Larry Blustein

3 FOR THURSDAY: - Armstrong, Jones & Villar Enjoy Spotlight

Larry Blustein
November 29, 2018 - 11:40 am

On Wednesday, University of Miami head coach Mark Richt and Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz were at St. Thomas Aquinas, watching the Raiders get ready for Friday’s 7A state semifinal game.

While the Hurricanes have a huge interest in coach Roger Harriott’s team – because of the three current commits they have - it only represents a small part of what it means to be alive and kicking here in the state playoffs.

With the best 16 football teams set to head to Camping World Stadium in Orlando next Thursday, Friday and Saturday, what is happening this week – and next week when the teams prepare for the finals – is the exposure that the prospects are receiving from college coaches.

With some key games coming up this week, we will bring you three student/athletes who are currently involved in the playoffs and are getting that rare chance to be practicing, and playing, on the final day of November.

Here are three players to watch this Friday:

2019 – Thomas Armstrong, DE, OLB, 6-3, 220, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna. One of the major surprises this year – after coming over from West Broward – his presence on the defensive side of the ball only enhanced this impressive unit.

With quickness, size and plenty of athletic ability, Armstrong has earned praise for his play. His numbers are as good as any you will find – and as the Lions head to play Clearwater Central Catholic in the 3A state semifinals – this standout is being watched by a number of college.

This is certainly one of the prospects that everyone is watching.


2021- Donovan Jones, RB, 5-9, 160, Hialeah Champagnat Catholic. On a team that has relied on young football talent to get them this far, the defending 2A state champions head north on Friday, feeling pretty good about the young prospects that have stepped up.

With first year head coach Hector Clavijo trying to get his Lions back to defend that state title, it has been about the younger and talented prospects like Donovan who have lifted this team.

Jones is on his way to being an elite players, and while St. Petersburg’s undefeated Admiral Farragut will pose a major obstacle, having a talented sophomore class has indeed helped.

Jones is a quick runner who get through the holes – and if they are big enough on Friday – this emerging standout will get through them.

TAPE: … 

2020 - Maximus Villar, OLB/DE, 6-1, 210, Christopher Columbus. As the Explorers move forward in the state playoffs, the destination on Friday for the 8A state semifinals at Deerfield Beach.

What has happened for this program in 2018 is they picked up where they left off – and while Carol City was a major hurdle – that loss set the tone for the remainder of the season.

With many seniors taking charge, a number of underclass performers also made an impression.- and one of those was Villar. A very talented football player who has more than turned heads this season.

A gifted playmaker who continues to help this quality program reach the state finals. His recruitment should be fun next year.


Catch the South Florida High School Sports Radio Show each Tuesday night (8-9) 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!