This is my final in-state Top 30 rankings for the 2004 class…a class with a lot of very good, talented players who will be able to fill in key positions over the next four years. In my opinion, this class is pretty deep in the respect of having many talented players who can contribute in some way or another on the next level. While some of the top players in the class may not start immediately as true freshmen, I expect many to contribute significantly and possibly even start as red-shirt freshmen or sophomores.
THE TOP FIVE
The Top 30 begins with Robinson star Olu Hall , who I believe possesses an enormous amount of potential. In fact, his number one rating is based more on potential than actual production, though he was very productive this year. Hall is being recruited by some programs as a defensive end and others as a linebacker. He has the potential to be very good at both. At 6-4, 220 pounds, Hall runs a 4.7 in the 40. Though he was slender as a defensive end, he plays very strong and uses his hands very effectively. He has the athleticism to run down opponents from across the field, which is why he would look good as an outside linebacker as well. In my opinion, Hall compares favorably to UVA’s Darryl Blackstock, who also played defensive end in high school.
Number two on the list is the dynamic and explosive Westfield receiver Eddie Royal . Royal earned All-Group AAA AP State Player of the Year honors for his senior year performance. At receiver, Royal tallied 41 catches for 875 yards and 11 touchdowns in helping Westfield to a Division 6 state title. On special teams, he had several punt returns for touchdowns, including a key score in the state title victory over Landstown. Eddie has blazing speed, elusiveness, great jumping ability, excellent coordination and hands wrapped up in his 5-10, 170 pound frame.
Maryland commitment Kent Hicks is number three on the list. The 6-3, 210 pound safety prospect is a physical specimen with excellent athletic ability. Former Culpeper Head Coach Lou Sorrentino said Hicks has had a “college body since his sophomore season.” He also has talent. Playing for a very young squad, Hicks was the player every team focused on in every game, which made things difficult for him at times. That doesn’t take away from his ability as a safety, where he is an intimidating presence. Hicks is accomplished in pass defense and is a solid run-supporter as well.
St. Anne’s Belfield captured a state championship this year, a feat that may not have been accomplished without the services of Chris Long . Long was a man among boys in terms of physical stature and strength, dominating the competition throughout the past two seasons. He has the physical ability, athleticism, and talent, with the only knock being the size of the competition he played against. There’s no denying his potential. Physically he is mature, and of course his blood lines are second-to-none (he is the son of former NFL’er Howie Long).
Rounding out the top five is Kecoughtan linebacker Jerod Mayo . At 6-2, 215 pounds, Jerod always talks about getting bigger and stronger, which is what he desperately wants to do. Nevertheless, he excelled as a linebacker for Kecoughtan with his versatility. Mayo is very quick and mobile, and is excellent in coverage. He covers running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends, and also has the pop to make crushing tackles. Jerod should only get better once he gets the strength and physical development he needs on the college level.
Click the link below to access the entire Top 30 list, including links to recruiting cards for most of the recruits.