POY Potential: Top 5 Fla. football recruits

September, 19, 2011
9/19/11
11:30
PM ET
The Gatorade Player of the Year Program honors athletes who meet comprehensive and exacting criteria in high school sports. Candidates are judged on athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders also must demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of ESPNU's recruit rankings.

That being said, the state’s top five football recruits as ranked by ESPNU are sure to enter the 2011-12 Gatorade Football Player of the Year conversation at some point. Here they are …

Eddie Williams
nullESPNHSEddie Williams is Florida's No. 1 senior recruit
1. Arnold High (Panama City, Fla.) safety Eddie Williams

  • ESPNU 150 rank: 5
  • Height: 6-foot-3
  • Weight: 205 pounds
  • College: Alabama (verbal)
  • Testing results: 4.67 40-yard dash; 31.0 vertical jump
  • Traits: man coverage, zone coverage, ball skills, run support
  • ESPNU scouting report: “Williams is one of the elite overall prospects in this class and one of the best pure athletes as well. He is blessed with ideal measurables and versatility and could be an impact safety/OLB tweener or wide receiver at the next level. Is a tall and rangy athlete with lean muscle and long arms. Is fluid and flexible.”
2. North Florida Christian High (Tallahassee, Fla.) safety Travis Blanks

  • ESPNU 150 rank: 12
  • Height: 6-foot-1
  • Weight: 195 pounds
  • College: Clemson (verbal)
  • Testing results: 4.84 40-yard dash; 29.0 vertical jump
  • Traits: zone coverage, ball skills, run support, instincts
  • ESPNU scouting report: “Blanks is the complete package at the safety position with very few weaknesses. He's actually an electrifying overall athlete who could get recruited to play other skill positions and is a talented returner. Tall, well-built with good body length. Has a great blend of size, speed and range at the position.”
3. Leesburg High (Fla.) outside linebacker Noor Davis

  • ESPNU 150 rank: 17
  • Height: 6-foot-4
  • Weight: 225 pounds
  • College: Stanford (verbal)
  • Traits: diagnosing skills, outside run support, tackling, coverage skill
  • ESPNU scouting report: “Davis is truly a dominant defensive player; can be disruptive and affect the outcome of a game from any spot on the field including special teams. Has the size and athleticism for the outside linebacker position in a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme at the major level of competition; could develop into an end if he continues to fill out.”
4. Miramar High (Fla.) cornerback Tracy Howard

  • ESPNU 150 rank: 18
  • Height: 5-foot-11
  • Weight: 175 pounds
  • College: Undecided
  • Testing results: 4.65 40-yard dash; 26.5 vertical jump
  • Traits: man coverage, zone coverage, instincts
  • ESPNU scouting report: “Instinctively, Howard reminds of Nick Waisome from the 2011 class but he brings more of a physical element to his game. He has very good size and speed, not elite, and is extremely versatile in coverage and overall skill-set. Understands schemes and shows great anticipation skills.”
5. The Bolles School (Jacksonville, Fla.) offensive tackle John Theus

  • ESPNU 150 rank: 27
  • Height: 6-foot-6
  • Weight: 295 pounds
  • College: Georgia (verbal)
  • Traits: space blocking, physicality
  • ESPNU scouting report: “Theus is a big physical athlete with the potential to develop into a dominant run-and-pass blocker once his explosion and playing strength are fully developed. Has the size and athleticism for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition.”
A dedicated POY team at ESPNHS manages the Gatorade Player of the Year program selection process and oversees all research, reporting, comparative analysis and criteria-compliance on the award program’s behalf.

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