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Recruiting: East Lake quarterback Pete DiNovo busy increasing his exposure

East Lake junior-to-be quarterback Pete DiNovo is participating in a host of camps, combines and competitions this offseason.

JAMES BRANAMAN | Special to the Times

East Lake junior-to-be quarterback Pete DiNovo is participating in a host of camps, combines and competitions this offseason.

There are a lot of measurables by which to judge a quarterback.

Size. Throwing strength. Accuracy.

East Lake QB Pete DiNovo, a 6-2, 190-pound rising junior, has a bit of all those things, and by the summer Eagles coach Bob Hudson believes his returning signal-caller will have a handful of scholarship offers.

"Nobody outworks him," Hudson said. "He has a bright, bright future. This spring I think you'll see the interest really pick up."

This spring, DiNovo is on a mission to get better and get noticed.

He plans to attend camps at USF, Texas, Tennessee and Clemson. He will compete at a number of combines, and he will participate in an Elite 11 quarterback camp in Orlando on March 12, followed by a Nike camp there on March 13.

DiNovo, who has received a handwritten letter from Clemson as well as interest from a handful of BCS schools, is still awaiting his first formal offer.

"I would love to get a scholarship offer, obviously what kid wouldn't, but for me this is just about competing and seeing how you compare to the other top quarterbacks," DiNovo said. "Right now, there's no pressure (to get an offer). This is just fun. I'm just a high school kid playing football."

Pinellas County still has a long way to go before its quarterbacks start drawing comparisons to its prolific record-setting counterparts across the bay, but DiNovo leads a strong contingent that includes Miami commitment Gray Crow of Countryside.

Last year, coming off a summer in which he caught the eye of FSU coach Jimbo Fisher at a camp in Tallahassee, DiNovo threw for 16 touchdowns and only four interceptions, an exceptional 4-1 ratio for a first-year starting sophomore.

East Lake advanced to the playoffs.

"The No. 1 thing about Pete is he has that 'It' factor," Hudson said. "He has that presence, and he plays with it. He brings it, and the kids respond to it."

DiNovo trains with former Storm QB (and current offensive coordinator) John Kaleo. He said he has been working on adapting to the speed of the game, but mostly on reading defenses.

"When I come to the line next year, I should be more confident and more poised," DiNovo said.

Hudson said East Lake will be active during the 7-on-7 season, and the Eagles return enough talent to make the fall a good one.

RB Tyler Lane, a 1,000-yard rusher last season, is back, along with TE Stephen Buric (another potential prospect) and rising sophomore WR Artavis Scott, and the offensive line should be one of the best around.

"We all feel we're going to do something next year," DiNovo said. "We've got eight guys coming back on offense. And everything is just going to be more polished."

Starting with the big right arm of the young quarterback.

TIME OUT: Berkeley Prep's Nelson Agholor told his spring will be more mental than physical after next week's Badger Sports 7-on-7 tournament at USF.

A football and basketball player who hasn't had a break since summer, Agholor will rest his 6-1, 180-pound frame. The Buccaneers athlete has football offers from a dozen or so BCS schools, including Florida and Florida State.

He will play on Team Tampa this weekend at USF, an all-star squad of local 2012 blue-chip talent that includes Lakewood's Dante Fowler, Armwood's Matt Jones, Jefferson's Tyriq McCord and Land O'Lakes' Kent Taylor.

HOT RAIDERS: Plant City's 2012 class has been bragged on for a few years now, and look for big things from QB Bennie Coney, WR Lamarlin Wiggins and RB Dazmond Patterson.

All had solid performances at the MVP Camp, and Patterson was named top running back. His height (5-foot-7) may scare off some colleges, but his quickness and elusiveness will attract someone.

GETTING FULLER: Palm Harbor University junior guard Kristine Fuller, who will be one of Tampa Bay's top basketball recruits next season, recently picked up an offer from Brigham Young.

Ohio State is also expected to make a second trip to see Fuller during the next evaluation period, and another six to 10 Division I-A schools may be preparing offers based on the 6-footer's mailbox.

John C. Cotey can be reached at (813) 406-0530 or

Recruiting: East Lake quarterback Pete DiNovo busy increasing his exposure 03/05/11 [Last modified: Saturday, March 5, 2011 10:18pm]
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