After Woodgrove football made its deepest postseason run to the Virginia 4A North region semifinal last fall, colleges have kept the Purcelville school on their radar.
In a span of one week, junior linebacker Matt Whalen and junior defensive back Uzoma Kpaduwa picked up their first offers from the Virginia Military Institute. The 6-foot-2, 223-pound Whalen posted 62 tackles and four sacks last season, and, Kpaduwa, 5-foot-10, 190-pounder, racked up 88 tackles and four interceptions.
VMI offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Matt Campbell called both to extend an offer.
“He really liked what I did on film,” Whalen said of his conversation with Campbell. “He liked how I set the edge, and was explosive and physical. He said there was no question he wanted to offer me full scholarship.”
Junior wide reciever Dylan Mellor added Monmouth and Bryant offers as well.
Whalen spent the spring as a defender on Woodgrove’s lacrosse team, which missed qualifying for the region tournament due to a last-second goal in the Dulles Group championship against Loudoun Valley.
He plans to attend camp at Lehigh, Villanova, Towson, Richmond, Lafayette and Pennsylvania this summer while bulking up his frame. Whalen will be making the move to middle linebacker this season after spending his junior campaign at outside linebacker.
“I’m going to soak in everything I can,” Whalen said of the position change. “I’m a fast learner so it won’t be a problem. I played every position growing up in the Upper Loudoun Youth Football League except running back and quarterback — it’s the same concept.”
Kpaduwa wants to add 10 pounds before the season begins and will be heading to Towson this weekend for a camp. He will follow that with a visit to William and Mary and James Madison later this month. In July, he will head to Cornell.
This season Kpaduwa will step into the role as captain of a defense that allowed 14 points per game in 2013. The Wolverines had their season-high five game winning streak snapped in a Virginia 4A North loss to Salem 42-25.
NUMBER CRUNCH: 119
Baseball America’s prospect ranking for Battlefield southpaw ace Nick Wells. With added velocity and prototypical size, MLB scouts have frequented his starts to get a look at the 6-foot-5 standout. Wells is a projected third to fifth round draft pick in the 2014 MLB draft, which begins today.
– Langley’s Billy Orme netted an overtime goal to send the Saxons past rival Chantilly and into the Virginia 6A North region boys’ lacrosse final. The Saxons, who earned a state tournament berth, will host Robinson in Friday’s region final.
– In an old-fashioned shootout, Westfield’s Meghan Heick scored six goals and Molly O’Sulivan provided the final overtime goal to lift the Bulldogs over perennial girls’ lacrosse power Madison, 17-16. The Bulldogs will meet Oakton in Friday’s Virginia 6A North region final with both teams already securing a state semifinals spot.
– Chantilly senior ace Eason Recto had his best stuff Wednesday, and struck out nine West Springfield batters for a 4-1 victory in a 6A North region semifinal. The Chargers play McLean in Friday’s region final.
– With an aggressive approach at the plate Stone Bridge pounded 15 base hits en route to a 12-4 victory over Marshall in the Virginia 5A North region final. The Bulldogs will meet Conference 14 foe Freedom-South Riding Friday in the school’s first region final contest.
PHOTOS OF THE DAY:
Check out these pictures from Eason Recto’s big night for Chantilly in a 4-1 victory over West Springfield.