<
>
Insider

New LCS coach Peace beams about talent

5/2/2012

Lakeland Christian (Lakeland, Fla.) football coach Wayne Peace is excited to start the spring with some players that he believes will be BCS prospects over the next couple of seasons.

Two players he has singled out are Class of 2015 prospects Christian Alexander and T.J. Simmons.

Alexander (6-foot-3, 206 pounds) will be heading into his second year as starting quarterback. He threw for 1,633 yards and 20 touchdowns as a freshman.

Peace, a former starting quarterback with the Florida Gators in the early 1980s, feels like Alexander is ripe for a big year.

"I think he's capable of making any throw that a coach is going to ask of him," Peace said. "He's a real deal in my opinion and I've seen a lot of young quarterbacks."

One of the goals of the offseason was to work on improving Alexander's accuracy. The freshman was around a 52 percent completion rate in 2011.

"He's continuing to mature as a quarterback and make the correct reads and learning how to make those smart passes," Peace said. "He's improving at a rapid pace."

Simmons (5-10, 185) rushed for 1,478 yards as a freshman and is also one of the top track performers in the area.

"T.J. is extremely explosive and he definitely brought a dimension to our football team that we didn't have before," Peace said. "Having the great home run hitter out of backfield makes a huge difference."

Peace has visions of building Lakeland Christian into one of the state's next powerhouse private-school programs along the lines of recent state champions North Florida Christian (Tallahassee, Fla.) or American Heritage (Delray Beach, Fla.).

"That's definitely our goal and the way to get there is by playing tough competition," Peace added. "We defeated Frostproof this past season and that was probably the biggest win in the program's history.

"We have to play tough competition and be able to hang with them physically."

Peace also singled out junior linemen Cody Averill (6-3, 260) and Javonte Williams (6-2, 315).

"We've got some players that can play at the FBS level and quite possibly for some of the BCS conference schools," Peace added.