Tampa, FL – I was privilege to evaluate a number of the most skilled defensive backs in Hillsborough County on Tuesday. With the help of the county coaches of the players I invited, I was able to organize a defensive back training session where I put the athletes through a series of footwork drills and some man 2 man technique drills. The purpose was to see some of the best skilled DBs in Hillsborough County with my own eyes, run my own drills, at my own pace, in order to see how they stack up against each other in a controlled setting without the media and outside attention. I have plenty of observations. All very constructive, but some straight forward and “frank.” But, I’m not going to publicize the “frank stuff”, that info is for me and the athletes. I had some real pleasant surprises and some players performed just as expected. I not going to comment on each player that was there, but I will put them in 1 of 3 categories.
Note: 25 players were invited 19 attended
JUST AS EXPECTED – I HAVE SEEN THESE PLAYER PERFORM WELL PLENTY OF TIMES
Antonio Crawford, Plant
This young man will get my vote to enter the 2011 season as the #1 CB in Hillsborough County. He is proven in pads and every time I get a chance to see him in shorts, he is excellent. Smooth as butter with sharp feet and tremendous acceleration out of his breaks.
Chris Murray, King
Chris is a gamer! Doesn’t matter where he plays, but if he wanted to be a good corner, he could very well do that. Sweet feet and soft hands. Very loose hips and a nice plant and drive.
Taylor Gonzalez, King
I would like to say this kid came out of nowhere, but not true. He is showing up on radar everywhere and since I had the opportunity to watch him workout at the Ignite Combine, he has been just as good thereafter. Great feet and hips!
Jeremiah Green, Hillsborough
This kid better look good. I coached him for the last two seasons. Green has a good burst out of his breaks and top level explosion. Performed well in the man 2 man session.
PLEASANT SURPRISE – HAVE SEEN THEM SOME AND HEARD ABOUT THEM PLENTY
Drew Madhu, Plant
After Crawford, Madhu was the most under control DB there. I loved his footwork to be safety. His hips were good enough and he also has good hand eye coordination.
Carlos Duclos, Robinson
Well, speechless on this one. The kid has skills. Tough frame, rough demeanor and athletic as “all outdoors”. Just my kind of player. Carlos will rival the best of them. I was highly impressed with his ability to absorb what I was teaching in just a few reps. Add that to a pair of glass slippers and the boy could glide.
Armani Sampson, Middleton
Deven Turner, Freedom
Kenny Bryant, Plant
Tre Stewart, Tampa Bay Tech
Nate Godwin, Freedom
WAIT AND SEE – PACKED WITH TALENT, NEED TO SMOOTH OUT THE ROUGH EDGES
Leon McQuay III, Armwood
One of the biggest names in high school football in our area and he is just a rising junior. Keep that in mind, he is still young with scary room to grow. Outside of his frame, McQuay still impresses me the most with his ability to cover ground and high point the ball while in the air.
Richard Benjamin, Middleton
Same goes for Benjamin. Young and so much potential which will turn into something special over time. Benjamin is an athlete, more so an offensive player, who will end up being a great DB. He has great ball skills and speed. Remember he is a baby, 2013 prospect.
Antwon Armstrong, Plant City
Jordan Davis, Alonso
Paris Bostic, Plant
Larry Thorpe, Freedom
Tyrell Nunn, Freedom
David Bryan, Freedom