Saturday, December 29, 2007
2007 South Florida Dream Team
Top to bottom: Booker T. Washington head coach Tim "Ice" Harris, Ely cornerback Patrick Johnson and Northwestern quarterback Jacory Harris
The 2007 high school football season was perhaps the greatest ever in South Florida history. Three local teams won state championships--Northwestern in Class 6A, St. Thomas Aquinas in Class 5A and Booker T. Washington in Class 4A. USA Today recently named Northwestern as its national champion and Booker T. Washington finished 8th nationally.
But as great as the teams were, the individual talent in South Florida is as good as it's ever been. But who were the very best players in South Florida? Here's a look at the best senior high school football players in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. This is the first annual 2007 MiamiSouthPaw South Florida Dream Team--hopefully the beginning of a great tradition. Remember these names. Most of them will be playing college football in the next four years and a few of them will be playing in the NFL.
QB Jacory Harris (6'4, 171) - Northwestern: Offensive Player of the Year, Harris led Northwestern to its second consecutive Class 6A state title and a mythical national championship. He holds every career Dade County passing record including 6,365 passing yards and 86 touchdown passes and a 30-0 career record as a starter. This season Harris threw for 3,445 yards, 49 TD passes and only 6 interceptions...has verbally committed to the University of Miami.
RB Mike Barasch - University School: Set a Broward County record with 2,071 yards rushing and 24 touchdowns during the regular season. Led University to the state playoffs for the first time in school history...Will attend Florida Atlantic University.
RB Jeremiah Harden - St. Thomas Aquinas: Rushed for 1,316 yards and 18 touchdowns. Led St. Thomas Aquinas to the Class 5A state championship and had an 84 yard touchdown run against Kissimmee Osceola in the state championship game--the longest run ever in a state title game. Harden currently has scholarship offers from Syracuse, Wisconsin and South Florida.
RB Aaron Winchester - North Miami Beach: A one-man gang for the North Miami Beach Chargers, Winchester rushed for 1,996 yards and also intercepted 6 passes on defense as a cornerback. He led NMB to an undefeated regular season (10-0)...verbally committed to Western Michigan University.
WR Aldarius Johnson - Northwestern: Named 2nd team All American by USA Today and one of the nation's top rated receivers. Johnson led Northwestern with 76 catches for 930 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2007. Johnson had over 1,000 yards receiving last year as a junior. Caught a 29 yard touchdown pass in the state championship game against Orlando Boone...will attend the University of Miami.
WR Davon Johnson - Booker T. Washington: Considered one of the fastest and most explosive receivers in the nation, Davon Johnson caught 27 passes for 628 yards and 7 touchdowns. Johnson also returned 2 punts and 2 kickoffs for touchdowns. He help Booker T. Washington to the Class 4A state championship...verbally committed to the University of Miami.
WR Tommy Streeter - Northwestern: At 6'5 and 200 pounds, Streeter is a physical mismatch for short defensive backs. He caught 36 passes for 676 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2007. Streeter had 3 touchdown catches in a victory over Texas power Southlake Carroll during the season. Heavily recruited, Streeter has yet to choose a college or university.
TE Bo Reliford - Dillard: A physical speciman at 6'6 and 235 pounds, Reliford is also one of Broward County's top basketball players and one of the state's best tight ends. He has a chance to play either football or basketball in college. Reliford currently has scholarship offers from Central Florida and Ole Miss.
OL Andrew Datko - St. Thomas Aquinas
: At 6'6 and 267 pounds, Datko anchored an offensive line that led Broward County in total offense and was a key member of the Class 5A state champs...has verbally committed to attend Florida State University.
OL Mike Goodman - Columbus: One of the state's most heavily recruited offensive linemen, Goodman helped teammates Jaren Jones and Jakhari Gore rush for over 1,000 yards and was a key member of a Columbus's 10-0 perfect regular season...verbally committed to Boston College.
OL Benjamin Jones - Northwestern: Made the smooth transition from defensive line to offensive line this season. Big and powerful at 6'6 and 270 pounds, Jones also benches 320 pounds and squats 485 pounds...has been offered scholarships by several schools including Miami, Florida, FSU, LSU and Ohio State.
OL Greg Shaw - Monsignor Pace: Two-time all state offensive lineman who stands 6'6 and 280 pounds. Shaw is the younger half brother of former Carol City star Willie Williams. He has scholarship offers from Florida, Georgia Tech, South Florida, LSU and West Virginia.
OL Brandon Washington - Northwestern: Massive guard who stands 6'4 and 314 pounds and is considered an excellent run blocker. Transferred to Northwestern from Edison High and anchored the Bulls offensive line to a state championship...verbally committed to the University of Miami but also has offers from Clemson, LSU and Florida.
ATH T.Y. Hilton - Miami Springs: One of the best all-around athletes in South Florida, Hilton starred at wide receiver, defensive back and returned kicks. Hilton had 785 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns this season. He's also one of Dade County's best basketball players as a point guard. Hilton has scholarship offers from Florida, Ole Miss and South Carolina.
DL Marcus Forston - Northwestern: Considered one the nation's best defensive tackles in the nation and the best in the state. Forston was named All American by USA Today. This year he registered 19 quarterback sacks and was the MVP of the Clas 6A state championship game...has already committed to the University of Miami.
DL Johnathan Jackson - Booker T. Washington: Undersized at 6'3 and only 215 pounds, Jackson overwhelmed his bigger opponents with quickness and technique and anchored the best defense in Dade County that allowed only 3.2 points per game. Jackson had 4 sacks in the 4A state championship game against Ponte Vedra Nease.
DL Corey Liuget - Hialeah: A pass rushing machine, Liuget had 15 sacks and 50 tackles despite missing a few games due to injuries. The 6'3, 270 pounder is currently verbally committed to the University of Illinois.
DL Andrew Smith - Monarch: A sleeper prospect who blossomed his senior year and dominated Broward County with 80 tackles and 15 quarterback sacks. Smith was named All-Broward County by the Sun Sentinel and verbally committed to the University of Miami.
LB Marcus Robinson - Homestead: Blessed with great speed and instincts, Robinson is rated as one of the nation's best linebackers. He was chosen to play in the U.S. Army National All Star Game and runs a 4.5 in the 40 yard dash. He is currently committed to the University of Miami.
LB Etienne Sabino - Dr. Krop: One of the nation's top rated linebackers, Sabino was chosen to play in the U.S. Army All American All Star Game. The 6'3, 235 pound Sabino will play his college football at Ohio State.
LB Sean Spence - Northwestern: Instinctive linebacker who excells against the run and pass. Spence is a rare 3-time All Dade County star and was chosen to play in ESPN's All American All Star Game. Spence started 41 games in his high school career and led Northwestern in tackles every year since his sophomore season....will attend the University of Miami.
LB Kambriel Willis - Booker T. Washington - Despite his small stature (5'11 and 181 pounds), Willis was statistically the most dominant pass rushers in South Florida. He terrorized Dade County quarterbacks, registering 20 sacks during the regular season. Willis will play his college football at Florida International University.
DB Stephen Atkinson - Cardinal Gibbons: Hard hitting safety and a team leader, Atkinson intercepted 4 passes this season and is an outstanding tackler. He will attend Boston College.
DB Brandon Harris - Booker T. Washington: Perhaps the most versatile high school player in the state, Harris played cornerback, receiver, returned kicks and even saw action at quarterback. He is the son of his head coach Tim "Ice" Harris who is the Coach of the Year. Brandon intercepted 4 passes, returning 2 for touchdowns and helped Booker T. Washington win the 4A title. He was named Gatorade Florida Player of the Year and has a 3.9 grade point average in the classroom. He is currently undecided on where he will attend college.
DB Patrick Johnson - Blanche Ely: Defensive Player of the Year, Johnson did everything for the Ely Tigers. At 6'1 and blessed with 4.37 speed in the 40, Johnson intercepted 7 passes and returned one for a touchdown. He had three other interception returns for touchdowns nullified due to penalties. On offense, Johnson accounted for 9 touchdowns. Johnson has been named to virtually every All American team and was chosen National Defensive Player of the Year by USA Today. He is verbally committed to the University of Miami but is also considering Florida, LSU and USC.
DB Jerral Stewart - Deerfield Beach: Standing only 5'8 and just 160 pounds, Stewart is the smallest player on the South Florida Dream Team. But his talent is as big as anyone's. He intercepted 8 passes to lead all Broward County big-school players and led the Deerfield Beach Bucks to the Class 6A semifinals, losing a heartbreaker to Northwestern.
ATH George Baker - Archbishop Carroll: Great athlete who played running back and defensive back. Baker led his team to the Class 2A semifinals, the best finish in school history. Rushed for 1,010 yards and 10 touchdowns on offense and made 50 tackles on defense...verbally committed to Auburn University.
KR Phillip Pierre-Louis - St. Thomas Aquinas: One of the fastest athletes in the state, Pierre-Louis returned 4 punts for touchdowns and was also the leading receiver on the Raiders Class 5A state championship team.
P Chad Saladrigas - Cypress Bay: Blessed with a strong leg, Saladrigas averaged 45.1 yards per punt on 24 punts and had a long of 70 yards. Named All Broward County by the Sun Sentinel.
K Blair Walsh - Cardinal Gibbons: Considered the best place kicker in the nation and has extraordinary leg strength and accuracy. Walsh, made a 57 yard field goal and narrowly missed a 65 yard attempt during the season. He also had a 58 yarder his junior year. Walsh was named to the USA Today All American team and will attend the University of Georgia.
Head Coach Tim "Ice" Harris - Booker T. Washington: Led Booker T. Washington to a perfect 15-0 record and the school's first FHSAA Class 4A state championship. Since taking over the Booker T. program in 2003, the Tornadoes are 62-7 under Harris and have reached at least the state semifinals in all five seasons. Harris was named National Coach of the Year by USA Today. His son Brandon Harris was chosen as a defensive back to the South Florida Dream Team.