SUMMER SPOTLIGHT: Quarterback Competition Showcases More Talent

Larry Blustein
July 25, 2018 - 12:16 pm

Larry Blustein

It has been said over and over again, the one position that has really never had traction in south Florida is quarterback.

Sure, we have had our share of top-flight signal callers, but for the amount of receivers and defensive backs we have in the NFL, it is amazing that the quarterback position doesn’t produce the numbers that California, Ohio, Texas and even Georgia do.

Just like anything, change is taking place – and now more than ever before, there are dozens of private coaches, camps and showcases geared to a position that has rarely been a priority.

No matter where you go, there are going to be former players who competed at a high level, trying to teach future quarterback prospects the right way – and what things to work on.

Last weekend, the 2nd Air Attack Quarterback Challenge took place at Ives Park -as prospects from as far away as Connecticut and Tennessee came to put themselves on the map and learn from coaches who are respected and knowledgeable.

For former Dillard High quarterback Oliver Bozeman and Deaf Football Coach Craig Bryden, the event was indeed something that was well planned out – and gave some of the fast-rising local standouts a chance to get some more recognition.

One of those prospects who has really hit the ground running is University School sophomore Nick Vattiato. What this impressive athlete has done is establish himself as one of the best for 2021 – nationally.

In winning last weekend’s overall title, Vattiato gets ready to lead the Sharks back to defend the region’s No. 1 seed. He is also out to help this program get to Orlando. They fell short in the 4A state semifinals.

In 2017, Vattiato had the chance to see extensive playing time when starter George Bubrick went down with an injury. All he did was respond by showing why he was such a highly-regarded youth player with the Fort Lauderdale Hurricanes.

You can see how he has matured – as many watched and saw a bigger, faster and more experienced quarterback emerge from spring.

“It’s all about hard work,” Vattiato said “Everyone on our team knows the way we felt after losing to Cocoa. That is something that we don’t want to feel again.”

Indeed, the Sharks are stacked with talent on both sides of the ball. This summer has been all about getting better.

THEY CAME FROM ALL OVER

When you attend a showcase such as one like this, you know that there are indeed some quality prospects getting it done.

They came from all over and ranged in ages from 8th graders to Class of 2019 seniors.

In addition to Vattiatio, there were some promising south Floridians who were turning heads.

Rising Sophomore Daron Bryden from Connecticut had the lead whole day going to the final round competition (deep ball) Daron had 6 points lead going to the final round. Vattiato earned 8 points in the deep ball competition to edge Bryden by 2 points

Here was the final standings in the high school division:

2021 - Nick Vattiato (49) – University School 

2021 - Daron Bryden (47) – Bloomfield, Connecticut

2020 - Kemani Brown (42) – Miami Carol City

2020 - Katravis Williams (39) – Hialeah American

2020 - Griffin Broome (36) - Chattanooga Boyd-Buchanan.

2020 - Edwin Rhodes (33) – Plantation American Heritage

2020 - Brayden Lind (30) – Marietta Lassiter, Ga.

2019 - Christan Paillet (29) – North Broward Prep

2021 - Cedquan Smith (28) - Miramar

2020 - Jaylin Willis (28) – Miami Southridge

2020 - Massimo Foerch (27) – Fort Lauderdale

2019 - Nico Casares (27) – Miami Palmer Trinity

2021 - Matt O’Dowd (24) – Plantation American Heritage

2019 - Tyler Thomas (24) – Lake Worth Park Vista

2019 - Jabe Dawe (22) - Atmore Escambia, Alabama

2020 - Mason Hamze (22) – Coral Springs

2020 - Leo Cremades (22) – Fort Lauderdale

2019 - Jaramaya Olivares (18) – Davie Western 

2020 - Phillip Shaffer (16) – Pembroke Pines Flanagan

2022 - Jack Emerson, Thornton Academy, Maine (16)

2021 - Alexander Law , Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna(12)

2019 – Harry Tamis, Miami Beach (10)

The 8th graders showed plenty of promise as well:

Blake Murphy (39)

Colin Hurst (37)

Landon Heath (36)

Clinton Danzey Jr (16)

Xavier Richardson (14)

Luca Foerch (8)

Hunter Agosti (8)

Stefano Luis (2) 

THE STARS SHINES

Here are a few profiles on some of the local prospects who attended:

2023 – Blake Murphy, Plantation American Heritage. This could very well be the next in line as one of the elite rising prospects in south Florida. Headed into the 8th grade, this record-setting Plantation Wildcats’ standout has everything you need to be very good.

2019 – Christian Paillet, North Broward Prep. While he saw action this past year, this is the season where he gets the chance to step up and give the Eagles and veteran head coach Rex Nottage a true leader on the offensive side of the ball. This is someone who makes the throws – and after a solid offseason – this could be a very special year.

2020 – Edwin Rhodes, Plantation American Heritage. Classic story about someone who has watched, learned and waited his turn for a program that has won 28 straight under head coach Patrick Surtain. Rhodes has everything you need to be a solid quarterback at this level. Experience will be important as he looks to parlay a successful spring into a record-setting 2018.

2021 – Cedquan Smith, Miramar. Another of the quality football players who attended the weekend and picked up plenty of technique from all the coaches. This lefthander has a chance to be very special. He has a strong and accurate arm and can run the ball. If he works hard and makes the position a priority, there is no telling where he can end up. With south Florida starting to produce gifted passers, there’s a good chance that Cedquan will benefit from the exposure.

Catch the South Florida High School Sports Radio Show each Saturday morning (10-11) 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!