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Florida notes: Breaking down Miami-Dade

9/21/2012

All the notes that are fit for digital print as we prepare for Week 4 of the rapidly-moving Florida high school football season.

Breaking down recruiting in Miami-Dade: One of the great things about recruiting in the state of Florida is that the state is so big and so chock full of talent that it can be broken down into several regions (and even subregions of those regions). This week it's time to take a closer look at Miami-Dade county, which many believe is the birthplace of Florida recruiting.

Miami-Dade prospects rated by ESPN scouts: 33

Undecided rated Miami-Dade prospects: 16

Top 5 undecided

1. Matthew Thomas, LB, Booker T. Washington: The nation's top-rated outside linebacker has listed Florida State, Alabama and Miami as his leaders during various times of his recruitment.

2. Paul James, DE, Miami Norland: James has had West Virginia, Illinois and Alabama as his top three for several weeks.

3. Denver Kirkland, OL, Booker T. Washington: Kirkland appears to be waiting until signing day to make a decision. Miami is thought to be the favorite and it's doubtful he'll leave the state.

4. Leroy Clark, DB, Archbishop Carroll: Looks like Clark could play his football outside of the Sunshine state. Kentucky, Purdue, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Oklahoma are among his favorite.

5. Stacy Thomas, LB, Gulliver Prep: Georgia Tech has been the school that appeared to be going after Thomas the hardest. Keep an eye on West Virginia as well.

The committed prospects in Miami-Dade appear to be scattered across the country, going as far west at Oklahoma, where three-star defensive back Ahmad Thomas (Miami, Fla./Miami Central) is committed.

Miami, Florida State and Florida International have two commits apiece from Miami-Dade. Duke, Northwestern, UConn, Oklahoma, N.C. State, South Florida, Syracuse, Western Michigan, Western Kentucky, Marshall and Northern Illinois all have one Miami-Dade prospect in their respective classes.

Lane looks healthy: ESPN 300 running back Adam Lane (Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven), a Florida commit, rushed for 228 yards on 20 carries Thursday night against Lakeland (Fla.) Kathleen. Lane, who missed his junior season with a broken leg, showed the breakaway speed, agility and balance he was known for before his injury. Lane is 100 percent healthy and 100 percent solid to his commitment with Florida. "It's exciting to be back on the field," Lane said. "Playing with my friends and these guys are the big reason for my commitment to return from the injury and trying to contribute to us winning state."

Tough break for Klepal: Tampa (Fla.) Plant offensive lineman Richy Klepal anchored an offensive line that helped Plant win a state championship in 2011 and now his football career is over after suffering multiple concussions. The 6-foot-5, 285-pound senior ESPN 300 prospect committed to Florida State during the offseason. FSU will keep Klepal on scholarship in this class and I expect the lineman will be part of Plant's annual signing-day news conference with the rest of his teammates.

Remember me: Two weeks ago there was plenty of buzz about the running back duel between ESPN 300 senior A.J. Turman (Orlando, Fla./Boone) and sophomore Jacques Patrick (Orlando, Fla./Timber Creek). Unfortunately mother nature won the event as a severe thunderstorm postponed the game until Friday. Both running backs are hitting their stride as Patrick has 278 yards and five touchdowns this season while Turman has 283 yards and three touchdowns.

Should have been game of the week: Most expected this year's matchup between Lake Wales and Immokalee to be a battle of unbeaten teams jockeying for position in the ultra-competitive 5A classification. The reality is Lake Wales has suffered tough losses to Orlando (Fla.) Jones and Lakeland (Fla.) Lake Gibson while Immokalee is 2-1 with a 55-29 loss against Naples that ended in an ugly scene between Immokalee players and their own "fans."

However, this should be a tremendous, physical game that will feature five-star cornerback Mackensie Alexander, four-star defensive lineman Deadrin Senat and 2014 Under Armour All-American wide receiver J.C. Jackson from Immokalee against a Lake Wales team that features three-star defensive tackle Bobby Leath and a bevy of solid underclassmen such as quarterback Railond Garrett and offensive lineman Luke Heirs.