October 30, 2008

Ask Jamie: South Florida loaded in 2010

Jamie Newberg is a football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags:
Oct 23: Looking ahead to 2010
Oct 16: Who's the best back in 2010?
Oct 9: Can 'Cane's keep all their backs?

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.

Jamie'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
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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.

Running back will be an absolutely loaded position, led by Giovanni Bernard (Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas), Eduardo Clements (Miami Washington), Brandon Gainer (Miami Central), Jakhari Gore (Miami Columbus), Ethan Grant (Coconut Creek North Broward Prep), Corvin Lamb (Miami Northwestern) and Cassius McDowell (Deerfield Beach). And there could be up to a dozen more backs who sign.

Chris Dunkley (Royal Palm Beach), De'Joshua Johnson (Pahokee), Ivan McCartney (Miramar), Ted Meline (Davie Westlake Prep) and Willis Wright (Miami Springs) form a strong contingent of big-time receivers.

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.

Linebackers Gideon Ajagbe (Miami Random Everglades), Ralph Williams (Miami Gulliver Prep) and Gerald Christian (Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer) will be highly recruited. There are athletic defensive ends in Trevaughn Faircloth (Hollywood South Broward), Delvin Jones (Miami La Salle), Lynden Trail (Miami Washington) and Corey Lemonier (Hialeah). Todd Chandler (Miami Northwestern), if recovered from a knee injury, could emerge as the state's top defensive tackle prospect. And Calvin Smith (Hialeah) could play either defensive tackle or offensive tackle at the next level.

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.
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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.

What I do like about this year's crop is that there are numerous receivers 6-0 and under who are talented. Carroll and Andre DeBose (Sanford, Fla.) jump out among that group, but there's also Nu'Keese Richardson (Pahokee, Fla.), Rantavious Wooten (Belle Glade, Fla.), Shaquelle Evans (Inglewood, Calif.), Terry Hawthorne (East St. Louis, Ill.), Chris Fields (Painesville, Ohio), and Chad Bumphis (Tupelo, Miss.) in the top 25 at the position. Last year, only two receivers 6-0 or under were in the top 25 (T.J. Lawrence and Kemonte Bateman).

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.

Jamie Newberg is a recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. Click here to send him a question or comment for his Mailbag.




 

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