TSL Postseason Top 40

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6-3, 220-pound linebacker Curtis Grant, who helped the Hermitage Panthers (Richmond) reach the Group AAA, Division 6 state championship game in 2010, maintains his spot as #1 prospect in TechSideline.com’s In-State Top 40, the Postseason Edition. In fact, the top eight rankings remain the same, and four of those prospects — including Grant — have yet to make their college choice.

Linebacker is a strength of the class, and I could see as many as seven linebackers in the top 20, though five or six is more likely. Athlete, a term popping up more and more these days, is certainly appropriate with a number of prospects in this top 40. You start with the #2 player, Dominique Terrell, who truly has star potential on either side of the ball. State #3 Demetrious Nicholson, pursued by most as a shut-down corner, has demonstrated big-play ability on offense over the course of the past two seasons. Clifton Richardson (#7), Lafonte Thourogood (#10), Tim Scott (#12), Rob Burns (#16) and Anthony Harris (#17) all have the athletic ability and versatility to be quality players on offense or defense.

Decisions

Thirty-three of the top 40 prospects in the state have made their college decisions, and 32 of them are committed to play on the FBS level. Liberty Christian Academy (Lynchburg) offensive lineman Grant Jones, who has committed to Liberty, had FBS offers.

The University of Virginia leads the way with 14 commitments in the top 40, followed by Virginia Tech with eight. UNC has scored two of the top 12 prospects, while West Virginia has two from the top 30. Arkansas, Boston College, Clemson, Connecticut, Duke and East Carolina all have one commitment in the top 40.

Four prospects within the top six remain uncommitted, including Grant, Terrell, Nicholson and #6 Travis Hughes. Hughes, the star linebacker/running back out of Kempsville (Virginia Beach), is scheduled to announce his college choice on Saturday at noon. Expect Maryland, North Carolina or Virginia Tech to be the choice.

Grant, who figures to have a Signing Day decision, seems likely to head out of state. If he does stay in the state, Virginia would likely be the choice as he has developed a good relationship with head coach Mike London.

Terrell has taken an official visit to West Virginia and has scheduled an official to UVa on the weekend of January 21. Osbourn (Manassas) head coach Steve Schultze says that Terrell is trying to schedule an official to Virginia Tech as well. North Carolina and Texas Tech remain in the running, though I see one of the three Virginia schools being the choice in the end.

Nicholson, the Gatorade Player of the Year in the state, is considering Virginia, North Carolina, Stanford, N.C. State, and perhaps Virginia Tech. Virginia seems to have gained the edge, but the Bayside (Virginia Beach) star remains uncommitted and is considering whether or not to take more official visits. He has already taken officials to Stanford and Virginia.

Another Liberty Christian Academy senior, speedy wide receiver Demitri Knowles (#26), also remains uncommitted and is considering offers from U-Conn, Virginia and Virginia Tech. The 6-1, 175-pound senior, a native of the Bahamas, has taken an official visit to Connecticut and has scheduled an official to Virginia Tech for mid-January.

All-American selections

A handful of prospects from the state of Virginia are slated to compete in national all-star games.

On January 5, Nicholson and Hughes will compete in the Under Armour All-American Bowl in St. Petersburg, Florida. On January 8, Grant and Harrisonburg offensive lineman Landon Turner are set to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

The Offense-Defense All-American Bowl takes place on December 31 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Menchville running back Clifton Richardson, who is UVa-bound, has been selected to play.

The inaugural NUC All World Game will feature three players from the Commonwealth, including LCA offensive lineman Grant Jones (Liberty commit), Phoebus defensive end/linebacker Daquan Romero (UVa commit) and Phoebus linebacker Caleb Taylor (UVa commit). The game will be played on December 31 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Movers

There isn’t much movement within the top 10 from my preseason rankings, but two prospects made significant moves into the top 15.

Green Run defensive tackle David Dean has made the biggest move from my preseason ranks, moving six spots from #20 to #14. Dean, a first-team all-Beach district selection on both sides of the ball for the second consecutive season, racked up double-digit sacks in yet another productive year for the Stallions. Colonial Forge defensive back/wide receiver prospect Tim Scott moved up five spots from #17 to #12. The UNC-bound athlete is fluid with very good speed and playmaking ability on both sides of the ball.

South County’s Ronny Vandyke completed the entire 2010 season injury-free, rebounding from a junior season lost to a shoulder injury. When healthy, the 6-3, 200-pound prospect is easily a top 10 prospect in the state. He is #9 on my postseason list. He is an excellent fit for Virginia Tech’s scheme as either a rover or a whip linebacker.

Ocean Lakes quarterback Lafonte Thourogood missed several games due to a shoulder injury on his non-throwing arm, but the 6-2, 210-pound senior remains in my top 10 at #10. Thourogood, who was heavily pursued by Virginia Tech and Virginia and earned a November offer from Florida before settling on the Hokies, was recruited to play quarterback at Tech. He has a lot of upside at that position, but my evaluation of him is also as an athlete. Built like a rock, Thourogood also has good speed and could be successful at a number of spots on the next level (QB, WR, LB).


Preseason Top 40, Final Version

1. Curtis Grant – LB, 6-3, 220 pounds, Hermitage (Richmond)

Uncommitted

2. Dominique Terrell – WR/DB, 5-10, 175 pounds, Osbourn (Manassas)

Uncommitted

3. Demetrious Nicholson – CB, 5-9, 165 pounds, Bayside (Virginia Beach)

Uncommitted

4. Landon Turner – OL, 6-6, 300 pounds, Harrisonburg

Committed to UNC

5. Corey Marshall – DL, 6-1, 250 pounds, Dinwiddie

Committed to Virginia Tech

6. Travis Hughes – LB/RB, 6-1, 225 pounds, Kempsville (Virginia Beach)

Uncommitted

7. Clifton Richardson – RB, 6-1, 195 pounds, Menchville (Newport News)

Committed to UVa

8. Quinta Funderburk – WR, 6-2, 200 pounds, Oscar Smith (Chesapeake)

Committed to Arkansas

9. Ronny Vandyke – S/LB, 6-3, 200 pounds, South County (Lorton)

Committed to Virginia Tech

10. Lafonte Thourogood – QB/ATH, 6-2, 210 pounds, Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach)

Committed to Virginia Tech

11. Jay Whitmire – OL, 6-7, 290 pounds, T.C. Williams (Alexandria)

Committed to UVa

12. Tim Scott – CB/WR, 5-11, 175 pounds, Colonial Forge (Stafford)

Committed to UNC

13. Daquan Romero – LB/DE, 6-1, 215 pounds, Phoebus (Hampton)

Committed to UVa

14. David Dean – DT, 6-2, 285 pounds, Green Run (Virginia Beach)

Committed to UVa

15. Michael Cole – LB/S, 6-2, 200 pounds, Cave Spring (Roanoke)

Committed to Virginia Tech

16. Rob Burns – DE/TE, 6-7, 230 pounds, Stone Bridge (Ashburn)

Committed to UVa

17. Anthony Harris – DB/WR, 6-3, 190 pounds, L.C. Bird (Chesterfield)

Committed to UVa

18. Caleb Taylor – LB, 6-0, 230 pounds, Phoebus (Hampton)

Committed to UVa

19. David Watford – QB, 6-1, 185 pounds, Hampton

Committed to UVa

20. Michael Holmes – RB, 6-1, 190 pounds, Harrisonburg

Committed to Virginia Tech

21. Kameron Mack – S/ATH, 6-5, 200 pounds, I.C. Norcom (Portsmouth)

Committed to UVa

22. Thompson Brown – DE/TE, 6-4, 240 pounds, St. Christopher’s (Richmond)

Committed to UVa

23. DeAndre Reaves – RB, 5-10, 180 pounds, Dominion (Sterling)

Committed to West Virginia

24. Jake Goins – OL, 6-5, 280 pounds, Manchester (Midlothian)

Committed to Virginia Tech

25. Ross Burbank – OL, 6-5, 285 pounds, Cox (Virginia Beach)

Committed to UVa

26. Demitri Knowles – WR, 6-1, 175 pounds, Liberty Christian Academy

Uncommitted

27. Eric Frohnapfel – TE, 6-6, 220 pounds, Colonial Forge (Stafford)

Committed to West Virginia

28. Grant Jones – OL, 6-4, 280 pounds, Liberty Christian Academy (Lynchburg)

Committed to Liberty

29. Diamonte Bailey – DE, 6-3, 220 pounds, Hermitage (Richmond)

Committed to UVa

30. Michael Nebrich – QB/ATH, 6-1, 190 pounds, Lake Braddock (Burke)

Committed to Connecticut

31. Dewayne Alford – DE, 6-3, 220 pounds, Nansemond River (Suffolk)

Committed to Virginia Tech

32. Darius Lee – LB/S, 6-1, 205 pounds, St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes (Alexandria)

Committed to UVa

33. Chris Hall – QB/ATH, 6-4, 225 pounds, Dinwiddie

Committed to Virginia Tech

34. Isaiah Battle – OL, 6-7, 265 pounds, Blue Ridge

Committed to Clemson

35. Sam Marshall – OL/DE, 6-8, 265 pounds, Chancellor (Fredericksburg)

Committed to Duke

36. Kevin Green – QB/ATH, 6-2, 205 pounds, Petersburg

Committed to UVa

37. Raysean Richardson – LB/S, 6-1, 190 pounds, Oscar Smith (Chesapeake)

Uncommitted

38. Timmy Keith – WR, 6-0, 200 pounds, Osbourn (Manassas)

Uncommitted

39. Spenser Rositano – S, 6-0, 185 pounds, Stone Bridge (Ashburn)

Committed to Boston College

40. Jeton Beavers – DL, 6-5, 250 pounds, Bayside (Virginia Beach)

Committed to East Carolina


Ones to watch

Neil Anthony-Hale – DB/LB, Maury

Breon Bailey – QB/ATH, Norfolk Christian

Mylon Blueford – CB, Oscar Smith Committed to Richmond

Jordan Broadnax – RB/ATH, Landstown

Kevin Buchanon – LB/DE, Maury

Damien Caison – TE, Warren County

Donte Capers – CB, Booker T. Washington

Cortez Carter – FB/LB, Liberty (Bealeton) Committed to Marshall

Damien Carter – LB, Amherst

Jason Creeden – OL/DL, Woodberry Forest

Austin Copeland – LB, Gar-Field

Josh Doggett – LB, Atlee

Deshon Foxx – ATH, Brookville Committed to Connecticut

Blake Frohnapfel – QB, Colonial Forge Committed to Marshall

Ian Frye – PK/P, Virginia Committed to Virginia (recruited walk-on)

Trey Gardner – WR, Dinwiddie

Jaston George – CB, Oscar Smith Committed to Syracuse

Iric Harris – CB, Hylton

Marcus Harris – RB, Stone Bridge

Rex Harrison – QB, Kempsville

J.T. Hornyak – DB, Woodberry Forest

Irabor Imobisa – OL/DL, Meadowbrook Committed to Richmond

Anthony Johnson – WR, Mountain View

Keith Johnson – WR, Petersburg Committed to Richmond

Dre’Quez Lambert – RB, Green Run

Tyree Lee – RB, Phoebus

Domonique Lennon – DB, Nansemond Suffolk Academy Committed to East Carolina

Chaz Lowery – OL, Ocean Lakes

Josh Mann – OL, Ocean Lakes

Marcus Matthews – DL/OL, Osbourn Committed to Miami (OH)

Jamil McGinnis – WR/DB, L.C. Bird

Dominique Miller – ATH, Hylton

Nick Miller – ATH, Gretna

Connor Mewbourne – OL/DL, First Colonial

Michael Mey – ATH, J.R. Tucker Committed to Navy

Alex Mosley – DL, Highland Springs

Christian Norton – LB, Deep Run

Reggie Owens – DB, Ocean Lakes

Mico Phillips – RB, Meadowbrook

Tre Preston – LB/DE, Franklin County

Jared Velasquez – DB, Robinson

Brendan Riddick – ATH, Hermitage

George Riddick – OL/DL, King’s Fork

Aaron Roane – RB, West Point Committed to Richmond

Brian Rody – QB, Stone Bridge

Brandon Rogers – CB, Hermitage

Max Sarmento – LB, Deep Run

Dallas Simmons – RB, Deep Run

Kerry Spellman – WR, Indian River Committed to Old Dominion

Blaize Torrence – ATH, Henrico

Mason Thomas – DB, Kempsville

Joshua Trimble – DB, Bishop O’Connell

Josh Woodrum – QB, Cave Spring Committed to Liberty

Raheem Walker – DB, Maury

Derrion Walton – RB, Lake Taylor

Lucky Whitehead – ATH, Osbourn

Sedale Young – OL, William Fleming Committed to Richmond

Matt Zanellato – WR, Lake Braddock Committed to Penn State

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