Guarionex Rivera isn’t a guy who grew up playing the game of football as a kid. He grew up in Miami, Florida and the area he comes from is rough but it forced him to become tough and become his own person quickly. Unfortunately, that also involved leaving some friends behind to focus on football.
He started playing as recently as his junior year (2015) at South Miami Senior High School, and he knew he had the talent to play the game in his first game against Varela High School which was a close loss 38-32 at the beginning of the season. He recorded 55 tackles and one interception in 2015.
“…Why I like it, I’m an aggressive person [on the field], I like contact,” Rivera said. He admires Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu because he’s aggressive regardless of his size.
As far as who has had the biggest influence in his life, he says his mother and his sister have kept him focused on the important things.
“They changed me, that’s a fact. I would always hang around the wrong people so my sister changed that around [for me] and took me away from those things. Other people started coming to me saying, ‘Oh, you should play football,’” he said.
South Miami Senior High defensive coordinator Donald Jackson has been very impressed with what he has seen out of Guarionex Rivera in the short time that he has been coaching him.
“He has come quite far. I had the opportunity to coach him last year which was my first [year] coaching him and pretty much his first year of high school. From that time being until now, he’s actually ahead of the curve and better than some of the athletes that have been playing their whole entire life,” Jackson said.
Jackson also said that Rivera is always eager to improve and he detailed a conversation the two had a while back when I spoke with him in late June.
“He still has a whole lot of room for improvement. As a matter of fact, last night we had a conversation over text and he [asked] me ‘what can I do to improve?’ and I was just letting him know that there is always room to improve on the little things,” Jackson said. “[For example], when we don’t have practice, take that time to go work on your craft or just work on the mental aspects of the game; don’t try to overthink it, just let it come to you naturally.”
Guarionex Rivera is not ranked by any of the major recruiting services and hasn’t received a scholarship offer yet. He does have high interest in Appalachian State and said that his commitment decision will come when a school makes it known that they want him and he feels comfortable with them on and off the field. See his highlight film here.
“It’s actually been well. It’s going well for me. College coaches have been coming to me and talking to me. I just have to remain humble and keep working hard,” Rivera said about how the recruiting process is going.
Jackson and Rivera attended a Florida A&M University camp at ASA College in Miami and a former colleague of Jackson’s, ASA College tight ends coach, Larry Williams talked to Rivera about his explosiveness.
“…He was just talking to [Guarionex] after the camp letting him know there are still a couple of things that he needs to work on like when he’s coming out of his breaks, he needs to show a little bit more explosiveness. He showed great explosiveness but [Larry] wanted to see a little bit more explosiveness. Other than that, that was pretty much it,” Jackson said.
Off the field, physical therapy is something that Guarionex Rivera would like to study in college because he likes training and helping people when they’re hurt. When his time is all said and done at South Miami Senior High, he said he’ll miss his coaches and teammates and wants to be remembered as someone who stayed when the team was at a low point in addition to being someone people can trust and depend on.
“The thing I will remember most about him being a part of this football program is being a tenacious football player. This guy is what, in his second year playing football and I’ve seen a lot of other players that have played four years in high school and he’s already ahead of the curve. Some of those guys that have played [all] four years still haven’t caught up or won’t be at his level and where he’s at. He still has room to grow,” Jackson said.
Heisman Trophy Finalists Include Joe Burrow, Justin fields, Jalen Hurts, Chase Young
The finalists for the Heisman Trophy have been unveiled and LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields and defensive end Chase Young are headed to New York this weekend for the 85th edition of the award for the most outstanding college football player.
The winner will be announced on Saturday night during a ceremony that kicks off at 8pm est on ESPN.
“In my opinion, he should win it,” LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said, according to ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura. “In my opinion, he’s going to win it. The best thing about Joe is he’s a team player. All he wants to do is win this game. Individual awards are not high on his list. That’s what makes him such a great team player.”
While Burrow may have the most momentum heading into the ceremony, and is the likely number 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Young is the first Ohio State defensive player to finish in the top four in Heisman voting, and Young is the first defensive player from the Big Ten to do so since Michigan’s Charles Woodson won the award all the back in 1997.
Young led the nation with 16.5 sacks and in tackles for loss per game with 1.9.
Additionally, Ohio State is the seventh school to have multiple players invited to the Heisman ceremony in the same year, but the first to have both an offensive player and a defensive player.
Rutgers Brings Back Greg Schiano with Eight-Year, $32 Million Deal
Rutgers is bringing back Greg Schiano as their head coach following a lengthy negotiation process that has led to an eight-year, $32 million deal, according to ESPN.
“Today we open the next great chapter for Rutgers Football,” Rutgers athletic director Pat Hobbs said. “Coach Schiano is absolutely the best person to lead our program. He brings a quality of leadership and integrity that will make all of us proud in the years ahead. I couldn’t be more excited for our student-athletes and our fans.
“A lot of hard work lies ahead, but we will all keep chopping together with Coach to achieve success in the Big Ten. We all know what the goal is and we all must do our part. I can’t express enough appreciation to Greg and Christy Schiano, the first family of Rutgers Football. Welcome back!”
Schiano went 68-67 from 2001-2011 as Rutgers head coach.
“Rutgers University and this football program have meant the world to me and my family,” Schiano said in a statement put out by the school. “I arrived here in 2000 with the goal to build a program that would be a source of pride for the state of New Jersey and develop great young men. I look forward to embracing that challenge once again. This is a great opportunity for all of Rutgers to pull together to get us back to where we all know we belong. It will take everyone on this campus and in the State of Rutgers to get this done.”
Schiano left Rutgers in 2012 to become the head coach of the Tamp Bay Buccaneers, in a tenure that lasted just two years.
“I commend Rutgers Athletics Director Pat Hobbs and Coach Schiano for reaching an agreement following very complex negotiations to bring on this new, exciting chapter for Rutgers Athletics,” Rutgers President Robert Barchi said. “We are all thrilled to welcome Coach Schiano. He is the right coach at the right time to build our Big Ten football program into a long-running source of pride for Rutgers.”
Ole Miss Fires Matt Luke
Ole Miss is moving on from head coach Matt Luke, who was fired on Sunday following three seasons at the helm of the Rebels.
“After evaluating the overall trajectory of our football program, we did not see enough momentum on the field and determined a change is necessary in order for our student-athletes to compete at the highest level” Athletics director Keith Carter said in an official statement.
“While improvements were evident in certain aspects of the program, we are judged ultimately by our record, and, unfortunately, we did not meet the standard of success that we expect from our program. We will always be grateful to Coach Luke for his leadership, particularly from a recruiting, academic and overall culture standpoint. At the same time, winning is important, and we know that we can compete for championships at Ole Miss.
“A search is underway to find a new head coach who can build a complete program that attracts top talent, develops them as young men and sustains a winning mentality. We will be looking for the leadership, energy and commitment to excellence necessary to compete in the Southeastern Conference and galvanize our passionate fan base.”
Luke compiled a 15-21 record during his tenure at Ole Miss.
According to the Clarion Ledger’s Nick Suss, the firing of Luke was not well-received by some of the players, with some storming out of the team meeting angry over the decision.
Many are speculating that the Egg Bowl was what set the firing in motion. However, it is worth noting that attendance was becoming an issue in the midst of a losing season, and with a new athletic director in the fold, change was likely coming sooner or later.
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