a fork in the trail
early-season ACC upsets over the sec have top Florida preps reweighing their options. By Jeremy Crabtree
Andre Ware QB Houston, 1987-89
FOR INSTANT UPDATES FROM THE TRAIL, GO TO ESPN.COM/RECRUITING
Ermon Lane wr
Anthony Moten DT
David Sharpe ot
Homestead (Fla.) Senior HS ESPN 300 RANK: 28
ST. Thomas Aquinas HS (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) ESPN 300 RANK: 175
Providence School of Jacksonville (Fla.) ESPN 300 RANK: 15
PICKS THE ACC IF … ... MIAMI proves it has an explosive offense. Despite committing to FLORIDA on Aug. 12, Lane (6'2", 196) was wowed enough by the Canes’ upset of UF that he’ll likely follow up with an official visit later this fall. He liked how UM used its WRs to stretch the field.
PICKS THE ACC IF … ... MIAMI and FSU remain dominant on D. Moten (6'4", 292) is a must-get for Miami after the Canes lost out to FLORIDA on other top DTs. Good news: He was on hand for the UF upset, making the Canes the clear front-runner. The Noles host him on an official in November.
PICKS THE ACC IF … ... FLORIDA STATE and CLEMSON continue to play like BCS title contenders. At one point, the Noles were FLORIDA’s toughest competition. But Sharpe (6'6", 288) was blown away by the atmosphere in Death Valley when the Tigers upset GEORGIA.
PICKS THE SEC IF … ... UF’s offense bounces back and ace recruiter Travaris Robinson stays on Lane’s trail. Robinson can sell a pitch with the best, but he’ll have a hard time persuading the No. 2 WR in the class to stay committed with the Gators ranked last in the SEC in ppg (20.0).
PICKS THE SEC IF … ... SOUTH CAROLINA’s top recruiter, Grady Brown, pulls off a major upset. Brown has done it before, and the lure of playing on one of the nation’s best defenses is appealing. But Moten’s recruitment has taken a big turn toward the ACC after the early upsets.
PICKS THE SEC IF … ... the Gators continue to use Will Muschamp as Sharpe’s main recruiter. The Sunshine State’s top prospect says he’s grown close to UF’s head coach, and that attention coupled with the opportunity to remain close to home will be hard to pass up.
Jameis Winston QB
Each Heisman Trophy is the same—13.5 inches tall and 25 pounds of stiff-arming bronze—but each winner is unique. So we asked Andre Ware: Who reminds you of you? His answer: Jameis Winston. —Adam k. Moussa
First black QB to win Heisman, in 1989 Completed 63% of passes for 4,699 yards and 46 TDs as a junior Set 26 NCAA records
ESPN The Magazine 09/30/2013
POCKET PRESENCE Winston has wheels, but like Ware, his strength is staying in the pocket and finding playmakers. “Jameis thinks, Get through my options first,” says Ware. “He only pulls it down when needed. But he’s an underrated runner.”
LEADERSHIP At 19, Winston has already earned the respect of vets. “They follow him because they believe in him,” says Ware, who played as a redshirt frosh. “They see him show up early for workouts and do the right things in the classroom.”
COMMITMENT Winston took full advantage of a redshirt season: “Guys like EJ Manuel and Charlie Ward told me he’s a tireless worker,” says Ware. “Jameis doesn’t rely on pure athletic ability. He works hard to take it to another level.”
VISION Winston finds his targets in the right spots and knows how to pick his spot. “Everybody wonders when FSU will be back,” says Ware, whose career started after a 1–10 season. “Jameis can be the foundation. That’s a good place to be.”
Top ESPN 150 QB in 2012 Threw for 356 yards and four TDs and rushed for a TD in his debut, a 41–13 win over Pitt on Sept. 2 Pitcher and outfielder for FSU
clock wise from top: STEVE DIPAOLA/NIKE; Kelly Kline/Heisman Trophy Trust/Getty Images; Justin K. Aller/Getty Images; Joe Patronite/getty images
Published on Oct 25, 2013
The first installment of ESPN The Magazine's 2013 season-long Heisman series "Strikingly Similar," featuring 1989 winner Andre Ware and curr...