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Orlando trio headed to play in Big Ten

Three of the top 17 players in the Sentinel’s 2023 Super60 announced Monday they will continue their passion in the Big Ten next season.

No. 10 Dylan Wade, a tight end at Jones High, chose to stick with his good friend and teammate Derrick Rogers, a wide receiver. The duo decided to play collegiately at Maryland. Also committing Monday was Ocoee defensive end Calvin “Tre” Smith, who will be headed to Illinois.

Wade received a scholarship offer from “my dream school” Miami about a month ago, but he did not sway when it came down to his decision to remain teammates with Rogers at the next level.

Meanwhile, Smith is headed to Illinois, the same school that developed former Jones star defensive back Kerby Joseph into a third-round NFL pick of the Detroit Lions in April.

Once the coaching staff from Maryland centered on making a strong push for the Jones tandem, the two Tigers were sold, even though both players also had offers from Miami.

“I feel like it’s going to be lit, like we’re just going to connect and build our chemistry and just make everything easier,” said Rogers, who said the choice to attend college with Wade had been in the works for a while. “Since we got the [offer on June 15] it was like love.

“We were talking and it was just like, ‘What’s up, bro? Whatchu gonna do?’ and right there we made our decision.”

Rogers, a 6-foot-1, 170-pound speedster, broke out last season with 44 catches for 727 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’s a very shifty route runner and makes things difficult for defensive backs.

2023 Central Florida Super60

Wade was a huge quarterback at Ocoee during his sophomore year before transferring to Jones, where he made the position switch to tight end and started to draw a great deal of attention. The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder was impressive after the position change, catching 25 passes for 331 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran the ball for two more touchdowns.

The position change was the idea of Jones coach Elijah Williams, and Wade told the Sentinel last month that Williams definitely did not go easy on him.

“He always keeps it real and he doesn’t sugar-coat anything,” Wade said. “He told me when he first changed my position that he knew I was going to be a big-time player.”

Smith plays at Ocoee for his father and head coach Aaron Sheppard, who has been a big reason for the youngster’s prowess along the defensive front.

Last month Smith said he was about ready to start whittling his list of 22 scholarship offers, and he picked the Fighting Illini over Purdue, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Arkansas.

He said he has enjoyed the recruiting process.

“A lot of the attention is overwhelming, but I like it,” the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Smith said. “I’ll probably make a decision in early August.”

He liked the coaching staff at Illinois so much, however, he zeroed in on his commitment a month early and is excited to be joining the Big Ten squad.

One other recent commitment from the Sentinel’s 2023 Super60 was Seminole quarterback Luke Rucker, who chose FAU after a strong push from the coaching staff of Willie Taggart.

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Source: Berkshire mont

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