As the sun rose on Sunday Morning, some of the nation’s elite football players were already gearing up for another day on the recruiting grind at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. The day began with the Under Armour National Underclassmen Combine showcasing the best Juniors prep football has to offer. The Tampa Bay Area was also represented, so BCP wanted to take a minute to reflect on their progress.
Taking a look at Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties specifically, there were some players making big plays in the 1-on-1’s on both offensive and defensive side.
The highest number of participants from Hillsborough actually came from one of its smallest. Carrollwood Day School saw RB Robert Davis 5’7″ 160lbs, one of the few Sophomores to be invited to the event. Davis posted 4.58 in the 40yd-dash, and looked extremely fluid in his stations amongst the other RB’s. QB Deuce Gruden was also in attendance and showed why he’s worthy of more than a look when he benched 185lbs an amazing twenty-six times. (He only weighs 165lbs.)
Wide Receiver Dillon Floyd also got a taste of the spotlight and was thankful for the opportunity, “It was awesome to come out here and get a chance to go against the 5A and 6A guys. These are guys that are being recruited heavily and I definitely felt like I held my own.” All-in-all for the CDS trio, the combine was especially important in another way. CDS begins their 1st season of District play next year and all three were expressing their desire to immediately get to work for the fall.
Other QB’s that got reps were Berkeley Prep’s Destin Nichols and Louis Pappas from Tarpon Springs. Pappas threw a nice fade for a TD during the 1v1’s in front of former FSU Quarterback Chris Weinke, one of the coaches on staff for the event.
The Defensive side of the ball is where many heads were turned by Defensive Linemen Dante Fowler (Lakewood), Tyriq McCord (Jefferson), Taylor Timmons (Tampa Catholic), and Earl Moore (Hillsborough). All four were physically dominating their 1v1 matchups during what was the most entertaining portion of the session when the OL/DL prospects got together.
Fowler was all smiles at the end, “I’m just having so much fun seeing and working with other kids from around the country.” Fowler is the Cousin of Chris Davis, former Wide Receiver at FSU and admittedly his biggest influence. “Even though he doesn’t play the same position as me, he’s someone I’ve always looked up to.” He’s also pretty solid on his school of choice, “My Dad told me to follow my heart, and that’s exactly what I did.”
Jefferson’s Tyriq McCord was not to be outdone with an outstanding performance of his own. The 6’3″ 210lb Defensive End was easily beating his opponents with a variety of moves showing why he’s got Notre Dame, Rutgers, USF, South Carolina, and Oregon amongst others working hard to secure his services. McCord feels like he has work left though and admitted as much, “I need to work on getting off my blocks in the running game; my pass blocking is okay, but the great ones never stop trying to get better.”
Defensive Backs Will Watson (Jefferson) and Carlin Scott (Chamberlain) also were active making plays including Scott with a circus-style interception with one hand garnering many people to stop in their tracks and voice their approval.