Florida Team 1 had an excellent pair of receivers -- both of whom play at St. Thomas Aquinas, the defending Class 5A state champions. Coached by former NFL great Cris Carter, these guys were very impressive on Sunday. Duron Carter and Dwayne Difton both looked like major Division 1 players out there.
You can tell Duron has NFL bloodlines in his family. With good size, he runs tremendous routes, catches the ball really well, was one of the most competitive kids on the entire field, and just has a real good understanding of how to play the position. He knows how to get open and make plays. While he doesn't have blazing speed, his dad made a living in the NFL without being one of the fastest guys in the league. Carter's going to make someone a very good receiver and teammate at the next level.
Difton, who committed to South Florida at the end of the event, was just as productive on Sunday. He's quicker and more explosive as the two but doesn't have Carter's size or instincts. He should end up being one of USF's top recruits for the Class of 2009.
Team 2, which won the championship, had four legit Division 1 receivers (and they were being thrown to by the state's top quarterback prospect). Nu'keese Richardson showed everyone why many consider him the No. 1 wide receiver prospect in the state this year. While he's only in the 5-10/160 range, he has tremendous game speed and explosiveness. He attacks the ball and just made big play after big play all day long.
"His speed is unbelievable," Plant coach Robert Weiner told me after one of his many touchdowns. "I can't imagine there being many guys like him anywhere."
Richardson, who is definitely a four-star caliber prospect, will take over as Pahokee's go-to receiver this year now that Martavious Odoms, the MVP of the state all-star game in 2007, is off to Michigan.
Titusville's Willie Haulstead looked like a beast out there. Scout.com's Burke Hayes broke down his game yesterday. Haulstead is so strong and physical that he can create a lot of mismatches. He doesn't have blazing speed either but will make all the tough catches for you and he's been doing that for three years at Titusville High. He's also a four-star caliber receiver with several offers in hand already.
Two other Team 2 receivers who really showcased themselves on Sunday were Lake Region's Ronnie Richardson and Chamberlain's Anthony Williams.
Richardson, 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds, was a last-minute add on to the team and he came up big and was a major reason for the success of Team 2. He's lightning quick and showed flashes of being able to come up with big plays. He caught several balls in the championship game for them. He's only played football for a couple years but he's definitely a major Division 1 caliber receiver and showed why on Sunday.
Williams is a big receiver who might end up growing into a tight end. At 6-3 and about 220, he has good speed and ball skills and made a lot of plays on Sunday.
Team 3, the runners up, featured a number of quality receivers but two really stood out on this day -- Stedman Bailey and Sterling Griffin.
"Stedman Bailey is a great receiver," coach Brett Goetz said. "That kid comes up with more key catches. I can't believe he doesn't have any offers yet. You watch, he's going to blow up in May."
Bailey was money all day and will definitely be a Division 1 player somewhere. The same goes for Griffin.
Team 4's best receiver was Lamar Scruggs, who made the drive from Jacksonville on Sunday morning. With good size, Scruggs was nursing a minor thigh bruise but that didn't stop him from impressing people.
"When that kid's done growing and done learning, he's going to be a big time receiver," one opposing coach said. "He hurt us a lot, especially on third downs."
Duron Carter said to me afterwards that he thought Scruggs was as impressive an offensive player that he played against on Sunday. It was easy to see why he's going to be a national recruit this year.
Team 6 was led by Auburndale's Jeamiah Crawford (2010). He came up with big play after big play for them and emerged as one of the premier receivers at the event. A standout at our combine in Jacksonville just a few weeks ago, Crawford is clearly emerging as one of the top receivers for the Class of 2010 in the state of Florida.
The Alabama/Mississippi team had some talented pass catchers but none more impressive than Kevin Norwood. With good size and soft hands, it's easy to see why he's considered a Division 1 prospect as well.