Over the past two seasons, Houston's St. Pius may have the city's best national prospect.
Ian Symonette, the 6-foot-9, 350-pound giant, loomed the small private school halls for two years. Symonette will join Reginald Youngblood, formerly of Houston's Booker T. Washington, at Miami this summer. St. Pius and Washington rest less than five minutes from each other and St. Pius has begun luring some of Washington's talent away.
Case in point. This year's big man on campus is Tarence Farmer at St. Pius, whose brother, Clarence Farmer, starred at Washington before accepting a football scholarship to Arizona.
"The perception was that you would get overlooked by colleges in the private schools," St. Pius coach Robin Kirk said. "If you can play, college recruiters will find you. Not to mention the fact that you can get a tremendous education in a smaller classroom setting and you're safer on campus in a private school."
Farmer (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) is excelling at St. Pius, where he is benefiting from academic advisors over the past three years. He is also excelling on the field, where he is a versatile athlete who could be the city's most coveted athlete.
"Where can you get a guy who can play receiver, then turn around and be a lock down corner, and then return kicks for you," Kirk said. "He's electric on Friday nights."
While Oklahoma State and Tennessee have been the first to offer, schools from Miami to Oklahoma to LSU will have offers in the mail soon.
"The recruiting process has been fun and I'm looking forward to hitting some campuses this summer," Farmer said. "I know I'm going to LSU's camp this summer and I have a sister at Oklahoma."
But who is Farmer's favorite?
"If Miami offers, I would commit there," he said. "It's been my dream to go to Miami."
Birds of a feather, flock together.