’s Preseason Top 30

There aren’t many changes from the Pre-Summer Top 30 to the Preseason Top 30, but there are a few. The Top 10, led by Maury offensive tackle Vinston Painter in the #1 spot, remains the same, however, heading into what promises to be an interesting 2007 season.

The two movers from the Pre-Summer list are Bobby Massie , a 6-7, 330-pound OL/DL out of Liberty Christian, and Allen Stephens, a 6-1, 240-pound linebacker out of Halifax County. Massie moves from #22 to #12 after impressive camp performances. Massie, who is considering Clemson, Georgia, UNC and Virginia Tech, could continue to rise with a good senior season, as he has excellent potential with his combination of size and speed.

Stephens is a tough, strong, productive linebacker. Physically, he is very impressive, and he moves well for his size. He should be a nice pickup for Virginia Tech, which is where he committed to earlier this summer. Stephens moves into the top 20 at #17.

As stated above, there are no changes within the top 10. But, as always, senior seasons will be key in the Postseason Top 30 slotting. This is especially the case with this class. For instance, can Bayside’s E.J. Manuel’s outstanding combine performances translate to better production on the field? How will the wide receivers (Walker, Coles, Davis, Roberts, Boykins, Harrelson) perform? The 2007 season should be fun to watch.


The trend of prospects making early commitments continues, as 20 of the Top 30 have already made their pledges. Virginia Tech has received 12 commitments. Florida State, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, N.C. State, Virginia and West Virginia each have one commitment. Four of the top seven prospects have yet to commit.

Buddy Ruff is UVa’s first in-state commit

Certainly, much has been made about Virginia’s lack of success in the state so far. But the ‘Hoos were able to break through recently with a big commitment, as 6-4, 290-pound Norview product Klinton “Buddy” Ruff gave his pledge. Ruff, who comes in at #14 on the list, was a top priority along the defensive line for the Virginia staff. He has camped at UVa each of the past two summers and fits the 3-4 system very well.

Virginia is not considered the favorite for any other prospect in the Top 30, but it is currently still being listed with RB Ryan Williams , WR Deion Walker , WR/ATH Marcus Davis , RB Kevin Whaley and DL Antoine Hopkins . Virginia’s best chance of the in-state prospects it has offered may be with Centreville CB Darryl Hamilton , younger brother of former Cavs standout corner Marcus Hamilton. Virginia is also targeting but has yet to offer Phoebus CB/WR Reid Evans and Varina ATH Justin Thorpe. UVa could have a good chance with both if it were to offer.

The Top 30

(Note: Kyle Long is not listed here because he has committed to FSU for baseball. If he had not already chosen baseball, he would be in the top 2 and perhaps #1.)

1. Vinston Painter – OL/DL, 6-5, 315 pounds, Maury

AP first-team all-state last season as a junior, Painter has been a dominating left tackle for Maury High School and has become one of the nation’s most highly recruited offensive tackles. He has very good size and carries 315 pounds extremely well.

Committed to Virginia Tech

2. Ryan Williams – RB, 5-10, 205 pounds, Stonewall Jackson

Williams is a dynamic and speedy playmaker at the running back position. He has excellent versatility, as he catches the ball well. Williams rushed for 1,574 yards and scored a total of 22 touchdowns in his junior year.


3. E.J. Manuel – QB, 6-4, 210 pounds, Bayside

A legit 6-4 prospect, Manuel has excellent size and a terrific arm for a pocket passer. But he is more than a pocket passer, as he is an effective runner and scrambler. A fluid athlete, he shows good acceleration and elusiveness. In his junior season, Manuel threw for 1,973 yards at a 56-percent completion rate.

Committed to Florida State

Deion Walker

4. Deion Walker – WR, 6-3, 180 pounds, Christchurch

Though he is a long strider, Walker is surprisingly elusive for his size. Walker is very skilled at catching the ball, as he made some tough over-the-shoulder catches last season. In his junior season, he caught close to 50 passes for 733 yards and eight touchdowns.


5. Mike Glennon – QB, 6-6, 195 pounds, Westfield

Glennon stands tall at 6-6 and is a poised passer out of the pocket. He is an accurate passer with an above average arm. Glennon is also a pretty good athlete even with his long frame. In his junior season in 2006, Glennon completed 123 of 205 passes for 1,662 yards with 18 touchdowns to only five interceptions.

Committed to N.C. State

6. D.J. Coles – WR/ATH, 6-3, 200 pounds, Goochland

In helping Goochland to a Division 2 state championship, Coles rushed for 1,403 yards (12.3 yards per carry) and 22 touchdowns. He added three touchdowns receiving. Coles is a strong, good looking physical specimen with excellent speed. He has been electronically timed at below 10.7 seconds in the 100 meters in track.

Committed to Virginia Tech

7. Marcus Davis – WR/ATH, 6-5, 215 pounds, Ocean Lakes

Davis simply is a tremendous physical specimen. His combination of athleticism, speed and strength are hard to ignore. Davis is a fluid athlete especially for his size and could end up at a number of positions on the next level.


8. Dyrell Roberts – WR, 6-2, 190 pounds, Smithfield

Roberts primarily plays running back for Smithfield, but he also splits out as a receiver and is a very good defensive back. He rushed for over 1,000 yards last season but also caught 22 passes. On defense, he finished the year with eight interceptions. Roberts, who likely will end up at wide receiver on the next level, has the speed and potential to be a game-breaking receiver in college.

Committed to Virginia Tech

9. Kerry Boykins – WR/DB, 6-0, 200 pounds, Oscar Smith

Boykins is a dynamic special teams player, returning five kick-offs or punts for 60 yards and over last season as a junior. He is also a playmaker at wide receiver, as he caught 37 passes for 760 yards. Boykins is a tough runner with good speed and acceleration.

Committed to Maryland

10. Marcus Dowtin – RB/DB/LB, 6-2, 205 pounds, Fork Union Military Academy

Dowtin is a physical player who is a good looking physical specimen. I like him best on defense, where he flashes toughness and excellent closing speed.

Committed to Georgia

11. Todd Harrelson – WR/DB, 6-1, 185 pounds, Oscar Smith

Harrelson performs well on defense and offense and could end up on either side on the next level. He shows a good feel for playing cornerback, tallying 24 pass break-ups and seven interceptions last season.

Committed to North Carolina

12. Bobby Massie – OL/DL, 6-6, 325 pounds, Lynchburg Christian Academy

Opposing coaches rave about Massie’s size. Massie is also a very good athlete who runs around a 5.0 in the 40-yard dash. He tallied seven sacks last season as a junior at the nose tackle position. He plays offense as well and could project as an offensive lineman on the next level. If it were not for his serious academic questions, Massie would very likely have double-digit Division 1A scholarship offers.

Committed to Virginia Tech

13. Jake Johnson – LB, 6-2, 235 pounds, Stafford

Johnson, who tallied 125 tackles including 19 tackles for loss last season, is a strong and fast linebacker prospect. He also is a terrific physical specimen and looks ready to play in college right now. Johnson is a leader for Stafford’s squad.

Committed to Virginia Tech

14. Klinton “Buddy” Ruff – DL, 6-4, 290 pounds, Norview

Ruff plays on both sides of the ball for Norview but projects as a defensive lineman on the next level. He led his team in tackles and tackles-for-loss last season as a junior. He has run a 5.0 in the 40-yard dash and can bench 185 pounds 30 times.

Committed to Virginia

15. Donovan Miles – LB, 6-1, 225 pounds, Brooke Point

Miles moves fluidly around the field, showing good speed and agility. A playmaker, he tallied 20 tackles-for-loss and eight sacks last season as a junior.

Committed to West Virginia

16. Jimmy Bennett – OL, 6-8, 290 pounds, West Potomac

Bennett has an excellent frame. He also runs very well, especially for his size, as he has been timed in the 40 at 4.9 seconds. He earned first-team all-metro honors by the Washington Post for his junior season performance.

Committed to Connecticut

17. Allen Stephens – LB, 6-1, 240 pounds, Halifax County

Western Valley district Defensive Player of the Year as a junior, Stephens is the leader of Halifax County’s defense. He moves well sideline to sideline, racking up 150 tackles last season. Physically, Stephens is very impressive.

Committed to Virginia Tech

18. Kevin Whaley – RB, 5-9, 165 pounds, Salem

Whaley does not have the size to translate to being a full-time college running back, but what he lacks in size he makes up for with heart, determination and excellent running ability. He has good speed and his hands are solid as well. Whaley rushed for 1,992 yards and 37 touchdowns last season as a junior, leading Salem to the Group AAA, Division 6 semifinals.


19. Lyndell Gibson – LB, 5-11, 220 pounds, Salem

Gibson, the Beach district Defensive Player of the Year as a junior, has a reputation among Virginia Beach coaches for being a ferocious hitter. He has a knack for getting to the ball-carrier.

Committed to Virginia Tech

20. Tony Gregory – RB, 5-11, 175 pounds, First Colonial

Gregory is a speedy back who shows a nice burst. This spring, he ran a hand-timed 4.38 in the 40-yard dash. This upcoming season will be his first as the full-time running back, so his stock certainly could rise with an impressive performance.

Committed to Virginia Tech

21. Xavier Boyce – ATH, 6-4, 200 pounds, Landstown

Boyce plays quarterback for Landstown and has ability at the position, but his likely position in college is defensive back. He is a big, strong player who runs well for his size.

Committed to Virginia Tech

22. Derrick McCoy – WR/LB, 6-3, 205 pounds, Amherst

At wide receiver, McCoy is a big, strong prospect who can make difficult catches in tight coverage. On defense, he has very good closing speed and could grow into a linebacker prospect on the next level.

Committed to Virginia Tech

23. Antoine Hopkins – DL, 6-2, 265 pounds, Highland Springs

Though he plays defensive end in high school, Hopkins likely will end up on the interior defensive line on the next level. Hopkins has turned in impressive performance each of the past two seasons. He is a strong player who understands his role in the Springers’ defense.

Committed to Virginia Tech

24. Austin Fuller – WR, 6-2, 195 pounds, Richlands

Fuller has outstanding hands and was a big playmaker at wide receiver last season as a junior, hauling in 57 catches for 1,092 yards and 15 touchdowns in leading Richlands to a state championship. He makes tough catches look easy.

Committed to Virginia Tech

25. Jamal Wilson – WR/DB, 5-10, 175 pounds, Oscar Smith

Yet another dynamic WR/DB recruit for the Tigers, Wilson made 30 catches for 700 yards last season as a junior. He added 300 yards rushing and totaled 14 touchdowns including two kick-off returns for scores.


26. Ben Barber – WR, 5-10, 190 pounds, Edison

Edison’s top receiving target, Barber averaged 19.1 yards per catch and hauled in 12 touchdowns last season as a junior. He has good speed and good hands.

Committed to Virginia Tech

27. Peter Rose – WR/DB, 6-1, 185 pounds, Amherst

A good overall athlete, Rose totaled close to 2,000 yards of total offense his junior season. The all-state performer led Amherst to a state championship from the quarterback position. He likely projects as a defensive back or wide receiver in college.

Committed to Virginia Tech

28. Jeron Gouveia – S/LB, 6-2, 185 pounds, Stone Bridge

A second-team all-state performer at defensive back, Gouveia is a savvy player who likes to deliver a big hit. He improved his speed this off-season and was recently electronically timed at 4.62 in the 40-yard dash.

Committed to Virginia Tech

29. Morgan Carter – ATH, 6-4, 200 pounds, Hylton

Carter is a promising athlete who has yet to find a position in high school. He has potential at a number of spots, though, including wide receiver.

Committed to Rutgers

30. Isaiah Hamlette – DE, 6-3, 250 pounds, Brooke Point

An athletic defensive end recruit, Hamlette tallied eight sacks last season as a junior. He also plays basketball and participates in track.

Committed to Virginia Tech

Reid Evans is getting a serious look from Virginia

Ones to watch

Devin Arrington – LB/DB, Deep Creek

Hykeem Brodie – RB/DB, Western Branch

John Carter – RB/LB, Osbourn

J.J. Dorsey – QB/ATH, Handley Committed to West Virginia

Reid Evans – CB/WR, Phoebus

Justin Gilbert – OL, Monacan Committed to Maryland

Darryl Hamilton – CB, Centreville

Matthew Hurdle – QB, Highland Springs

Leons Kabongo – DB/LB, Gar-Field

Derek Jackson – LB, Deep Run – Committed to Purdue

Rotell Jenkins – WR, Huguenot

Chris Johnson – DE, Tallwood

Eric Martin – TE, Hylton Committed to Virginia Tech

Stephen Meadows – LB/DE/TE, James Monroe

Deon Miller – WR/TE, Highland Springs

Thomas Mulabah – DL, Park View

Tommy Reamon, Jr. – QB, Gloucester

Marquel Thomas – DB/WR, Bayside

Justin Thorpe – DB, Varina

Casey Turner – QB, Great Bridge

Rod Wheeler – TE/DE, Highland Springs

A.J. Williams – RB/DB, Fluvanna