For the past three years, this was about the time that I would begin working on the high school football preview section for The Ledger and Polk County.
Obviously, that’s not going to be the case this year.
I’m not able to touch base with as many people as I did in the past, but I can still do some research. I’ve become a big fan of ESPN.com’s recruiting coverage and rankings (sorry to those I know who work for Rivals and others). So, I’m going to start with the ESPN rankings tonight and preview some of the top players to watch from Polk County for the upcoming season.
Below are the highest rated players from the county according to ESPN:
1. Evan Goodman, OL, Lakeland – Rated as the #28 offensive tackle in the country. Schools listed that he is considering include Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Notre Dame and LSU.
2. Trent Taylor, DT, Lake Gibson – Rated as the #25 defensive tackle. Has committed to Miami.
3. Demeitre Brim, ATH, Victory Christian – Is considered the #44 athlete. Has committed to Virginia.
4. Jamie Willis, LB, Fort Meade – Rated as the 47th best outside linebacker in the nation. ESPN lists him as considering only Indiana at this point, though Scout.com says he also has offers from FAU, FIU and FAMU, among others.
5. Kerwin Harrison, TE, Kathleen – Is ranked 19th in the country at his position. Among the schools he is reportedly considering are South Florida, Iowa State, Louisville, Florida Atlantic and Florida International.
6. Maurice Russell, LB, Fort Meade – Rated as the #32 inside linebacker. Reportedly is considering Indiana, and according to Scout.com also has offers from USF, Ball State and Western Kentucky, among others.
7. Devante Terrell, DT, Lake Gibson – Listed as the 77th best defensive tackle in America. Among the schools he is thought to be considering are Iowa State, Washington State, Ball State, UCF and Florida Atlantic.
8. Jadrian Clark, QB, Lakeland – Rated #87 among quarterbacks in the country. Right now is only listed as having an offer from and considering Western Michigan.
Those are currently the only eight players from the county who have been given a rating by ESPN.com. It’s interesting to note that two double-ups in position with two awesome DT’s at Lake Gibson and two top linebackers at Fort Meade. It’s a good year for defense around the county.
There are obviously dozens of other names to keep an eye on this season, and I’ll try come back and hit on those when they come up again later.