It appears that south Florida is particularly loaded at the skill positions for the Class of 2015. This is especially true at defensive back where a number of prospects already have multiple verbal offers in hand.
Florida, Miami and West Virginia have already offered Class of 2015 cornerback Tyrek Cole of Miramar (Fla.).
Last weekend at the South Florida Express 7-on-7 team tryouts, several of the top rising junior prospects were on hand; and talked about the offers and future recruitments.
Cole leads the way at CB
If there is one cornerback that stands out among the rest in 2015 in South Florida, it’s Tyrek Cole (Miramar). The 5-10.5, 170-pounder proved to be a lock down, pure cover corner over the weekend showing exactly why programs such as Florida and Miami have already offered with many more expected in May.
"I have offers from the University of Florida, Miami and West Virginia," Cole said on Sunday.
The corner who is already drawing comparisons to former Miramar star Tracy Howard already has offers from his two favorites.
"Florida, I love that school,” Cole said. “I grew up loving that school and have family that went to Florida. My aunt and two uncles went there. I like Miami because of the SWAG, obviously it's my hometown school and they have good academics. Florida and Miami were the teams I watched on TV growing up, so it’s great to have them both already.”
Not to be forgotten, the offer from West Virginia also stands out because of the connections to his school.
"West Virginia, of course they have the pipeline to Miramar, so that's big too.”
Class of 2015 defensive back Jaquan Johnson of Miami Killian already holds five verbal scholarship offers.
Cole, who ran a 4.62 laser-timed 40-yard dash recently, has four more programs he hopes to add offers from headed into the spring evaluation period.
"FSU, Tennessee, Georgia and LSU are schools that I hope offers me,” he said.
Cole tallied 26 tackles, 20 pass break ups and two interceptions as a sophomore.
Johnson has five and counting
If not Cole, the top pure defensive back in the area in 2015 is likely Jaquan Johnson (Miami/Killian). The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder with 12 interceptions in two seasons on varsity at Killian has six offers with many more expected in the coming weeks and months.
"I have some offers," Johnson said. "I have Florida, Clemson, FSU, Miami, Ole Miss and Marshall. (Canes head coach) Al Golden and (Florida head coach) Will Muschamp came by the school a few weeks back. That was cool.”
For Johnson, he already has an offer from the program he watched the most growing up.
"I watched Miami growing up. I just liked the SWAG and energy had. That's the way we (Killian) plays now," he said.
Class of 2015 defensive back Tavarus McFadden may have the most upside of all of the rising junior defensive back prospects in south Florida.
Along with the Hurricanes, Johnson is keeping a close eye on the Gators.
"Florida is a good school. I liked it when I visited. The facilities are great and I loved the coaches. They are showing a lot of love for me, and I’m watching what they are doing,” he said.
Following what is expected to be a hectic month of May at Killian, the physical playmaker is planning to camp at four or five schools.
"I want to go camp at Florida, Clemson, Miami and Florida State," he said. "I'm also going to try to get out there to Ole Miss to see what they are all about."
Johnson was named 8A First Team All-State following the 2012 season, in which he recorded 74 tackles and seven interceptions. He has amassed 119 tackles and 12 interceptions in two seasons.
McFadden’s high ceiling attracting the best
Of all of the talented defensive backs in the area, Tavarus McFadden (Fort Lauderdale/American Heritage) likely has the highest upside.
McFadden has gone from a 6-foot-1, 170-pounder to nearly 6-foot-3 and 180-pounds in the last year, and college programs have certainly taken notice.
“I have FSU and Notre Dame already,” McFadden said Saturday. “I also have LSU, Ole Miss and Boston College. I have a few of my favorites, so I'm just waiting and letting everything fall into place,"
For McFadden, the offers mean a lot to him for family reasons, as much as football reasons.
"It means a lot. Knowing that I'm going to go to college and not pay a thing; that is great for my family and everything. I'm really appreciative, and I'm just trying to stay humble and keep working,” he said.
The rangy defensive back is hoping two more of his favorites throw their name in the hat soon.
"UM (Miami) and Georgia are two schools that I hope offers. UM was the team I’ve always liked to watch. It's just like them, and I just grew up watching them."
Scott, Herrera likely to blow up in May
One of the top 2015 prospects on hand at the SFE tryout was on the sidelines in an observation role. Defensive end prospect Devonaire Scott
(Miami/Southridge) immediately catches the eye when he walks onto a field (he’s 6-foot-5, 215 pounds), and college coaches have already come to a similar conclusion.
"Illinois, Marshall, Michigan, Alabama, FSU, Georgia, Florida and Miami are some of the schools that are showing interest,” Scott said.
The playmaker with 4.65 reported speed says Florida was his team growing up, but he is open to everyone at this point.
"I don't know that I have any favorites, anything can change in two years. For me in my childhood years, it was the Florida Gators. I just liked them; they are the Gators. Now, I'm not a fan of anyone more than the other,” he said.
More than recruiting, Scott is focused on improving as a tight end headed into the spring.
"I need to improve my blocking and continue to improve my speed. That is my focus.” He said.
Like Scott, Killian running back and wide receiver prospect Jordan Herrera figures to pick up offers in May. The 5-foot-10.5, 175-pound silky smoother and natural route runner with plus ball skills didn’t play varsity as a sophomore due to academic requirements, but is back on track now.
“I played JV last season,” Herrera said. “But I’m good to go now and ready for next season.”
The California native is hoping to catch USC’s eye when he hits the field for spring practice.
"Well, I would really like to go to USC. USC has always been my team. I'm from California, so the Trojans are my team," he said.
While USC is the dream, the in-state powers are also firmly on Herrera’s radar.
"Also, I like UM, FSU and Florida too. Those four are really the schools I like the most,” he said.
When college coaches stop by Killian in May, they will see a playmaker with quickness, the ability to accelerate and top end speed.
“I’m 5-10 and about 175-pounds right now. The last time I was timed, I ran in the 4.4's at a combine last summer. I feel like I’ve gotten faster.”
Gerry Hamilton is the lead national recruiting analyst for 247Sports. Follow him on Twitter @GerryHam247
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