Here's 20 or so guys that almost (should have?) made the HomeTeam 100
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Like I've said in a previous post or tweet, the HomeTeam 100 could have been the HomeTeam 150, or even the HomeTeam 200. That may have watered the final list down just a little, while also driving me insane, but the point is, there a lot of players that could make a claim for 100 status.
Here's some that gave me the hardest time:
Eugene Baker, RB, Bloomingdale: Baker had a really good 2011 season, rushing for 1,240 yards and 17 total touchdowns. He was on the list at some point, and I'm not 100 percent how he ended up off it. Maybe that his best games were against Leto, Riverview and Strawberry Crest, and his worst were against Plant and Alonso, and on the day we noticed that was a day we were trying to cut some running backs? I don't know. When you spend weeks and weeks looking at players, moving kids around, and trying to settle on the fairest and most accurate 100, and trying to make sure you don't pick 100 running backs and quarterbacks, it's like musical chairs. When the music stopped, Baker didn't have a seat. But the 5-11, 200-pound back is deserving, and it's fair that technically, he's 101. Really the only kid I'm kicking myself over.
Brandon Hawkins, QB Alonso and Nate Mills, QB, Sickles: We had these guys on the list for the longest time. Almost always right next to each other, around 93-94, then 97-88, something like that. I like both of them, alot. These guys are the reason I wish we would update the 100 after like Week 6, because they were so close but I wanted to see just a little more. I just hope I'm not violating some Hated Rival School Law by writing their names next to each other.
Kabriel Jackson, RB, Dixie Hollins: I really wanted to get a Dixie kid on there. I like Jackson, a big back with speed, and I like Demondre Lambert too, a powerful back who runs a little lower to the ground. One of those guys will run for 1,000 this season, and the other one wil be around 700. See, I've already mentioned five running backs in this post. That's the way it is with that position, and we tried to use a high bar in putting them on.
Zain Gilmore, QB, Robinson: Probably fair to say he was 102. Gilmore was a 2,000-yard, 20-touchdown passer for Blake last season, and should thrive in his new surroundings.
Scott Covington, K, St. Petersburg: Can you put a kicker on a list of 100? Maybe. Covington has offers from Auburn and UCLA and wins every camp he goes to, but in the end, picking a kid who is on the field 10-15 times a game and leavig off a two-way player who goes 100 just didn't seem right. Not that it's any fault of Covington, who is arguably Tampa Bay's best kicker.
Albert Laskett, CB, Gibbs: Gladiators coach Antonio Knox keeps comparing him to Gary Simon, and I got to watch a little bit of him at the Sling-n-Shoot 7-on-7 tournament, so color me intrigued.
Marreio Taylor, WR and Brandon Pertile, OL, Countryside: I think Taylor has a very nice season, but I want to see how the chemistry is with new quarterback Christian Strong. And I was really impressed by Pertile in the spring. Big, nasty lineman is a good one. And you could say the same for his teammates, Austin Podurgiel and Zach Rozinski.
Brendan Goettel, LB, East Lake: He had a gajillion tackles last season.
Napoleon Maxwell, ATH, Admiral Farragut: I like him alot. I think he's going to be fabulous. Could have flipped a coin between him and Brad Hyman-Muhammad for that No. 76 spot, but I saw so much more of Hyman-Muhammad over the summer during All-Star 7-on-7 play. Maybe I should have tied them at that spot?
Kyron Miles, TE, Armwood: He will be one of the many Armwood guys this season that people ask "Where did he come from."
DiQuan Walker and Tre Larry, ATHs, CCC: So so so so close to at least getting one of these one. But this should be a great season for both.
Chris Williams, RB, Berkeley Prep: I have never seen him play, but he came highly recommended by a few football people I respect who claimed he would have been a 1,000-yard back the past two seasons if not for Nelson Agholor. Thanks, Facebook!!! But I believe them. However, the fact that he was not a 1,000-yard back and was a back-up made him a difficult addition. I'm pretty comfortable, as a result, saying he will run for 1,000 yards this season and be a breakout star. Good chance his quarterback, Brad Mayes, joins him as well.
Ish Witter, RB, Alonso: This guy's been talked about for years. And I think this might be the year he breaks through. But I just haven't seen it yet. He's already penciled onto next year's list.
Vidal Woodruff, QB, Carrollwood Day: One of the nicest kids around, though his NCAA 13 skills on the PlayStation 3 could use some work. He's going to have a monster season. But to put him on, I would have had to put Gilmore on, since Gilmore took the starting quarterback position from him at Robinson. So Woodruff was a few kids down the list.
Juwuan Brown, LB, Jefferson: I will regret not putting him on, I think. Keep an eye on him this season.
Tristan Cooper, WR, Plant: I have only seen him on tape, and while impressive, I couldn't put him on anymore than I could have put Countryside transfer Christian Strong on. But wow, do folks who have seen him rave about him.
Eddie Burgos, ATH, Sunlake: Terrific athlete, he had five touchdown catches last year and 369 yards receiving, and will play a much bigger role in 2012.
And really, this list could go on and on and on.