College football is becoming more and more a game of speed with each passing year. When college coaches want speed the first place they turn is South Florida. One of the top prospect producing schools in the Miami area is Miami (Fla.) Edison and this year may be an exceptional year even by their standards.
"We've got nine guys that I fully expect will be signing Division I scholarships in February," Edison coach Corey Bell said. "We've had a lot of good years where we had kids go D-I, but this group is really a great group."
The talented crop is lead by Edison quarterback Chris Paul-Etienne, who quite a few college coaches are already familiar with.
"Chris has already been offered by Alabama and Cincinnati as a quarterback," Bell said. "A ton of other schools, pretty much everyone you can think of is recruiting him too and most are doing it as a quarterback."
Paul-Etienne is in the mold of that typical athletic South Florida quarterback who could stay at the position or be moved to another position.
"Without a doubt he is one of the top two quarterbacks in Dade County along with the kid at Miami Lakes (Thaddeus Lewis)," Bell said. "I think right now most everyone is looking at him as a quarterback, but based on his athletic ability he could play other positions. I personally like him as a quarterback though because of his ability to see the field and read defenses."
It appears as though the defense will be the strong suit this year for Edison as almost all of their prospects play on that side of the ball. The defensive back field is especially strong.
"We have a cornerback Allen Bruce that is also going to be very heavily recruited," Bell said. "You're talking about a 5-foot-11, 178-pound kid who can run and some school is going to sign him. Everyone is looking at him as a cornerback. I think Ray Mack is right along the same mold, just a little bit bigger."
It seems that South Florida also produces more sleepers than any where in America. Names you've never heard begin to pop up during the senior season of many prospects. Edison has a couple of linebackers to keep an eye on.
Inside linebacker Melvin Mitchell is a 6-foot-2, 225-pound hard hitter who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds. Outside linebacker Jevotis Bryant is a 6-foot-1, 205-pound transfer from Northwestern High School in Miami who will be playing for Edison the first time this year.
"Melvin is a guy that didn't play last year because of his grades," Bell said. "He has worked hard and taken care of that and will play this year. Physically he may be the best of the bunch and he will end up being one of the top linebackers in the state this year. I know a lot of schools were looking at Jevotis when he was at Northwestern and they are just finding out that he transferred. He's a kid that we are definitely excited about."
No list would be complete without some of the big eaters that get down and dirty in the trenches. Edison has a couple of those as well. Offensive center/defensive tackle Barry Solon and defensive end Anthony Williams are names to look out for this year as well.
"Anthony is a really big kid, who runs well and has a tremendous upside," Bell said. "He is one of those kids that just needs to get that mean streak in order to take the next step to becoming a great prospect. Barry could play on either side of the ball. I think his best position is on the defensive line, but I know there are a lot of college coaches that are interested in him as a center."
One final prospect to watch for Edison this year is safety Marc St. Felix, who is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound hitter who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds.
"I think a lot of schools are going to look at Marc as a safety or maybe even an outside linebacker because of the way he is built," Bell said. "He has tremendous range and ability. He is already getting some attention, not as much as the other guys, but we are looking for a big year out of him."