Like most states, you can somewhat judge the level of competition by the class rating of the schools . The larger schools should be the better schools in football because of a larger population from which to draw players. In Florida, the majority of football powerhouses come from 6A, 7A, and 8A schools. There are a few in the 4A and 5A classes as well. Today, we're looking at the largest schools in Florida that Kentucky has either signed (2013 class) or offered (2014 class).
(Orlando ) Freedom
Kentucky signed Jeff Badet from this 8-A school last February. Badet is a (5.5) 3 Star WR and is part of Stoops 29th ranked best class since 2000. Badet made the A/P 8-A second team. Freedom lost to (Tampa) Plant in the 2012 regional quarterfinals. They finished their 2012 season with a 7-4 Record.
Alonso is an 8-A school and we've offered (5.5) 3 star OL Gary Brown and (5.6) 3 star TE Marcus Mosley. Alonso finished the 2012 season with a 5-5 record. The Ravens didn't make the state playoffs, having lost to (Tampa) Wharton and (Tampa) Sickles in the district playoffs.
(5.7) 3 star ATH Brandon Powell has an offer from Kentucky. The Bucks made the state playoffs, but lost to (Weston) Cypress Bay in the regional quarter-finals by 41-13, ending their season at 5-5. Powell was named to the A/P's 8-A all-state second team as a running back.
JoJo Kemp was a (5.7) 3 star and was named 8-A first team A/P all-state at the end of his senior season before signing with Kentucky. Deland finished their season at 7-5 with a loss to (Sanford) Seminole in the regional quarter-finals. Deland is just outside of Orlando on i-4 and is considered part of the metropolitan area.
Winter Park has produced some of Florida's best talent over the years, but 2012 wasn't kind. Kentucky recruited and signed (5.6) 3 star DB Blake McClain and the Cats have offered (5.7) 3 star DE Trent Harris for the 2014 class. The Wildcats finished their season at 4-6 with a 14-10 win over Ocoee. Winter Park is a metro Orlando school. Harris is the 43rd best player in Florida, according to the Orlando Sentinal.
The Lyman Greyhounds ended their season with a 5-5 record. They did manage to win their 2012 final game against Hagerty 28-0. Kentucky has offered LB Nico Firios. He's a (5.5) 3 star. Firios is considered to be the 60th best player in the state by the Orlando Sentinel.
Defensive lineman 3 star (5.6) Adam Torres was offered by Kentucky in April. The Orlando Sentinel says he is the 45th best player in the state. Lake Mary and Longwood are part of metro Orlando. The Rams finished their 2012 season at 7-3, but they lost to Oviedo 31-7 in their final game. That loss kept them out of the playoffs. Torres was honorable mention 8-A all-state by the A/P.
Ocoee is a small town just outside of Orlando and is considered a part of the metropolitan area. The Knights ended their 2-9 season with a 25-6 loss to eventual 8-A state champion Apopka. Kentucky has offered (5.4) 2 star CB Terrell Lewis.
(Tarpon Springs) East Lake
Tarpon Springs is a gulf coast town known for sponges. It lies north of Tampa. East Lake lost in the regional finals to Orlando's Dr. Phillips 31-21. The Eagles 2012 season ended with a 11-2 record. Kentucky has offered and Drew Barker is in contact with (5.9) 4 star WR Artavis Scott. Scott was named to the A/P's 8-A all-state second team. He is also ranked as the 10th best player in Florida, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
(Winter Garden) West Orange
West Orange is another metro Orlando school. The Warriors ended their season at 5-5 and were not eligible for the state playoffs. (5.6) 2 star WR Garrett Johnson has a Kentucky offer. The Orlando Sentinel has Johnson ranked as the 66th best player in Florida. Kentucky signed (5.5) 3 star OL Ramsey Meyers in the 2013 recruiting class.
This is a south Florida school who produces a lot of talent. Three players, Geno Smith, Eugene Smith and Stedman Bailey from the 2009 class, were drafted in this year's NFL Draft. The Patriots lost in the regional semifinals to 2012 state runner-up Cypress Bay 34-14 to end the season at 7-5. Kentucky signed (5.7) 3 star DE Alvonte Bell in the 2013 class and the Cats have offered (5.6) 3 star S Darrion Owens for the 2014 class.
Like Miramar, Plant is a major program that feeds Miami, Florida and Florida State on a regular basis. The Panthers have won 65 games over the past five seasons ranking them as one of the top high school teams in the nation. Their 65-6 record over the five year period puts them tied in 29th place in the nation with St. Thomas Aquinas.
As an aside, Kentucky's Ft. Thomas Highlands ranks #3 with a 72-3 record. Elizabethtown's John Hardin ranks 14th over the five year period.
Plant lost in the regional semi-finals to Orlando's Dr. Phillips 27-7 to end their season at 10-2. Kentucky has offered (5.7) 3 star LB Andrew Beck and (5.6) 3 star OL Ray Raulerson. Beck has committed to Texas. The Orlando Sentinel has Beck ranked #69 in Florida.
(Weston) Cypress Bay
Cypress Bay is the 2012 8-A state runner-up, losing to Apopka 53-50 in the 8-A championship game. This was the third highest scoring game in Florida finals history and is considered the best finals game ever with its six lead changes. They finished their season at 12 -3. Their other two losses were 43-17 to St. Thomas Aquinas and a 42-20 loss to Manatee. Kentucky signed (5.7) 3 star WR Alex Montgomery this past February. Montgomery was a choice for the A/P 8-A first team all-state.
(Lake Worth) Park Vista
Kentucky recently offered Louisville commitment (5.6) 3 star DB Marques Gayot. Gayot was an A/P 8-A all-state first team pick. The Cobras lost to (Sanford) Seminole 35-31 in the regional qualifier this past season. They finished their season at 8-3.
Next up we'll be looking at Kentucky signees and recruit from the fifteen 7-A and 6-A schools. More powerhouses to come.
The Orlando Sentinel's Top 100
Florida 8-A Championship Bracket
Florida 8-A Schools