Jan. 14--NORTH MIAMI -- Famed 7-on-7 program South Florida Express completed day one of its two-day tryout at Ives Estates Park on Saturday morning.
Approximately 200 high school football prospects from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties in the classes of 2019, 2020 and 2021 congregated while SFE alums, some now in the NFL -- players such as Quincy Wilson, Major Wright and Tracy Howard -- looked on.
University School five-star safety Josh Sanguinetti, who will be one of the most highly sought-after prospects in the 2019 cycle, offered an update on his recruitment.
He is eyeing a visit to the University of Miami with his parents sometime after basketball season. He and fellow Sharks, running back Kenny McIntosh and wide receiver Zay Flowers, are also members of U-School's nationally ranked basketball team.
"I've been there numerous times. I've been there for a lot of games and a lot of practices," said Sanguinetti, who added he and McIntosh, a four-star, want to attend college together. "They're right down the street, so I can visit anytime.
"I like how it's a family environment. Everybody out there is like brothers."
Sanguinetti has also visited Stanford and attended camps at LSU and Mississippi State as a freshman before his recruitment picked up.
"I'm trying to schedule other visits, but I haven't planned them yet," he said.
Sanguinetti, McIntosh and Flowers were not participating in drills and won't pick up 7-on-7 play until after basketball season.
Heritage DC Chad Wilson retires
American Heritage defensive coordinator Chad Wilson has retired from his post with the Patriots.
"I told the guys right after the [state title] game, right there on the field. Some of them kind of sensed it," Wilson said. "[Coach] Pat [Surtain] knew and our athletic director [Karen Stearns] knew. I told them at the beginning of the year that this was going to be it."
Wilson won't coach high school ball or 7-on-7, but will "still be around," train athletes and continue to work on his Gridiron Studs website/app.
Wilson, a former University of Miami defensive back, coached defense for three years with the Patriots, winning two titles. He coached son Marco Wilson, a cornerback who just completed his freshman season at Florida, there. Before Heritage, he was an assistant coach at University School for six seasons where he coached his oldest son, Quincy Wilson, now with the Indianapolis Colts after three years with the Gators.
Willie Taggart impresses FSU commit Mike Morris
After being committed to Florida State and coach Jimbo Fisher for nearly two years, it was only natural for American Heritage-Delray's Mike Morris to have questions about new coach Willie Taggart. Any apprehension was quickly put to rest on Friday after the tight end/defensive end met with Taggart during a visit to Tallahassee.
"I was so used to Jimbo [Fisher] and I was like 'I don't know if I'm going to like this dude, I don't know what's going to happen,'" said Morris. "But then I met him and he surprised me. I really like him. He's a phenomenal person and a coach and probably going to be a good mentor."
"He's real. I don't like fake coaches, but he was really real."
When asked if there were any local players he would try to flip to Florida State, Morris didn't hesitate in naming Palm Beach Central offensive lineman Renato Brown -- a Miami commit. While Morris is trying to persuade him to flip, Brown is doing the same to him.
"[Brown]'s in my ear. He's like 'Mike, Mike, Mike, you've got to come [to Miami] and I'm like, 'You need to calm down.'"
Andy Garcia to lead new crop of Heritage defenders
There is no question American Heritage will be seeking new on-field defensive leadership as the Patriots graduate three U.S. Army All-Americans -- cornerbacks Patrick Surtain II and Tyson Campbell and defensive tackle Nesta Silvera -- a four-star defensive end that was the Broward County small-schools Defensive Player of the Year -- Andrew Chatfield -- and an N.C. State-signed middle linebacker in Calvin Hart, among others.
Enter 2020 prospect Andy Garcia, who will make a move to middle linebacker next fall after starting among those giants on the Heritage defense as an end on the same line as Silvera, Chatfield and fellow senior John Alyn.
"It's just time to build it up again, leave our own legacy and get it back to how it was," said Garcia, who stands at 6 feet 2, 205 pounds and is receiving interest from Boston College and Appalachian State. "Linebacker is something I always played, just the whole year I played D-end. D-end is fun, but there's nothing like linebacker.
"That's something I was born to play, I feel like, and it's a mindset mainly. It's an attitude you have to have."
Wilson says Ruben Hyppolite, another rising junior, will be another key cog for Heritage in the linebacker corps. Cornerback Clarence Burley will be a senior, Daryl Porter Jr. will be a junior and Ja'Den McBurrows will be a sophomore counted on to replenish the secondary.
If the Saturday tryout served as any indication, Cardinal Gibbons' passing game will once again be prolific. Quarterback Nik Scalzo delivered sharp passes while receivers Majon Wright -- Major and Daniel Wright's younger brother who is back at Gibbons after a season in Georgia -- and Marseille Jackson ran crisp routes and created separation. Big tight end Nik Ognenovic drew a lot of eyes for his visible size advantage over defenders.
Chaminade-Madonna receiver John Dunmore was noticeably one of the better players participating in drills, but fellow Lion and Tennessee-committed cornerback Te'Cory Couch got the best of him on a one-on-one drill where they were paired.
Miramar 2020 defensive back Henry Gray and Deerfield Beach receiver Aydin Henningham were among other skill-position standouts.
Along with Scalzo, St. Thomas Aquinas quarterback Curt Casteel and Deerfield Beach signal caller Derohn King were among those that threw impressive balls.
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