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August 25, 2004

More Miami stars bring the heat

Editor's Note: Last week Rivals.com Southeast recruiting analyst Jeremy Patterson spent five days touring high schools in Dade and Broward counties collecting film and scouting the top players in the country's biggest talent pool.

Patterson will chronicle his tour of the 19 high school trip by summarizing each day of our trip for the next five days, writing about the corresponding day of the week. He continues with his visits from last Wednesday.

MIAMI - Wednesday was the day of the trip that we knew we would cover the fewest schools due to the long drive to Pahokee in the afternoon. While we only met with prospects at three schools, the prospects at each school fit into the "stud" category.

The first stop of the day was at Sunrise (Fla.) Piper to check out University of Florida commitment Vladimir Richard. When you talk about prospects looking ready to step on the field and contribute right away, no one looks more ready than Richard does.

The 6-foot-4, 255-pound Richard was certainly impressive on film and obviously has excellent size. He is not only a big man, but an athletic big man that comes off the edge hard and does a great job rushing the passer as well as stuffing the run. It is easy to see why some think he could be the top pure defensive end in Florida.

After leaving Piper we made the nearly 40 mile trek down to south Miami to visit with Killian defensive back Demetrice Morley. He is another prospect that looks ready to contribute at this point.

The 6-foot, 180-pound Morley has an athletic build and runs an impressive 4.53 second 40-yard dash. While he plays safety for his Killian team Morley explained to Rivals.com that he is committed to the University of Florida as a defensive back.

Rivals.com was also finally able to put an eyeball on Killian offensive lineman Ian Bustillo, who looks like a legitimate 6-foot-1, 280 pounds. He is built well, but does not look like he will grow a significant amount. He plays tackle for Killian, but has fine size for a college center.

Defensive back Antwaun Cox is also beginning to get some looks from several college programs. He is 5-foot-11, 160-pound speedster that runs the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds. Junior tight end Chris Exposito is 6-foot-3 and weighs 220 pounds and will be one of the top players at his position for the class of 2006.

After meeting with Morley the Rivals.com crew hopped in the car and drove 90 miles to Pahokee to meet with one of the nation's top players in running back Antone Smith and several other prospects.

One look at Smith and it is easy to see why some consider him one of the top running backs in the country. At just 5-foot-8, 181 pounds some may question why Rivals.com has him ranked as the No. 27 player in the entire country, but one look at this kid and it is easy to see why.

Smith holds the record for the fastest NIKE camp time in history, when he ran a 4.25 second time as a junior and this past April at the Miami NIKE camp he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds. He has over 60 scholarship offers from Division I schools. As a junior he only played a few games before an injury sidelined him for the year, but he is healthy and ready to go as a senior and should be fun to watch.

Pahokee wide receiver/safety Shaheim Blacknall is a guy that virtually no one is talking about, but perhaps they should be. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Blacknall runs the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds and is the only man in Pahokee strong enough to be Smith's workout partner. He has already garnered several Division I offers.

One prospect that everyone had better keep an eye out for is 5-foot-11, 170-pound cornerback Andre Powell. He transferred in from Hiram, Georgia and has already given his verbal commitment to Illinois. However, as the season progresses he is going to see more offers thrown his way because he is very impressive.

Biggest stock increase: Pahokee cornerback Andre Powell is impressive. He does pretty much everything well and is still very raw and has tremendous upside. Powell is a good enough prospect to elevate his ranking up to four-star status by signing day.

Sleeper that emerged:Pahokee wide receiver/safety Shaheim Blacknall, is a prospect that runs well and is put together very well physically. He is one of the strongest players on the squad and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds at a camp over the summer.

Top junior: Miami Killian tight end Chris Exposito is an impressive looking athlete, with good hands and speed. He has the frame to add weight and could become a dominant force as a junior. He needs to work on his speed a bit, but still looks to be one of the top tight ends in the Sunshine State for the class of 2006.


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