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What I learned in Florida this weekend

11/2/2011

Underclassmen drive Armwood

Much has been made about Seffner (Fla.) Armwood’s senior class of prospects that include Matt Jones (Florida), Eric Striker (Oklahoma) and Cody Waldrop (South Carolina).

But it’s been the Class of 2013 prospects that have carried the Hawks this year.

Wide receiver Alvin Bailey has played virtually every position on the Armwood offense this season to cover for injuries and in the process he’s established himself as one of the top talents in the Tampa Bay area. On defense Leon McQuay III has continued to show maturity beyond his years.

“You hear a lot about our seniors and deservedly so but I’m so proud of the young guys stepping up,” said Armwood coach Sean Callahan. “They have become our next group of leaders and they have been a major part of our success.”

Bailey had nine catches in Friday night’s 21-0 over county rival Plant. He has played quarterback this year when starter Darryl Richardson, another junior, was injured.

“I really just do whatever it takes to help the team and keep us rolling,” Bailey said. “We want to win a state championship this year and it’s going to take everyone contributing to make it happen. We shut these guys out tonight and that’s hard to do so I know we’re getting better.”

Bailey is already a hot recruit. He is hearing from several major programs including Notre Dame and Alabama along with a few SEC schools.

“I’m really feeling LSU right now,” Bailey said. “I like what LSU is doing and they are sending me a lot of stuff. I’m liking them and Florida right now.”

Tech impresses Washington

Georgia Tech’s 31-17 upset victory over Clemson not only shook up the BCS standings but it also gave one of Florida’s junior prospects something to new to think about.

Orlando (Fla.) East River defensive end Devin Washington made the trip to Atlanta for an unofficial visit and walked away very impressed with what he saw.

“[The trip] was great, I was really impressed with the campus and the atmosphere,” Washington said. “I love the coaching staff as well.”

Washington, a 6-foot-2, 215-pounder, loved the aggressive play of the Yellow Jackets’ defense.

“The defense was on point,” Washington added. “I noticed they run a 3-4 so I would probably play outside linebacker there but that’s fine with me.

“I love how disciplined they are and how well they played against such a top-tier team.”

Washington says his next trip will most likely be to Gainesville to watch Florida host Florida State. He says he grew up a Gator fan and has family ties to the program as his cousin Major Wright, was part of a national championship team with Florida in 2008.

Bivins gets big offer

While on an official at Texas Tech, Gainesville (Fla.) four-star defensive back Christopher Bivins received an offer from Tennessee. The South Florida commit has taken officials to Arkansas, NC State and Texas Tech. He has an official scheduled for Nov. 19 at USF so his final official could come down between Tennessee and South Carolina.

Both SEC East schools should be considered major competition for the Bulls. Tennessee has two of Bivins’ former teammates -- defensive linemen Jordan Williams and Trevarris Saulsberry -- on the roster. Bivins is a Gainesville resident and has felt slighted by the lack of an offer from the University of Florida. If he can’t be a Gator he’d love to have the opportunity to show that staff what they missed out on for four years.

South Florida, buoyed by the flip of defensive tackle James Hamilton, is hoping that Bivins will stick to his commitment. The Bulls have distance and family in their favor as Bivins’ sister is also a commit to the Tampa school. Bivins will graduate in December and according to his father a decision will be final by then.

Tough break

Pensacola (Fla.) athlete Jalen Spencer, a three-year starter, saw his high school career come to an end Friday with a broken leg. Spencer, a South Florida commit, was the quarterback on Pensacola’s state championship team in 2009 and was hoping to repeat the feat this year.

Two of Spencer’s teammates, who were also key sophomores in 2009, have also lost their season to injury. LaDerick Black, a Western Michigan commit, suffered a torn ACL at the beginning of the season and two-way standout Jimmy Threat, who has a Western Michigan offer, also torn his ACL earlier in the year.

Quiet trips

There wasn’t much fanfare but Melbourne (Fla.) Holy Trinity Under Armour All-American athlete Marcus Maye took a visit to Florida State this weekend. Whether or not Maye is taking a second look at the Seminoles remains to be seen. Maye, who generally keeps things quiet, is always the subject of rumors given his close friendship with ESPNU 150 athlete Nelson Agholor. Many have hinted that Agholor and Maye would like to play at the same school.

Also Orlando Oak Ridge defensive end Guito Ervilus started his officials with a trip to North Carolina this weekend. The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder returned to the field this month after missing six months recovering from a torn ACL. Ervilus told the Orlando Sentinel that North Carolina, Louisville, Tennessee, Florida and Florida State are the school he has focused his attention on.”