Friday: Lakeland (Fla.) Victory Christian Academy vs Hialeah (Fla.) Champagnat Catholic, 1:00 p.m.
Victory Christian takes on Champagnat Catholic for the Class 2A state championship at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.
Victory Christian is led by Chris Nelson. Nelson, 6-foot-3, 274-pounds, stars on both sides of the ball at offensive tackle and defensive tackle. He has committed to Louisville and projects as a guard or d-tackle. He may have more upside at offensive guard. This kid is nimble, agile and very light on his feet. Nelson is quick off the ball and can move forward and laterally very well within the box.
Champagnat is led by some talented 2014 prospects. Senior safety Michael Johnson has committed to Louisville. Athlete Franklin Labady is one of the most electrifying players in the state and he has given his pledge to Cincinnati. Their top rated player is defensive tackle Travonte Valentine. This four-star prospect has committed to Miami. Wide receiver Steven Claude is a junior wide receiver with a South Florida offer already. Another 2015 recruit to keep an eye on is cornerback Gerald Robinson. 2016 quarterback Kato Nelson already holds a LSU offer. Then you have sophomore wide receiver/safety Darnell Solomon, who already has offers from teams like LSU, Alabama and Georgia Tech.
Friday: Trenton (Fla.) vs Blountstown (Fla.), 7:00 p.m.
Trenton takes on Blounstown for the Class A state championship at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.
Trenton is led by quarterback Steven Smith. This senior is a good athlete. In fact, he’s committed to play baseball at VMI. Other senior notables are running back Melvin Adams (5-10/195) and fullback/linebacker Jacquez Powell (5-11/190). When healthy, junior defensive tackle Brandon Lovelace is a load in the middle. He had 20 tackles for a loss before suffering a knee injury. Lovelace will have surgery some time after the game. All of these kids are small school prospects. Trenton does have a talented sophomore in athlete Hamp Cheavers. He’s a jack of all trades type of player that scored eight offensive related touchdowns this season and also excels at cornerback. He’s 5-10, 150-pounds and he runs very well. Cheavers could be the best athlete on the field in this one.
Blountstown is led by senior Hunter Jordan. Jordan, 6-foot-4, 245-pounds, plays quarterback and tight end. He’s also a very good baseball player who throws 87 miles an hour. Jordan has some Juco baseball offers and small school football offers at this time. Tommy Futch is a 6-foot-3, 315-pound, two-way lineman at left tackle and nose guard. This is a kid that played at 265-pounds last season. He’s getting D2 interest. Junior running back Corey Peterson is a running back/safety. His father, Dave, played for Nick Saban at LSU.
Saturday: Jacksonville Trinity Christian Academy vs Clearwater (Fla.) Central Catholic, 1:00 p.m.
Trinity Catholic takes on C.C.C. for the Class 3A state championship at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.
Trinity Christian has a terrific defense, led by some of the state’s top underclassmen in Kevin Toliver and Jeff Holland. Toliver is the state’s top recruit next year and has already committed to LSU. He’s a five-star cornerback prospect. Holland, a four-star linebacker already has scholarship offers from teams like Florida, FSU, Alabama, Notre Dame, Oregon, USC and practically everyone else in the nation. Meanwhile, there are other big name juniors on this team. Linebackers Andre Smith and Victor Alexander have already committed to North Carolina and UCLA respectively. Other names to watch in this class are defensive back/wide receiver Chris Barr, defensive back Deontai Williams and safety Gus Edwards. They are all D1 guys.
Of course Trinity Christian has two very good seniors in wide receiver Isaiah Ford and lineman Kavaris Harkless. Both of these three star recruits are headed to Louisville to play their college football.
Two underclassmen star for the Trinity Christian offense in sophomore running back Jalen Buie and offensive lineman Kendrick Norton. Norton has offers from Florida State, Florida, Auburn, Penn State and numerous others. Buie has offers from teams like Auburn, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, Penn State, South Carolina and others.
C.C.C. has a stout defense as well. They are led by a pair of defensive ends in Justus Reed and Caanan Brown. Reed, 6-foot-3, 218-pounds, has committed to the Gators. Brown, 6-foot-3, 230-pounds, has given his pledge to Virginia. Both players are versatile, active and very athletic. Inside linebacker Connor Doris is a big cat in the middle who has offers from Air Force, Akron, Navy and Old Dominion.
Offensively, the Marauders are led by junior quarterback Jeffrey Smith. He’s a bit undersized but he’s very athletic, with good speed and a nice arm. Smith can make a lot of things happen in and outside the pocket. Running back Diquan Walker just committed to Holy Cross. He’s a nice prospect who can hit the big play. Freshman Cameron (C.J.) Cotman has a chance to be a star down the line. He has been battling a nasty turf toe injury but has been playing through it the second half of this season. Cotman, already 5-foot-11, 175-pounds, is C.C.C.’s most explosive player. This kid is athletic and fearless. Coach John Davis uses him at running back, wide receiver and he plays in the secondary when needed.
Saturday: Jacksonville The Bolles School vs Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington, 7:00 p.m.
The Bolles School takes on Booker T. Washington for the Class 4A state championship at the Cirtus Bowl in Orlando. This is a rematch of the last two title games where the teams have split. Last season BTW won in big fashion, 35-7.
BTW is the top rated team in the nation. They are led by Treon Harris. Harris is a gifted athlete who has made a huge progression at the quarterback position this season. He has committed to play that position at Florida State. This kid has sensational quickness in the pocket, very good speed and an ever improving accurate arm. The big name on defense is five-star defensive end Chad Thomas. Thomas, who has committed to Miami, is your classic long and speedy edge guy. Opposite Thomas is Demetrius Jackson. He’s a 6-foot-5, 225-pounder that’s new to the game. Like Thomas he has committed to the Hurricanes. BTW has a third Miami commitment in Nigel Bethel. This is a talented cornerback prospect.
Four-star recruit Mark Walton is one of the top running back prospects in the 2016 class. Like three of his teammates listed above, he too has committed to the ‘Canes. Linebacker Tevin Evans, running back D’von Ballard, offensive tackle Jordan Ingram (FIU commit), and athlete K’rondis Larry (Boston College commit ) are all D1 seniors.
The Bolles School is led by offensive lineman Kian Schoenborn. He has offers from FIU, Middle Tennessee State, Southern Miss and Western Michigan. Running back/linebacker Christian Bermudez, athlete Dexter Carter, Jr., and tight end Jeremiah Theus are three juniors to keep an eye on for The Bolles School.
Jamie has been covering college football recruiting since 1992 and is entering his ninth year with Scout.com and FOXSports.com. He’s currently a National Recruiting Analyst and Manager for the state of Florida. Jamie is also covering the NFL Draft for the network.