Recruiting News

Area Prospects Shine At UA Next Future 50

BRADENTON – With some of the best Class of 2026 junior football players in the country coming together last Friday and Saturday at IMG Academy, the nation knows who some young elite players will be to watch.

The annual Under Armour Next Future 50 taking place, the nation’s elite boys and girls football standouts got together for a weekend of expert skills training, skills competitions and an introduction to flag football that included a five-on-five tournament.

Launched in 2015, the UA Next Future 50, for the first time, hosted the nation’s elite high school girls and boys for a joint weekend of skill development and exposure to the growing sport of flag football, with the support of USA Football.


Three of the top 2026 prospects had the opportunity to jump on the radar and further showcase their skills in front of coaches, media and fan recruiting websites.

Quarterback Dia Bell from Plantation American Heritage showed why he recently committed to attend the University of Texas – as he was one of the top prospects.

Chaminade-Madonna receiver Denairius Gray was someone that many had never watched play, but after the two-day event had concluded, he was certainly well on the national radar.

When the off-season began, Derek Cooper was someone that nobody knew anything about. Used sparingly as a running back and linebacker at Cardinal Gibbons, the 6-0, 200-pounder burst onto the scene at the Under Armour combine in Miami during the competition.

From a prospect that was basically unknown, that three-hour event vaulted him from obscurity to one of the elite 2026 prospects and he has not stopped watching his stock rise.

Over the weekend, the now Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna prospect was introduced he was named as the Boys Flag Tournament.

“All three players who came up from south Florida impressed,” said 247 National Analyst Andrew Ivins. “I thought Bell was one of the best during the competition. Gray has really established himself as one of the best. As for Cooper, his stock has been rising all off-season. He is playing running back, but I see him as a linebacker or safety down the road.”

The players had a meeting with the media before participating in their first set of flag football competitions. Then on Saturday morning, the athletes were back on the field for positions specific drill work and instruction. The event culminated on Saturday night with semifinal and championship games of the flag football tournament.

The results of the flag football tournament are below, followed by the winners and award winners from the weekend:

Girls Semifinal Games

Team Zay 10, Team Flores 0

Team Jettas 18, Team Gordon 0

Girls Final

Team Zay 12, Team Jettas 6

Girls Flag Tournament MVP: WR Jasmyn Mitchner (Robinson HS, Tampa, Fla.)

Boys Semifinal Games

Team Zay 26, Team Flores 25

Team Jettas 27, Team Gordon 20

Boys Final

Team Zay 20, Team Jettas 6

UA Next Future 50 Camp Winners:

QB Accuracy

Noah Grubbs (Lake Mary HS, Lake Mary, Fla.)

Joselynn Carrington (Del Sol Academy, Las Vegas, Nev.)

40 Yard Dash

WR Vance Spafford (Mission Viejo HS, Mission Viejo, Calif.)

RB Jaysie Dailey (Maple Heights HS, Maple, Ohio)

Tug of War

LB Adam Balogoun-Ali (The Benjamin School, North Palm Beach, Fla.) and WR Aksana Corey (Marietta HS, Marietta, Ga.)

Water Balloon Toss

WR Davion Brown (Trinity Episcopal School, Richmond, Va.) and Destiny Blunt (Birdville HS, North Richland Hills, Texas)


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