Going into this evening's state semifinals - also known as the 4th Round of the Florida State High School Football Playoffs, there are six South Florida teams still alive and kicking.
With Champagnat Catholic (2A) and Chaminade-Madonna (3A) punching their respective tickets to Orlando last week - there are four other Miami-Dade and Broward teams in action this evening.
As defending state champion American Heritage hosts unbeaten Immokalee in 5A, Miami Northwestern awaits Naples in 6A, three-time defending state champion St. Thomas Aquinas is in Venice for a 7A showdown, and Miami High is at Delray Atlantic in 8A, there are a number of athletes – on those teams – who certainly deserved a spotlight.
Aside from the obvious stars on each of these quality teams, there are others who may not get that attention during the course of a season, but without them, each of these programs certainly would have hurt.
Today, we will focus in on 6 football prospects - in every grade and every class, who may be flying beneath the radar. Check these tremendous football players out:
2018 - Coleman Crozier, OLB/DE, St. Thomas Aquinas. Even though he was a first team all-state linebacker and is on his way to the Naval Academy in the fall, this is one of those prospects that hardly ever gets mentioned in a sea of 4 and 5 star players the Raiders have. But believe that this is as good a football player as we have in this region of the state – and besides getting a chance to play at a high level in college, he will have a unique life opportunity as someone who will serve this country.
2018 - Keythan Drayton, WR, Miami High. One of those hidden gems that really makes the Stingarees go. Has come up with a number of key plays this season as Miami High is looking for its first state title appearance in 52 years. Drayton has proven, at every level, he can compete and get job done. Has certainly helped his cause a great deal with a solid playoff run. Remember that name down the line. Playmakers usually emerge.
2018 - Justin Hill, Jr., WR, Northwestern. We have spotlighted, highlighted and promoted this young man as much as possible – and can say – without hesitation that this is a big time kid who can do it all. Colleges will find out that no matter where you put him – on offense of defense, he will not blend in. He is a very talented football player who will continue to do what he does. Has been instrumental in the success of the Bulls the past three seasons.
2019 - Ahmaud Jordan, S, Chaminade-Madonna. One of the athletes we watched a year ago at Nova and felt that this is one of those football players who will be special. He has been a real force in the secondary as head coach Dameon Jones and the Lions are headed to Orlando next week. He will hit you, tackle you and has very good coverage skills. Just a junior!
2018 - Dyllon Lester, S, Plantation American Heritage. Like Hill from Northwestern, here is a football talent that we have been on for three years – since he was part of the Flanagan state championship team. Here is a safety that can hit, cover and is always around the ball. Is another of the impressive defensive prospects the defending state champs have.
2020 - Johnquai Lewis, WR, Hialeah Champagnat Catholic. Last year when the Lions made a run at a 2A state title, here was one of the freshmen who stepped up in big way. Made plays and ignited the program to a second place finish. But this year, just a sophomore, this gifted talent has raised the ball and was easily one of the top 2020 prospects around. Has truly been one of those football players that head coach Dennis Marroquin and the Lions needed as they head to state next week.
Catch the South Florida High Sports Radio Show this Monday night (8-10) on WQAM (560AM). For the past 10 years, the players and coaches who are making the headlines, join the program. You will learn a lot!
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