Over the next few weeks GatorCountry.com will preview the high school teams led by prospects verbally committed to the Florida Gators football team.
First up is James Hearns and the Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln High Trojans.
2011 record: 9-2 lost in the first round of the playoffs
Head coach: Yusuf Shakir
Other notes: Former Florida receiver Jacquez Green is the offensive coordinator at Lincoln.
Top returning players: Senior linebacker James Hearns (Florida verbal commitment), senior receiver Reggie Davis (Georgia commit) and Senior receiver Taj Williams.
Top underclassmen: Junior cornerback Kendall Randolph, junior linebacker Travis Hearns and junior linebacker Jeffrey Williams
James Hearns’ comments: “I’m a senior now so it’s my time to lead the team back to a championship. I have to come out and lead the team in a positive way everyday to reach our goal. We have the potential to get back to the state championship — we are close team. One of the reasons we are close is because this is coach Shakir’s fourth year here, so we have learned his way for four years. So, it’s time to see his finished product.”
Hearns’ goals: “I want to break the school record for tackles in a game, which is 25 tackles. It will be tough, but that’s my goal. My other is to stay healthy all year.”
Coach Shakir’s comments: “Last year was a disappointing year for Lincoln’s standard. Some teams would be happy with a 9-2 record, but we weren’t. Our goal is to win the state championship every year.
“In order to do that this year we need to stay healthy and also realize that you have to work and earn a state championship — it isn’t given to you. I think a lot of people thought they deserved a championship last year because of the year before the season.”
Shakir on Hearns: “He brings a physical presence to the field at the linebacker position. He has a rare combination of size, speed and agility while bringing a physical presence off the edge. Off the field, he has good leadership skills and knows what we expect from everyone. Following his knee injury he has responded with an appreciation of the game of football.”
August 30th vs. Pensacola High at Lincoln High
September 7th vs St. Paul at Louisiana Superdome
September 14th at Florida State University
September 21st vs. Chiles at Lincoln High
September 28th vs. Rickards at Lincoln High
October 5th at Buchholz
October 12th vs. Leon at Lincoln High
October 19th vs. West Port at Lincoln High
November 2nd at. Forest
November 8th at Godby