Who’s the second-best talent on the North Suncoast?
Kent Taylor is the clear No. 1 athlete. The Land O’Lakes tight end is the nation’s top tight end according to most recruiting services, and he has his pick of Big Ten and SEC offers. But several players at schools across the area have a legitimate claim to the No. 2 position.
What they’re saying
Gulf coach Tom Carter, on lineman Jeff Kruse: “For his size (6-3, 280), he moves very well. He’s got good feet, good leverage. He was a state champ wrestler as a sophomore, so he does have good leverage. Quick feet, strong kid.
“We worked on fundamentals in the spring against someone his size. He’s got good flexibility — that goes back to being able to wrestle.
“He’s going to be one of the top offensive linemen, maybe even defensive linemen, in the country. He’s an IB student, and he wants to go Ivy League. He’s been in contact with Harvard. He’s got the athletic and academic ability to go there.”
What we’re saying
Matt Baker: I’ll start with Pasco quarterback Jacob Guy. He’s got the size (6-5), arm and poise that college recruiters crave. His production was great last year as our all-North Suncoast Offensive Player of the Year. With a good senior year, I think he can add some BCS offers to his current list (UMass, Western Michigan, Ohio).
John C. Cotey: Let’s stay in Pasco, because the most versatile recruit in the county is Trey Dudley-Giles. I’m not sure he has the ideal size BCS schools are looking for, but if you just watch him compete, he’s a playmaker. Reminds me a little of Josh Johnson, who’s now at Purdue. No question Dudley-Giles can play at that level, too.
Baker: And Dudley-Giles is the only other player on the North Suncoast with a BCS offer (Rutgers). Aside from those guys, it’s not a loaded senior class across Pasco and Hernando counties, but the juniors are very talented. There’s a case to be made that junior athlete Janarion Grant is the Pirates’ top talent.
Cotey: Well, keep an eye on Kruse at Gulf, he’ll land something. And I think he and teammate, RB Ty’Shon Peters, have a chance to make each other look good. Peters could be primed for a big season. Wesley Chapel’s Devin Piper looks like a BCS kid (6-1, 220), and if he’s really running a 4.6 someone will bite. What about Land O’Lakes?
Baker: I really like senior defensive back Wesley Moore. He’s looked good in practice, and it’s hard to doubt his ability after leading the North Suncoast with seven interceptions last fall. Linebacker Shadow Williams is very athletic and could be a D-I recruit. And don’t forget about the next Hambrick, Darren, who’s a junior linebacker at Hernando. Eighty-four tackles as a sophomore isn’t too shabby.