The Next Level is a weekly feature on how former area sports standouts are playing in college. This week we feature Micah Potter at Ohio State University, Adrienne Jackson at the University of North Florida and D-Juan Taylor-Hodge at Santa Fe College. If you know of a former area athlete excelling at the next level, email Sports Editor Paul Jenkins at

Micah Potter returned to his home state to play at one of college basketball’s top programs after honing his talents in Lake County.

After spending the 2015-16 season at Montverde Academy under coach Kevin Boyle, Potter is getting significant playing time in his freshman season at Ohio State under longtime coach Thad Matta.

Potter has played in all 10 games for the Buckeyes, who are 8-2 after beating the University of Connecticut 64-60 on Saturday. He is averaging 4.4 points and 3.7 rebounds in 16.6 minutes per game.

Potter has put together a solid rookie campaign from three-point range, draining shots at a 47-percent clip from behind the arc.

Potter’s best game, points-wise, was Nov. 14, when he scored 13 in a 69-63 win against North Carolina Central. Arguably, his best all-around game was Nov. 25 against Marshall when Potter produced his first collegiate double-double — 12 points and 12 rebounds — in a 111-70 win.

At Montverde Academy last year, Potter averaged 10.7 points and 5.5 rebounds and was named team MVP. He played his junior year at Mentor High School in Mentor, Ohio, where he averaged 20.2 points per game and was a first team All-State performer.

Next up for Ohio State is UCLA in Las Vegas at 3 p.m. on Saturday. The game will be televised on CBS.


Adrienne Jackson, Basketball, University of North Florida

Former Leesburg standout Adrienne Jackson spent the first month of her freshman season at the University of North Florida recovering from preseason knee surgery and showed some rust in her first game on Saturday against Edward Waters in Jacksonville.

The 5-foot-9 guard played 18 minutes and shot 2 of 9 from the field — including 0-for-3 from behind the three-point line — in the Osprey’s 70-50 win. She scored 4 points, pulled down 6 rebounds and was second on the team with 2 steals.

Her performance was a far cry from her days with the Yellow Jackets, where she scored more than 1,000 points in her career and averaged a double-double — 13.3 points and 10.4 rebounds — as a senior.

Jackson helped the Yellow Jackets to a 24-1 record as a junior and a berth in the Class 6A Elite Eight. Last year, Leesburg reached the regional semifinals before losing to Orlando Bishop Moore on a last-season shot.

Jackson is expected to play again at 7 p.m. Tuesday when the North Florida hosts Morehead State in Jacksonville.


D-Juan Taylor-Hodge, Basketball, Santa Fe College

D-Juan Taylor-Hodge has always been able to score the basketball.

He filled up the baskets during his prep career at Leesburg High School, and Taylor-Hodge hasn’t missed a step at the next level.

In his first 14 games at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Taylor-Hodge has emerged as the Saints’ third-leading scorer, averaging 10.5 points per game. He has reached double figures in six games, including a career-high 24 points in a 95-92 win against Miami Dade College on Dec. 3.

Taylor-Hodge, who has helped Santa Fe to a 10-4 record, is shooting at a 40.8-percent clip.

The 6-foot-3 guard has pulled down 6.3 rebounds per game and had a single-game high of 9 rebounds on Nov. 22 against Polk State in a 74-63 win.