No sooner did he clock strike midnight on December 31st – when the attention quickly turned to South Florida high school football.
Right in the middle of the current college recruiting season, Miami-Dade and Broward have found a way to steal the thunder.
As many "stuffed shirts" in the media have found out over the past few years – when you have 60-65 players currently in the National Football League from two counties – it is not a normal happening.
What happens during the months of January and February has now started in December, sometimes overshadowing collegiate and professional sports.
While the third week of December signaled the first ever early National Signing Day, it also opened the door for the underclassman to start stealing some of that spotlight.
The Classes of 2019, 2020 and 2021 are basically on the clock – and while many of these quality athletes will be easy to find in the coming months, others are continuing a trend that began a long time ago, but has been magnified with the social media – retweeting and mentioning everything.
It is once again transfer season, where 200-250 athletes will change schools over the next seven months. While that number sounds staggering and almost unbelievable – it is. But not something that hasn't happened in the past and won't continue to go on forever.
In Broward County, there is a pecking order that begins with St. Thomas Aquinas and American Heritage, but is also starting to included Cardinal Gibbons and defending 3A state champion Chaminae-Madonna. After that programs who have had recent success – such as Deerfield Beach and Western – will also start to benefit.
"Winning is everything to many of these kids," Charles Fishbein of Elite Scouting Services said. "While some may not understand it, the reality is that going to state championships and winning changes everything."
In Miami-Dade County, the powers are mainly in 6A – and right in the middle of the City. But besides defending state champion Northwestern, Carol City, Central and Norland – transfer mainly head toward Southridge, South Dade and Christopher Columbus.
While there are a few programs without coaches, a lot will still happen when those vacancies.
Here is a look at some difference makers who will more than likely be wearing a different uniform in 2018:
2021 – Amari Daniels, RB, Miami Jackson.
TAPE: One of the nation's premier young backs truly took high school football by storm last year with the Miami Central Rockets, and now that his father is the new head coach at Miami Jackson, he will take his amazing talents to 5A – where he should continue dominating. This is one of those talents who does not come along very often. A Duke Johnson kind of player who is as highly regarded as running backs as he is a defensive back. Total package. Big, big time future!
2021 - Torey Morrison, QB, Miami Booker T. Washington. Here is a very talented football player who has already competed in over 20 high school varsity games – and he is just going to be a sophomore. After a stellar freshman season at Keys Gate Charter, Morrison made his move to South Dade this past season, leading his team into the playoffs. Those who have watched him play live believe that there is a lot of Tutu Atwell in this gifted prospect.
2019 – Daniel Richardson, QB, Miami Carol City. During the 2018 season, this one time Booker T. Washington standout should shatter dozens of Miami-Dade all-time passing records as he looks to lead the Chiefs back to the top of a very competitive district. Has done a tremendous job as a leader and as a game manager. Was injured late last season and now he will face a schedule that will be as competitive as you get.
2020 - Jesse Rivera, QB, Davie Western. Over the past two years, here is a promising quarterback prospect that has truly made some major strides. Quality young man who learned quite a bit from the coaches at Archbishop McCarthy before making the move to play for the playoff-tested Wildcats. Could be a major surprise this coming season. Very good arm strength as he still is learning about the position.
2020 - Jahvante Royal, WR/DB, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas. One of the major recruiting surprises in the offseason – which is telling many - that someone did their homework. This former McArthur standout can play this game at a very high level – and while he has flown beneath the radar – colleges are starting to find out about this 6-3 game changer. He will fit in perfectly with what the Raiders have on the roster.
2020 – Andre Stringfield, RB, Miami Northwestern. Came out of youth football two years ago and made quite an impact at Southwest Miami. This past season, he was one of a few runners who shared time at Coral Gables. Now, it's big time 6A football that he will get the chance to perform against each week. This is still a quality runner who will now get the opportunity to watch his stock rise even further.
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