With the fact that there are so many student-athletes across the state of Florida, you are going to have some "diamond in the rough" type football players. These are players that are not on the radar at the moment, but skyrocket after a big senior season. Patrick Maddox, a 2012 junior, wide receiver from Pace high school, could be one of those players.
Maddox grew up watching and cheering for the Florida State Seminoles and even tries to model his game after a former Seminole star receiver.
"I love watching Anquan Boldin. He was a star at Florida State and has ended up doing some great things in the NFL. I try to play just like him. I grew up watching him, as I used to go to a ton of Florida State games. I would love to get to that level at some point."
Although he is a fan of the Seminoles, Maddox will make the best choice for him and his future and one that will give him the best chance to succeed.
"I am looking at Florida State, South Florida, Central Florida and South Alabama right now. I don't have any offers, but those are some of the schools that have caught my eye. I have received some letters from Southern Mississippi lately, a bunch of division 2 schools, and some questionnaires from some big schools. I plan on going to the camp up at Florida State later this month. They invited me, so I really want to make that trip. In the end though, I just need to make the best decision for my future."
Although he doesn't have any offers at the moment and he hasn't spent much time visiting college campuses, Maddox still knows what he is looking for in his future university.
"I want to go to a school with good surroundings and a nice environment. I take academics very seriously, so they must have a great academic program. I currently have a 3.1 GPA and I scored a 20 on the ACT. I plan on taking that again. In terms of football, I want a program that knows how to win. A winning tradition is very impressive to me."
The camp circuit is the best way for an "under-the-radar" player to get noticed and Maddox has been taking advantage of all types of camps.
"I went to the Nike combine in Mobile, Alabama, and I did very well down there. I ran a 4.51 in the forty-yard-dash. I believe it was very accurate because they used laser timing. I then went to the MVP camp in Atlanta. I received some great feedback down there as the coaches saw my work at receiver. I ran a 4.47 in the forty-yard-dash down there. I am going to the Under Armour combine in New Orleans this weekend as well."
As a receiver, it is difficult to make a ton of plays in a run-heavy offense, however, the 6-foot-2, 180 pound athlete did just fine during his junior season.
"We ran the ball a lot, but I had some solid numbers. I had 28 receptions, 496 yards, and 5 touchdowns. I also threw for a touchdown. As a team, we were 8 and 3, but hopefully we can improve on that this year. We have some real talent on this team. I will also be playing some safety this year. With my size and hands, my coaches want me to come in on all 'third and long' possessions."
With so many receivers in the entire state, Maddox needs to stand out. He feels his leaping ability is what separates him from the other receivers in Florida.
"I believe that the fact that I can just go up and get the ball at its highest point will help me stand out amongst other players. I feel that I can out-jump anyone and with my hands, I shouldn't have any issues getting the ball over the defenders. At the MVP combine, my vertical was measured at 35 inches."
Maddox is also a standout player on the Pace high school Baseball team, that is consistently ranked among the top in the country.
Tom Loy, of FlaVarsity.com, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org