While there may have been just a handful of prospects from Manatee County in attendance on Sunday, there’s plenty to discuss initially before the in-depth film breakdowns get hot-and-heavy. Several players from Bradenton spread out over four schools gave us a little taste of how their offseason’s have gone and we’ve got some initial thoughts on those young men. On tap we have one player from IMG by way of Tampa Catholic, one player representing Southeast, two representing Lakewood Ranch and three hailing from Manatee High School.
Starting things off was IMG’s Tre McKitty who showed why he’s being recruited by virtually every power-five school that’s out there. Huge frame, superior strength and very solid route-running are the common characteristics of Mr. McKitty’s game at the tight end position and we expect those skills to get even better as the offseason progresses and into the fall. Although McKitty didn’t win MVP of the group, that speaks to the strength of the group itself and it doesn’t mean that he wasn’t dominating match-ups throughout the day.
Southeast has a very productive player at the cornerback position and he is just a sophomore. Derrick Bradley–listed at 5-8/140 on the ‘Noles roster last season, finished the 2015 campaign with 52 tackles–32 solo–plus a sack, a QB hurry, three interceptions, three caused fumbles and two blocked field goals to help boost the ‘Noles back into the postseason following a 1-9 season Bradley’s freshmen year. Bradley was tenacious in his coverage on Sunday and shows a willingness to mix-it-up with anyone and everyone. He is certainly someone to keep an eye on as the spring/summer progresses into the fall.
Lakewood Ranch had a pair of prospects give very solid performances on the afternoon and that’s courtesy of QB Justin Curtis and CB Jay Turner. The QB showed pretty good arm strength and very good accuracy in his drills while Turner showed he’s been working on his footwork and change of direction this offseason while running track. Both Curtis and Turner are just sophomores currently.
Manatee’s trio of Running Back Josh Booker (’18), Quarterback AJ Colagiovanni (’17) and Linebacker Garrett Ware (’17) all stood out and have been mentioned already in wrap-ups and on social media during the event. Booker is a transfer from Sarasota High School where he led the entire county in rushing as sophomore and is an absolute load to bring down once he’s moving in the open field. Ware has been playing tight end in recent past, but shows a rather seamless transition to the linebacker position as he possesses plenty of athleticism to fulfill the needs of the spot. Colagiovanni was as steady as anyone else in the QB group and is poised to go beyond the 2,500 yards he posted for the ‘Canes last season.