In 2014, junior tight-end John Raine played his first varsity season for Westminster Christian. It proved to be a successful year as Raine helped push the Warriors to a Regional Finals appearance in the Florida 3A Playoffs.
“I had a good season,” Raine said. “I took care of what I had to do. You always wish you could do more, but I think we had a great season overall with it being my first year playing varsity. I didn’t get a lot of touches, but I had three touchdowns on six touches. I scored on two carries and I had a few catches too.
“I’m a mismatch. I beat some other guys with my size and I beat bigger guys with my speed.”
Hailing from Miami, Florida, Raine checks in at 6’3” and 235 pounds. This display of size and athleticism has drawn considerable interest from several schools in the Sunshine State. Two programs from the SEC are pursuing Raine as well.
“I was recently offered by Florida Atlantic,” Raine said. “I’ve been hearing from Miami a lot, Florida, Mississippi State, Alabama, FIU, UCF, and that’s about it right now.”
Although several of Raine’s current suitors are located in his home state of Florida, distance is not going to be a prevailing factor in his recruitment, which he says could last until after his senior season.
“I don’t think distance is involved at all,” Raine said. “I want to go to a great program, a program that feels like family with great academics so I can get my education.”
Raine took a recent trip to Florida Atlantic University and recalls a very positive experience as it was his first time on the Owls’ campus
“I was happily surprised when I got to their campus,” Raine said. “I thought it was going to be smaller. The campus is big and the facilities are nice. They are actually building a whole new locker room and athletic facility for the football team that will be done in a year and a half.
“The way I got offered was I sat down in a room with the head coach Partridge and great coaching staff, great people, and he let me know in his office.”
Right now, Florida Atlantic is in high standing with Raine, but other programs certainly have his attention. Most notably, Raine visited Alabama over the weekend.
“I mean, it’s a first class program and you get that vibe when you walk into the school,” Raine said. “Everything is big just like how you expect it to be. First class program.”
At Westminster Christian, Raine is being coached by a former NFL running back–Sedrick Irvin–who attended Michigan State. This provides Raine with a great resource as to how to approach the recruiting process.
“Coach Sedrick is just a guy who’s been through all phases of football,” Raine said. “I actually talked to Alabama through coach Cristobal and we just talked from there, so [Irvin] didn’t help there, but he talks to me about the recruiting process and how to take it because he’s been through it.”
While Irvin was a Spartan in college, Raine would openly entertain recruitment from Michigan State’s rival, the Michigan Wolverines.
“I know people on the coaching staff, the [passing game] coordinator,” Raine said. “Jedd Fisch is the one that I’m familiar with. He recruited a quarterback from my high school. He is actually playing baseball at U-M. He recruited him, so he let me know who he is. I’ve heard he’s a great guy with an offensive mindset and I want to get to know him.”
With his recruitment gaining steam quickly, Raine is eager for what comes next.
“I’m excited for the spring and the summer,” Raine said. “Due to the personnel on my team in front of me last year, I think this is my breakout year. I’m expecting a lot this season…a lot of touches, a lot of touchdowns, a lot of sacks and a lot of tackles. Pretty much dominating the whole game of high school football.”