CLEWISTON – Take a look at Wellestey Madurie’s face, and what you’ll immediately notice is his quiet passion and pride for the game of football.
The Clewiston 2018 cornerback doesn’t say much, unless he’s really comfortable with you. But once Madurie steps on the field, his play and execution will say a whole lot about him and the opposition he faces.
Case in point: In Clewiston’s 28-0 home loss to Pahokee last season, Madurie placed himself in position to make a potential game-changing play.
Reading the eyes of Pahokee 2017 quarterback Tyrone Smith, the 5-11, 165-pound cornerback simply followed every move he made as he tried to get the ball to a receiver for a Pahokee touchdown. But Madurie stepped in front of Smith’s target and came up with the end-zone interception, running the ball a few yards so Clewiston’s offense can get on the field with some room to work with.
It was Madurie’s best overall play of his junior season at Clewiston.
“I like being physical from the get go,” Madurie said. “That’s what happened when I made the play.”
Madurie, who registered 17 tackles, 13 pass breakups, and 5 interceptions as a junior, had another stellar game in Clewiston’s home game against Glades Central, a 22-6 upset win that gave his team the FHSAA’s final District 7-4 title. He was guarding future Oregon State athlete Quantino Allen and allowed no catches, while also having 5 tackles and 3 pass breakups in the process.
“Shut down,” he said of his performance against Allen.
The rising star has taken his talents into the offseason, where he’s been competing with the Palm Beach Fire 7-on-7 team. In two Open Run performances, the Florida Fire Showcase, and one other practice last month, Madurie has been holding his own with the likes of fellow defensive backs Akeem Dent (Palm Beach Central; No. 1 cornerback in the Class of 2019) Gurvan Hall (Palm Beach Lakes; No. 1 defensive back in the Class of 2018), Mike Nestor (Olympic Heights), and Vincent Redmond (Palm Beach Lakes).
“I feel like I’m doing alright now,” he said. “But I know I can get better. Just learning new things and all the plays. I’m so used to playing man and getting physical.”
At this time, Madurie doesn’t have a scholarship offer. But he has drawn interest from the likes of Cincinnati, Marshall, and FAU.
“I just feel like I’m overlooked because I’m in a small city,” he said. “I just go place to place and try to show my talent, so I could get offered and go off to college.”
Madurie hopes that one day, more players from Clewiston can land FBS offers on a consistent basis. Other than Tyrin Summers (2016 wide receiver; Cincinnati), Reginald Henderson (2016 wide receiver; Middle Tennessee State), and Davis Witt (2016 quarterback; Middle Tennessee State), there have been few, if any, players that went off to any FBS school for college football in the last 10 years.
“Nobody really knows about Clewiston,” he said. “Like I said before, we’re in a small city and we’re far away from everything. I just hope I can do my part to get college scouts to look at all of us a lot more.”
We will be closely following Madurie’s progress from now until the day he signs with a college in 2018. Stay tuned for further updates.
Photo credit: Devon Poitier, Sr./King J Photos