Last Saturday, instead of concentrating on how fast they can run or how much weight they can pick up, the showcase was all about football.
With Mastrole and Sly Johnson — a onetime Monsignor Pace, Miramar High and Miami (Ohio) standout — running the event, nearly 100 athletes had the chance to learn and get plenty of recognition — days before the ball dropped, ushering in the new year.
While any competition will have its youngsters who are there to learn the benefits of a talent showcase, such as media and recruiting exposure, there are those prospects that are already fully on the radar.
Players such as rising senior Sean White, who finished as the No. 1 passer in Miami-Dade and Broward counties at Chaminade-Madonna High, came out. So did Hialeah standout Alin Edouard, Lee Martin (Dillard) and Kilton Anderson, a 6-3, 200-pounder from Naples, who was one of the state’s best this past season.
“I watched Sean White out there today, as did many of the coaches and parents, and there is little doubt that he is one of the best we have had around here,” Mastrole said. “There are still several things he wants to work on, but it will be events more like this and not others that are designed to put you on the map, which I believe he already is.”
Among the 2014 receivers on hand were Emmanuel Soto (University School), George Rushing (Cardinal Gibbons), Joe Robinson (Northwestern), Sean Bender (St. Thomas Aquinas), Nick Gonzalez (Hialeah), Randy Ramsey (Dillard) and Chris Taylor (North Broward Prep).
Rising sophomores Sam Bruce (University School) and Christian Gomez (Pines Charter) and Class of 2015 standout Rob Foy (Western) were also on hand for the showcase.
In addition, Class of 2014 prospects Sean Pratt (Cooper City), Jorge Pola (Belen Jesuit), Nicholas Velar (St. Thomas Aquinas), Chris Scholz (Palmetto), Matt Wilson (Pompano Beach) and Trevis McKinney (Hialeah Miami Lakes) attended and looked good. So did Class of 2015 players Jake Rizzo (St. Thomas Aquinas), Greg LaStella (South Florida HEAT) and Trace Norkus (Calvary Christian).
There were also rising sophomores such as Alejandro Ros (Christopher Columbus), Osky Serbin (Miami Beach), Kenneth Stanley (Stranahan), Christian Matos (Belen Jesuit) and Oscar Pilloto (Christopher Columbus).