’s Pre-Summer Top 30

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Phillip Sims

A class I consider to be one of the best in the state of Virginia’s history, the 2009 class featured outstanding depth. The 2010 class doesn’t measure up to last year’s group in terms of depth, but there are high quality talents in the Top 30, including an especially large group of talented linemen.

Topping my Pre-Summer list is a pair of skill athletes out of the talent-rich Tidewater region. Oscar Smith (Chesapeake) quarterback Phillip Sims and Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach) wide receiver Justin Hunter are one and two, respectively. The linemen then enter the picture with a bang, as I have four linemen – Brookville (Lynchburg) defensive end Zack McCray , Fork Union offensive tackle Mark Shuman , future Fork Union defensive tackle Nick Acree and Oscar Smith defensive tackle Evan Hailes – in slots 3-6. In total, I have 14 offensive or defensive linemen the Pre-Summer Top 30.

Lake Taylor’s (Norfolk, VA) versatile defender Travis Williams , Woodberry Forest LB/DE Aramide Olaniyan , Robinson’s star linebacker Brian Laiti and Fork Union’s standout center prospect Russell Bodine round out the Pre-Summer Top 30. I’ll release a Pre-Season Top 30 in August and a final Postseason list in December or early January.

UVa in-state recruiting…

UVa has yet to gain a commitment from the in-state 2010 class, but that could change by the end of the summer. Currently, Virginia’s best chances are with the following prospects…

Bayside LB Henry Coley – Coley lists Virginia as the number one school on his list, which also includes offers from Louisville and Temple. He plans on making official visits before committing, so don’t expect his recruitment to be over in the near future. Right now, though, Virginia is the favorite.

Conner Davis

Deep Run OL Conner Davis – Davis may be closing in on a commitment soon. Virginia and Virginia Tech are the clear favorites right now and this is a very close race. I picked UVa in the beginning and will stick with the prediction, but I could truly see this going either way.

Lake Braddock OL Khamrone Kolb – Kolb’s current top five includes Connecticut, North Carolina, Penn State, Virginia and Virginia Tech, though U-Conn appears to be behind the other four. Kolb, who has not eliminated any school, plans to visit each of the aforementioned programs this summer. He came away very impressed by UVa last weekend. UVa helped itself as a result. Kolb will next head to Penn State this week and will definitely go to UNC and Virginia Tech as well.

Woodberry Forest DB Ed Reynolds II – Reynolds also had a great time at last Saturday’s “Future Wahoo Day.” The son of a former Cavaliers linebacker, Reynolds is high on Virginia but is determined to visit several other schools at least before coming to a decision. He plans to visit Duke, UNC, N.C. State and Stanford over the next month and may head to Notre Dame (no offer) as well for a camp. After these visits are over, Reynolds could commit or he could decide to wait and make official visits.

South County DB Andre Simmons – Simmons also attended Saturday’s “Future Wahoo Day.” South County head coach Pete Bendorf informed that the visit went well, but as of now a commitment does not seem imminent. Simmons likely will decide by the end of the summer, though, and Virginia is in pretty good shape. Maryland, Illinois and Northwestern are UVa’s top competition at the moment.

Green Run OLB Jamal Wallace – Wallace lists Duke and Virginia as his two current favorites. He has offers from both programs as well as East Carolina. West Virginia is a school to watch as well should the Mountaineers come through with an offer. Unlike fellow Virginia Beach linebacker Henry Coley , Wallace is looking to make a decision this summer and could commit as soon as next month.

Pre-Summer Top 30

1. Phillip Sims – QB, 6-1, 210 pounds, Oscar Smith

Sims led Oscar Smith to a Group AAA, Division 6 state championship this past season, but he has been performing at a high level for the Tigers varsity squad since his freshman year. In three seasons he has accumulated 7,597 yards passing, including 3,167 yards with 38 touchdowns to only four interceptions in 2008. Sims possesses a big-time arm and has shown good touch and accuracy throughout his high school career.

Committed to Alabama

2. Justin Hunter – WR, 6-4, 185 pounds, Ocean Lakes

A phenomenal athlete, Hunter excels in football, basketball and track at Ocean Lakes. His size, athleticism, speed and ability on the gridiron translated into offers from all across the country before he committed to SEC power LSU earlier this spring. Hunter, who totaled 47 receptions and 10 touchdowns last season, is the total package and has excellent upside as well.

Committed to LSU

3. Zack McCray – DE, 6-4, 235 pounds, Brookville

McCray tallied 20 sacks last season as a junior, helping Brookville to an appearance in the Group AA, Division 3 state championship game. He has impressive size and shows excellent overall athleticism and quickness at the defensive end position. He’ll play defense at Virginia Tech, but he is also a standout tight end on the high school level and drew looks from some schools to play tight end in college.

Committed to Virginia Tech

4. Mark Shuman – OL, 6-6, 290 pounds, Fork Union Military Academy

Shuman, who combines excellent size with above average athleticism and good footwork, drew offers from close to 20 Division 1A programs, including SEC powers Georgia and Tennessee, before committing to Virginia Tech. He certainly has excellent bloodlines. His father, Fork Union postgraduate head coach John Shuman, played football at VMI, while his brother Ryan played center at Virginia Tech. The son of a successful coach, Shuman should bring great intangibles as well.

Committed to Virginia Tech

5. Nick Acree – DT, 6-5, 300 pounds, Fork Union Military Academy

You hear the description “physical specimen” thrown around quite a bit in evaluations, but Nick Acree certainly fits the description. He is a chiseled 6-5, 300 pounds, and he is extremely strong. He also moves very well for his size. Transferring to FUMA from King William, Acree does have something to prove in terms of dominating the competition, but his upside may be the highest of anyone in this class.

Committed to Virginia Tech

6. Evan Hailes – DT, 6-1, 305 pounds, Oscar Smith

Hailes has been a rock solid defensive tackle and offensive lineman for head coach Rich Morgan. He’ll play defensive tackle in college. A wide body with good strength, Hailes consistently holds the line but can also get in the offensive backfield to make plays. He boasts over 20 Division 1A offers according to Morgan.


7. Travis Williams – LB/S, 6-2, 190 pounds, Lake Taylor

Lake Taylor is becoming known for its defense and the current unit is led by Williams, who has become a highly recruited linebacker/safety prospect. Despite being undersized right now, Williams plays a physical brand of football. He is a fluid athlete and plays very well in space. He looks like a natural at wide receiver as well, but defense is where he’ll play in college. As a junior, Williams racked up 78 tackles including 14 sacks. He added 12 quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles.


8. Aramide Olaniyan – DE/LB, 6-2, 200 pounds, Woodberry Forest

Olaniyan is another “tweener” type of prospect. He plays defensive end at Woodberry Forest and is a physical player with an excellent burst off the line of scrimmage. He racked up 13 sacks last season. Olaniyan likely will have to play linebacker in college, but performances in the combine and camp circuit indicate that he should do well playing in space. He committed early to Duke but has offers from top programs throughout the country.

Committed to Duke

9. Brian Laiti – LB, 6-3, 200 pounds, Robinson

Laiti has been tremendously productive at Robinson, tallying 147 tackles with five sacks last season as a junior. Playing middle linebacker, Laiti displays excellent instincts. He doesn’t have blazing speed but he consistently takes good pursuit angles and, more often than not, is around the ball. He seems to have a high football IQ.


10. Russell Bodine – OL, 6-4, 280 pounds, Fork Union Military Academy

Bodine isn’t necessarily the most physically imposing offensive lineman, but he is tenacious, plays well with leverage and plays with an attitude. He committed to UNC after receiving double-digit 1A offers, including offers from Virginia and Virginia Tech. Bodine should be a solid, solid center for the Tar Heels.

Committed to North Carolina

11. Quinton Spain – OL, 6-5, 320 pounds, Petersburg

Committed to West Virginia

12. Nick Dew – LB/S, 6-2, 195 pounds, First Colonial


13. Chase Williams – LB/TE, 6-3, 225 pounds, Loudoun County


14. Khamrone Kolb – OL, 6-6, 300 pounds, Lake Braddock


15. Conner Davis – OL, 6-5, 270 pounds, Deep Run


16. Derrick Hopkins – DT, 6-0, 285 pounds, Highland Springs

Committed to Virginia Tech

17. Andre Simmons – DB, 6-0, 195 pounds, South County


18. Ed Reynolds II – S/LB, 6-3, 198 pounds, Woodberry Forest


19. T.J. Peeler – RB, 6-1, 200 pounds, Broad Run


20. Caleb Farris – OL, 6-4, 300 pounds, Rockbridge County

Committed to Virginia Tech

21. Marquis Wallace – OL, 6-3, 285 pounds, Varina

Committed to West Virginia

22. Tahrick Peak – LB, 6-2, 205 pounds, Pulaski County

Committed to Virginia Tech

23. Matt Arkema – OL, 6-3 1/2, 290 pounds, Midlothian


24. Desmond Coble – ATH, 5-11, 175 pounds, Meadowbrook


25. Jamal Wallace – LB/DE, 6-3, 215 pounds, Green Run


26. Duke Mosby – DT, 6-1, 270 pounds, Woodberry Forest

Committed to Wake Forest

27. Rijo Walker – CB, 5-11, 175 pounds, Bethel


28. Trey Johnson – RB, 5-10, 170 pounds, Varina

Committed to West Virginia

29. Josh Lovell – TE/OL, 6-5, 260 pounds, Christchurch


30. Henry Coley – LB, 6-2, 230 pounds, Bayside


Ones to watch

Matthew Baptiste – LB, Ocean Lakes

Levi Barber – ATH, Edison

Joe Branch – ATH, Fork Union Military Academy

Aaron Clark – RB, St. Anne’s-Belfield

Andrew Cordasco – TE, Jamestown

Warren Denny – WR, Centreville

Zach Dunston – DB, Green Run

Taylor Evans – OL, Broad Run

Danny Fenyak – QB, Westfield

Adrian Flemming – WR/TE, Broad Run

Zach Glass – DL, Stuarts Draft

Jon Godfrey – S, Ocean Lakes

Jerel Harrison – WR, Varina

Deshawn Holmes – DB, Highland Springs

Daryl Howell – LB, Hermitage

Cedric Johnson – ATH, Lakeland

Blake Jones – DE/LB, Hanover

Venson Jones – DT, Woodside

Chad Kolumber – OL, Woodberry Forest

Kyle Linn – ATH, Turner Ashby

Jake McGee – QB, Collegiate

Wes Moulton – DL, Ocean Lakes

Keevon Newsome – DE/LB, Churchland

Bo Revell – QB, Battlefield

Antonio Roane – ATH, West Point

Mike Rocco – QB, Liberty Christian Academy

Anthony Rose – ATH, Amherst

Mario Rowson – DB, Lake Taylor

Jacob Ruby – TE/OL, Fork Union Military Academy

A.J. Scott – DL, Robert E Lee Committed to Marshall

Dejor Simmons – RB, Green Run

E.L. Smiling – WR, Brooke Point

Brandon Sparrow – DL, Liberty (Bedford)

Zach Weller – LB/FB, Christiansburg

Montel White – QB/ATH, Surry County

Jeremiah Wilson – ATH, Handley Committed to Maryland

Rashad Winston – DL, Highland Springs

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