SPRING SPOTLIGHT: South Florida Quarterbacks On The Rise

Larry Blustein
March 12, 2018 - 9:37 am
Scalzo Photo

Larry Blustein

Over the years, the one position that has come under plenty of scrutiny in South Florida is quarterback.

While we have had several former players host camps, competition and serve as coaches, the bar has moved little when comparing what we turn out here in this region to other areas of the nation.

Because more emphasis is placed in California, Texas and other areas of the country, the signal callers we produce have always fallen short when being recognized nationally. But is that changing?

“We have watched a number of former college and pro quarterbacks from South Florida start to take the lead in helping advance the position,” Prep Football’s Allen Sher explained. “Having watched just about every quarterback in South Florida, I can see plenty of progress – and several athletes are being recognized, but still not that flow of talent that we have in other positions down here.”

This season, there are going to be a number of quality prospects to keep an eye on. Here is a look at the quarterbacks who have already established themselves as prospects to keep an eye on:

2020 - Ryle Aguila, Hialeah. One of the top sophomores in Florida a year ago – as one of the statistical leaders at Pembroke Pines Somerset Academy – he now he makes a move to 8A – where the competition will heat up each week.

TAPE: https://www.hudl.com/profile/9212138/ryle-aguila 

2019 - Demetrius Burns, Homestead South Dade. Easily one of the most underrated prospects in Florida, this is one of the players that everyone has talked about the past two years at Everglades Prep – and now he gets the chance to join a solid program who is in the mix every year.

TAPE: http://www.hudl.com/profile/5491062/demetrius-burns 

2019 – Curt Casteel, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas. After an injury sidelined him for much of 2017, this is the year that this quality athlete will once again showcase his tremendous skills. Solid talent who is getting it done in the offseason once again.

TAPE: http://www.hudl.com/profile/6014834/curt-casteel 

2020 - James Ferriero, Jr., Sunrise Piper. Talk to those who have watched this impressive young talent perform and all will tell you that 2018 can be a very special season for a player who has worked very hard to get to this level.

TAPE: http://www.hudl.com/profile/9632217/james-ferriero-jr 

2019 – Karon Johnson, North Miami. After an injury in 2017 put him behind, this is definitely a football talent who has the chance to make a lot of noise this season. The Pioneers believe that this is going to be a football prospect who could emerge in his final season.

TAPE: http://www.hudl.com/profile/8304830/Karon-Johnson

2019 - Deon Jones, Miami Norland. From McArthur to Norland – and now with a solid offseason – this is a talented young man who has the opportunity to be very special in 2018. Strong arm and a solid grasp of the offense. Should have a very productive year. 

TAPE: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/6173616/5721cbcbe984d413d4134ea3 

2019 - Kamran Kadivar, Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest. Remains as one of the under-the-radar prospects who has done everything possible to elevate his play. Has one of the strongest arms in the state – and with a solid offseason and spring – his stock will soar!

TAPE: http://www.hudl.com/profile/4111677/kamran-kadivar 

2020 - Derohn King, Deerfield Beach. Already a two-year varsity standout, who started to make a name for himself at Piper, he will give the Bucks a very impressive prospect who continues to receive plenty of attention as he matures. 

TAPE: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/7186449/derohn-king 

2019 - Daelen Menard, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna. The only returning state championship quarterback in South Florida – this is one of those quality players who does everything needed to help his team win. Solid arm strength, good mobility and exceptional decision making abilities. Big time potential. 

TAPE: http://www.hudl.com/profile/5646399/daelen-menard 

2021 - Torey Morrison, Miami Booker T. Washington. 

TAPE: A two-year starter who has already impacted the position – as an 8th grader at Keys Gate Charter and last year as a freshman at South Dade, this is someone who turned heads and made a major impact during a playoff season. He now will play for the Tornadoes this year – and everyone will be watching.   

TAPE: https://www.hudl.com/profile/7598631/torey-morrison

2019 - Cairiq Rackley, QB, 6-1, 170, Miami Palmetto. Easily one of the most athletic and talented prospects, heading into the 2018 season. This is one of those talented young men who has as much or more overall athletic ability than any of the quarterbacks this season. He is also a major baseball prospect as well.

TAPE: http://www.hudl.com/profile/6267112/cairiq-rackley 

2020 – Edwin Rhodes, Plantation American Heritage. After watching and learning the past two years, the ball is in his hands this coming season –and very few have worked harder that this quality football player. He has everything you need to succeed at this level – and beyond. 

TAPE: https://www.hudl.com/profile/7537310/Edwin-Rhodes

2019 – Daniel Richardson, Miami Carol City. On the verge of breaking just about EVERY Miami-Dade passing record – as he makes the move to play for the state-rated Chiefs after three very productive years at Booker T. Washington. Very experienced player who knows what it takes to win games.

TAPE: http://www.hudl.com/profile/5310244/Daniel-Richardson

2019 - Jesse Rivera, Davie Western. After a tremendous junior season at Archbishop McCarthy, this talented prospect makes his move to play for the Wildcats, which will keep them in the mix this year in a very competitive district. Solid football talent.

TAPE: http://www.hudl.com/profile/8072727/jesse-rivera  

2019 – Nik Scalzo, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons. There is nothing left to say about the best in South Florida. Here is a true leader who continues to improve and make a major strides. Going into his final season with the Chiefs, look for this team to be among the best in the state – and with his leadership – big things should happen in 2018.

TAPE: http://www.hudl.com/profile/5275001/Nik-Scalzo

2019 - T.J. Smith, QB, Hollywood South Broward. Another of those gifted prospects who has not received the attention he deserves. While there has been rumors of him leaving the Bulldogs for his final season, those in the know believe that would be a mistake – but this is South Florida and transfers take place every day – good and bad!

TAPE: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/6267645/tj-smith

2019 - Xander Stokes, Cooper City. There are very few quarterbacks who have made the progress that this quality passer has been able to make over the past few months. A backup this past season, he will now get his chance to show what he is all about – and with a solid and accurate arm – big things will indeed happen.

TAPE: https://www.hudl.com/profile/5419133/Xander-Stokes 

2019 - Maurice Underwood, Miami Central. Like so many talented prospects, this three year varsity performer will have his chance to showcase his skills as the Rockets are ready to challenge once again for a playoff spot. Solid talent who continues to make major strides at the position. Committed over a year ago to attend Marshall University.

TAPE: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/6603027/maurice-underwood 

2021 - Nick Vatiato, Fort Lauderdale University School. After showing what he could do this past season for the No. 1 seeded Sharks, in a fill-in role, he now gets the full opportunity to take over one of the best 4A schools in Florida. Solid passer and a surprising leader at such a young age. There is plenty to like about this young man.

TAPE: https://www.hudl.com/profile/9625404/Nick-Vattiato

2019 – Isaiah Velez, Miami Northwestern. While many have not had the chance to watch him play, this was a top 5 quarterback in Miami-Dade County last season – while leading North Miami into the playoffs. Replacing a legend like University of Louisville’s Tutu Atwell will be tough, but this young man has skills. 

TAPE: http://www.hudl.com/profile/9381428/Isaiah-Velez

2019 - JuZion Wade, Doral Academy. A year after thrusting himself into the spotlight at Hialeah, here is someone who has the chance to make the Firebirds a true contender – especially with the transfer of several linemen – to go along with as many skill players as anyone in South Florida. A very well coaches team as well.

TAPE: http://www.hudl.com/profile/5665954/juzion-wade 

OTHERS DIFFERENCE MAKERS EMERGING

There are other quarterback prospects that we will keep an eye on this year – and as they make an impact – we will continue to promote and expose those prospects as well.

2019 - Antwan Anderson, Miami Southridge

2020 – Kamel Cameron, Pembroke Pines Flanagan

2021 – Gabe Contento, Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian Academy

2021 – Jose Corbo, Miami Palmer Trinity

2020 – Anthony Cordovi, Miami Braddock

2019 - Nicholas Casares, Miami Palmer Trinity 

2019 - Jacoby Clark, Miami Springs

2020 – Hansy Colas, Deerfield Beach

2020 – Zachary D’Amico, Coconut Creek Monarch

2020 – Kevin Duggan, Miami Coral Park

2019 - Kevaris Edgecomb, Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson

2020 – Massimo Foerch, Fort Lauderdale

2021 – Dylan Garcia, Coral Springs Taravella

2021 – Avante Gibson, Oakland Park Northeast

2020 – Sincyre Gray, Miami Jackson

2019 – Tyron Herring, Deerfield Beach

2019 - Deandre Johnson, Coral Springs

2019 – Ryan Kavanaugh, Parkland Douglas

2019 – Blake Malick, Pompano Beach

2019 – William Manuel, Pembroke Pines Charter

2020 - Brandon McDuffey, Miami Christopher Columbus

2020 – Gerard Nesbitt, Plantation

2019 - Armando Parra, Jr., Miami Christopher Columbus

2019 – Skylar Pearcy, Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian

2019 – Tyler Pena, Southwest Miami

2019 – Will Poses, Miami Gulliver Prep

2019 – Tasheem Reese, Homestead

2019 – Cole Rettman, South Plantation

2021 – Cedquan Smith, Miramar

2019 – Mariano Valenti, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas

2019 – Christopher Vidal, Hialeah Goleman

2019 – Nathaniel Williams, Hallandale

As we head toward spring, we will continue to spotlight each position in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties – giving you the athletes that will have the opportunity to standout in 2018.   

If there are athletes that we did not mention – and need to be watched – just let us know. Thanks. Send names and video to: [email protected].

Catch the South Florida High School Sports Radio Show each week on WQAM (560AM). 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!