The Times-Union’s Super 75: Class of 2018

Providence’s Will Mallory (81) runs for a first down after the catch against Episcopal during first half high school football action at Episcopal School in Jacksonville, Fla., Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. (For The Florida Times-Union/Gary Lloyd McCullough)

The top 75 senior football players in Florida, as selected by Times-Union assistant sports editor Justin Barney. Rankings are based on college potential, not high school success. Verbal commitments are non-binding until national signing day on Feb. 7.


QUARTERBACK Ht. Wt. School College choices

1. Joey Gatewood 6-4 225 Bartram Trail Signed with Auburn

2. Joe Milton 6-5 220 Olympia Signed with Michigan

3. Artur Sitkowski 6-6 220 IMG Academy Signed with Rutgers

4. Carter Bradley 6-3 200 Providence Signed with Toledo

Local on the bubble: Riley Smith, Bartram Trail (uncommitted)

Glance: Some recruiting services tab Gatewood as an athlete, but he’ll line up under center, at least to begin his career at Auburn. Two of the state’s top QBs had surprising college destinations in Sitkowski and Bradley.

RUNNING BACK Ht. Wt. School College choices

1. Brian Snead 5-11 200 Armwood Signed with Ohio State

2. Lorenzo Lingard 6-0 190 OC University Signed with Miami

3. James Cook 6-0 180 Northwestern Signed with Georgia

4. Cam’Ron Davis 5-10 190 Carol City Signed with Miami

5. T.J. Pledger 5-10 200 IMG Academy Signed with Oklahoma

6. Shaun Shivers 5-8 170 Chaminade Signed with Auburn

7. Charles Strong 6-1 225 Union County Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Louisville, others

8. Chris Curry 5-11 200 Lehigh Acres Signed with LSU

9. Caleb Steward 5-11 200 White Signed with Va. Tech

Glance: Snead, Lingard, Cook and Davis are among the top 10 backs in the nation. Strong, a one-time Florida State commit, is one to watch as signing day approaches. Steward is a powerful runner and enters college with low mileage.

RECEIVER Ht. Wt. School College choices

1. Jacob Copeland 6-0 190 Escambia Alabama, Texas A&M, UF, UK

2. Anthony Schwartz 6-0 170 Amer. Heritage Auburn

3. Kevin Austin 6-3 200 N. Broward Signed with Notre Dame

4. Mark Pope 6-1 180 Southridge Signed with Miami

5. Brian Hightower 6-3 200 IMG Academy Signed with Miami

6. Xavier Williams 6-1 190 Chaminade Signed with Alabama

7. Tyquan Thornton 6-3 170 Washington Signed with Baylor

8. Warren Thompson 6-3 195 Armwood FSU, UF, others

9. Elijah Moore 5-11 170 Aquinas Signed with Ole Miss

10. D’Marcus Adams 6-0 160 Mainland Florida State

Glance: Solid group overall. Copeland is the nation’s fifth-best receiver by ESPN and 10th by 247 Sports. Miami did well in-state here.

TIGHT END Ht. Wt. School College choices

1. Will Mallory 6-5 210 Providence Signed with Miami

2. George Takacs 6-7 240 Gulf Coast Signed with Notre Dame

3. Zach Sheffer 6-3 220 Nease Signed with LSU

Glance: In the area, it was an exceptional season for tight ends. While Mallory was banged up most of the season, he’s an elite college prospect with receiver-like pass-catching skills.

OFFENSIVE TACKLE Ht. Wt. School College choices

1. Nick Petit-Frere 6-5 260 Berkeley Prep Alabama, Auburn, UF, others

2. Richard Gouraige 6-5 270 Cambridge Chr. Florida

3. William Barnes 6-5 312 Apopka Alabama, Auburn, Duke, UNC

4. Daniel Faalele 6-8 390 IMG Academy Signed with Minnesota

5. Nick Lewis 6-9 350 Bolles Kentucky

Glance: Petit-Frere is arguably the top OT recruit in the nation (first by 247 Sports, second by ESPN). Gouraige is a major need for UF and it desperately needs to hang on to him. Then there are two of the biggest tackles in recent memory are Faalele and Lewis.

OFFENSIVE GUARD Ht. Wt. School College choices

1. Delone Scaife 6-3 320 Southridge Signed with Miami

2. Curtis Dunlap Jr. 6-5 360 IMG Academy Signed with Minnesota

3. Cleveland Reed 6-3 325 Fort Meade Signed with Miami

4. Orlando Heggs 6-3 290 Bolles Signed with Wake Forest

Glance: Solid players here. Dunlap, who played early in his career at White High before transferring to IMG, was a one-time Florida commit and an excellent get for Minnesota.

CENTER Ht. Wt. School College choices

1. Verdis Brown 6-4 320 IMG Academy Signed with Illinois

Local on the bubble: Brad Cecil, Bartram Trail (Signed with USF)

Glance: Brown rates as 247 Sports sixth-best center in the nation. But there’s not an abundance of talent at the position in the Southeast in 2018.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE Ht. Wt. School College choices

1. Taron Vincent 6-2 290 IMG Academy Signed with Ohio State

2. Nesta Silvera 6-2 310 Amer. Heritage Miami

3. T.K. Chimedza 6-3 295 IMG Academy Signed with Ga. Tech

4. Dennis Briggs 6-4 255 Gateway FSU, Louisville, Miami, S. Carolina, others

Glance: Vincent is the consensus top tackle in the nation and fortified a stellar Sunshine State haul by the Buckeyes.

DEFENSIVE END Ht. Wt. School College choices

1. Xavier Thomas 6-3 260 IMG Academy Signed with Clemson

2. Stephon Wynn 6-4 310 IMG Academy Signed with Alabama

3. Kayode Oladele 6-4 235 Champagnat Signed with Auburn

4. Andrew Chatfield 6-2 220 Amer. Heritage Miami, UF, others

Local on the bubble: Parker Devine, Bartram Trail (uncommitted)

Glance: Thomas is the consensus top DE in the nation, and No. 3 overall player by ESPN and 247 Sports, and fourth by Rivals.

INSIDE LB Ht. Wt. School College choices

1. Ayodele Adeoye 6-0 230 IMG Academy Signed with Texas

2. Robert Hicks 6-0 240 Miami Central Signed with Louisville

3. Ryan Smenda 6-1 205 Fleming Island Signed with Wake Forest

4. Eriq Gilyard 5-11 220 Trinity Signed with UCF

Glance: Adeoye is in the top 10 at his position in the country. Two excellent inside backers from the First Coast in Butkus Award nominee Gilyard and Smenda, the Times-Union’s defensive player of the year.

OUTSIDE LB Ht. Wt. School College choices

1. Mike Jones Jr. 6-1 230 IMG Academy Signed with Clemson

2. Nikolas Bonitto 6-3 205 Aquinas Signed with Oklahoma

Local on the bubble: Dequan Jackson, Lee (signed with Colorado State)

Glance: Not a particularly strong year for elite outside backers in Florida.

CORNERBACK Ht. Wt. School College choices

1. Patrick Surtain Jr. 6-1 200 Amer. Heritage Alabama, Clemson, LSU, UF

2. Tyson Campbell 6-3 180 Amer. Heritage Alabama, UGA, Miami, Ohio State

3. Brendan Radley-Hiles 5-10 185 IMG Academy Oklahoma

4. Houston Griffith 6-1 190 IMG Academy Signed with Notre Dame

5. Asante Samuel Jr. 5-10 165 Aquinas Signed with FSU

6. Al Blades Jr. 6-0 170 Aquinas Signed with Miami

7. Isaiah Bolden 6-2 180 Wesley Chapel Signed with Florida State

8. Gilbert Frierson 6-1 190 Coral Gables Signed with Miami

9. Nadab Joseph 6-2 180 Norland Signed with Georgia

10. Sevyn Banks 6-0 180 Jones Signed with Ohio State

11. Miguel Edwards 6-0 160 D’field Beach Signed with Oklahoma

12. Jordan Miner 6-1 170 W’grass Ranch Signed with Penn State

13. Sammy Faustin 6-2 190 Naples Signed with Michigan

14. Divaad Wilson 6-0 180 Northwestern Signed with Georgia

15. CJ Smith 6-1 175 Fletcher Signed with Minnesota

Local on the bubble: Eugene Bowman IV, Lee (Signed with USF)

Glance: The strongest position grouping in the state in 2018 is in the secondary. This group could have probably stretched into 20 players.

SAFETY Ht. Wt. School College choices

1. Tyreke Johnson 6-2 180 Trinity Signed with Ohio State

2. Jamien Sherwood 6-1 180 Jensen Beach Signed with Auburn

3. Gurvan Hall 5-11 175 PB Gardens Signed with Miami

4. Chamarri Conner 6-0 185 Trinity Signed with Va. Tech

5. Trenell Troutman 5-10 190 Aquinas Signed with Louisville

6. CJ Smith 6-2 190 Oxbridge Nebraska

7. Johnathan Huggins 6-0 200 Mainland Signed with Florida

8. Randy Russell 5-11 170 Carol City Signed with Florida

Locals on the bubble: Vincent Davis, Lee (signed with USF) Devon Matthews, Ribault (Signed with Indiana)

Glance: Johnson is the headliner here and the top-rated prospect on the First Coast this season. Despite signing with Florida, Russell won’t be able to play college football due to a heart condition, he announced on Thursday.

ATHLETE Ht. Wt. School College choices

1. Justin Watkins 6-0 175 East Ridge LSU, UF, others

2. Amari Burney 6-1 215 Calvary Chr. Signed with Florida

Glance: The Gators could wind up with the top two athletes in the state.


* Indicates that player has signed with a school


Pos Player Ht., Wt. School

WR D’Marcus Adams 6-0, 160 Mainland

OT Chris Armstrong 6-5, 335 Warner Robins*

CB Isaiah Bolden 6-2, 180 Wesley Chapel*

DT Robert Cooper 6-2, 375 S. Gwinnett, Ga.*

OLB Amari Gainer 6-3, 205 Chiles*

CB Anthony Lytton 5-10, 175 Wise, Md.*

OG Chris Meadows 6-3, 330 Macon Co., Ga.

DE Chaz Neal 6-7 , 250 Wesley Chapel

CB Asante Samuel Jr. 5-10, 165 Aquinas*

S Jaiden Woodbey 6-2, 205 Bosco, Calif.*


Pos Player Ht., Wt. School

OLB Adam Anderson 6-4,215 Rome, Ga.*

K Jake Camarda 6-2, 175 Norcross, Ga.*

OT Owen Condon 6-7, 300 McGuinness, Okla.*

RB James Cook 6-0, 180 Northwestern*

DE Brenton Cox 6-5, 245 Stockbridge, Ga.*

DT Jordan Davis 6-6, 330 Mallard, NC

C Warren Ericson 6-4, 290 N. Gwinnett, Ga.*

QB Justin Fields 6-3, 220 Harrison, Ga.*

TE John Fitzpatrick 6-6, 230 Marist, Ga.*

TE Luke Ford 6-6, 250 Carterville, Ill.*

OG Trey Hill 6-4, 345 Houston Co., Ga.*

WR Kearis Jackson 5-11, 205 Peach Co., Ga.*

CB Nadab Joseph 6-2, 180 Norland*

OT Cade Mays 6-6,320 Knoxville Cath.*

DE Azeez Ojulari 6-4, 225 Marietta, Ga.*

OG Jamaree Salyer 6-4, 340 Pace, Ga.*

CB Chris Smith 5-11, 170 Hapeville, Ga.*

ILB Channing Tindall 6-2,215 Spr. Valley, SC*

DT Tramel Walthour 6-4,275 Liberty Co., Ga.

RB Zamir White 6-1, 220 Scotland Co.*

S Rachad Wildgoose Jr. 5-11, 190 Northwestern

CB Divaad Wilson 6-0, 180 Northwestern*

DT Devonte Wyatt 6-3, 300 Hutch. CC*


Pos Player Ht., Wt. School

OT Noah Banks 6-7, 305 Iowa Western*

OT Chris Bleich 6-6, 305 Wyo. Valley, Pa.*

S Amari Burney 6-1, 215 Calvary Chr.*

Ath Iverson Clement 5-11, 200 Rancocas, NJ*

S Trey Dean 6-2, 180 Dutchtown, Ga.*

OT Richard Gouraige 6-5, 270 Cambridge

S John Huggins 6-0, 200 Mainland*

QB Emory Jones 6-3, 195 Heard Co., Ga.*

TE Dante Lang 6-5, 220 Boca Raton*

K Evan McPherson 6-0, 165 Fort Payne, Ala.*

RB Dameon Pierce 5-11, 205 Bainbridge*

TE Kyle Pitts 6-6, 235 Arch Wood, Pa.*

OLB David Reese 6-3, 215 Vero Beach*

S Randy Russell 5-11, 170 Carol City*


Pos Player Ht., Wt. School

K Bubba Baxa 6-0, 195 Memorial, TX*

CB Al Blades Jr. 6-0, 170 Aquinas*

OT John Campbell 6-5, 285 Dr. Phillips*

RB Cam’Ron Davis 5-10, 190 Miami Carol City*

CB Gilbert Frierson 6-1, 190 Coral Gables*

FB Realus George 6-2, 245 Pace Academy*

S Gurvan Hall 5-11, 175 PB Gardens*

WR Brian Hightower 6-3, 200 IMG Academy*

CB D.J. Ivey 6-1, 170 South Dade*

TE Brevin Jordan 6-3, 250 Gorman, NV*

DE Patrick Joyner 6-3, 210 South Dade*

RB Lorenzo Lingard 6-0, 190 OC University*

TE Will Mallory 6-5, 210 Providence*

WR Mark Pope 6-1, 180 Southridge*

OG Cleveland Reed 6-3, 325 Fort Meade*

DE Gregory Rousseau 6-6, 220 Champagnat*

OG Delone Scaife 6-3, 320 Southridge*

DT Nesta Silvera 6-2, 310 Amer. Heritage

WR Daquris Wiggins 6-3, 175 Southridge*

QB Jarren Williams 6-2, 205 C. Gwinnett, Ga.*