BRADENTON, Fla. -- The 2021 season could not be more different than it is for Clearwater (Fla.) Academy International and Bradenton (Fla.) Manatee High Schools on the football field.
The CAI Knights have lit up the scoreboard against virtually all opponents, suffering a sole loss to Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Catholic in a wild 53-50 shootout in overtime. Manatee has improved each week but had yet to get over the hump for a win.
The game's final score played out as one may expect, with CAI rolling to a big win, but early on Manatee made big plays to stay in the fight, with standout efforts along the way despite the 42-7 result.
SI All-American was impressed with many on this night, with 10 especially flash-worthy participants having played.
(All prospects listed are seniors in the class of 2022 unless otherwise noted)
Luca Stanzani, CAI, Quarterback
The senior standout has blown by the 10,000-yard mark as a prep passer and his entire arsenal was on display Friday night. Not only did he push the ball through the air with relative ease, throwing four touchdowns passes and zero interceptions, but he showed off the wheels as well. The play of the night was a 75-yard touchdown run in which the football IQ of Stanzani was on display, running an RPO to perfection and displacing the safety with a subtle shoulder motion to create enough space to win the foot race down the sideline. Charlotte is in the mix for one of the most productive Floridians of all time.
Isaiah Hastings, CAI, Defensive Line
The hottest 2022 defensive line prospect looked like it on this night. He was a force to contend at the point of attack but really impressed in splitting double teams and collapsing the pocket anyway. Hastings got in on several stops behind the line of scrimmage and showcased a strong motor along the way, part of the reason Alabama, Florida, Oregon and others are recently added to the scholarship offer list. Mississippi State joined the offer party just this week.
Corey Yeoman, CAI, Linebacker
The headliners of the CAI team may be with the bigger-named prospects like Hastings or West Virginia commitment Aric Burton, but the pulse of the defense is through Yeoman. The well put-together linebacker screams downhill with bad intention and he'll let the opponent know about it along the way. But the length and straight-line speed will translate even better at the next level, not to mention the overall athleticism relative to the frame. Temple, South Florida, Toledo, FIU and others are in the mix.
Tyreak Allen, Manatee, Defensive Back
One couldn't miss Allen on the field Friday night. The uncommitted senior with several FBS offers would have commanded as much had he been a sleeper, making plays in all three phases with emphasis. On defense, where he projects best at safety, he made plays filling the alley as much as he did in coverage. Allen has great instincts and can strike on contact, but it's his overall game that impresses most. He has a natural feel for football and it shows up as a return man and likely would on offense given the chance.
Dylan Djete, CAI, Wide Receiver
The wide receiver legacy at CAI is strong, even in recent years, with Pitt's Jared Wayne, Clemson's Ajou Ajou and Arkansas State's Seydou Traore all making plays in college -- but Djete has out-produced each of them at the prep level. He's already up to double digit touchdowns in 2021 and put in two more on Friday with a sharp cut on an out route and even more impressively shielding off a defender down the field on a catch that shows off the ball skills and body control simultaneously. Somehow the slender speedster, who could work outside or in the slot, has yet to break through with an FBS scholarship offer to date. Against elite competition week in, week out, Djete delivers to all three phases.
Caeleb Schlachter, CAI, Wide Receiver
South Alabama has found a true gem. Schlachter is every bit of 6'3"-plus and runs well for his size with a physicality after the catch that may project him as a hybrid tight end type down the line. The senior found the end zone twice on this night in a showcase of his complete game, one on a heads-up football play when he was uncovered and the other on a catch-and-run where it appeared he would be stopped short of the end zone. Schlachter has an ease to his game, along with strong hands and great size, that has made him coveted in America and Canada alike.
Ean Johnson-Kelley, Manatee, Defensive Line (2025)
We had to double-check Johnson-Kelley's classifications multiple times on Friday. The CAI offensive line includes multiple FBS prospects and off of one side, it was the freshman who was Manatee's top force on third down and in passing situations. The young talent, listed at 250 pounds, was stronger than he appeared and worked the edge with some bend despite his youth. Johnson-Kelley has great feet at his size and will present as a trenchman to track in the coming years.
Ebenezer Bedada, CAI, Defensive End
Bedada is long and incredibly active on the edge. He has a great wingspan and motor, two traits that often result in him being near the football at a play's end. Not only did he make some big stops behind he line on Friday, but the senior blocked a punt in the end zone on a play not designed to attack the unit overall. Whether adding weight with his hand in the dirt or bouncing back between the first and second level, there is a space for a prospect like this at he next level. Bedada says he will soon take an official visit to Northern Illinois this month.
Lucas Simmons, CAI, Offensive Line (2023)
If not for Hastings, Simmons would be the most coveted prospect in the game and one wouldn't remember he was playing on Friday night -- which is a great thing. The left tackle kept his QB clean all night long and was strong in the run game as well. Simmons is an extremely long, gritty competitor with edge about his game. The Oklahoma legacy, who wants to get to games there as well as Penn State, among others, is confident in his ability to win on the edges and he's often right.
Jaleel Duncan, Manatee, Wide Receiver
The key cog in Manatee's offense when sustainable, is Duncan. The wide receiver is compact and quick, but can find the football and make plays like a prospect much bigger than his 5'9", 170 pounds may suggest. He is plenty quick and smooth after the catch with change of direction and stopping abilities among his strengths, but he can go get it as well. His best rep of the night was a well-run double move in which he had to track the football along the sidelines while running underneath it. Duncan's only offer to date comes from Division II Livingstone College in North Carolina, a fact we were surprised to find this week.