Last February Scout.com No.1 running back in the country Antone Smith shocked the country when he…
IN THE HUDDLE: Tamarcus Porter
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: Tamarcus Porter
40 SPEED: 4.65
HEAD COACH: Leroy Foster
www.floridakids.us Pre-Spring Rating: 92
As Robert Love launches the ball straight in the air, receivers run as fast as they can to catch up to it. It's a speed drill that has turned this two-time defending 2B state championship football team into a true passing threat.
A year after its most successful running back in school history, Antone Smith, departed for FSU, this football team, which many believed would take a serious hit this season, hasn't dropped of at all. In fact, some believe the Blue Devils are more talented.
If you follow athletics in the Palm Beach area, the name Porter has gotten to be quite famous. Maybe not on the football field, where Tamarcus has been able to carry the torch, but as wrestlers who have been able to make a solid impact on the state level.
While the Porters decided to make the move this season from Royal Palm Beach to the shores of Lake Okeechobee, nobody would benefit more than the Blue Devils, who had already been pushing rising sophomore star Martavious Odom at the wide receiver position.
What Porter does for Robert Love & Company is add yet another threat to an already potent attack. While they recently lost in triple overtime to 4A Miami Booker T. Washington in the Air Strike 7-on-7 event at Florida International University in Miami, which www.floridakids.us attended for the fifth straight year, this is a football program that will score some points in the fall.
At a school that had gotten used to running first over the past four seasons, things are going to change, and having Porter along for the ride, only enhances what this program can do.
Porter is overjoyed about having a quarterback who many have "one of the strongest throwing arms in the nation" getting the ball to him each week.
"This was a tremendous move for me all the way around," Porter said. "This gives me an opportunity to feel what it's like to win it all. That is a great feeling to have – I'm sure!"
STRENGTHS: Before watching him at the 7-on-7 event, I wasn't totally sold on what Porter could do. I thought, after watching him three times earlier, he was slow getting off the ball, wasn't aggressive enough to play the position at an elite level and had good to average hands.
Maybe the setting in Miami brought the best out in him. Perhaps, the times I had watched him before, he wasn't challenged and didn't have the team that he would play with this season, around him. But what I saw in Miami totally made me switch the way I felt about Porter.
In a day when high school football players rarely compliment one another, Porter was on the mind of every player Pahokee has. Love is getting restless at the thought of throwing for 400 yards and 5 TDs a game with Porter.
"Having a physical receiver with size and leaping ability is going to help us all," said Love. "We have known him for a long time, but to now have the chance to play with him on our team is tremendous."
Watching Porter, his asset is his leaping ability. While he may not be the "homerun" threat that many are looking for, he is lethal from 25-30 yards in and is a perfect possession receiver with hands and decent route running ability. He also creates a situation when there isn't one.
WHAT HE NEEDS TO WORK ON: The one thing that he will have to do with this Pahokee squad is understand his limitations. Working against a corner such as Ricky Gary each day in practice will help him get more physical. But knowing that he is a role player in a team game is a must. Pahokee doesn't need him to be a long threat. Not with the offensive line and quality weapons they have on the offensive side of the ball.
OVERALL: This is one of those young men who may not show what he is all about after watching him a few times, but when he is in his element, on a team that has other athletes, he blends in and fits in like he was made to play the position.
Understanding that the situation often makes the player better is something that most analysts never take into consideration. That's why it is PARAMOUNT that when judging talent, the need to watch live is far more important that sitting home and watch a highlight film!
COLLEGES ON THE HORIZON: Pittsburgh, Mississippi and North Carolina have all offered after watching him during the spring. Still, Auburn, FSU, Georgia and Maryland are in the mix with a few other schools who have watched much of what I've been able to see.
Get IN THE HUDDLE with some more of Florida's emerging stars:
IN THE HUDDLE: JEREMY CAMPBELL - PORT ORANGE SPRUCE CREEK
IN THE HUDDLE: MONTEL GAMBLE - TARPON SPRINGS
IN THE HUDDLE: TRENT PUPELLO - TAMPA JEFFERSON
IN THE HUDDLE: SAM SHIELDS III - SARASOTA BOOKER
IN THE HUDDLE: KEVIN PEREZ - MIAMI KILLIAN
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IN THE HUDDLE: DEVIN JACKSON - KISSIMMEE POINCIANA
IN THE HUDDLE: MARK ALLEN - ST. CLOUD HARMONY
IN THE HUDDLE: DARON LOVE – PALM BEACH GARDENS DWYER
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IN THE HUDDLE: TONY WILSON – DAYTONA BEACH MAINLAND
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IN THE HUDDLE: ORLANDO FRANKLIN – DELRAY BEACH ATLANTIC
IN THE HUDDLE: TRAVIUS THOMPSON –LAUDERDALE LAKES BOYD ANDERSON
IN THE HUDDLE: BRANDON THOMPKINS –PALM BEACH LAKES
IN THE HUDDLE: JOSH LONG –FORT MYERS
IN THE HUDDLE: DARON ROSE – TAMPA JEFFERSON
IN THE HUDDLE: MICHAEL JOHNSON – WESTON CYPRESS BAY
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IN THE HUDDLE: CHANCE ATTAWAY – BLOUNTSTOWN
IN THE HUDDLE: GEORGE ROBINSON – MIAMI CENTRAL
IN THE HUDDLE: TIMOTHY BROWN – MIAMI NORTHWESTERN
IN THE HUDDLE: XAVIER HARRIS – FORT LAUDERDALE
IN THE HUDDLE: DANIEL LINCOLN – OCALA FOREST
IN THE HUDDLE: PATRICK ADOLPHE – DELRAY BEACH ATLANTIC
IN THE HUDDLE: QUINTIN HANCOCK – ST. AUGUSTINE
IN THE HUDDLE: CHARLES DEAS – LAUDERDALE LAKES BOYD ANDERSON
IN THE HUDDLE: DONALD BOWENS – ST. PETERSBURG
IN THE HUDDLE: ROBERT LOVE - PAHOKEE
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