Eight players from the state of Virginia’s 2006 class have received over 10
Division 1-A scholarship offers, with seven of those eight having around 20 or
more. Virginia’s top talent has drawn a significant amount of top out-of-state
interest, with schools from most of the major conferences coming in to extend
offers. Florida, Florida State, Miami, Ohio State and Oklahoma are just a few of the top out-of-state programs to offer some of Virginia’s best.
In terms of position, wide receivers are the class of this year’s class.
Five wide receivers are ranked among the top 15 prospects, including three in
the top five and four in the top 10. Headlining at number one overall is none
other than Landstown’s Percy Harvin (pictured right), who is rated as the top overall
prospect in the country by Rivals.com.
Harvin, who narrowed his list to Florida, Florida State, Miami, Michigan,
Tennessee and USC this week, was named Group AAA state player of the year for
his performance last season. He tallied over 1,600 yards of total offense and
scored 32 touchdowns. The versatile Harvin is a threat as a runner, a receiver and
on defense. He displayed this ability in last year’s state championship game
against Robinson. In the win, the 6-0, 185-pound Harvin had 476 total yards of
rushing, receiving and returns. He scored four touchdowns, including scores of 92
and 90 yards. Defensively, he made three interceptions. His performance truly
was a remarkable one, but he made it look easy.
Oh yes…one more thing. Harvin is the best athlete in the state. In
outdoor track, he captured the state championship in the following events –
100 meters, 200 meters, 4X100 relay, long jump and triple jump. He ran the 100
in 10.69 seconds. Harvin is a truly special talent.
Following Harvin is 6-3, 205-pound Granby wide receiver Chris Bell .
Bell is an outstanding athlete in his own right, as he recently captured the
state championship in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.99 seconds. This
is Bell’s third consecutive state championship in the event.
A VHSCA all-state performer, he made 52 receptions last season. Bell is a
physical receiver who uses his large frame very well. And he has excellent
leaping ability, overall athleticism and very good speed. He has an outstanding
physique and looks as though he could play college football right now. He holds
offers from Florida, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Penn State,
Virginia and Virginia Tech, among others.
Highland Springs star linebacker Jarrell Miller comes in at number
three. At 6-3, 235 pounds, Miller has an excellent frame and shows very good
athleticism for his size. He could probably add about 15 pounds of muscle and
not miss a beat. As a junior last season, he totaled 60 tackles with 8
tackles for loss and one sack in earning Richmond Times-Dispatch first-team
Miller boasts scholarship offers from LSU, Maryland, Miami, Oklahoma,
Virginia and Virginia Tech, among many others. He has enormous potential and made
big-time strides last season, so Highland Springs coach Scott Burton
expects his game to grow even more next season.
Meadowbrook’s John Graves (right) may not have the scholarship total as some
of the other prospects, but there is no doubt about his playmaking ability. And
his offer list is too shabby, either. Graves currently boasts written offers
from Georgia, Maryland, N.C. State, Virginia and Virginia Tech, with North
Carolina, Ohio State and Penn State having written offers on the way.
Graves is one of the leaders of a Meadowbrook squad that captured the
Division 5 state championship last season. Despite playing with an injured
hamstring for much of the season, the 6-3, 240-pound defensive end had 14
quarterback hurries, 10 sacks and seven tackles for loss. He earned Richmond
Times-Dispatch first-team all-metro honors as well as first-team all-state
honors at defensive end. It will certainly be interesting to see what he can do
next season, when he’s 100% healthy.
Rounding out the top five is another talented Landstown receiver, Damon
McDaniel. McDaniel, who stands 6-0 and weighs 195 pounds, made 68 catches
for 1,106 yards and 15 touchdowns last season. A tough player, he is a solid
blocker who likes contact. Very aggressive, he really goes after the ball.
McDaniel also has very good speed and acceleration to break the big play.
McDaniel recently narrowed his list of over 20 offers to nine – Florida,
Florida State, Illinois, LSU, Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Virginia and Virginia
2006 Pre-Summer Top 30
1 – WR Percy Harvin – 6-0, 185, 4.4, Landstown
The top overall player in the country, Harvin is the total package at wide
receiver. First and foremost, he’s a playmaker. With 4.3 40 speed, lightning
quickness and excellent instincts, Harvin is a threat to score from anywhere on
2 – WR Chris Bell – 6-3, 205, 4.5, Granby
Chris Bell is a physical specimen. Physically imposing, he uses his great size
to his advantage. Bell also has good speed and is an excellent overall athlete.
His outstanding leaping ability enables him to out jump defenders and it
enhances his already impressive size.
3 – LB Jarrell Miller – 6-3, 235, 4.7, Highland Springs
Miller has a great frame. He moves well sideline to sideline and is becoming
more consistent at reading plays and reacting quickly. Expect a big senior year
out of Miller, who has excellent upside on the next level.
4 – DE John Graves – 6-3, 240, 4.8, Meadowbrook
Graves, whose main attribute may be his work ethic according to a Meadowbrook
assistant, has a non-stop motor and was a big-time playmaker for Meadowbrook’s
defense last season. He makes a lot of plays with his instincts, aggressiveness
and strength (he looks like a college football player right now). This year, he’ll
be 100% healthy and looks to do even more for the defending state champs.
5 – WR Damon McDaniel – 6-0, 195, 4.5, Landstown
With the top player in the country on your team, McDaniel’s talent may
sometimes be undervalued. But he is an excellent receiver in his own right.
McDaniel possesses good speed, but what separates him in my opinion are his
strength and aggressiveness. He will go get the ball and is a very tough player.
He loves to block.
6 – RB Brandon Minor – 6-0, 210, 4.6, Varina
A big, bruising back, Minor is tough to bring down and really grinds up yards
for the Varina Blue Devils. He doesn’t have blazing speed in the 40, but he
has good enough speed on the field to break big plays. His balance, strength and
instincts are what separate him.
7 – DE Brian Whitmore – 6-4, 250, 4.6, Oscar Smith
Whitmore is a good high school football player with tremendous potential for the
next level. He’s very good coming off the edge. He’s an awesome athlete,
especially for his size, as he is quick, fast and he can jump. Whitmore also has
a solid frame.
8 – RB Evan Royster – 6-0, 190, 4.5, Westfield
Royster is another tough, productive and talented tailback. He shows good speed
as well and a partial tear of an ACL earlier this year shouldn’t hurt him much
this season, but we’ll have to see. He has very good potential on offense or
possibly defense. Royster really broke out as a sophomore and continued his
success into last season.
9 – OL Alex Stadler – 6-6, 300, Liberty (Bealeton)
Stadler is not only big, but he can move very well. He’s working hard to
improve his strength for next season and should really step up big-time as a
senior. Versatile and intelligent, he could play either tackle or guard on the
10 – WR Brandon Caleb – 6-2, 190, 4.5, Fork Union Military Academy
Yet another fantastic receiver prospect, Brandon Caleb is similar to Chris Bell
in that he is an excellent overall athlete. He runs about the same as Bell as
well at about a 4.5 in the 40. His combination of size, agility and hands
impressed many at the Blacksburg Nike camp. And he seems to have good instincts
11 – DB Greg Davis – 6-2, 198, 4.5, Blue Ridge School
I like how Davis moves for his size. He has quick feet and good closing speed. I’m
not sure if he’ll be a cornerback on the next level, but I think he could be
an excellent safety with good range. Davis also appears to be a solid tackler.
12 – RB/DB Lucas Caparelli – 5-11, 190, 4.4, Robinson
Caparelli is a tough, athletic player who is very productive for his team. He
does it all for Robinson as a rusher, receiver and defender. Caparelli is a
truly versatile player who could play a number of positions in college.
13 – DT Daryl Robertson – 6-3, 285, Liberty (Bedford)
A defensive end for head coach Chris Watt s, Robertson is a tough player to move
off the line. He has good quickness off the ball as well. He should really
develop once he gets into the college weight system.
14 – DE/TE Sean Gottschalk – 6-5, 250, Deep Run
A good athlete, Sean Gottschalk ’s football instincts really developed by
mid-season of last year. He projects as either a defensive end or tight end on
the next level. He admits he has a lot of room to grow, but it is his potential
and athleticism that have many Division 1-A schools heavily involved.
15 – WR Brent Vinson – 6-1, 185, 4.39, Phoebus
Vinson opened many eyes at the Blacksburg Nike Camp, when he ran a 4.39 in the
40 yard dash. He has great speed and a good vertical. Last year was his first
playing varsity football, but he has great competitive drive and is really
looking for a big-time senior season. He could be a player to watch in the
16 – LB Matt Wright – 6-2, 213, 4.6, Phoebus
Very strong, Wright can bench press 185 pounds close to 30 times. His strength
and speed are his strengths right now. He adjusted well to playing linebacker
last season for coach Dee, who expects a monster senior year from him.
17 – RB/Ath Keith Payne – 6-3, 215, 4.5, Oakton
Payne is a big back with good straight ahead speed. He made a lot of plays for
Oakton’s offense last year, showing he is a capable receiver out of the
backfield as well as rusher. This season, he will get a chance to play on
defense as well.
18 – DE Marcus Anthony – 6-2, 250, 4.7, Patrick Henry (Ashland)
Anthony is a big body and has good agility and quickness. He moves fluidly and
shows solid speed on the defensive line. Anthony could play tight end as well.
19 – TE Dedrick Epps – 6-4, 227, 4.59, Huguenot
Epps showed his physical talents at the PSU Nike Camp, running a 4.59 in the 40
and displaying over a 30-inch vertical leap. It’s this combination of speed
and size that have many schools recruiting him to play tight end, which is his
likely position in college.
20 – DB Dwayne Priest – 5-9, 180, 4.6, William Fleming
Priest is a big-time hitter. He isn’t afraid to throw his body around and, at
only 5-9 or maybe a bit less, he is an intimidator at safety on the high school
level. He runs well but doesn’t possess blazing speed.
21 – OL Beau Warren – 6-4, 260, 4.9 Centreville
Warren shows pretty good technique and, with a good off-season going (he is now
up to 260 pounds), he should be even more effective next season.
22 – DE J.R. Ware – 6-4, 220, 4.8, Robert E. Lee
Ware has pretty good athletic ability and seems to have nice potential. Ware
needs to get a lot stronger for the next level, but there is certainly some
talent in place. He plays standing up and with his hand down.
23 – DT Isaiah Hinson – 6-2, 320, 5.2, Hermitage
A quick big man who can move sideline to sideline, Hinson shows a lot of
potential at defensive tackle. He’s a load to handle on the interior line.
24 – DL/OL Anthony Davis – 6-5, 350, 5.5 E.C. Glass
Davis is a huge kid who has great strength as well according to his head coach.
He’ll likely need to attend prep school, but schools are keeping an eye on
25 – RB L.A. Goode – 5-9, 180, 4.4, Hermitage
A quick, shifty back, Goode has the speed to break big plays. He is a scat-back
type of player. L.A. has an offer from UNC on the table.
26 – LB/FB Quinton Rainey – 5-10, 220, 4.7, Tallwood
Rainey is productive. He had over 100 tackles last season and two interceptions.
He has good instincts and is a good tackler.
27 – DE Ronnell Brown – 6-3, 230, 4.7, Hickory
Brown has solid size and athleticism. He could play defensive end, tight end or
maybe linebacker on the next level.
28 – DB/WR Santonyo Jones – 5-11, 180, 4.6, Lake Taylor
A polished player, Jones has nice skills and decent speed at wide receiver and
29 – RB Andre Boone – 6-1, 205, 4.6, Cox
Boone has good vision and is a good runner. He doesn’t have blazing speed, but
he’s a productive player.
30 – NT Asa Chapman – 6-5, 340, Orange
Chapman earned second-team all-region honors at defensive tackle last season. He
certainly has the size and he does have solid athleticism.
Others in the mix – in alphabetical order
OL Brett Ainsley – Western Branch
Ath Dante Barnes – Kempsville
FB/LB Trevor Bray
DB Ricky Cook – Giles
QB/P/PK Matt Goff – Robinson
TE Ben Finney – I.C. Norcom
OL Bryan Hall – Hermitage
LB Stevie Johnson – Spotsylvania
QB Kyle Lloyd – North Stafford
Ath Courtland Marriner – Western Branch
Pre-Summer Rankings, 2006 Recruiting Class