Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Hometeam

As NFL draft nears, local history not in QB Chase Litton’s corner

A few days back, our own Matt Baker indicated how former Sickles High/Clemson star Ray-Ray McCloud is fighting against a fierce undercurrent of local history in his quest to get drafted.

Turns out, he's not the only one. The odds, at least from a historical context, also are stacked against former Wharton/Marshall QB Chase Litton.

In the past 50 years, only three quarterbacks from Hillsborough County high schools — Robinson's John Reaves (1972), Leto's Gary Huff ('73) and Plant's Aaron Murray ('14) — have been selected as QBs in the NFL Draft.

Which is to say Litton, who bypassed his senior season at Marshall, is trying to do what historic Hillsborough slingers Kenny Kelly, Russell Evans, Stephen Garcia, Quentin Williams and Robert Marve could not.

RELATED: Despite warnings to stay in school, Chase Litton confident about draft prospects

Difference is, Litton has a far more prototypical NFL frame (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) than any of those guys. And while his well-documented off-field smudges could hurt his stock, his size and skill set (i.e. velocity, ability to burn man coverage over the top) could prompt a team to take a chance on him.

Consider Mel Kiper Jr.'s recent comments (per the Washington Post): "And a guy in the fifth, sixth, seventh round that could be interesting, if you can put him on the shelf for a couple of years, Chase Litton from Marshall.

"Had he gone back to Marshall and had a big year, he probably would have been a second-round pick. Now you may be able to get a guy like Litton in the fifth or sixth round."

Their phone never rang

Some legendary Hillsborough County prep quarterbacks who went undrafted

C.J. Bennett, Alonso: 2009 Guy Toph Award winner played at South Alabama and Murray State, now running backs coach at Samford

Reche Caldwell, Jefferson: Granted, this former dual-threat quarterback at Jefferson was drafted (Chargers, second round, 2002), but as a receiver

Russell Evans, Plant City: Parade All-American in early '90s became a juco Hall-of-Famer in Mississippi

Stephen Garcia, Jefferson: Now local private QBs coach after checkered-but-prolific career at South Carolina

Gary Godsey, Jesuit: 1998 Guy Toph Award winner transitioned to tight end at Notre Dame, now a commercial real estate executive in Tampa

Jay Gruden, Chamberlain: Became a 7,000-yard passer at Louisville in late 1980s, won four ArenaBowl titles as Tampa Bay Storm quarterback

Terry Jordan, Gaither: 3,000-yard passer at Gaither (in mid-80s) went on to throw for more than 3,500 yards at N.C. State. Later played briefly for Tampa Bay Storm

Kenny Kelly, Tampa Catholic: After three seasons at Miami including one as a starter, Kelly (a 1997 Devil Rays second-round pick) switched to baseball

Robert Marve, Plant: After leading Plant to '06 state title, signed with Miami and later transferred to Purdue. Now a bay area QB coach

Quentin Williams, Jefferson: Florida's 2010 Mr. Football threw for 6,000 yards at Bethune-Cookman, signed with Winnipeg of CFL in early 2016 and was cut that spring

Comments
HomeTeam 15: Volleyball power rankings, Week 5

HomeTeam 15: Volleyball power rankings, Week 5

A look at this week's top teams in Tampa Bay:Elite status1. Plant (12-0)Up next: Thursday at GaitherLast week's spot: No. 1Why they stayed put: If the Panthers thought they might be Class 8A state championship contenders, that was confirmed last week...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Marreese Speights’ nephew inherits his height, but puts it to use on the gridiron

Marreese Speights’ nephew inherits his height, but puts it to use on the gridiron

ST. PETERSBURG – Percy Speights is ready to battle. With knees slightly bent and elbows instinctively deployed, the 6-foot-4 sophomore stakes out his spot, pushing and pressing until his opponent is no longer a factor.It is hard labor for the d...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Road warriors truly define Palm Harbor University volleyball players

Road warriors truly define Palm Harbor University volleyball players

PALM HARBOR — The microphone was put away for the day, so Palm Harbor University volleyball coach Dexter Rogers had to shout. Luckily, the intimate crowd at Carwise Middle School was easily within earshot.It was senior night, and the Hurricanes...
Updated: 10 hours ago
HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Rent Montie and Camryn Vogler

HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Rent Montie and Camryn Vogler

Our players of the week for the period spanning Sept. 8-14.Rent Montie, ClearwaterMontie is a football junkie. The Clearwater quarterback even has a whiteboard in his room that he uses to diagram plays in his spare time."I eat, sleep and breathe foot...
Updated: 8 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Monday, September 17

Monday’s scoreboardBoys swimmingShorecrest 139, St. Petersburg Cath. 29Clearwater Central Cath. 103, Shorecrest 79Clearwater Central Cath. 122, St. Petersburg Cath. 28Lakewood 110, Boca Ciega 64Largo 115, Dunedin 56Girls swimmingShorecrest 137, St. P...
Published: 09/17/18
HomeTeam 15: Football power rankings, Week 5

HomeTeam 15: Football power rankings, Week 5

There were some tight games that included last-minute comebacks, but the results were largely expected this past week. That was a break from the upsets during the first three weeks that caused plenty of shifting in the rankings.Elite status1. Tampa B...
Published: 09/17/18
Sunday Morning Quarterback: It’s like Butter

Sunday Morning Quarterback: It’s like Butter

Some of the highlights from Week 4:Team of the WeekPinellas Park: The Patriots were not tested in their first three games. They outscored opponents 150-0 and all three games were essentially over by halftime. None of that mattered Friday night. Pinel...
Published: 09/16/18
Growing pains and more tests await young Berkeley Prep volleyball squad

Growing pains and more tests await young Berkeley Prep volleyball squad

TAMPA — Once again, the volleyball talent is there at Berkeley Prep — no doubt about that.It’s just that the talent is young and inexperienced and busy learning the advanced systems run by coach Mackenzie Tichenor."But we will get there," said Tichen...
Published: 09/15/18
Football: Pinellas Park 45, East Lake 24

Football: Pinellas Park 45, East Lake 24

PINELLAS PARK — Finally.It took 20 tries but Pinellas Park finally beat East Lake.The Patriots survived a third-quarter scare and beat their Class 7A, District 10 rival for the first time in school history, 45-24 Friday night to improve to 4-0....
Published: 09/15/18

Football: Sickles 13, Wiregrass Ranch 12

WESLEY CHAPEL — If calling a run play in the closing seconds, with no timeouts and needing a touchdown to win seems risky, imagine doing it twice.After a frantic finish Friday night, Sickles fans would say that strategy is just fantastic.Grypho...
Published: 09/15/18