Skip to main content

Ranking Florida's Top 100 High School Football Prospects for the Class of 2023

After considerable research over the past two-plus years, the first rankings for the state of Florida’s top 2023 prep football recruits are here.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

A special thank you to all the mothers out there on Mother's Day...

TAMPA - Getting over a year head start on this list has its merits, as the class of 2023 is one of the deepest in Florida high school football history. The talent is good at almost all the positions, and it’s exceptional at wide receiver, defensive back, defensive line and running back.

This list is a combination of talent plus upside. It’s a projection towards the college football level and not what these young men are going to do this fall in high school. Next, This list is going to change after the summer months.

Those that put in the work and do well at camps, combines, and during personal workouts are the prospects with the best opportunity to move up the board. Keep in mind, and this is a huge factor, character traits influence this list. There are some prospects that moved up and some that moved down based on that category. Why? It’s the first question this scout receives when a college coach calls and asks about a prospect that’s been researched (and yes, that’s often also a major topic among two scouts communicating during private conversations).

College coaches want players that a sideline reporter can place a microphone in front of their mouth and that players will then represent their institution well with what he says and how he says it. That’s the bottom line, and it definitively impacts this list and many others as well.

Below the prospects, the notes section will add more information and context to the list.

Also important to recognize, none of the IMG Academy Players are on this list. There will be a separate article regarding IMG prospects later this spring after stopping by to see them practice.

1) Cormani McClain, CB/WR, Lakeland (Fla.) Lake Gibson

2) Cedric Baxter, Jr., RB, Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater

Cedric Baxter, Jr. Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater / Certified Dawgs - 2023

Talented enough to play wide receiver, Cedric Baxter, Jr. is also a thumper between the tackles.

3) Brandon Inniss, WR, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage

4) Keon Keeley, DE/OLB, Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep - Notre Dame commitment

Keon Keeley Defensive End Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep

Does Notre Dame commitment Keon Keeley have the highest upside of any weak side edge defender in the country?

5) Troy Bowles, LB, Tampa (Fla.) Jesuit

6) John Walker, DT, Kissimmee (Fla.) Osceola

7) Damon Wilson, DE, Venice (Fla.) High School

8) Richard Young, RB, Lehigh Acres (Fla.) Lehigh

9) Bryson Rodgers, WR, Zephyrhills (Fla.) Wiregrass Ranch - Ohio State commitment

10) Tyler Williams, WR, Lakeland (Fla.) High School

11) Malik Bryant, LB/DE, Orlando (Fla.) Jones

12) William Fowles, WR, Miami (Fla.) Dade Christian School

William Fowles Wide Receiver Miami (Fla.) Dade Christian - 2023

William Fowles put on a dominant performance at the Miami Under Armour Camp.

13) Antonio Robinson, CB, Miami (Fla.) Florida Christian School

14) Roderick Kearney, OL, Orange Park (Fla.) High School

15) Robby Washington, WR, Miami (Fla.) Killian - Miami commitment

16) Derrick LeBlanc, DL, Kissimmee (Fla.) Osceola

17) Jalen Brown, WR, Miami (Fla.) Gulliver Prep

18) Jordan Hall, DT, Jacksonville (Fla.) Westside

19) Jayvant Brown, LB, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Saint Thomas Aquinas

20) Raymond Cottrell, WR, Milton (Fla.) High School - Georgia commitment

21) Wilky Denaud, DE, Fort Pierce (Fla.) John Carroll

Wilky Denaud Defensive End Fort Pierce (Fla.) John Carroll 2023

Wilky Denaud really improved his stock during the 2022 Miami Under Armour Camp.

22) Olsen Patt Henry, WR, Naples (Fla.) First Baptist

23) Keyon Brown, WR, Tallahassee (Fla.) Rickards

24) Ja’Keem Jackson, CB, Kissimmee (Fla.) Osceola

25) Lewis Carter, LB, Tampa (Fla.) Catholic

Lewis Carter Linebacker Tampa (Fla.) Catholic - Prime Truth 7v7 - class of 2023

Lewis Carter is in tip top shape headed into the summer.

26) Andy Jean, WR, Miami (Fla.) Northwestern

27) Lamont Green, Jr., DE, Miami (Fla.) Gulliver Prep - Florida State commitment

28) Elliot Washington, CB/S, Venice (Fla.) High School - Alabama commitment

29) Payton Kirkland, OT, Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips

Payton Kirkland, Offensive Tackle, Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips - 2023

OT Payton Kirkland is massive, but he's also light enough on his feet to be an offensive tackle moving forward.

30) Daemon Fagan, S, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage

31) Darren “Goldie” Lawrence, WR, Sanford (Fla.) Seminole - Florida State commitment

32) Lucas Simmons, OT, Clearwater (Fla.) Clearwater Academy International

33) Robert Stafford, WR/CB, Melbourne (Fla.) Eau Gallie

34) Kaven Call, DE/OLB, Apopka (Fla.) High School - UCF commitment

35) Eugene Wilson, WR, Tampa (Fla.) Gaither

Eugene Wilson, Wide Receiver/Cornerback Tampa (Fla.) Gaither Team Tampa 2023

Gaither's Eugene Wilson is one of the fastest players in Florida.

36) Sam Singleton, RB, Fleming Island (Fla.) High School

37) Clay Wedin, OL, Tampa (Fla.) Carrollwood Day School

38) Dayquavious Sorey, WR/LB, Graceville (Fla.) Chipley

39) Kenton Kirkland, S, Jacksonville (Fla.) Raines

40) Jaden Robinson, LB, Lake City (Fla.) Columbia

41) Kelton Henderson, WR/DB, Lehigh Acres (Fla.) Lehigh

42) Dijon Johnson, CB/S, Tampa (Fla.) Wharton - Ohio State commitment

43) Zachary Tobe, CB/S, Ocoee (Fla.) High School

44) Bobby Washington, LB, Miami (Fla.) Killian - Miami commitment

45) Damari Brown, CB, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage

46) Gavin Hill, DL, Gainesville (Fla.) Buchholz

47) Reuben Bain, DE, Miami (Fla.) Central

48) Aidan Mizell, WR, Orlando (Fla.) Boone

Aidan Mizell WR Orlando (Fla.) Boone 2023

A pure burner, Boone wide receiver Aidan Mizell is a player with offers from across the country.

49) Pearce Spurlin, TE, Santa Rosa Beach (Fla.) South Walton

50) Nathaniel Joseph, WR, Miami (Fla.) Edison - Clemson commitment

51) Hykeem Williams, WR, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Stranahan

52) Isaiah Nixon, DE/OLB, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood - UCF commitment

53) King Mack, S, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Saint Thomas Aquinas

54) Tyree Patterson, WR, Eustiss (Fla.) High School - Florida commitment

55) Raylen Wilson, LB, Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln - Michigan commitment

56) Cedrick Hawkins, S, Cocoa (Fla.) High School - Ohio State commitment

57) Mark Fletcher, RB, Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage - Ohio State commitment

58) Daniel Harris, OLB/DE, Melbourne (Fla.) Palm Bay

59) Treyaun Webb, RB, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian

60) Jamari Ford, RB, Miami (Fla.) Northwestern

Jamari Ford Running Back Miami Northwestern - 4th Quarter Mentality 7v7 - 2023

Perhaps the best all-around running back in Florida, Miami Northwestern's Jamari Ford.

61) Asaad Waseem, WR, Ocoee (Fla.) High School

62) Bryce Lovett, OL, Rockledge (Fla.) High School

63) Jordan Castell, S/LB, Winter Garden (Fla.) West Orange

64) Traylon Ray, WR, Tallahassee (Fla.) North Florida Christian

65) Braedon Marshall, CB, Lake Mary (Fla.) High School

66) Grayson Howard, LB, Jacksonville (Fla.) Andrew Jackson

67) Jaremiah Anglin, Jr., CB/S, Lake Wales (Fla.) High School

Jaremiah Anglin Lake Wales - 2023

Polk County product Jaremiah Anglin, Jr. is one of the fastest rising recruits in Florida, with the speed and length college coaches covet in the secondary.

68) Harlem Howard, S, Pompano Beach (Fla.) Blanche Ely

Scroll to Continue

Read More

69) Sharif Denson, CB, Jacksonville (Fla.) Bartram Trail

70) Tommy Kinsler, OL, Ocala (Fla.) Trinity Catholic

Ocala is an under recruited area of Florida, but the talent, like Trinity Catholic's Tommy Kinsler, is really good.

Ocala is an under recruited area of Florida, but the talent, like Trinity Catholic's Tommy Kinsler, is really good.

71) Joquez Smith, RB, Tampa (Fla.) Jesuit

72) Chris Johnson, RB, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Dillard

73) Conrad Hussey, S/CB, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Saint Thomas Aquinas - Penn State commitment

74) Ja’Bril Rawls, CB/S, Pensacola (Fla.) Catholic

75) Daniel Harris, CB/S, Miami (Fla.) Gulliver Prep

76) Ahmari Borden, WR, Quincy (Fla.) Munroe Day School - Stanford commitment

Ahmari Borden Wide Receiver Quincy (Fla.) Munroe Day School

Stanford commitment Ahmari Borden is the prototypical big receiver that gives defensive backs fits.

77) Santana Fleming, WR, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage

78) Eddie Combs, WR, Rockledge (Fla.) High School

79) Sedrick Irvin, Jr., RB/WR, Miami (Fla.) Columbus - Notre Dame commitment

79) Andrew Harris, LB, Altamonte Springs (Fla.) Lake Brantley

80) Michael Harris, LB, Altamonte Springs (Fla.) Lake Brantley

81) Javin Simpkins, RB, Miami (Fla.) Norland

82) Isaiah Augustave, RB, Naples (Fla.) High School

83) Makari Vickers, S, Tallahassee (Fla.) John Paul II

84) Lamar Seymore, WR, Miami (Fla.) Northwestern - Miami commitment

85) Eddie Pleasant, CB, Tampa (Fla.) Carrollwood Day School - Michigan State commitment

86) Amaris Shaw, CB/RB, Winter Park (Fla.) High School

87) Isaiah Hardge, WR, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Saint Thomas Aquinas - Colorado commitment

88) Dylan Rizk, QB, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Cardinal Gibbons - UCF commitment

89) Amare Ferrell, S/CB, Lake City (Fla.) Columbia

Amare Ferrell, Cornerback/Safety, Lake City (Fla.) Columbia

One of the most underrated players (and programs) in Florida would be Lake City Columbia's Amare Ferrell.

90) Chevaughn Hibbert, DT, Lakeland (Fla.) High School

91) Marcus Stokes, QB, Ponte Vedra Beach (Fla.) Nease - Penn State commitment

92) William Larkins, OL, Plantation (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna - Indiana commitment

93) Stanquan Clark, S, Miami (Fla.) Killian

94) Jaden Booker, RB, Naples (Fla.) Palmetto Ridge

95) Guerlens Milfort, DT, Lakeland (Fla.) High School

96) Jeremiah Shack, WR, Jacksonville (Fla.) Mandarin

97) Randy Pittman, TE/H-back, Panama City (Fla.) Mosley - Florida State commitment

98) Creed Whittemore, WR, Gainesville (Fla.) Buchholz - Florida commitment

99) Richard Dandridge, WR, Homestead (Fla.) High School

100) Shawn Russ, CB/S, Fort Myers (Fla.) Dunbar

The Eyes Do Not Lie

From this list, only four of the top 50 have yet to be seen live, and a grand total of 84 of the top 100 have been seen playing football with this set of eyes. That means a serious amount of first-hand research is the fundamental foundation for how the list is constructed.

Richard Young Running Back Fort Myers (Fla.) Lehigh

Seeing a player like Lehigh's Richard Young live is just different than watching him on tape.

Versatility Abounds

This group of prospects is incredibly diverse. If the list would be expanded to a top 200, the same thing would be brought to light. Regardless of position group, it’s an incredible array of players that could move to multiple positions.

Playmakers on Both Sides of the Football

There are several players that change games with defensive ability, and that includes scoop and score as well as picking off passes and taking it to the house. Further, the massive defensive linemen across the state of Florida help to make plays for a defense even when they do not tackle the ball carrier because they are constantly eating up double teams which frees up other players.

Race for the No. 1 Player

Several players are good enough to be on top of this list, and there’s quite possibly several more that will evolve during the next several months when the list is revamped. It begins with McClain (Lake Gibson), a player that is being as heavily recruited as any player in America. Players like Walker (Osceola), Inniss (American Heritage), Bowles (Jesuit), Young (Lehigh), and others are all right there as well.

The Wide Receiver Board is the Deepest in Years

As noted in an article a few weeks ago, the wide receivers in the state of Florida are off the charts. There is just about every type of receiver one can imagine in abundance – shifty, fast, dynamic after the catch, and route runners – for college coaches to recruit.

Evaluating the State of Florida's Special 2023 WR Class

Raw Upside

If there’s an edge defender with more upside than Daniel Harris (Palm Bay), that’s hard to fathom. He’s still quite skinny, but the frame cannot be taught. It’s going to be interesting to watch this young man develop over the course of the next several seasons.

Berry (Blanche Ely), Hussey (Saint Thomas Aquinas) and Tyler Williams (Lakeland) are just a few of the players that are at the tip of the iceberg for what they could do long term. 

In fact, one could argue that the aforementioned Williams has the highest upside of any player in the country, from where he is today, to three years from now. He’s been playing wide receiver only since last August. Imagine Williams after a long progression of receiver training. Few 6’4”, 195-pound receivers are as graceful as Williams, and fewer yet have his natural hands and speed along with his size.

The Panhandle

Rawls (Pensacola Catholic) is a great example of so much talented that's under valued because of it not being in a prime location. There's a plethora of talent in the greater Tallahassee to Pensacola area.

Here's Rawls during a workout in December of 2021:

He Will Succeed

Few prospects are a more sure thing than Damon Wilson (Venice). Elite football IQ, attention to detail, and his physical conditioning is tremendous. Wilson’s length is also something that’s desired. He’s going to play very early at the college level and make an impact at that. The only question is, which position(s) will he play? Long term, Wilson could be a weak side or strong side end, and during third downs he’s capable of sliding inside and being a pass rusher. With a 420-pound bench, this is not one’s normal defensive end. He’s a monster.

Damon Wilson Defensive End Venice (Fla.) High School - 2023

There are only so many players with the natural frame of Venice defensive end Damon Wilson. Combined with his own work ethic, Wilson has a chance to be a star at the college and professional levels.

Hall Makes Big Plays

Few people discuss Westside’s talented defensive tackle, big Mr. Hall (Westside). That’s their fault. He’s adept at penetrating and making plays in the backfield, eats up double teams and finds his way to the football. 

Jordan Hall, Defensive Line, Jacksonville (Fla.) Westside

When a man shakes the hand of Westside's Jordan Hall, it's something you remember...

Overall, he’s a player that just loves football. Walking up to Hall and seeing the large man from head to toe, it’s pretty easy to conclude he can play. Most importantly, his love and passion for football stand out. Hall gets after it and it’s awesome to watch from up close.

The Defensive Back Board

It’s utterly ridiculous. Having a CB/S that is ranked outside the top 40 in the state of Florida, yet is committed to Ohio State, would not normally make sense. That player, Dijon Johnson (Wharton), is still quite possibly going to end up in the top 20 of this list by season’s end. He simply needs to maximize his upside. The tools are there. Johnson is one to watch.

Dijon Johnson Cornerback Tampa (Fla.) Wharton Team Tampa - 2023

Dijon Johnson's frame and athleticism give him a chance to be a big-time player for a long time.

Obviously McClain (Lake Gibson) is a prime name, but there are more than five cornerbacks on this list that are physically capable of ending up being first round draft picks. That’s not the case with every class of cornerbacks. Further, there’s a lot of 6’0” and taller defensive backs in Florida this year. College coaches love that.

Smooth Moves

Out of all the receivers in Florida, Rodgers (Wiregrass Ranch) has continually shown the best ability to run routes. It’s a major reason why Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban and his staff continue to recruit the talented receiver despite his pledge to Ohio State. 

Bryson Rodgers Wide Receiver Wesley Chapel (Fla.) Wiregrass Ranch Team Tampa - 2023

Few wide receiver prospects take their craft as seriously as Wiregrass Ranch's Bryson Rodgers, and that's why he's one of the state of Florida's best overall recruits.

Size Along the OL

Regardless if it’s Wedin (Carrollwood Day School) or Larkins (Chaminade-Madonna) or Kinsler (Trinity Catholic) or another big fella along the offensive trenches, size is a theme. All of these young men are in the 300-pound range or even larger.

Clay Wedin, Offensive Line, Tampa (Fla.) Carrollwood Day School

Carrollwood Day School's Clay Wedin has size at 295-pounds, and the versatility to play multiple positions at the college level. 

Now, figuring out where each of them plays will be key. Is it offensive tackle, offensive guard, or maybe one of them could even snap and play center. Lots of upside with the 2023 Florida offensive line class.

Final Thoughts

This is just a starter list, nothing more. It’s still important to have a base to work from before the summer months when players will sharpen their skills at college camps, combines, and workouts. Let’s see which players make moves in the coming weeks and months. Who wants to get better and be a big-time player?

UCF Recruiting News and Prospect Profiles

Inside The Knights: YouTube - Facebook - Twitter - Spotify - Apple - Instagram

College Football Recruiting Coverage: YouTube - Facebook - Twitter

Recent Articles From Inside The Knights

Can UCF, FL, FSU and Miami Keep Top Florida HS Football Recruits at Home?

Prospect Profile: 2023 RB Jordan Louie

Recruiting Run Down for May 5th

Talking FSU with NoleGameday Writer Dustin Lewis

NIL and the Transfer Portal: Which Schools Get Caught Cheating?

UCF Lands in #1 Ranked 2023 Linebacker’s Top Five Schools

Spring Practice Tour: Miami Columbus

Talking Recruiting and Football with Top UCF Prospect Terry Simmons, Jr.

UCF Players in the NFL, How it Impacts Recruiting for the Knights

Examining the San Francisco 49ers DL Depth, How Draft Pick Kalia Davis Can Impact the Defense

From In-Person Evaluations, Five Intriguing 2023 Central Florida Prep Football Prospects

With LB Help a Priority, UCF Offers LB Branden Jennings from the Transfer Portal

April 28th Recruiting Run Down: The State of Florida and the NFL Draft

Why Jameson Williams is Worth Trading Up

Spring Practice Tour: Venice Indians

Knights Add Linebacker Kris Moll from the University of Alabama-Birmingham

Spring Practice Tour: Wharton Wildcats

Why the Spring Evaluation Period is so Vital to the UCF Recruiting Efforts