CB commit goes out a champion

Thomas Finnie, left
Thomas Finnie, left

At least one incoming freshmen will join South Carolina’s football program after winning a 2010 state championship.

USC commitment Thomas Finnie, a corner from Miami Central, helped the Rockets win the Florida Class 6A title with a 42-27 win over Dr. Phillips (Fla.) at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando Saturday.

Finnie, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound corner, started the game and played a role in Central’s first title. He had two tackles and two pass breakups.

Miami-Dade County is considered the nation’s most fertile recruiting ground. Central’s win helped further cement that assumption.

Schools from the greater Miami area have now won 11 state championships in Class 6A, the state’s largest, since 1993. No other county has produced more than one champion over that time period.

"I'm just so happy for the fans and the community," Central coach Telly Lockette said.

Dr. Phillips featured a high-octane offense, but Finnie and Co. held their title-game opponent to 238 yards. Dr. Phillips quarterback Nick Patti threw for 203 yards but was just 9-of-24 and had two interceptions.

The Rockets, who started the season ranked No. 2 nationally by USA Today, finished the season with 14 consecutive wins after losing their opener to Camden County (Ga.).

Before beginning preparations to play collegiately, Finnie will play one more high school game.

He is scheduled to participate in the 16th-annual Nike South Florida All-Star Football Game on Jan. 6 in North Miami Stadium. The game brings together the best players in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.