Varsity Preps

Sunshine State Report, Edition IV

Varsity Preps presents the Sunshine State Report, a look deeper into the talent pool available in the state of Florida. In this report, we’ll cover players capable of playing major college football from Pensacola to Key West, from Ft. Myers to Jacksonville, the Sunshine State Report will be a weekly feature that highlights three prep players ready to make an impact on the Division I level.

Matthew Whyte, 2014 CB, Carol City

Miami Gardens, FL 

HT: 5’11 WT: 185 40-YD: 4.42

Matthew Whyte has yet to be offered, but he’s receiving lots of attention from “FIU, FSU,UCF, and Miami.”

He reports he’s getting a lot of mail from Central Florida and that he camped recently at Florida International. “I talked to the coaches after camp. I got a chance to speak with Head Coach Ron Turner. I won the fastest DB and DB MVP, so I think I did pretty well,” he said. “FIU is a good program, the coaches are good people, and I could see myself there for four years.”

The Hurricanes are interested in Whyte. “They are still sending lots of mail, we’ve spoken a few times. I’m planning on attending an Al Golden camp.”

Whyte says the Seminoles have been in contact with him. “I’ve heard from FSU a few times. I’ve always liked their program. I took a visit recently, got to meet the players and coaches,” he said.

Early playing time: “I’d like to contribute as a freshman. If I work hard and learn the system, I can get on the field early.”

2013 goals: “It’s always team first. Our goal is to bring home the state championship to Carol City. Individually, I want at least 40 tackles and seven interceptions this season.”

Offseason workouts: “I’ve definitely gotten better in man-to-man coverage. I’ve also improved my jam, turning and running with receivers.”

Lowering his 40-yard dash time: “Last time we spoke, my fastest 40 was 4.63. I’ve been able to shave some time off of it, I’m down to 4.42. I worked on my technique, especially my get-off.”

Decision day: “I may wait until after signing day. I’ve seen too many guys rush their decisions, I’m going to wait as long as possible.”

Varsity Preps assessment: Matthew has a lot of potential. He displays good hips and speed, has a good backpedal. Could disengage from blockers quicker in run support. Good athleticism, should continue to develop into a D-I corner.

Alex Ogle, 2014 QB, Jensen Beach

Jensen Beach, FL

HT: 6’3 WT: 195 40-YD: 4.8

Alex Ogle claims verbal offers from FAU, FIU, Marshall, and Illinois St. He’s also receiving lots of interest from Georgia, Miami, USF, Florida, Florida St., MTSU, and Tennessee.

MTSU: “I’ll be visiting in July. I’ve talked to them on the phone and they’re excited to see me workout. I hope they offer after the camp.”

Tennessee: “I’ll be visiting them in July also. I’ve spoken to the staff there several times and they’re anxious to see me at camp.”

USF: “I felt like I performed well in all the one-on-one drills, I got personal instruction from QB coach Nick Sheridan. I had a lot of fun and felt like I got a really good look from them. I’m hoping I’ll hear from them in the future.”

FAU: “They were one of the first programs to start recruiting me. I love the staff and there’s definitely a mutual interest there.”

Recruiting him the hardest: “It’s FIU. I attended their camp and earned an offer,” he said. “It’s a great group of coaches and I could see myself there for four years. They do a great job keeping in touch.”

Camps attended: “Georgia, Miami, NC State, Duke, FIU, USF, and FAU. I’m done for June, but I have four in July: UT, MTSU, FSU, and Clemson. I’ve been getting some handwritten letters from Clemson which is why I decided to camp there.”

#1 factor when choosing a program: “I’m looking for a solid education with a great coaching staff. I’ll also consider the depth chart and how early I can earn some playing time.”

Decision day: “Quarterbacks are committing earlier these days, so I’m about making a verbal commitment at the end of the summer.”

Top 4: “FIU, Georgia, FAU, and MTSU.”

Varsity Preps assessment: Alex is very accurate, displays good ball placement. Doesn’t have an elite arm, but does a good job of looking defenders off. Worthy of D-I offers, could be a good fit at FAU, MTSU, or Marshall.

 Antiwone Johnson, 2014 WR, Coral Gables

Coral Gables, FL

HT: 5’9 WT: 165 40-YD: 4.53

Antiwone Johnson claims no offers, but reported he’s hearing frequently from “Western Michigan, FIU, East Carolina, and Ohio.”

Production in 2012: 30 receptions, 540 yards, six touchdowns

Johnson said Ohio likes his film and wants him to visit. “The staff mentioned they like my speed, vision, and awareness. I believe they’ll end up offering.”

Florida International likes what Johnson brings to the table. “Coaches at FIU said they like my speed and toughness, and how I get off the jam and beat man-to-man coverage.”

East Carolina wants to see him workout at running back. “The RB coach said he liked my quickness, wants to see me carry the ball in drills.”

Johnson told Varsity Preps Western Michigan likes him for a couple of offensive positions. “They want me to camp and workout at slot receiver, said I fit what they’re looking for.”

Favorites: “I’m liking Ohio right now. They have a good program and good academics,” he said. “They run a spread offense with four and five wide receivers, have a wide open passing attack. They’ve told me I’ll be utilized like Tavon Austin.”

Camps: “I’ve attended sessions Georgia St. and Appalachian St., and I’ll camp at WMU and Ohio.”

#1 factor when choosing a program: “I’m just looking for a solid program where I can relate with everyone involved. I to be in a program that’s run well and that will develop me into a better football player.”

Expectations for 2013 for CGHS: “We have to find a way to beat Columbus. If we can do that, I think we’ll have an outstanding season.”

Varsity Preps assessment: Antowine is a playmaker, very similar to Jimmy Moreland of Royal Palm Beach. A tad smallish, but definitely grades out and possesses the skill set necessary for D-I football.

— Michael Bradley




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