South Florida is an area that arguably produces the most talent, year in and year out, in the nation, so how does 2010 stack up to the great group of 2008 from Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach? And how does this wide receiver class stack up with last year's outstanding group led by A.J. Green and Julio Jones?
We'll look at both questions in this week's mailbag.
Strength in numbers
In your opinion, which recruiting class from south Florida will end up being the best ? the 2008 class or the 2010 class?
-- Nick from Pennsylvania
Every year, there is a ton of talent in south Florida, and the area's Class of 2010 again will dominate the recruiting scene in the Sunshine State.
Expect 150 to 200 prospects from the Class of 2010 from Dade (Miami), Broward (Ft. Lauderdale) and Palm Beach (West Palm Beach) counties to be playing FBS (i.e., Division I-A) football on Saturdays.
Leading the way at quarterback are Jeffrey Godfrey (Miami Central) and Stephen Morris (Miami Pace). If Godfrey were a tad bigger (he's 5 feet 11 and 167 pounds), he would be a household name. Brandon Doughty (Coconut Creek North Broward Prep), Ryan Williams (Plantation American Heritage) and Ed Sullivan (Boca Raton) are three other quarterbacks to watch.
Two offensive line prospects who stand out at this time are Brandon Linder (Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas) and Jose Jose (Miami Washington). If there is a weak position for 2010 from Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, it's offensive line.
You can't talk about south Florida without talking about defensive backs. Arguably the state's top two prospects overall are safety Matt Elam (Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer) and cornerback Lamarcus Joyner (Miami Southwest). Demar Dorsey (Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson), James Louis (Delray Beach Atlantic), [d]Darren Kitchens[/db] (Homestead) and Demetrius Pettway (Homestead) are among about two dozen more defensive backs who will be playing on Saturdays.
So how will this group stack up to what south Florida produced in 2008? In that class, 126 prospects signed with FBS schools from the three counties. There's no question that the 2010 class will be deeper than what we saw in '08. Thus, the south Florida 2010 class looks like the best group ever from that part of the state.
WR class comparison
How good is this class of wide receivers? How would they compare to last season and season's past?
-- Stevie from Baton Rouge, La.
I think this is a good solid group, but not what we saw last year, especially at the top. The Class of 2008 was loaded at the position, with guys such as Julio Jones (Alabama), A.J. Green (Georgia), DeAndre Brown (Southern Miss), Michael Floyd (Notre Dame) and so on. There were six five-star wide receivers, and Jones and Green were in the top 10 nationally.
All six were big guys, with DeVier Posey the smallest at 6-2. And it also was an athletic and physical group.
This year, Rueben Randle (Bastrop, La.) and Randall Carroll (Los Angeles) are the top two. Randle has many of the same outstanding attributes that we saw in guys such as Jones and Green. Carroll is smaller (5-10), but he's electrifying and explosive. At this time they are the only five-star receivers in the Class of 2009.
After that duo, there certainly isn't as much talent at the top compared to what we saw last year.
Last year was special at wide receiver, and that group has set the bar high. And with more and more high schools nationally becoming more sophisticated in their passing attacks, you would think more and more wide receivers will be out there in the future.