With the college football season in full swing, dozens of players from Pasco County can be seen showcasing their skills on Saturdays throughout the fall. Nearly 50 players from east Pasco are a part of various programs at the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Football Championship Series (FCS) levels, Division II, Division III National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and Junior College.
Three to watch:
Janarion Grant; Rutgers University; senior wide receiver
The former Pasco High School star has proved himself a dynamic all-purpose playmaker at the Division I level ever since stepping foot on the Rutgers campus. Besides one of the program’s receiving leaders this season (12 receptions, 113 yards through three games), the fifth-year senior is tied for the NCAA all-time record for kick/punt return touchdowns with eight. At 5-10, 178 pounds, Grant is often praised for his elusiveness and straight-line speed — qualities that may make him a highly sought special teamer priority in the NFL.
The speedster was granted a medical redshirt for this season after he underwent broken ankle surgery last September and missed the final eight games of the 2016 season.
Grant had an illustrious career at Pasco High School, where he set the county record with 77 career touchdowns. In his final two prep seasons, Grant was part of Pirates squads that reached the Class 5A state final four in 2011 and made a regional final appearance in 2012.
Shaheed Salmon; Samford University; senior linebacker
Salmon was one of 97 players selected in July to the STATS FCS Preseason All-America Team. Thus far, the sturdy 6-foot-2, 232-pound Land O’ Lakes High School product has lived up to the hype, ranking among the nation’s leaders in tackles per game (10.3).
That production has some outlets coining him a legitimate NFL prospect.
He had his breakout campaign last season, where he started 11 games at linebacker and finished second on the team with 93 tackles, including 50 solo stops.
Salmon graduated from Land O’ Lakes High in 2014. He led the Gators in tackles (117), tackles for loss (21.5) and sacks (8.5) as a senior, and earned third team All-State, and first team All-County and All-Conference honors.
Shane Bucenell; Charleston Southern University; sophomore quarterback
Bucenell earned Charleston Southern’s starting quarterback out of camp after he went 6-2 as a starter last season, passing for 1,100 yards and a Big South Conference-leading 15 touchdowns. Besides arm talent, the 5-foot-11, 190-pounder redshirt sophomore also is a viable threat with his legs — he rushed for 325 yards and four touchdowns in 2016.
In three games this season, Bucenell has passed for 396 yards and three touchdowns, with a 52 percent completion rate.
Bucenell graduated from Wiregrass Ranch High School in 2015. He became the school’s career touchdown passing leader, and set school records for passing yards and completions in a single game. He also was a standout in baseball and track throughout his high school career.
Here’s a running tally of known Pasco County players from The Laker/Lutz News coverage currently competing at the next level:
Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School
- Patrick Beatty (defensive back) — Luther College (Decorah, Iowa)
- Scott Edwards (defensive back) – Luther College
- Marc Herrera (linebacker) — Malone University (Canton, Ohio)
- Joe Mastrino (wide receiver) – Lyon College (Batesville, Arkansas)
- RJ Perciavalle (defensive back) — Washington and Lee (Lexington, Virginia)
- William Potosky (tight end) — University of Southern Mississippi
- Luis Valentin (wide receiver) – Ave Maria University
Land O’ Lakes High School
- Joshua Brown (cornerback) – Warner University (Lake Wales)
- Spencer Childress (quarterback) – Lyon College
- Andy Dowler (punter/kicker)— Geneva College (Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania)
- Jordan Ferrante (linebacker/defensive lineman) – William Jewell College (Liberty, Missouri)
- Liam Heaney (tight end)— Black Hills State University (Spearfish, South Dakota)
- Dylan Hothenthaner (kicker) – Indiana State University
- Cedric Lowe (linebacker) – Huntingdon College (Montgomery, Alabama)
- Shaheed Salmon (linebacker) — Samford University (Homewood, Alabama)
- Larenz Scroggins (running back) – Jacksonville University
- Quentin Smith (wide receiver/running back) – Malone University
- Ethan Weilant (wide receiver) — William Jewell College
Pasco High School
- Janarion Grant (wide receiver)— Rutgers University (Piscataway, New Jersey)
- Jayvaughn Myers (defensive back) – Auburn University (Alabama)
Sunlake High School
- Tommy Berrios (defensive back)—Southern Virginia University
- Joseph Jean-Baptiste (defensive back) – University of West Florida
- Tyler Peretti (wide receiver)—Southeastern University (Lakeland)
- Chris Williams (defensive back)— Ohio Wesleyan University
- Austin Yeloushan (linebacker)— Jacksonville University
Wesley Chapel High School
- Ellrie Allen (safety)— Florida A&M University
- Kyle Brown (defensive back) — Beloit College (Wisconsin)
- Davon Henry (wide receiver) — Missouri Valley College
- Angel Ramos (linebacker) – Missouri Valley College
- Na’im Smith (offensive lineman) — North Park University (Chicago, Illinois)
- Jacob Thomas (quarterback) — Mars Hill University (North Carolina)
Wiregrass Ranch High School
- Taylor Bleistein (wide receiver) — Hanover College (Indiana)
- Elijah Brooks-Davis (defensive lineman)—Sewanee University (Tennessee)
- Dylan Bryan (wide receiver/linebacker) — Ave Maria University
- Shane Bucenell (quarterback) — Charleston Southern University (South Carolina)
- Chris Faddoul (punter) — Florida A&M University
- Vinnie Haider (offensive lineman/defensive lineman)— Sterling College (Kansas)
- John Harris-Scott (safety) — Trine University (Angola, Indiana)
- Evan Hogan (offensive lineman)—Keiser University (Fort Lauderdale)
- Mark Hutchinson (wide receiver) — Florida International University
- Brandon Mosley (defensive back) — Feather River Community College (Quincy, California)
- Jason Winston (defensive lineman) — Stetson University (Deland)
Zephyrhills High School
- Jaylen Pickett (linebacker) — Eastern Michigan University
- Antwione Sims (running back/safety)— United States Naval Academy (Annapolis, Maryland)
Zephyrhills Christian Academy
- Serion Bellamy (running back) — Shorter University (Rome, Georgia)
- Mykh’ael Chavis (running back) — Minnesota State College
- Matt Iovine (quarterback) — Minnesota State College
Published September 27, 2017