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HomeTeam Huddle: Stakes getting higher at Pinellas Park

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Thu. May 16, 2013 | Times Staff

HomeTeam Huddle: Stakes getting higher at Pinellas Park

PINELLAS PARK
Pinellas Park’s Antonio Harris spreads his thumb and forefinger about 3 inches apart to illustrate the interest he has gotten from college coaches.  •   “I’ve got a stack of business cards about this thick,” said Harris, who figures the number to be between 35-40. “All of them from Division I schools. It’s been crazy. This season is very important to me.”

Harris, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound linebacker and rising senior, has a 3.9 GPA and a nose for the ball. And he’s not the only Patriot getting some looks, according to coach Kenny Crawford.

Athlete Pierre Johnson and offensive lineman Brandon Kubisak (6-4, 315) have also drawn interest. Both have 4.0 GPAs and got extensive playing time last season.

Johnson figures it is only a matter of time before they receive an official offer.

“I’ve got to prove myself this spring and fall,” Johnson said. “I remember there was a time when (college) coaches didn’t even come around here. But thanks to the past couple of years, when we’ve had some Division I players, coaches are stopping by. Now I’ve got to prove I can get the job done.”

New faces
Quarterback Taron Williams has graduated, but Pinellas Park coach Kenny Crawford didn’t seem worried about his team’s lack of experience at the position. Rising senior Angel Addison played safety last season and took few snaps at quarterback but is the favorite so far to take over under center.

“He played quarterback for the JV so he has experience,” Crawford said.

Speaking of the Pinellas Park JV, it was 7-0 last season and outscored opponents 238-33. A slew of JV players are participating this spring, which brings Pinellas Park’s spring number to more than 50.

Also new this spring are two defensive coaches. Keith Powers and Bo Johnson, both at St. Petersburg last season, have joined Crawford’s staff.

Largo’s Hudson has it covered
Cordell Hudson’s speed, coverage skills and tackling ability make him the total package at cornerback. When the Largo junior is on his game, his half of the field might as well be roped off because no quarterback will risk throwing over there. And when a quarterback does throw his way, watch out. In Tuesday’s practice, Hudson had three interceptions during a 10-minute span, including two returned for touchdowns.

Academically, Hudson also has everything covered.

He is in a dual enrollment program at St. Petersburg College and will have completed his associate in arts degree by the time he finishes high school. His weighted GPA is 4.5 and he has scored 1150 on the SAT and 23 on the ACT.

“And I’m still tying to raise those test scores,” Hudson said. “I’m going to take a prep course this summer to help me get ready the next time I take it.”

The only thing the had been lacking this offseason were college offers. Those came this week, with Iowa State the first to offer Monday. Now, Hudson is up to five offers.

“It was somewhat unexpected,” Hudson said. “Iowa State was the first and Wake Forest was the next night. Both schools were sending mail. Iowa State came to practice, one of the coaches pulled me aside and offered me right there. Wake Forest called about 10 at night and offered. I’m just glad they’re now coming around.”

Compiled by staff writers Rodney Page and Bob Putnam.

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