- Jodie Wagner Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Akeem Dent’s offseason move to Palm Beach Central paid big dividends in 2017.
The five-star defensive back, who starred at Pahokee the previous year, helped carry the Broncos to a district championship and a berth in the Class 8A regional semifinals.
Palm Beach Central finished 8-3 this year, more than doubling its win total from last season. The Broncos finished 3-7 in 2016 and missed the playoffs.
Dent, typically a cornerback, played safety this season for Palm Beach Central and responded with a huge year.
The junior finished with 81 tackles, five interceptions, two sacks and four forced fumbles. After the season he was named a finalist for the Lou Groza Awards High School Player of the Year.
Dent came up big late in the season for Palm Beach Central, which shut out its final three regular-season opponents and then opened the postseason with a shutout of Seminole Ridge.
“It’s satisfying,” Dent said of his performance. “This is my first and only year playing safety, and actually being top-notch at that position makes me feel good.”
Dent hopes to make an even bigger impact next season for the Broncos, who are set to return a strong senior class.
In addition to Dent, defensive linemen Renato Brown, Trey Isaac and John Simon will return, as will defensive back Jesus Santiago.
“I look forward to a even bigger season at cornerback, because I’m sauce magic,” Dent said. “I get better every year.”
As for his college plans, Dent said he remains committed to FSU despite the departure of head coach Jimbo Fisher on Dec. 1. Willie Taggart, a former head coach at Western Kentucky, USF and Oregon, took over for Fisher four days later.
Dent committed to the Seminoles in July, and he plans to begin his college football career in Tallahassee.
Asked last month where he stood on his commitment to FSU, he replied, “Strong.”
Dent is rated the No. 1 cornerback in the 2019 class by 247Sports, and the No. 6 overall player in the class.