When he took over a program that was searching for an identity four years ago, Cory Johnson knew that one day Killian had the athletes to compete at a high level.
The real turnaround began two years ago when players starting to buy into the system. Johnson and his staff made sure that this was not going to be a team that would be built for a one- or two-year run. With all the talent in Class 8A, building a program for the long run is the only way to compete.
When we came in here, there was a feeling by all the coaches that we could win at this school, Johnson said.
After two solid seasons as well as productive offseasons, when the Cougars traveled to every camp, combine and 7-on-7 event possible this was the year that everything started to fall in place. This was the season, even though many had chosen Southridge as the favorite, that Killian began to showcase its prospects.
Even though sophomore sensation Jaquan Johnson, accounting for more than 1,000 total yards and leading the way on defense, is pretty much the center of attention, the gifted athlete is not alone.
Joining one of the premier 2015 prospects in the nation are a number of players who have continued to add leadership and balance to an already disciplined and defensive-oriented team that gave up only 121 points in the first 10 games.
Players such as seniors Harry Jones (running back), quarterback David Felipe and the versatile Miguel Andrillon, who has played everywhere from running back to defensive back. He, along with Jones and Felipe, have had strong seasons.
One of the seniors who has really stepped up his game this season and has become one of Miami-Dades best is linebacker Jordan Gibbs, a playmaker who is among the top tacklers in South Florida. In addition to Johnson, underclassmen who have also stepped up include junior running back Jamaal Burgess, receiver Malcolm Vandergraff, defensive back Trumane Washington and lineman Jakari Bolton.
The Broward North vs. South All-Star Game will take place at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 at Nova High.
The annual game gives some of the top players in Broward County BCAA schools a chance to get some additional looks for college coaches who not only get a chance to see the practices, but also will be able to check out the game film.
It has become a perfect forum for under-the-radar athletes to get some much-needed recognition.
Among the players from the North team expecting to gain some valuable exposure include: Lorenzo Jerome (QB, Taravella), Lionel Guillame (OL, Plantation), Timonte King (RB, Northeast), Rashawn Pascal (WR, Fort Lauderdale), Darius Hoggins (RB, Monarch), Aaron Williams (DE, Deerfield Beach), Max Avin (WR, Coral Springs), Rashard Land (WR, Coconut Creek) and Michael Ferguson (RB, Cardinal Gibbons).
South team members using this game for additional exposure include: Blake Worbington (TE, Cypress Bay), DreSean Nelson (Dillard), Ilya Stafford (DB, Everglades), Chris Dumond (DE, Flanagan), Quamani Floyd (WR/DB, Hallandale), Cameron Johnson (RB/LB, McArthur), Kahlil Webster (WR, Miramar), Michael Flood (QB, Nova), Andre Higgs (WR, South Broward), James Crawford (DB, St. Thomas), Billy Ellison (LB, Western) and Keenan Thomson (WR, West Broward).
We are always looking to help promote our area recruits for the current Class of 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. All you have to do is send a DVD and information about the athlete to: Larry Blustein, P.O. Box 3181, Hallandale Beach, Fl. 33009.
Have a comment? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Larry on Twitter at twitter.com/larryblustein.