Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to cover the Nike Football Training Camps (NFTC) in Orlando and Miami.
Florida is not known for having strong quarterback recruits, probably because the elite level of defense played in the state makes it hard to develop high school passing games. Still, there were a few promising players.
The best QB of the weekend was undoubtedly Michael O'Connor, out of the IMG Academy in Bradenton. He is originally from Canada and played in Tennessee before heading south to the Academy. O'Connor is a very solid 6'5 and 210 pounds, and his throws reflect the level of training received at the Academy. O'Connor currently has lower-tier BCS offers, but that will soon change.
The second most impressive QB prospect was Xavier Gaines of Frostproof (Fla.). Gaines, a 2016 prospect, already has offers from Florida and Ohio State, and while he is still developing as a passer, looks like a grown man and has a big, big arm.
Alin Edouard, a Miami commitment out of Hialeah (Fla.) High School, also impressed. Edouard has a very quick release, but is not a wrist-only thrower, and put the ball on the money most of the day. Edouard came in at 6'1 and 175 pounds, and should work on holding and releasing the ball a bit higher, which should allow him to use more touch when throwing over underneath defenders. If he continues to develop, he could be very good.
Nico Pierre, out of Miami (Fla.) Coral Reef High School, is going to make some run-first spread option coach (perhaps Kansas State, which has offered) very happy. Pierre is 6'1 and a chiseled 205 pounds, with a strong arm. He isn't the ideal pocket passer, but is pretty athletic. Pierre currently holds offers from five BCS schools.
Bud Martin of Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) Dillard High School threw the ball very well Sunday in Miami. Martin still needs to get in better shape, though he has trimmed up a bit in the last six weeks, and he is still on the short side, but he can really throw the football.
Trayone Gray of Miami (Fla.) Carol City really came on during the late portion of Sunday's event in Miami. The 6'2 QB threw numerous deep balls on the money, and I am interested in taking an extended look at his film.
Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) University School QB Sean White, who holds offers from six BCS programs, was his usual solid self. White does not have a huge arm or great measureables (6'2), but was accurate and smooth.
Two underclassmen also impressed. The first was DeAndre Johnson, a Florida State commit out of Jacksonville First Coast High School. Johnson threw the ball well, but I'm not sure how much he has grown since I saw him last summer. And at 6'1 and 175 pounds, he'll need to have a growth spurt to achieve five-star status.
One impressive underclassman was QB Sage Attwood. Attwood, out of Cape Coral (Fla.) Ida Baker High School, is shorter, but showed a very nice arm for his age, and was generally accurate. If this lefty keeps growing, he'll receive DI offers.
Kilton Anderson, of Naples (Fla.) High School had a mixed day. He impressed in footwork drills, and had some nice throws, but also had too many get away from him. He has physical tools, but must continue to work on his game. If he does, he could play at the BCS level.
A few Tampa-area prospects also stood out on Saturday in Orlando.
Berkeley Prep's Brad Mayes may be one to keep an eye on if he keeps developing. Mayes, a 2015 recruit, already claims an offer from UMass. Palm Harbor (Fla.) University High QB Tyler Kaminski was physically impressive at 6'1 and 200 pounds. The lefty wasn't quite the thrower of some others, but he will likely play DI football somewhere. Similarly, Colby Brown, of Tampa (Fla.) Plant High School, is not an elite prospect, but should be good enough to earn a scholarship. Brown threw the ball pretty well.