Commentary

New hats turn heads

Alabama hats make some wonder if Dwyer teammates are thinking Crimson Tide

Updated: June 14, 2010, 12:22 PM ET
By Corey Long | ESPN Recruiting

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Much of the chatter at the fifth annual Heath Evans 7-on-7 Tournament surrounded the fashion choices of Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) teammates Nick O'Leary, Jacoby Brissett and Curtis Maggitt.

All three were sporting brand new Alabama caps after a trip to Tuscaloosa.

Was there anything to the new look?

"Nah, it's just a hat," a smiling Brissett said. "You know, it's something to cover my head, nothing more.

The teammates also took unofficial trips to North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia over the week.

"I liked all of the places we went," Brissett said. "It was fun to get with Curt and Nick to see them."

Surprise winners
Defending 6A champions Miramar took the trophy home in a field that included Glades Central (Belle Glade, Fla.), Plant (Tampa, Fla.), Boyd Anderson (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.) and defending tournament champions Booker T. Washington (Miami).

The Patriots were boosted by the efforts of rising senior Sean McVay, a transfer from McArthur (Hollywood, Fla.) known by his teammates as "Sunshine." McVay caught two touchdown passes in the finals.

The game was a battle of four of the top receiving prospects of 2012 with Jamie Wilson and Neville Brown representing Glades Central and Tracey Howard and Davonte Mathis playing for Miramar.

The Patriots were supposed to advance to the USA Today National 7-on-7 event in Williamsburg, Va., but that event has been canceled due to compliance issues.

Jones makes his next request
Last week, Class of 2012 running back Matt Jones (Seffner, Fla./Armwood) said he was waiting for an offer from Miami.

Two days later, the Hurricanes came calling.

Now the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder has another school on his wish list.

"Florida State," beamed Jones at the USF Sling & Shoot event in Tampa on Sunday. "I'd like to get an offer from the Seminoles now. They are starting to run the ball a lot more, and they've put a few backs in the [NFL]."

As for the Miami offer, Jones wasn't ready to commit to the Hurricanes right away but said he had been thinking about it.

"I'm not going to do anything yet, but I really have to think about that one," Jones said. "Miami's history with running backs speaks for itself."

Heated rivalry
Dwyer and Plant have had a budding rivalry since 2008 when Plant won the teams' Class 4A state semifinal game, 33-21. Dwyer got a small measure of revenge last year when the Panthers knocked Plant from the USF Sling & Shoot.

So it was no surprise that the competitive fuel ran high Saturday. The main culprit for the battle was four-star TE O'Leary, who is No. 22 in the ESPNU 150, and Plant's five-star athlete James Wilder II, who is ranked No. 8 in the ESPNU 150.

"It was some intense competition," Wilder said. "He was giving me the business about my ranking and he was like, 'I'm killing out there man. I should be ranked ahead of you'. Then on one play he got a little shot in under my neck, and I gave him a little return shot around his ribs. It happens."

O'Leary had a slightly different outcome of the battle.

"He was crying to the officials and complaining about how physical I was being on all of the plays," O'Leary said. "What am I supposed to do? It's a physical game."

O'Leary got the last laugh as he caught two touchdowns on Wilder in their first game of pool play, adding two more TDs in the quarterfinal match, which Dwyer won by a point.

News and notes
• Wide receiver Frankie Williams (Tampa, Fla./Robinson) said he likes the Big Ten and hinted that the schools in that conference would have the best shot at the 5-9 speedster. Purdue and Minnesota are the two Big Ten schools that have made offers to Williams, who has also said he was very interested in NC State and Iowa State.

• Running back Tre Mason (Lake Worth, Fla./Park Vista) said he will be joining teammate Mike Matulis on an unofficial visit to Florida State in the near future. Matulis received an offer from the Seminoles on May 25. Mason currently holds more than 15 offers, including Rutgers, Ole Miss, West Virginia and Louisville. One teammate who will not be joining them in Tallahassee is offensive lineman Cody Preble, who said he is fully committed to Wake Forest and is focused on graduating early.

• ESPNU 150 running back Mike Bellamy (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte) recently committed to Clemson. He said that his mother, Cassandra Plant, and Clemson coach Dabo Swinney were high school classmates at Pelham High School in Alabama.

• Talented athlete Javares McRoy (Lakeland, Fla./Lakeland) has switched his commitment from Texas Tech to Florida. McRoy originally committed to the Red Raiders last year with his other brother, Ben McRoy, who is currently enrolled at Texas Tech.

• Linebacker Kent Turene (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla./Boyd Anderson) did not participate in the Heath Evans tournament because he took the ACT earlier in the day. Class of 2012 wide receiver Avery Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla./Ely) also missed the event.

Corey Long covers college football recruiting for ESPN.com. Check out his recruiting blog here. Send questions or comments to coreyespn@gmail.com.

Corey Long

Reporter, RecruitingNation