With the early offering and signing periods of the last five years or so.?
The recruiting trail game has definitely changed.?
More than ever, people already know the top seniors in the region, the
state and around the country.? Most
of the state?s top prospects have already committed.?
The uncommitted big name players such as Highland Springs Victor
Harris and Oscar Smith?s Greg Boone are well known already.?
That means except for a few great uncommitted players and the rarer and
rarer occasional dark horses, much of the senior class action is done.?
Players are taking their visits during the football season now and most
of the stories on the class of 2005 now will be about which college got who and
The ahead of the curve action now is finding the big name juniors during
their junior football seasons and not waiting until this spring.?
?Most of the I-A teams are making offers over the summer before the
football season even starts.? Many of
the top players are off the board before their senior season begins.?
So if you are recruiting nut and there must be a lot of you out there,
you need to know who the top juniors are right now.?
There are of course a few easy ones. Big name, big time skill players on
the state?s top teams such as Landstown?s Percy Harvin a 6-1 175
wide receiver/defensive back.? Harvin
has 4.4 speed and considered by many the most talented player on the Landstown
state runner-up team last year.? Harvin
won the state AAA long jump title as ?a
sophomore jumping ?24 feet. That
would be very competitive at the ?college
level. ?For the non track aficionados
that means he jumps just as well as DeAngelo Hall (Atlanta Falcons and
Virginia Tech star) and
football and track ?All American and
NFL prospect did as seniors when they were state champions as seniors.?
Another obvious one is defending state champion
?s star tailback Evan Royster.? Royster
gained 1500 yards as a sophomore and was the difference in the state title game.?
Royster already has over 1500 yards in just seven games this year for
.? Varina?sBrandon Minora 6-1 210
pound bruising tailback is also well over already 1000 yards this year after
gaining over 1300 yards as sophomore for the traditional Central Region power.
The Eastern region is sort of the
state?s golden area with recruiters with so many players produced over the
years.? When you have produced
players like Henry Jordan (Green Bay Packers Lombardi era), Norm Snead
(60?s Eagles great) to Leroy Keyes in the sixties to all time great
likes Kenny Easley, Ron Springs, Dwight Stephenson and the great Lawrence
Taylor in the seventies ?and
eighties you get that type of respect.? When
your recent products are the likes of Michael Vick, DeAngelo Hall, Dre Bly ,
Aaron Brooks, ?Plaxico Burress
and Ronald Curry the respect continues.?
I have made a bunch of people mad because I didn?t mention some Hall of
Famer but we don?t mention all of them in the article because we wouldn?t be
able to talk about anything else. ??
People used to forget northern
was in the state but the state?s most populated region has been underrated in
what it produces.? Ahmad Brooks,
Sean Glennon, Mike Imoh and Eddie Royal are very
recent products starring in college and the area has become a must stop for
national recruiters.? Meanwhile most
of the schools in the west have become A or AA but the area productivity is
really no lower.? After all this is
the area that had Keith Hamilton of the Giants, Anthony Poindexter
and Tiki and Ronde' Barber playing in the same district at the
The Central Region has been productive in its own right.?
Current pros such as Darren and Jamie Sharper, James
Farrior, Shawn Barber, Damien Woody, Erron Kinney, William Henderson,
David Terrell and Rudi Johnson represent the area and interest in the
area has increased among recruiters lately.??
This year?s senior class features Victor Harris, Jeffrey
Fitzgerald and other highly thought of national recruits.?
Things should not change drastically with the junior class.?
Leading the way with the class of 2006 may be Meadowbrook junior John
Graves.? A major factor in the
Monarchs run to the Central region division 5 title game last year,
has been even more dominating this year.? Meadowbrook
coach Bill Bowles describes
as a 6-4 255 defensive end.? Bowles
has been timed at 4.6 in the 40.? The
Meadowbrook coach says, ?He?s a very talented guy, he could do a lot of
things at the next level.? He has
excellent lateral speed and of course he has the great straight ahead speed.?
He could play tackle, end or even inside linebacker on defense.?
He has soft hands and long arms he could play up front on offense or
tight end.? On top of that, he is a
great, hardworking kid.?
Varina is always a stop on the
recruiting trail. This year Joe Johnson, Alan-Michael Cash,
Mario Lester, Daryl Cotman and Marques Charity draw the
attention.? Next year it will be a
big fast ?Varina? style tailback in Brandon Minor.?
Minor has over 1000 yards already this year, he gained a 1000 yards as a
sophomore, over 500 as a freshman.? At
6-1 210 with 4.5 to 4.6 speed and a physical running style, Minor could be the
top recruit in the area and the state at this time next year.?
Varina offensive coordinator Blanda Wolfe?
said, "The big colleges have told us that he and Royster of
Westfield will be the top two recruits in the state next year.?
We?ve already heard from people like
and of course the in state schools.? He
has Michael Robinson (current Penn State star and Varina legend) type
talent as a runner?.??? Varina
also has offensive lineman Josh Edwards, a 6-4 285 offensive tackle who
Wolfe feels will draw some interest and 6-0 170 4.5 defensive back/athlete Marvin
Highland Springs has long been a
must stop for recruiters.? People
filing in to see Victor ?Macho? Harris have already noticed 6-3 215
linebacker Jerrell Miller. Another player that Springer coach Scott
Burton expects to draw some attention is 6-1 185 4.6 wide receiver/defensive
back Darryl Dickerson. ?At
another area power LC Bird, there will be 6-3 200 ?4.5
wide receiver-defensive Kevin Grayson and 6-7 280 offensive lineman Brian
Hermitage has become a hot bed for recruiters recently and next year
should be no different.? The Panthers
have two big lineman in 6-5 320 Bryan
Hall and 6-3 315 Isaiah Hinson.?
The Panthers also have two speedsters in 6-0 185 4.5 wide
receiver-defensive back Griff Yancey ?and
5-10 190 4.5 tailback/defensive back Lorenzo Goode.?
Collegiate has 6-2 175 quarterback-receiver-defensive back Preston
Wilson, the brother of
wide receiver Harry Wilson. ??A
player several coaches mentioned who might slip under the radar is
running back ?defensive back Jimmy Young a 6-0 205 4.5 player.?
Matoaca will have quarterback Lee Haney a 6-1 180 4.7 junior who
leads the area in passing and 6-1 180 4.5 wide? receiver-defensive back Kris
Burd who leads the area in receiving yards.
Many more junior names will pop up
as the season goes on and especially when spring rolls around but this group
will be our mid season junior class starting point. ??????