Pre-Summer Top 30

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The 2009 class has to be one of the deepest in-state classes in recent memory. Heading into the summer, over 50 rising seniors already boast at least one Division 1A scholarship offer. Over 40 boast multiple Division 1A offers. The talent is deep in the Commonwealth this year, headlined by a number of top quarterbacks and a number of top defensive linemen.

Snyder is UVa’s most recent in-state pledge

Currently, 15 prospects out of the Pre-Summer Top 30 have made their college decisions, but there are plenty of prospects left for the picking until next February’s Signing Day. The University of Virginia, rebounding from last year’s sub-par performance in the state, boasts seven commitments from the Top 30. West Virginia has landed three very talented players, while Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest each have one Top 30 recruit in the fold.

Position-wise, this year’s quarterback class is deep with Kevin Newsome , who is my Pre-Summer overall number one, taking the top spot. Four signal callers, not including athletes such as Logan Thomas , Quintin Hunter and Antone Exum , have made the Top 30. Three running backs have made the Top 10, so running back is strong as well. The defensive line is also strong, including eight potential defensive linemen in the Top 30.

More than any other class I’ve ranked, this was the toughest in deciding which players should be slotted where as well as which players should make the Top 30. I expect this list to be pretty fluid by the time the Postseason Top 30 rolls around.

Pre-Summer Top 30

1. Kevin Newsome – QB, 6-3, 205 pounds, Western Branch

A top athlete with excellent size, Newsome is a big-time dual-threat quarterback and should fit in perfectly in Rich Rodriguez’ offense. Newsome’s passing skills certainly have to be developed, but he does have a strong arm. He has the speed to break big plays in the running game, and at 6-3, 205 pounds, he is tough to bring down. Newsome has a lot of potential as a quarterback, but if things didn’t work out there then he could easily translate to another position such as safety or even linebacker.

Committed to Michigan

Morgan Moses
Photo courtesy Randy West

2. Morgan Moses – OL, 6-7, 340 pounds, Meadowbrook

Moses, a VHSCA first-team all-state selection last season as a junior, is an offensive tackle who punishes opposing defenders. He is a terrific athlete for his size and comes off the line of scrimmage very quickly. He should be a top offensive lineman on the college level and he currently boasts over 20 Division 1A scholarship offers.


3. David Wilson – RB, 5-11, 190 pounds, George Washington

Wilson has the speed to break big plays, but what may be most impressive about him is his balance. He is tough to bring down and works hard for every yard. He rushed for 1,551 yards and 17 touchdowns last season while averaging 11.4 yards per carry. A superior athlete, he captured the indoor and outdoor in-state triple jump championships and captured the national indoor triple jump championship as well.


4. Tajh Boyd – QB, 6-1, 210 pounds, Phoebus

Boyd is a calm and composed leader for head coach Bill Dee. Boyd showed outstanding accuracy last season as a junior, completing 69-percent of his passes. He can also make plays with his legs. He does not have blazing speed, but he can break big plays in the running game.

Committed to West Virginia

5. Dominique Wallace – RB/LB, 6-1, 220 pounds, Chancellor

Wallace runs with power but also with elusiveness and possesses the speed to break big plays. Last season, he rushed for 1,752 yards and 22 touchdowns on 245 carries. While he is a force on the offensive end and has the potential to be an excellent college running back, I also like his potential at linebacker as well. He is a top player on both sides of the ball.

Committed to Virginia

6. Logan Thomas – WR/TE/QB, 6-5, 220 pounds, Brookville

Thomas has shot up the recruiting charts as a result of his size and outstanding athleticism. He projects primarily as a wide receiver or tight end on the next level, and his athleticism and size translate to being a top prospect as a wide receiver/tight end, but he plays quarterback for the Bees and totaled 1,500 yards of offense (1,000 yards passing and 500 yards rushing) last season. Thomas is a fluid athlete with the speed to break big plays.


7. Logan Heastie – WR, 6-1, 190 pounds, Great Bridge

A terrific athlete with excellent speed, Heastie posts a vertical leap of over 33-inches and has been timed in the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds.

Committed to West Virginia

8. De’antwan Williams – RB, 5-7, 205 pounds, Woodbridge

As a junior in 2007, Williams rushed for 2,247 yards and 27 touchdowns in leading the Vikings to an appearance in the Group AAA, Division 6 state championship game. In the state semifinal win over Hermitage, he rushed for 247 yards and five touchdowns. Williams is a tough runner who can break the big play. He can make quick cuts without losing his speed, and he accelerates very quickly.


9. Jerod Askew – LB, 6-0, 230 pounds, Oscar Smith

Askew thrived last season in Oscar Smith’s attacking defense, racking up 126 tackles including 25 tackles-for-loss and 13 sacks. He is best against the run and attacking the offensive backfield, but head coach Rich Morgan says his pass coverage skills improved greatly last season.


10. Quintin Hunter – WR/DB/QB, 6-2, 200 pounds, Orange

Hunter turned in a monster junior season, tallying over 3,000 yards of offense including 2,100 yards passing and 920 rushing. He totaled 30 touchdowns. He was also a first-team all-state defensive back as a junior, but he also projects well as a wide receiver on the next level. He will also get a look at quarterback at Virginia and it wouldn’t be a big surprise if he does well there, though I think he translates to the next level better as a wide receiver or defensive back.

Committed to Virginia

11. Bryn Renner – QB, 6-3, 190 pounds, West Springfield

Renner, who completed 63-percent of his passes while throwing for 2,749 yards with 32 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season as a junior, has all the tools to be a top college quarterback. He has a great arm, shows good accuracy, has good size and is a good athlete. He has room to grow in terms of playing the quarterback position, but the potential is certainly there. Renner is a prospect who could really rise in the Postseason ranks.

Committed to North Carolina

12. Lanford Collins – DE, 6-4, 240 pounds, Brooke Point

Collins turned in a very good junior season, accounting for 73 tackles including 12 tackles-for-loss and nine sacks. Some programs see him as being a good enough athlete to play outside linebacker on the next level.


13. Dominik Davenport – DL/LB/FB, 6-1, 240 pounds, Phoebus

Some guys just know how to play football. Davenport is considered a ‘tweener in terms of where he projects on the college level, but the fact is that he can simply play football. He earned first-team all-state honors at defensive line and second-team all-state honors at offensive line last season as a junior. On defense, he totaled 124 tackles including 17 tackles-for-loss and 17 sacks. He is extremely strong and plays with an attitude, but more importantly has a sense for the game.

Committed to West Virginia

14. David Wang – OL/DL, 6-2, 300 pounds, Stone Bridge

Wang has potential on both sides of the ball at Virginia Tech. He earned first-team all-state honors for his performance on the offensive line. A good overall athlete, Wang posted a 30.4-inch vertical leap, ran a pro agility time of 4.71 seconds and a 40-yard dash time of 5.25 seconds.

Committed to Virginia Tech

15. Jake Snyder – DE/TE, 6-4, 235 pounds, Deep Run

Snyder is a good performer on both sides of the ball. At defensive end, he registered 58 tackles including eight sacks and returned three interceptions for touchdowns. At tight end, he finished with 14 receptions for 260 yards and five scores. He was offered scholarships by Boston College and Ohio State to play tight end, but the other seven programs that offered projected him to play defensive end.

Committed to Virginia

16. DeAntre Rhodes – DL, 6-3, 265 pounds, Varina

Rhodes was a second-team all-state performer on offense and defense last season as a junior. He has been a starter at Varina since his freshman year and has been productive since his freshman year. Though he is good on both sides of the ball, Rhodes projects as a defensive tackle in college.


17. Damien Thigpen – RB/CB, 5-9, 170 pounds, Stonewall Jackson

Thigpen possesses outstanding speed and has the potential to be a big-play threat on the next level. Thigpen missed three-and-a-half games due to injury but still averaged eight yards per carry and scored seven touchdowns. He averaged 10 yards per carry as a sophomore.

Committed to Tennessee

18. Jordan Love – CB, 6-0, 195 pounds, Deep Run

Love will suit up for the Wildcats for the first time this upcoming season, as he transferred in from Gilman School in Baltimore, Maryland. Love has good size and is a good athlete at the cornerback position.


19. Ross Metheny – QB, 6-3, 190 pounds, Sherando

Metheny has been a winner since stepping onto the gridiron as varsity starting quarterback his freshman year. He has compiled a 33-5 record as a starter. Last season, he completed 146 of 235 passes for 2,207 yards with 24 touchdowns to only 7 interceptions. Metheny may not wow you with a cannon arm or blazing speed, but he has an excellent pocket presence, is a leader and has a good feel for the game.

Committed to Virginia

20. Andrew Miller – OL, 6-5, 275 pounds, Bassett

Miller stars in wrestling as well as football for Bassett. It certainly appears that his wrestling ability helps him on the gridiron. Miller shows good balance, good footwork and uses good positioning to get the job done on the offensive line. He is also pretty strong on the defensive side of the ball, but offense is where he is being recruited to play on the next level.

Committed to Virginia Tech (wrestling, football)

21. Corey Lillard – S, 5-11, 208 pounds, Liberty (Bealeton)

Lillard is a big-time hitter from the safety position, so he’ll be an enforcer on the college level. As head coach Tommy Buzzo says, he has “the gift of knowing how to hit.” Lillard is a sure tackler as well, coming away with 52 solo tackles last season.

Committed to Virginia

22. Perry Jones – S, 5-9, 185 pounds, Oscar Smith

If Jones were only a few inches taller, he easily could have double-digit Division 1A scholarship offers. Oscar Smith’s all-time leading tackler is another guy who just knows how to play the game. He is tough, is a sure tackler, and by running an electronically-timed 4.5 in the 40 at a recent Nike Combine he showed he has the speed to play defensive back on the college level.

Committed to Virginia

23. Antone Exum – S/WR, 6-0, 200 pounds, Deep Run

Exum is another talented athlete who plays quarterback for his team. On the college level, though, he’ll likely end up at defensive back or wide receiver. Exum is a fluid athlete with great speed, as he has run the 40 in sub-4.5 seconds.


24. Alex Owah – RB, 5-11, 175 pounds, Harrisonburg

Alex certainly has the talent to be a Top 15 recruit, but off the field happenings hurt his standing at this point. On the gridiron, he is a fast, big-play running back who has rushed for over 2,000 yards each of the past two seasons.

Committed to Virginia

25. Zach Thompson – DL, 6-5, 250 pounds, Stone Bridge

Thompson didn’t pile up the big-time stats, but he really is a solid player for Stone Bridge. He plays defensive end in Stone Bridge’s 3 down linemen set and tight end on offense, but he will play on the defensive line at Wake Forest. Thompson is the son of Stone Bridge head coach Mickey Thompson.

Committed to Wake Forest

26. William Hill – DL, 6-4, 255 pounds, Lafayette

Hill totaled 60 tackles including eight sacks in earning first-team all-state honors last season as a junior.


27. Tim Smith – WR, 6-1, 190 pounds, Oscar Smith

Smith makes big plays from the wide receiver spot as well as on special teams. He plays defensive back as well for the Tigers, but offense is where he will play in college. Last season, Smith tallied 12 touchdowns including eight receiving and four on punt returns.


28. Theron Norman – WR/S, 6-3, 185 pounds, Hermitage

Head coach Patrick Kane likes Norman’s ability as a safety and wide receiver, calling him “an excellent tackler and a good cover guy” on defense and “very explosive” on offense. Norman will play quarterback this upcoming season, but he’ll play receiver or safety in college.


29. Bradley Johnson – LB, 6-1, 210 pounds, Dinwiddie

Johnson tallied 113 tackles including 74 solo efforts last season as a junior, earning first-team all-Tri Cities honors for his performance. He has good overall athleticism and seems to have good instincts as well.

Committed to Maryland

30. Duan Perez-Means – DE/LB/TE, 6-4, 235 pounds, Hermitage

Perez-Means is Mr. Versatility. He could end up at linebacker, defensive end, tight end or wide receiver on the college level. Eight of his 22 receptions went for touchdowns last season, and he totaled four defensive touchdowns as well.


Ones to watch

Shawne Alston – RB, Phoebus Committed to West Virginia

Brandon Bailey – RB, West Springfield

Chase Barnett – RB, Brooke Point

LoVante’ Battle – S/LB, Phoebus Committed to Virginia

Devin Bolling – OL, Brookville

Luke Bowanko – OL, Centreville Committed to Virginia

Adrian Cavanaugh – LB, Patrick Henry (Ashland)

Telvion Clark – LB/S, Granby Committed to Virginia Tech

Matt Custer – OL, Loudoun Valley

Frank Figueroa – OL, Edison Committed to Penn State

Zack Glatter – TE, Centreville

Tahron Goods – FB, George Washington

Kory Gough – OL, Liberty (Bealeton)

Taylor Grubbs – TE, Amherst

Mark Halik – OL/DL, Maury

Sam Haskins – TE/WR, Dinwiddie

Brian Jordan – DE/LB, Great Bridge

Cody Journell – PK, Giles

Josh Lovell – TE, Gloucester

William Marable – DB, Norview

Connor McCartin – LB, Fauquier Committed to Virginia

Adam Morgan – QB, Dinwiddie

Matt Muncy – ATH, Tazewell Committted to Wake Forest

Pickle Nuckols – RB, Buffalo Gap

Mike Olson – LB, Stone Bridge Committed to Wake Forest

Sterlin Phifer – RB, Landstown

Carvin Powell – ATH, Great Bridge

Mike Privott – LB, Lake Taylor Committed to Louisville

Laroy Reynolds . – S/LB/WR, Maury

Stephon Robertson – LB, Edison

Brandon Scott – LB/DE, Forest Park

Clinton Simpkins – LB, Chancellor

Brian Slay – DL, Stone Bridge Committed to N.C. State

Kenneth Smith – TE/OL, Park View

Javanti Sparrow – CB/WR, Western Branch

Bryan Stinnie – DE, St. Anne’s-Belfield

Shamarko Thomas – DB, Ocean Lakes

Patrick Thompson – QB, Stone Bridge

Jay Weatherington – TE/OL, Woodbridge

Tyrel Wilson – DE, Hampton

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