The high school football regular season is over and 14 of USF’s Class of 2020 prospects were fortunate enough to make the postseason with their respective teams. So lets check in on where those #20Strong members stand as we head into the weekend.
Pahokee LB Frankie Burgess
Struggling to start the year, Pahokee finished the 2019 season on fire with three straight victories to earn themselves a first-round bye in the Class 1A state playoffs. The Blue Devils will matchup with visiting Hawthorne on Friday where the winners will advance to next week’s Region 4 finals to play either Newberry or Chiefland.
The USF verbal commit Burgess certainly made his presence felt in Pahokee’s three-game winning streak, a stretch that included a 21-17 victory over Glades Central in the famous Muck Bowl.
WEEK 10 HIGHLIGHT: Pahokee ‘20 DE & @USFFootball verbal commit Frankie Burgess (@Frankburgess22)— New Era Prep (@EraPrep) October 26, 2019
3 sacks, 2 TFL in 24-14 home win over Clewiston on Senior Night
Burgess: 18 sacks in 8 games this season ‼️@Pahokee_MSHS @dj_boldin @BanksLatwan @Reese80 @LK2Jr @TamarickBest5
His play is starting to catch the eye of some power five programs like Maryland. Soon, he may no longer be an under-the-radar prospect heading into the early signing period...
Ocala Trinity Catholic OT Miller Merriweather-Lewis
The big four-star offensive tackle and his Celtics passed their first-round test last Friday night, surviving a late-push by Trinity Christian Academy out of Jacksonville to advance with a 23-21 victory.
TC will travel across state for round two on Friday to meet Pensacola Catholic, who’s coming off a first-round bye. The winner will advance to the Region 1 final to face either the Episcopal School of Jacksonville or Florida High.
The Villages Charter DB Mac Harris
Harris and company handled their business in the first-round, stampeding over Cypress Creek for a 42-7 beatdown.
VC advances to the Region 2 semifinal for a rematch with rival South Sumter, who handed the Buffalo a 22-21 loss back on Oct. 11. The winner will head to the Region 2 final next Friday to play the winner of Cocoa/Astronaut.
Dunnellon DB AJ Hamilton
Dunnellon’s season came to an unfortunate end last Friday as they were crushed by North Marion 48-9 in the first round. The 9-2 Tigers had defeated the Colts for the District 6 title just a few weeks earlier.
It’s been a good year. These young men have attended a lot of camps together through out the last few summers. Competitors on the field, brothers in game of football. @big_m60 @yb_hamm @_UnoZero pic.twitter.com/ndS1KdRH7r— Sean Lewis (@SeanLewis03) November 2, 2019
Plantation American Heritage OG Khristopher Love
Elsewhere in the 5A bracket, American Heritage whooped Key West 53-15 to advance to round two.
Love and the Patriots will battle North Miami Beach on Friday where the winner will face either Killian or defending state champion Miami Northwestern in the Region 4 final.
Please enjoy this video of Love getting his own Piesman moment from a few weeks back.
Big guy touchdown! USF OL commit Khris Love finds the end zone on a direct snap. pic.twitter.com/klP8dHh9ci— Andrew Ivins (@Andrew_Ivins) October 26, 2019
Port Orange Atlantic LB Ty Berrong
Berrong housed an 80-yard pick six to get the momentum rolling for Atlantic’s 41-14 victory over River Ridge, the school’s first playoff victory since 1996.
According to Chris Boyle of the Daytona Beach News-Journal, the pick-six was inspired by a cookie bet.
Berrong and the Sharks will head to Lake Wales for the Region 3 semis on Friday where the winner will face either Chamberlain or Jesuit next week.
Tampa Gaither LB Chance Coleman
Top-seeded Tampa Gaither got their first postseason victory in eight years with a 47-27 victory over Boca Ciega last Friday night.
The hometown prospect and his Cowboys will aim to advance further on Friday when hosting Clearwater. The winner will face either Largo or Lake Minneola in the Region 2 finals next week.
Lake City Columbia QB Jordan Smith
Lake City Columbia WR Marquez Bell
Lake City Columbia LB Le’Vontae Camiel
On a rainy night, defense prevailed as Lake City Columbia emerged victorious with a 14-7 first-round win over Ponte Vedra.
USF commits Jordan Smith and Marquez Bell connect on 4th down to keep the drive alive for Columbia. 7-0 Tigers with 10:48 to play in the second quarter @ESPNGainesville @TigerTownCHS @sports_CHSLC @ThePrepZone pic.twitter.com/ZXZWCOzayf— Jake Lehman (@Jake_lehman_) November 9, 2019
The Columbia trio of Smith, Bell and Camiel will try to help their Tigers get over the hurdle of Jacksonville Lee on Friday, the same team who handed them a 27-21 overtime loss earlier in the season.
The winner will advance to the Region 1 final to face either Escambia or Mainland. Speaking of Mainland...
Daytona Beach Mainland RB Taron Keith
Keith rushed for 214 yards and three touchdowns as Mainland ran all over Pensacola Booker T. Washington 38-20 last Friday.
Chris Boyle profiled the future Bull and his big night.
Keith and his Buccaneers will now trek across state to face undefeated Escambia.
DeLand CB Ben Knox
Knox and his Bulldogs’ season ended in a heartbreaker last Friday.
Up 21-7 on Timber Creek in the fourth the Wolves stormed back to pull to within one with 45 seconds left. Playing for the win, Timber Creek QB Jake Johnson sauntered into the endzone for the go-ahead score. Getting the ball downfield, DeLand kicker Alec Marcard missed a potential game-winning 44-yard field goal as time expired.
Deerfield Beach CB Christopher Townsel
Powehouse Deerfield overpowered Palm Beach Gardens last Friday, handing them a 53-9 beating to advance to round two of the 8A bracket.
Townsel and the Bucks will head to Palm Beach Central where the winner will meet either Vero Beach or Treasure Coast in the Region 3 final next week.
Valdosta QB Tate Rodemaker
Crossing over into the state of Georgia now where the first round of the GHSA state playoffs will begin on Friday.
Three-star quarterback Tate Rodemaker and his Region 1 runner-up Wildcats will host Lakeside-Evans with the winner advancing to round two to play either Richmond Hill or M.L. King.
The Peach State product has been getting more and more recognition as one of the best signal callers in the state in recent weeks, receiving offers from Virginia Tech and Utah.
2020 Verbal Commits
- Tampa Gaither LB Chance Coleman
- Sarasota RB Brian Battie
- Gainesville DT Gentle Hunt
- Lake City Columbia QB Jordan Smith
- OT Miller Merriweather-Lewis, ATH Marquez Bell, LB Le’Vontae Camiel
- Daytona Beach Mainland RB Taron Keith and DeLand CB Ben Knox
- Valdosta High School QB Tate Rodemaker
- The Villages Charter School DB Mac Harris
- Dunnelon DB AJ Hamilton
- Plantation American Heritage OG Khristopher Love
- Port Orange Atlantic LB Ty Berrong
- Wauchula Hardee OT Evan Webster
- Deerfield Beach CB Christopher Townsel
- Pahokee LB Frankie Burgess
- East Los Angeles DT Sione “John” Tuitupou