We’re back with Week 2 of our weekly recruiting roundup, where every week we drop in a handful of USF’s Class of 2020 prospects and see how they’re doing during their senior seasons in high school.
Lake City Columbia QB Jordan Smith
Lake City Columbia ATH Marquez Bell
Lake City Columbia LB Le’Vontae Camiel
We come back to the Lake City trio of Jordan Smith, Marquez Bell and Le’Vontae Camiel where their 4-0 Columbia sit atop the Class 6A state rankings at No. 1.
Following their season-opening statement win over Trinity Christian out of Jacksonville, CHS has won in a variety of ways, squeaking by Oakleaf 21-19, torching Akelynn’s Angels Christian Christian Academy 67-12 and using a heavy defensive presence to beat Pine Forest 21-13 last Friday.
Through four games, Smith has completed 60% of his passes for 853 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception. Bell has been one of his primary targets, hauling in a team-leading 16 receptions for 271 yards and two TD’s.
Defensively, Camiel has 27 tackles including a team-leading five tackles for loss and three sacks.
The undefeated Tigers are off this week but will return to action next week when opening District 6A-2 play on the road against fellow #20Strong verbal commit Gentle Hunt and Gainesville.
Valdosta (GA) QB Tate Rodemaker
Crossing just over the state border into Georgia, Tate Rodemaker and his Valdosta Wildcats also find themselves standing atop Class 6A at No. 1 following a dramatic 50-49 victory over south Georgia rival and Class 7A powerhouse Colquitt County.
VHS jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead only for the Packers to come storming back to make it a shootout.
Trailing 49-42 in the fourth, Rodemaker marched his team down the field on a 12-play, 77-yard drive that ended with a touchdown by running back T.J. Dailey with three 1:03 left.
Down one, Valdosta made the gutsy call to go for two, where the USF verbal commit hit Will Wright out of the swinging gate for the lead and the win.
Get ready for Valdosta to move up the GA rankings after this one— Who's Next (@WhosNextHS) September 14, 2019
Down a TD with 5 min, @TateRodemaker marched the team downfield for @OfficialTDailey to score THIS gem... AND locked it in on a trick 2-pointer!@ValdostaFB #GoCats #TitleTownUSA #GHSA @USFFootball #BullStrong pic.twitter.com/dFhxW8pgiM
“The drive before that, I threw a pick and I just knew I needed to bounce back from that. I just made some plays with my legs, thanks to my O-line and my receivers. It’s just unreal right now,” Rodemaker told the Valdosta Daily Times after the game. “That two-point play, I told (offensive coordinator Josh Crawford) not to call it at first because I didn’t think it would be there, but he called it anyways and Will was wide open. That was really fun.”
Rodemaker has certainly been a catalyst for a 4-0 Valdosta offense that is putting up 49 points a game so far throughout the 2019 season. With their first No. 1 ranking since their 2016 state championship team in tow, the will host Beaufort (SC) this Friday.
Ocala Trinity Catholic OT Miller Merriweather-Lewis
Also 4-0 and ranked in the top-ten is OT Miller Merriweather Lewis’ Trinity Catholic squad out of Ocala, who put down South Sumter last Friday for a 40-28 win.
The Celtics have employed a run-heavy attack led by junior Jamarian Samuel, who has already accounted for 816 yards and eight touchdowns this season.
He and his Celtics will get back to work this Friday when welcoming North Florida Christian out of Tallahassee.
2020 Verbal Commits
- Tampa Gaither LB Chance Coleman
- Braden River RB Brian Battie
- Gainesville DT Gentle Hunt
- Lake City Columbia QB Jordan Smith
- OT Miller Merriweather-Lewis, WR Da’Quan Bailey-Brown, 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
- Ft. Lauderdale American Heritage OG Khristopher Love
- Port Orange Atlantic LB Ty Berrong
- Wauchula OT Evan Webster