Athletes within The Laker/Lutz News coverage area were well-represented on the FloridaHSFootball.com’s teams for the 2020 season.
In total, 23 players from 11 schools in Hillsborough and Pasco counties were named first-team, second-team, third-team or honorable mention in their respective classifications.
The All-State teams were compiled by FloridaHSFootball.com, along with the considerations of information received from coaches, statistics on MaxPreps, and consultation of all-area/all-county teams as published by various media outlets from around the state. The schedule played by the school was taken into account, too.
Gaither High School (6A) garnered seven selections, the most among local schools.
That shouldn’t come as much surprise, given the Cowboys finished the 2020 campaign with an 11-1 mark and reached the regional finals before falling to Lake Minneola High School, 35-14.
Gaither’s picks were headlined with a first-team choice (junior defensive lineman Mario Eugenio), a second-team choice (senior linebacker Willie Jackson Jr.) and five honorable mentions (senior quarterback Kiael Kelly, senior defensive lineman Asa Vanburen, junior defensive lineman Tawfiq Thomas, senior utility Jordan Oladokun, and Jackson Jr., again, as a punter).
Eugenio, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound weakside defensive end, ranked third in the state in sacks (17), combined with 42 total tackles, seven hurries, five passes defensed, three forced fumbles (one for touchdown) and two pick-six interceptions across 10 games.
A consensus four-star prospect, Eugenio already has more than 30 scholarship offers, including several power five conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, Pac-12) from the likes of Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, Oregon, West Virginia and many others.
Jackson Jr., an Ave Maria University signee, also showed why he was deserving of dual All-State designations.
The 5-foot-11, 220-pound outside backer in 11 games tallied 67 tackles (including 16 for loss), eight sacks, four passes defensed, two forced fumble recoveries. Also, as the team’s punter, he averaged 39.9 yards per punt on 25 attempts, including a long of 55 yards and four pinned inside the opposing 20-yard line.
Gaither’s offense, meanwhile, was paced by Kelly, a Ball State University (Muncie, Indiana) signee.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound dual-threat signal caller completed 63% of his throws for 1,594 yards, 16 touchdowns and four picks, plus 399 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns, across 10 games.
His father is Kenny Kelly, a former starting quarterback at the University of Miami, who also played Major League Baseball for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals in the early 2000s; the elder Kelly also was a four-sport letterman at Tampa Catholic High School in baseball, basketball, football and track.
Fellow Gaither standouts — Vanburen (nine sacks), Thomas (15 tackles for loss, three sacks), and Oladokun (1,157 all-purpose yards, nine touchdowns, four interceptions) also put up showy statistics.
Other schools in The Laker/Lutz News coverage area celebrated multiple selections on the All-State list, too.
Steinbrenner High School (8A) had the next most among local schools with three All-State representatives — running back Deon Silas, senior linebacker Austin Brannen and sophomore kicker Collin Young each were named as an honorable mention.
Silas — an Iowa State signee — tallied 1,265 all-purpose yards (771 rushing yards, 357 receiving yards, 185 return) and 14 touchdowns in just five contests.
Brannen — a Campbell (Bules Creek, North Carolina) signee posted a team-leading 83 tackles (including four for loss) in seven games, plus 1.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries. (The 6-foot, 220-pound backer capped his Warriors varsity career with 366 tackles.)
Young was perfect on 28 extra points, and made five of six field goal attempts, including a long of 42 yards.
Meantime, five area programs claimed two All-State selections apiece — Carrollwood Day School (2A), Wharton High School (Class 8A), Wiregrass Ranch High School (7A), Zephyrhills High School (5A) and Zephyrhills Christian Academy (2A).
For Carrollwood Day, senior tight end Michael Trigg and senior defensive tackle Desmond Mamudi took first-team 2A All-State honors.
Trigg led the Patriots with 30 receptions for 586 yards and five touchdowns in seven games, while Mamudi posted a team-leading 13 sacks in eight games, plus 39 tackles (16 for loss) and a forced fumble.
The pair of highly-touted prospects are poised to make an impact at iconic national brands in the Division I FBS ranks, coming from a small private school.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Trigg has signed to play football and basketball at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, while the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Mamudi is headed to Virginia Tech.
For Wharton, junior pass-rushing outside linebacker Daveon Crouch earned second-team 8A All-State, while teammate Henry Griffith, also a junior backer, took 8A All-State honorable mention.
Both spurred the Wildcats to a 7-2 mark — the program’s best since 2015 — and a stifling defense that surrendered just 10.1 points per game, on average.
The 6-foot-3 210-pound Crouch collected 12 sacks in nine contests, along with 62 tackles (eight for loss), six forced fumbles and two interceptions.
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Griffith added a team-leading 82 tackles (nine for loss), three sacks and two forced fumbles in nine games.
At Wiregrass Ranch, senior tight end Grady Clower and sophomore athlete Bryson Rodgers collected 7A All-State honorable mentions.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Clower, who’ll join the University of Central Florida as a preferred walk-on, hauled in 10 passes for 159 yards and three touchdowns in eight games.
The 6-foot-2, 170-pound Rodgers led all Bulls receivers with 47 catches for 710 yards and 10 touchdowns, including a 70-yard long, across eight games.
For Zephyrhills, junior linebacker Maguire Neal was named second-team 5A All-State, and senior tailback Zyre Roundtree picked up an honorable mention nod.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Neal registered a team-leading 13 sacks in 11 contests, plus 51 tackles (25.5 for loss) and four forced fumbles. He also is a track star, recently breaking long-held school records in the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles.
The 5-foot-9, 180-pound Roundtree totaled 899 rushing yards on 122 carries (7.4 yards per carry) and 10 touchdowns in 10 games, including four 100-yard games.
At Zephyrhills Christian, freshman safety Fred Adams took second-team 2A All-State, while junior defensive back Quavious Cook earned an honorable mention.
The 5-foot-10, 175 pound Adams tied for ninth-most interceptions in the state with six in seven games, plus 12 passes defensed and 28 tackles.
Cook, a 5-foot-9, 140-pound cornerback, wasn’t too far behind, collecting four picks, five passes defensed and 34 tackles (including two for loss).
Elsewhere, Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School (Independent), Cypress Creek High School (4A), Land O’ Lakes High School (6A) and Pasco High School (6A) each had one representative on an All-State roster.
Bishop McLaughlin junior tailback Adrian Miller III was an Independent All-State honorable mention — racking up 1,000 rushing yards on 90 carries (11.1 yards per carry) for 10 touchdowns, including a long run of 79 yards and four 100-plus yard contests.
Cypress Creek junior quarterback Owen Walls was a 4A All-State honorable mention — completing 54.6% of his throws for 1,233 yards, 13 touchdowns and three interceptions, including a long pass of 89 yards.
Land O’ Lakes senior defensive end Zavian McKinon was a 6A All-State honorable mention — tallying 12.5 sacks and 43 tackles (including 12 for loss).
Pasco senior linebacker Gabriel Barnes was a 6A All-State honorable mention — leading his team in tackles (99), tackles for loss (13.5), hurries (11), sacks (8.5) and forced fumbles (three).
There were no All-State representatives in The Laker/Lutz News coverage area from Classes 3A or 1A.
Last year, 18 players from four local schools earned various All-State honors.
Daveon Crouch, Wharton, junior, defensive line (second team defense)
Deon Silas, Steinbrenner, senior, running back (honorable mention)
Henry Griffith, Wharton, junior, linebacker (honorable mention)
Austin Brannen, Steinbrenner, senior, linebacker (honorable mention)
Collin Young, Steinbrenner, sophomore, kicker (honorable mention)
Grady Clower, Wiregrass Ranch, senior, tight end (honorable mention)
Bryson Rodgers, Wiregrass Ranch, sophomore, athlete (honorable mention)
Mario Eugenio, Gaither, junior, defensive line (first team defense)
Willie Jackson Jr., Gaither, senior, linebacker (second team defense)
Kiael Kelly, Gaither, senior, quarterback (honorable mention)
Asa Vanburen, Gaither, senior, defensive line (honorable mention)
Zavian McKinon, Land O’ Lakes, senior, defensive line (honorable mention)
Tawfiq Thomas, Gaither, junior, defensive line (honorable mention)
Gabriel Barnes, Pasco, senior, linebacker (honorable mention)
Jordan Oladokun, Gaither, senior, utility (honorable mention)
Jackson Jr., Gaither, senior, punter (honorable mention)
Maguire Neal, Zephyrhills, junior, linebacker (second team defense)
Zyre Roundtree, Zephyrhills, senior, running back (honorable mention)
Owen Walls, Cypress Creek, junior, quarterback (honorable mention)
Michael Trigg, Carrollwood Day, senior, tight end (first team offense)
Desmond Mamudi, Carrollwood Day, senior, defensive line (first team defense)
Fred Adams, Zephyrhills Christian, freshman, defensive back (second team defense)
Quavious Cook, Zephyrhills Christian, junior, defensive back (honorable mention)
Adrian Miller III, Bishop McLaughlin, junior, running back (honorable mention)
Published April 21, 2021