Posted: 11:14 am Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
By Matt Porter
By Matt Porter and Jeff Greer
At this time tomorrow, we’ll be running around Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast reporting from signing day ceremonies. We’ve learned just about everything we can about these players and where they might end up, so it’s time to get our picks on the record.
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SIX TO WATCH
Jay-nard Bostwick, DT, Centennial
Jeff: From everything we’ve read about or heard from Bostwick, he’s taken a steady, thorough approach to his recruiting process. At this point, you have to think he knows where he’s going. Getting the last visit is a big thing, and some of the comments his family has made to Florida media makes it seem as if the Gators are the obvious choice. So that’s my pick: Florida.
Matt: It’s hard to get a read on Bostwick. He has family at Miami (his cousin is linebacker Thurston Armbrister) and family south of his Port St. Lucie home. His mom and dad like the school. But Florida got the last visit, and it would appear they have the momentum. Have to go with Gators by a nose.
Keith Bryant, DT, Atlantic
Jeff: Two weeks ago, Bryant said he and his mother knew where he’d sign. Since then, he’s visited FAU, talked about playing at Miami, crossed South Carolina off his list, added South Carolina (and Southern Cal and UCLA and Oklahoma) to his list and … you get the picture. Unless Bryant is the ultimate entertainer — and he may have one final trick in his hat — he’ll end all the chaos on Wednesday. I expect him to grab a Florida State hat and sign with the Noles.
Matt: No disrespect meant, but you can never take anything Bryant has said at face value. He’s enjoying his recruitment to the fullest, and has no problem faking one way and going the other. He’s consistently had Florida State at the top of his list, and some sources say he’s already told FSU coaches he’s committed. He might make a show of it, but he’ll wind up a Nole.
Malik Brown, DE, Dwyer
Jeff: A few weeks ago Syracuse was a slam dunk for Brown. But Tennessee relentlessly pursued Brown, a ferocious edge rusher who’s added 30 pounds of muscle. If a kid says he’s confused 72 hours ahead of signing day, and he’s committed to your program, it’s not a good sign. Tennessee flips Brown and gets him to go to the SEC.
Matt: Whew. Once Brown knows where he’s going, it’s going to be a big weight off his shoulders. Brown’s a friendly kid who built a good rapport with the coaching staffs of several programs, which only caused him more headaches. He committed to Syracuse because he felt comfortable, then Tennessee came in and made him think twice. It’s going to be hard to say no to an SEC program, especially one where he has a close friend in Dwyer alum Curt Maggitt. Tennessee is my pick.
Marcus Davis, WR, American Heritage
Jeff: At one point, Davis liked Vanderbilt, West Virginia and Wake. Those programs backed off. Arkansas came in late and looked like the odds-on favorite, but Auburn snapped up Davis before Arkansas could. He shut down his visits and recruiting after that. He’ll sign with Auburn.
Matt: Marcus Davis was down to West Virginia and Wake Forest during the season, but wasn’t completely happy with his options. The SEC offer he wanted came when Auburn pulled the trigger last month. Arkansas followed suit, but Davis made his decision. Arkansas has since moved on. Unless a bigger SEC school comes in last-minute, he’s a Tiger.
Brisly Estime, DB, Atlantic
Jeff: Since the 2011 season, Estime’s committed to Marshall, Purdue, Iowa State and Syracuse. He almost committed to North Carolina State and Western Michigan, and sure loved the attention from Arkansas. But Syracuse is the only program with an offer on the table, so expect him to sign there.
Matt: The biggest roller-coaster recruitment of 2013 is nearing its end, so of course Estime tweeted he has a “surprise” in store for tomorrow. I’m not sure what that is, because as of Tuesday morning, Syracuse is his only option. Maybe he’ll rappel from the Atlantic High rafters with Otto the Orange?
Frank Brown, WR, Palm Beach Gardens
Jeff: Brown waited for months to hear from FBS programs. Several — Arkansas, Bowling Green, FIU, Purdue — kicked the tires, but never seriously chased Brown. He committed to Bethune-Cookman two weeks before signing day. But a since-erased tweet from Brown implied some FBS programs may still be sniffing around. Could a Conference USA or MAC school steal Brown’s signature?
Matt: There are always surprises on signing day: kids decide at the last minute where they’re going, leaving colleges to scramble for the next option. Brown would be a great signing for Bethune, but he’s on the board of several other schools. If they don’t get their intended targets, he might be moving up.
BEST COLLEGE POTENTIAL
Jeff: Let’s travel down to the FCS ranks for this one. Village Academy quarterback Larry Brihm slipped through the cracks this recruiting cycle. And he’ll make sure everyone knows that when he suits up for Bethune-Cookman.
Matt: Diocemy Saint Juste didn’t get much attention playing for Santaluces, but he’s going to a school (Hawaii) that knows how to use his considerable speed.
BIGGEST FRESHMAN IMPACT
Jeff: Running back Kedrick Rhodes returns for FIU, but the Golden Panthers graduate their second- and third-leading rushers. Perhaps Seminole Ridge running back Silas Spearman can step in and play some snaps. Kelvin Taylor and Greg Bryant should both see the field in 2013.
Matt: Kelvin Taylor’s college-ready frame and early enrollment mean he should get more than a few carries as a Florida freshman. Notre Dame doesn’t exactly have a loaded backfield, so Greg Bryant should see plenty of touches this fall, especially if Cocoa’s Tarean Folston flips to Auburn.
BEST VALUE PICKUPS
Jeff: Bowling Green hunted Palm Beach County long and hard, even making some in-roads with some of the area’s top 15 players. The Falcons didn’t land any of them, but they did get underrated Seminole Ridge seniors Omar Pierre-Louis and Jason Shepherd and Fort Pierce Central’s elusive running back Marcus Levy. That’s a quality trio of signings.
Matt: Hard not to like Bethune potentially snagging Frank Brown and Larry Brihm, who did nothing but produce during their high school careers, and Olympic Heights outside linebacker Werley Placide. FAMU has two good-sized signings in Royal Palm Beach receiver JoJo Williams (6-3, 190) and offensive lineman Craig Smith (6-5, 320).