By BJ Bennett
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Luke Stampini of SoFlaFootball.com lists the top talent from one of South Florida's biggest recruiting powerhouses, Pahokee. '10 Prospect D'Joshua Jackson celebrates with current Tennessee Volunteer Nu'Keese Richardson. Photo: SunSentinal.com
By Luke Stampini
SouthernPigskin.com Recruiting Columnist
Luke Stampini of SoFlaFootball.com lists the top talent from one of South Florida’s biggest recruiting powerhouses, Pahokee.
We at SoFLAFootball.com pride ourselves on seeing each and every one of the top prospects in person, if not during the fall in a game from the sidelines, at a camp, combine, or 7-on-7 event. Unlike other sites we do not base our evaluations solely on film or highlights. We want to feel the speed of the game, verify the caliber of talent a prospect if facing, and measure up prospects by being right next to them.
Pahokee, Florida in western Palm Beach County on the shores of Lake Okeechobee is not a town snow birds or summer vacationers seeking out in their annual migration to south Florida. The community of Pahokee has their own special brand of out of town guests making annual trips, visitors in search of top flight football players.
College coaches from across the nation swarm to this small town during the month of May in hopes of finding the next star to come out of this football hotbed. Oregon, Florida State, Ole Miss, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma State, Michigan are just a handful of schools to visit so far. Impressive list of visitors considering Pahokee’s enrollment hovers around 600 students from grades 9-12.
The 2010 class is not different, other than a school know for producing speedy skill position players has a nice crop of BCS linemen on the team. Below is a break down of how their 2010 prospects and how they performed at a recent practice.
Richard Ash 2010 DT 6′3″ 265: Ash has moved himself into being the top prospect coming out of Pahokee this season. His body is a work in progress and very easily can be around 280-pounds before he leaves high school. Ash’s agility is impressive and is quick off the ball. Today in practice he did a nice job of shooting the guard-tackle gap and getting into the back field. A lot of talk going around that Florida is the school to beat for Ash as of now.
De’Joshua Johnson 2010 WR 5′10″ 150: Johnson will continue to be sed in a variety of ways for Pahokee this coming fall. He will line up a quarterback where is always a threat to tuck the ball and run. Johnson will also split out as a wide receiver and join what could be the top receiving corps in the nation. Johnson needs to focus more on looking the ball into his hands, too many double catches and drops from him lately. Alabama seems to have made a serious run for Johnson’s commitment in September when he announces.
Merrill Noel 2010 CB 5′8″ 160: While Noel is being recruited as a cornerback, look for him to be used a lot inside the box this fall for Pahokee. Noel has great speed and is a physical defender. Noel has a host of offers, the latest being Michigan, but the school to keep a close eye on is Wake Forest.
Antonio Ford 2010 DT/OL 6′3″ 260: Ford lined up at center for the 11-on-11 portion of practice, but has been getting most interest from schools as a defensive tackle. Ford is not as quite as athletic as his teammate Ash, but has very much the same frame. Louisville was Ford’s latest offer with Tennessee, Wake Forest, and Vanderbilt being a few of the others. Alabama was keeping close tabs on the big man during practice today.
Fred Pickett 2010 WR 5′9″ 165: Pickett has the talents to be a productive receiver. He runs fairly good routes, has good speed, and leaping ability. Pickett’s production at Glades Central last season on the field was not that of an elite level receiver though and this fall will be critical for him. Pickett had the play of the day going up and over a cornerback for a long reception.
Zach Allen 2010 LB/DE/TE 6′2″ 180: Allen lines up as a defensive end during the 11-on-11 portion of the practice, where he was fairly active. Allen is lean right now, but in the future should be able to add the weight needed to play at a high level. The Alphonso Smith affect seems to be flowing through Pahokee, as Wake Forest is a school to watch for Allen.
Willis Bowles 2010 OL 6′3″ 275: Bowles has impressive size and had some great battles with Allen most of the day. Bowles was lining up at left tackle today, but will be an interior on the next level.
Dennis Hall 2010 WR 5′9″ 170: Hall is the forgotten receiver at Pahokee. He does not possess blazing speed, but does a nice job finding holes in the defense over the middle of the field and is very effective.
Chris Dunkley 2010 WR 5′11″ 170: Dunkley was held out of practice and may be out for the rest of the spring. Early speculation is a possible sports hernia, which most likely would require surgery.