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100 Florida high school football players to watch this fall: Nos. 20-1

As we conclude our roll out our Florida high school football preview content this week and next, we’re counting down our list of 100 players we are excited to see play in 2022. Here is Part 5 of that list.

When talking about high school football in the state of Florida, athleticism along with top end speed is the thing that stands out the most here. With so many players to choose from all over the state, there are dozens of players not listed in the 100 and could have made the list - after you see the 100, let us know which other players would’ve made your list.

20 - RB Cedric Baxter, senior, Edgewater

In Baxter’s junior season, he rushed for 1,651 yards and scored 22 touchdowns for the Eagles. He recently committed to the University of Texas.

19 - WR Carnell Tate, senior, IMG Academy

The Ohio State commitment is one of the top receivers in the state and is expected to have a huge season for the Ascenders.

18 -DE Jayden Wayne, senior, IMG Academy

The 6-foot-5, 245-pound defensive end is already committed to the University of Miami and helps anchor a crazy talented front seven for IMG.

17 - ATH Jonathon Echols, senior, IMG Academy

The Tennessee commit is just another defensive end talent that can really line up on either side and make an offensive tackle’s night miserable.

16 - WR Jalen Brown, senior, Gulliver Prep

In 2021 for the Raiders, Brown caught 56 passes and racked up 1,033 yards, scoring 11 touchdowns. Brown is also a LSU commitment.

15 - DE Damon Wilson, senior, Venice

This Indians’ defense is pretty good and Wilson adds an element on the defensive line that quarterbacks have to worry about on Friday nights.

14 - DL David Stone, junior, IMG Academy

Stone is the third IMG Academy defensive linemen on this top 20 here, which should tell you that it’s going to be tough to do much against the Ascenders’ front seven.

13 - CB Charles Lester III, senior, Sarasota Riverview

The Rams’ defensive back is arguably the top player out of Sarasota County this upcoming season and will be in 2023 as well.

12 - WR Brandon Inniss, senior, Plantation American Heritage

Inniss looked the part of being one of the country’s best wide receivers after hauling in six passes for 221 yards and scoring two scores in the Patriots’ 38-20 preseason in over Lowndes (GA).

11 - CB Ellis Robinson IV, senior, IMG Academy

A 6-foot-2, 175-pound cornerback heads an IMG Academy defensive secondary that will be challenged by the Miami Central offense Friday night.

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10 - RB Richard Young, senior, Lehigh

Might be the orchestrator of getting Berkeley Prep defensive end Keon Keeley to flip from Norte Dame to Alabama. Young rushed for 1,755 yards and scored 19 touchdowns last year for the Lightning.

9 - WR Jeremiah Smith, junior, Chaminade-Madonna

After catching just 26 passes for 556 yards last year in his sophomore season, Smith is primed for a huge junior year. Ohio State is hot on Smith’s trail right now.

8 - WR Hykeem Williams, senior, Stranahan

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound wide receiver caught 31 passes for 693 yards a year ago. Williams is one of the top receivers in south Florida.

7 - RB Jerrick Gibson, junior, IMG Academy

There’s not a lot of teams that can lose Stacy Gage and Rod Gainey and still be doing just fine at running back. Gibson is the reason for that.

6 - DE TJ Capers, senior, Columbus

Columbus has one of the top fronts on defense and Capers’ potential at defensive end has a high ceiling.

5 - ATH Joshisa Trader, junior, Chaminade-Madonna

Trader transferred over from Miami Central in the off-season, totaling for 592 yards, six touchdowns in six games last year. He will see plenty of time on both sides of the ball. 

4 - OL Francis Mauigoa, senior, IMG Academy

If you’re wanting to take a look at one of the top offensive tackles in high school, look no further than the 6-foot-5, 330-pound Mauigoa.

3 - CB Desmond Ricks, junior, IMG Academy

The 5-star cornerback pairs his great size (6-foot-1, 170 pounds) and speed to lockup opposing wide receivers.

2 - DE Keon Keeley, senior, Berkeley Prep

Recently de-committed from the Fighting Irish, Keeley racked up 16.5 sacks last year for the Class 3A state semifinalists Buccaneers.

1 - CB Cormani McClain, senior, Lakeland

Is there a player with more intrigue around his recruitment and what he will do with his new team? Many believe McClain will end up with the Florida Gators, but first he will headline a loaded Dreadnaughts’ secondary.

Andy Villamarzo can be reached at andyvillamarzo@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @Andy_Villamarzo.