The one position that has long been overlooked – especially in south Florida are linemen.
Just in the past five years has there been an effort to put offensive and defensive linemen in the spotlight – and much of that was done by former linemen who came back to either coach or run camps.
As 7-on-7 events have taken over the landscape of football in the off-season, many coaches have found the need to keep their programs together by creating events for linemen – which kept the TEAM bond alive.
For one-time Miami Northwestern, UCF and NFL standout lineman Torrian Wilson from “Crafting Linemen” and Javon Gopie from the “Sack Sensei”, the importance of elevating the line position had become vital as they saw how important the position had become at every level they played.
As many athletes and parents are still concerned with Covid-19, and the start of the 2020 high school football season still up in the air for so many, last Saturday was the perfect time to come together safely – with a camp that taught and spotlighted athletes in high school and junior high.
With a spirited two-session event that featured the Class of 2021 and 2022 in the morning – and the youngsters in 2023, 2024 and 2025, Carter Park in Fort Lauderdale was the place to be as masks were worn and hand sanitizers and fresh water available all day.
“While many camp organizers have taken advantage of parents and kids to get their money and offer little or nothing in return, we provided video and a competitive atmosphere with people who can help you,” Wilson said. “We assist kids year round, so this is an extension of what we do.”
As impressive as the high school juniors and seniors were on this day, the youngsters also put their best feet forward for the afternoon session.
Prospects that many were familiar with – along with talented young men who are definitely on the rise.
Here is a look at some of the athletes who tuned heads on Saturday:
2024 – Michael Brennan, OL, Weston Cypress Bay. A member of the national 8th grade team in the Under Armour All-American game last January, this is definitely the future of the position. Very athletic, this young man is a wrestler who has the chance to be very special over the next four years. He is the nephew of coaching icon Mark Guandolo.
2023 – Joseph Colosi, OL, Plantation American Heritage. The next outstanding line prospect for head coach Pat Surtain and the Patriots. This is gifted talent that has size, work ethic and natural ability to succeed.
2023 – Jason Hammond, DL, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna. Already one of the elite young performers who has shown head coach Dameon Jones and the Lions what he can do. One of the reasons why this program will continue to build on the three consecutive state championships they have going.
2023 – Rico Jackson, OL, Fort Lauderdale Dillard. Another of those quality prospects that the Panthers will roll out this coming season. A gifted talent who will be part of a young, but very talented line for the 2020 season. Was very impressive during the drills and singled out by the coaches.
2023 – Danny Maitlen Jr., DL, Hollywood South Broward. Another of the gifted young linemen who will be the future of the position here in Florida. This is a quality talent who continues to get better – by working extremely hard in the off-season.
2023 – Dairo Melendez, DL, Miami LaSalle. While many analysts and recruiters have never heard of this young man, it’s wise to understand that this is going to be one of the big time faces of high school football over the next three years. A potential Power 5 athlete who will mature and improve to the point where he will be considered one of the best.
2023 – Matthew Prigmore, OL, Weston Cypress Bay. Another versatile talent, who could move to the defensive side of the ball as well – with first year Lightning head coach Rocco Casullo building this program back.
YOUNG TALENT WAS EVERYWHERE
In addition to those quality young players, there were more who came out on Saturday as well:
2023 – Giovanni Alonso, DL, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas
2025 – Max Buchanan, OL, Seminole Middle School
2025 – Eric Ceballos, OL, Hialeah American
2023 – Christopher Cirillo, OL, Palm Beach Central
2023 – Zion Destine, DL, South Plantation
2025 – Ben Diaz, OL, St. Jerome Middle School
2024 – Jonathan Diaz, DL, Miami Dr. Michael Krop
2023 – Wyatt Goldman, OL, Hialeah American
2023 – Harrison Green, OL, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas
2024 – Santino Guitan, DL, Miami St. Brendan Catholic
2025 – Tayri Heredia, DL, Osceola Middle School
2024 – Christopher Kalu, DL, American Collegiate
2024 – Joshua Lloyd, DL, Deerfield Beach
2025 – Christopher Lorenzano, OL, Avant Garde Academy
2023 – Lamar Marcelus, OL, North Miami
2024 – Tabias Meline, DL, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas
2023 – Shavoun Minott, DL, Miami Norland
2023 – Greg Otten, DL, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons
2024 – Taaj Paul, DL, Miami Carol City
2023 – Zxamyir Pelissier, OL, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons
2025 – Matthew Pepe, OL, Berner Middle School – Massapequa Park, N.Y.
2024 – Keion Reyes, OL, Miami Carol City
2024 – Nicholas Serrano, OL, Miami St. Brendan Catholic
2023 – Jugens Thilus, DL, Boynton Beach
2023 – Xavier Warthen, DL, Delray Atlantic