A torn knee ligament kept Andrew Ivie from playing a full game with his older brother, Joey. He'll finally get a chance to accomplish that goal at the next level.
Ivie, a soon-to-be senior defensive tackle at Pasco, orally committed to Florida on Thursday. He'll join Joey, a defensive lineman with the Gators who appeared in three games as a freshman last season.
"Looks like the University of Florida's going to become an Ivie league school," their father, Joe Ivie, said.
When Ivie, a consensus three-star recruit, started landing offers, he knew Florida would be hard to beat. He grew up rooting for the Gators, but the 6-foot-3, 273-pounder wanted to hear from other coaches this spring before deciding.
"I knew in the back of my head Florida was there," said Ivie, who chose the Gators over UCF, USF and Wisconsin, among others.
"That's where I always wanted to go."
Reuniting with Joey is another perk. Ivie tore his ACL in the spring game before his sophomore season, so he watched Joey dominate the North Suncoast as a senior that fall.
Last fall, Ivie said he went to five or six Gator games to watch his older brother and couldn't believe the level of competition.
"I was really happy for him," Ivie said. "I was dumbfounded to think I would ever get an offer from UF."
Ivie, also a standout wrestler, had 62 tackles and two sacks last fall. He recently bench pressed 390 pounds and lifted 315 in the clean-and-jerk for a fifth-place finish at the state weightlifting tournament.
Shucking their roots
For the past 24 seasons, Osceola has run the wing-T offense, which has become as identifiable with the program as the spears on the orange helmets.
The Warriors are not getting away from what they do best. But there is a significant wrinkle: the pistol.
"We went to a clinic and heard a guy talk about using nothing but the wing-T out of the pistol," said coach George Palmer, who is entering his 25th season with the program. "It just seemed to mesh with a lot of the things we were already doing."
The pistol is defined by misdirections and options, similar to the wing-T. The quarterback takes snaps almost exclusively out of the shotgun. But the running backs line up behind — not beside — him.
The offense should run smoothly thanks to the return of quarterback Ryan Allan, a junior-to-be.
"The offense has looked good so far," Allan said. "We're getting a feel for it, and it gives us more balance. We're going to shock some people."
Rising senior Wilan Harvey will be counted on as a main ball carrier as Jamil Morris and Quadarius Patterson, who combined for almost 1,800 yards last season, graduate. An intriguing target could be tight end Darien Hooker, a 6-foot-4 basketball player who played football for the first time last season.
"We're still playing around with the offense," Palmer said. "And we'll see how things go in the spring game."
Change of pace
East Lake's balanced, ball-control offense remains. What has changed is how quickly the Eagles run it.
A hurry-up, no-huddle attack has been installed, in part, because of the personnel. Only four starters return from an offense that scored a school-record 603 points last season. Among those who graduated are left tackle Mason Cole (Michigan) and receiver Artavis Scott (Clemson).
The offensive line returns both starting guards, Zach Castle and Julian Santos, though Santos is moving to tackle to replace Cole. Jake Hudson is back at quarterback. So is receiver George Campbell.
"It's just a new wrinkle; something different we can throw out at a defense," said coach Bob Hudson, whose team reached the state semifinals last season. "We'll see how it works in the spring game and go from there."
East Lake hopes to give defenses little time to substitute or alter schemes.
"We're picking up the offense pretty quick," Campbell said. "It's different.
"The pace is a lot faster. But we've grown a lot, and we keep improving."
Rain wiped out Thursday's jamboree at Wiregrass Ranch that included Sunlake and Wesley Chapel. Wiregrass Ranch and Sunlake will play a full game at 5 p.m. today. Wesley Chapel will not participate.
Times staff writers Rodney Page and Bob Putnam contributed to this report.