Last night or actually very, very early this morning I put up a post about the top football recruits in the state of Maryland for 2014. NYC Sports Fan has requested that someone put up a post about the top talent in DC and Virginia and I have decided to get right too it. So today I will give the lo down on talent in the state of Virginia and where Maryland stands with them.
#1 Player - Da'Shawn Hand, 5 stars, SDE, 6"5", 246 Ib - Ladies and Gentleman I give you Da'Shawn Hand. The best player in the entire 2014 recruiting class. Unanimous I might had as well. He's a first team All-American, All Met, and consistently is averaging around and over 10 tackles a game. Simply he is a beast. He's everywhere. He goes and gets the ball, he takes the ball away, he tackles, he pretty much is the prototypical LB. He's the best out there. So you'd expect competition. Pretty much every school under the sun is after this guy. Maryland sits in the shoes of the other 34 schools not named Michigan, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina. We have no shot. There is a better chance some of you married men get divorced 3 times over than Da'Shawn Hand picks Maryland. It'd be the greatest pick up in the history of Maryland athletics. It's not happening though.
#2 Player - Quinn Blanding, 5 stars, S, 6"2", 200 Ib - Quinn Blanding is a great talent. He's not the quickest but he's got instinctual ball skills, he's a pure athlete. He's played WR in HS. He's got ball skills, and instincts you simply can't teach. I again say he is not that fast. He's smart, got a good football IQ, is a hell of an athlete, and quite simply has ball skills that are top notch. He's a top prospect. He's the best Safety and he is a Top 10 guy. Maryland's chances? Zip. He's gone. Blanding has commited to Virginia. I think Blanding is the kind of player that had he been coming out of Maryland could have been a much obtainable player. He choose to stay home though and went with Virginia.
#3 Player - Andrew Brown, 5 stars, DT, 6"4", 282 Ib - Andrew Brown is a consensus All American. He's rated 100. Where he stands right now he is a top notch player. He's going to produce, be dominant, and be a difference maker. He ranks slightly lower in the Composite then he does the overall 247. It doesn't say much. He definitely has room to grow and become even more of a great player but he's going to give you 4 years of dominant play. He's an athletic defensive tackle who has a lot of skills. He's another guy who's top notch. He's the best defensive tackle out there. Maryland isn't in a good spot here. He has 11 teams who stand out and Maryland isn't one of them. Maybe Maryland sneaks it's way in there but Brown is a top bona fide guy. He's going to a blueblood.
#4 Player - Jalyn Holmes, 4 stars, WDE, 6"5", 225 Ib - Holmes is an athlete. He's a tall guy but he's got a good frame, is quick off the snap, and overall is the kind of athlete who could mold himself into being an elite prospect. He's a 4 star player but he's got potential. He's a second team All-American. He's a guy who if he puts the work in and polishes his game has the raw tools and the ability really to improve his game and make himself into a top prospect. He's got the build, the tools, he just needs to keep working and Holmes can be an elite pass rusher. Holmes has 9 times currently as favorites in the "warm" zone. They are Clemson, Florida, FSU, Maryland, North Carolina, USC, Virginia, VA Tech, and Alabama. Maryland is high up on that list and seems to be in position to potentially land him. This is one where I think Maryland has a solid shot but I really have no idea what's going to happen.
#5 player - Caleb Henderson, 4 stars, QB, 6"3", 220 Ib - Caleb Henderson is a very efficient QB. He completes his passes, is meticulous, and gets the job done. He's effective, is a prototypical pocket passer and a guy who has potential to improve. His arm isn't huge but he's able to make all the throws and could be a very good QB off of the PA Pass and being able to complete the short intermediate routes and not make mistakes. He doesn't wow you, but he's a clean, smooth, mistake free, efficient QB. He's a guy who is going to get the job done and can be the best QB on your team. With Henderson it's hard to make out where he will end up. He has 18 teams who are interested and have made offers and he's just "cool" on all of them. He's a guy who is clearly very early in his recruiting process and it's hard to tell what will happen by the time January 2014 rolls around.
#9 player - M.J. Stewart, 4 stars, S/RB, 5"11", 180 Ib - Stewart is an unknown. He seems to have potential as an energizing type player who can make plays, is a ball hawk, a real athlete but no one really knows his role. He is a low 4 star player but one who does appear to have a skillset and has potential that is there but is currently unfounded and that he will take time. He's not going to be Stefon Diggs (then again who is?) where he can make plays straight away and change the game but he's a guy who could end up being a difference maker with his speed and what appears to be untapped potential. 3 teams lead the pack for Stewart and they are all local. Maryland, Virginia, and VA Tech. All 3 schools in the "warm" zone. I think Stewart is a guy who if we push for him we can land as we have shown a good ability to take players like this and improve them. Wes Brown, Stefon Diggs, and Brandon Ross are kind of the same. I think Stewart could really fit the mold of what Edsall wants and if we make a good push for him then he can be ours.
#10 player - Ricky Walker, 4 stars, 6"2", 275 Ib - Walker isn't a tall guy. He isn't fast. He isn't really big. He's a good mix of a lot of things and has potential to mix them all together and become a good player. He's a low 4 star but one with a lot of unknowns but skills that are there to be improved on. He's a guy who a coaching staff could make into a pretty solid player. He isn't this gold standard top prospect but a guy who if you work with him and at him could mold a little bit of all that he has and become a pretty darn good football player. 6 schools lead the pack in regards to Walker. Boston College, Maryland, North Carolina, Old Dominion, and Penn State. We are high up on his list but he hasn't taken a visit to CP yet. I think he's a guy waiting to be taken and if the Terps want him and impress him he could be a real solid addition to Randy Edsall's class.
Before you all ask players 6-8 are not considering Maryland or in the case of #8 has already commited to Virginia. I reported on Quinn Blanding based purely on the fact he's a top prospect. Virginia is a state where Maryland could pick up some solid recruits who with some work can become great additions to the team. Maryland is where this team will make it's name but there are solid players worth going after in the state of Virginia.
That culminates my lo down on players from Virginia. I'll conclude this 3 part report with the District of Columbia tomorrow.