There is one word that comes to mind when I think about the quarterback class in Florida for 2012 - Potential. There are some very talented gunslingers in this class, but most of them are projects. Some would consider this a bad thing, but this is a very strong class when you look at what they can accomplish at the next level.
The 10 quarterbacks that made the final FlaVarsity160 are smart, dedicated, and have the will to be great. They are physically gifted and they all know that they will not reach their peak without hard work and drive. They are students of the game and have all put in the effort, on and off the field, to improve during their final high school season.
In July of 2011, I wrote an article on the top quarterbacks in the state of Florida and mentioned Bartram Trail's Nathan Peterman as the one to watch out for this season. Peterman proved me right and finished the year as our top quarterback for this class. He led the Bears to a 12 - 2 record, while throwing for 2,932 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. Peterman put up terrific numbers all year long and led his team deep in the playoffs, before losing to Armwood. For his efforts on the year, the University of Tennessee commitment earned 6A Player of the Year and a 4-star ranking on Rivals.com.
The University of Cincinnati is getting a strong-armed, agile quarterback with a new mindset on life. Bennie Coney, Plant City high school, dealt with plenty of adversity prior to his senior year and was ridiculed for having a poor attitude and being a "me-first" player. That was far from the case during his final high season. On the year, Coney passed for 2,297 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions, while leading the Plant City Raiders to a 7 - 3 record. Coney told me, prior to the season, that he was focused on becoming a better player and a better person. He was focused on improving his life, on and off the field, while becoming a leader to his teammates. Needless to say, that was just the case for the future Bearcat. Coney has really grown up this year and if he continues on his path, he could be outstanding at the next level.
I have very high hopes for this class and feel that, top to bottom, it can be one of the strongest to come out of the Sunshine State in years. Here is the list of the 10 quarterbacks that made it into the final FlaVarsity 160.
Any questions or comments, contact Tom Loy on Twitter - @TomLoy2002 or via email - TomLoy2006@hotmail.com.