Posted: 4:10 pm Tuesday, October 12th, 2010
By Matt Porter
In his 15th year at Dwyer, coach Jack Daniels could set a record, of sorts.
In 2001, Daniels’ team graduated seven Division I scholarship athletes, the most in his tenure. Next fall, Dwyer could could see as many as nine more alums playing D-I ball, the most in school history.
Dwyer’s Big Three seniors — Nick O’Leary, Jacoby Brissett and Curt Maggitt — get plenty of publicity, but running back Shawn McClaine, receiver Tommylee Lewis, linebacker Leroy Kelson, cornerback Darrell Hunter and linemen Shubert Bastien and Daevonte Barnett have solid chances to sign with big schools.
The Big Three: O’Leary leaning FSU, Brissett too? Plus official visits to come
Though national recruiting sites and major college fan blogs dig for clues, O’Leary, Brissett and Maggitt aren’t tipping their hands.
Daniels said they’re giving recruiting consideration, but they are far from sweating it. “I know that they’re narrowing it down in their minds, but they’re not getting serious about it because they’re focusing on the season,” Daniels said.
Daniels thinks O’Leary has “a pretty good idea of where he’s going.”
“I think he’s going to go to Florida State, honestly,” Daniels said.
“I’m just guessing. If he’s leaning somewhere, I’d say he’s learning Florida State. I don’t think that’s a secret.”
Daniels said Brissett would likely take official visits to South Carolina, FSU and possibly Notre Dame. At 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds and one of the best basketball players in Palm Beach County, he wants to see if he can handle the load of both college football and basketball.
“I know all the schools he’s considering have all said they’ll give him a chance to play both,” Daniels said. “He said he’s going to do that his first year, and if he sees it can’t be done, he’s just going to focus on football.”
He was at one time interested in North Carolina, but he’s cooled on the Tar Heels.
“He was going to visit there, but they had two quarterbacks committed, even though one’s 5-10,” Daniels said. They might be dropping some scholarships. He’s kind of put them on the back burner.”
Maggitt, who has scholarship offers from Alabama, Florida, FSU, Miami and several others, is slated to make his decision on an outdoors show on Dec. 26.
But he still has no favorite. “He’s wide open,” Daniels said. “I know Curt’s going to take his time.”
Daniels said O’Leary, Brissett and Maggitt will visit Wisconsin for this weekend’s game against Ohio State. All three will visit LSU for the Tigers’ game against Alabama. He added that O’Leary and Maggitt traveled to Alabama for the Tide’s Oct. 3 win over Florida.
Other D-I possibilities: Hunter an ACC possibility, Bastien, Barnett stepping up
* Hunter, who has played cornerback and receiver, has interest from “mostly MAC schools,” but Daniels thinks ACC colleges will step up.
“Darrell’s got a lot of interest,” Daniels said. “But he’s let everyone know he’s not taking any visits until after the season. He’s got such good tape out, both covering and receiving, that he’s going to get some big offers.”
* As far as McClaine, “he’s going to play slot receiver at the collegiate level. He’s not a running back. We’re trying to work him in a little bit, and get him some film. But he’s going to have to work on his grades a little.”
* Lewis has been limited in practices due to various bumps and bruises, but has broken out as of late. At 5-foot-8, 160 pounds, durability is a concern, but Lewis has excellent speed.
Mostly known for a spectacular catch-that-wasn’t in Dwyer’s loss to Glenville, Lewis had 3 catches for 35 yards last week against Palm Beach Lakes, from which he transferred over the summer. Overall, Lewis has six grabs for 109 yards and a touchdown.
“He’s starting to break out for us. He’s small, but there aren’t too many kids who can run like Tommylee. He’s another one who has to work on his grades,” Daniels said.
* Taking over Matt Elam’s weak linebacker spot, Kelson has been one of Dwyer’s steadiest contributers.
“He’ll end up getting a scholarship somewhere. He wasn’t a starter last year, and he was playing behind Matt,” Daniels said.
* Daniels knows about talents like Park Vista linemen Mike Matulis and Cody Preble, but in his eyes, he has someone better.
“He’s got to be the best lineman in the county,” Daniels said of Bowers, who has an offer from Maryland.
“Daevonte Barnett’s another kid for us, he’s having a great season. He’s going to be another D-1 kid. Then you’ve got Shubert Bastien at the other D-end.
“Shubert and Daevonte, with the size that they have, they’ve stepped up and got a lot better,” Daniels said.
Next year, Patrick Miller is a player to watch. The 6-5 1/2, 220-pound junior is learning how to play defensive tackle, and should be one of the top prospects of next year’s class.
“Against Palm Beach Lakes, I think, had a coming-out party. He was taking kids off the field,” Daniels said. “He’s getting better. He’s only played six games at tackle.
You always hear about Park Vista’s guys, but our guys can play.”
* The 2001 squad, which had seven Division 1 recruits, was led by Rashard Butler, who starred at Miami and now plays for the Houston Texans, and former West Virginia/FAU quarterback Danny Embrick.
Last year, the Panthers sent six players to Division 1 schools, highlighted by three Gators (Matt Elam, Gerald Christian and Robert Clark).