THE LATEST NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF FLORIDA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
BY BRIAN MCLAUGHLIN
New Florida Transfer Rule
Could Turn Prep Football
Rosters Upside Down
COACHES AND ATHLETIC DIRECTORS ARE scratching their heads, and the Florida High School Athletic Association wasn’t exactly keen on the idea in the beginning. Nevertheless, a version of
Florida high school free agency opened up on July 1 this
summer. Hey, the NFL has it, right? And college transfers
seem more common than ever these days.
Freedom of school choice is here, folks. It passed through
the Florida legislature earlier this year and on to the desk of
Gov. Rick Scott—who signed it. It is effective immediately—
and the way the educational system works, July 1 is like
Jan. 1 is to the calendar. When that day comes, restrictions
on transferring will change drastically and a student can
move to another school and play sports immediately.
This of course could turn into a can of worms, but let’s
face it—in many ways this has been going on already.
Coaches told FNF Magazine off the record that it’s going to
be a crazy summer—especially in urban areas like Miami-Dade or Broward County.
“It’s going to be tough to keep track of,” one coach from
More rural rosters won’t be affected as much by the
Broward told FNF. “Our roster could look completely different
from what we had on the field in the spring game.”
If teams are lucky, they’ll add some key players to offset
the loss of a few players. One coach said it’ll be a free-for-all,
while another told FNF that it’s an improvement over the old
ways because now at least it’s out in the open and everybody
is officially dealing with the same rule—or lack of rule.
transfer situation—because frankly, there aren’t any schools
close enough to transfer to or from.
“It won’t have much influence on our program,” one small-
town coach told FNF. “But it could have influence on teams
we play down the line, teams in our district and especially in
EDITOR’S NOTE: Because of the new July 1 transfer rule mentioned above,
some team previews and their top players may have changed since we
went to print in June.
Legendary Miami Booker T.
Washington Coach Returns
Returns After Short Stint with Miami
Hurricanes’ Coaching Staff
THREE STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS, ONE
mythical national title, and 99 wins in 8
seasons. Tim “Ice” Harris is one of the
biggest success stories in Miami-Dade prep
football history. He’s so much of a success
story that the Miami Hurricanes have been
smart enough to hire him twice.
Well, he’s back for his second tour at
Miami Booker T. Washington—and you know
that means a lot of wins are coming.
Manny Navarro, who is a veteran sports
writer at The Miami Herald, knows “Ice” well.
“The thing that separated Ice Harris as a young coach in
Ice is back, Florida!
South Florida … was his belief that football season didn’t
end in the fall,” Navarro told FNF Magazine. “He’s really the
first coach I saw in south Florida start the trend of having his
entire team either participate in 7-on- 7 football or run track
Navarro said he remembers Harris’s four state semifinal
losses in the mid-2000s and how much it got under Harris’
skin. Harris told Navarro he was going to change everything
about his approach—and the next thing you knew, his players
were in dress clothes on game days and air-tight discipline
was instilled. State titles ensued.
South Sumter’s Sherman
Steps Down After 32 Years
WHEN IT COMES TO HIGH SCHOOL COACHING IN
Florida, there are few men who command more respect
than Inman Sherman of South Sumter HS in Bushnell. His
retirement as head coach came after 32 highly successful
seasons at a school that really didn’t have an elite football
pedigree before Sherman took over the program in 1984.
Sherman is one of the kindest men one will ever meet, and
though his program was uber-competitive (261-109 in his
career, 17 district titles, state title in 2005) he was just as
interested in developing young men. He has coached young
men who now play in the NFL, and young men who became
He retired at 60 years old in January as the winningest
coach in Lake and Sumter County history, and fourth in Cen-
tral Florida history. His assistant, Ty Lawrence, has become
only the second head coach at South Sumter since 1983.
Return to Florida
WHEN YOU THINK OF
2,000-yard (or more) rushers
in Florida, names like Em-
mitt Smith, Travis Henry and
Derrick Henry come to mind.
Well Sunshine State, you
have a rising senior trio to
enjoy watching this fall.
Tampa Jesuit’s Malik Davis
( 2,337 yards and 28 TDs in
12 games) and Brooksville
Central’s De’vonta Smith
( 2,193 yards, 19 TDs in 10
games) live within an hour of
each other and should produce
countless headlines in the
Greater Tampa Bay area.
Up in the Panhandle near
Pensacola, another stud is
back in Anthony Johnson of
Pace. He rushed for 2,114
yards and 25 TDs. Of course
they’ll all have a tough act
to follow in 2015’s state
signee Deshawn Smith ( 3,715
yards, 60 TDs).
are Back in North
T WO OF THE STATE’S TOP
statistically—return, and their high
schools are only 22 miles
apart. Rising seniors Davin
Schuck of Lake City Columbia and Tyrus Cook of Lake
Butler Union County—two
storied programs just north of
Gainesville—are back in the
fold. They combined last year
for more than 7,000 yards
passing and 74 touchdowns.
Schuck passed for 3,798
yards and 39 touchdowns in
2015. One of his top targets
returns in rising junior
Nathan Maxwell, while rising
senior Kamario Bell is back
after rushing for 1,235 yards.
Cook passed for 3,232
yards and 35 TDs last
year—surpassing 400 yards
against Jacksonville Paxon,
Fort White and Newberry.
His team made the playoffs,
where it ran into a buzz saw
in Madison County.
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Happy 109th Birthday,
Florida High School Football!
Did you know high school football
was first played in Florida in 1907?
In that first couple of years, schools
like Lakeland, Tampa Hillsborough,
Plant City, Ocala, Orlando, Bartow
Summerlin and Jacksonville Duval
Tampa Jesuit's Malik Davis
has rushed for more than
4,500 career yards, more
than 2,000 of which came