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Notables from spring football practice around the North Suncoast.
Published May 11, 2011

Pasco's Jacob Guy, the 2010 St. Petersburg Times offensive player of the year, enters this season as one of the most coveted recruits on the North Suncoast.

Guy, a deadly accurate quarterback who threw for more than 2,000 yards and completed 58 percent of his passes to lead the Pirates to a 10-0 regular season and district title, hasn't received any scholarships offer yet.

That should change fairly soon.

Guy plans to hit the summer college camp circuit hard during the offseason, and Pasco coachTom McHughthinks it's only a matter of time before Guy receives his first offer - once colleges have a chance to get an up close and personal meeting with the signal-caller.

"I think he needs to go to the schools that are showing interest in him. ... If he can get there and they can see him in person, he's an imposing figure," McHugh said. "He's a big kid with a good arm. He's a smart kid, he's personable, he's charming and he's everything in the classroom that you need to be."

Guy, who says he grew another inch after measuring himself a couple weeks ago and stands 6-foot-5, 200 pounds, has been hearing from Florida, Auburn, Miami, USF, FAU, Purdue and N.C. State. The rising senior plans to attend camp at Florida and USF, and he would also like to get to FAU, Auburn and maybe one other school outside of the state.

"Anybody can look good on film. It's a highlight film," Guy said. "Schools want to see you in person, see your drops, see your arm strength, see your release. I think going there in person will help my recruiting."

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'No way' number of the day

5Seasons in a row that a Ridgewood running back has rushed for more than 1,000 yards. Byronell Arline hit that mark three straight seasons (2006-08). Sterling Ross surpassed the 1,000-yard barrier in 2009, and last season, Cameron Rodriguez rushed for 1,213 yards. That streak could be in jeopardy as coach Kent Reed has indicated the team will use a running back by committee approach this season.

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Two-minute drill

Jeff Kruse, Gulf offensive lineman

Kruse has been through it all in three seasons with the Buccaneers. From playing on a postseason-bound squad in 2008, to going 6-4 and missing the playoffs in 2009 then dealing with last season's roller-coaster ride through the turmoil of a coaching change. Now, the rising senior is starting to receive attention from big-time college programs. We caught up with the IB student to get his thoughts on a number of subjects.

The University of Miami came by Gulf last week. Were you taken by surprise to hear from the Hurricanes?

I was. I kind of walked in on the situation, and the first thing the recruiter asked was, 'Do you play football?' I said, 'Yep' and then he asked, 'Do you wrestle?' and I said, 'Yes,' again. He seemed pretty excited and wanted me to come down there this summer.

What schools are showing you the most interest?

I'm actually trying to look Ivy League right now. I'm really trying to work my way into Harvard right now, so I've been talking to their coaches, and I'm heading up there this summer. My past two years I haven't really been visiting a lot of different combines, so I haven't been as politically active as I should be. But this year is definitely going to be that year where I'm at a lot of places and people are going to get to know my name this summer.

You've been through a lot in your first three seasons. Talk about the experience.

Well, we have a new coaching staff, and it's pretty much a whole new situation to be in. I mean, immediately in my high school career I'm on a 10-2 playoff team, but the past couple seasons after haven't been as successful. And I'm not saying this upcoming team can't be good, but I'm just looking at I'm going to have to change my role as a player. My role is going to change from being that kid everyone likes to watch to being the leader of the team.

What is the key for Gulf going into the fall?

Organization. It's something we're definitely going to need. We have athletes out here. You're going to have them wherever you go, but the organization factor is what is really going to help put this team together.

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Future bright for Mustangs

With Mitchell losing arguably the best running back in school history in Ricky Trinidad along with starting quarterback Matt Michaels, the thought is the Mustangs might be looking at a down year in Scott Schmitz's first year in his second stint as Mitchell coach. Schmitz isn't as concerned. The veteran coach is high on running backs Freddie Jones (130 yards in 2010) and Mordell Holley (62 yards), and last season's backup quarterback, Spencer Whittaker, is looking like the front-runner to fill Michaels' shoes. Additionally, Schmitz feels this team could be the most close-knit squad he has had since his 2005 playoff squad that went 7-3.

"The cupboard isn't bare," Schmitz said. "These kids really get along with each other. There's a closeness in this locker room that I haven't seen since '05, and we had a really good season that year."

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Fivay high on Faulkner

Fivay coach Chris Taylor said the Falcons have averaged about 60 players for spring practice each day, with the exception of a couple days when about 15 sat out with a stomach virus that hit the team. Nearly everyone that came out last for football has returned, including 6-foot-5 tight end Kevin Faulkner, who has been impressive during the spring with his leaping ability and sure hands. Taylor said the rising junior will help open up the passing game and force teams to respect the pass more when Fivay gets into its I-formation. Returning starters Bryan Poinsette and Cole Ruch will once again help out in the backfield as Fivay looks to build off its inaugural 1-4 campaign.

"Faulkner is going to be a nice weapon for us on offense," Taylor said.

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What they're saying

Every day, we pose a question to our readers on our Facebook page. They're keen to offer their two cents ... and we're printing the best response.

Monday's question: A lot of talented football players are graduating this month. Who's the toughest to replace and who will pick up the slack?

- James Grindey, a 15-year-old freshman from (Tarpon Springs), is taking over the strong side for Georgia recruit Zach DeBell. James (250, 6-3) ... eats, sleeps and drinks (a lot) football. He's working on his strength daily. Go, Spongers! - Brian Robert Grindey

Next up: Which team that was down on its luck in 2010 will bounce back with a winning record this season?

What's your call? Go to, become a fan and give us your thoughts.