Posted: 5:06 pm Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Big out-of-state winners: Marshall, Wake Forest 

By Jason Lieser

Marshall coach Doc Holliday did not get everyone he wanted in Palm Beach County, but the Thundering Herd still came away with an impressive crop of talent.

Despite signing on as head coach just six weeks ago, Holliday stole recruits from West Virginia and Wake Forest and Rivals.com rated his incoming class as the fifth best in Conference USA. He landed a total of six local players, including two top-20 prospects: Boca Raton quarterback Eddie Sullivan and Pahokee receiver Fred Pickett.

Pickett

Pickett

Sullivan

Sullivan

The Thundering Herd also signed Glades Central running back Antwon Chisholm and receiver Demetrius Evans, Dwyer lineman Mike Fleurizard and American Heritage kicker Justin Haig.

“I think they got some great players,” Dwyer coach Jack Daniels said. “Pickett’s a great receiver and is extremely quick. Chisholm is a guy who could take it the distance any time he touches the ball. They’re going to run a spread offense and I think Eddie Sullivan is a really good fit.

“Mike’s really come from nothing, but he really turned it around. He needed something in his life to motivate him and give him direction.”

Fleurizard, who was the Panthers’ best blocker last season and could play offense or defense at Marshall, turned down a late push by Central Florida.

Evans and Haig could turn out to be the hidden gems of Marshall’s Palm Beach County collection. Evans was Glades Central’s No. 3 receiver last year and Haig was a finalist for the Lou Groza high school kicker of the year award.

“I think we’re bringing one of the best recruiting classes in all of Conference USA,” Haig said. “We’re going to be a team to reckon with.”

Marshall also targeted Glades Central safety Travis Bell and American Heritage receiver Darius Millines, but they signed with West Virginia and Illinois, respectively.

Wake Forest had a big day, too, landing three players from Pahokee’s coveted senior class. The Demon Deacons signed three Blue Devils in 2004, but had none since.
Two Pahokee players, defensive tackle Antonio Ford and linebacker Zachary Allen, enrolled early at Wake Forest and defensive back Merrill Noel signed Wednesday.

“They have the potential to be really good,” Blue Devils coach Blaze Thompson said. “It’s a little early to make judgments, but they’re all really physically talented.”

Florida signed Pahokee receiver Chris Dunkley, giving the Gators four of the area’s top 14 players.

Florida State signed three of the top 13 and Miami picked up No. 5 Shane McDermott and No. 29 Clive Walford.

Check out The Big Board for a full update on the area’s top 50 recruits.