Posted: 8:22 am Saturday, April 4th, 2009
By Jason Lieser
Wide receiver De’Joshua Johnson is Pahokee’s trophy recruit, but plenty of other Blue Devils are drawing big-time attention — and we’re still a month away from spring football.
Pahokee usually sends a dozen or so seniors to college football, and six of its current juniors have offers in hand.
West Virginia and Florida International already offered scholarships to five players each, while Tennessee, Wake Forest and Ole Miss have offered three.
Johnson is loaded with offers and will only continue to land more. We’ve been covering his situation pretty closely, so let’s look at some of the other juniors.
After Johnson, linebacker Zackary Allen is a big prize. Allen (6-1, 210) has 11 offers, including Miami, Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisville and Wake Forest. Allen also has an offer from Vanderbilt, giving him three SEC possibilities, which could spark some interest in Gainesville. He plays tight end as well, and could handle defensive end. Allen’s skills will remind people of former Blue Devil pass rusher Brandin Hawthorne, who signed with Michigan.
Merrill Noel (5-10, 170) is a running back and defensive back, and could continue at either position for Tennessee, Georgia, Wake Forest or FIU — the four schools that have offered him at this point.
A pair of linemen who play on both sides, Antonio Ford and Richard Ash, have multiple offers, too. Ford (6-3, 265) has West Virginia and Wake Forest, while Ash (6-3, 275) has the Mountaineers, FIU and Ole Miss. Both players bench over 300 pounds, and Ash was second-team all-area in 2008.
Another lineman to watch is Doral Willis. Willis (6-1, 300) has not received an offer yet, but coach Blaze Thompson said several big schools appear to be on the verge of doing so. Willis was all-area and second-team all-state last season.
Johnson is the Blue Devils’ most talented receiver, but he is likely to begin the season at quarterback. If that plan holds, his top target will be Fred Pickett, who transferred from Glades Central. Pickett (5-11, 170) has offers from Florida State, West Virginia, FlU and Illinois State.