TheSabre.com Top 30

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The Pre-Season Top 30 looks significantly different from its predecessor, the Pre-Summer Top 30. The main reason for these changes is that I was able to thoroughly view and study more videos and talk to more coaches over the course of the summer. After studying these videos, here is my opinion on how the Virginia State Top 30 should be ranked.

I will update the list monthly up until the end of the high school season, when I will release a Post-Season Top 30 list.

THE TOP TEN


Let the shake-up begin. The new number one prospect in the state is Robinson defensive end Olu Hall . Over the off-season, Hall has added ten pounds of muscle to his 6-4 frame. He now weighs 220 pounds and feels stronger heading into his senior season. Hall will start at defensive end for the third consecutive season on one of the state’s top programs. He is technically sound, knowing how to use his long arms to fend off blockers before springing in to make the tackle. In college, the athletic and versatile Hall could play outside linebacker or defensive end. The potential is there to be great at either position.


At 6-3, 210 pounds, Culpeper’s Kent Hicks flies around the ball with his tremendous 4.4 speed. The number two prospect in the state is an intimidator at safety, which is the position he will play in college. As a junior, he made over 100 tackles and picked off ten passes, including four in one game.


Here is where the rankings get tough. Really, the players in slots three through seven are interchangeable in my opinion. I decided on the most explosive player in the state – Westfield wide receiver Eddie Royal – as the number three player in Virginia. Royal is a threat to score on offense and special teams, where he had five returns for touchdowns as a junior. Using blazing speed to weave through defenses, he can turn any play into six points. Though he is small in stature at 5-10, 170 pounds, Royal plays strong and has great hands.


Two linebackers fill out the top five, and they are Hermitage middle linebacker Andrew Bowman and Kecoughtan outside linebacker Jerod Mayo . Bowman played on the outside as a junior, but moves to the middle this season to utilize his superior speed and field coverage. The 6-1, 230 pound Bowman is the nastiest hitter in the state. On two plays last season, he knocked the helmet off of the opposing team’s ball carrier.


At number five, Mayo is an excellent all-around ‘backer who covers the entire field. He excels in pass coverage and can stuff the run. Mayo plays well in the big games, as he made a big interception and several big tackles in a close loss to the eventual state champ Phoebus Phantoms last season.


When evaluating St. Anne’s Belfield star Chris Long , the one knock will always be his level of competition. There is no denying his potential, however. Long is technically sound at both the defensive end and offensive tackle positions. At 6-4, 260 pounds, he is strong, moves extremely well, and possesses great closing speed. The obvious position for him to play would be defensive end, just like his Hall-of-Fame father Howie Long, but he looks very good on the offensive side of the ball as well.


Smooth and steady describe Westfield signal-caller Sean Glennon . Oh yeah, there is also a lot of talent in the state’s top quarterback. Over his sophomore and junior seasons, the 6-4, 190 pound quarterback has completed 65% of his passes and thrown 42 touchdowns with only seven interceptions. Needless to say, efficiency is his one of his strengths. Poise is another. Glennon plays like a seasoned veteran, constantly keeping his eyes focused downfield. While he is not the most athletic quarterback around, Glennon can move around the pocket.


A new name on the list, and coming in at number eight, is Gar-Field defensive end Clint Sintim . The 6-4, 250 pound Sintim climbed the recruiting ranks earlier this year after receiving offers from nine schools, including Virginia, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, and Maryland among others. According to Gar-Field head coach Jim Poythress, some college coaches have called Clint “the best player they’ve seen in the state.” He is a very strong player who benches 350 pounds and squats 500 pounds. Disappointed in his junior season, Sintim is looking to prove those coaches right with a great senior year.


Graham’s star running back/safety Ahmad Bradshaw is number nine. Like Royal, Bradshaw is small in stature (5-10, 180 pounds) but plays with tremendous heart and determination. As a junior, he rushed for 2,282 yards and scored 27 rushing touchdowns, adding 36 receptions for 389 yards and three touchdowns. Bradshaw’s favorite position is safety. He may be too small to play his favorite position in college, but has the agility, speed, and tackling ability to be a very good corner.


Rounding out the Pre-Season Top 10 is William Campbell RB/DB Cedric Peerman . Peerman has good burst once he sees a hole and has the speed to break big plays. A shifty runner who shows good elusiveness, Peerman isn’t afraid to run over would-be tacklers.

PRESEASON TOP 30


1 – DE/OLB Olu Hall – 6-4, 220 pounds, Robinson
Pre-Summer Rank: 14
Hall has the versatility and potential to be a star at linebacker or defensive end in college. Technically sound, fast, and very skilled at the defensive end position.


2 – S Kent Hicks – 6-3, 210, Culpeper
Pre-Summer Rank: 7
Hicks is an intimidator – a big hitter who can stuff the run. Speed and good instincts make him a good pass defender as well.


3 – WR Eddie Royal – 5-10, 170, Westfield
Pre-Summer Rank: 15
The most explosive player in the state, Royal can make any play into a touchdown. Returned five kicks for TD’s and scored 11 receiving touchdowns as a junior. Nike Camp MVP in Blacksburg.


4 – LB Andrew Bowman – 6-1, 230, Hermitage
Pre-Summer Rank: 13
Biggest hitter in the state. Bowman will switch to the middle this season to utilize his tremendous speed.


5 – LB Jerod Mayo – 6-2, 216, Kecoughtan
Pre-Summer Rank: 2
An excellent pass defender, Mayo covers running backs and wide receivers. He can also lay a pretty big hit.


6 – DL/OT Chris Long – 6-4, 260, St. Anne’s-Belfield
Pre-Summer Rank: 8
Has great closing speed. Moves around defenders very well for someone his size. Punishes defenders as an offensive tackle. Committed to Virginia.


7 – QB Sean Glennon – 6-4, 190, Westfield
Pre-Summer Rank: 1
The top quarterback in the state, Glennon combines poise, pocket presence, accuracy, and a good arm. Primarily a pocket passer, Glennon can move around well and keep plays alive. Committed to Virginia Tech.


8 – DL Clint Sintim – 6-4, 250, Gar-Field
Pre-Summer Rank: unranked
New to the rankings. One of the strongest players in the state. Versatile enough to play DE or DT in college.


9 – ATH Ahmad Bradshaw – 5-10, 180, Graham
Pre-Summer Rank: 4
Looking to match unbelievable junior season. Plays with a lot of passion and grit. Very explosive on either side of the ball.


10 – RB/DB Cedric Peerman – 5-11, 195, William Campbell
Pre-Summer Rank: 6
Good-sized running back possesses game-breaking ability. Could play cornerback in college as well. Committed to Virginia.


11 – RB Brandon Ore – 6-2, 195, Indian River
Pre-Summer Rank: unranked
Another prospect new to the list. Had a good junior year, rushing for 963 yards and eleven touchdowns. Gained the attention of area coaches last year.


12 – LB/RB Purnell Sturdivant – 5-11, 220, Lake Taylor
Pre-Summer Rank: unranked
Tenacious defender and a big hitter who is fast enough to play safety in college. A bulldozer at tailback on offense.


13 – DL Jon Kirchner – 6-5, 260, Rockbridge
Pre-Summer Rank: 12
Very productive player. Can stop the run and rush the passer. Knows how to use hands and practices good technique. Committed to Virginia.


14 – RB Antwain Carey – 6-0, 205, Deep Creek
Pre-Summer Rank: 5
Coming off a foot injury, he wants to show he can return to top speed. The fastest back in the state when at top form.


15 – OL John Bradshaw – 6-5, 295, Stafford
Pre-Summer Rank: 11
Bradshaw possesses good quickness off the ball and drives defenders. Committed to West Virginia.


16 – QB Ryan Pond – 6-3, 230, Western Branch
Pre-Summer Rank: 9
Intense and smart quarterback, Pond is very efficient and has a strong arm. A big quarterback who can and will run if necessary.


17 – DB Anthony (AJ) Brown – 5-11, 195, Liberty (Bealeton)
Pre-Summer Rank: 18
Hard hitting safety prospect. Plays running back as well, but does not possess game breaking speed. Makes up for it with good instincts. Committed to Syracuse.


18 – QB Lee Bujakowski – 6-3, 225, Hopewell
Pre-Summer Rank: 3
A little raw when compared to Glennon and Pond, Bujakowski has good physical skills. He has a very strong arm and shows good competitiveness.


19 – S Richard Taylor – 5-11, 190, Centreville
Pre-Summer Rank: unranked
Showed great speed at Nike Camp with 4.43 in the 40 yard dash. Could play corner or safety in college. Committed to Maryland.


20 – DE Brandon Holland – 6-5, 289, Northside
Pre-Summer Rank: 22
Holland has long arms and good quickness and speed (4.75 40) for a player his size. Though he is being recruited as a DE, he could play a number of different positions in college.


21 – OL Zak Stair – 6-6, 280, Osbourn Park
Pre-Summer Rank: 20
Has the size and agility needed to be a solid offensive tackle prospect. Plays basketball, which he credits to helping his footwork. Committed to Virginia.


22 – RB Daniel Bailey – 5-7, 170, Centreville
Pre-Summer Rank: unranked
A track star, Bailey has blazing speed and game-breaking ability. Committed to Syracuse.


23 – LB Austin Casey – 6-2, 215, Salem
Pre-Summer Rank: 19
A productive player, Casey has good speed and isn’t afraid to mix it up. Well put-together and strong, Casey covers the field well.


24 – RB/LB Rashad Jennings – 6-2, 258, Lynchburg Christian
Pre-Summer Rank: unranked
Runs a 4.65 in the 40, and is very, very strong. Tailback in the Ron Dayne mold. Committed to Pittsburgh.


25 – LB Devonta Brown – 6-3, 230, Charlottesville
Pre-Summer Rank: 28
Good size and athleticism. Brown could play either linebacker position in college.


26 – WR Jeremy Gilchrist – 5-11, 185, Salem
Pre-Summer Rank: 16
Polished receiver prospect but does not have blazing speed. Runs excellent routes and has great hands. Prototypical possession type receiver.


27 – ATH Sam Wheeler – 6-4, 235, Blacksburg
Pre-Summer Rank: 29
Dual-sport star for Blacksburg, playing both football and basketball. Versatile enough to play linebacker or defensive end on the next level. Committed to Virginia Tech.


28 – DE Nathan Bryant – 6-3, 240, Liberty (Bedford)
Pre-Summer Rank: 26
Intense player who loves to play the game. Uses leverage very well.


29 – WR Clarence Vaughn – 6-2, 190, Robinson
Pre-Summer Rank: unranked
Vaughn is a big, strong receiver who runs a 4.4 in the 40. Did not play much last year but is expected to have a big senior year. Committed to Wake Forest.


30 – DB Kevin Allen – 6-3, 180, Highland Springs
Pre-Summer Rank: 23
Tall and lanky, Allen is a player that just makes plays. He has solid speed and a great work ethic.

Other Top 30 Lists

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