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May 21, 2014

10 spring game previews

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There are a ton of intriguing spring games the next several days in the state of Florida between state powerhouses. FlaVarsity.com takes a look at ten games for this week.

Dwyer at Vero Beach

This should be a fun game to watch. Vero Beach had a really nice season last year as they finished 10-2. Their only losses came to Fort Pierce Central and Manatee (first round of the playoffs). Both teams are losing several star players, but this game should still produce a lot of offensive output. FAU quarterback commit Daniel Parr had a nice season last year, but should have a big senior season, even without Ohio State signee Johnnie Dixon.

Ed White at Rickards

Ed White has a crop of talented rising seniors - Javarius Davis and Taylor Thomas are both three-star prospect with impressive offer sheets. Ed White will travel west to Tallahassee to take on the Raiders who finished 9-2, but had a disappointing exit after losing to Pensacola Catholic in the first round of the 5A state playoffs.

Haines City at Manatee

Haines City missed the playoffs in 2013, but newly minted five-star prospect Derwin James always makes the Hornets a team to watch. They'll be taking on state powerhouse Manatee, who is looking for a big 2014 season to avenge their 2013 season in which they lost in the second round of the playoffs after being ranked as one of the top teams in the country. Manatee sent several players from the 2014 class to FBS schools, but the Hurricanes will be ready for a big fall.

Norland at Coconut Creek

If you can get to Coconut Creek, this is a game that you'll definitely want to watch. Talent galore. Norland is home to Rivals250 wide receiver and West Virginia commit Jovon Durante, defensive back Carlton Davis who has his pick at almost any school in the southeast, and defensive back Antonio Howard who recently committed to Cincinnati. Coconut Creek also has their fair share of talent, but mostly from underclassmen. Binjimen Victor is one of the top 2016 athletes in the country and cornerback Malek Young is seeing his offer list grow as well. At the skill positions, Norland vs Coconut Creek is second to none.

Trinity Christian at Raines

Raines is a force in Jacksonville under head coach Deran Wiley, but can the Vikings take down the reigning state 3A champs? Trinity Christian has nine 2015 prospects that hold FBS offers, and several underclassmen have offers as well, including 2016 Auburn commit Jalin Buie. Trinity Christian has one of the best linebacking corps in the country with North Carolina commit Andre Smith, Rivals100 prospect Jeffrey Holland, and UCLA commit Victor Alexander.

CCC at Immokalee

The Clearwater Central Catholic Marauders made it to the state 3A finals in 2013, but lost in a blowout to Trinity Christian. CCC loses Florida signee Justus Reed, but returns offensive tackle William Atterbury, three-star ATH/QB Jeff Smith, and wide receiver John Brunner. Under head coach John Davis, CCC always is a well coached team. Immokalee has no short of talent either, even though they're losing three four-star prospects from the 2014 class. Running back Taeler Porter should have a nice season running behind three-star lineman Wesley Doscol.

Lakeland at Venice

Lakeland had a nice regular season last year but ran into a Osceola (Kissimmee) team in the first round of the playoffs that gave everyone fits. Kurt Schleicher, who earned a spot in the FlaVarsity Fab Five Films, is a big, mean offensive lineman to watch. Venice is also one of the more solid programs in the state of Florida, and they ran into a tough squad in the first round of the playoffs - the eventual 6A state finalist - Armwood. Offensive tackle Tyler Gauthier is a big-bodied offensive lineman for Venice that has offers from Miami, Toledo, and UCF.

Miramar at Lake Wales

Not many 2015 recruits have had a bigger spring recruitment than Lake Wales safety Marcus Walker. The former Kentucky commit will play safety and… quarterback. He will be running the ball alongside Justin Henderson who is getting on the radar of college coaches. Coming into town will be Miramar who is south Florida juggernaut. They have six prospects that are already committed to FBS schools. Defensive backs Tyrek Cole and Kendrell McFadden are the top players on the Miramar squad.

Fort Pierce Central at Palm Beach Gardens

Four-star linebacker Tevon Coney looks to lead a Palm Beach Gardens squad who made it to the 8A state semifinals. They'll take on a Fort Pierce Central team who is always a strong team. They lost some graduating talent, but the future looks bright - especially with 2016 offensive lineman Stewart Reese. Fort Pierce Central knocked off nationally ranked Manatee in the second round of the 8A state playoffs before losing to Plant in the following round.

Osceola at Lake Gibson

Osceola made noise when they reached the 7A state semifinals before losing to Niceville. They kept a potent Sickles offense on the sideline for most of the game with their ground and pound, clock-controlling offense. Three-star linebacker Riley Nicholson also was a big part of Osceola's 2013 success. Lake Gibson is no slouch either on the defensive side of the ball with three-star defensive end Reuben Jones and linebacker Demetrius Brown. Lake Gibson will be without Trey Congdon who is headed off to college, but Lake Gibson should still make noise in Lakeland, Florida.

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