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Berkeley Prep’s RJ Garcia II commits to Kansas State

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Last year, Berkeley Prep all-purpose dynamo Joshua Youngblood decided to go to Kansas State. As a freshman, Youngblood led the nation with three kickoff returns for touchdowns and was named an All-American by several publications.

On Friday, the Wildcats gained another scoring threat from Berkeley Prep with the commitment of receiver RJ Garcia II.

The senior announced his college decision on Twitter.

Garcia II picked Kansas State over offers from 18 other schools, including Bowling Green, Rutgers and Western Michigan.

RELATED: Local list of 2021 football commits

“The coaching staff really made me feel like their program was a big family, and I wanted to be a part of the culture they are trying to build,” Garcia said of the Wildcats.

Last season, Garcia II developed into a consistent receiving threat. He had 20 catches for 516 yards and six touchdowns. He also averaged nearly 30 yards per kickoff return.

Reuniting with Youngblood was not the biggest factor in Garcia II’s decision but it did play a role.

“I mean it definitely helps to know one of my good friends is there and doing well,” Garcia II said of Youngblood.

Youngblood was thrilled with the choice.

https://twitter.com/YB060/status/1266442200998727680

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Wiregrass Ranch’s Rocco Becht commits to Iowa State

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Wiregrass Ranch quarterback Rocco Becht has committed to Iowa State.

The rising senior made the announcement on his Twitter page Friday afternoon. 

Becht, the son of former Jets and Buccaneers tight end Anthony Becht, is listed as a three-star prospect  by 247 Sports and had offers from 13 colleges. He is just the second recruit for the Cyclones in the 2022 class and the lone one from the area. 

Iowa State has done well landing locals. In fact, this marks the fifth straight recruiting class the Cyclones have secured at least commitment from an area player. 

Becht took over as Wiregrass Ranch’s starting quarterback in 2019. As a junior last season, he threw for 1,550 yards and 18 touchdowns and was named the offensive player of the year for the East Division of the Sunshine Athletic Conference.  

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Berkeley Prep’s CJ Hawkins commits to Florida

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Berkeley Prep’s CJ Hawkins committed to Florida, becoming the second area recruit to join the Gators’ 2022 class in the past week. 

Hawkins publicly announced his decision on his Twitter page Sunday afternoon. His pledge to Florida comes three days after Carrollwood Day offensive lineman Tony Livingston committed to the Gators. 

Both are unique prospects. Hawkins, a 6-foot-7, 220 pound tight end, went out for football this season after concentrating on basketball his first two years at Berkeley Prep. In fact, he offers in basketball from IUPI, USF and Western Michigan.

His size and athleticism made football programs take notice. This offseason, Hawkins enjoyed a meteoric rise and held 29 offers from Division I-A schools. 

Livingston also played basketball and plans to play both sports at Florida. It is unclear whether Hawkins would do the same. 

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Sickles’ Javohn Thomas commits to USF

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Sickles receiver Javohn Thomas has committed to USF, becoming the first recruit in the Bulls’ 2022 class. 

“I love coach (Jeff) Scott, and it feels like a great place for me,” said Thomas, who picked USF over offers from Florida International and South Dakota. 

As a junior, Thomas had 37 receptions for 540 yards and four touchdowns. 

The two-sport star also played basketball and was the Gryphons’ leading scorer this past season. Thomas said he talked to USF basketball coach Brian Gregory about joining the team and wants to play both sports in college. 

If Thomas does, he will continue what has become an area trend. 

Carrollwood Day’s Mike Trigg, one of the nation’s top tight ends, plans on playing football and basketball at Southern California as a freshman this coming season. Trigg’s teammate with the Patriots, Tony Livingston, announced his commitment to Florida on Thursday. The rising senior intends on playing football and basketball with the Gators. 

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