Spring Preview: Tampa

Spring Preview:  Tampa

Spring football starts in the less than a week in Florida, we have broken down the state into 11 regions and continue our preview today with the Tampa Region.


Tampa Area
SunStateFootball.com, Scout.com

Tampa Area Facts: Just over 2.2 million people live in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties with major cities being Tampa, St. Pete, and Clearwater.

High schools play in a wide range of classifications with the highest being 5A(second largest).

The University of South Florida is the only D-1 school in this region.

Typically between 20-45 prospects will sign D-1 national letters of intent from this area.

Last State Title: 2009 Plant(5A)

Top 5 Teams

1. Plant(5A)

2. Jefferson(3A)

3. Armwood(4A)

4. Countryside(5A)

5. Robinson(2B)

Top Spring Games

May 21. Blake, Jefferson, Plant at Robinson

May 21. Freedom, TB Tech, King, at Wharton

May 21. Newsome, Armwood, Plant City, at Durant

May 21. Leto, Alonso, Tampa Jesuit, at Sickles

Top Prospects


Plant RB James Wilder
Chad Simmons, Scout.com

Quentin Williams, QB, Tampa Jefferson: Williams had a monster junior that earned him accolades throughout the state. He has a rifle for an arm which allows him to make all the throws. He shows tremendous accuracy both on short patterns and down the field. He is athletic and can make plays with his feet. The only issue is that he stands in the 6'0 range.

Phillip Ely, QB, Tampa Plant: Ely won a state title as a junior, something neither Robert Marve(Purdue via Miami) or Aaron Murray(Georgia) were able to accomplish at Plant before him. He has added considerable size to his frame over the last year. He is an extremely accurate, heady QB that is a leader. He is probably the most accurate QB in the state and he holds more than five offers heading into the Spring.

James Wilder, RB, Tampa Plant: One of the nation's most coveted prospects, Wilder literally holds offers from everyone in the country. The only debate is whether he will play RB or OLB/DE at the next level. Wilder is a legit, ripped 6'2, 215+, we think he has special qualities as a RB going forward.

Hunter Joyer, FB, Tampa Catholic: An absolute hammer. At 6'0, 250, Joyer is a load to bring down and he punishes defenders who get in his way. He doubles as a LB on defense and possesses terrific agility for a big man. He will be a FB at the next level and is a tremendous prospect at that spot. Ridiculously strong.

Andre Davis, WR, Tampa Jefferson: Davis has the best ball skills in the state, in fact they might be the best in the last decade, when the ball is in the air, it is his, he flat goes and gets it. Davis has plus size to go with those skills, the main issue is a lack of top end speed. Will he be able to seperate at the next level? After a so-so showing a few months ago when he was coming off an injury, he shined recently at a combine in Tampa. He is better in pads with the lights on.

Frankie Williams, WR, Tampa Robinson: All Robinson does is make play after play after play. Whether it is as a WR, a DB, or on special teams he has shown a knack for making the play. He is often compared to former Robinson and University of Alabama stud Javier Arenas, the similarities are amazing. Arenas was just picked in the NFL draft last weekend.

Chris Moore, WR, Tampa Jefferson: On any other team Moore stands as a tremendous prospect, he is incredibly productive, especially considering he has a 1,000 yard WR on the other side of him. Moore is faster than Davis and while on the thin side, he has a great frame to fill out. He also possesses plus hands. He will start to see the offers soon.

Charles Lovett, WR, Tampa Hillsborough: Lovett reminds us of Manatee's Ace Sanders from 2010. He is 5'7ish with a stocky build. Lovett does a lot of the same things as Sanders, he is strong on that frame and has elite quickness. He will go get the ball in traffic and is not afraid to work the middle of the field. He will play in the slot and be a dangerous play-maker with the ball in his hands.

Tyler Moore, OL, Clearwater Countryside: One of the nation's top OL prospects, Moore is already committed to Nebraska. At 6'5, 305 he looks ready to walk in and contribute from day one. He has scary athleticism for such a young linemen.

Jordan Prestwood, OL, Plant City: Prestwood has played TE and is athletic enough to stay there, but the Notre Dame commit is probably going to end up at OT. At 6'5, 255-260 today he will arrive in the 270 range. Prestwood has a very high ceiling as he seemingly possesses every quality to be a multi.-year starter at the next level.

Zach DeBell, OL, Tarpon Springs: DeBell stands at a legit 6'6 and is in the 250-255 range. He has posted some incredible combine numbers which speak to his overall athleticism. He is not a dominant linemen today and still needs to learn the finer points of the spot, but players with his physical gifts are rare. He needs to continue to get more flexible as he can play stiff at times.

Tyler Pierson, OL, Clearwater Countryside: It is not just Moore at Countryside, Pierson showed two weeks ago that he is a gifted technician as well. He impressed everyone with his keen understanding of the position and overall skill level at a combine in Tampa. At 6'3, he projects inside at guard, where on film he is a classic mauler in the run game.


Alonso DE Anthony Chickillo
Chad Simmons, Scout.com

Anthony Chickillo, DE, Tampa Alonso: The Alonso product holds at least 25 BCS offers and is a fantastic combination of size(6'4, 240), speed(4.7), and competitiveness---he plays with a high motor. His father played for the 'Canes.

Ramik Wilson, LB, Tampa Jefferson: Talented athlete that could play OLB or TE at the next level. At 6'2.5, Wilson runs extremely well, particularly laterally. Wilson has started to attract significant interest on the recruiting trail.

Tevin Newman, LB, Tampa Robinson: Newman had a terrific Nike Camp in Gainesville where it was reported that he showed outstanding instincts in coverage. He is another superior athlete where how much weight he adds will be important to his future.

Jermaine McKinney, LB, Armwood: McKinney has great instincts for the football, the lanky OLB can flat run, and he plays bigger than his present size. He needs to develop physically some, but the ceiling on McKinney is very high down the road.

Keith Lewis, LB, Tampa Freedom: Another outstanding athlete at the LB spot, there is a chance that Lewis could slide back to Safety in the right scheme. He has put up consistently impressive numbers in the combine settings and is poised for a huge senior year.

Anthony Harrell, LB, Tampa Freedom: Harrell is all of 6'0, 225 and projects to MLB. Very strong, he has ran much better than anticipated. Harrell's forte is playing downhill against the run, his ability to learn pass defense will be the key to his future.

Alex Dixon, CB, Clearwater Countryside: Dixon is a rare CB with 5'11+ height and the hips/speed to cover the faster Wideouts. He is a physical presense in the 185 range and just needs to continue to hone his craft as a senior.

Ruben Gonzalez, S, Tampa Robinson: Gonzalez plays both ways at WR and S. At 6'3, 185 we like his skill set at the Safety position going forward. Gonzalez is a gifted athlete with speed(sub 4.7) and the ability to make plays on the ball when it is in the air. He needs to show a better understanding of overall defensive scheme.


Robinson WR/S Ruben Gonzalez
Scott Kenndey, Scout.com

Five Sleepers

Josh Grady, QB, Armwood: Excellent both on and off the field, Grady has really developed as a QB. He easily could play another position down the road, but he should receive plenty of interest as a QB. It will be interesting to see if he takes the next step as a senior.

A.J. King, WR, Armwood: King has surprisingly flown a little under the radar, at 6'0, he has excellent speed and good understanding of the position. With Grady at QB, he has a chance for a big senior year. He should see his first offers role in over the next 2-3 weeks.

Josh Tanner, LB, Freedom: It is not just Harrell and Lewis at LB at Freedom. Tanner has show excellent physicals in the combine setting. He played on the lines as a junior, but the his UA numbers suggest he can handle the LB spot: 4.77 40 yard dash, 4.58 shuttle, 7.29 3-Cone, 28 vertical, and 9'2'' broad jump. He was 6'2, 223.

Alphonso Evans, ATH, Lakewood: Evans is an athlete that could play on either side of the ball at the next level. He has played QB, but most likely will be recruited to play a different position.

Brodrick Lee, DT, Tarpon Springs: Lee has to keep his weight in check, when he does, this is a dominating force on the interior. He lacks ideal height at 6'1ish, but the athletic skills are there for him to thrive at the next level.

Five for 2012

1. Tyriq McCord, DE/OLB, Tampa Jefferson

2. Matt Jones, RB, Armwood

3. Dante Fowler, DE, Lakewood

4. Earl Moore, DT, Hillsborough

5. Bennie Coney, QB, Plant City

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