We are going to follow the Withlacoochee River a little farther north than usual for this group. Dunnellon High School is the home to a very talent-rich football program. The central Florida town lies right on the Citrus-Marion County board off of US Highway 41. The Tigers consistently pump out talent to all levels of college football. In the 2020 recruiting cycle, the Florida Gators signed receiver Jaquavion Fraziars and the South Florida Bulls signed defensive back AJ Hamilton.
2021 graduate Colby Smith is currently heading to Eastern Illinois via Dodge City Community College. Smith was a dominant two-way lineman for the Tigers. 2016 graduate and running back Rudolh Sinflorant just completed a remarkable career at Augustana. He just participated in a college all-star game and now has his eyes set on playing professionally. Dunnellon also has multiple alumni currently in the NFL. Safety Terrence Brooks played his college ball at Florida State and now plays professionally for the Houston Texans. Linebacker Lerentee McCray played for the Florida Gators and now plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Here are some current sleepers Dunnellon has on campus. As of today, 2023 LB Gavyn Leinenbach stands 6’1” and weighs 180 pounds and will likely keep growing. His dad is 6’6” and his older brother is a 6’3” freshman pitcher for UNF. His weighted GPA is 4.43 and he already has an ACT score of 24 on his transcript, so it is clear that his work ethic is embedded in his character. He flies around the field from his linebacker position and comes downhill quickly where he tackles very well. He is also able to get lateral and make plays on the edge. His intensity carries over to special teams also. Leinenbach is an all-around impact player for the Tigers and a prospect to watch take off this spring. You will want to check out his film here, Leinenbach’s Junior Highlights.
Offensively, Dunnellon has some very impressive linemen in their junior class. 2023 OT Jaylin Johnson is currently listed at 6’4” tall and 265 pounds. He moves very well and is extremely physical. He has a powerful punch and I love the way he engages and finishes blocks. He is an effective pulling tackle as he does a good job of squaring up and finding a target. He could be an excellent guard at the next level. Here are Johnson’s Junior Highlights. Across the formation from Johnson is 2023 OT Gage Hiers. Hiers comes in at 6’4” tall and 275 pounds. You can tell these two get some great coaching because they do a lot of the same things so well. Hiers is also a strong run blocker who can lock-on and drive defenders to the fence. He does a good job of climbing to linebackers and locking on to them also. Like Johnson, Hiers shows solid pulling ability. Here are Hiers’ Junior Highlights. Johnson and Hiers are also in good shape academically. Recruiters should be knocking Coach Harris’ door down to talk to these types of players.
Back down in Pasco County, River Ridge has a head hunter in their secondary. 2023 S Braden Cook is listed at 6’ tall and 170 pounds. From his safety position, he racked up 68 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, and he broke up 12 pass attempts. He is very physical and does not shy away from delivering big hits. He was also one of the Royal Knights’ aces on special teams where he recovered 2 successful onside kicks and had 250 return yards between punts and kickoffs. Offensive, he contributed to the passing game with 195 receiving yards and 3 receiving touchdowns. Cook is also another solid academic prospect with a good head on his shoulders.