Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Football: A baker's dozen destined for greatness

Everyone knows how good Sickles running back Ray Ray McCloud III, East Lake receiver George Campbell and Armwood defensive end Byron Cowart are. These are the lesser-known guys we expect to take their turns in the spotlight this upcoming season. You can thank us in December.

WR/DB Tyree Austin, Sr., Pasco: Despite being only 5 feet 11, 165 pounds, Austin (top breaking up a pass intended for Land O'Lakes' Ethan Weilant) has a knack for finding the ball. He should be one of the Pirates' top receiving threats, and he is harassing as a defensive back. Coach Tom McHugh says Austin's size might keep recruiters at bay, but they are making a mistake.

QB Garrison Bryant, Jr., Clearwater: Bryant transferred from East Lake last year and started for the Tornadoes. He played well in the second half of the season and could carry that momentum into 2014. The Tornadoes were impressive in the spring and hung with Hillsborough in the preseason game. Expect Bryant and the Tornadoes to be vastly improved this season.

RB Donnie Crum, So., Admiral Farragut: Crum didn't see much action last year because he was stuck behind Cortavious Givens. He will see plenty of action this season and should be a 1,000-yard back. He scored a touchdown in the preseason win over Moore Haven. His speed overcomes a lack of size (5-10, 178), and he can catch passes out of the backfield. AFA coaches have been raving about him since the spring.

WR Daniel Davis, Sr., Tarpon Springs: If the preseason is any indication, the Gibbs transfer will be exciting. He had 114 yards receiving, added 58 yards rushing and scored three touchdowns against Anclote last week. One of those touchdowns was a 94-yard kickoff return.

LB/DL Steven Delaine, Sr., Hernando: Delaine showed real progress last year with 55 tackles, include eight behind the line of scrimmage. He was terrific in the spring, and he'll be the main cog in the Leopards defense. Don't be surprised if the 6-foot, 240-pounder leads Hernando County in tackles.

RB Clarence Farria, Jr., Ridgewood: With defenses geared up to stop starting tailback Glass Wilson, Farria could benefit. He was one of a few players in Tampa Bay last season who had more than 300 yards receiving (374) and rushing (331), so his versatility will be a plus.

QB Argi Radani and WR Andrew Gordon, Srs., Dunedin: This duo could have some fun, and neither played their positions for Dunedin last year. Radani joined Dunedin after playing eight-man football at Clearwater Academy. Gordon, who is 6 feet 7, played offensive line in 2013. They hooked up for a pair of touchdowns in last week's jamboree against Largo and Pinellas Park. Expect them to do that many more times this season.

WR Darrian McNeil, So., Armwood: The quarterback of the future for the Hawks might need to be the receiver of the present. Now that leading 2013 receiver Trevor Laurent has transferred out, it could be up to McNeil to pick up additional yards in the passing game.

RB Chris Schwarz, Jr., River Ridge: The Royal Knights will feed him the rock, and we expect Schwarz, who is coming back from an injury, to run for close to 1,000 yards. He should have an improved passing game to keep defenses honest.

DB V'Onte Williams-McRoy, Sr., Wharton: Williams-McRoy is a complete unknown after missing the past two seasons. But in the offseason, he flashed what he is capable of doing, showing great anticipation and an ability to get to passes. Coach David Mitchell said if he can pick up the playbook, he could be terrific.

QB Terence Williams, Jr., Spoto: Already a receiver prospect with a pair of Division I-A offers, Williams will step under center … and into the slot … and out wide … and in the backfield as a multi-dimensional threat. In a possible pass-happy attack this year at Spoto, Williams could be prolific enough to lead the county in passing or receiving.

RB/LB Tykese Keaton-Baldwin, Jr., Plant: If you ask coach Robert Weiner, this 5-foot-9, 175-pounder could be one of the best athletes on his squad. With Andrew Beck now at Texas, Keaton-Baldwin will be tapped to help hold together a young linebacker corps while also lending a hand in the run game. In last week's preseason game against Armwood, Patrick Brooks and Keaton-Baldwin propelled the Panthers' run-heavy offense, and Keaton-Baldwin broke tackle after tackle on his 15-yard winning touchdown. We think he has a lot more of those in him.

Football: A baker's dozen destined for greatness 08/28/14 [Last modified: Thursday, August 28, 2014 8:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.
  2. Quarterback Jameis Winston will start Sunday for the Bucs


    TAMPA — Jameis Winston hadn't thrown in practice since he injured his right shoulder in Sunday's loss at Arizona, and with that uncertainty, a wide line of TV cameras and reporters' cellphones were all out Friday morning, recording the moment as Winston tested his shoulder with his first throws early in …

    Despite a sore shoulder, Jameis Winston will be making his 38th consecutive start since being drafted first overall in 2015.
  3. Bucs journal: LB Kwon Alexander ready to return from injury


    TAMPA — LB Kwon Alexander, sidelined by a hamstring injury since the second quarter of the Bucs' season opener against Chicago, will finally make a healthy return Sunday against the Bills.

    Linebacker Kwon Alexander needs “to get my stats back up” after being out since the opener.
  4. A rare treat Saturday for Rowdies: a home playoff game


    ST. PETERSBURG — Rowdies fans, set to be rewarded with their first home playoff match in five years, can also take a little credit for it.

    From left, Georgi Hristov, Joe Cole and Marcel Schafer are among the Rowdies’ top scorers.
  5. Why it's too early to give up on the Bucs


    Don't panic. It's not too late for the Bucs.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) and wide receiver Mike Evans (13) celebrate after the defense recovered a fumble during the second half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times