It's not even July, and I'm already getting the itch.
I need to be on a sideline watching a football game, STAT. Too long without one and I start to go a bit crazy. This is something I have to live with, but to offset my feelings a bit, I thought I'd write about two local football happenings that caught my eye.
On June 20, Riverview High rising senior wideout Jaron Glover announced his commitment to Michigan State. The announcement came after Glover visited MSU and got to interact with the Spartan coaches and see the campus.
Glover is a three-star prospect (0.8466) according to the 247Sports Composite, which averages ratings from all major recruitment sites. In 2020, Glover had 29 catches for 470 yards and six touchdowns in the typically run-heavy Riverview offense. He also held offers from Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Syracuse and Wake Forest among other schools.
At Michigan State, Glover will reunite with friend Charles Brantley, a defensive back who played at Riverview for two seasons before transferring to Venice High. Brantley graduated this month and will join the Spartans this fall.
Corey Robinson, an analyst with 247Sports, said Glover has good size — he's 6-foot-2, 200 pounds — has solid route-running skills and is quick out of his breaks, resulting in separation from defensive backs.
"He also shows a knack for turning a play that looks like it will be a minimal gain and turns it into a big play, picking up additional yards after the catch," Robinson said.
Glover showed that big-play ability in this year's spring game against South Fort Myers High, taking the opening kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown and setting the tone for a 36-0 win.
If he keeps doing things like that, he'll be a problem that Rams opponents may be unable to solve this fall.
In other area football news, Sarasota High has added former Booker High coach Johnnie Jones to its staff. Jones coached the Tornadoes from 2012 through 2013. He's also been the defensive coordinator at Manatee High and Cardinal Mooney High.
Jones will be helming the Sailors' secondary, joining a quite intriguing coaching staff that contains new offensive coordinator Elton Stawderman — who coached Bradenton Christian to 43 points per game last season using an air raid attack — new quarterbacks coach Brion Carnes, who played at the University of Nebraska after leading Manatee High to a state championship game appearance, new director of football operations Kenny Sanchez, a two-time USA Today's National Championship Coach while at Bishop Gorman High in Nevada, and new offensive analyst Paul Dunn, who was previously the offensive line coach for the Houston Texans.
That's a lot of knowledge from a lot of different places. Sailors coach Brody Wiseman has revamped the program's image since taking over the program for the 2020 season, using social media to promote his players and get fans excited for what is to come, in addition to the staff changes. The Sailors were 5-6 in the regular season last year and lost their playoff game 42-21 to Lehigh Senior High (a school which, by the way, has the best running back in the country in Richard Young).
I don't know how fast the Sailors resurgence to elite status will happen. They lost their spring game 21-0 to Bishop Verot High. There's still a ways to go. That said, I'm intrigued by what Wiseman is building. Their 2021 season will begin Aug. 20 with a road game against Tampa Catholic. It can't come soon enough.
Ryan Kohn is the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. He was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. His biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. His strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.