ESPN released its list of the top 300 junior football players in the nation, and a pair of McEachern teammates -- quarterback Carlos Del Rio-Wilson and wide receiver Dacari Collins -- made the cut.
Del Rio-Wilson was ranked the 84th-best player in his class and the 11th-best pocket-passing quarterback.
“He’s a tank,” McEachern coach Franklin Stephens said of the recent Florida commit. “He’s a big kid with a big strong arm, and you know the thing that we continuously talk with him about is his mechanics, as well as the ability to make good decisions.”
The 6-foot-3, 201-pound Del Rio-Wilson, who has seen starting duties since his freshman year, threw for 2,150 yards and 20 touchdowns last season.
Entering his junior season, Del Rio-Wilson said he wanted to improve his accuracy, but he listed a number of traits that make him stand out from other quarterbacks around the country.
“My style on and off the field, my personality, the way I lead, how accurate I am, how physical I’m able to be, and my skills of extending busted plays,” Del Rio-Wilson said.
Del Rio-Wilson will likely be targeting Collins a significant amount this season, with Collins coming off a sophomore season in which he caught 16 passes for 347 yards and four touchdowns.
“He’s not just my quarterback. That’s my brother, so we’re tight, and, on the field, we just play like that,” Collins said of his connection with Del Rio-Wilson.
The 6-foot-4, 208-pound Collins came in at 110th on the ESPN list, while was ranked the 23rd-best receiver in his class.
“He is very physical on the field, aggressive. When you need him to make plays, he’s most definitely a playmaker that you can use,” Del Rio-Wilson said of Collins. “He’s able to go up and get the ball. Even if he’s not going deep, you can just throw a screen. He’s able to make a move and make people miss and get downfield with his speed. Using his big body, he’s able to run people over and get the job done.”
Stephens also pointed to Collins’ size as a key part to his game, but he also said that the wideout is developing mentally.
“One of the biggest things for Dacari now, a difference in him right now and last year, is confidence,” Stephens said. “I think he’s a kid that’s playing with a lot of confidence right now.”
Collins pointed to his size and experience as the reason he has developed into a standout receiver.
“I think it’s my size and my work ethic, how far I came from last year as far as growing up and understanding the game, and understanding you have to put work in,” Collins said.
Collins, however, wants to take his game to another level this year, and said he would like to be more explosive and dominant on the field.
Collins, who played his freshman season at Woodward Academy before transferring to McEachern, has yet to commit a college, but he has offers from 24 schools, including Alabama, Clemson, Auburn and Tennessee.
Collins secured his first offer -- from Nebraska -- before his freshman year of high school.
Del Rio-Wilson committed to Florida last Friday. He chose the Gators over 14 other programs, including Florida State, LSU, Tennessee and Michigan.