FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Rivals.com Five-Star Academies hit the road this weekend with the first of two weekends in the state of Florida. This weekend, the Rivals.com team was in Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale at Clearwater Countryside High School and Oakland Park Northeast to eye some of the future stars of the Sunshine State.
While there were several players in attendance that will be names for the future there were also many players that have already asserted themselves as some of the nation's best.
One of the headliners of the weekend was Miami (Fla.) Gulliver Prep linebacker Frankie Telfort. Telfort is currently rated as a four-star prospect by Rivals.com and is currently the No. 35 ranked player in the country. Colleges have taken notice. A recent offer by defending national champion LSU adds to a list of offers that already includes Florida, Florida State, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Standing at 5-foot-11 and 194 pounds, Telfort is plenty big enough to pack a serious punch behind his 4.5 speed.
Telfort was joined by some of his teammates at Gulliver Prep who should also be heavily recruited. Among those that made an appearance was safety Frank Crawford. Crawford was measured at just over six feet and 163 pounds and claims an offer from Ole Miss with gaining interest around the southeast.
Another of the top players in attendance was versatile athlete Brandon McGee out of Lauderhill (Fla.) Plantation. At the event McGee talked about his new offers from the University of Georgia as well as the Auburn University where he will be asked to play defensive back.
The high school quarterback is one of the most versatile athletes in the country and his offer list proves it. Along with his recent offer from Auburn, McGee has received offers from Georgia, Florida State, Rutgers, South Florida, Wisconsin and has an offer from Miami on the way. At six feet tall, McGee has the size and athleticism to be a difference-maker at cornerback at the next level and will have a chance this Spring to vault himself into the Rivals100.
Though Telfort and McGee headed the list of some of the more highly-touted players with offers, there was one player with an early offer from UConn that may be a new name on many teams' 2009 list. David Gilbert of the host school at Oakland Park Northeast has been garnering the attention of several schools of late and has received his first college offer from the Huskies.
Two of his teammates may not be far behind. Twins Jacob Geffard and Isaac Geffard are names to remember for the 2008 season. The hard hitting linebackers measured in at 6-foot-2 and 6-foot-3 respectively and have been receiving heavy interest from visiting college coaches.
Among the other juniors of note on hand in Florida were Ricardo Dixon who recently received an offer from North Carolina, Kamran Joyer an offensive lineman whose first offer came from the University of Tennessee, Adarius Bellamy out of Dunnedin who will be one of the state's most explosive running backs in 2009, Orlando (Fla.) Boone's James Washington who ran his team to the 6A State Championship game, and one of the nation's top kickers in Cardinal Newman's Brendan Gibbons.
However, despite the top junior talent, there were some future names to watch for the class of 2010 as well. The future of Miami (Fla.) Northwestern looks bright in the hands of Jerome Thomas and Todd Chandler. One day after starring in the National Underclassman Combine, Thomas, a future safety for the Bulls measured in at just under six feet and 172 pounds.
Chandler has already made a name for himself on the Northwestern defense, playing defensive tackle alongside five-star Miami signee Marcus Forston. Chandler was measured at just under 6-foot-1 and 291 pounds with all of that weight of the good variety.
Another Florida powerhouse in Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington sent one of its stars of the future in offensive lineman Jose Jose. The massive lineman tipped the scales at a whopping 355 pounds and measures in at 6-foot-2 but as he proved a day earlier at the National Underclassman Combine, he can move very well for a player of his size. And he's only a sophomore.
The next date for a Rivals.com Five-Star Academy in Florida will take place in Tallahassee on Saturday, March 1 where the top players in Northern Florida, South Georgia and the panhandle will converge on the Florida State campus.