St. Thomas Aquinas has been a national high school football powerhouse for quite some time now. Aquinas has put an astounding 142 players into an FBS school since 2004, 58 more than Miami Central, the next highest school. The man at the helm for St. Thomas is Coach Roger Harriott. Coach Harriott is in uncharted territory as this is the first year since he arrived at St. Thomas that Aquinas is not the defending 7A state champions. Despite not meeting their goals last year, Coach Harriott is pleased by what he has seen from his team so far.
“I think we are off to a great start,” Harriott said. “We are fortunate to be healthy so far and our guys have exemplified some excitement, maturity, and leadership. I am looking forward to taking on the 2018 season.”
The mindset that St. Thomas as a team has taken this fall makes one think they are very hungry to avenge their playoff disappointment last year.
“Just in general the development and focus and excitement about buying into our “win now” motto and our “you go, we go” mantra. They are really buying into the coaches’ guidance and direction. They have done a great job of being receptive to our parenting and instruction and holding each other accountable.”
There are many players that stand out to Coach Harriott at being both team leaders and just really good football players. One of those players is none other than Coach Harriott’s nephew and Hurricane’s commit Anthony Solomon.
“Solomon has a very high football IQ. He’s my nephew so he is surrounded by football. He is like a coach on the field. More important than that, he has an extremely healthy spirit. He is devoted to God and his family and that is what enables him to perform at such a high level on game days.”
Avery Huff has really impressed Coach Harriott and the entire St. Thomas staff since he transferred in after last season from McArthur.
“Huff is athletic enough to play any position on the field, in all three phases of the game. Don’t be surprised if you see Huff on offense, defense, and special teams. He’s an introverted person and he lets all of his passion out on the field and he is exciting to watch.”
The 3rd and final current Miami commit that Harriott talked about is defensive tackle Jason Munoz, who is coming off a junior season which saw him sidelined to injury.
“Munoz is a man amongst boys. He’s developed over the past offseason. He put on height and weight. He has matured into a very good member of our program and we are looking forward to him having a positive season. He is going to continue to grow. His best days are ahead of him.”
Coach Harriott also talked about what he has seen from another transfer from Dillard and Miami target, Braylen Ingraham.
“Braylen is a mild mannered individual with a lot of potential, size, and ability. He is a fierce competitor, really mature, and a really good leader. I’ve seen him evolve into a leader over the past several months.”
Yet another Miami target and transfer from Monarch that has impressed the coaching staff since he arrived is 2020 athlete Xavier Restrepo.
“Restrepo is a very talented individual. He can produce in all three phases of the game. He is an extremely exciting player to watch. He is extremely dynamic, but more importantly he is a really good person and a great role model around the team on and off the field.”
St. Thomas has, count it, five linebackers with a Miami offer. With so much talent at one position, you have to wonder how they will get them all on the field at the same time.
“We have a brotherhood at St. Thomas and we’ll put together a rotation with equal opportunity there. We want all of our players to have a positive experience, so we will do a great job as coaches to facilitate their needs.”