Monday, July 23, 2018

HomeTeam 100: Players 31-40

Our sixth annual countdown of the top 100 football players in Tampa Bay — consisting of athletes who attend a public or private school in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco or Hernando counties. Past performances — spanning the fall, spring and summer — and promise of big things to come are all taken into consideration. Today: players 31-40.

31. Dexter Leverett, Wesley Chapel

Position: Running back/defensive back

Year: Senior

Height/weight: 5-9, 175

Charlie Kaijo | Times

RB/DB Dexter Leverett

By the numbers

0 Times Leverett said he has been officially clocked in the 40-yard dash

2 Years ago he moved from South Carolina to Florida to live with his father

2.5 Leverett's overall GPA

3 Positions he played in youth league: quarterback, running back and defensive back

4 Siblings (Two older brothers, an older sister and a younger brother)

5 Touchdowns he scored in a youth league game in fifth grade

9 100-yard rushing games Leverett had last season

1,249 Yards Leverett rushed for last season

2,000 Yards he hopes to gain on the ground this season

HIGHLIGHTS: Dexter Leverett.

32. Will Putnam, Plant

Position: Offensive lineman

Year: Junior

Height/weight: 6-4, 280

Special to the Times

OL Will Putnam

Why did you move to Tampa?

"My dad is in the army, so I've had to move around while growing up. That is why myself and my family moved. I was born in Michigan, then lived in Northern Virginia, Hawaii, Illinois and now here in Tampa. Moving is always hard; I still miss my friends in Illinois from time to time. So far I've lived here in Tampa a little over a month now and I'm still adjusting. But the people down here are very friendly and the football is awesome."

As a wrestler you were a state champion in middle school and state qualifier in high school. How has the sport helped you as a lineman?

"I believe it helps with body awareness and also helps with the mental aspect of the game. Being able to be mentally prepared to compete is the best thing wrestling has helped me with."

On your Twitter page, it says you are a water enthusiast. What water sports do you like?

"Oh (LOL) … It's not for water sports. It's just I'm known for drinking a lot of water. During school I carry around a gallon jug full of water and drink it before the end of the school day."

33. Carlton Potter, Durant

Position: Quarterback

Year: Senior

Height/weight: 6-0, 190

Three things to know about Potter:

1. Besides accomplishing great feats on the football field, Potter is also an accomplished pianist. He plays everything from classical to rock.

2. As a sophomore starter, Potter was 5 feet 9, 135 pounds. Heading into his senior year, Potter is listed at 6-0, 190 pounds.

3. To gain weight, Potter stayed disciplined every day during the offseason, eating around 6,000 daily calories between lifting weights for several hours.

HIGHLIGHTS: Carlton Potter.

Scott Purks | Special to the Times

QB Carlton Potter

34. Da Da McGee, Wiregrass Ranch

Position: Running back/wide receiver/defensive back

Year: Senior

Height/weight: 5-9, 176

The Wesley Chapel transfer's first name is Daquion. He got the nickname Da Da because he consistently ran to daylight (i.e. the end zone) in youth league football. He missed five games because of injuries as a sophomore. Last season, he stayed healthy and had a breakout season in his debut with the Bulls, rushing for 1,063 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was consistent, too. Five times he rushed for more than 100 yards in a game. McGee will be depended on even more after the Bulls lost athlete Raymond Woodie III, who moved to Oregon.


Scott Purks | Special to the Times

RB/WR/DB Da Da McGee

35. Colin Wray, Clearwater

Position: Quarterback

Year: Senior

Height/weight: 6-1, 194

Wray loves traveling, particularly to Colorado and Utah, the family's favorite destinations for skiing in the winter and mountain biking in the summer.

Wray's main athletic interest — football — has kept him in Lutz. He grew up in that area of Hillsborough County for 16 years and started at quarterback for Steinbrenner the past two seasons.

About seven months ago, that changed.

Wray and his family moved to Clearwater so the quarterback could play for the Tornadoes.

"I knew coming to Clearwater gave me a better opportunity to play at the next level," Wray said. "Coach Don Mesick and (assistant) Ron Laessig had very good reputations so I knew it would help me grow as a football player as well."

Wray played well in the spring game against Clearwater Central Catholic. His goals for the season include 3,000 yards passing, going undefeated in the regular season and making a deeper run in the playoffs than last year's team that reached the region semifinals.

If he is able to accomplish that, Wray is sure to also get offers, something that has eluded him so far. He has had interest from Holy Cross and Lehigh.

"The biggest thing I want to do is lead this team to another great season," Wray said.


Douglas R. Clifford | Times

QB Colin Wray

36. Deandre Fitz-Henley, Clearwater Central Catholic

Position: Linebacker/fullback

Year: Senior

Height/weight: 6-0, 220

A two-year starter, Fitz-Henley has recorded more than 100 tackles in each of the past two seasons. His consistency is a big reason he has more than 10 offers and is a three-star recruit, according to 247Sports. Fitz-Henley has narrowed his choices to three schools — Appalachian State, Colorado State and Toledo — and said he will announce his decision on July 31. This season, Fitz-Henley figures to have a more prominent role on offense as a fullback. He will also be counted for leadership on a team that graduated a ton of talent.

HIGHLIGHTS: Deandre Fitz-Henley.

Special to the Times

LB/FB Deandre Fitz-Henley

37. Keondrae Miller, Admiral Farragut

Position: Athlete

Year: Senior

Height/weight: 6-1, 180

Athlete is a good description of Miller. He filled in at quarterback last season after Austyn Causey transferred back to St. Petersburg. This season, the Blue Jackets have a quarterback, so Miller will catch balls instead of throwing them. On defense, he'll play strong safety, which he also played last season. That is likely the position he'll play in college. He has offers from several schools, including Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa State.

HIGHLIGHTS: Keondrae Miller.

Dirk Shadd | Times

ATH Keondrae Miller

38. Logan Doublin, Largo

Position: Linebacker

Year: Senior

Height/weight: 6-0, 205

Dirk Shadd | Times

LB Logan Doublin

Three things to know about Doublin:

1. Linebacker is pretty much the only position he has known since he started playing 10 years ago. The Appalachian State commit has spent most of that time as a middle linebacker and had 128 tackles, a sack and an interception last season.

2. The family is athletic. Doublin's father, Nathan, played linebacker at Dunedin and Countryside. His older brother, Bailey, played baseball at Largo. Doublin also played baseball but quit after freshman year.

3. Doublin wears No. 21 after his football idol, former Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor, who was killed in 2007.

HIGHLIGHTS: Logan Doublin.

39. Ricky Williams, Blake

Position: Linebacker/defensive end

Year: Senior

Height/weight: 6-4, 220

Williams can rush the passer and drop into coverage with nearly equal speed, aggression and agility. The most exciting part, according to Blake coach Duane Thomas, is that Williams, "has only scratched the surface of what he can do." Dozens of college programs have taken notice and several, including Baylor and Arkansas State, have made offers. Thomas believes that a double-digit sack total might be possible for Williams this season.

HIGHLIGHTS: Ricky Williams.

Octavio Jones | Times

LB/DE Ricky Williams

40. Braden Gilby, Jesuit

Position: Linebacker

Year: Senior

Height/weight: 6-2, 230

Coach Matt Thompson thinks the linebacking corps could be the strength of the team. How does it feel to be part of a unit that returns so much experience?

"It feels really good. We have a lot of potential, we just need to put it all together so we end up how good we could be."

Knowing that the defense has so much potential, do you feel as if that adds pressure?

"It definitely does, but we'll do our job, hopefully (the offense) will get their job done, and we'll work as a team to get there as a goal."

What have you been working on the most in the offseason?

"I've just been working out with the defense, trying to get as one unit. Working out together, trying to get that communication down. However much you think it takes, it's always going to be more, so just shoot further."

HIGHLIGHTS: Braden Gilby.

Scott Purks | Special to the Times

LB Braden Gilby

Compiled by staff writers Rodney Page and Bob Putnam, and correspondents Kelly Parsons and Scott Purks.

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