During the spring and into the summer, www.floridakids.us will bring you our IN THE HUDDLE segments with football players throughout the state of Florida.
These are similar to the evaluations we pass on to the hundreds of colleges who visit our website, call us on the phone and correspond via e-mail.
Here is another top football player to keep an eye on this season – and beyond.
PLAYER: Robert Love
www.floridakids.us Pre-Spring Rating:
Every year, I come across a few athletes who capture my imagination for one reason or another. One who may not be big enough to play at the elite level, but one that could very well hold his own at a major college despite his lack of height or overall size.
Robert Love has been one of those players who nobody would pay attention to because he is, by some standards, small for a quarterback at the major college level.
Love has never bragged about his talents. He was never one to steal anyone's thunder. But now this standout football player is on the verge of starting his final year at the high school level.
While his high profile teammate Antone Smith
will head out to attend FSU in the fall, and others who played for the past two state championship teams are now getting a chance to compete at the collegiate level, Love is still running the show.
Here is a quarterback who every opponent talked about because of his arm strength and ability to lead his football team. When I talked to three opponents last year and we talked about Love, each and everyone said that he had three things very few top-rated quarterbacks have. The first is his ability to throw the ball 40-yards on a rope. The second is throwing the ball some 60 plus yards in the air and the third is Love's knack of throwing on the run with pinpoint accuracy.
"I don't care who the prospect is in this state or any other state you guys are pushing," said Coach Foster. "You will never convince me that any of these young men who are getting visits from every major college on earth can compare to Robert. Ask anyone who has ever played with or against him and they all have nothing but great things to say."
While you would expect Foster to be somewhat bias about his passing prospect, coaches who have had the chance to see him, especially at the recent Scout.com Camp at the University of South Florida
, who actually took the time to watch him, agree with Foster.
"That kid Love is as good as anyone I have watched," said one coach at the Tampa combine. "His mechanics are solid, he has tremendous arm strength and has that knack of knowing when and where to throw the ball."
I have watched a number off quarterback prospect, and while they have the size, none have this young man's arm strength, football smarts and knowledge of what to do in big game situations.
I have watched him in five games and three camp/combine settings and Love has everything you look for in a quarterback. His arm strength is tremendous. He can throw the ball on the run as well.
I charted Love in three straight plays in one of the biggest games of 2004 for the Blue Devils against Glades Central in the Muck Bowl. Even when forced out of the pocket, he showed in that game, as well as the district showdown with Pompano, a game in which his team started slow in the first half, Love never lost his composure, mixing up the run and pass creating a balance.
WHAT HE NEEDS TO WORK ON:
Because he sold on the fact that playing another position is really not an option at this point, if he is going to compete at the 1A level, Love needs to roll out more and look off his first receiver.
In addition, when he does drop back in a classic pro-style manner, he needs to create better sight lines for himself, putting receivers in a position to stretch out the defenses.
When I lock onto a prospect, I do it with the idea of knowing all about the athlete. This is someone who will go to great lengths to make sure that he proves them wrong.
Robert Love understands that college coaches are too much into times, heights and weights and sometimes ignore what is right in front of them. He also knows that wherever he ends up, he will never disappoint.
COLLEGES ON THE HORIZON:
Right now, there are no solid offers on the table, which makes Love and Foster smile a bit. Foster has been telling every college coach who comes by not to make a mistake by overlooking his rising senior quarterback.
Get IN THE HUDDLE with some more of Florida's emerging stars:
IN THE HUDDLE – CAS PIUROWSKI
IN THE HUDDLE – STERLIN JAMES
IN THE HUDDLE – JOHN WARE
IN THE HUDDLE – MARKEVIOUS POWELL
IN THE HUDDLE – BILLY LOWE
IN THE HUDDLE – JAVON HILL
IN THE HUDDLE – CODY CLINTON
IN THE HUDDLE – JARED MARTIN
IN THE HUDDLE – COLIN MCCARTHY
IN THE HUDDLE - DONTAE JONES
IN THE HUDDLE - DAMON PIFER
IN THE HUDDLE - CHRIS SORCE
IN THE HUDDLE - SHOMARI GRANT
IN THE HUDDLE - DARRELL ROSEMAN
IN THE HUDDLE - JAMES POE
IN THE HUDDLE - RYAN ELLIS
IN THE HUDDLE - COURTNEY JONES
IN THE HUDDLE - BRYAN THOMAS
IN THE HUDDLE - JORDAN DALRYMPLE
IN THE HUDDLE - PRESTON PARKER
IN THE HUDDLE - SABBATH JOSEPH
IN THE HUDDLE - RYAN KHAWLY
IN THE HUDDLE - BRANDON JAMES
IN THE HUDDLE - KEITH HOUSTON
IN THE HUDDLE - REGGIE ODOM
IN THE HUDDLE - C.J. SPILLER
IN THE HUDDLE - RILEY COOPER
IN THE HUDDLE - JAMES JAMISON
IN THE HUDDLE - DESMOND GEE
IN THE HUDDLE - RICKY GARY
IN THE HUDDLE - LAURANCE MARIUS
IN THE HUDDLE - KENRICK ELLIS
IN THE HUDDLE - RICHARD JACKSON
IN THE HUDDLE - LABRANDON GLOVER
While there have been several quarterbacks who have been receiving much of the attention in the pre-season, here is another name to add to that list, and judging from his two state titles and ability to throw the ball, he could be considered one of the best in the state!