FAN IT

SUMMER SPOTLIGHT: 4A Booker T. Washington Looks To Rebound

Moments after losing to Glades Central in the 4A state playoffs last year, Booker T. Washington veteran head coach Tim “Ice” Harris quickly turned his attention to 2019.

Despite losing some talented players from last season’s team, he knew that in order for the Tornadoes to get back into the race for a state title, things would have to change – and they have.

The 2019 version of BTW football is very young and extremely talented – as many found out this spring, culminating with a convincing win over 7A Hollywood McArthur in the spring game.

As college coaches came through Overtown, there was a sense that this program, which has enjoyed amazing success over the past decade, had the same type of talent that those programs, who won state and even captured a national title, had.

While the product on the field was much improved over what the Tornadoes rolled out last season, the part of this team that many simply do not comprehend is the coaching staff.

What Harris has always done is surround himself with like-minded coaches who were willing to put in the time needed to help this program battle one of the best regions in the nation. Programs such as defending 5A state champion Cardinal Gibbons, always tough Miami Carol City, much improved Monsignor Pace, a University School team that came within a minute of heading to state and Miami Gulliver Prep.

Coaches such as Earl Tillman Jr. (assistant head coach/offensive line), Nitron Stork (defensive coordinator), Torian Bean (offensive coordinator), Sheldon Hanks Sr. (linebackers), Paul Lasseur (offensive line), Shanton Crummie (offensive line), Corey Stanley (quarterbacks), Brian Sloan (running backs), Davon Johnson (receivers), Ronald Wright (receivers), Lorenzo Chestnut (defensive line), Lathario Wright Sr. (defensive line), Demetrius Jackson (defensive line) and one-time Florida Gator and NFL standout Ben Hanks, who handles the special teams.

The coaching staff has long made the difference in this program. A great mix of younger and veteran teachers who have always made a huge impact.

TOREY LEADING THE WAY

While the defense is going to be solid once again in 2019, Class of 2021 quarterback Torey Morrison, a four year varsity starter, is as good as you get. While many continue to focus on his size – or lack of it – they are missing a passer who will carve up any defense. ANY DEFENSE!

Class of 2022 rising standout Messiah Leite will have a chance to learn from one of the best around.

With Class of 2021 speedy running back Shemar Paul coming over from Miami Central, things are in great hands. Add in Class of 2021 standouts A.J. Darring and Markel Moyse and you have quality depth.

The receiving corps that the Tornadoes will send against defenses in the fall is loaded with playmakers – headed by Class of 2021 playmaker Jacorey Brooks, who has been offered by just about everyone.

But Brooks is not alone. Class of 2020 prospects such as Edward Arza, who returns after two years in Tallahassee, Eric Johnson, Ja’Varis Phillips, very gifted Theodore Richardson, Corey Stanley Jr. and big time playmaker Ternard Summerall all can get it done and will be huge.

Speaking about huge, the offensive line, which many felt may be a place that this team needed to work on, has really come of age – with Class of 2020 standouts Jeremiah Jenkins, Michael Jeffords and Henry Williams.

The youth movement is very much alive with Class of 2022 prospects Jason Jeanty, Patrick Johnson, Kaylin Smith and Tyrese Smith.

DEFENSE ALWAYS COMES TO PLAY

The trademark of this program has long been the speed and athleticism on the defensive side of the ball. This year will be no exception.

Class of 2021 University of Miami commitments Donnell Harris (DE) and Anthony Hundley are as good as you will find anywhere, and they give this program plenty of firepower up front.

Class of 2020 big time performers John Joachin Jr. (DE), Tramel Logan (DE) and Lathario Wright Jr. are also impressive and will cause all types of problems. Class of 2021 defensive end Jeremiah Peters is also a quality player.

With some key losses at the linebacker position, it will be up to Class of 2020 standouts Drew Irvin,

Kayvon Moore and Rondell Pittman, and Class of 2022 player Donte Easterling.

As deep as the defensive line is, the secondary is loaded – and could emerge as one of the best.

Class of 2020 standouts Nathaniel Harris, Amaru Howard, Eddie Jackson, Joseph Narcisse and Corey Thornton are solid.

The Class of 2021 is equally as impressive – with big time prospect Rance Conner, Octuro Howell, Horacio Johnson, Marlon Lewis, Frederick Watson and Cedric Williams.

Class of 2022 prospects Sir Jackson, Walter McCollum and Jakarie Sands add plenty of depth.

TRACKING SOUTH FLORIDA

It’s all about promoting the best talent in the country – and right up until the start of the 2019 season, we will spotlight south Florida football teams that figure to be in the mix for a state title this coming season. 

We began our series, looking at state championship game teams from 2018 with 2A state runner Champagnat Catholic, two-time defending champ Chaminade-Madonna (3A) defending state champion Cardinal Gibbons (5A), two-time defending state champion Miami Northwestern (6A), state runner-up St. Thomas Aquinas (7A), and new coach Dave Dunn and state runner-up Christopher Columbus (8A).

Click on the link to check them all out!

2A – Hialeah Champagnat Lions. https://wqam.radio.com/blogs/larry-blustein/spring-spotlight-champagnat-...

3A – Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna Lions. https://wqam.radio.com/blogs/larry-blustein/spring-spotlight-can-chamina...

4A - Fort Lauderdale University School Sharks. https://wqam.radio.com/blogs/larry-blustein/spring-spotlight-university-...

4A – Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons Chiefs. https://wqam.radio.com/blogs/larry-blustein/spring-spotlight-5a-champ-ca...

5A – Miami Northwestern Bulls. https://wqam.radio.com/blogs/larry-blustein/spring-spotlight-northwester...

6A – Miami Central Rockets. https://wqam.radio.com/blogs/larry-blustein/spring-spotlight-miami-centr...

7A – Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas. https://wqam.radio.com/blogs/larry-blustein/spring-spotlight-st-thomas-a...

8A – Davie Western Wildcats. https://wqam.radio.com/blogs/south-florida-high-school-sports-larry-blus...

8A – Deerfield Beach Bucks. https://wqam.radio.com/blogs/spring-spotlight-deerfield-beach-young-tale...

8A – Miami Christopher Columbus Explorers. https://wqam.radio.com/blogs/larry-blustein/spring-spotlight-8a-unfinish...

PHOTO COURTESY OF FAN IT @fanit_now