Exclusive Interview with Florida Fire Head Coach

Exclusive Interview with Florida Fire Head Coach

Tito Benach
Exclusive CanesInsight Interview with Florida Fire Head Coach Dennis Marroquin

CanesInsight got the opportunity to speak with Head coach and founder of the Florida Fire Dennis Marroquin to speak about his team and how this 7 on 7 team all got started.

TB: Coach, first talk about how the Florida Fire got started, what it became and where it’s at now.

Marroquin: “Well, Florida Fire started about three years ago. I decided to do a 7 on 7 team and I just took the kids that were cut from another team and we were successful that year. We won two regional championships that year in Florida and Alabama, which has never been done. It’s actually grown year to year; there were kids that weren’t really known and in the end they’re all playing college football now. Each year we have more kids at the try-outs and there’s a lot of talent out there. I have kids playing at Alabama, I have kids playing at Miami, Memphis. Each year it’s gotten more popular.”

TB: Just name a couple former Florida Fire Players who are playing in college now so our readers can get an idea.

Marroquin: “Eddie Jackson, plays for Alabama. He starts for them at corner as a true freshmen and he started in the bowl game. Dion Witty at Memphis and Chris Moreley at Memphis. You have Andy Garcia at Purdue, BJ Knauf at Purdue, who runs a 4.28. Tyler Cogswell at Cincinnati, Greg Hankerson at FAU. I’ve got more but I can’t remember all of them.”

TB: Now talk a little bit about this years team and give us some names that we should know for this spring.

Marroquin: “Well basically we are going to have our tryouts. We are going to have the kids that played last year coming back. Like I had Isaiah Mckenzie play for 3 years and he’s graduating with over 40 offers. It should be interesting and we should be stacked; I’ve gotten calls, text messages, emails, DM’s on twitter. You have a kid like Shawn Burgess-Becker who no one knew about and he just blew up and he’s ranked the #6 athlete in the country, Calvin Ridley he’s the #2 wide receiver in the country, Kato Nelson who just led his team as a quarterback to a State Championship. All those kids should be out there including Ronnie Huggins, Jovon Durante who just picked up a Louisville offer today. Those are kids that are coming back, but we’re going to have kids pop up that they will be asking about. Kids like Jeffrey Hill, who should have a tremendous senior season and blow up.”

TB: Go in depth on a kid like Shawn Burgess-Becker; he enters a 7 on 7 tournament with no one having an idea who he is and then two weeks later holds offers from Alabama and Miami. What type of kid is he on and off the field?

Marroquin: “Well he’s a great kid, a good family kid with great parents. You always see him with a smile and he’s very respectful. It’s great coaching kids like that and he’s a great one. He never played wide receiver in his life and he started playing receiver with 7 on 7 and he’s a natural safety and he’s just an athlete. He’s a competitor, a warrior and I’m talking about knocking somebody’s head loose and then make a great catch.”

TB: Now talk about his teammate in Calvin Ridley. Another kid who entering his junior year wasn’t talked about much, but following his terrific junior season holds offers from Alabama, Miami, LSU, Florida, Florida State and almost everyone.

Marroquin: “He is a freak; that kid there is getting a lot of looks from everybody. I got a call yesterday from USC and they should be interested. He’s getting all types of looks, Calvin is ridiculous. I’m not sure what he runs, but he’s a freak and he hasn’t stopped growing and he’s gonna be taller and obviously stronger. He does everything, he doesn’t get off the football field. He does Kick Return, then he’s there at outside linebacker and then he goes and bombs somebody for 40 yards.”

TB: Last prospect: Miami Northwestern’s Jovon Durante, everyone knows his brother sprung onto the scene late and went to FIU, but Jovon has been in the spotlight since his sophomore year at Krop. Then he transferred to Jackson and you got to see a preview of what him and Quinton “****y” Flowers would look like with your team and come fall he’s putting up ridiculous numbers at Jackson.

Marroquin: “He’s a great player, good kid. Another one that should be rated higher than what he is right now. He can jump up and make incredible catches and he’s just a great athlete. The thing about (Jovon) Durante is that you didn’t see him play DB too much like he did at Krop; he’s a tremendous safety. Like if you throw the ball deep, he’s gonna go make a play on it like a center fielder and he’s gonna bring it down. Watching him at Krop, he made some plays that made you think he was a senior. But he’s made some incredible plays as a receiver especially at Jackson; one handed catches, tippy toe catches. It’s almost unbelievable how athletic he is.”

TB: Finally coach what’s the overall goal for the Fire this year and when will the tryouts be held.

Marroquin: “Our overall goal is to win the national championship, we’ve been close last year we were in the final four, but last year I had a bunch of kids going on visits and seeing colleges and I’m not gonna stop kids from getting exposure. Our goal is to win the national championship and not just the small ones. The big thing about this year is I built another team for the Fire. The team is going to be the South team and the North team. The South team is going to have their tryout on February 1st at North Miami Stadium and I’m looking for the 2nd of February for the North Team.”

Full List of Players who have played for the Florida Fire:

Eddie Jackson—Alabama
Ahmad Fulwood—Florida
Troy McCollum—La. Lafayette
Stacey Coley—Miami
Larry Hope—Miami
Andy Garcia—Purdue
Jenson Stoshack—FAU
Adrian Burton—FAU
George Williams—La. Lafayette signee
BJ Knauf—Purdue
Brian Grove—Darthmouth
Dwayne Norman—Duke
Chris Bivins—USF
Dion Witty—Memphis
Tyler Cogswell—Cincinnati
Tyler Carmona—Navy
Robert Moore—Illinois State
Chris Moreley—Memphis
Deshawn Lindsay—Stoneybrook
David Rivers—Youngstown
Johnnie Durante—FIU
Bruce Natson—Utah State
Brandon Dagnesses—Bryant University
Terry Harden—Bethune-Cookman
Kendall Couamine—Liberty
Javonte Ham—Prairie View
Tajarvis Fuller—Illinois
Hansley Fleurejus—Oklahoma Panhandle
Molik Slade—Missouri Southern

Comments (7)

Interesting. Good stuff, perspective on the recruiting behind the recruiting.
Calvin Ridley gotta be my favorite recruit this cycle.

Dude would be the illest "measurable" recruit we've had at wide receiver since Andre Johnson. He might be a 6'3, 210 pound, legit 4.4 guy by the time he laces 'em up as a freshman. He's got Stacy Coley's hips and feet but just bigger and the same hunger for the ball in the air.

Really want Calvin
Lookout for Ronnie Huggins I'm big on this kids skill set, he's a site to watch
Calvin Ridley gotta be my favorite recruit this cycle.

Dude would be the illest "measurable" recruit we've had at wide receiver since Andre Johnson. He might be a 6'3, 210 pound, legit 4.4 guy by the time he laces 'em up as a freshman. He's got Stacy Coley's hips and feet but just bigger and the same hunger for the ball in the air.

Really want Calvin

The funny thing is that Burgess-Becker is probably even better from a measurables perspective.

Ridley is hungry, though. He spends a lot of time in the box on defense and talks **** on every play. Reminds me a lot of Marquise Lee with his passion for the game.