Pahokee? What the heck is Pahokee?


Charlie Weis has been making very nice inroads in the South Florida High School scene. He picked up Armando Allen this year from Hialeah Miami-Lakes and Major Wright out of St.Thomas Aquinas made a visit to South Bend last week. Just last year, Sam Young came out of Aquinas along with Dan Wenger. Young was a standout Right Tackle as a freshman and probably will move over to the left side in 2007. One place Weis has not had much luck with is in the North Palm Beach and Central Florida area. That is until now.

Pahokee Teammates Have Caught ND's Eye. Pahokee High in Florida has certainly had its fair share of talent on the football field over the years. Head coach Leroy Foster said that NFL standout Anquan Boldin was the first player in program history to play in the school’s spring game as an eighth grader. Three years ago, Foster made receiver Martavious Odoms the second.

The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Odoms will head into his senior year as one of the top recruits in the class of 2008.

Janoris Jenkins might have been able to join Martavious Odoms as a second eighth grader in the spring game, but he was playing baseball at the time. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound defensive back eventually won the free safety job in the fall, and Odoms started at receiver.

Both players helped lead Pahokee to the 2-A state championship their freshman and junior seasons. Both have been getting plenty of mail from Notre Dame and every other major college. Odoms already has scholarship offers from Miami, South Carolina and Tennessee. Jenkins has offers from those three schools as well as Clemson and Florida State.

Odoms isn’t very big now, and he definitely wasn’t very big as an eighth grader during the spring game. However he was given the opportunity to play junior varsity on the high school team the previous fall and dominated. Foster decided to throw Odoms into the fire of spring ball, and see if the youngster could hack it with the varsity.

“He was killing some of our seniors, so we decided to put him on varsity,” he said.

Odoms went on to gain 608 yards through the air and score eight touchdowns that first season. The next year, Odom’s had 1,150 yards receiving and 17 touchdowns. This past year, with a little less playing time because Foster called off the dogs during blowouts, Odoms had 923 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns.

“Probably one of the most electrifying receivers in south Florida,” Foster said. “Speed and explosion off the ball, he runs crisp solid routes. The biggest asset he holds that many people don’t see, because all they see is his speed, is that he is a tenacious blocker. He loves blocking down the field springing backs. He is an outstanding team player anyone would love to have.”

Foster reported that Odoms has a 2.67 GPA and is taking the ACT in February. Notre Dame could also have a chance of landing him.

“The distance may play a part because of his mother coming to see him play, but other than that, I think its wide open,” Foster said.

Jenkins didn’t get to play spring ball, but Foster noticed he was a player right away.

“His ability to play anywhere on the field,” Foster said of what makes Jenkins a big-time recruit. As a freshman he led the area in picks as a free safety. We moved him to strong safety the next year and he had a number of picks and tackles, and he shared the load at running back.”

At running back this season, Jenkins ran for over 1,100 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also had four punt returns for touchdowns and four interceptions.

“He has great hips, great flexibility, breaks on the ball better than a lot of people,” Foster said. “He went down to the Nike camp at Miami and shut down everybody. South Carolina loves him, Ohio State loves him, Clemson, that’s his number one choice.”

Foster said that Jenkins has around a 2.5 GPA.

Foster talked about some of the academic struggles his school and the area has. He has sent many players off to Division I programs in hopes that the environment helps an intelligent kid really flourish in the classroom. He is real proud that two of his former players Antonio Wilson and Alphonso Smith went on to play and further their education at Wake Forest, a school with strict academic guidelines regarding recruiting.

“They were in the same boat and they wanted it,” Foster said. “I would love to say I have a player at Notre Dame. I have some at Florida State and Miami, but to have a kid at Wake Forest, Stanford or Notre Dame, that says volumes about your program.”
Maybe it will be Odoms or Jenkins that give Foster that opportunity.

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In order to find his equal, an Irishman is *forced* to talk to God.

In order to find his equal, an Irishman is *forced* to talk to God.