Football is a game of electricity. From guys like Tyreek Hill to Lamar Jackson to Khalil Mack, we love the player who can just make your jaw drop. We love the excitement. Florida high schools produce some of the best football talent in the country year after year, and 2020 will be no different.
Football is just under two weeks away, and we’re ready to see some fireworks. With all of this talent, here are the top five most exciting players for the upcoming football season from The Sunshine State.
1. James Williams, Safety, American Heritage
James Williams is rated as the top player in the state of Florida – and rightfully so. He’s a 6-foot-4 safety who can hit you hard, chase you down, or come out of nowhere and intercept a ball. His six interceptions back up his ball-hawking ability; he is an incredible talent and tremendous athlete who is the clear cut number one player in the state. Williams is a must-watch player week in and week out.
2. Jaydon Hood, Linebacker, St. Thomas Aquinas
A three-sport athlete who excelled as a wrestler and stands out in the middle of the field as a linebacker, Hood is the leader in the middle of what will be the best defense in the state of Florida this season. Hood was a star for Cardinal Gibbons and led them with 115 tackles, seven sacks, four forced fumbles, and two interceptions. Hood also scored twice on defense for a Crusaders team that made the 3A state playoffs.
He’s a tackling machine in the middle of the field and makes great football plays. He’s going to be a star for the Raiders, a star for the University of Michigan, and potentially a future star in the NFL.
3. Chase Smith, Wide Receiver/Safety, Bayside
Smith might be the most complete player in the state of Florida, and his physical attributes make him a standout player. He’s a lot like Williams with the same size and makes an impact at receiver and safety. He had over 700 yards receiving and has the height to win any jump ball and the speed to outrun any defender.
Defensively, at safety he maybe even better. He can hit you hard if you dare go over the middle on him, and he had four interceptions and four sacks. A guy who can catch at an elite level, intercept at an elite level, hit you at an elite level, and sack you at an elite level sounds like an exciting player to me.
4. Walter Simmons III, Quarterback, Oakleaf
One of the most electric quarterbacks in the state, Simmons’ athleticism helps him do a lot for the Oakleaf offense. He threw for nearly 1,900 yards, ran for over 600 yards, and scored 22 touchdowns on the season. As for being a dual-threat quarterback, he can do it all at a high level. He’s got great speed, arm strength, poise, accuracy, and just an overall great game. Quarterback remains the most important position in football, and Simmons is a player that gives Oakleaf a chance in every game.
5. Dallas Turner, Weak-Side Defensive End, St. Thomas Aquinas
Turner is the best pass rusher in the state of Florida. He can beat you with strength, speed, and a number of moves with elite upper body strength. He’s a lot of fun to watch as he has a great first step off of the line of scrimmage and is one of the most impactful players in the state. He was named the Broward County Defensive Player of the Year and was also a star basketball player. His athleticism is unquestioned.
Adding a player of his caliber to the Raider roster is almost unfair, and there’s a good chance he’ll lead the state in sacks next season. We’ve seen guys like Khalil Mack of the Chicago Bears make a major impact on a team at the pass-rushing position, and Turner has that capability.
Written by: Kyle Grondin