2024 High School Sports: Sleepers and Risers to Watch

May 20, 2024By Green Zone Staff
Green Zone Staff

2024 Rising Stars to watch!

Every year, new talents emerge in Pinellas County. These athletes often go unnoticed until they make a significant impact. In 2024, several players are poised to break out.

 Players to Watch

In Pinellas County, football has always been a big deal. This year, keep an eye on Floyd Mercer, a junior Athlete that has a motor and plays on both sides of the ball. He has shown great promise in the preseason games.

Another player to watch is *OLB Kemuri Safford-Boca Ceiga High School* with good lateral speed. His ability to make plays makes him a valuable asset to the Boca Ciega Pirates!

football action

Additionally, Kemuri, a senior at Boca Ceiga, has been a consistent performer. His leadership last week against Braden river was noticable on the Pirates Defense!.

Sleeper Prospects:

1. *Trent Hines 6'2" 150, a senior WR- St.Petersburg High School*has length with speed. His control and precision blocking are beyond his years.

2. * Jsai Smith 5'8" 150*, (CCC) a sophomore Athlete known for his quick speed and good ball skills. Small but plays big 

baseball game

Jsai Smith, made play after play for the marauders, has also been making significant strides as a DB. His technique and focus have earned him priase!

3. ** Gavin Richardson (Northside Christian).** A 6'1, 172 pound reciever with sure hands but has he reached his ceiling playing against lighter competition. Had 39 rec for 611 yards and is clearly the best athlete on field most games.

4.** Christopher Tank Jr (St.Pete High) ** 6'2" 1/2 160 pound athlete has quietly emerged as a top player in the area. He previously played QB before switching to DB. He has a long wingspan, which gives huge upside at the cornerback position

5. ** Tayshawn Bell (Lakewood)** 5'11" 190 A running back with good vision and quick feet. He had a breakout game against Calvary Christian in last year's playoff (9 carries 142 yds) He's a prospect who isn't often mentioned when discussing the top backs in the area, but he has the potential to be very productive!

Risers: Promising Players

Several prospects in the bay area is gaining popularity, and new talents are emerging as stock risers.

a person holding a basketball up in the air
QB1 since transferring over from Fivay HS. Threw for 270 yds 4TDs in the spring game

1.*Ayden Wallace 6'0" 160 a junior (Lakewood High School) has continued to rise this spring. Throws an excellent ball with zip control.Wallace is known for his ability to throw with poise and accuracy!

2. *Keyshaun Birks, (Pinellas Park) standing at 6'2" and weighing 165 pounds, is a standout player for Pinellas Park. He poses a challenge for smaller defensive backs and adds depth to the secondary.

soccer match
(No 1) ATH Keyshawn Birks and Amar Caro (No 6) stock is steadily rising as they both opened the spring with a huge game vs Countryside!

3. **Da'Mari "Rusty" Roberts** (Lakewood High)"A 6'3" 170 lb wide receiver with smooth routes and soft hands. This kid has tremendous potential and could be a menace in the Spartans' offense this year. Remember the name, as he is certainly someone you need to get familiar with real quick.

4. **Amari Caro** (Pinellas Park) 5'11" 175 An athletic two-way player that has caught my attention due to his headsy big play ability. He performed exceptionally well this spring and will surely attract attention because he is the kind of player who elevates the team's play.

5. ** Ky'ree Jenkins** (Gibbs HS) 6'2" 160. Jenkins is an exceptional athlete, contributing across the board for the Gladiators. With a D1 offer in hand, more are sure to follow. He excels at returning kicks, catching deep routes, and making plays on defense.

Other Risers:
** Keontae Byas** (Lakewood HS) WR- Breakout season on tap
** Brody Church** (East Lake HS) TE/WR/DE- 6'7" huge wingspan and athletic
**Jaylen White** (Clearwater HS) QB Young Stud with a live arm gaining steam
**Kentrail "Pop" McCrae Jr (Clearwater HS) 6'2" DB with a D1 Offer
** Derron McNeal** (Lakewood HS) ATH Will be a threat in the high powered Spartan offense

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