South Fort Myers
South Fort Myers is a new school that has been building to this year because of a pair of special players; as usual they delivered Friday night. Dallas Crawford (committed to Michigan) played QB, S, and returned kicks for the 'Pack. He threw for over 300 yards, ran for over 50, and logged at least 8 tackles on defense. Crawford fired a strike down the field for a 72 yard game winning TD. His biggest play on the defensive side of the ball was with under two minutes to go in a one score game; Crawford caused a fumble with a big hit and South recovered. He is being recruited for the defensive side of the ball and clearly has special qualities there. Just a flat baller. His anticipation with physicality draws comparisons to Ed Reed. Special player.
Sammy Watkins (committed to Clemson) is the nation's top WR or should be. Grown man. With the game on the line, Watkins caught a 72 yard touchdown (from Crawford) to put the 'Pack up 7 with two minutes to. He had three of the four touchdowns for South despite receiving as much attention as I have ever seen Naples give an individual player. Size(6'2), speed(4.4), and elite hands are just part of the package. He has an NFL future in front of him.
The first big play of the game came from senior WR Devon Wrenn who hauled in an 85 yard TD to open the scoring. Wrenn has good size at 6'0 and is thick. He has made tremendous progress as a player this year. Darryl Gary and Tyrell Blanks round out a deep receiving core, both players made plays Friday night.
Sophomore(2013) Offensive Tackle Joe Fennell is going to be a top recruit in two years. He has the size already and continues to improve each week. There are not many like him at this stage in the game. Class mate Anthony Gordon is another to keep an eye on.
Seniors Lucas Hill and Luke Smith should play ball at the next level. Hill is a powerful guard while Smith is a quality TE/DE.
With this win South Fort Myers is arguably the favorite in the Southern half of the 3A bracket. Crawford and Watkins are a devastating combo and the defense is top notch. Despite giving up 21 points, they only allowed 275 total yards.....well below Naples average. Some turnovers in their own territory gave Naples good field position. They did a marvelous job against Naples power running attack.
The Naples program is led by Head Coach Bill Kramer and this is one of the best coaching staff's in the state. The Golden Eagle's are one of the state's premier programs(two state title's in the last decade) and they had their opportunities in this one.
The top senior prospect is Lukas Foreman. The 6'2 DB was asked to be everywhere and he was for the most part. Foreman paid a lot of attention to Watkins and has excellent coverage skills for a bigger DB. He sports numerous BCS offers and should see increased interest down the stretch after a terrific senior season.
Emmanuel Orange is another talented 2011 DB who recently received his first D-1 offer. He sustained an early injury that affected his play, but he really came into his own as a senior. He is strong and thick on his 5'9 frame.
Offensively Travis Carlyle had a great game completing 11-16 passes and rushing for some key yardage. At 6'3 he has a solid arm and good athleticism.
Other seniors to watch include DT Danilo Morales, LB Keggan Anderson, OT Andrew Jones, and DE Nick John's. Morales is a big body with athleticism. John's was very active coming off the edge. Jones has received some of the best coaching in the state and it shows. He is a sleeper on the recruiting trail who may fit inside at the next level. Anderson is intriguing prospect because of his strength and instincts.
Don't worry about the future at this power program as there is plenty of talent. Sophomore RB Manny Morgan led the team in rushing in both this game and for the year. He had a tremendous season and should get nothing but better in the future. Also in the backfield is junior Steven Williams who is a big play waiting to happen. He combines great vision with burst and acceleration. Williams is on the small side and might be a slot type down the road.
Wide Receivers Thomas Martin(2012) and Malacchi Esdale(2013) will provide junior QB Billy Crook some terrific targets in the future. Crook has patiently waited for his turn to start. He beat Venice as a freshmen in the Spring game a few years back. Crook impacted the game on special teams and is a terrific athlete.
Naples had a great season, they went unbeaten in the toughest district in this classification and fought to the wire. They came up a few plays short, but will certainly be a major factor in the state in the future.