With a gameday varsity football roster that shrunk down at times last season to around 25 players, Potomac (Md.) Coach Ronnie Crump can’t afford to make a habit of turning away possible reinforcements.
At 6-foot-4, 195 pounds, junior Dion Wiley has the frame to help out, but don’t expect to see the Oxon Hill school’s most celebrated basketball recruit suiting up at wide receiver for the Wolverines any time soon.
With a year-round basketball focus and a skill set on the hardwood that has drawn scholarship offers from many of the country’s top college programs, the All-Met guard’s interest in becoming a two-sport athlete has fallen on deaf ears.
“He talks about it all the time, but I try to ignore him,” Crump said with a laugh. “He’s got enough going on already.”
Even so, Potomac has become a popular destination for college football coaches this spring with three players, juniors Jerome Dews and Dionzae Foote’ and sophomore Keiron Howard, garnering attention from Football Bowl Subdivision schools. All three were two-way starters on the team that went 8-3 last season, closing with a Maryland 3A South playoff loss at Westlake.
Dews, a 6-foot-4, 198-pound linebacker/wide receiver, picked up his first scholarship offer from Temple last month and added an offer from James Madison on a campus visit over the weekend. An assistant from Arizona was scheduled to visit the school to talk about Dews on Monday afternoon.
In his first season after transferring from Wise where he played on the junior varsity, Dews posted 14 sacks to go along with 15 catches for 220 yards and two touchdowns. Crump said a few college coaches are interested in Dews on offense, but the coach sees him at the next level in a linebacker/defensive end hybrid role similar to what he currently plays in Potomac’s 4-3 scheme.
“He’s just so long and athletic,” Crump said. “They like how hard he plays on defense. He’s relentless. He doesn’t give up.”
Foote’, a 6-foot, 182-pound wide receiver/safety, began his high school career in Florida and was not eligible to play for the Wolverines until this past fall. He made his biggest impact on offense, finishing with 28 catches for 856 yards and eight touchdowns.
Foote’ is still waiting on his first offer, but Crump said he expects the list of suitors to fill up quickly once that happens. He said the staff at Michigan sent a hand-written letter recently, saying a coach would stop by the school soon.
“He’s very deceiving,” Crump said. “You look at him and you wouldn’t think he could play, but when he gets on the football field, he’s a playmaker.”
Howard was Wiley’s teammate on the Maryland 3A runner-up basketball team, but the 6-foot-4, 280-pound lineman has a future in football, according to Crump. The coach said Howard, who holds a football offer from Temple and heavy interest from Rutgers, has eschewed AAU basketball to devote his time to the football camp circuit.
Though just a sophomore, Howard is already well-known in recruiting circles after attending a full slate of camps last summer at colleges up and down the East Coast and posting a 4.9 second 40-yard dash.
“His upside is ridiculous,” Crump said. “In a few years, the offensive line and defensive line coaches [in college] are going to be fighting over him.”
NUMBER CRUNCH: 7
The number of goals scored by Syracuse-bound senior Dylan Maltz in the Stone Bridge boys’ lacrosse team’s 11-9 win over four-time defending state champ Langley. Maltz also added an assist to help deal the Saxons their first AAA Liberty District loss since April 28, 2009 at Madison.
The attackman, who recently passed his brother Derek’s career scoring records at the Ashburn school, set a season high for goals in a game and now has tallied 35 goals in 10 games. Maltz set his career high for goals in a game last March 14 when he found the net nine times in a 16-15 loss to Briar Woods.
— Preston Williams takes a look at how the use of walkup music helps some area baseball teams put a personalized stamp on their games.
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY:
Baseball: No. 1 Riverdale Baptist at Maret, 4:15 p.m.
The top-ranked Crusaders are 21-1 and unbeaten against local competition, but the Frogs have been stingy of late, allowing just two runs during their current four-game winning streak. Riverdale Baptist cruised in the first meeting, winning 15-3 on March 9 behind home runs from junior Andrew Sharpe and sophomore Seth Williams.