TAMPA – Plant head coach Robert Weiner fell short of a fifth state title this past season but entering year No. 14 along the sidelines, expect the Panthers to flourish once again.

Fresh off a 13-1 campaign which ended in the Class 7A state final against powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas, Plant was back to work. I caught their Tuesday practice session at Dad’s Stadium.

Weiner keeps an intense pace and has his players on their toes throughout the day. Here are some of my takeaways from the hot afternoon out at Plant watching the 2017 Panthers.

—2018 tight end/defensive end Judge Culpepper looks even bigger all around. Weiner says his body control has improved and that bodes well for Culpepper, a hot commodity from high Division-I programs. He is a top-end blocker on offense and a strong rusher off the edge on defense.

—2018 quarterback Jordan McCloud is going to have a huge senior season. Coming over from Sickles, Weiner is excited to get the best out of McCloud. Coach Weiner told me that what he usually does in two years, he’ll have to do in four months with McCloud. The quarterback looked very comfortable in the Plant offense.

—2019 running back/cornerback Leonard Parker was nearly unstoppable on offense. Out of the backfield, there was no better performer than Parker on the afternoon. He simply has fun out there. His vision and speed are a dangerous combo.

—2018 running back/cornerback Ty Thompson excelled in coverage. That is a spot where he can handle spot duty while doing damage out of the backfield once again. The kid is a mismatch wherever he lines up on the field.

—2018 wide receiver Adam Kim rarely dropped passes thrown his way. He’s going to be a reliable asset for this offense.

—2019 wide receiver/safety Cameron Shaw is going to make a splash on offense. He routinely caught one-handed passes. His length and speed is something that will help him win 1-on-1 battles this season. Weiner is very impressed by his progression so far.

—2017 Indiana commit, Juwan Burgess was out at practice, pumping up players and preaching his words of wisdom. He’s going to be in for a big offensive role as an athlete for the Hoosiers.

Final thought

Plant is going to be a top team in the Tampa area once again. Under Weiner, it is hard to ever rule them out from making deep runs. This is a very athletic group. Younger than in the past, but there is the explosion on both sides of the ball. Weiner will find a way to get the best out of his guys.

Jake Perper is the founder of Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.

2 comments

  1. The secret to Robert Weiner’s success has and will always be the strength of his volunteer assistants and coordinators. Period. These coaches range from having played and coached in college to ex NFL players that play integral roles in the success of the players and the program. The facts surrounding this are hardly ever mentioned when an article such as this is written.

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