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)

Plant: Season preview

Coach: Robert Weiner (fifth season, 38-12) | Last season: 11-2 | Class: 4A, District 10 | Colors: Black and gold

A-listers Aaron Murray

The numbers speak for themselves: 4,000 yards, 51 touchdown passes, 53 scholarship offers. The Georgia commit returns for his senior year with plenty of new faces, so the question is whether his encore will live up to his fabulous first act.

Orson Charles

The spotlight shines steadily on the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Charles. Physically, he already looks college-ready. The Riverview transfer is ranked the second-best tight end recruit in the nation and owns 25 offers, including Florida, Miami, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan and Tennessee.

Allen Sampson

His coach calls him lightning in a bottle. The Gaither transfer is undersized (5-foot-8, 150), but you can't tackle what you can't catch, and Sampson has 4.4 speed. The junior is one of Plant's starting receivers. He could set up wide, in the slot or even in the backfield in the shotgun.

Rising star Nathan Marvel

He was the Panthers' kicker last year, but when Plant tried him out at receiver, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound senior did it all. He has 4.5 speed and drew raves at seven-on-seven competitions. He could see time at wing back, defensive back and even defensive end.

Stunt man Frank Nicholas

Guy who does the dirty work

The Panthers' spread offense isn't hinged on 300-pound linemen, so Nicholas' job is getting the ball to the quarterback quickly. "In seven-on-seven he didn't have one bad snap," Weiner said.

Cutting-room floor

Three things the Panthers need to avoid

1. Overconfidence. Plant has established itself as a winner in the county, but teams around it are improving, so progress in practice will be key.

2. Inability to jell. Despite plenty of talent, the Panthers return just three starters on offense and three on defense, so getting everyone on the same page might be the toughest task.

3. Looking around for heroes. During the Panthers' state title season two years ago, quarterback Robert Marve willed his team to win. Weiner said this season the team will collectively have to refuse to lose for a return to the state title game.


"I'm very high on Plant. They know how to throw and catch the ball. The have a good idea of what's going on in the passing game. They pass-block well. They run good routes. They have one of the best passing games in the state of Florida." — Chamberlain coach Billy Turner

Eduardo A. Encina, Times staff writer

Plant: Season preview 09/04/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 3:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Little separates McElwain and Muschamp eras of futility at Florida


     Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain watches the second quarter of the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville.
  2. Mikhail Sergachev scores twice as Lightning shuts out Blue Jackets (w/ video)

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Mikhail Sergachev said he blacked out for a few seconds after his first NHL goal Thursday night, a rocket slap shot from the point.

    Mikhail Sergachev, front, looks like he’s very in the moment with teammate Dan Girardi after scoring his first NHL goal, though he says he blacked out for a bit. He scores again in the second.
  3. Dodgers rout Cubs 11-1 to win pennant, head to World Series for first time since '88


    CHICAGO — Enrique Hernandez put a Hollywood ending on an LA story three decades in the making.

    The Dodgers celebrate their Game 5 victory Thursday night over the Cubs at Wrigley Field, putting Los Angeles in the World Series for the first time since 1988.
  4. Joe Smith's takeaways from Thursday's Lightning-Blue Jackets game

    Lightning Strikes

    While Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov grab the headlines, don't sleep on their linemate, Vladislav Namestnikov. Namestnikov is far from a third wheel, with eight points in eight games. "He might not have the names the other two have, but he's as pivotal and vital to that line as the others," coach Jon Cooper said.

  5. Lightning journal: Derrick Brooks helps J.T. Brown make a difference

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown's decision to stop his anthem protest began to take shape just a few days after he raised his right fist before the Oct. 7 game against the Panthers in Sunrise.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward J.T. Brown (23) on the ice at Lightning hockey training camp in Brandon on Monday (09/18/17).