Here’s a look at 23 of the top football recruits in the Washington area, all of whom are expected to make their college choices official Wednesday on National Signing Day.
1. DB Kendall Fuller, Good Counsel: Named the All-Met offensive player of the year for his work as a wide receiver this fall, Fuller will play in the secondary at Virginia Tech. The Parade All-American’s three brothers also played in Blackburg, including Kyle and Corey, who are still there. An All-Met at defensive back in 2011, this season Fuller intercepted three passes, broke up another eight and made 28 tackles.
2. DL Jonathan Allen, Stone Bridge : The All-Met defensive player of the year and three-time All-Met will join defending national champion Alabama after a 119-tackle season that included eight sacks, seven pass deflections, six fumble recoveries, five blocked kicks and a Parade All-American selection.
3. QB Ryan Burns, Stone Bridge: Stanford’s starting quarterback the final several games of the season was a D.C. guy — Gonzaga’s Kevin Hogan — and now one of Hogan’s backups will be, too. The All-Met Burns threw for a school-record 2,473 yards and 28 touchdowns for a Stone Bridge team that reached the Virginia AAA Division 5 final.
4. LB Matt Rolin, Briar Woods: The third Loudoun County player already on this list missed much of his senior year with a knee injury and was not a part of the team’s run to a third consecutive Virginia AA Division 4 championship. Rolin still earned first-team all-state honors for his dominant play on a defense that allowed just 6.5 points per game. He will sign with Florida after de-committing from South Carolina in December.
5. LB Dorian O’Daniel, Good Counsel: Chosen All-Met on defense in 2011 and on offense in 2012, he will sign with Clemson, a choice he made in April. This season for the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champions he had six tackles for losses and rushed for 1,300 yards and 18 touchdowns.
6. DB Devin Butler, Gonzaga: The All-Met who seemed destined to play many of his games in the Midwest will join a resurgent Notre Dame program after announcing in April that he would choose the Irish over Michigan, Wisconsin and Penn State. This season he had three interceptions, 10 pass breakups and 46 tackles.
7. LB E.J. Levenberry, Hylton: The two-time All-Met, who began his career at DeMatha, committed in April to Florida State but continued to pursue his options, with a trip to Oklahoma late in the year and to Tennessee just last week. But his father, Eric, does not have the Seminoles “war chant” as his answering machine music for nothing. Levenberry made 129 solo stops for Hylton last season, with 14 deflections and 24 quarterback hurries.
8. OL Derwin Gray, Friendship Collegiate: The first on the list to stay in the D.C. area for Maryland Coach Randy Edsall, Gray wanted to play for the hometown team and is a pillar of the Terrapins’ 2013 class. He bypassed Florida and Ohio State and many other traditional powers to remain in the area.
9. LB Marcus Newby, Quince Orchard: The All-Met Nebraska recruit committed last summer before racking up 132 tackles for a Maryland 4A runner-up team that shut out five opponents. It probably didn’t hurt that Cornhuskers defensive coordinator John Papuchis is a Quince Orchard graduate, as is Nebraska defensive end Jason Ankrah.
10. OL Na’Ty Rodgers, McDonough: The Parade All-American honorable mention pick chose South Carolina over Maryland and others just last month. He was methodical, making six unofficial visits to South Carolina as well as an official stop.
11. WR Taivon Jacobs, Suitland: The repeat All-Met has orally committed to Ohio State, his “dream school” since he was young, but on Tuesday said he is now once again considering his second choice, Maryland. Jacobs’ brother, Levern III, plays for the Terps. Jacobs amassed 1,065 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns and also intercepted six passes in his senior season. Jacobs previously said he hoped to play the same role for Urban Meyer at Ohio State that Percy Harvin and Chris Rainey played for Meyer at Florida.
12. LB Marcel Ngachie, Good Counsel: The WCAC champions’ leading tackler bypassed bigger schools to commit to Albany. Last season for the Falcons he made 27 solo tackles, including eight for losses, and had 44 assists.
13. LB Oren Burks, South County: The Vanderbilt recruit played all over the defense for the Stallions, in the process collecting 123 tackles, three interceptions, six forced fumbles and four blocked kicks.
15. DB Evrett Edwards, Woodbridge: Described by former Woodbridge Coach Kevin Smith as “wise beyond his years,” the Duke recruit did a lot of his own homework in researching schools and decided on the Blue Devils back in March. He already is enrolled there.
16. LB Yannick Ngakoue, Friendship Collegiate: One of the few remaining mysteries, the Parade All-American is expected to choose among Maryland, South Carolina and Florida State on National Signing Day on Wednesday. He had 17 sacks and returned two fumbles for touchdowns last season.
17. K-P Chris Blewitt, West Potomac: The strong-legged senior with the perfect, or maybe least perfect, name for a kicker went to Pitt for a camp and returned home with a scholarship offer. This season he kicked eight field goals, with a long of 50 yards, and averaged 43.5 yards punting. All but three of his kickoffs reached the end zone. Blewitt is not just a specialist. He was the second-fastest player on the West Potomac team.
18. WR Paul Harris, Douglass: The All-Met chose Tennessee in July and did not change his mind after the Volunteers opted not to bring back receivers coach Darin Hinshaw, even though that change prompted him to consider Oregon and South Carolina. Harris scored six of his 11 touchdowns in the playoffs on a team that reached the Maryland 2A final. He is already enrolled in Knoxville.
19. DB Jordan Smith, H.D. Woodson: While other recruits were de-committing from Penn State last summer in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Smith opted to play for the Nittany Lions, the team he had yearned to suit up for since he was young.
20. DB Jacquille Veii, Avalon: Iowa, Maryland or latercomer Nebraska are likely to land his talents Wednesday. Veii committed to Maryland in July but then kept shopping after a discrepancy in his high school credits prompted Maryland to briefly pull the offer. Veii has met recently with Edsall.
21. WR Zach Bradshaw, Damascus: Originally orally committed to Penn state, Bradshaw flipped his pick to Virginia in August after sanctions in response to NCAA sanctions against the Big Ten school. He earned All-Met honors after leading the Swarmin’ Hornets through a perfect regular season in which he scored nine total touchdowns, finding the end zone on offense, defense and special teams.
22. TE Cam Serigne, Briar Woods: The Wake Forest recruit and versatile All-Met helped lead the Falcons to a third straight Virginia AA Division 4 title with 56 catches for 937 yards and 11 touchdowns.
23. DL Donta Wilkins, Potomac (Va.): The two-way lineman, All-Met on offense as a junior and defense this past season, was so respected in the Virginia AAA Northwest Region that coaches named him region player of the year on both sides of the ball. He committed to Virginia last summer and planned to take other visits in January but the deaths of two grandmothers helped convince him that he belongs in Charlottesville on the retooled coaching staff.