Larry Blustein

Boyce adds depth to already loaded St. Thomas

Brandon Boyce was the clear-cut top defensive line prospect when he stepped onto the American Heritage field among the many major football prospects who showed up for the annual Nike Football Training Camp in Plantation.

What St. Thomas’ newest top-flight prospect has done in his first two seasons at the high school level is dominate. At University School, he often got double teamed and won many of those battles.

With prospects such as Sam Bruce, Rashad Causey and Jordan Scarlett being talked about by so many, this may be one of the best additions in the offseason. On a line that already has the best 2016 defensive lineman in the nation, Nick Bosa, Boyce is going to really give the Raiders another elite defensive prospect.

“We are already looking forward to this season at St. Thomas,” Boyce explained. “Everything has been great from the first day I came here. If I learned anything at University School, it will always be that there is no substitute for hard work. That’s why this program is always going to win.”

While Boyce was one of the most dominating during all the drills, he wasn’t alone. MVP awards went to Miami Booker T. Washington’s quarterback Maurice Alexander, Lake Worth Park Vista’s running back Zander Bernard, Miami Central’s wide receiver Da’vante Phillips, Chaminade Madonna’s offensive lineman Christian Strachan, Coral Gables’ defensive lineman Jared McGahee, Palm Beach Gardens’ linebacker Tre’Von Coney and Miramar’s FSU bound defensive back Tyrek Cole. Gulliver freshman running back Robert Burns had the highest SPARQ Rating of the event at 118.6.

Realizing that the objective is to learn a few things at the Nike event, you also have to understand that a trip to The Opening this summer in Oregon was at stake. It’s a dream come true for some, others just used the opportunity to showcase their skills and jump on the radar.

I have athletes who I feel have used the off season as a springboard – and will continue to make major strides:

2015 – Lazaro Cespedes, RB, Miami Braddock: Here is a big, strong young man who does very well in testing and now will have the chance during the spring to make a major impact.

2015 – Tavaris Harrison, WR, North Miami: One of those under the radar receivers who just may be this year’s Steve Ishmael. Catches in traffic and knows his way into the end zone.

2016 – Vosean Joseph, TE, Miami Norland: Here is a football prospect who has the opportunity to be very special over the next few years. Quality football talent who has football skills and athletic ability. The Vikings are excited, here.

2015 – Wyatt Ray, DE, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas: While we talk about so many elite football players the Raiders have on the roster, here is another who has worked as hard as anyone to get better – and stronger.

2015 – Ocie Rose, DB, Miami Booker T. Washington: When all is said and done, this may turn out to be the player who creates more opportunities for the Tornadoes to repeat. One of four prospects that came from Homestead.