Friday night’s contest at the Citrus Bowl may be the the most physical game the people of Indian River County see all year. Treasure Coast High School comes to town boasting one of the best defenses, if not the best, in the state.
In spite of having major problems on offense, the Titans are 4-2 and undefeated in the district (2-0). Their two losses have been a 0-37 drubbing at the hands of powerhouse Mainland High School, and a 0-7 heartbreaker to an always-tough Palm Bay High School team.
Vero Beach is 7-0, and 3-0 in the district. Some people say they haven’t played anyone, but Coach Gary Coggin points to common opponents when asked about the game with Treasure Coast. “In the three teams where we’ve faced the same teams, our results are almost the same,” said Coggin.
Well, he’s right. Let’s compare both teams in games versus Westwood, Palm Beach Gardens, and Centennial:
VBHS 68 Opponents 27 – TCHS 62 Opponents 35
Let’s also take a look at the defensive stars from both teams:
Jeff Luc- The best middle linebacker in the country. His hits have become YouTube legend, just take a look: http://www.youtube.com. He hasn’t decided on a school, but his favorites are FL, FSU, LSU, AL, CLEM, AUBURN, GA, NOTRE DAME, NC, OH STATE, and USC.
Deon Rogers- Rated the 46th best outside linebacker in the country, Rogers is fast (4.5 in the 40 yard dash) and rangy (6-3 200 pounds). He recently committed to Georgia.
Ed Foley- Not rated nationally by recruiting services, Foley is a playmaker that will pick up a scholarship somewhere by the end of 2009. He’s a smart player with instincts that make up for his average athletic talent at outside linebacker.
LaMarcus Brutus- This junior already has offers from Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Miami (Fl), North Carolina to play safety. He’s good, but probably not better than VBHS safety Larry Franklin.
Eric Alvarez- The senior cornerback is rated 107th in the nation at his position, but is not as spectacular as some of his gifted teammates. He’s received scholarship offers from Coastal Carolina, Florida A&M, Illinois State, UAB, and ULM.
Justin Hughes- While he is unranked nationally, he was a good enough cornerback lock up a scholarship with Troy. The senior is the faster of the two cornerbacks with 4.5 speed.
Dion Holmes- The son of Defensive Coordinator and NFL legend Kenny Holmes, this junior is a tackling machine. The only player I’d swap for him on Treasure Coast is Luc, and that speaks volumes of Dion’s instincts and ability. While his recruiting status is unkown, that is likely to change after this game-scouts will be everwhere on Friday night.
David Dixson- The junior defensive end is fast and powerful. He is as good against the run as he is rushing the quarterback. Scouts are just starting to hear about this kid, and word of his ability is spreading . . .
Cody Horstman- You can say a lot of the same things you say about Dixson and have them be true for Horstman. While quick enough, Horstman relies on technique and power to Dixson’s raw athletic ability. There may not be a better set of DE’s in the state than these two.
Rockcliff Coke- The unsung senior doesn’t steal headlines, but this guy tackles everything that comes his way. He’ll have to bulk up to play in college, but he’s a very athletic linebacker.
Larry Franklin- One of the more underrated players in the area, Franklin is as good of a coverage safety as there is on the Treasure Coast. He’s a sure tackler who is sure to pick up a scholarship offer by the end of the season.
Trevonte’ Boles- While he is primarily an offensive guard, Boles is the 111th ranked defensive lineman in the country. At 6-1 300 pounds, the senior is quick on his feet and can bull-rush past offensive lineman. Coggin has used him sparingly on defense thus far to conserve his energy, but will use him more with the weather getting cooler. Boles is keeping his college recruiting private so far, but does have a handful of schools he is considering.
This is going to be a great game, even for people who like high scoring games. So much talent will be on the field that it’s going feel like a college game. Coggin spoke about how the 12th man will make a huge difference to his team, but I’m thinking there may be so many people at this game that they will get the help from a 13th man too.