BRADENTON - On a Saturday, when there was so many things going on throughout the Sunshine State, five Miami-Dade County football prospects took the time to travel and get better.
As college spring games, 7-on-7 tournaments and other events that occupy the off-season, there was plenty going on at IMG Academy as Prep Redzone Florida hosted the GameChangers Combine as prospects throughout Florida came to learn and gain some off-season exposure.
With college coaches from Keiser University, Ave Maria, Warner and Webber teaching and evaluating prospects, it was a tremendous day all the way around.
With MVP awards being handed out to those who stepped up and turned some heads, there were others who also came and attracted the attention of the coaches as well as the fans on hand.
Here is a look at the five football players from Miami-Dade that took part:
CLASS OF 2024
Blake Brewer, OL, 6-2, 270, Miami Christopher Columbus. Easily one of the top line prospects among a large group, his technique and ability to sustain blocks impressed plenty of coaches who watched him throughout the event. Will be a valuable asset for the defending 4M state champions this coming season. His work during the testing and drills as well as the one-on-one competition drew raves. This is a hard working young man who enjoyed the event.
Fabian Rodriguez, QB, 6-0, 185, Miami Springs. Makes is was from Doral Academy this season and was another talent that coaches talked about. Has arm strength and accuracy and was impressive during the testing and drills. Had plenty of work during the one-on-one competition, getting plenty of accolades from his fellow campers. As he puts in the work this off-season, he will continue to get better. This is a talented athlete who also plays some tight end.
Jordan Santana, DB, 6-0, 165, Hialeah Gardens Mater Academy. Talk about under-the-radar. This is a young man who made the 200-mile trip to compete and get noticed, and that is exactly what happened as his texting and work in the drills impressed. He is a quick and agile prospect who just needs to get more reps and additional exposure this coming season. During the one-on-one competition, he also turned heads with some impressive battles against quality competition. Keep your eye on his progress.
CLASS OF 2025
Lucas Francisco, DT, 5-10, 227, Miami Christopher Columbus. Talk about coming to an event to compete and get your name out, this is a young man who certainly showed some promise, working hard in everything he did, knowing that there were plenty of eyes on him all day. Whether it was testing or drills, he was singled out several times for his hard work and will to get better. Even during the one-on-one workouts, he showed plenty of passion for the game. As he grows and matures, you will see someone who will fight for playing time on a team that is stacked!
CLASS OF 2026
Oliver Hernandez, WR, 5-8, 135, Coral Gables. What combines and showcases have evolved into are forums for younger prospects to get their names out there. While the lack of experience is often a key factor, coming out and learning is essential for the growth of any athlete. What this young man did was test well, showcasing plenty of quickness and agility, and during the football competition, he showed that when he matures, gets stronger and fills out, this is going to be someone that head coach Frank Welsh and the Cavaliers will benefit from. Extremely hard worker who wants to get better and learn as much as he can.
Samuel Rodriguez, RB/DB, 5-7, 165, Miami Springs. When it comes to the will to get better and advance on the football field, here is yet another talented young man who has the chance to be special – whether it’s on the offensive side of the ball as a running back – or as a prospect in the defensive secondary. What he did on Saturday was set the table for the future – with the college coaches on hand. Impressive in his testing part of the event, in drills and during one-on-ones, where he went up against some impressive talent, there was a lot to like. He is a passionate young man who will burst onto the scene in 2023.