CB, PLANTATION AMERICAN
TALLER CORNERBACKS ARE the newest trend in football, and nowhere was that more vident than in the 2014 Super
Bowl when the Seattle Seahawks won
the title with 6-foot- 3 Richard Marshall
and 6-foot- 4 Brandon Browner overpowering receivers.
Plantation American Heritage has a
cornerback who fits that mold – 6-foot-
3, 195-pound senior Tarvarus McFadden, who has more than 30 scholarship
offers, including Florida State, Alabama,
Note Dame, Miami, Florida and more.
McFadden looks like a true student-
athlete. He wears glasses, carries a 3. 2
GPA and is interested in studying crimi-
nal justice or sports management.
“I’m blind,” McFadden joked when
asked about the glasses.
McFadden is also long and lean and
thickly muscled, looking more like a line-
backer than a corner.
“Because of his size, he’s a good tack-
ler,” said coach Mike Rumph, who led
Heritage to the Class 5A state title last
season. “He’s had some of the hardest
hits on the team.”
Rumph may be the perfect coach for
McFadden because he was a tall and
talented corner in his day, too. Rumph,
He showed up at UM and was moved
from safety to cornerback on his first
day on campus. The coach who made
that move was Chuck Pagano, who
directed UM’s defensive backs in those
days and is now the head coach of the
“I think coach Pagano saw receivers
getting taller,” Rumph said, “and he
wanted to find bigger corners.”
Rumph said McFadden profiles a lot
like the NFL’s Antonio Cromartie, who
is 6-foot- 2 and a standout at returning
McFadden has run back eight kickoffs
for touchdowns the past two years, including five in 2013. He is also a shutdown corner, allowing just one TD pass
If anything, he’s too good. He had
zero interceptions last season because
teams rarely threw his way.
Rumph said McFadden, who runs be-
tween 4. 4 and 4. 5 in the 40-yard dash,
is a gem for any coach who is willing to
wait a bit.
“With a big corner, you have to be
patient,” Rumph said. “They have long
limbs so they are not as quick as 5-9
guys. It takes time to learn the angles
and how to use your hands and use your
height to cut off those receivers.”
THE APOPKA FOOTBALL TEAM held its collective breath this pring when Martez Ivey, ranked as the best offensive
lineman in the state and third best in
the nation, appeared to have suffered
a serious ankle injury.
But Ivey, a 6-foot- 5, 275-pound
senior, didn’t get to have more than a
dozen scholarship offers from football
powers such as Alabama, Florida
State and Ohio State by being soft.
Right after rolling his ankle, Ivey got
up and ran the next play – a sweep
that required him to move quickly and
powerfully from the left side of the
line to the right.
“He came around the corner and just
launched the [defensive back] in the
air,” Apopka coach Rick Darlington said.
“But he makes plays like that all
“I don’t really feel too much pain,”
the time. He is always doing stuff that
makes you shake your head and say:
Ivey, it seems, is poison for oppos-
Ivey said. “I like to dish it out if I can.”
Darlington predicts Ivey will wind
up as a standout left tackle at an SEC
school. But there are plenty of schools
from the ACC and Big 10 who also
have him targeted as a future star.
“He’s got great hip explosion,”
Darlington said. “He’s very flexible for
someone so tall. He runs very well.
“A lot of linemen can’t hit moving
targets, but Martez has the ability to
run and hit in space. And when he
blocks you, he puts you on the ground.
He has a mean streak on the field.”