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Recruiting Radar: Commit recap from HSFB Playoffs Week 4

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Precious few Canes commits are still playing in their senior HSFB seasons. See who, and how they fared, here.

“Left hand can do the work. Right hand, take the play off.” - Evidence Njoku
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It’s HSFB State Championship time, guys! This is when great teams, usually led by great players, make their mark in the history books.

A couple of Miami’s 20 commits in the 2017 class had playoff games this past week. Let’s get caught up on what happened:

QB N’Kosi Perry and Ocala (FL) Vanguard had their season come to an end, dropping a tight 14-13 game to Lake Gibson (FL) a week ago.

Perry and Vanguard ended their season at 10-2.

QB Cade Weldon and Tampa (FL) Jefferson previously lost to Tampa (FL) Jesuit in the playoffs.

Weldon and Jefferson ended their season at 7-4.

RB Robert Burns and the Miami (FL) Gulliver Prep Raiders are independent, and have no further games.

Their season is over.

WR Kevaughn Dingle and the Carol City (FL) Chiefs beat Punta Gorda (FL) Charlotte 39-0 in the State Semifinals. Charlotte entered undefeated at 12-0, but Carol City, possibly be the hottest team in the State in 6A, dominated the game from jump, stifling Lake Gibson’s offense and abusing their defense all night long, eventually inducing a running clock in the 2nd half.

Dingle had a couple catches in the game, but the running game — jet sweeps to one of CC’s fastest players, and regular runs by their 2 outstanding RBs — was the key to the win for the Chiefs. You can check out he highlights here, which include several nice catches from Dingle on the night:

Carol City now advances to the 6A State Championship game against Lake Gibson. For those keeping track, that’s the same Lake Gibson that beat N’Kosi Perry’s Vanguard Knights twice this year, and are undefeated on the season. Much like last week, Carol City has a tough test, but with the way they’re playing, I fully expect them to brign the State Championship back South after this game.

WR Evidence Njoku and Wayne (NJ) Wayne Hills captured a State Championship on Sunday night with a 31-24 (OT) win over rival Wayne (NJ) Wayne Valley at MetLife Stadium.

Wayne Hills’ season looked on the brink of a sad ending early. The Patriots found themselves down 24-10 after 3 quarters, and without many answers for their rivals from across town. Everything changed, however, when Wayne Hills scored 14 unanswered points in the 4th quarter, tying the game before winning in Overtime.

Njoku was held to 1 catch for 5 yards in the game, but several of his teammates had big nights both passing and rushing. That obviously came in the latter stages of the game, and the fact that Njoku commanded such attention from Wayne Valley’s defense opened up passing and running space for his teammates.

In any event, Njoku and the Wayne Hills Patriots are the NJSIAA North Jersey 4 Group 1 State Champions! Congratulations!

TE Brian Polendey and Denton (TX) Guyer lost in the playoffs last week.

Polendey and the Guyer Wildcats ended their season at 9-3.

OL Navaughn Donaldson and Miami (FL) Central Rockets missed the playoffs. Their season is over.

The Rockets’ season ended at 6-2, and their streak of 4 consecutive State Championships is over. Florida’s 6A classification will have a new champion in 2017.

OL Zach Dykstra and the Spirit Lake (IA) Indians missed the playoffs and have concluded their season.

The Indians’ season ended at 6-4.

OL Zalontae Hillery, ATH DeeJay Dallas and their Brunswick (GA) Glynn Academy Terrors’ season ended with 42-20 loss to Warner Robbins (GA) Northside last week.

This game seemed to come apart for Glynn Academy from the beginning. Northsie built a 21-point halftime lead, and forced 4 GA turnovers to help propel themselves to the victory.

Glynn Academy’s season ended at 11-2.

DT Jon Ford and the Ft. Lauderdale (FL) Dillard Panthers’s lost to Carol City (FL) in the first round of the playoffs 3 weeks ago.

Dillard’s season ended at 6-4.

DE Jonathan Garvin and the Lake Worth (FL) Trojans missed the playoffs.

The Trojans’ season ended at 4-5.

DE D.J. Johnson and his Sacramento (CA) Luther Burbank Titans lost to Sacramento (CA) Christian Brothers in the playoffs previously.

Johnson and the Burbank Titans’ season ended at 7-4.

LB De’Andre Wilder attends Carol City, but he has aged out of FHSAA eligibility after turning 19 years and 9 months the day after Carol City’s last regular season game. The Chiefs continued their playoff run with a 39-0 win over Punta Gorda (FL) Charlotte in the State Semi-Finals on Friday night.

Carol City advances to face Lake Gibson (FL) in the FHSAA Class 6A State Championship game on December 10th

But, for the age reasons previously listed, Wilder’s HSFB career has already ended.

LB Waynmon Steed and the Miami (FL) Central Rockets missed the playoffs. Their season is over.

News recently broke that Steed played his senior year with a knee injury that will require surgery, which he recently had on December 2nd. Miami will honor his scholarship, and Steed is on track to enroll at Miami in January.

LB Bradley Jennings Jr. and Jacksonville (FL) Sandalwood lost their playoff opener a couple weeks ago.

Their season ended at 7-2.

DB Trajan Bandy and the Miami (FL) Columbus Explorers lost to Coral Gables (FL) previously in the playoffs.

Columbus’ season ended at 7-5.

DB Billy Gibson and Miami (FL) Southridge kept their playoff run going with a 26-7 win over Deerfield Beach (FL) in the State Semi-Finals on Friday night.

While Deerfield Beach scored, that came on a fumble return by the defense. So, Southridge’s defense pitched another shutout, their 7th of the year. Gibson played well on the night, making several key tackles from his position as an in-the-box safety. Southridge’s defense simply overwhelmed Deerfield Beach, and Gibson was a big part of their strong performance.

Southridge moves on to the Class 8A State Championship Game, where they will face Orlando(FL) Dr. Phillips on December 10th.

DB Amari Carter and the Palm Beach Gardens (FL) Gators lost in the playoffs a couple weeks ago.

Carter and Gardens’ ended their season at 5-6.

P Zach Feagles and the Ridgewood (NJ) Maroons captured a State Championship, beating Wayne (NJ) Passaic County Tech 14-13 on Saturday afternoon.

Feagles did his usual thing, supplying the entirety of the scoring offense for Ridgewood. Feagles ended his HS career with 28 carries for 91 yards and 2 TDs in the State Championship win. Feagles scored the game winner with 3:01 left in the 4th quarter, and Ridgewood stopped Passiac Tech to secure the victory.

Feagles played RB, LB, and punter in the game. He did have one punt blocked on the day, but that was a breakdown on the line, not on Feagles. His booming punts helped Ridgewood win the field position battle on the day, and his running proved to be the difference in a 1 point win.

In any event, Feagles and the Ridgewood Maroons are the undefeated NJSIAA North Jersey 5 Group 1 State Champions! Congratulations!


That’s it for this week’s Commit Recap. 2 State Championships down, 2 to go. Let’s finish strong, Dingle and Gibson!!

The final installment of the Commit Recap comes your way next Monday. Hope it’s a good one!

Go Canes