Bob Putnam, Preps Reporter

Bob Putnam

Preps Reporter

I've been a staff writer since 1996. My career started before that as a correspondent with the St. Petersburg Times. I covered former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and current USF assistant Shaun King's first start as a quarterback at Gibbs High. Writing about locals is a passion. I'm a fourth-generation Floridian who graduated from Dixie Hollins High. My great grandfather owned a farm in Pinellas Park. My father was among the first graduating classes at Boca Ciega. Sometimes I venture into other sports. Once, I tried out for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. I was even assigned to one of their minor league affiliates. Well, sort of. Dan Jennings, the team's director of scouting at the time, said he was sending me to Walla, Walla, Wash. He was kidding. I think. Well, either way, I'm still here doing what I love to do.

HomeTeam 100 football countdown: Players 31-40

Jesuit players run onto the field before last season's game against Jefferson. (SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times)
One of the players on this list got his team down with the music of Major Nine ... leading to a visit from the producer/rapper/NFL star.

HomeTeam 100 football countdown: Players 41-50

Pinellas Park players take the field last season for a game against East Lake. (Times, 2018)
There’s a state wrestling champion with a huge heart hidden among Tampa Bay’s top talent on this list. Read on.

HomeTeam 100 spotlight: Sunshine State the right fit for JeJuan Sparks

Clearwater Academy's JeJuan Sparks (DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times)
Clearwater Academy proves a steadying presence for the Canadian defensive tackle, who has committed to Indiana.

HomeTeam 100 football countdown: Players 51-60

Berkeley Prep players run onto the field before last season's opener. (SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times)
If you’ve been keeping up with area recruiting, you’ll know Indiana loves Tampa Bay. And at least two players on this list love the Hoosiers.

HomeTeam 100 football countdown: Players 61-70

Plant City runs onto the field before last season's game against Armwood. (Times, 2018)
Quite a few players on this list can cite exceptional bloodlines for their talent.