The hoops season is a few weeks away, and most of this time in the fall is spent with top-ranked prospects roaming the sidelines at football games on official visits across the country. But what if the next generation of basketball stars took their talents to the gridiron?
What if the 2018 Flo40 class created a football team? Who would be the top player at each position?
It's time to find out…
Top Quarterback: Tre Jones (Apple Valley, Flo40 No. 5)
In looking for a field general and leader to go to battle with, it would be hard not to pick Jones to be under center. The 6-foot-2 point guard is not only a great game manager and communicator but also has poise in big-time situations and would definitely have the ability to extend plays with his legs if flushed out of the pocket. Jones is a gamer and there's not a player in this class with better credentials to run the show. Let's assume he has a cannon for an arm, too.
Top Running Back: Elijah Weaver (Rockledge, Flo40 No. 33)
Weaver might be a little bigger than your typical running back, but he has all of tools to be productive. He's big and powerful enough to run between the tackles, quick enough to make defenders miss, and downright tough. Add in good change-of-pace speed and there's a player you can hand the ball off to and make something happen.
Top Wide Receiver: R.J. Barrett (Montverde Academy, Flo40 No. 1)
How does a top-notch athlete with a quick first step and a great understanding of how to get open sound? That's exactly what this team would get with Barrett. Plus, he's going to be taller than any cornerback so Jones can just toss it up and let the 6-foot-7 superstar go to work. Barrett is the ideal possession receiver with big play capabilities.
Top Tight End: Zion Williamson (Spartanburg Day School Flo40 No. 2)
At 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds, Williamson is big enough to block in running situations and has the crazy athleticism needed to go make the highlight play, much like he does above the rim. Best of luck to anyone trying to cover Williamson. It's not going to end well when playing this team.
Top Offensive Lineman: Reggie Perry (Thomasville, Flo40 No. 23)
This is undoubtedly the toughest category because, let's face it, nobody in the 2018 Flo40 weighs three bills. Perry is the selection here because he has good size and power, but the 6-foot-9, 225-pounder also has great feet to be the right tackle needed to protect Jones.
Top Defensive Lineman: Naz Reid (Roselle Catholic, Flo40 No. 13)
Take all of the concerns of having a consistent, relentless motor away. If there is a player in the class needed to get to the quarterback, Reid is it. He has the frame to burst through the protection and the athleticism to spin around it. Get the 6-foot-10 big man to buy into the system and he would cause fits for offensive lines at the defensive end position.
Top Linebacker: Emmitt Williams (Oak Ridge, Flo40 No. 15)
Williams is a tough-nosed and active player on the hardwood, and there's no doubt it would translate over to the gridiron. With great athleticism and motor, just imagine the 6-foot-7 Williams going sideline to sideline to make a tackle or stuffing the run gaps up the middle. Nobody is going to deny him from getting to where he wants to go.
Top Defensive Back: Devon Dotson (Providence Day, Flo40 No. 33)
Whether it is the size, speed, quickness, competitiveness, or swagger, Dotson at corner is just so perfect. The 6-foot-2 point guard would be dependable to put on an island and shut down wide receivers. He also has a knack for the ball and could jump routes like he does passing lanes for interceptions.
Top Safety: Immanuel Quickley (John Carroll, Flo40 No. 12)
A player with a high I.Q., good instincts, and playmaking ability, the 6-foot-3 Quickley would be a great backstop to the defense. He also has the size and length so there's nothing going over the top as long as he's back there.