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December 23, 2011
MIAMI, Fla. - Friday night marks the 17th annual Nike South Florida All-Star Game. The game will pit the best from Miami-Dade against a team comprised of talent from Broward, Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET at Traz Powell Stadium.
Here is a look at some storylines for the game.
1. Change in approach
The Nike South Florida All-Star Game has been around for nearly two decades, but prior to this year it pitted the best of Miami-Dade against the best of Broward. This year it has expanded to include some top-tier prospects from Palm Beach counties as well as the Treasure Coast. Prospect such as Royal Palm Beach running back Tremane McCullough, West Palm Beach Dwyer defensive tackle Mike Minns and Stuart Martin County defensive back Justin Simmons are new talent from the added areas.
2. The Duke is loose
The top player on the Maimi-Dade roster is running back Randy Johnson. Nobody in South Florida calls him Randy though, as he is affectionately known as 'Duke' and after tearing up the FHSAA state playoffs, he might as well be the mayor around those parts. Johnson, a firm Miami Hurricane commitment, is an explosive running back who turns in major highlights on the regular. With a strong roster of talent surrounding him and defenses unable to key solely on him, he should be able to provide some more highlight reel material.
3. Who will stand out at quarterback?
One area where the two teams lack a superstar is at the quarterback position. For Broward, it has Jupiter Christian quarterback Kedric Bostic, who is heading to Princeton, and Fort Lauderdale University School's Gunnar Holcombe, who is heading to Marshall, leading the depth chart. Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian quarterback Javan Shashaty provides further depth and was a record-setting signal-caller in his high school career.
For Dade, the top quarterback is Miami Northwestern's E.J. Hilliard, who is committed to hometown school Florida International. He will be backed up by Miami Central quarterback Austin Stock and Miami Columbus quarterback Garrett Fortner.
4. Wide receivers abound
The quarterbacks have a chance to make some huge plays thanks to the wide receiver talent surrounding them. For Broward, it has Fort Lauderdale University School's Macgarrett Kings Jr., a Michigan State commitment, and his high school teammate, Daniel Braverman, who has pledged to Western Michigan.
Uncommitted targets include Oakland Park Northeast's Jeremy Glinton and Belle Glade Glades Central's Jaime Wilson. Dade counters with Alabama commitment Amari Cooper from Maimi Northwestern, Miami commitment Herb Waters from Homestead and West Virginia commitment Darreal Joyner from Miami Central.
5. Under the radar
The game will also provide a venue for some prospects to showcase their skills in hopes of earning either their first offer or to improve their options. Some players to keep an eye on who are hoping to emerge include Hollywood McArthur wide receiver Lavatiae Kelly, Miami Jackson wide receiver Willie Quinn and Miami Booker T. Washington safety Kevon Caffey.
Others, such as Homestead running back Torry Clayton, are looking to make that final push to land bigger and better offers.