2015 Future Stars Game:
State of Florida Team Director Faheem Ali made his 4th stop in the State at M.W Gilbert Middle School in Jacksonville, Fl. On a mission to pick the top 6th, 7th, 8th Grade Youth Football players. Generation Nexxt tagged along, right there to catch all the action.
M.W. Gilbert is a middle school Power house, that hasn’t taken a loss on their home field in 8 years! Lead by Cha –ron Dorsey, who runs a very tight ship, and builds champions. There was sure to be loads of talent on display. Speaking with Coach Dorsey former Florida State University, offensive Lineman and Gilbert Middle Head Football Coach who hasn’t lose a game there in 8 years,we knew we were in for a great awakening.
The Highlight of the day was being on hand to witness all of Jacksonville’s Student athletes Compete & try out for Team Florida in Future Stars Game (FSG). The 6th Graders started things off and showed that they passes the eye test as they walked through the gate.
FSG staff were surprised to learn that what they are seeing were only sixth grade competitors. From the jump evaluators remained on edge as they fared well in the timed testing. When the action started in individuals leading to one on one’s the boys attitudes got intense and they compete like they were strangers it gave us a glimpse of what we should expect. Even some competitors from the Apopka tryout made the trip, to Jacksonville.The MVP is the most coveted award in the tryout series, an award Torrance Gibson who recently signed with National Champions Ohio State also held, along with many more claimed before they signed big time letters of intent, to your favorite colleges.
Josh Jones claimed the 6th grade MVP, he outshine the rest of the kids in one on one and the way he lifted up his peers and lead the pack in every drill. The way he competed and forced the best out of everyone else was the thing that got him the Award. Quarterback / Defensive end Deadrick Smith was among others to shine bright, and along with Apopka native Timmy McClain who showed a different side of himself and got on the boards in case he left any doubt in Apopka.
The 7th graders pouring into the Field and we could just see speedy frames. As they ran forty’s we could see that that the look matched the skills, as they really impressed in the timed tests. Individual’s drills had evaluators in awe. Following the workouts, and competition, it was still extremely difficult to crown a “Most Valuable Player”, but by the slightest minority Athlete Aston Reed, who remained consistently impressive throughout the entire tryout claimed the crown.
8th Grade tryout started with a Bang, the 2014 Future Stars Game 7th Grade Offensive MVP Keshawn King returning to try out for the 8th Grade team. KeShawn started things off by showing he has gotten bigger, stronger, faster since winning the 7th grade Offensive MVP standing 6’0 160 he turned in a blazing 4.51 blowing away coaches & Spectators.
KeShawn continued to show improved as it was more than Speed displaying soft hands in passing drills. KeShawn showed he is one of the Top 8th Graders in the State of Florida and is a relentless competitor.
Coach Dorsey told me keep an eye on Matthew Drayton who is 6’1, and 170 pounds of raw talent. Mathew was a Standout Defensive player for Coach Dorsey as well at M.W. Gilbert middle School. Matthew was coming off his first year of playing Wide Receiver a skill position he
wasn’t used to because he spent most of his time with his hands in the dirt as an offensive or defensive lineman. Coach Dorsey quickly changed that, he said Matt was a Diamond in a ruff & misused throughout his short football career thus far. Mathew ran a decent forty yard dash, but really separated himself from the pack in passing & receiving drills. Matt showed off his full repertoire big catcher mitt hands, quick leaping ability, speed, and great hand / eye coordination which allowed him to catch everything thrown his way. Matt shined bright in 1 on 1’s he dominated every match up, making some spectacular catches and using his strength to get a free release off the line of scrimmage. Beating press coverage was easy, and natural
even against some really good corners. Because of the level of competition, Matthew Drayton earned FSG 8th Grade Most Valuable Player of the day.
While glancing from a distance with the naked eye a silhouette of perfection, a Massive young kid could be seen, going
through drills. 8th Grade 6’2 310, and shoe size 16 age 14 years old when asked his name He expressed “Howard Ford sir, and I love to get Pancakes”. Howard had a great personality. But his best attributes was his Strength, Speed, Hips
and how light on his feet he was. Howard showed how physical & focus he was in 1 on 1’s dominating his competition, He did collect a couple of his favorite Pancakes served without pads or syrup. Howard was really impressive showing why he has a very bright Future ahead of him. We could be looking at the next Big prospect out of Florida remember the name Howard Ford.
The next kid to remember is 6’0 219 pound speedy (5.04 40yard dash best for all linemen) defensive athlete Domanick Graham Jr. he held a battle ready game face, a game face was for a reason he was all business and put on a show. Dominick won most of his 1 on 1’s with speed & power showing how advanced he was using his hands ripping & swim moves was on display. Domanick is going to be a Big time problem for the opposition with his skill set which is rare for his age Size, Speed, and ferociousness.
Standing 6’2 180 pounds a sporting a red headband and launching missiles as if he were Andrew Luck is Tucker Talbett.
If this kid doesn’t get your attention in workouts you’re probably evaluating horseback riding.
Tucker made every throw effortlessly, He showed great touch & ball placement with pin point accuracy. He was good at anticipating where the Receivers were going with their route speed in 1 on 1’s. Tucker is easily one of the Top 3 8th Grade QB’s in the State of Florida in his 2019 class.
Jamon Handy 5’8 140 was my pick for Elite Athlete Sunday he ran the 3rd fastest 40 at 4.68. When it came to competing he took the most Rep’s in 1 on 1’s while showing off his speed and skill route running. Jamon is very elusive, quick & explosive out his breaks & cuts, this kid is just a Playmaker.
Last but not least is Dan Dodd a young Technician with very good fundamentals which is a reflection of his Coach Dorsey. Dan stood tall at 6’1 Offensive Lineman who did everything good and showed a lot of speed when he was running the 40. I would not want to be in front of this kid if he is a pull Tackle on a Trap or Counter trap with his combination of Footwork & Long wing span Dan is a difference maker for sure at the Youth Level. What an awesome performance by the Jacksonville 6th, 7th and 8th Graders who inevitably will make Team Florida virtually unbeatable in the Future Stars Florida Vs Georgia 2015 game June 13th 2015.
By: Darrien T Green