Apr 27, 2023 - Sports

NFL Draft prospects who got their start at South Florida high schools

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 01: Pittsburgh defensive lineman Calijah Kancey answers questions from the media during the NFL Scouting Combine on March 1, 2023, at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Pittsburgh defensive lineman Calijah Kancey, who played high-school football at Miami Northwestern, answers questions during the NFL Scouting Combine on March 1. Photo: Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While the Dolphins don't have a first-round pick in Thursday's NFL Draft, local football fans will still have players to root for.

What's happening: Several of the nation's top college prospects whose NFL dreams may come true began their journeys playing high school football across South Florida.

Why it matters: Our area has long been a hotbed of NFL talent, from Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin to former MVP Lamar Jackson and Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa.

Zoom in: Local players who could get drafted Thursday include Zay Flowers, WR (University School) and Calijah Kancey, DT (Miami Northwestern), per the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

  • Other local players projected to get drafted in later rounds include Jordan Battle (St. Thomas Aquinas) and Tyrique Stevenson (Miami Southridge).

💭 Martin's thought bubble: I went to St. Thomas Aquinas — the football powerhouse where Irvin and the Bosa brothers studied — and once got an autograph from Irvin.

  • Another time, Alabama's legendary coach Nick Saban dropped by my economics class to chat with us.

What's next: The Dolphins have the No. 51 pick in the second round, which starts Friday, plus picks in the third, sixth and seventh rounds.

  • The NFL stripped Miami of one of its first-round picks this year for having "impermissible communication" with quarterback Tom Brady and coach Sean Payton while they were employed by other teams.
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