Whether you buy into rankings or not, everyone loves to see their name.
Let’s face it. If you are ranked in any list, you are over the moon and believe it’s as valid as they come. But if you are not listed, the validity of the author(s) of these subjective measuring sticks just plain do not know the game and they should get another profession.
Having compiled lists for nearly six decades, there are no formulas to compare athletes unless they play against one another, or you see them live.
What lists have turned into are popularity contests. There are frankly too many people who listen to the advice of others who do not watch these prospects either. So what you get are evaluations based mostly on what happens and camps and combines – without pads and helmets, often based of physicality and NOT skill and leadership.
In addition, if you take any starting list of 150 players, by the time you publish the final list, it is a proven fact that 75 percent of the original list will not look anywhere like it did originally.
We must understand that because there are so many prospects in the state of Florida, each game, practice, camp or combine will have the authors of these rankings making numerous changes.
With that said, the recent early national Class of 2026 player rankings have been released and a number of Miami-Dade and Broward prospects are included – like every year.
Darryl Bell III, Athlete, 6-1, 180, Miami Lakes Barbara Goleman. Only in south Florida – with some of the best and most productive youth programs anywhere in the country, this amazing talent was more than ready to step in and make a difference in his very first season at the high school level. His dominance on either side of the ball and on special teams had programs like FSU making an offer from the start of his young career. With a solid 3.2 GPA in the classroom, this is a student/athlete who has lived up to all the hype.
Jabari Brady, WR, 6-3, 195, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna. As we have stated in the past – before this elite playmaker made his move from Coconut Creek Monarch to the 1A powerhouse Lions, what else about this quality talent that has not been echoed dozens and dozens of times? This is an impact player that is extremely hard to cover with one player, and he showed it throughout the year, leading the Knights to the state semifinals. As elite as you will find, and he has only scratched the surface!
Justice Fitzpatrick, Athlete, 6-0, 170, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas. There is no getting around how gifted and versatile this impressive talent is. From his key interceptions as a freshman to what he put together in the off-season and during this past year, there is little doubt that this is a major prospect that continues to get better and tested by some quality receivers. The younger brother of standout NFL secondary performer, Minkah Fitzpatrick, his growth, and maturity has been noticed by every college and university and has been an asset to the five-time defending state champion Raiders.
Calvin Russell, WR/Athlete, 6-4, 185, Miami Northwestern. You could tell from the time he stepped on the field as a freshman last year, this may be the most athletic talent in this class anywhere in the nation and it may not even be close. Not only is he a premier receiver, but also plays quarterback and is an elite basketball player. He will be part of the resurgence of this program in 2024. No matter if you’ve watched him play or not, the results speak for themselves.
Malchi Toney, WR, 5-10, 180, Plantation American Heritage. Another elite football player was someone who made an impact from the very first game he took part in as a ninth grader on national television against Las Alamitos of California. All he has done since then is dominate and play way above his year. He has been so impressive that the University of Miami landed him after just one varsity season! A huge impact player that has two full years remaining.
MIAMI-DADE/BROWARD INFORMATION YEAR-ROUND. https://larryblustein.com/