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Nature Coast stars excel at Miami Hurricanes football camp

Nature Coast running back Tevin Drake, above, was named the top overall performer at the Randy Shannon Football Camp. Teammate Braddie Ellison was recognized as the top tight end.

LANCE ARAM ROTHSTEIN | Times (2008)

Nature Coast running back Tevin Drake, above, was named the top overall performer at the Randy Shannon Football Camp. Teammate Braddie Ellison was recognized as the top tight end.

Nature Coast seniors Tevin Drake and Braddie Ellison, already two of the North Suncoast's most prized football recruits, fortified their respective stock last weekend in Coral Gables. Both received honors for their performances at the Randy Shannon Football Camp at the University of Miami.

Drake, a tailback who has already received a scholarship offer from UM after totaling more than 2,700 rushing yards and 42 touchdowns the past two seasons, earned the camp's top overall performer honor.

Ellison, who had eight catches for 192 yards in 2008, was named the camp's outstanding tight end. Currently listed at 6-foot-2, 235 pounds by some recruiting services, Ellison is believed to have received an offer from Florida International, new Sharks coach Mark Lee said.

More offers could be forthcoming, thanks in part to Lee.

A former West Virginia University graduate assistant hired last month to replace Jamie Joyner, Lee stopped at the WVU football offices Thursday while on vacation and told Mountaineers coach Bill Stewart about Drake and Ellison's exploits in Coral Gables.

ZHS golf alumnI return: Former Zephyrhills girls golfer Robyn Crist, one of the greatest players in program history when she was known as Robyn Rinaldo, is returning to her alma mater as the Bulldogs' co-coach.

Athletic director Bruce Cimorelli announced Thursday that Rinaldo, a married mother of two, and fellow ZHS alumnus Ken Burgess will share girls golf coaching duties. "We're looking forward to it," Cimorelli said. "They're two great people."

A 1996 ZHS graduate and three-time state qualifier, Crist went on to become a four-time all-Southeastern Conference performer at Ole Miss. She qualified for the U.S. Open on only her second try and seemed destined for a career on the LPGA Tour before wrist and hand injuries ended her career.

Cimorelli said Crist and Burgess likely will share the sport's $1,469 annual supplement.

Gators near coaching hire: Land O'Lakes' football coaching job, vacant since John Benedetto opted to step down in April after his teaching contract wasn't extended, may be filled by next week.

In an e-mail Thursday to the St. Petersburg Times, new school principal Ric Mellin said he's "getting close" to making a hire. The job, held by Benedetto since 1977, initially attracted 61 applicants.

Nature Coast stars excel at Miami Hurricanes football camp 06/19/09 [Last modified: Friday, June 19, 2009 6:35pm]
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