakas, Florida Recruiting Analyst
University School (Fla.) vs Leesburg (Fla.)
This game was one-sided right away, as US won the game by the score of 42-3. US is loaded with college prospects and many of them played well in this game.
Quarterback Mike White has ideal size at 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds and has tremendous command of the offense. He lacks the ability to make things happen with his feet and doesn’t have the arm strength to make all the throws but he has ideal size, he’s accurate, and seems to be a good leader in this offense. White, who has already taken a visit to Oklahoma State, threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns in this game.
His top pass-catching targets were a pair of major college prospects at wide receiver – Jordan Cunningham (6-1/175) and D.J. Taylor (6-0/175). Cunningham is an X receiver prospect who has ideal height and the athletic ability to make a lot of things happen on the perimeter. He scored two touchdowns in this game. While he lacks top level speed, he’s still a very skilled receiver. He’s already visited Oklahoma State and plans to see Miami, Alabama, Michigan, and Notre Dame in the coming months. Taylor, a Wake Forest commitment, is a solid slot prospect who has a lot of short-area quickness and good ball skills. He caught a touchdown from eight yards out in this game.
US has a pair of Division 1 prospects at running back as well – junior LaJuan Hunt (5-8/185) and sophomore Jordan Scarlett (6-0/200). Hunt is better with the ball in the open field. He shows the ability to make people miss and will be a quality running back prospect for the spread offense. Scarlett is more of a pro style back who can get the tough yards between the tackles and is more of a downhill runner. Both will likely be heavily recruited by the time they’re seniors. They each scored in this game.
US four-star defensive lineman Quay Bain, who has been playing mostly offensive line this season, didn’t play in this game. They still have some quality defenders, led by linebacker Skai Moore (6-3/210). An athletic OLB prospect, Moore can do a lot of things including dropping into coverage. He’s a three-star caliber player. DE Nick Internicola (6-4/225) is a tough, hard-nosed defensive end prospect who does a nice job of getting upfield and disrupting opposing offenses. He’s already committed to Rutgers and it would seem that his best days are ahead of him.
US also has a pair of BCS-caliber prospects in the secondary.
Jalen Battle (6-1/175) is a talented free safety who wasn’t really tested much in this game. Junior Quincy Wilson is playing cornerback and was also rarely tested. A possible future safety at the college level, Wilson has a nice combination of size, speed, and athletic ability and is already being actively recruited by a lot of major programs.
Steve Robertson, Southeast Regional Recruiting Analyst
Baton Rouge (La.) Broadmoor vs. Baton Rouge (La.) Tara
The annual Battle of Goodwood went the way of the Buccanneers who won 21-6. Broadmoor junior QB Ryan Sibley put together a solid night behind a patchwork offensive line. Sibley was decisive with the football and did a nice job of making some plays with his feet. Sibley connected with junior tight end Darius Mickle in the final minutes to put the game away.
Biloxi (Miss.) vs. Ocean Springs (Miss.)
What started out as an early tussle ended up as a blowout as Biloxi rolled over the visiting Yellow Jackets 62-28. Mississippi State commitment Scott Austin had a trio of first half catches including a 15 yarder on a post route where he powered through two defenders and into the endzone. South Alabama pledge Tevaris McCormick fought through a couple of bumps and bruises to put together a decent night finding the endzone once.
The star of the night turned out to be BHS 2015 RB Mousa Hasan who ran hard all night and came up with a pair of touchdown runs to give the Indians some breathing room. Hasan runs a little high at times, but he has game changing speed and the vision to navigate through the traffic and find a good running lane. The 2015 crop of prospects in Mississippi already has some headliners and Hasan could develop into one of the best in the class.
John Garcia Jr., Southeast Recruiting Analyst
Hayden (Ala.) at Morris (Ala.) Mortimer Jordan
We wanted to see what Mortimer Jordan quarterback Devlin Hodges had in his arsenal throughout a game, and the 2014 prospect delivered. He stood a tall 6-foot-2, 185-pounds in the pocket until the last possible second if nothing was there before making a play with his feet to buy his wideouts some more time. Once the ball was delivered, it was on the money all but a pair of times in 22 attempts. Hodges was also efficient in his selection, hitting several different receivers on the way to engineering three scoring drives on Jordan's firs four possessions. Even when his on-target passes weren't hauled in by his teammates, the junior went right back to them in times of need on the way to holding off Hayden 42-32. Hodges finished 14 of 22 for 247 yards and a pair of scores. The impressive prospect has yet the throw an interception this season, where he has led the Blue Devils to five straight wins.
Hodges was the name to keep an eye on going into the game, but his running back turned heads with a 100-yard, three score performance. Deeper than the stats, it was the way 2014 running back Dee Merriweather ran the ball on a consistent basis. He was decisive after a crease was created, and his acceleration was top-notch. With solid wiggle at 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, the junior runs with power at the end of each tote as well. He is raw in his pass protection and versatility out of the backfield, but his natural skill with the ball in his hands will make him worth watching going forward.
Kristen Ledlow, Southeast Field Reporter
Peach County (Ga.) vs. Jackson (Ga.)
Peach County took a trip to Jackson High School and finished with a decisive
34-13 win. The clear standout in the win came from senior receiver Demarcus
Robinson. Robinson is currently committed to Clemson, but expressed interest in
visiting two others in Florida and Notre Dame. Although his only scheduled
official visit is to Clemson on Homecoming weekend, he plans to set official
dates to his other interests. Promising talent in junior defensive end Chavis
Dickey was also prevalent, as Dickey has seen interest from major collegiate
programs across the southeast already.
Amy Campbell, Southeast Field Reporter
Miami (Fla.) Jackson at Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington
Jackson proved to be no match for the talent-filled Booker T. Tornadoes falling 39-0 Friday night. The Generals' junior quarterback Quinton Flowers is a solid leader with a strong arm but has almost no play-makers around him. Flowers through several nice passes right into the hands of receivers who just couldn't hang on.
The Booker T. defense certainly didn't make it easy on Jackson. Florida State safety commit Michael Johnson had several pass break-ups and two interceptions (one was called back). Five-star linebacker Matthew Thomas was lightning-fast and extremely disruptive to the Jackson offense which unsuccessfully tried to play away from him. Thomas is a target of many top programs in the country including Florida State, Miami, Alabama, and USC.
Junior defensive end Chad Thomas also proved to be quite disruptive on the defensive line. The Booker T. offense was nearly unstoppable in the air and on the ground. Junior quarterback Treon Harris has a nice arm and even nicer legs and was extremely difficult to tackle. Harris had plenty of people around him to make plays.
Juniors Lamar Parker and Krondis Larry also provided plenty of spark as did senior running back D'Von Ballard. Booker T. looks to be a tough contender in the Sunshine State this fall.