Thursday, May 12, 2011

Local recruits not hurt by Blakely or Dowling leaving Florida

Recent decisions by Mike Blakely and Jon Dowling to leave Florida will not hurt Manatee County recruits, their former high school coaches believe.

Manatee High's Blakely announced this week is transferring out of Florida and came home after spending only one semester in Gainesville

Dowling, the former Southeast High graduate, left Florida after the first semester and is now at Western Kentucky where he says he is fully enjoying college life.

Long time head coaches Joe Kinnan of Manatee and Southeast's Paul Maecthle say the two events will not have a negative impact on local college football prospects.

In fact, both can point to their own players. Southeast's Brian Poole, the county's most heavily recruited prospect in the class of 2012, has offers from nearly every major college program and Florida is hot on his heels.

Manatee quarterback Cord Sandberg, who will be a junior next season, is expected to be one of the most highly touted prospects in the country next season.

And it apparently hasn't hurt Blakely. Kinnan said he was inundated with phone calls after it was announced the running back got his release from Florida earlier this week.

A defensive back, Poole is ranked the 41st best player in the country and second best cornerback by Scout.Com. in the class of 2012.

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