TAMPA – Charlie Dean III is ready to take over the reigns of the Tampa Catholic offense.

After two seasons sitting behind 2017 Texas Southern commit Austin Sessums, the now 6’1″, 190-pound Dean is in a position to be the man under center.

Interestingly enough, Dean III didn’t take his first snap at quarterback until arriving at Tampa Catholic as a freshman. His first varsity start came last season up in New Jersey at Bergen Catholic as the team’s punter.

He’s grown from his 5’11”, 160-pound frame and looks like a totally different guy. The 2019 prospect still remembers throwing practice throws against current Auburn wide receiver and former two-way TC star Nate Craig-Myers, something he said was a wake up call.

Dean III called it nerve racking to punt at Bergen Catholic in front of 5,000 fans who were “screaming their heads off at me telling me not to shank it.”

This spring Dean III is in a competition with sophomore Willie Taggart Jr. for the starting role. The Tampa Catholic coaching staff took Dean III off the punt team in a move to protect his health. That is a huge indication of his importance.

Entering varsity season No. 3, he watched plays develop, took a few snaps under center and plenty of mental reps behind Sessums, but now he is going to be the guy to lean on.

“I think it has helped me out now because I can think of things easier,” Dean told Prep Sports Scouting. “If he made a mistake, I can remember those mistakes in my head and to watch out for that.”

2017 playmakers Devan Barrett (Auburn), Bentlee Sanders (USF) and Darius Corbett (Toledo) are all gone, but the Crusaders are full of athletes. Tampa Catholic finished 6-4 before losing to Berkeley Prep in the Class 3A region final.

Dean III has a plethora of weapons including 2018 wide receiver Kijah Kelly, 2019 wide receivers Ahmarean Brown, Spenser Wong and 2019 running back Jalen Bussey and 2020 wide receiver Chris Murray.

“We are fast, very very fast,” Dean III said. “I’m late on some of my throws, not because I’m late but because they are too fast. Defenses are going to have to react very quick. Their speed is on another level.”

Playing with this group the past two seasons with the practice team, Dean III says the chemistry has always been there and it is only getting better.

As for the projected success this fall, he says that with more team goals implemented he feels that will help his group make a deep run this year.

Dean III started sports at age 6 with baseball and football. He was a wide receiver, tight end and safety up until high school. He pitches for the Tampa Catholic baseball team.

He says baseball helps with his accuracy as a quarterback, but in terms of going back to football after a season on the mound is hard because you are throwing to such a precise area in baseball.

Dean III pointed to his arm strength, the ability to anticipate windows and accuracy as his best assets. He’s aiming to improve his running and scrambling to extend plays.

He earned his first offer last month from Toledo. Interest from Florida, Yale, Kentucky, Maryland, South Carolina and Maryland are out there for him.

Playing for fifth year Tampa Catholic head coach Mike Gregory is something Dean III thoroughly enjoys.

“It’s a little fearful at times but it also a lot of fun because he can open up the offense a lot,” Dean III said. “He [Gregory] excepts the best out of you. He’s always productive and getting the best out of his players.”

Football runs in the family

Dean’s father Charlie Dean II played tight end at the University of Florida and in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers in 1994. Also, his younger brother, Austin is a rising freshman at Berkeley Prep.

Dean III appreciates his dad’s help because he says he knows what he’s talking about.

“Whenever we are talking football, you know you can trust him because he’s been there and done everything that I’m going to be done,” Dean III said. “It’s helpful to lead you along the way.”

His workouts are pretty intense because he takes what he did in high school, college and in the NFL and makes you do the rest of it. We train at the YMCA and a football field near our house. He built a homemade sled, a pull that every day.”

His goal is to get to the point where he gets paid to play the game of football.

“Hopefully, I graduate early and spend the last year not studying just playing football,” Dean III said. “I’d like to be around the sport when it is done, so maybe a sports analyst.”

He is a confident and poised kid. If anyone is prepared for his first varsity start at quarterback at a program like Tampa Catholic, it is Dean III. Look for him to breakout in a large way for the Crusaders. The looks are coming and with more muscle to his frame, the more dangerous he’ll be.

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Quick Hitters

Favorite players to watch – Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
Playlist before games – Guns N’ Roses “Welcome to the Jungle”
Favorite movies – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Favorite TV shows – Prison Break
Fun fact that you think nobody knows – “My dad played college football and in the NFL”
Nicknames from teammates or friends – “Gerber Baby”, “C3”

Game film: Dean’s Hudl tape

Photo credit: 247 Sports

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

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