The Nike Football Training Camp makes its way to the Sunshine State this weekend in Orlando and Miami. The first stop is at Disney World’s Wide World of Sports on Saturday. There, many of central and north Florida’s top 2014 prospects will be in attendance.
Here’s a preview of some of the top defensive recruits that are expected to participate.
The linebacker group is absolutely loaded. Headlining this impressive list is five-star Kain Daub (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood). Daub, 6-foot-3 and 230-pounds, is a former LSU Tiger commitment that is now open. The nation’s top middle linebacker as offers from anyone and everyone including Florida, Florida State, Miami, Alabama, USC, Oregon, and many others.
Four-star outside linebacker T.J. Harrell (Tampa, Fla./Catholic) is also a standout at running back. He has much of the same skill set as former Tampa Plant standout and current Florida State Seminole James Wilder. Harrell has two dozen offers ranging from the locals like South Florida, Florida, and Florida State and national schools like UCLA, Michigan State, Georgia, and others.
Fellow Tampa linebacker Andrew Beck (Tampa, Fla./Plant) is a prospect coming on of late. Beck, an inside linebacker, has landed a bunch of offers of late from teams like Miami, Louisville and Kentucky.
Darrion Owens (Orange Park, Fla./Oakleaf), Cortavious Givens (St. Petersburg, Fla./Admiral Farragut)
Travis Hearns (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln), Xavier Preston (Jensen Beach, Fla.), Jeffrey Williams (Tallahassee, Fla./Leon), Juwaun Brown (Tampa, Fla./Jefferson), and Vincent Jackson (Tampa, Fla./Jefferson) are all standout linebackers expected to attend.
Then you have two big time younger prospects like 2015 middle linebacker Cecil Cherry (Frostproof, Fla.). He already has picked up verbal offers from Florida, FSU, Tennessee, Clemson, and Arizona State. 2016 standout Shaquille Quarterman (Orange Park, Fla./Oakleaf) is already 6-foot-2 and 242-pounds.
There’s never a shortage of defensive backs from Florida and this recruiting cycle is no different. Many of the state’s very best corners and safeties will be at Orlando’s NFTC.
Four-star safety Trey Marshall (Lake City, Fla./Columbia) leads the safety group. The country’s No. 14 rated player at this position holds scholarship offers from Arkansas, Miami, USF, Ole Miss, Georgia and Tennessee. Then you have a player like Kyle Gibson (Seffner, Fla./Armwood). This three-star recruit should have a busy spring with the likelihood of capturing a bunch of new offers.
Two other safeties to keep an eye out for are Napoleon Maxwell (St. Petersburg, Fla./Admiral Farragut) and Marques Gayot (Lake Worth, Fla./Park Vista).
Several impressive cornerback recruits are scheduled to be there like Duke Dawson (Cross City, Fla./Dixie County), Mike Johnson (Clearwater, Fla./Countryside), Tajze Battle (Ft. Myers, Fla./Dunbar),
Dominique Brown (Ocala, Fla./Trinity), Stephen Durham (Jacksonville, Fla./Atlantic Coast),
Donovan Sheffield (Nashville, Tenn./Ensworth) and Tajee Fulwood (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Bay Tech).
Dawson has already committed to the University of Florida and really looks the part on film. This NFTC could be the launching pad for Michael Johnson. He has the skill set for the position and could make a big name for himself with a good showing. Dominique Brown already holds offers from South Carolina and FIU while Tajze Battle (Ft. Myers, Fla./Dunbar) has already committed to North Carolina. Then you have a player like Stephen Durham (Jacksonville, Fla./Atlantic Coast) who already holds offers from Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina and about a dozen others. The 2015 standout Donovan Sheffield (Nashville, Tenn./Ensworth) has already committed to Vanderbilt.
It’s a good group in the trenches on the defensive line with players like Tyree Owens (Oviedo, Fla.)
Trent Harris (Winter Park, Fla.), Travonte Valentine (Bayside Palm Bay), Sharieff Rhaheed (Fort Pierce, Fla./Central), Poona Ford (Hilton Head, S.C.), Blake McClain (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood).
Valentine made an early pledge to the Gators but has since backed off that pledge. This four-star is the nation’s No. 9 ranked defensive tackle. Florida, LSU, Miami, USF, Tennessee and a bunch of other powerhouse programs are all over him.
Poona Ford is another d-tackle standout and he will head south from the Palmetto State to challenge the boys from the state of Florida. This four-star has close to 20 offers.
Trent Harris is one of the top recruits from central Florida. This four-star defensive end has offers from Florida, Alabama, FSU, Georgia and a handful of others.
Florida State has a commitment from Blake McClain. This three-star turned down an impressive list of suitors and picked the Seminoles.