Team Tampa and Team Unsigned Preps headed to IMG for a shot at the “ship”

National 7v7 Football Association series of regional championships begins with IMG7v7 Southeast Regional Championship, April 20-21. Sixteen of the Southeast’s elite club 7v7 teams, which include area teams, Team Tampa and Team Unsigned Preps will compete at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. for a spot in the IMG7v7 National Championships

Bradenton, Fla. (April 15, 2013) – The National 7v7 Football Association (NFA7v7) is set to commence its first series of regional championships beginning with the IMG7v7 Southeast Regional Championship at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., April 20-21. The IMG7v7 Southeast Regional is the first of a series of six direct qualifiers into the IMG7v7 National Championships, to be held at IMG Academy in June.

“The turnout of teams, the level of play and the quality of events to this point have exceeded expectations for the NFA7v7,” said Blake Ulrich, Director of Events, IMG Performance. “We have a tremendously talented group of teams that have earned their way into the Southeast Regional, and we are excited about the remaining four regional events as their qualification tournaments are selling out around the nation.”

Schedule of regional championships and direct IMG7v7 National Championships qualifiers:

IMG7v7 Southeast Regional Championship
IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
April 20-21

IMG7v7 West Regional
Los Angeles, Calif.
May 4-5

IMG7v7 Midwest Regional Championship
Chicago, Ill.
May 18-19

Midwest Elite 7v7 Passing Tournament
Detroit, Mich.
May 25-26

IMG7v7 Northeast Regional Championship
Philadelphia, Pa.
May 25-26

IMG7v7 Central Regional Championship
Knoxville, Tenn.
June 1-2

Sixteen elite club 7v7 teams from around the southeast have qualified for a position at the IMG7v7 Southeast Regional. The teams who are qualified to battle it out at IMG Academy include the likes of defending club national champions, Team Tampa (Tampa, Fla.); the South Florida Express Elite (Miami, Fla.); Central Florida Top Recruits (Orlando, Fla.); Pro Impact (Jacksonville, Fla.); Strong Arm (Miami, Fla.); and eleven other top club teams from around the southeast region.

What should we expect from area teams, Team Tampa and Unsigned Preps


Team Tampa will be driven by their QB play. Chase Litton, Brad Mayes and Alex McGough will be taking reps for the returning national champs. All three QBs have a strong arm, very accurate and have a strong football IQ. If Team Tampa looks to repeat as champs, it will depend on the play of the guys throwing the ball.

The X-factor should be Lakewood splash man, Joc Ellison. He is the name on the team that is not well known to followers outside of the area. He can line up at any offensive position an create problems for the defense. His jumping ability allows him to be a Redzone threat even though he is not a 6 footer. His speed and lateral agility makes him hard to catch in the slot.

George Campbell is out due to injury but the headache, which is National prospect Artavis Scott is healthy and ready to go. Expect teams to key on him and throw a few double teams his way to make another player beat them. However, Scott will be consistent and make plays when the ball comes his way.

Amani Oruwariye, Gaither 2014 CB
Amani Oruwariye, Gaither 2014 CB

The possession receivers were the key to Team Tampa’s success last year. Yes, Alvin Bailey and Richard Benjamin put in work. But it was Zach Benjamin and Travis Johnson that kept the chains moving. James Jackson and Darquez Watson seem to be those guys this year. Both are tall kids who run great routes and catch the ball in traffic.

Dontario Fowler, Ryan Davis and Austin Gallon have also shown flashes along with Maurice Hall. All four players will be heavy contributors for the offense. The O is the strength of the team, but the defensive side of the team has some players also.

Drastic change from last year with the numerous players with big time offers, Team Tampa’s defense is laced with kids who compete, can play and are hungry for college attention. Kyle Gibson returns without running mate Leon McQuay but with Newsome’s Aaron Wade and East Lake’s Devin Abraham. Both players can cover ground in the secondary and will be counted on to put a roof on the defense. Corners Chris Jackson, Mike Johnson and Amani Oruwariye will be just fine. All three players are good in man to man coverage and play with open eyes in zone coverage.


First season as an all star unit, the Unsigned Preps boys are hungry and awaiting the opportunity to perform on the large scale of the upcoming IMG tourney. As goes QB, Deiondre Porter so does the team. When the Jefferson QB plays well, he ignites the team and they follow his lead. For TEAM USP to advance through this elite tournament, Porter will need to play bigger than his name and make people remember his performance.

Deon Thompson from Tampa Bay Tech looks to be the mismatch. Faster than expected, better hands than you would think and just as shifty as any receiver. The RB can catch the ball out the backfield or line up as a slot and hurt the opposition.

Nate Craig after TD catch at Central FLA qualifier
Nate Craig after TD catch at Central FLA qualifier

Nate Craig is the guy the whole state will be talking about after Sunday. At 6-2/190lbs, this young man makes everything look so easy. If you like George Campbell, you are sure to like Nate Craig. Very similar players in just about every way. And he is only a rising sophomore.

If Donzell Polite is healthy, the opposing inside defenders are in trouble. Shifty, quick and can explode in a hurry.

The strength of the defense is at the corner position. Cordell Hudson, Ray-Ray McCloud, Tajee Fullwood and Chavez Pownell are some of the best in the area. Lockdown players who can make plays when least expected. The linebackers are quick and able to cover faster RBs and come downhill on check down players.

If the powers that be want to really set it off, they will schedule Team Tampa to play Team Unsigned Preps. The team with the “chip” [Championship], notoriety and national players (Team Tampa) versus the “Other” team from Tampa, with something to prove. This would be the marquee game with bragging rights and territory on the line. Team Tampa, who has earned the right to claim the name of the city and Team Unsigned Preps looking to climb the mountain currently at the top…Team Tampa. Our area would be on display on a national stage displaying some of our best athletes competing for a spot to advance. Keep our fingers crossed for this game.

Last year around this time, here is how it went down