Although he's easily one of the largest prospects on the East Coast in the 2009 recruiting class, 6-foot-7, 347-pound offensive tackle Morgan Moses out of Richmond (Va.) Meadowbrook hasn't always been the biggest player on the field. In fact, Moses was a running back when he first stepped foot on the gridiron as a youngster. Make no mistake about it, he will be an offensive lineman in college and has a great chance to play on Sundays.
Danville, VAGeorge Washington
Wilson is an accomplished athlete not only on the football field, but also in track. His Coach Dan Newell said "He's ranked No. 1 in the region in the 55 meter and has qualified for nationals. We've timed him at 4.39. He is fast, that's all you need to know. He also has the second longest triple jump in the country. On the gridiron, Wilson exploded for 1,550-yards last season. "He's obviously very explosive," Newell said. "I'm not sure of his numbers, but he had 17 or 18 runs over 50-yards this season. He averaged 11.4-yards a carry which is pretty remarkable. He also only carried it 136-times and didn't get a carry in the second half of four games. He was never a feature back. He only carried it 10 to 12 times a game.
Brookville is home to one of the nation's top athletes for the class of 2009. Logan Thomas, who could play numerous positions in college and is also a basketball standout, originally didn't want to play football. However, he was convinced to join by his cousin, a star prospect in his own right for 2010. "My cousin Zack McCray actually got me into football," Thomas, a 6-foot-6, 218-pounder, said. "I didn't play until I was eight or nine. I saw how much fun he was having and I wanted to do it too."
Boyd ended the recruiting battle for his services early by pick West Virginia. His 2007 stats: 2,053 yards, 25 touchdowns, seven interceptions passing on 131 of 189 passes. Over 500 yards and seven touchdowns rushing. VirginiaPreps All-Eastern Region First Team QB, and the Region's Offensive Player of the Year! Boyd was the MVP of Nike Combine held at University of North Carolina and, according to Rivals.com's Mike Farrell looked "showed good accuracy throughout the day, a strong arm and excellent feet. He was fluid in his drops all day." And he does it on the field: led team to state championship his sophomore year, and state semifinals as a junior! Record as a starter is 25-2. Face it, Boyd is a winner! Boyd earned an Elite 11 invite!
Chesapeake, VAOscar Smith
Linebacker Jerod Askew from Oscar Smith High is developing into one of the more heavily recruited prospects from the state. Askew, who measured, 6-foot-1, 230 pounds at Rivals.com's Five-Star Academy, has a multitude of offers. One scout says he (Askew) will be a three year player in college and then on to the NFL. At a recent Nike combine held at Oscar Smith High School, linebacker Jerod Askew notched a rating of 115.38 which ranks among the top twenty ratings in the nation this year. The 6-foot-0, 222-pound rising senior achieved that mark by running a 4.67 forty, a 4.2 shuttle, and recording a 40-foot powerball throw with a 34.1-inch vertical leap. Oscar Smith Head Coach Rich Morgan calls Askew "a rare combination of size, strength and speed that's usually not seen at the high school level."
Chatham, VAHargrave Military Academy
A Michigan commit, four-star quarterback Kevin Newsome, fits the role of the dual-threat signal-caller U-M has sought since Rich Rodriguez was named head coach. Albeit, with a slight twist ... "Kevin is a better pure passer than [West Virginia's] Pat White," Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said, of the 6-3, 210-pounder. "I think Michigan will utilize him like Pat, but pass more, which makes him more of a threat. "I compare Kevin more accurately to Donovan McNabb when he was at Syracuse. He was a big, physical quarterback that could throw but ran the freeze option too and when he needed to, could tuck it and become a dangerous ball carrier." We are still not convinced that QB is the best position for Newsome, especially if he wants to play on Sundays.
Chesapeake, VAGreat Bridge
Listed at 6-foot-2, 181-pounds, Heastie, who recently was selected to play in the ESPN Under Armour Game next January, helped lead his team to the playoffs last season. As a junior he caught 58 passes for 1059 yards and scored 15 touchdowns. What makes Heastie so special? "He's extremely mature, very intelligent, and the fact that he can run faster than just about anybody on the field is another factor. That's a big decision to commit to West Virginia when he has Southern California and Florida on the line," Great Bridge Wildcats Head Football Coach Pete Gale told VirginiaPreps.com.
Woodbridge, VAWoodbridge Senior
Williams was one of the state's most prolific rushers as a junior rushing for 2,347 yards and 27 touchdowns, helping the Vikings reach the Division 6 state championship game where they lost to Westfield. Williams is also known for his strength. "When I was at the National Underclassmen Combine I think I broke the record for bench press reps," Williams said. "I did 35 or 36 at 150 pounds so I was pretty happy with how I did. I started playing football when I was four years old," Williams explained. "I was always the fastest guy out there and my coaches just told me to go when I got the ball, nothing else. Then when I turned 10 or 11 and started playing Pop Warner, I met a coach who sort of took me under his wing and really taught me how to run. He saw my potential, my speed and everything, and he taught me how to run between the tackles and become a better running back. So now I feel like I can do anything."
Virginia has found their running back of the future, a bruising tailback out of Chancellor. The 6-foot-1, 231-pounder committed to the Cavaliers over offers from Penn State, North Carolina State and Maryland. Wallace will be a tailback in the Wahoos offense. "They expect me to be running the ball," he said. "I'm 6-foot, 225-pounds and run a 4.48. I'm big as crap and have the speed to back it up. I'm not going anywhere to sit on the bench. I may not start, but I have the ability to do something."
West Springfield, VAWest Springfield
Renner, a dynamic athlete who fits the mold of a true dual-threat quarterback, likes the fact that the UNC (where he's committed) coaches are planning to spread things out with the offense in the coming years, and give their signal-callers the flexibility to beat opposing teams through the air or scrambling on the ground. Also a standout basketball and baseball player, Renner moved to quarterback during his junior season, helping the Spartans make a dramatic rise in the Patriot AAA League standings. Behind Renner's 2,749 passing yards, 598 rushing yards, and 42 all-purpose touchdowns, West Springfield finished 6-1 in league play and 10-3 overall, advancing to the third round of the state playoffs. Renner, like Tajh Boyd, has earned an invite to the Elite 11 QB camp!
Orange, VAOrange County
Hunter, a dynamic athlete, could play a number of positions at the college level, including wide receiver, safety or quarterback. Hunter plays quarterback for Orange County. As junior, he passed for more than 2,000 yards, rushed for more than 600 yards and accounted for 29 touchdowns. In the classroom, Hunter maintains a 3.5 GPA. The Rivals250 star chose Virgina over offers from Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Maryland and Stanford. Does Hunter consider his recruitment closed? "Yes, I do. I am fully committed to Virginia and I not looking at any other schools. I am very excited about the opportunity and have no reason to look anywhere else."
Stafford, VABrooke Point
At last count Collins was up to eight offers. Not bad considering he was not even a first team all district pick following his junior season. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Collins was a two-way standout last year. Ha made 73 tackles, including 12 for losses and nine sacks, and broke up seven passes. Offensively he added 12 catches for 220 yards and three touchdowns. Collins has said in previous interviews he would prefer to play defense in college, and that is where most schools are recruiting him.
Manassas, VAStonewall Jackson
The 5-foot-8, 170 pound Thigpen is also one of the top ranked sprinters in the country having logged a 6.41-55 meter run. The four star athlete had seen his stock on the rise as offers had been coming in quickly, prior to his commitment to Tennessee. As a junior, Thigpen rushed for 632 yards and scored seven touchdowns while registering 32 tackles, an interception and 8 pass break-ups on defense. Thigpen has not ruled out taking a couple of official visits this fall, but reiterated that Knoxville was his future home. "It's a great fit for me," Thigpen said. "They have everything I want in a school."
Against crosstown rival Hampton last season, Davenport used his 5-flat speed to blow up the Crabbers' line and wallop quarterback Matt Mitchell as he was attempting to deliver the ball. Davenport's team picked off the pass and registered one of two victories against its archenemy. As Davenport, the WVU defensive line commit, pounded Mitchell, he also hoisted the QB and tossed him onto the turf before the official's whistle blew. Why? "Because" as the writer who covered the game wrote, ". . . "he could." "'Baby D's' an awfully nice guy, but he has a nasty streak on the football field," says Phoebus coach Bill Dee.
Don't pay attention to the #31 ranking, Rhodes' ranking was an oversight and he belongs in the top 15. "I think he's a defensive tackle because he'll end up getting bigger, it just depends on where he goes to school," former Varina assistant coach Blanda Wolfe said. "Some are looking at strongside defensive end and others defensive tackle. He could play either way depending on the scheme. "As a player, he bends really well on the defensive side of the ball. He's around the ball every play and is a hard worker in the weight room and in school. He started as a freshman for us along the offensive line and not many people have done that,
Ashburn, VAStone Bridge
Even before the 2007 high school football season started David Wang knew where he wanted to go to college. Wang discussed what made him commit early to Virginia Tech. "I just like the whole program and campus," Wang said about his commitment. "The coaches and all the people surrounding the program are great. The coaches really helped me the most. Coach Stinespring helped me during summer camp and Coach Gray during the recruiting process. "In addition, I also like the winning tradition there. As for the defense since that's what I might play, I like how they play hard and every players work on the field." How much of a factor was his brother, Ed Wang a Virginia Tech player in the process? "The big thing he did was let me come to more games and that allowed me to get to know the coaching staff much more regularly than I would have."
Bassett coach Jay Gilbert cannot say enough good things about Miller. "He's a smart with a 3.6 GPA that is knowledgeable of the game too," he said. "He loves the weight room and has an extremely hard work ethic. His father deserves a lot of credit. "He's a kid that grew up on the farm and that's the reason NC State and Virginia Tech are high up there because he wants to go into the agriculture field. He loves working on the farm doing hard work and that has made him a better player. "I think the best thing about him is his refuse to lose attitude. He hates to lose. I can give you an example. He went to a couple of wrestling invitations and finished second. He didn't want the award and tossed it back on the table." Gilbert added some final thoughts about Miller. "He's so smart and helps me by teaching a lot of the other linemen what to do and when they are out of position," he said. "I think the sky is the limit for him. He's a good humble kid that has a lot of character and comes from a great family too."
Glen Allen, VADeep Run
Again, don't pay attention to the ranking here. Love has not played a down on Virginia soil and will certainly move up when this list is re-sorted this summer. Love transferred from the Gilman School in Maryland to Deep Run High School in Glen Allen, Va. The move did little to slow the recruiting momentum of the 6-foot, 185-pound cornerback. Love is hoping for an offer from Notre Dame. Love said his mother decided to make the move for several reasons and he's excited about finishing his high school season off at a new school. With multiple offers already in hand, Love belongs much higher in this ranking.
Glen Allen, VADeep Run
Last season Snyder was a two-way standout for Deep Run, playing tight-end on offense and defensive end on the other side of the ball. Some of Snyder's junior seasons stats: 14 receptions for 260 yards and five touchdowns. On defense, 58 tackles, eight sacks, one fumble recovery, and four interceptions, three of which he returned for touchdowns. Snyder has accumulated a lot of offers, but most expect this recruiting battle to come down between the two in-state D-I schools, Virginia Tech and Virginia. Deep Run football coach Greg Kendall says of Snyder "Jake has been one of the best pure leaders I have coached. He is someone his teammates gravitate around because of the example he sets. Rarely have I seen a player who is able to hold his teammates accountable based on the attitude, maturity and effort he brings to practice every day. Jake's teammates know what to expect from him in every situation and that gives them confidence."
Glen Allen, VADeep Run
Deep Run athlete Antone Exum had a solid junior season as he ran for 680 yards and 13 touchdowns while passing for 900 yards and 12 touchdowns. A two sport standout also starring in basketball, Exum thinks that he has the ability to make a play out of any plays, but he thinks he has a few features that put him a step above other prospects. "I am a duel-threat quarterback if you want me to I can stand in the pocket and make the reads or I can go out of the pocket and make something happen. I think that it is very hard for a defense to make me shut a play down. I try to make a play out of everything." When it comes time to make a college decision Exum thinks it could be at the end of summer, but if he is not ready he is comfortable waiting.
Chesapeake, VAOscar Smith
Oscar Smith coach Rich Morgan says of Jones: "Perry ranks among the best players in the state of Virginia. On Friday nights, I am much happier that he is on my team than on the one I'm playing against. He has no weaknesses as a player. He plays as hard as anyone that I've ever seen." Statistically, it's tough to make an argument against Morgan. Jones recorded a school-record 141 tackles in 2007, added 13 sacks, 24 tackles for loss to lead one of the state's top defenses and scored 11 touchdowns as the team's fullback. At the recent Nike SPARQ combine, Jones ran an electronically-timed 4.54 forty, recorded a 37.5-inch vertical, 4.5 shuttle, and performed 23 reps with 185 pounds on the bench.
Stephens City, VASherando
The Sherando star selected Virginia over an offer from UConn and interest from Auburn, Boston College and Georgia, among several others. Metheny passed for more than 2,200 yards and 24 touchdowns against only seven interceptions as a junior. Metheny led the Warriors to the Division 4 state title game against Amherst and unfortunately suffered a broken ankle in the first half of that game. At the time Sherando was leading, but without their star quarterback the Warriors were no match for the defending state champions Lancers who went on to win their second consecutive D-4 title. For his career, Metheny has eclipsed 6,000 passing yards and has compiled a 33-5 record as a starter. In the classroom, he maintains a 3.89 GPA and is awaiting the scores from the SAT he took recently.
Chesapeake, VAOscar Smith
The production line of wide receivers coming from Oscar Smith continues next season in Smith, a speedster with great hands and electric moves after catching the ball. Averaged over 20 yards per catch. Coach Rich Morgan: "Smith is a little bit faster than the guys last year (Boykins, Harrelson and Wilson) and has a little bit more of a burst than they had. He is the fastest and most explosive receiver that we've had and his hands are great." More from Morgan: "Of all of the receivers who I have seen, I think that he's the best in the state this year."
Ashburn, VAStone Bridge
Slay picked NC State over interest from Maryland, Auburn, Clemson and Virginia Tech. Slay was from Kennesaw, Ga., but moved to Ashburn last year after his father relocated for work. He finished with 65 tackles and six sacks. Stone Bridge finished the year 14-1 and won the state title. "All year we had the game pretty much decided at halftime, so most of those games I only played one half," he noted. Slay was picked all-district, all-region and second-team all-state. As a sophomore at Harrison High in Kennesaw, Slay was all-county after making 88 tackles and 10 sacks. He currently checks in at 6-foot-3, 270 pounds he says and he believes he will play defensive end at NC State. He was recruited by defensive line coach Keith Willis.
The 5-foot-11, 205-pounder committed to Virginia over eight other offers from Wake Forest, Arkansas, Boston College, Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Rutgers. What made Lillard decide on the Wahoos? "I've always liked Virginia since I've been down there," he said. "After the trips I compared them and nothing compared, education and football wise. I'm coming to a football team where they are getting players I know and it's a good recruiting class. "I like Coach Lineburg too. He always was sending me letters and emails. He talked to me every way he could. I like Coach Groh a lot too. He was emailing me and asking how I'm doing. He didn't act like a head coach."
Ashburn, VAStone Bridge
Thompson was an integral part of Stone Bridge's state championship team last season. The talented defensive lineman racked up over 50 tackles and four sacks on his way to be named first-team all-state. An excellent student, Thompson maintains a 3.9 GPA. Before he committed to Wake Forest, the defensive standout held offers from Boston College, Maryland, N.C. State, Syracuse, Virginia, and West Virginia. He claims that it was essentially down to N.C. State, Virginia, and Wake Forest. So what kind of player is Wake Forest getting at the defensive end position? "I would say that my strength is my best asset on the field, I feel like I can really move people around. I think I'm pretty fast, but I can definitely improve." "My brother [Patrick Thompson] is looking hard at Wake as well, so we'll see how that goes. He doesn't have an offer yet so we'll see how it plays out."
As far as recruits go, Owah has emerged as the central Shenandoah Valley's best in several years. He led the area with 1,795 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns last year, earning Massanutten District Offensive Player of the Year honors and guiding the Streaks into the Region III semifinals. Owah burst onto the scene as a sophomore in 2006, tallying an area-best 1,869 yards and 28 touchdowns. By then, he was already on U.Va.'s radar, Harrisonburg Coach Tim Sarver said. "It's been I think since his ninth-grade year that people realized he was going to be a Division I-type ballplayer," he said. "His speed is something that not many young men have, so I'm sure that's a big factor." According to a national high school combine Owah attended last summer, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds.
Hermitage coach Patrick Kane talked about his 6-foot-3, 192-pound athlete Theron Norman. "He could be a safety or a receiver at the next level," Kane said. "He's a very smooth athlete with great ball skills and very intelligent on the field. He's the kid that'll be my quarterback next year taking over for JuJu Clayton (VT signee). "He is a strong leader that knows when to say something and knows when to be calm cool and collected." Last season Norman posted 30 receptions and four touchdowns on offense. He added 32 tackles and three interceptions on defense on his way to all-district honors both ways.
Hermitage coach Patrick Kane talked about Duan Perez-Means: "We run a four-wide set, but classify him as a tight end," he said. "He also plays defensive end on the other side and it just depends on your flavor. "I know Virginia Tech and Syracuse like him on defense. Tennessee likes him as a tight end, so it just depends. He already has two offers from Syracuse and Virginia Tech and a lot more interest from Notre Dame and others. He should hear about more offers during the summer time. He is a real competitor, very intense; those are his two biggest attributes. He is also really physical," he said. "He just has to keep developing and working hard." Perez-Means posted six sacks, two interceptions and three fumble recoveries on defense last year.
Virginia recruited Bowanko to play offensive tackle. At only 16 years old, the Centreville standout measures in at 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds. Bowanko selected UVa over interest from North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia Tech, among others. He also received a late offer from Florida State. Bowanko earned first team all-district and all-region honors as a junior.