If you want to see the best high school football players from the Public League, Catholic League and Inter-Ac League, the Philadelphia Eagles City High School All-Star Classic football game will give you chance to see them perform on the big stage. The city all-star game will be played at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday, May 10. The kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m.
This game will allow the fans one last time to see the top seniors before they begin their college football careers. This gridiron contest will have the Public School All-Stars against the Non-Public All-Stars.
The Public School All-Stars have a number of exciting players to watch such as Richard Drayton (Central), Daquan Brown (Dobbins) and Eric Leslie (West Philadelphia). Drayton, an All-Public league wide receiver, had a terrific season for the Lancers. He had 44 receptions for 644 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Brown had a big season for the Mustangs. He was one of the city’s leading rushers. He had 206 carries for 1,261 yards while scoring 10 TDs on the ground.
Leslie was an explosive player for the Speedboys. The team’s brilliant receiver had 26 catches for 366 yards and 11 TDs. He has great moves in the open field.
The Catholic League has some impressive players as well with Jaleel Reed (West Catholic) and Marcus Kelly (Roman Catholic). Reed had a big year as the Burrs’ quarterback. He completed 52 of 115 passes for 899 yards, including 10 touchdown passes. He also had 106 carries for 638 yards.
Kelly had a tremendous season running the football for the Cahillites. He had 237 carries for 1,796 yards and 16 TDs.
Chestnut Hill Academy will have four players in this contest. CHA will be well represented with Brett Flannery (defensive back), Cedric Madden (running back), Chris Howard (offensive lineman) and Tyler Hightower (defensive lineman). Chestnut Hill Academy is a member of the Inter-Ac League.
The all-star game has been played every year since 1975. The inaugural game was played at Northeast High School in front of 14,426 fans. The location of this all-star classic has changed over the years and has included venues like Franklin Field, Charles Martin Memorial Stadium and now, Lincoln Financial Field.
The game has produced several NFL players such as Brent Grimes (Northeast, Atlanta Falcons), Dominique Curry (George Washington, St. Louis Rams) and Jameel McClain (George Washington, Baltimore Ravens). Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased for $10 on philadelphiaeagles.com or by going to Lincoln Financial Field.
The NFL free agency signing period will begin today. If the Philadelphia Eagles want to sign a player who could have a big impact, they should take a good look at a guy who grew up in Philly and played for the West Oak Lane Wildcats, Northeast High and Shippensburg University. His name: Brent Grimes.
That’s right, Brent Grimes. He plays defensive back for the Atlanta Falcons. Grimes is one of the top NFL free agents whom nobody is talking about. That’s because he missed just about the entire season with an Achilles injury.
According to published reports, Grimes seems to be progressing quite nicely in terms of his injury. Before he was hurt, he was one of the best players at his position. Defensive back is a position of need for the Eagles. Plus, it’s not clear whether Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a free agent, will return.
Grimes has plenty of experience, talent, speed and tackling ability. He’s not the biggest player at his position. Despite his size, 5-foot-10 and 181 pounds, he can really play.
He had a great season in 2010, making the Pro Bowl. He had 76 solo tackles and five interceptions. In 2011, Grimes, 29, had 49 total tackles and one interception. He’s one of the best tacklers in the league. He doesn’t mind coming up on sweeps and taking on blockers and making tackles. He’s an old- school cornerback.
Grimes can also cover the NFL’s best wide receivers with his speed. He can run stride for stride with most receivers. The Falcons got to the NFC championship without him, but they definitely could have used him against the San Francisco 49ers, who stopped the Falcons from getting to the Super Bowl.
Grimes is a guy who had to roll up his sleeves to get to the NFL. At Northeast High, he couldn’t have weighed more than 135 pounds. Nevertheless, he was a threat to score just about every time he touched the football.
He was a Division II All-American at Shippensburg, but went undrafted in 2006. He had to play a year in NFL Europe for the Hamburg Sea Devils before finally getting his chance to play in the NFL.
He was basically a special teams player in his first two seasons with the Falcons. In 2009, he started to get on the field as a regular at defensive back. Grimes would definitely give the Eagles a lift with his ability and leadership.
The Eagles would be bringing a player home who could strengthen the defense with skills that were missing the last two seasons. You won’t see players run around or through Grimes, with his grit and determination. You won’t see receivers running past him either.
The free agency period is just starting. If you have never seen Grimes play the game, pay YouTube a visit. He’s got a lot of highlights which clearly showcase his all-around skills. He has the talent to improve the Eagles secondary.
ATLANTA — A person familiar with the deal says the Falcons have acquired four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel from the Philadelphia Eagles.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday afternoon because the deal has not been announced.
The trade was made after Samuel agreed to restructure his contract to a three-year, $18.5 million deal with Atlanta. His current contract with Philadelphia calls for him to earn $9.9 million in 2012 and $11.4 million in 2013.
Atlanta is expected to send a draft pick to Philadelphia.
The 31-year-old Samuel gives Atlanta a strong trio at cornerback with Dunta Robinson and Northeast High school priduct Brent Grimes under new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.
Grimes signed his franchise tag tender on Tuesday. Grimes will make $10.262 million this season.
The Falcons have six picks, but no first-round selection in the NFL draft.
Samuel became expendable when the Eagles signed Nnamdi Asomugha and acquired Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie last July, giving them three Pro Bowl cornerbacks. But the team couldn't find a suitable deal for Samuel, so they kept him and used Rodgers-Cromartie in the nickel spot.
While Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie struggled in a new defense and new roles, Samuel was the most consistent of the trio. The outspoken Samuel probably sealed his fate in Philadelphia when he criticized the front office at the trade deadline, saying management was "playing fantasy football with the owner's money."
Samuel has 45 career interceptions in nine seasons. He had three interceptions in 14 games last season. -- (AP)
When Sharrif Floyd was selected by Minnesota Vikings at No. 23 in the first round of the NFL draft a week ago, this pick brought a lot of attention to Philadelphia, but more importantly to the Public League. Floyd, a 6-foot-3, 303-pound defensive tackle, was a big time player for George Washington High School. In 2008, he led GW to a Public League and a city championship.
It seems just like yesterday he was playing on both sides of football for the Eagles while garnering high school All-America honors before deciding to play major college football at the University of Florida. Now, he’ll be playing on Sundays in the NFL helping to carry the banner for football players coming from the Public League.
“I always thought the Public League had a bunch of talent,” Floyd said. “We can do anything we set our mind to. I’m not the first player to do it a really high level. I have a lot of respect for all the players. Jahri Evans coming out of Frankford being arguably the No. 1 [offensive] guard in the league right now. Jameel McClain on the rise. So, we have some good things going on for the city. It’s not going to stop with me.”
The league is well represented in the NFL. Evans plays for the New Orleans Saints. He has been to four Pro Bowls and has won a Super Bowl. McClain, a George Washington High product like Floyd, plays linebacker for the Ravens, and is a member of this year’s Super Bowl champions. Grimes, a former Northeast High star, is a corneback with the Miami Dolphins. In addition, Earl Watford, a former Simon Gratz star who played offensive tackle for James Madison, was a fourth round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL draft last week.
Floyd is a great all-around defensive player. He had 46 total tackles, 13.0 tackles for loss and three sacks last season. He can play the run and get to the quarterback. Floyd was the first defensive linemen to receive All-American recognition since 2001.
The Vikings will have OTA [organized team activities] coming up this month. Floyd is looking forward to them as well as training camp and the regular season. He will be playing for Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier, a former assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles. Minnesota has a tremendous offensive player in running back Adrian Peterson. But the Vikings have some great players on the defensive side of the football.
“I’m really happy to be there,” Floyd said. “It’s an honor. I couldn’t have ended up with a better ballclub. I get to learn under Kevin Williams. I get to play with Jared Allen and in my eyes go up against No. 1 run offense in the NFL.”
Floyd seems to be ready to play at the next level.
The Philadelphia area was well represented in the 2013 NFL draft. The area’s top picks were Jason Pough (Council Rock, Syracuse) and Sharrif Floyd (George Washington, Florida). Pough was the 19th pick overall, chosen by the New York Giants. Floyd was selected with the No. 23 pick by the Minnesota Vikings. Pough, a 6-foot-5, 297-pound offensive tackle, blocked for quarterback Ryan Nassib, who was selected in the fourth round by the Giants. Nassib is a product of Malvern Prep. He was a big star in the Inter-Ac League.
Floyd was a major star in the Public League. The 6-foot-3, 303-pound defensive tackle led George Washington High to the league championship his senior year. He was rated the No. 1 defensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com. He will be playing for head coach Leslie Frazier with the Vikings. He will join other Public League NFL standouts like Jahri Evans (New Orleans Saints, Frankford), Jameel McClain (George Washington, Baltimore Ravens) and Brent Grimes (Northeast, Miami Dolphins).
Floyd had 13 tackles fora loss and 6½ sacks for the Gators as a junior last season. He was initially projected to go in the top 10 of the first round, but slipped thanks to a run on offensive linemen higher in the draft. The Vikings have a history of taking Gators who tumbled, after scoring big with receiver Percy Harvin in 2009.
With Kevin Williams aging and younger players like LeTroy Guion and Christian Ballard still relatively unproven, the Vikings jumped at the chance to stop Floyd’s slide down the board.
Floyd was surprised to land with the Vikings, but excited to learn under Williams, one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL over the last eight years.
“I couldn’t have been part of a better ball club,” he said. “I’m excited to get started.”
Speaking of the Public League, Earl Watford was selected in the fourth round by the Arizona Cardinals. Watford was a terrific offensive tackle for James Madison University. The 6-foot-4, 295-pound offensive tackle, received All-America honors from the Walter Camp Foundation, American Football Coaches Association, Associated Press and the Sports Network. He was an All-Public League selection at Simon Gratz.
Nick Moody was selected in the sixth round by the San Francisco 49ers. Moody played his college football at Florida State. The 6-foot-2, 247-pound linebacker, had a solid career for the Seminoles. He also played safety during his college career. He had 155 career tackles. He played his scholastic football at Roman Catholic and led the Cahillites to the Catholic League championship his senior year. Moody will have an opportunity to play for the 49ers, a team that went to the Super Bowl last season. His versatility should really help his pro career.
—The Associated Press contributed to this story