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Recruiters flock to Vikings

Northeast's Javontae Boyd, Jeff Brinson and Armando Sanchez are starting to become household names.

By BOB PUTNAM
Published May 18, 2007


ST. PETERSBURG - Northeast's Javontae Boyd, Jeff Brinson and Armando Sanchez are starting to become household names.

At least in the households of college recruiters.

This spring, assistant coaches have showed up at practices to study their every move.

They sit in bleachers like birds on telephone wires, whispering comments to each other, making discreet entries on clipboards and imagining the three in their uniforms.

Florida, Georgia, Rutgers. They've all been here, along with colleges some of the players have never heard of.

"The attention has been unreal, " Brinson said.

Brinson, a bruising running back, has 11 offers from Division I schools, the biggest coming from Iowa, Nebraska and USF.

Boyd, a defensive tackle/tight end, has the same amount of offers with Georgia and Rutgers headlining the list.

"I never would have thought we'd have so many schools looking at us, " Boyd said. "Just the other day, we walk into a room at school and there's 10 college assistant coaches waiting to talk to us."

That's the type of pressure facing Boyd, Brinson and Sanchez. They have a lot of decisions to make.

Sanchez, a quarterback/linebacker, already made his. He committed to USF last week.

"It was my first choice all along, " said Sanchez, who will play linebacker for the Bulls. "I'm sure other schools might still call, but I've made up my mind."

The three know they can't let the attention got to their heads, especially as the leaders of a star-studded team.

"We're as focused as we've ever been, " Brinson said.

The influx of college recruiters has put the spotlight on them, but they're hoping it shines on other players, too.

"I love that everybody is after those guys, " lineman Pat Hanley said. "We've all grown up together, and I'm happy for them. I just hope some of it comes my way later on."

QUARTERBACK BATTLE: Countryside is the most notable team breaking in a new signal caller after bidding farewell to the passer with the highest profile in the county last season, L.D. Crow.

Crow led the Cougars to two straight playoff berths and will be at Stanford in the fall.

Ryan Eppes and Jimbo Chmelik appear to be the frontrunners to take over the position.

"It's going to be a battle, " Countryside coach John Davis said. "Some people are expecting us to fall off the earth at that position, but we're going to be okay."

SIGNINGS: Shorecrest had three players who signed with colleges: Broghan Carnes West Point, Nick Maliska (Middlebury) and Josh Birkbeck (Florida Atlantic).

Bob Putnam can be reached at putnam@sptimes.com or at (727) 445-4169.