If you had the chance to watch some of the football playoff games involving teams from Miami-Dade and Broward counties, South Florida once again proved to the rest of the state that it is not only prospect rich, but also boasts some mighty impressive teams.
For a region of the state that produces some of the most dynamic prospects each season, South Florida is finally getting noticed by the national recruiting services and statewide media because teams such as University School and Booker T. Washington won state titles this past weekend.
If you have watched playoff football in South Florida, there are athletes who have proved that all that preseason hype was certainly justified.
They are the ones still holding the future for their programs.
Here is a sampling of some of the prospects who have turned heads and have brought their game to the next level:
• Fred Coppet, RB, St. Thomas Aquinas: In the four games the Raiders have played, there is little doubt that this quality senior is the reason they are back among the elite again this season. He is showing in the postseason why many still consider him the best senior running back in Broward County. This is a strong, athletic and smart young man who knows how to run.
• Dalvin Cook, RB, Central: One of the most unique and talented football players who has continued to make the difference with long runs or stellar defensive plays in the secondary. Headed to Clemson, this junior can run from the line of scrimmage using his 4.38 speed, catch the ball out of the backfield, run back kicks or make life tough for the offense from his safety position.
• Matthew Dayes, RB, Cypress Bay: This North Carolina State-bound standout knows exactly when to turn up the volume. Easily one of the prospects — statewide — who never received the true attention he deserved.
• Quinton “Winky” Flowers, QB, Jackson: He is one of the nation’s premier 2014 run/pass quarterbacks. His ability to move the chains and continue to create positives is one of the huge reasons the Generals advanced to the state semifinals.
• Treon Harris, QB, Booker T. Washington: Yet another youth phenom who has taken the Tornadoes to a pair of 4A state titles. The youngest son of coach Tim “Ice” Harris, this is a football talent who has put in the time to become one of the elite junior players in the state. His arm strength and decision-making abilities have improved a great deal.
• Nick Internicola, OLB/DE, University School: If you have watched any of the playoff games this quality athlete has played in, you already know that there may not be a more dominating difference maker than this 6-4, 220-pounder who is on his way to Rutgers. His big plays have turned games around for the Suns. He is quick, strong and an exceptional football player. May have had the best full season of any defensive player in the state!
• Matthew Thomas, OLB, Booker T. Washington: Although his season was filled with some nagging injuries, this is a prospect that is just unreal when he puts it all together. He can play defensive end, linebacker or safety and dominate at any of those positions. And he has been almost flawless in the playoffs as he readies for some elite postseason games.
• Joseph Yearby, RB, Central: This FSU-bound junior continues to turn heads in the playoffs where his big runs have helped to ignite the Rockets as they are back in the state title game. Yearby is a superb athlete who gets through holes quickly and also helps his team on special teams and as a “Wildcat” quarterback.