FORT LAUDERDALE – On a warm spring day in south Florida, the scene shifted to St. Thomas Aquinas High School for the Rivals.com camp series.
Hundreds of impressive underclassmen were on hand as star-rated athletes were out to show that they were for real mixed in with some hopefuls who were there to turn heads and showcase some skills in front of several recruiting analysts, who were watching athletes from all over the state.
While many prospects did their thing, and were recognized for it, we had the chance to take a close look at some of our own locals, who did quite well.
Because we have the opportunity to watch so many Miami-Dade and Broward County prospects throughout the course of an off-season, it is always refreshing to shine the spotlight on them at an event as prestigious as this one.
Here are five football players who we followed and watched during drills and one-on-one competition that did their thing:
2025 – Jade Card, WR, 6-3, 200, Miami Norland. From the time he entered high school at South Broward to this off-season when he made his move south to play for head coach Daryle Heidelberg and the Vikings, this is a football talent who has the ability to play four different positions and not miss a beat. He is fast, athletic and has the size to dominate. Makes plays no matter where he lines up. He will be a huge asset for the Vikings as a pass catcher. If needed he is a tremendous safety, and some think could put his hand down one day and become an unstoppable rush end.
2024 – Bowen Drewes, LB, 6-1, 210, Plantation American Heritage. While many didn’t watch him as close as they should have, this is someone who caught our eye in every phase of the game. Will head into spring as one of the top prospects, and while he may not be cemented on the lists of college coaches across the country, that will change. Has everything going for him – and with a 4.0 GPA in his pocket – the combination of what he does on the football field and in the classroom will certainly add up to many, many positives for head coach Mike Smith and the defending state 2A runner up Patriots. We spotlighted him during the 2022 season, but he really put the work in during this off-season. He ended last season with 109 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 5 sacks and 2 punt blocks.
2024 – Char’Quez Lee, LB, 6-2, 210, Miami Palmetto. Talk about a dominating football talent, we had the chance to watch him the past two years at Miami Immaculata LaSalle before he made the move over to play for head coach Mike Manasco the Panthers this off-season. He is big, agile, quick and very strong. As a player he has tremendous instincts and is a playmaker. Watching before he was on the radar as a sophomore you could tell that this was going to be someone special – and he is well on the way. Was voted as one of the top players at the camp – even with a nagging turf toe that has been sticking with him. Coaches on hand couldn’t say enough great things about him.
2024 – Ryan Mack, S, 5-11, 175, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas. Among so many gifted players from the two-counties who received praise and recognition, there are few who are consistent as this impressive talent who is skilled and physical, taking many of amazing traits from his father – a one-time University of Miami star linebacker Rod Mack. He fits what head coach Roger Harriott and the Raiders do on defense, becoming a leader over the past year. College coaches love what they see as did the recruiters on Sunday on his home field. Will emerge as one of the best in the state of Florida!
2024 – Kai-El Pascal, DB, 6-0, 175, Miami Dr. Krop. Another talented prospect we had the chance to watch since he began playing for head coach Tom Caporale and the Lightning. This is a gifted football player who follows in the footsteps of his brother Pascal, who was easily one of the most under rated football players in south Florida. What he brings to the table is a “shutdown corner” who makes plays and reduces even the best receiver to limited action. Quick, physical and a passion to play this game at a high level. Was voted as one of the best defensive backs at the Rivals camp for shutting the top prospects down during the 1-on-1 competition, earning a Gold Ball. He will be one of the premier secondary players this coming season – no matter what anyone else thinks. He is a proven athlete who turns heads and receives praise from anyone he competes against.