Coming off a season in which many regarded the receiving corps in South Florida as one of the best that has ever been produced, many have asked whether it can get any better.
Although it’s easy to get caught up with being among the best, understand that talent such as that seen in the Class of 2014 has been in place for decades. There always has been major-college talent that turned heads at nearly every level. But the quality depth of this last class will be tough to match.
Ermon Lane (Homestead, FSU), Steve Ishmael (North Miami Beach, Syracuse), Corey Holmes (St. Thomas Aquinas, Notre Dame), South Dade’s Tyre Brady (Miami) and C.J. Worton (Florida), and Chris Taylor (University School) and Trevon Lee (Cardinal Gibbons), both of whom will be at Duke next season, were part of a quality class that was as productive as you can get.
But remember, this is South Florida, and no matter what year, the talent will run deep and colleges will continue to pour in at a record pace. Add in the dimension of watching many of the quality prospects compete in 7-on-7 and you have the recipe for another impressive group of pass catchers.
Picking the top receiver in the 2014 class is easy as the need of the school doing the recruiting.
No matter how you slice it, Monarch’s Calvin Ridley (6-2, 170) and Central standout Da’Vante Phillips (6-1, 180) have long been regarded as not only the two best in the state, but both have been coveted nationally over the past year.
After these two game-changers, the talent is impressive — and like we saw the past 10 years — quality playmakers continue to emerge.
St. Thomas Aquinas 6-5, 200-pound wideout Devante Peete is a huge target. So is Northwestern standout and current West Virginia commit Jovon Durante (6-1, 180), who comes in from Jackson.
“The athletes are getting so much better and with more opportunity to showcase their skills, the sky is the limit in South Florida,” explained Monarch coach Calvin Davis. “This class is very good, but 2016 and 2017 are also shaping up to be talented as well.”
There are other receivers who also will end up defining this class.
Prospects such as Champagnat Catholic’s Steven Claude (6-2, 190), Booker T. Washington’s Antonio Calloway (Homestead transfer, 5-11, 175), Shaquery Wilson (6-2, 190, Coral Gables), Jawaun Harris (5-11, 185, St. Thomas Aquinas), West Virginia commit Khalil Lewis (6-1, 180, Miramar) and Miami commitment Emonee Spence (6-2, 180, Flanagan).
“There are young men that many haven’t even watched yet in the Class of 2015,” said Stranahan coach Willie Hill. “I have a feeling that this current class may be as talented as you will find. After last year that is almost crazy to say, but this is South Florida and the talent continues to run deep.”
The 2014 class also includes standouts Leon Brown (5-8, 170, Northwestern), Marvin Robinson (6-4, 185, Stranahan), North Broward Prep transfer Korron Rozier (5-11, 181, Coconut Creek), Shaquille Green (5-9, 175) and Vaquan Small (6-2, 180, Booker T. Washington), Anthony Olivencia (6-2, 180, Killian), Kevin Purlett (6-3, 210, Miramar), Austin Ashley (5-10, 176, Coral Gables), Richie Cooper (5-10, 180, Hallandale), Walter Jackson (5-11, 190) and Robert Foy (5-11, 190) from Flanagan, James Gardner (6-4, 190, Fort Lauderdale), Andrew James (6-1, 180, Westminster Academy) and Tavaris Harrison (6-3, 190, North Miami).
We are always looking to help promote our area recruits. All you have to do is send a You Tube or Hudl link and information about the athlete to: Larry Blustein at Floridakids1@aol.com.