Meet the Expert: Jacksonville
FlaVarsity.com has compiled a team of regional experts across the state of Florida. We will introduce each expert during the summer, and we start off in Jacksonville.
For the 904, Turner Street will provide analysis and examine Jacksonville high school football. Here's his quick bio.
Turner started working for the Ponte Vedra Recorder in 2012 as a sports freelancer and continues to do so. He has also written sporadically for the St. Augustine Record. Turner covers everything from high school sports, collegiate athletics, and professional sports. He was the color commentator for Nease football's radio coverage last season. Turner worked with the Jacksonville Jaguars Public Relations department for the 2014 NFL Draft and Rookie Mini Camp and will continue to do so this summer and for all of the 2014-15 home games. He also does some work with the First Coast News (Jacksonville) Sports Department.
To get ready for high school football this fall, we asked Street several questions about what to watch for in his area.
Who is the top team in your area and why?
TS: With several returning starters coming off of a 2013 state title season, Trinity Christian looks like the team to beat. Led by Kevin Toliver II (eighth ranked recruit in the nation), they already have ten seniors with at least one division I offer. It is almost a certainty that Crusaders and Coach Verlon Dorminey will go deep into the postseason once again this year.
Honorable Mentions: First Coast, Lake City Columbia, St. Augustine, Fletcher
Who is a team that might not be getting enough attention in your area that you think will breakout this season and why?
TS: St. Augustine. Ever since Joey Wiles became the school's head coach in 1996, the Jackets have been consistent under. They've made the playoffs every year since 1999 and look to continue their streak. Sophomore quarterback Cole Northrup looked as poised as any senior last year and looks to build on an impressive freshman season to help him team make a deep run this year.
Who is the top player in your region?
TS: Hands down, this is Kevin Toliver II. The defensive back is ranked second in the state and eighth in the nation on Rivals' Top 100 Recruits of 2015. He is 6'2", 185 lbs., which allows him to be physical, but also has a 4.5 40 time that allows him to cover great lengths of the field. He was crucial to the Crusaders last season and is certain to be a defensive leader this year.
Honorable Mentions: Jeffery Holland, Sherrod Pittman
What will be the key storylines to watch this fall in your area?
TS: Can the Trinity Christian Crusaders make it two state titles in a row?
As mentioned above, the Crusaders have several key players returning from their 2013 state title season. With that in mind, the expectations for this team are very, very high. Will Kevin Toliver Jr, who is also looking to take some snaps at quarterback, lead his team to a second title?
Without record-breaking quarterback John Wolford and offensive coordinator Tim Krause, how does Bishop Kenny fair?
For the first time in four years, the Crusaders will have a new quarterback under center. For the first time in seven years, a new man will be calling the offensive plays. Can Bishop Kenny continue their playoff appearance streak even without two key components on their offensive side of the ball? Only time will tell.
After a long stretch of mediocrity, does first time head coach and former Bishop Kenny offensive coordinator Tim Krause lead the young Nease squad to the playoffs?
Ever since Craig Howard left Nease, the Panthers have been well, average. Over the past six years, they've gone 28-33 and had two head coaches. One constant has been a lack of a well-rounded, powerful offense, something Tim Krause developed as the OC at Bishop Kenny. Can Krause succeed at his first chance to be a head coach?
You can follow Turner Street on Twitter by clicking here.