As Ohio State University head football coach Urban Meyer walked up to a large group of high school football prospects, fellow college coaches and media and recruiting specialists last Thursday night at St. Thomas High School, his message was clear and to the point.
While he pointed fingers during his speech to some quality football players, The Buckeye's leading man, quickly took them back in, and instead, sent a message to a number of football prospects who came from over 400 miles to be a part of a satellite site camp that has caught on in a major way this summer.
"The one thing that I want all of you young men to understand is that your head coach is the only one we deal with," Meyer said emphatically. "We do not want '7-on-7' coaches doing your talking. They are not around you during the course of a year – through the good and bad – like your own head coach. That is the person who knows everything about you. Just like I would be pretty angry if a pro team didn't talk to me about my players."
Meyer took no shots at 7-on-7 events, encouraging the football players to take part in as many events as possible, but he made no bones about his feelings in dealing with third parties – an issue that Nick Saban talked about over and over again. His success is why people continue to listen to him. He wins and works as hard as anyone, and that is why when he was on the field for the event, throwing the ball around or talking with the coaches and those who came to support – he was accommodating to all.
The purpose of this three-hour showcase, which attracted high school football players from everywhere, was to hear, learn and be in the presence of those who have indeed hit the pinnacle of this coaching profession.
While Mississippi State's Dan Mullen was a draw to those athletes and their coaches and parents who brought them, it was Meyer who brought out former Buckeye and No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, Joey Bosa. It was Meyer who had Hall of Famer and former Buckeye Cris Carter tossing passes around. It was Meyer who Florida Tech head coach Steve Englehart and his staff can give huge thanks for having so many athletes check out their brand.
While Meyer, Mullen, as well as coaches from Boston College, Arizona, Warner Southern, Webber International and ASA College of Miami attended, the big winner was Melbourne's Florida Tech – which hosted the event and put all their coaches into action, including Englehart, who was truly a kid in a candy store.
The idea of the satellite site camps is to get everyone additional looks – with the decision-makers right there watching and having the power to offer. That was indeed the case for Florida Tech, which has a number of South Florida student/athletes on the roster, with more on the way.
As many of the athletes who came out to impress Meyer, Mullen and the other higher level programs, a majority of the athletes who attended really played into what Florida Tech has to offer as a division-II school that plays a competitive brand of football and offers a stellar education.
So, having this event with the help of a few of their college heavyweights, was better than the entire spring and postseason for the Panthers.
LOCALS TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE
As many of the prospects on hand were out to do a little showing off, others took the time to jump in front of a coach and show what they have. For Cardinal Gibbons long snapper Paul Lawless, the chance to do his thing in front of every coach, Meyer included, left this quality prospect with the feeling that this was a perfect came for him.
"I attended a few other events like this so far, but this was easily the best exposure for me," Lawless said. "Having the chance to do what I do in front of Coach (Dan) Mullen and Coach (Urban) Meyer was exactly what you ask for. Plus, the other coaches were coming by and watching and giving me a few tips."
Another player who was getting his share of the attention is St. Thomas Class of 2017 receiver Trevon Grimes. This gifted prospect has been rated as one of the nation's best, and spending time with Coach Meyer, throwing the ball around, he as certainly in the spotlight all camp.
OFFENSIVE TALENT WAS REAL
As Lawless kept busy the entire camp, other prospects turned heads and made a name for themselves as well. Offensively, the quarterbacks that came out were promising:
2017 – Schneider Bein-Aime, Plantation
2019 – Javier Bailey, Miami High
2019 – Demetrius Burns, Everglades
2018 – Quinn Dempsey, Archbishop McCarthy
2017 – Nick Gonzalez, Christopher Columbus
2019 – Deon Jones, McArthur
2019 – Kamran Kadivar, Westminster Academy
2017 – Malcolm Vigille, Edison
2018 – Clyde Dozier, Christopher Columbus
2017 – Anthony Jones, Westminster Christian
2017 – Dimitri McKenzie, North Broward Prep
2018 – Bobby Nelson, Hialeah
2018 – Kyle Suarez (FB), St. Thomas Aquinas
2017 – James Bostic, Cardinal Gibbons
2017 – Ken Hennigsen, North Broward Prep
2019 – Frank Melgareja (LS), Mater Academy
2018 – Kevin Ackon, North Broward Prep
2018 – Wisley Bernard, Miami High
2018 – Cole Caterbone, St. Thomas Aquinas
2017 – Jonathan Caula, Everglades
2017 – Tevin Charles, Everglades
2017 – Jamal Cooney, Northwestern
2018 – Lamonte Finnie, Edison
2019 – The'Andre Freeman, St. Thomas Aquinas
2017 – Michael Harkey, St. Thomas Aquinas
2020 – Amin Hassan, Gulliver Prep
2019 – Kavon Holmes, Everglades
2019 – Estmane Lucder, McArthur
2017 – Jordan Merrell, St. Thomas Aquinas
2017 – Jonathan Moore, St. Thomas Aquinas
2017 – Roderick Simms, Everglades
2019 – William Santiago, Miami High
2018 – Kelly Tavares, St. Thomas Aquinas
2018 – Dominick Watt, McArthur
2019 – Trey West, St. Thomas Aquinas
2017 – Beneduc Etienne, St. Thomas Aquinas
2018 – Devin Golden, Gulliver Prep
2017 – Jabdariel Gomez, Miami High
2018 – Harry Irvine, Everglades
2018 – Djmi Jean, St. Thomas Aquinas
2018 – Daniel Perera, Gulliver Prep (C)
2017 – Robert Perez, Christopher Columbus
2019 – Ryan Rodriguez, Taravella
2018 – Jason Swann, St. Thomas Aquinas
2017 – Dylan Young, Taravella (C)
DEFENSE WAS ALSO OUTSTANDING
No matter what event that is hosted in South Florida, there are always going to be defensive standouts on hand. Plenty of college coaches instructed athletes at every level.
Here are some of the South Floridians who have been looking good:
2017 – Armando Alonso, Gulliver Prep
2018 – Caden Blanchard, St. Thomas Aquinas
2018 – Joseph Calzada, St. Thomas Aquinas
2018 – Anthony Dohmnan, Plantation
2019 – Marcus Dumervil, St. Thomas Aquinas
2018 – Jonathan Emmanuel, St. Thomas Aquinas
2017 – Matt Hanson, Western
2017 – Kedonis Haslem, St. Thomas Aquinas
2019 – Mikel Jones, Champagnat Catholic (DE)
2020 – Jesus Machado, Champagnat Catholic
2019 – Darian Medran, Miami Westminster Christian (DE)
2019 – Jason Munoz, St. Thomas Aquinas (DE)
2017 – Kevin Oliver, Western
2019 – Dylan Perez, Christopher Columbus
2018 – De'Andre Ragin, Monsignor Pace (DE)
2018 – Eric Scott, Archbishop McCarthy (DE)
2017 – Izahya Thomas, DT, Plantation
2017 – Diego Fagot, Calvary Christian
2017 – Kelvin Kirkland, Northeast
2018 – Jalen Mackie, St. Thomas Aquinas
2018 – Shaun Peterson, Nova
2018 – Anthony Romaniello, St. Thomas Aquinas
2017 – Kenneth Ruise, Blanche Ely
2018 – Rocky Shelton, St. Thomas Aquinas
2018 – Malik Similien, Coconut Creek
2018 – Wilson Martinez, McArthur
2017 – Patrique Alcie, Blanche Ely
2017 – Will Allen, Plantation American Heritage
2020 – Wesley Auguste, Flanagan
2019 – Jordan Battle, St. Thomas Aquinas
2019 – Myles Bell, St. Thomas Aquinas
2018 – Jermaine Byrd, St. Thomas Aquinas
2019 – Jaden Davis, St. Thomas Aquinas
2018 – Dominique Dumornay, DB, St. Thomas Aquinas
2017 – Zaire Jacobs, St. Thomas Aquinas
2020 – Anton Hall, Jr., Gulliver Prep
2017 – Jamauri Laguerre, Edison
2018 – Dillon Lester, Flanagan
2018 – Christopher Louima, St. Thomas Aquinas
2017 – Maris Martine, St. Thomas Aquinas
2017 – Noah Pierre, Everglades
2019 – Lamarr Spencer, Everglades
2017 – Dewayne Terry, Gulliver Prep
2019 – Semar Melvin, St. Thomas Aquinas
2018 – Marquis Williams, Coconut Creek
2018 – Max Worship, Cardinal Gibbons
2017 – Myles Wright, St. Thomas Aquinas
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