Local Friday Night Lights Shining Bright

South Florida dominates a list of the top 250 high school football prospects -- again.

Scouting service Rivals released an updated list of the top 250 college football prospects in the nation yesterday -- of which a whopping 43 are from the Sunshine State. 

South Florida alone accounts for 28 of those.

No surprise, really -- from Glades south, speedy little NFL prospects can be plucked from under kudzu or urban overpasses when ripe, sent off to in-state football factories, and then set free to wreak havoc in the pros. 

It's just what we do down here.

So it's easy to forget that such accomplishments aren't the norm for other areas of the country.  The fertile recruiting grounds of California and Texas placed 30 and 36 athletes on the list, but from all over their states.

It's a particularly strong class for South Florida, as evidenced by 11 area players in the top 100. Traditional powerhouses St. Thomas Aquinas and Booker T. Washington each ranked four players, and Miami Northwestern and Central high schools each listed 3, which should add up to a fun-filled season for trash-talking fans and alumni this fall. 

20 of the 28 area recruits on the list are undecided. As Miami and Florida State look to stock up for runs at reclaiming their places at the top of the college football heap (and fend off Florida's Urban Meyer), the battle for local high school players is only going to heat up.  If you happen to pass through Pahokee and see Hurricanes coach Randy Shannon wrestling Florida State's Jimbo Fisher by the side of the road, pay them no mind. 

Or put $10 on Shannon. 

South Florida players in the Rivals 250:

5. Matt Elam, West Palm Beach Dwyer (ATH) - Florida
8. Jeff Luc, Port St. Lucie Treasure Coast (LB) - undecided
10. Lamarcus Joyner, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas (DB) - undecided
43. Cody Riggs, Ft. Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas (DB) - undecided
65. Jaylen Watkins, Cape Coral Cape Coral (ATH) - Florida
66. Ivan McCartney, Miramar Miramar (WR) - undecided
68. Chris Dunkley, Pahokee Pahokee (WR) - undecided
71. Corey Lemonier, Hialeah Hialeah (DE) - undecided
82. Gerald Christian, West Palm Beach Dwyer (DE) - Florida
92. Ted Meline, Miami Booker T. Washington (WR) - undecided
98. Michaelee Harris, Miami Northwestern (WR) - undecided
106. Joshua Reese, Miami Miami Central (WR) - undecided
107. Quinton Dunbar, Miami Booker T. Washington (WR) - undecided
115. Eduardo Clements, Miami Booker T. Washington (RB) - undecided
133. Jakhari Gore, Miami Columbus (RB) - undecided
141. Lynden Trail, Miami Booker T. Washington (DE) - undecided
144. Delvin Jones, Miami Miami Palmetto (ATH) - undecided
149. Torrian Wilson, Miami Northwestern (OL) - undecided
157. Gideon Ajagbe, Coconut Grove Ransom Everglades (LB) - Florida
159. Todd Chandler, Miami Northwestern (DT) - Miami
161. Brandon Gainer, Miami Miami Central (RB) - undecided
163. Demar Dorsey, Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson (DB) - Florida
164. De'Joshua Johnson, Pahokee Pahokee (WR) - undecided
173. Giovanni Bernard, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas (RB) - undecided
180. Brandon Linder, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas (OL) - undecided
187. Ethan Grant, Coconut Creek North Broward (RB) - Oregon
196. Jeffrey Godfrey, Miami Miami Central (QB) - undecided
203. James Louis, Delray Beach Atlantic (WR) - undecided

Janie Campbell thinks South Florida high school players should just form their own college team and take over. Her work has appeared in irreverent sports sites around the Internet.

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