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September 13, 2011
Rivals.com Florida analyst Chris Nee goes around his region in the weekly Around Florida feature.
Remember these names
A breakdown of game tape on three impressive underclassmen prospects in Florida:
ATH Jayron Kearse, Fort Myers Cypress Lake
The nephew of former Florida Gator and NFL All-Pro Jevon Kearse can vie for the title of 'Freak' as well. The younger Kearse, who recently pledged to Auburn, is long and lanky on his 6-foot-4 frame and carries 190 pounds at this time, but can easily pack up significantly more weight.
Kearse is athletic enough to play wide receiver but from watching him at a camp this past summer his best position may possibly be as an outside linebacker where he can use his length and explosiveness to cause major disruption against opposing offenses. Regardless of where he eventually lines up, Kearse has natural athletic gifts combined with an excellent burst and explosiveness that makes him dangerous.
S Marcell Harris, Groveland South Lake
Harris is a big, physical safety with excellent closing speed as displayed at Florida Friday Night Lights and again in early junior season highlights. At 6-foot-2 and 193 pounds, he is an intimidating center fielder in any defensive scheme. He can come up into the box and provide run support or play off the line, in space, as a defensive back.
He is also capable of stepping up to the line and playing man-to-man, going step-for-step with wide receivers downfield. He is still raw in many ways and as his game is developed over the next two seasons, he should emerge as one of the top safeties in the Sunshine State and likely the nation. Beyond his defensive prowess, Harris is also a major contributor on special teams.
DQB Cord Sandberg, Bradenton Manatee
Sandberg is an excellent dual-threat quarterback who will finish his high school career as a three-year starter. Through two games in 2011, he has thrown for 363 yards. His quick start is on the heels of an outstanding sophomore season that saw him throw for 2,907 yards and 25 touchdowns, to just six interceptions, as he was 204-for-270 passing on the season.
He showed off his athleticism as well rushing for 578 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior. That production, combined with good size at 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, helped Sandberg emerge over the summer as he landed a few college offers. Many more will come as he not only possesses the physical ability to have success at the position but also is sharp mentally on the field.
Sleeper of the week
This week's under-the-radar prospect that won't be unknown for long:
ATH Dondre Daley, Tarpon Springs
Daley is an impressive athlete at 6-foot-3 and 170 pounds. As a junior, he played at Holiday (Fla.) Anclote and recorded 18 receptions for 358 yards and five touchdowns. He has since transferred to Tarpon Springs, where he is playing with quarterback Louie Pappas. The move has benefited the talented athlete by putting him in position to display his playmaking ability even more.
Last Friday against Clearwater, Daley accounted for five touchdowns in a 56-8 victory. He had three touchdown receptions, including a 48-yarder. He also threw a 24-yard touchdown pass and returned a blocked punt 10 yards for a touchdown. He now has six touchdowns on the young season.
Daley has yet to land his first offer but has a number of schools keeping tabs on him. If his production continues at this rate, someone will pull the trigger.
On Thursday, Nee makes his way down I-75 to watch Gainesville host Ocala Trinity Catholic. On Friday, he will see an I-10 battle when Tallahassee Godby hosts Monticello Jefferson County. Here's what he'll be watching for:
1. Godby's loaded roster
Godby is loaded with talent as displayed by having at least six Division I prospects in the senior class - tight end Laith Harlow (Oklahoma), defensive back T.J. Davis (Auburn), athlete Dennis Andrews (Georgia Tech), linebacker Jakarri Thomas (Arkansas), tight end Brandon Holifield (Miami) and linebacker Kadeem Thomas (undecided). The Godby talent runs deep, though, with prospects such as junior wide receiver Jamaul Vickers, junior defensive back Khalid Thomas, sophomore safety Deon Singleton and freshman athlete Jaylin Hayward.
2. Offensive firepower
In addition to the offensive weapons at Godby, all three other schools have players capable of quickly putting six on the board. Gainesville has USF defensive back commitment Chris Bivins, who pulls double duty playing some wide receiver. Senior wide receiver Cordero Dixon, junior wide receiver Chris Thompson and junior running back Raphael Webb are also all big-play threats. Trinity Catholic senior wide receiver Diquan Jefferson will be sophomore quarterback Reid Carlton's favorite target. Jefferson County has athlete Alphonso Footman, who can put points up quickly on the ground.
3. Trinity Catholic's next quarterback
Sophomore quarterback Reid Carlton, an imposing 6-foot-3, 220-pound signal-caller, has now taken the reins of the Trinity Catholic offense. He follows a good line of quarterbacks out of the Ocala-area school. Last year, the offense was led by Joe Little, who is now at Valdosta State. Prior to Little, players such as John Brantley (Florida) and Rob Henry (Purdue) led the offensive air raid. Carlton is being brought along slowly for Trinity Catholic but has some tools.