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On The Radar: Season Series – Part Nine

Larry BlockSFHSSports: Twitter | Facebook

We are now in the final few weeks of the 2016 regular season – and as you can fully see, the competition is heating up all over Miami-Dade and Broward County.

As we watch teams trying to get those final playoff spots, players are the ones who are winning. These athletes who are trying to attain a college scholarship are attempting to grab the spotlight – and that could be the most important part of all this.

No matter how many rankings and lists that are put out by people who never see 70-80 percent of these athletes in person, this is the time where reality sinks in – and no matter what an analyst will say – their opinion means zero.

Having been around this time of year for nearly a half a century, perception is always taken over by reality – and just because someone will tell you a football prospect is this or that – if they had to pay for the college scholarships themselves, they may want to back off some of those evaluations and rankings.

One long-time college football coach told us that they never bother with rankings, especially when being made by never really watching these prospects.

"When a coach from one school starts to rank players, how much validity is there," the coach challenges. "They see 11 different teams at most in person, so if they start rating linemen and linebackers that they've heard about or read about on some fan website, how much can you put into it."

Because we have the opportunity to see over 90 schools live during a course of a recruiting cycle – which is something that nobody does – it gives us more an advantage over a coach or a fan who believes they are helping in the process. It's been proven out for decades. In addition, we promote over 2,000 local prospects each and every year.

Anyway, there will always be coaches and fans who want to be part of the process, and besides fans and players who will re-tweet and post, college coaches would much rather make the assessment on their own. After all, it is their jobs at stake.

As we do each and every week during the course of a year, we break down prospects and bring them right to you.

2017 – Devin Adams, DE/OLB, 6-2, 230, Miramar: One of the senior players who needs to be receiving more spotlight. This is a very talented football player who is quick, strong and has emerged to a point where college coaches are starting to look. Watching him over the past few months, you wonder how a talent like this flies so far beneath the radar. Adams is a quality athlete who the coaches have been pleased with – and have helped to attract more college attention in his direction.

2019 – Lucas Alonso, DT/OT, 6-1, 248, Miami Florida Christian: A young man that we spoke about earlier this year and have followed his progress and have been impressed through his sophomore season. Alonso has good size and very athletic, which gives him an opportunity to play on both sides of the ball. Small school football, especially in South Florida, means absolutely nothing. It never has.

2018 – Jonte Chance, DL, 6-1, 300, Davie Nova: The one thing about the Titans over the past few years is that this program continues to churn out top prospects. And by looking back the history of the school, here is another who has the chance to set himself up for the next year. Chance is strong and athletic and this young man is very coachable – according to his coaches, he has a chance to be very special over the next year.

2017 – Jordan Coley, DB/WR, 5-10, 180, Hialeah Champagnat Catholic: When we saw him at Dade Christian the past few years, this was an athlete that immediately caught our eye. He is one of the most versatile football prospects in this senior class. Coley comes from a football family who has supported him and has been there every step of the way. The coaches at Champagnat have embraced his many contributions during a district championship season. Coley has a tremendous future ahead of him.

2017 – Bentavious Thompson, RB, 6-1, 190, Miami Southridge: After an impressive few years at Miami Killian, this nationally-rated football talent has returned to action for the Spartans and has shown why he was one of the most coveted runners in this class. Thompson has size, tremendous running instincts and the ability to take over a game. Many believe that when he gets more reps and becomes that every down back, he will return to the form that had every college rushing to South Florida to see him perform.

2017 – Ki-Jana Whyte, WR, 6-3, 175, Davie Western: There are few programs in South Florida who continue to get athletes like this. The Wildcats have produced nearly a dozen high-level football players who moved on to others schools and have made a huge impact. Whyte is one of the elite talents who has everything going for him. Speed, athleticism and skills that have everyone watching his final year at the high school. He's a big-time potential and a great future ahead.


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