The 2017 Ignite Showcase MVPs

PROGRESS VILLAGE – Nine players were awarded with MVP honors from the 2017 Ignite Showcase, giving them an automatic selection to the Xecutives Showcase in June. Here’s the MVPs from all nine position groups:

QB – Michael Penix Jr., 2018, Tampa Bay Tech:

Penix won his second MVP award in three camps dating back to last season’s camps. Not even two month removed from his 31:1 TD-INT ratio, and he’s back on the gridiron winning MVP awards. Penix beat out reigning MVP Tate Whatley from Lakeland Christian. “He’s a great quarterback, I knew I had to give it my all, and to be a leader, which helped me get the MVP award today. I still have got to work on being a leader on the field and leading my team and uniting them,” Penix said.

RB – Roger Yarde, 2019, Sebring:

Early in the day, Yarde showed that he would be a leader of the camp. He found himself besting linebackers all day, even trucking one, en route to his MVP award. Yarde was one of 13 players that the Blue Streaks brought to Ignite on Sunday. “It’s a different experience out here, I’m trying to put my team on the map. The adrenaline was going all day so it was a cool experience,” Yarde said.

WR – Ahmarean Brown, 2019, Tampa Catholic:

Brown ran one of the fast times of the day in the 40-yard dash and he kept that speed throughout the day. He burned cornerbacks and safeties alike through his blazing speed. Brown currently holds offers from Michigan State, Missouri, and a few other Power Five schools. “I really wanted to come out and get better, which I did, but I’m really able to use my speed to my advantage. It was awesome being able to compete with some of the guys that I train with today,” Brown said.

TE – Larry Hodges, 2018, Jesuit:

Out of all the tight ends, there may have been one that stood up to Hodges’ skill. He caught 21 passes for 286 yards with four touchdowns last season, and he will probably be used more and more next season. Hodges exposed linebackers in coverage all day through incredible moves. “I love to compete, there’s a lot of good DBs, lot of good LBs, but I’ve gotten better through my training over the past couple of weeks,” Hodges said.

OL – Jarrett Whitehead, 2018, Lake Gibson:

Whitehead could not be beaten on Sunday. He was a spectacular blocker at the guard position, and he’ll hold the tradition of very good Lake Gibson offensive linemen. Last season, Chandler Pierce was the MVP at the Spring E7TC and Xecutives, so the Lake Gibson MVP trend seems to be continuing. “I love being competitive, hitting people, and meeting new people. Our coaching has been awesome, I’ve been training with Chandler every day, even in the offseason, we’re always working,” Whitehead said.

DL – Dominic Marino, 2018, Mitchell:

Marino was one of two Mustangs that captured an MVP award on Sunday. Marino had 10.5 sacks in 2016 for Mitchell, and brought his talents to his first BCP camp. Offensive linemen had a hard time stopping him all day long. “I just did what I do, what I always do. It means a lot to bring home two MVPs back to Mitchell, our coaches are certainly doing a great job,” Marino said.

LB – Matthew Wood, 2018, Gaither:

Last season, Wood almost didn’t make Xecutives. He was one of the last players to get in, making the cut after the Summer E7TC. This season, he’s already punched his ticket. Some people forget that Wood had the most tackles for Gaither in 2016, after he was overshadowed by Florida State commit DeCalon Brooks and Old Dominion commit Estefano Felicano. In addition to his 112 tackles, he had 17 TFL in 2016. “I’m glad I played with those guys for two years and can’t think of a better linebacker corps in our county. Getting the MVP was really exciting and honestly it just felt good, I felt like it was well earned over the three years improving my craft,” Wood said.

CB – Adam Rogers, 2018, Mitchell:

The second Mustang to grab an MVP award on the afternoon, this was a long time coming for him. He always looked good at camps and was a frequent player on the BCP circuit, and finally won an MVP award over Bryce Smith of Fivay who had won the Spring E7TC CB MVP last season. It’s especially meaningful for him because of his backstory, which you can read up on here. “I don’t know what to say, I’ve been doing this since freshman year, and to just see the progression over the years and seeing BCP stick with me has been a huge blessing. I take everyday as it’s my last and I’m going to play football as long as I can,” Rogers said.

S – Brendan Gant, 2019, Kathleen:

The lone Polk County player to win a MVP award on the day, Gant showed excellent coverage throughout the event. His speed helps him a lot, and he was good at putting blankets around receivers. As a rising junior, Gant already has verbal offers from Florida State, Florida, Arizona, and North Carolina. “I’m in the middle of basketball season but I’m really just ready for the football season so it felt good to get back in the football area. Those wide receivers like to talk a lot of trash but they gave me a lot of good work today.