Lake Nona QB Kevin Sousa just starting to scratch the surface of his potential

Kevin Sousa is starting to hear how great he is from every direction.

Most people in attendance at this past weekend's Under Armour Combine in Jacksonville had pretty much the same reaction to Sousa's performance.

Among the raves:

"Sousa was a man among boys."

"Big Sousa looked like a stud out there."

"The Sousa kid was incredible ... really stood out. He's got a cannon

arm. That kid is big-time."

Just random comments from three different Orlando school representatives who have no vested interest in how Sousa performed.

They just know they were amazed at what they saw.

But it's neither amazing nor surprising to Sousa and his personal coach, handler and guardian Anthony Paradiso, an assistant coach at Lake Nona High School.

"That's what Coach Paradiso said would happen if I listened to him and did what he told me to do," said Sousa, pronounced SOSA. "I put in more work for Coach Paradiso than anyone and he's pushed me and motivated me to want to be more successful. I'm committed to what he tells me to do."

Sounds easy, huh? Well for Sousa, the No. 15-ranked player in the Sentinel's 2011 Central Florida Super60, apparently it has been. He's a rare breed of athlete who just has that thing about him. All he really needed was a little direction and his natural skills would take care of the rest.

"He's an unbelievable, gifted talent and he just needed someone to pull it out of him. I tell everybody he's just getting his feet wet," says Paradiso. "I found him roaming the halls (at Cypress Creek) when I first met him and he was just a soccer player.

"He never played football. I got him to buy into something, buy into the fact that he could be great."

He certainly looked the part last year for first-year program Lake Nona. Sousa passed for 1,290 yards and eight touchdowns and rushed for another 859 yards and five scores in the first seven games, but injured his knee in the eighth game and was done for the season. Not too shabby for seven games.

He started to gain some attention. Was even invited to attend a Notre Dame game on an unofficial visit last year. Just a little taste of things to come for Sousa.

But how is it that a teenager can put so much trust into one man? Many up-and-comers thumb their nose at adult advice, but Sousa was convinced.

"It was the way he approached me. He convinced me to do it. He motivated me to do it," Sousa said. "It showed how much he cared about me and how much he wanted me to be successful."

Paradiso believed so much in the kid that he even offered to become his official, temporary guardian when his parents were going to move back to the Boston area for a better financial situation, less than two years ago.

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