Yellow Jackets Quarterback Dimitri Leverett Showcases His Talent
Tue. July 17, 2012 at 10:26 p.m. | By Solange Reyner
Bartow quarterback Dimitri Leverett, shown in this 2011 file photo, has had a good summer this year in 7-on-7 passing competitions. (Photo by PAUL CRATE | LEDGER MEDIA GROUP)
By SOLANGE REYNER
LAKELAND | A Lakeland Christian defender friendly goaded the players on the Bartow sideline after Yellow Jackets quarterback Dimitri Leverett threw a beautiful scoring pass to receiver Jeremy Williams, who caught the ball in stride down the middle of the field.
"Wait and see what happens when he throws it in my direction," the defender told Bartow's players, who were now getting a little louder at the 7-on-7 contest hosted by Lakeland Christian Tuesday night.
Leverett consulted with his coach, Brett Biggs, about what the team should do on the next offensive play.
Leverett suggested a fly route to Eric Rookard down the left hand side of the field, the same side that mouthy defender was manning.
"He kept turning his back on the other plays," Leverett, a rising junior, said. "So we exposed that weakness."
Rookard dashed straight down the sideline, Leverett's throw reaching him about five yards before he crossed the goal line.
It wasn't a pressure situation, just a friendly scrimmage between skill players in Polk County on a rainy evening in Lakeland. But Leverett noticing the small hole was a minute example of how he's matured since he took over at quarterback last year.
"He's making some college-type throws," Freddie Stevenson, a linebacker who has committed to Florida State University, said. "Bit by bit he's really coming along."
People are noticing.
Last week, Leverett was named an MVP at the Big County Preps Route 9 Tournament in Tampa. In early July he won the quarterback MVP award at the National Underclassmen Combine in College Park, Ga., where Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barry Every described him as "one of the most fiery and exciting players to watch in this camp."
At that NUC invite camp, Leverett showed another side, too.
"He not only came here to show off his football skills but his versatility and toughness ... He clearly has good leadership skills."
That last part is what Biggs wants Leverett to hone in on. Leverett said he's ready to lead.
"I'll do whatever needs to be done to help this team do well," Leverett said.