We’re continuing to move forward towards the high school football season with our unveiling of position rankings for the 2016 season. This will be a multiday series, giving you our top five in every position. The big thing to remember about this list is that it is NOT a college prospect list, these rankings are based on presumed production for this high school season. If these rankings doesn’t mirror what’s on our Fire Rankings, that’s because they’re not supposed to. These rankings are built on what a player did last year, and what we think they’re going to do this year, based on the team’s play style, players around them, etc.
Today, we’re breaking down the top Interior Linemen, Exterior Linemen, and Offensive Athletes.
1. Jake Moore, 2017, Jesuit:
Moore paved the way for a 2,000 yard rusher in Malik Davis last year, something that not many can put on their resume. It was a big season for Moore and for the Tigers as a whole – as we can all remember their run to a Final Four berth in Class 5A. The things that we like about Moore is his low pad stance. Thanks to this, he’s got a good, quick initial burst, making him that much more dominating along the line. He’s a solid blocker, and he’s one that’s going to be big in a year that Davis has a chance to break not just school records, but Hillsborough County records as well. We mentioned a few days ago that Jesuit doesn’t lose a lot on the offensive side of the ball – this is what we meant.
2. Matthew Hegwood, 2017, Mitchell:
In a year that many have the Mustangs picked to finish second in the district to Sunlake, the big Mustang certainly isn’t going to let that happen if he has a say in that. He paved the way for a 1,200 yard rusher in Mychael Hamilton last season. We love his versatility – Hegwood can play anywhere along the offensive line, guard, center, tackle, and he does it all well. He’s a very physical lineman, which is the calling card for the Mitchell offense, and it starts up front with bruising QB Larry Dalla Betta. Mitchell also doesn’t lose a whole lot, so it will be interesting to see what the Mustangs can bring this season.
3. Spencer Schmuckie, 2017, East Lake
4. Philip Jackson, 2017, Alonso
5. Oshea Spahr, 2018, Hudson
1. Cleveland Reed, 2018, Ft. Meade:
Big Cleve’ out of Ft. Meade is going to be a talent for the Miners. He’s been fantastic in the appearances on the camp circuit this offseason, and we can’t wait to see what he brings to the table in the fall for the Miners. We absolutely love his lateral movement along the offensive line – he’s one of the best talent-wise in doing so. He’s very strong in the lower body, chances are you’re not going to move him very much when he’s blocking you, and he’s got very big feet for an offensive lineman. The Miners are going to need his strong and steady performance if they’re going to try and make another run in the Class 1A playoffs, and he’s certainly one to rely upon.
2. Richard Gouraige, 2018, Cambridge Christian:
The big man out of CCS has a host of offers, but those offers won’t mean as much when he steps on the field in a week and a half. He’s our second ranked prospect on our Fire Prospect Rankings 1.2 for the Class of 2018. Just like Reed, Gouraige is very mobile along the line, and his length makes him hard to get around. He’s got pretty good size, and he’s very athletic. He paved the way for a 1,300 yard rusher in Andrew Cunningham, and he helped the Lancers grab a 12-1 record, and an appearance in the Class 2A Title Game.
3. Chandler Pierce, 2017, Lake Gibson
4. Jean Marcellus, 2017, Jefferson
5. Zachary Hauschild, 2017, Clearwater
1. Travell Harris, 2017, Jesuit:
If there was a Tampa Bay HS version of fantasy football, I think Harris would be a first round draft pick for many. He’s a dynamic football player, one that can do it all. He was out for the majority of 2015 with an injury, but he’s back on the field in 2016, and ready to go for the Tigers. He ran with pretty good success last year in limited attempts – 247 yards on 29 carries and four touchdowns, and his receiving has gotten better throughout the offseason. He can go from being a wide receiver on first down, to a slot receiver on second, to a third down running back. His health is going to be a big factor in where the Tigers get this year – another Final Four may be in the cards if he can remain to be a dominant factor on the offensive side of the ball.
2. Erin Collins, 2017, Armwood:
Again, if there was a TB HS fantasy football draft, Collins would easily go in the first round. He ran for over 600 yards for the Hawks in 2015, on a team that already had two 1,000 yard rushers in Darrian McNeal and Brian Snead. Now with the addition of Devin Black, the versatility of Collins will be evermore important, as he will have to be adaptive to the offensive schemes. The great thing about Collins is his ability to catch the ball as a slot receiver and out of the backfield – something that will give Armwood an edge over other squads. Watch for Collins to have another big year in the blue and white.
3. Chauncy Smart, 2017, Auburndale
4. Tupac Blanch, 2017, East Lake
5. Jerome Ford, 2018, Armwood