Orlando, Fla. - It’s a Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington team led by five-star outside linebacker prospect Matthew Thomas that the recruiting world talks about but it was a junior that stole the show. Tornado quarterback Treon Harris accounted for all five of their touchdowns, as BTW beat Jacksonville (Fla.) The Bolles School for the 4A state championship 35-7.
"It means a lot, making more history at Booker T.,” Harris said. “I'm happy and I'm proud. I feel great (about my performance) but it won't really feel like that until I watch it."
Harris was phenomenal, showing why he will be one of the most coveted recruits from the Sunshine State next season. He passed for 245 yards and three touchdowns and added 74-yards more on the ground with two scores. Harris showed a big and accurate arm and unbelievable speed and quickness in and out of the pocket.
“We had a little talk with him after our first drive,” said his father and head coach Tim Harris. “He had to settle down and understand not to press. He wanted the big play right off the bat. After that, he showed what he’s capable of. He kind of got in that zone. He spread the ball around. We have a lot of good players and he made them all happy.”
Senior safety Michael Johnson is committed to Florida State. He said that Treon was just being Treon.
“Man, he’s our team,” Johnson said. “I don’t know if we would have gotten here without him. What you saw him do tonight is what he does every day in practice. You should see the things he does to me. He can break you apart.”
This game meant more to junior cornerback Nigel Patton than to anyone. Last year, against this very same team in the state title game, he fumbled a kickoff that led to the winning score for Bolles. You can say he exercised a demon.
“I can’t tell you how great this feels,” Patton said. “I dropped a kick return last year. It cost us the game. I was at the bottom and got back to the top. It took a lot of hard work and I did what I had to do.”
Patton has turned himself him quite the defensive back. He has already earned a Florida State offer. He finished the game with six tackles, three pass breakups and an incredible diving interception.
“He went through a lot last year after this game,” Harris said. “But he put that behind him. Through hard work and training he has come back. Tonight he showed that he can be a premier corner.”
There’s another stout 2014 member of the BTW team. Defensive end Chad Thomas was one of the standouts on defense, showing why he will have his share of major BCS offers. Thomas, who finished with a sack and handful of tackles, already has offers from Miami, FSU, Texas A&M and others.
“Chad can be that five-star defensive end, that BCS guy that everyone wants,” Harris said. “I mean he’s on his way. The key will really be how he works this off-season. Everything is there.”
A bust January for Thomas
Matthew Thomas, the nation’s No. 2 ranked outside linebacker (unofficially) had nine tackles and two sacks in the win. Thomas is being recruited by many top programs around the nation and now that his season is over, he's starting to think about visits.
Thomas will compete in the Under Armour All-American game in January and after that his first stop will be Alabama. USC, Florida State, Georgia, and now Florida are all in the mix to host him for an official visit.
Plenty of college coaches have been by to visit the 5-star linebacker recently, including Florida State's James Coley, Georgia's Scott Lakatos, and Florida's Travaris Robinson. Florida is new in the picture for Thomas.
In case you’re wondering…
Treon Harris, the younger brother of former Miami Hurricane Brandon Harris, said he “grew up a Miami Hurricane fan and likes FSU” but at this time no favorites. He also said he’s impressed with Louisville and the season they had and that he and Teddy Bridgewater (from Miami Northwestern) are friends.
BTW four-star offensive line prospect Denver Kirkland said he plans to make his decision on national signing day. His next visit could “possibly go to USF next.” He said he’s also looking forward to meeting coach [Willie] Taggert. Miami and USC could likely get his final two visits. Kirkland has already made official visits to Ole Miss and FSU.
Chad Thomas said his three favorite schools right now are Miami, FSU and LSU.
Nigel Patton has an FSU offer and also likes Miami.