Get ready for a common theme to develop over the next two years. The classes of 2017 and 2018 are fully loaded like a baked potato from your favorite steakhouse. The nuance between stud and really good player will be subtle at times because of the pound-for-pound talent that’s in the classes from top to bottom.
The winners? The fans and the media covering these players plus all of the colleges looking for players are the beneficiaries of this process–and last but not least–the ones that are qualified to play of course. Today, we take a look at five really good players that have some intrigue surrounding them. The kind of intrigue that makes you think you could see an explosion on to the scene in a big way that could perhaps have colleges calling them “must-haves” before it’s all said and done.
The names won’t stop when it comes to players that fit this category in our opinion, but for now we start with five that pique our interest for sure.
QB Larry DallaBetta, Mitchell
The Mustangs QB has been a staple in the offseason workouts over the years and he’s ready to keep the momentum moving into his final season. He’s now at 6-foot-4, 215-pounds and was just shy of 2,000 yards passing and rushing last season while helping the Mustangs win their first district championship as a program and a 9-2 season–their best ever. Look for DallaBetta to take on even more responsibility in the absence of one of his biggest targets to graduation–which could put him in the spotlight early-and-often showcasing his talent.
CB/RB Chauncy Smart, Auburndale
The Bloodhounds are going to be without Artavis Pierce and Jessie Britt–their offensive foundation–due to graduation, so enter Smart. His numbers were modest and the Bloodhounds didn’t even remotely meet the expectations they had going into the season, so the fact the Smart just recently ran a 4.41 40-yard dash in Miami and then a 4.37 in Orlando the following day this past weekend at Nike’s The Opening rating day–making him the fastest in the state–bodes well for him AND the ‘Hounds this season. The 5-foot-8, 165-pounder looks like he may be ready to burst on the scene in a big way–we shall see when the pads come on.
DE Tramar Reece, Clearwater
There’s a lot to like with this 6-foot-1, 210-pounder returning for the Tornadoes. In eight games last season, Reece compiled 31 tackles–24 solo–with six tackles for loss, plus added 4.5 sacks, 21 QB hurries, an interception, a pass defensed and to top it all off, he caused and recovered three fumbles each. Reece also started his offseason grind nicely earning an Xecutives invite from his performance at Ignite. Look like the Tornadoes have a ton of talent returning and Reece is one of them.
QB Dalton Jenner, Victory Christian Academy
Pretty rough start for the Storm last season going 0-4 after coming off finishing the previous season as Class 2A State Champions. Jenner rounded up his teammates and tightened up his game and helped guide the Storm to the 2A semis before bowing out to eventual champions University Christian while throwing for over 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder has a chance to keep the momentum going for one last season under the tutelage of one of the best around –Head Coach Tommie Lewis and that certainly gets our interest level up.
WR Sam Thompson, Boca Ciega
The 6-foot, 160-pound wideout is a part of a potentially explosive offense that’s returning for the Pirates this season. Last season, Thompson caught 45 passes for 764 yards on a squad that won just two games–but a squad that was extremely young and with a little more game experience under their belts now. Thompson has the potential to become the most exciting playmaker on his team and one of the best at his position in Pinellas–if he keeps the same attitude towards his game he’s possessed thus far.