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Pinellas: News and notes

Clearwater linebacker/running back Jeremiah George continues to pile up scholarship offers like he piles up hits on Friday nights.

George, a 6-foot, 205-pounder listed as the nation's 68th-best outside linebacker by scout.com, had offers from Kansas, SMU and Tulane at the conclusion of spring drills and picked up eight more over the summer — though recalling them all can be problematic.

"Now I've got Wyoming, Marshall, Western Kentucky, Troy, Colorado State, Buffalo," George said. "I don't remember all of them off the top of my head, but I know it's 11 D-I scholarships though."

Asked if any school stood out, George said he "really liked Troy" and mentioned Tulane as well. "They're taking four linebackers. Two already committed," he said.

The business program at Buffalo interests George, who plans to major in marketing. Florida State is also taking a hard look, but the Seminoles see George as a strong safety.

"I'm a true-blooded linebacker," he said. "That's the only school that I would make the exception for because I know the history and the situation they used Derrick Brooks in. When he went up there, he played safety, and then within five games of the season he moved to linebacker."

CCC qb can take a hit: Clearwater Central Catholic senior Eric Miller isn't the type of quarterback who tries to avoid contact. He's typically the one who initiates it.

"He runs a little bit like (Florida QB) Tim Tebow," Marauders coach Mike Jalazo said. "He runs through people."

Because he can pass and run effectively, Miller should be among the area's top dual-threat signal callers this fall.

"He'll probably end up leading (county) QBs in rushing," Jalazo said. "He may be a 1,000 yards passing, 1,000 yards rushing guy. Eric runs the ball so well and throws the ball well."

According to Jalazo, the 6-foot, 190-pound Miller has serious interest from Air Force and several Ivy League schools. Though the coach is confident Miller can play QB at the next level, he wouldn't be shocked if because of his athleticism — and hitting ability — he ends up at linebacker, a position he played a little bit in the spring.

"He gets to the ball real well," Jalazo said.

close not enough for eagles: If East Lake football coach Bob Hudson could pick one word to describe his 2008 squad, it is this: snakebit.

The Eagles went just 3-7. But they had their chances to win three or four more.

In a 12-0 loss to Largo, a blocked punt led to a Largo score and East Lake also had a field goal blocked. In a 24-17 loss to Dunedin, the Eagles were killed by a second-half fumble. Against 10-win Gulf, East Lake led by two touchdowns with six minutes left only to lose 22-21.

"It was that type of year," said Hudson, entering his seventh season.

The schedule isn't easy this year (the Eagles face six playoff teams from '08), but with 12 starters back — six each on offense and defense — East Lake should again be competitive. But can it make the big plays when it needs to and get over the hump?

"I don't know what was missing last year," Hudson said. "This year, we've got to focus on having a killer instinct. When we get up on people we have to put them away. And if we're behind, we've got to find a way to come back and win. We've got to finish."

Pinellas: News and notes 08/13/09 [Last modified: Friday, August 14, 2009 12:26am]

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