Posted: 1:08 pm Monday, June 4th, 2012
By Jeff Greer
Spring football ended Wednesday with a 28-14 Boca win over Santaluces, marking the end of the area’s busy recruiting season and the beginning of the summer 7-on-7 circuit. But before we invest our time in summer tournaments, let’s break down whose stock is rising and falling after the spring practice period.
American Heritage already has two BCS-bound juniors on its roster in running back Greg Bryant (Oklahoma) and offensive lineman Rod Johnson (Florida), but quarterback Marcus Davis has made serious recruiting waves this spring. At 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, Davis is being recruited by colleges as a receiver, mostly in the slot, but that hasn’t stopped some of the bigger names from coming to Delray Beach to verbally offer the rising senior. Davis, who passed for 823 yards and ran for 291 last fall, has picked up 18 verbal scholarship offers, including eight BCS schools and Boise State.
Entering the spring session, there were questions from the football community about Dwyer’s quarterback situation after the departure of now-at-Georgia quarterback Faton Bauta. After four years of Bauta and Jacoby Brissett, Panthers fans became a bit spoiled by quarterback play. There was supposed to be a step back. And while Rob Nittolo and Clay Meister have a ways to go before they’re SEC-level signal callers, they certainly showed in a 43-26 win over Fort Pierce Central that the Panthers are in good shape at quarterback. Kudos also to Dwyer’s offensive line, which did a fantastic job in pass protection, and the staunch Dwyer defense, which was expected to carry the Panthers deep into the playoffs this fall. Now that D has some help.
Seminole Ridge’s 2013 class
The Hawks lost their spring game to Palm Bay in disappointing fashion — a 17-0 blanking on the road — but they still put together a big-time spring as far as recruiting goes. Ridge fans expect coach Matt Dickmann to have his team in better shape for the fall, and it helps to have major Division I-level recruits like defensive lineman Kyle Shortridge, linebacker Rayfield Dixon, athletes Omar Pierre-Louis and Elie Turene, edge rusher Jason Shepherd.
WAIT AND SEE
Fort Pierce Central
The Cobras have a ton of talent and great coaching, so it’d be foolish to write them off after their disappointing loss at Dwyer. Central needs work on its offensive and defensive lines, at quarterback and in the secondary — Dwyer’s passing offense had all kinds of time and space. But we did see some good things from Central — fast receivers, great after-contact running and a lot of speed on defense. It’s still safe to think Central can reach the state semifinals, which would be fun considering it could see Dwyer there.
The most critical yet supportive fan base in Palm Beach County certainly had reason to panic after an anemic offensive performance against Atlantic in the spring game. Problems with Glades Central’s offensive line were cause for concern, but what else is new? The offensive trenches have been the Achilles’ heel of Central the past few years. Help at quarterback (TJ Abrams, Antwan Washington) will ease the offensive troubles for the Raiders, who will have a young-but-talented defense taking over for last year’s senior-laden group. Teams can focus in on Will Likely a lot more this year with the departure of Jaime Wilson on offense, but guys like Abrams, Washington, Aaron Baker and Ronquavion Tarver give second-year coach Roosevelt Blackmon plenty of weapons to reload.
Some of the nicest guys in the football community are college football recruiters, but cynicism hit an all-time high this spring when it came to “scholarship offers.” Almost every tweet or other kind of update on recruiting came with a caveat — nothing’s official until a school accepts a recruit’s signed national letter of intent. Anything before that means nothing, which we saw last recruiting cycle. So while it’s been great to see offer after offer extended to several quality area players, the respectability of college recruiters and the offers they send out has taken a hit.