By Travis Thomas
If you have followed football for any length of time in south Florida, you already know that the lifeline to any high school program that feeds them.
Youth programs in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties have long been recognized nationally for superb athletes and coaches, and the passion that surrounds each and every park – with all the teams that participate.
Those who cover these young men are the true pioneers of exposing south Florida football across the country. There is more talent that comes off these neighborhood football fields than any other place in the country.
Each year, youth phenoms have a direct impact at the next level – and fans are watching closely.
The high school Class of 2026 will be watched, written about and evaluated dozens of times before they graduate – just like they have for decades, and for that reason, college coaches want to know all about this freshman class that will make a splash this fall and into the future.
Among this year’s freshmen class include Miami Central's Leon Strawder (QB), Ricky Williams Jr. (DB), Karon Maycock (DB), Javari Flowers (DB) and Irwin James (RB).
Future stars at Miami Northwestern starts with versatile (WR/QB) Calvin Russell, running back Tarvail Mathis (RB) and also includes athlete Elijah Hardy, linebacker Desmond Johnson, receiver Nicsaint Joseph and gifted defensive back Aldarius Johnson.
Miami-Dade will also roll out prospects such as Brandon Kinsey (Athlete, Miami LaSalle) and Tavarus Jones (DB, Miami LaSalle) as well as Darryl Bell (Hialeah Barbara Goleman), Miami Jackson's Khyze Smith (OL), Marcus Ponder (TE, Miami Norland) and Jasen Lopez (WR, Miami True North Classical Academy).
KEEP A CLOSE AN EYE IN BROWARD COUNTY
Broward County will also have plenty of talent once again – with Plantation American Heritage QB Dia Bell, defensive lineman Christian Moreau, receiver Malachi Toney and receiver Jaffar Jean-Louis. There are also Jayden Chico (QB, Coral Springs Coral Glades) and Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons running back Gary Hadley Jr.
When Fort Lauderdale Dillard expanded to grades 6 through 12, it was a given that all sports would benefit, and with 2026 standouts Demetrius Mincey (linebacker), receiver Naijah Arnasalam, defensive back Jesiyah Miguel, kicker Trace Poncev, offensive linmen EKeem Atehortua, defensive back Sam Brown and offensive lineman Ananaius Humphrey, the Panthers’ train will keep rolling.
Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna has been able to maintain its dominance through the years because of the young talent that comes is every season – and with Bryant Junius (Athlete), Dylan Denson (receiver) and quarterback Javarious Robinson, don’t look for a drop-off anytime soon.
If the off-season showed all south Florida programs one thing, the talent at Miramar is only going to get better – especially with freshmen running back Alex Jackson, defensive back Kanard Boucard, Bobby Stokes, linebacker Amari Glover – as well as athletes Bryce Lee and Demetrius Gaulden.
Coach Calvin Davis is quietly building something special at Coconut Creek Monarch, with running back Javian Mallory and elite receiver Jabari Brady, this is a program to continue to watch.
Also, versatile athletes Kaj Baker and Cleveland Gary III from Pembroke Pines Somerset Academy, and running back Robert Ortega Jr., OL Bryan Granger and DE Jordan Campbell (Hollywood Avant Garde Academy)
These are just a few of the prospects to keep an eye on for 2026. We will have more in the coming months.
TRACKING SOUTH FLORIDA HIGH SCHOOL (MIAMI-DADE & BROWARD) PROSPECTS – CLASSES 2023-2026. https://larryblustein.com/prospects/tracking-south-florida-prospects
TRACKING SOUTH FLORIDA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL TEAMS. https://larryblustein.com/news/tracking-south-florida-2022