Commentary

Miami powers boast elite speed

Updated: October 7, 2009, 3:35 PM ET
By Billy Tucker | Scouts Inc.

Two of the better programs in Miami will face off Thursday night, and you would be hard-pressed to find another game across the country featuring more collective speed and athleticism on the field at one time. Miami Central (5-0) will host Miami Northwestern (3-1) in what could turn out to be a shootout between two explosive offenses. Both teams are loaded with dynamic skill players and a multitude of college prospects -- close to 20 between the two programs. This game will also feature several juniors who should be national recruits in the next recruiting cycle.

[+] EnlargeTodd Chandler
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comTodd Chandler, right, will continue a tradition of Northwestern standouts becoming Hurricanes. Current Miami QB Jacory Harris also played his high school ball for the Bulls.

The Bulls of Northwestern are led by head coach Billy Rolle and have been one of the more prominent national programs in recent years. The visiting team, previously ranked No. 4, is coming off a short week and a difficult 35-28 loss, in which it had multiple turnovers, to Booker T. Washington. However, when the Bulls play mistake-free football, few teams in the country can match up. Their spread offense is led by a prolific dual-threat quarterback, junior Teddy Bridgewater. He has a plethora of weapons and playmakers to distribute the ball to. Defensively, Under Armour All-American defensive tackle Todd Chandler can be disruptive in the trenches. He will need to be disruptive Thursday night to slow down a potent Central offense.

Head coach Telly Lockette and the Rockets have moved up to No. 7 nationally with their fast start. The squad is led by top-15 running back Brandon Gainer and three-star athlete Jeffrey Godfrey behind center. The Rockets are averaging more than 40 points per game. Central has the talent to get into a scoring race with Northwestern and potentially beat them. A year ago, the Rockets beat the Bulls in the regular season before falling to them in the Class 6A playoffs. Coach Lockette says he thinks the key may be his team's ability to play with confidence versus a well-publicized, intimidating Northwestern squad. Lockette knows firsthand: He played running back for the Bulls and coached back-to-back state champion squads before taking the job at Central.

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Billy Tucker

Scouts, Football Recruiting
• Recruiting coordinator for ESPN RecruitingNation.
• Nearly a decade of college coaching experience.
• Was recruiting coordinator at nationally-ranked Division II colleges.