Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

HomeTeam Huddle: Gibbs draws college recruiters

Gibbs defensive back Craig Watts, right, already has an offer from Ohio State despite being only a rising junior. “There are a lot of schools in the mix for Craig,” Gladiators coach Rick Kravitz says. “And there’s going to be even more.”

JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times (2013)

Gibbs defensive back Craig Watts, right, already has an offer from Ohio State despite being only a rising junior. “There are a lot of schools in the mix for Craig,” Gladiators coach Rick Kravitz says. “And there’s going to be even more.”

Gibbs has been a popular place for college recruiters this spring. Coach Rick Kravitz, a longtime college assistant, has hosted several coaches and has plenty of players for them to scout. Topping the list is defensive back Craig Watts, a rising junior who holds several offers, including from Ohio State. Watts will rarely leave the field in the fall. He also will carry the ball and return kicks. "There are a lot of schools in the mix for Craig," Kravitz said. "And there's going to be even more."

Related News/Archive

The most interesting player this spring has been defensive back/receiver Marquez Walls. Without playing a full varsity game, the rising sophomore already has offers from Louisville and UAB. He played a full season on the junior varsity, and despite scoring eight touchdowns and dominating defensively, Walls was not promoted until the final game of the season.

"We wanted to keep him down there and gain experience," Kravitz said.

Walls surely will be on display tonight in the jamboree against Northeast and Tarpon Springs.

Other players who have caught the eye of scouts, according to Kravitz: offensive linemen Roy Williams and L'Dre Barnes, linebacker Javon Morgan, defensive end Troy Killens and cornerback Dorian Jackson.

On the down side, Gibbs will be without as many as 15 players tonight due to injury and grades. The Gladiators will suit up about 27 players.

"We're only dressing 10 players who had varsity experience from last year,'' Kravitz said.

Kravitz does expect nearly all of the players to return for the fall.

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 it's run.

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. There's motivation for all of us because we want to keep the momentum going from what we had last year and strive to get that (state title)."

Recruiting update

• Pasco rising senior defensive tackle Andrew Ivie orally committed to Florida on Thursday. He will join his brother 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.

Ivie (6 feet 3, 273 pounds), a consensus three-star recruit, had offers from 10 Division I-A schools and picked Florida over UCF, USF and Wisconsin, among others. He said Florida was the school to beat from the start.

"I knew in the back of my head Florida was there," Ivie said. "That's where I always wanted to go."

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.

Tonight's games

• Sunlake at Wiregrass Ranch, 5

• Gibbs and Tarpon Springs at Northeast, 7

• DeSoto County at Boca Ciega, 7

• Lakewood at Ocala Vanguard, 7

• East Lake at Osceola, 7:30

Times staff writer Matt Baker contributed to this report.

HomeTeam Huddle: Gibbs draws college recruiters 05/29/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 29, 2014 10:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021

    Bucs

    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.

  4. Rays journal: Brad Miller won't return from DL when eligible

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will not return from the 10-day disabled list Friday as he hoped. While he took ground balls Tuesday, he has yet to resume running.

    Rays second baseman Brad Miller, left, with infielder Tim Beckham, says he’s letting his left abdominal strain “cool down” before testing it by running.
  5. USF baseball rallies to beat Tulane in AAC tournament opener

    College

    CLEARWATER — With Tulane runners on first and second and two out in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday, USF's dugout watched as burly American Athletic Conference co-player of the year Hunter Williams' fly to left went deep.

    USF outfielder Chris Chatfield is congratulated by third-base coach Chris Cates after hitting a three-run homer in the third inning, tying the score at 3.