SIDELINE OBSERVATIONS: High school football, a special game

Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 05:21 PM.

In less than two weeks, high school football teams across Florida officially open fall practice.

Friday nights soon will be filled with the best of what makes high school football, I believe, the greatest sport in the world.

High school is the final stopping point for most football players. A 5-foot-9, 175-pound kid can still play the line or linebacker and be successful in high school. That same kid, if fast enough, might have a chance to play receiver or defensive back at the college level.

The high school linebacker who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.9 or 5.0 seconds might not get a second look at the next level, but can excel against his high school peers.

Sometimes we are lulled into false expectations for the kids we see star on Friday night. We want to believe the running back who rips off 60-yard touchdown runs against Milton or Northview is capable of playing in the Atlantic Coast or Southeastern Conference.

The truth is that greatness in high school — even record-setting greatness — doesn’t always translate into a college football career.

I’ve seen a number of great players in my 40-plus years of following high school football.

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