Posted: 12:37 pm Tuesday, September 17th, 2013
By Jeff Greer
Welcome back for another edition of the wildly popular Ask Me Anything. Here, I answer questions on high school football, recruiting and any other topic you guys chose.
This week, a lot of area football fans have started worrying about the home teams’ chances of making a run at a state title. There have already been some rumblings about job security in the Glades. John I. Leonard’s fans just can’t figure out why their team’s struggling. And one particular fan wants to know what’s taking scientists so long to match Back to the Future’s predictions.
We’re starting off our fourth Ask Me Anything with a hot seat question …
Three Legs: How hot do you really think the seats are for Glades Central’s Roosevelt Blackmon and Pahokee’s Blaze Thompson?
Jeff Greer: From everything I’ve heard, Thompson is OK for now. Pahokee is 2-1 and on an upswing. The fights last week against John I. Leonard (we’re still waiting for an FHSAA ruling) never help a coach, but the way Pahokee played the past few seasons, it sure seems like Blaze is made of Teflon right now.
The situation at Glades Central is different. By all accounts Blackmon is well-liked and has the full support of his administration, which recognizes that the Raiders, for the second season in a row, just don’t have the talent they usually have. The administration also knows how tough Glades Central’s schedule is. That said, I’ve also heard a few places that a change isn’t necessarily out of the question if things go south in Belle Glade. And “south” in Belle Glade looks a lot like a 5-5 or even a 6-4 record with an early playoff exit.
DB48: What team in Palm Beach County has the best chance to win state? And who is your favorite Palm Beach County player you like to watch in college and in the NFL? AND WHY?
JG: Well, I picked Dwyer before the season started. The Panthers will have to improve quite a bit to catch up to St. Thomas Aquinas, but it’s not out of the question. East Lake, Lincoln, Sickles and even Royal Palm Beach also look very good in that classification. I’d say American Heritage and Glades Day have good shots, too. Heritage should get through the Palm Beach County and South Florida teams in Class 3A. The four toughest teams in the class are north of here. Glades Day certainly has a chance at state, though Hialeah Champagnat Catholic is currently the favorite in South Florida.
As for my favorite player to watch, that’s tough. I’ll pick Tre Mason in college. He was awesome in high school and is a highlight reel on legs. In the pros, who doesn’t enjoy watching Anquan Boldin play?
@Mattapherr: Top 3 “must see” recruits in the Miami area?
JG: In the Miami area, I’d say Treon Harris from Miami Washington — he’s made an FSU commitment — and then Miami Central’s running backs Joseph Yearby (Miami commit) and Dalvin Cook (Florida commit). Up north in Palm Beach County, I’ll say Travis Rudolph from Cardinal Newman and, honestly, just go see American Heritage, Dwyer, Glades Central, Pahokee and Royal Palm Beach for great athletes.
@Dollhouse_Pink: Your prediction for Muck Bowl?
JG: Well … the computer ratings had Glades Central ranked 138th in the state and Pahokee down at No. 242 after Week 2. They’re closer than that. I worry about making a pick now because things could very different in November, but if I had to do it now, I’d probably pick Glades Central in a close one. A lot of that pick depends on how Central’s treacherous schedule impacts the players’ attitudes heading into that final game. People will say it’s the Muck Bowl and players don’t need any other motivation, but if, for example, Glades Central comes into the game at 3-6 vs., maybe, 4-5 or 5-4, it’ll have a very different feeling.
Jane: How good is Boynton High this year? Is Lamar Jackson a good quarterback or is he a great athlete? Any projection on which position he’ll be recruited for?
JG: That’s one of the great mysteries in Palm Beach County football right now. We have Boynton ranked in our top 10, which is certainly fair. The Tigers have wins over Cardinal Newman, Olympic Heights and Lake Worth. So, decent wins. Nothing spectacular. There is, however, a very real chance for Boynton to be undefeated ahead of its Nov. 1 game against Hallandale, the top team in the district. So the big test for the Tigers will be all the games in between. Can they stay focused and keep producing at a high level? As for Lamar, he was offered by Utah State as a quarterback. I’m not sure his size translates to the college level, but he can really play. He’s a quarterback.
@go_cards_guy: Any update on Rashawn Shaw’s injury?
JG: As of Tuesday morning, he is still waiting for clearance to return. He missed last week’s game with a knee injury. He has a doctor’s appointment after school on Wednesday.
Bell: Is John I. Leonard’s problem more with the tough early part of the schedule? Are they just horrible this year? They usually start out fast then finish badly. I think the next few weeks will let us know some of these answers.
JG: I agree. And the 27-6 loss to Pahokee told us probably what Leonard fans didn’t want to hear. The Lancers have major offensive issues and don’t seem to be any closer to solving them. The schedule’s been tough early on, but it won’t get any easier.
Miami-Dade County: I would disagree with you that the talent isn’t the same. Glades Central is loaded. The thing is, Jeff, Jessie Hester had a chance to do something at Glades Central that he was unable to do at Suncoast and I can bet he’s unable to do at Lake Worth. This is the same thing Blackmon can do to help Glades Central get back to their winning ways. The old saying is that football is a year-round sport. I don’t know if you were saying it to be saying it, but I agree with you — it won’t surprise me if Jessie Hester ends up back at Glades Central as the head coach and the athletic director.
JG: I’ve always had a hunch that Hester would someday end up back at his alma mater. The administration made an emotional decision immediately after losing state and there has to be some regret with how they handled it.
But I still disagree on the talent comments. The talent is not the same every year. Not even close. Glades Central isn’t loaded, and it’s the repeated misconception among Glades Central fans that their team is loaded that gets coaches fired and disappoints people.
The Raiders have a lot of good players, but they don’t have the kind of classes they had in the past. Just think in 2010 and 2011 alone … In 2010, they had Kelvin Benjamin, Davonte Allen, Robert Way, Dominique Gibson, Jaime Wilson, Will Likely, Jatavis Brown and Crevon LeBlanc, all Division I signees, plus a ton of Division I-AA and lower-college-level supporting cast members. They lost Benjamin, Allen and Way in 2011, but that’s it. Then, in 2012, all that was left was Likely and Ronquavion Tarver. This current squad has two surefire D1 seniors in Tarver and Jerry Jones, some good supporting guys like Steven Leggett and Jonathon Istache and a drop-off after that. The two junior offensive linemen are D1 prospects, but you need five good linemen, not two. And you need to stick with one quarterback.
Big Mac: What team is the most likely to surprise everyone with their season this year?
JG: Has to be Clewiston, right? I don’t see the Tigers losing to King’s Academy or Dade Christian. Then we’ve got a 4-0 team on our heads as October starts. The real question is, can the Tigers challenge the … Tigers (of Cocoa) in the playoffs?
And the question of the week from loyal Ask Me Anything questioner Shea Quinn …
@TheSheaQuinn: We’re <2 years from 2015 and scientists have clearly been slacking. What product from Back to the Future 2 should they work on first?
JG: Scientists need to get cracking on that Chicago Cubs World Series win in 2015. No. 1 priority right there.