The Prospector: New Central Florida stars emerge in preseason games

The Prospector

Chris Hays

The Prospector

2:18 AM EDT, September 1, 2010


I love it on Florida Kickoff Classic nights when tons of kids come crawling out of the gridiron grass like cinch bugs disguised as college football prospects.

They're all over the place.

It leaves people like myself scrambling for a roster trying to figure out, "Who's that?"

Believe it or not, I like when players come out of nowhere who we missed on the summer recruiting trail. It keeps us on our toes, helps people understand that as much as someone calls us experts we are more like observers, and it's always a good feeling to see a player emerge from anonymity.

Several players did that on Friday night and while there are plenty who might say they "told you so," in the long run the only thing that matters is seeing the player make a name for himself.

Here's a little breakdown, and it's not nearly a complete run-down:

It's too bad a storm had to roll in on the Edgewater-Hagerty game because I sure would have liked to have seen more of new Edgewater running back Sean Capobianco. A transfer from Apopka, Capobianco's name came up recently as someone we might watch.

He transferred to Edgewater after struggling academically at Apopka since his parents' divorce in his eighth grade year. John Capobianco, a longtime teacher at Edgewater, went through all the hoops to bring Sean to Edgewater last winter for the spring semester, and the move has paid great dividends for Sean in the classroom.

"You wouldn't believe the paperwork I had to bring to the hearings up in Ocala, but we did everything by the book and wouldn't do it any other way," Capobianco said. "I'm just thankful to get my son over here and get him back on track. I think he can even pull a 3.0 this semester and he's right on target now to graduate and everything. "

In just two quarters against Hagerty, Capobianco had a pair of touchdowns in his Eagles' debut. It's early and that was a jamboree game, but he did look good, as did the other Edgewater players, especially the defense.

Poor Hagerty QB Jeff Driskel, the Florida commit and top-ranked QB in the country by most rankings services, was running for his life against the Eagles' defense. He may have even woke up Saturday morning with the No. 19 overlaid on his No. 6 jersey as many times as Deion Green hit him.

But Green wasn't the only one. Another Apopka transfer Jaquail Ashley showed what we already knew, wreaking his own havoc, as did numerous Edgewater defenders like Karl Joseph, who had a pick of a Driskel pass. Everybody pretty much got a piece.

Edgewater's sophomore quarterback J.B. Woodman was impressive as well, taking the offense down the field on three scoring drives, and even had a touchdown pass to Alton Howard, who made a nice, leaping catch. Edgewater faces a tough test in the real opener on Friday against Dr. Phillips. The Panthers blanked Flagler Palm Coast 42-0 in their jamboree game.

In Lake Brantley's 20-0 win over Wekiva, it was not so much about who emerged, but what. In fact, George Clayton is in his 15th season as coach at Lake Brantley High, and something tells me this has never happened before — three TD passes in one game, and none on the ground. Although RB Ti'on Green did have a 97-yarder called back.

Able-armed quarterback Jordan Strittmatter threw two touchdown passes — recipients were Pierre Youngblood-Ary and Corey White — and then backup Colin McGrath also hit White with a TD pass. Preseason questions included those about Clayton using his receivers, like Youngblood-Ary, who has offers from Northwestern, Navy, Middle Tennessee, Memphis and FAU. He obviously has some ideas, but don't expect Clayton to go on a wild passing spree. He's had throwing QBs before, and they handed off in the triple option.

And Green gives Clayton plenty of reason to hand off or pitch out again this season. He's the top junior running back in Central Florida.

Other Friday Night Highlights

Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at chays@orlandosentinel.com.