4 lifelong friends from American Heritage to take part in historic NFL draft

(WSVN) - This year’s NFL draft is loaded again with numerous prospects from South Florida.

The American Heritage Patriots are on the cusp of making history this year that is sure to be talked about for years to come.

Who could forget the American Heritage Patriots 2018 signing day? Seven players signed letters of intent to power five conference schools.

“The group has a bunch of great athletes,” said former Georgia cornerback Tyson Campbell. “It just breeds results like that.”

Next weekend, Campbell, Patrick Surtain II, Anthony Schwartz and Marco Wilson will all likely hear their names called during the first two days of the NFL draft.

“I knew we were going to be special ball players in the future,” said Surtain II. “We worked towards it, we worked towards our goal and it led us to this point.”

Despite their successful football careers, it was the time on the track that was most impressive.

Back in 2017 when Wilson was a senior and the other three were juniors, the four speedsters blew away a highly touted field to take home the 4x100m state relay championship.

“Whether it be football or track, we always pushed each other to compete and work hard and achieve the ultimate goal which was to win,” said Campbell.

While winning was a part of these American Heritage Patriots’ DNA, the boys believed the friendly competition they had amongst themselves was the key to their success.

“Every day you’re going against the best of the best,” said Schwartz. “Sometimes they gave me trouble, sometimes I gave them trouble but it’s just something that we all did. We all grinded against each other, all sharpened each other.”

The quartet of athletes first met when they were 8 years old.

Their high school coach is former Miami Dolphin Patrick Surtain.

“To see them get drafted the same year is going to be a really special moment for everybody,” said Surtain.

“It’s crazy just thinking about how long we’ve known each other, ever since we were little and now going on the biggest stage of our lives,” said Surtain II.

From American Heritage to the SEC and now the NFL, their brotherhood is only getting started.

“I’m just really happy for my friends, really happy for myself,” said Wilson. “There’s still a lot of work to be put in, but all the work we put in before this is what got us to this point.”

“Just to see them grow and, you know, brothers — guys who are going to be around after football, that’s what it’s all about, man,” said Surtain. “Football is not going to last forever but brotherhood will.”

Next weekend, Campbell, Surtain II, Schwartz and Wilson will be joined by three other American Heritage Patriots for the draft.

This will set a record for the most players selected from one high school in one NFL draft with a total of seven.

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