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May 10, 2004

Tallahassee Recruiting Tour: Lincoln

The second stop in our Tallahassee area recruiting tour is Lincoln High School. Anyone that follows prep football in the Sunshine State or college football recruiting is familiar with the powerhouse Trojan program. Lincoln, who has been coached by David Wilson the past 13 years, brought home the state title in 1999 and 2001 and has produced dozens of Division 1A prospects.

With Lincoln just minutes from Florida State's campus it's no surprise that several former Trojans stayed home to play their college football. In fact, over FSU's last four recruiting classes, at least one Lincoln player signed with the Tribe. Also, when the 'Noles hit the practice fields this August five Lincoln players will don the Garnet and Gold, which is far more than any other high school represented on the team roster.

In addition to FSU, Lincoln is well represented at several of college football's top programs including Miami (Greg Threat), Florida (Gavin Dickey), Georgia (Mike Gilliam), and Ohio State (Joe Bauserman).

Once again Lincoln has some major college prospects, but maybe not as many as years past.

Even though David Wilson's club may not have a huge numbers of D-1A signees next February, their top prospect could be the best ever to come through the storied program.

Despite constant double teams, wide receiver Fred Rouse racked up 41 catches for 667 yards and nine touchdowns last season. He also averaged over 21 yards per punt return, which included one touchdown.

"Fred has got a burst, he's got explosion, he's a great competitor, he's got instincts and he's just got a knack and feel for the game," Wilson said. "He's just got things you can't teach. He sees things that a lot of kids don't see."

Not surprisingly, just about ever major Division 1A program has offered a scholarship to the All-American wideout. The prevailing thinking is that Rouse will join several of his former teammates at FSU but he has been keeping it close to the vest as of late. The latest rumor is that the Hurricanes have made up a lot of ground and are now a serious contender for his services.

In addition to FSU and Miami, Rouse has expressed a serious interest in Florida, LSU, USC, Ohio State and Texas. His list could be narrowed to as few as three schools by the start of his senior season. Those three lucky schools will probably have to wait until national signing day before the standout receiver announces his final choice.

In addition to skill players, Lincoln is known for producing quality offensive linemen. The top prospect this year is probably guard Cole Harvey. His quick feet and smarts make him an appealing prospect. The only downside is his lack of size. If he were 15 to 20 pounds heavier, Harvey might be rated as one of the top offensive linemen in Florida. However, at only a little over 250 pounds, he will need to get bigger if he hopes to start reeling in offers from the big boys.

Even though he is a bit on the light side, head coach David Wilson can't say enough about his star offensive lineman.

"Cole has a nasty streak in him," Wilson said. "He's a kid that will want to hug you off the field and want to hit you on the field. He's just has that nasty streak in him when he puts the pads on and when he steps across that white line. Yet he's a model citizen off the field and a great student. He brings a touch of toughness and meanness to our offensive line."

Florida State has shown some early interest but Auburn could be the first major program to offer a scholarship. Other schools recruiting Harvey include Notre Dame, Tennessee, Florida and Iowa State.

One player that could see his stock skyrocket with a big season is defensive end Kerry Bonds.

"Kerry has some big play potential," Wilson said. "I think Kerry is going to be a monster and his best football is ahead of him. He's six-three or six-four and 230 right now and I think he's going to be 260 or 270 in a couple years. He's got a pretty spectacular career ahead of him at this point."

Bonds saw limited playing time last season, but big things are expected from him this fall. If he is able to produce on the field you can bet the college football powers will take notice.

There are a handful of other Lincoln players that, with a good senior season, could work themselves into a scholarship offers. T.J. Harnden will move from linebacker and lineup on the other side of Bonds at defensive end. If he can grow into his 6-foot-4 frame he could increase his stock in the eyes of college recruiters.

Other seniors to keep an eye on are athlete Bryan Kendricks, center and long-snapper Giazka Ansola-Crowley and tight end Travis Ferrer.

Lincoln also has a also a couple junior prospects that should be household names next year. Inside linebacker Craig Stephens is arguably the top junior prospect on the defensive side of the ball, while 240-pound running back Seddrick Hollaway will follow Rouse as the next big time offensive recruit for the Trojans.

Lincoln will take part in a Spring Jamboree on Saturday, May 22nd at Capital Stadium. They are scheduled to matchup with Godby and Rickards.

UP NEXT: Tallahassee Leon High School

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