If someone told you that South Florida is home to nearly 200 football high-level prospects for the upcoming season, it might be hard to believe.
But if you look at all the players — Class of 2014 through 2016 — you have more football talent than anywhere in the country. In three counties alone, there will be more signees next February to major schools than any other region in the nation.
Thanks to an offseason that has showcased a number of local standouts at camps, combines and 7-on-7 events, offers to some of the best programs in the country are coming daily.
While many of the elite prospects already have been offered, talked about and evaluated, there are a few running track or just doing their own training who have a chance to be special.
When the South Florida Fire 7-on-7 squad played in Boynton Beach last Saturday, coach Dennis Marroquin’s team needed a few players to plug in against competition that came from as far away as Cocoa. When the team arrived at the field and many saw who the Fire would have throwing for them on this day, there were smiles from those who came to watch, evaluate and play.
Quenton "Winky" Flowers, who many had tried to get on their offseason team for two years, officially made his 7-on-7 debut for the year. By the time day had finished and the Fire won the title, there wasn’t a player on hand who didn’t know who this 6-foot, 200-pounder was.
The 7-on-7 circuit is certainly not new to Flowers. Two years ago, playing with his Miami Jackson squad as a sophomore, he threw for more than 1,000 yards in a two-day tournament that eventually landed the Generals in the national championship game in Minnesota, representing the Miami Dolphins.
Flowers, one of those athletic and gifted quarterbacks whom many move to defensive back or receiver at the next level, sliced through some of the elite secondary performers, letting people know that this is a quarterback and not just some athlete playing the position.
In a sport that often requires its quarterbacks to be taller and have more polish, Flowers, much like Teddy Bridgewater (Miami Northwestern) before him, relies on instinct and an arm that launches balls 70-plus yards.
“To tell you the truth, if a college doesn’t want to give me a legitimate shot at playing quarterback, then I am not their man,” Flowers said. “I have worked too hard and put too much time into playing this position.”
Not that Flowers couldn’t be a top defensive back, running back or receiver, but this is someone who loves this position. He was born to move those chains with his arm and feet, and that’s what gives him the right to want to give the position a try at the next level.
Surrounded by inexperienced players a year ago, Flowers guided the Generals three rounds deep in the playoffs. Not one player did more for his team statewide than he did.
We are always looking to help promote our area recruits for the Class of 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Email Floridakids1@aol.com if you have information on area recruits.