Gainesville High School is home to a stable of top high school recruits. But none of them are a lock to attend the University of Florida.
Because this Gainesville High School is located in Georgia.
The Red Elephants have a number of intriguing prospects, including juniors Tai-ler Jones and Blake Sims.
Jones is a dynamic wide receiver receiving as much interest as almost anyone in the country. According to assistant coach Todd Wofford, he does everything well, and is an extremely smart player.
He hauled in 81 passes last season and accounted for 13 touchdowns. Jones was the favorite target of another prospect that has attracted the attention of college recruiters, Blake Sims.
Sims was responsible for 42 touchdowns last year. A dual-threat player, he threw for roughly 2,400 yards and ran for another 800.
Michigan, among several other schools, has already offered Sims. Both he and Jones are wide open at this point, but will be looking to trim their lists soon.
The prospect parade will continue at Gainesville well into 2011, as the Red Elephants have one of the nation’s top sophomores, 6-foot-3, 220-pound linebacker A.J. Johnson.
“He didn’t start as a freshman,” Wofford said. “But we were actually hurting at linebacker. He came out after the sixth game and averaged 12 tackles a game.”
His sophomore campaign is where Johnson really flourished, amassing 160 tackles. According to Wofford, Johnson recently received an offer from Tennessee, with Georgia and Alabama also following him closely.
MAGNOLIA STATE GEMS
Per capita, Mississippi rivals any state in the country when it comes to putting players into the NFL.
Even in a state with such a prodigious reputation for churning out talent, players can fly under the radar.
Isaiah Newsome may just be a perfect example. The Petal running back has a great build at 6-0, 200 pounds, and rushed for over 1,800 yards as a senior, helping Petal to a 10-2 record. He was also the Laurel area Player of the Year.
According to Petal head coach Steve Buckley, Newsome has been clocked as fast as 4.37 in the 40-yard dash. He signed with Louisiana-Monroe and could be an impact player right away in the fall.
Buckley expects larger schools to regret passing on Newsome.
Robert Bolden, St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.)
Photo By Domenic Centofanti
THE NEXT GRAHAM HARRELL?
Denton (Texas) junior Scotty Young is used to spread offenses and huge stat lines. He seems like a perfect fit at Texas Tech, where he committed this past week.
As a junior, Young registered 4,495 yards and 61 touchdowns through the air.
Another highly-regarded junior, Devin Gardner from Inkster (Mich.), will announce his college choice on Monday. The 6-4 dual-threat QB would fit likely be a great fit in Rich Rodriguez’s offense. Wolverine fans are hopeful he’ll stay in-state.
Joe Boisture, from Goodrich will rival Gardner as Michigan's top quarterback next year. He recently committed to Boston College less than a week after enjoying a visit to UCLA.
Another Michigan quarterback to watch is Robert Bolden from Orchard Lake St. Mary. Bolden already has numerous Big Ten offers.
2011 RECEIVER DRAWING INTEREST
MaxPreps Sophomore All-American Davaris Daniels had another stellar season for Vernon Hills (Ill.) and projects as a top-flight wide receiver prospect.
The usual suspects in Illinois, Ohio State and Notre Dame are pursuing Daniels. Georgia and Rutgers are also involved.
Both schools have received big contributions from the wide receiver position recently. Georgia boasts freshman sensation A.J. Green, while the Scarlet Knights have produced Kenny Britt and Tiquan Underwood.
BETANCOURT WEIGHING ALL OPTIONS
St. Joseph Prep (Pa.) has a track record of producing top flight offensive linemen. The class of 2010 should be no different, as the Hawks have Seth Betancourt anchoring the trenches.
The 6-7 Betancourt has been offered by several local schools, but last week heard from Michigan State, Mississippi and Minnesota.
Penn State may have an “in” with Betancourt. The Nittany Lions will have current St. Joseph Prep senior and fellow offensive lineman Mark Arcidiacono on campus in the fall, and he may try to lure Betancourt to State College. Not to mention, Penn State traditionally has a stronghold in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area.
CLEMMINGS A FORCE IN FOOTBALL
T.J. Clemmings entered high school a highly-touted basketball player, for whom the sky was the limit.
However, he has blossomed into a blue-chip football recruit, and colleges think his 6-6, 255-pound frame is perfect for the defensive line.
Clemmings, only a junior, has helped lead Paterson Catholic (Paterson, N.J.) to an extremely successful season on the hardwood. The Cougars recently defeated defending national champion St. Anthony before losing to powerhouse St. Patrick.