When tight end Sean Price (Citra, Fla./North Marion) is on his game he's a must-see prospect.
Between his one-handed catches and his surprising breakaway speed, the 6-3, 225-pounder continues to establish himself as one of the tight ends in the nation.
He's also one of the most confident tight ends, something that showed in his efforts against the South Florida Express last weekend at the Badger Sports 7-on-7 tournament. Although his team lost the game on a disputed finish, Price's effort was one of the big stories.
"I was definitely looking forward to playing those guys because they love to talk and that really motivates me," Price said. "I thought we had it won but the refs did something and next thing you know I had the ball snatched from me when I was down."
If there were any attempts to intimidate Price from the talented defenders on the Express, it fell on deaf ears.
"Honestly I didn't really know who each of those guys were individually until after the game," Price said. "When one of my teammates said 'that's the No. 2 cornerback in the nation' and I didn't know who it was. No disrespect intended but it was just another regular defensive back to me."
Win or lose, Price made his mark as one of the top competitors at the event.
"Events like these are what I work for during the offseason," Price said. "I just love to compete and challenge myself against great players. And if they talk a lot, I love to embarrass them and leave them speechless."
The offers have been rolling in for Price so far as Miami, Florida, South Florida, Arkansas, Alabama, Maryland, Michigan and Louisville are among the two dozen schools after him.
"Right now I'm really looking at the colleges that are seriously looking at me," Price said. "That's Florida, USF and Miami. They have been out front with their interest."
Price says that another SEC power has also made some progress over the last couple of weeks.
"Alabama is starting to call me and I think I'm going to head there for a practice on April 6," Price added.
He also plans on visiting Stanford over the summer. Price is as devoted in the classroom as he is off the field with a 3.5 core GPA and a score of 18 on the ACT.
He is also trying to become the most complete tight end in this class.
"I love to block and I pride myself on my blocking," Price said. "People see the catches but I really love to make a difference blocking as well. I'm always trying to get better because that's what it's going to take to win a state championship."
Poole has plenty to choose from
Defensive back Brian Poole (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast) doesn't lack suitors from the next level.
As a matter of fact, the recruitment of the 5-foot-11, 185-pounder could reach the level of former standouts from his high school like Peter Warrick, Adrian McPherson and Jonathan Dowling.
And after watching Poole in action at the Badger Sports 7-on-7 tournament it's easy to see why Florida State, Florida, Clemson, Miami, South Carolina and Texas Tech are among his early offers.
"Well, you know, these things are always designed for the offense but everyone's competing and there are some real good players," Poole said.
Although the rules might have hindered Poole from playing the physical game he likes, it's doubtful that will have an effect on his college outlook.
"I've got about 30 offers right now so I'm really looking at everyone," Poole added.
Last season Poole had expressed an interesting playing with his good friend and former teammate Dowling, but Dowling was released from his scholarship last season and has enrolled at Western Kentucky.
Still that doesn't change Poole's interest in the Gators, especially after visiting Gainesville for one of their junior day events.
"Jon's situation doesn't affect me at all, I'm still definitely considering Florida," Poole said. "Their new coaching staff is just awesome. Everything is good with the Gators."
Poole has made the rounds with the in-state programs. He went to junior day events at USF and visited FSU for one of their regular season games in 2010. A trip to Miami is planned for the end of the month.
He's also taken a chance to check out a major out-of-state program.
"I went to Notre Dame, it was different, it was cold," Poole said. "It was freezing cold, especially compared to down here."
Over the summer Poole expects to do a little more traveling out-of-state and possibly taking part in some one-day camps with some of the programs that have offered.
"I'm going to visit some more out-of-state campus over the summer and I'm going to take my time with this," Poole added.
Future on display at ESS combine
Although it's a fairly light camp schedule this weekend there is a combine at Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) High School that is always good for a glimpse of what the future holds with state prospects.
The Elite Scouting Services combine isn't officially considered an underclass event and there will be several seniors-to-be participating Sunday, but many of the state's future top prospects will also be on the field.
"We had guys like Eduardo Clements before he was a sophomore," ESS President Charles Fishbein said. "Sean Spence, Giovanni Bernard, Jacory Harris and Geno Smith all came to our combine early in their prep careers. And one year we even had E.J. Manuel come down from Virginia before his senior season to compete with some of the players here. In a lot of cases I can find that our combine is the first one that these players attended before embarking on successful prep careers."
In more recent years there have been 2012 watch list players like Patrick Miller (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer), Avery Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla./Ely) and James Burgess Jr. (Homestead, Fla./Homestead) to participated in the combine as sophomores.
"A lot of it is word of mouth I believe," Fishbein said. "There's good competition and I think the players that participate have a lot of fun and they tell their younger teammates about it."
ESS will also hold combines in the Tampa area (April 10) and in the Jacksonville/St. John's area (TBD).
Harris' next step
Wide receiver P.J. Harris (Groveland, Fla./South Lake) recently received his second major offer -- Boston College -- to go along with one from South Carolina and the 6-foot, 160-pounder appears to have more on tap.
"A lot of programs are talking to me, especially Duke, South Florida and UCF," Harris added.
He's going to be heading to UCF for its Junior Day on March 26th and will follow that with a trip to Miami for the NFTC camp the next day.
News and notes
• A few weeks ago DB Eric Striker (Seffner, Fla./Armwood) suggested that he really wanted an offer from Oklahoma. Earlier this week the 6-1, 190-pounder got his wish. "Yep, Oklahoma is one that he really wanted." Said Armwood head coach Sean Callahan. "The offers are going to continue to come in for him." Striker also has offers from South Florida, Tennessee, Iowa, Indiana and West Virginia.
• Under Armour All-American OL Jessamen Dunker (West Palm Beach, Fla./Palm Beach Central) said he had a "great time" during his visit to Florida and relayed the same message after his trip to Auburn. The 6-6, 315-pounder has also visited Alabama and Georgia this week.
• Wide receiver DeAndre Jasper (Miami, Fla./Jackson) didn't have an offer to Auburn when he planned on taking a trip to the campus at the end of the month, but that has changed according to Jasper's text message this week. "Auburn offered me, I'll going to try to get there on the 26th," Jasper's text said.