Manatee makes a statement

Welcome to the mailbag and Bradenton, Fla., I've heard you loud and clear. It's been close to 75 emails regarding last week's 48-10 shellacking Manatee put on Plant (Tampa, Fla.).

Why has the city of Bradenton directed its anger at me? Who knows, but I can handle it.

On with the mail!

So what do you guys think of Manatee now? Plant was No. 2, what a joke? Go Canes Go!
-- City Residents, Bradenton, Fla.

I think Manatee is an excellent team. I thought it had an excellent team before the game. The Hurricanes were ranked No. 19 in the nation, so it's not as if they weren't acknowledged for their talent. Do you know how many high schools play football in the nation?

As for Plant's ranking, I can't speak on the rankings but I knew the Panthers lost a lot of experience on both sides of the ball. The Panthers young offense, which lost three-year starters on the offensive line, Jon Vega and Andre Mondor, and two FBS receivers Allen Sampson (Hawaii) and Eric Dungy (Oregon) was completely dominated by the Manatee defense.

I've heard a lot of good things about linebacker Anthony Harrell (Tampa, Fla./Jesuit), is he interested in Arkansas and do you think we've got a shot at him?

I haven't talked to Harrell in over a month, but he did say he would like offers from SEC schools. As of now, no SEC school is among his 20 offers but if one were to offer I can safely assume that he would be quite intrigued.

Why does it appear that Alabama does a better job of recruiting northwest Florida than Florida or FSU? There are a lot of great players here. Trent Richardson (Arkansas) and now Eddie Williams (Panama City, Fla./Arnold) are two examples of kids the Florida schools have missed out on.
-- Bobby Rankins, Panama City, Fla.

Location, location, location. The times I've been to the Panhandle I notice many of the football fans and the newspaper coverage are as much about Alabama or Auburn as any of the Florida schools. That tells me that the northwest cities tend to lean more towards following the Tide and the Tigers. Florida and FSU were both heavy on Richardson and Williams, a talented junior. Richardson was the No. 1 running back on both of their boards and Williams attended Jimbo Fisher's camp.

However, Florida and FSU have had success in the Panhandle. Emmitt Smith and Derrick Brooks are both Pensacola high school products, so it's not from lack of attention. Alabama is just getting the nod right now.

I was wondering about the chances of FSU landing Jadeveon Clowney (Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe) and Tony Steward (St. Augustine, Fla./Menendez)?
-- Aaron Porter

FSU's chances of landing Clowney are slim, which is only a small improvement from none. He is pretty much set on an Alabama-South Carolina battle. He is taking a visit to FSU, but that's just because he has five officials to take. Clemson is coming on strong, but I think they are just getting a courtesy mention from Clowney.

Meanwhile, I think FSU has a very good chance of landing Steward and I believe the Seminoles will begin to distance themselves from Clemson and Florida (Steward's other two favorites) as the season moves along.

Does Alabama wait for Isaiah Crowell (Carver, Ga./Carver) or just take Buck Allen (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln)?
-- Anthony Fordman, Huntsville, Ala.

When you're the defending national champions and have a five-star blue chipper backing up the Heisman Trophy winner you can afford to wait. I do believe that Allen is going to pick up a ton of steam as the year goes on, but if the Tide have Crowell ranked higher they are going to wait for his decision.

Corey Long has been covering high school football and recruiting in the Sunshine State since 1995. He can be reached at coreyespn@gmail.com.