FRIDAY FOCUS: Transfer Season, Part 2 Has Arrived!

Larry Blustein
May 25, 2018 - 12:04 pm

Larry Blustein

While it may not be the only place in the country that it happens, South Florida has become the epicenter for high school football transfers.

When the 2017 season ended, prospects from Miami-Dade and Broward started to head to other programs, getting used to their new teammates and surroundings. Some 100 plus prospects made the move.

Almost daily would you find athletes posting notes and letters, thanking coaches on social media. But now, as spring is coming to an end, we are finding Part 2 of these offseason moves.

As college coaches offer athletes - many are now finding that those prospects will be on the move - and while it is difficult to keep track of them - it is indeed the times we are living in.

“This has been going on for years, but it has escalated with more people getting involved,” said Simon Prescott of USA Recruiting. “I have been doing this for 11 years now, and nothing surprises me.”

There are many reasons why football prospects want to transfer. Playing time, wanting to compete for a district championship and hundreds of other reasons, but no matter what it is, there are some parties who are not happy.

As we head toward the end of the school year, you are now seeing the movement of players who wanted to compete in spring with their former teammates, only to make the move this week.

While most moves by players never grab the spotlight, there are others who certainly tip the meter and cause plenty of talk. Perhaps one of the biggest offseason moves anywhere has been nationally-rated safety Tyrique Stevenson, who left South Dade for nearby Southridge. That is something that continues to be a very hot topic.

College coaches in town the past month for spring can only laugh off the amount of transfers. Major college programs as well as other schools who have long used South Florida to enhance their rosters, are amazed at how many football players leave schools.

Over the next few weeks, an estimated 100 more prospects will switch schools in South Florida! 

DOLPHINS HOST AREA TEAMS

The Miami Dolphins continue to step up in the community by hosting area high school football teams during the Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice in Davie.

The Dolphins welcomed Coral Gables High and head coach Roger Pollard - as well as Boca Raton and first year head coach Brandon Walker.

Coral Gables was given a tour of the Baptist Health Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University and heard from Miami Dolphins Youth Programs Ambassador and Dolphins alum Twan Russell about mental toughness.

“It’s wonderful giving them the ability to see the guys who play their game, but of course, at the highest level (with the) the speed, the tempo,” Coral Gables Senior High School Head Football Coach Pollard said. “We were able to meet with Twan Russell who spoke to the team about mental toughness. These are a lot of the things we do as high school coaches, but now they’re hearing it from guys at the elite level and hopefully it pays off.”

The Cavaliers also had the opportunity to watch the Dolphins practice and meet with current players on the field, including Dolphins running backs Frank Gore and Buddy Howell who are graduates of Coral Gables. 

“It’s fantastic, especially for these guys being able to see Frank Gore knowing that he is from the school that they’re in right now and seeing the success that he’s had, being able to see his career. … Being from Coconut Grove, which a lot of our players are, it’s great,” Pollard said.

The Junior Dolphins program encourages youth players and coaches to teach, learn and play football in a fun and safe environment. The Junior Dolphins program is designed to give kids access to learn the fundamentals of football using the NFL’s top resources. To grow the game, the Junior Dolphins program will work to educate coaches, parents and youth on the health and safety of football with a strong emphasis on character development. Junior Dolphins is building the next generation of Dolphins Fans.

Boca Raton also had the opportunity to watch the Dolphins practice and meet with current players on the field. 

“I got to meet a lot of the new players, a lot of the vets. I got to meet Cameron Wake. That was really good. I got to learn some moves from him. It was really beneficial,” Boca Raton High School junior defensive lineman and tight end Brandon Holcomb said.

This spring, the Boca Raton football team participated in the RISE Leadership Program. The RISE Leadership Program is designed to empower sports administrators, coaches and athletes to be leaders in discussing and addressing matters of racism, prejudice, diversity and inclusivity within their teams, schools and communities. The multifaceted program increases awareness, builds skills and creates safe spaces to have difficult conversations. Participants learn about the history of race and sports, the power of sports to drive change and how they can become leaders in improving race relations. Founded in 2015 by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, RISE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to harnessing the unifying power of sports to improve race relations and drive social progress.

“This is my second year doing RISE and the kids had a great experience. To be able to have great communication about social issues and topics, for these kids to really be able to have that dialogue, is phenomenal. It’s a great program that hopefully we do for years to come,” Walker said.

Catch the South Florida High School Sports Radio Show each week on WQAM (560AM - https://wqam.radio.com/media/podcast/south-florida-high-school-sports-radio). For the past 11 years, the players and coaches who are making the headlines, join the program. You will learn a lot about football recruiting!