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July 7, 2013
Last year's Rivals Underclassmen Challenge gave us a peek at 2013 talent like Ponte Vedra's Dillon Bates - who burst on the scene in Dallas last year.
This year the field is set with at least seven, possibly eight Floridians descending on the Lone Star state to show the rest of the nation that Florida truly has the best talent.
We start with perhaps one of the most anticipated showings for all the Rivals analysts - with Armwood's DE - Byron Cowart.
At 6-foot-3, 249 pounds, his size and speed are attributes that most college scouts find appealing. He's a run stopper, a pass rusher and can cover very well.
Cowart has been selected for one of the 'highlighted' matchups - against Matthew Burrell of Fredricksburg (Va.) Chancellor.
In fact, the match-up got so heated on twitter between the two, that Cowart had to apologize for getting 'roped into' the war of words.
This one is well worth watching, and we'll get that film uploaded as soon as it's over.
But Cowart isn't the only Florida defender to draw attention.
Malik Wisdom of Hollywood (Fla.) McArthur will also be here putting on his south Florida swagger.
Wisdom, a 5-foot-10, 185 pound cornerback, comes into the Challenge with all intentions on showing that he not only has the speed to counter some of the fastest in the country, but also some of the fastest and shiftiest in the 954/305.
That's Dade and Broward to be exact.
Wisdom may not have the national attention of the analysts like Cowart, but he does have the eyes of college scouts watching him this fall.
At linebacker, Orangewood Christian's Jimmy Martinhas size (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) and speed (4.7 in the last combine) to cover a lot of ground for the 2A Orangewood Christian defense.
But matched up against faster, shiftier running backs from all over the country? That's what we want to see. Can Martin show his skills in the 1-on-1 drills against the running backs or tight ends.
Martin will need to be able to show he has the ability to cover pass routes and recognize zone reads.
ATH Erik Pitts of Belleview is listed on the competition sheet as a running back, but plays both sides of the ball. At 5-foot-10, 185 pounds, his quickness (4.5 speed) and agility give him an edge both offensively and defensively.
He's an athlete as far as our evaluation goes, but may spend more time on the other side of the ball this go round.