All-Suncoast Defensive Player of the Year:
DB Devin Abraham, Sr., East Lake
Devin Abraham saw the ball coming at him, ever so larger, until in a blink he was cradling it — and East Lake’s season — in his arms.
One second later, it was gone.
Abraham dropped the interception and would-be touchdown. It was a momentum-changing play that proved costly in a loss to Orlando Dr. Phillips in last year’s region final. Abraham still put up solid numbers that year, recording four interceptions, but the one that got away gnawed at him.
“I actually had two dropped in that game,” Abraham said. “I felt like I played okay, but it was a down year for me. For some reason, I was taking the game too seriously. This year, I made it a point to just go out there and have fun.”
Abraham, a USF commit, had a blast. He led an Eagles defense that posted a school-record five shutouts and allowed just 114 points in 14 games. But East Lake defenders did more than just stop opponents. They scored, too. Abraham led the way. When the ball was headed in Abraham’s direction, he made sure he secured it, recording a team-best and career-high six interceptions.
But what made Abraham’s season special was what he was able to do with the ball once he got his mitts on it. Abraham scored five defensive touchdowns — four more than in his previous three seasons. And the touchdowns were not just off interceptions. Abraham also had a knack for producing big plays on special teams with four blocked punts and three blocked field goals.
Abraham’s ability to be in the right place at the right time came from being meticulous in practice, in film study and in technique.
“I put everything I had into making this the best season possible,” said Abraham, whose team finished 13-1 and advanced to the Class 7A state semifinals. “I don’t think I could have asked for much more.”
All-Suncoast Offensive Player of the Year:
QB Deiondre Porter, Sr., Jefferson
Jefferson was trailing Largo in the first round of the playoffs on Nov. 15, the Dragons’ first postseason appearance since winning a state championship in 2010.
Coach Jeremy Earle wasn’t ready to see his team’s playoff run end, so he called out to his star quarterback, Deiondre Porter. “We’re going to have to ride you,” Earle told him.
Porter didn’t think twice about the command.
“He looked right at my eyes with that good look that he’s got, and he said, ‘Coach, give me the ball,’ ” Earle said.
Porter rushed for 203 yards that night and scored all four of Jefferson’s touchdowns to lead the Dragons to a 25-17 win.
It’s Porter’s offensive output — a state-high 4,698 total yards and 53 touchdowns — that makes him the Tampa Bay Times’ All-Suncoast Offensive Player of the Year — selected among the top players in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Hernando and Pasco counties. But it’s the kind of leadership he displayed in that playoff game against the Packers that impressed Earle most this year.
Porter was a big part of a Jefferson team that averaged more than 500 yards of offense per game. Like Earle had reminded Porter against Largo, the Dragons often rode Porter’s talents this season.
Having that kind of responsibility on his shoulders was not only something the USF commit cherished, he said, but a role he was born to fill.
“I’ve been a leader since I was 5 years old. I was a leader on my baseball team, captain when I played T-ball, all the way up to now,” Porter said. “I live for adversity. When it comes, I’m ready.” Continue Reading by Clicking Here
via the Tampa Bay Times HomeTeam
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