There is no disputing Eddie Royal ’s speed. The Westfield (Chantilly, VA) standout ran away from the field during last week’s Nike Camp in Blacksburg, running a 4.37 in the 40 yard dash and earning camp MVP honors. His 4.37 was tops in the camp.
Speed is a given for Royal. After all, it’s in his genes.
“I guess it is in the genes,” said Royal with a laugh. “My brother [Chris] runs a 4.3. He’s real fast.”
What makes Royal an excellent wide receiver and a dangerous return man, however, is his elusiveness and toughness combined with his blazing speed.
“Eddie is a small but strong and physical player,” said Westfield head coach Tom Verbanic of his 5-10, 170 pound receiver. “He’s the fastest kid I’ve ever coached. He’s one of the fastest kids in Northern Virginia. He is a deep threat, but it is his run-after-the-catch ability that makes him special.”
As a junior, Royal made 48 catches for 905 yards and 11 touchdowns and had five returns for touchdowns. Royal’s reputation has garnered respect from opposing coaches. While respect is good thing, it can be frustrating.
“I get so frustrated [when opposing teams kick the ball away from me],” said Royal. “Teams also double and triple team me sometimes, which makes it hard to make things happen.”
Royal’s talent and athletic ability have made him one of the top – if not the top – wide receiver prospect in the state of Virginia. He has terrific hands as well, flashing the ability to make the tough catch in traffic. He has received one official offer from Marshall, where his brother Chris is a rising sophomore defensive back.
Though he plans on waiting a while before making a final decision, the Thundering Herd stands out to Royal for a couple of reasons.
“Right now, I really like Marshall,” said Royal. “My brother plays there and they’ve offered me. I also like Virginia Tech and Virginia too. UVA has sent a lot of mail, and they want me to camp this summer. I think I will camp at UVA, Maryland, and maybe Virginia Tech.
“I’m going to take my time in making my decision.”
In addition to the two in-state schools and Marshall, Royal is also receiving interest from the likes of Syracuse and Michigan. Stay tuned this summer, as we follow up with Royal following his summer visits to different camps and campuses.