Friendship Collegiate junior safety Daejuan Funderburk will travel to Richmond Saturday to compete in the Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour, an invite-only combine for the area’s best players to showcase individual skills. That Funderburk pulled down an invitation comes as no surprise – he currently has 11 high-level scholarship offers – but for a player who didn’t crack the starting lineup until midway through his junior year, it represents a steep ascent since transferring to the recruit-filled charter school from Northwood High in Silver Spring last year.
It also represents another game of sorts for Funderburk, who is still looking to net more offers despite holding scholarship opportunities from Florida State, Wisconsin, Maryland, Tennessee and West Virginia, among others.
“The combines will really test my ability,” Funderburk said, “and see how many more colleges I can pull.”
Funderburk has also been invited to Nike’s The Opening, a lauded recruit combine that gathers 150 of the nation’s best recruits and test them in a crucible of skills competition every year. The details of that event are still being worked out Funderburk said.
The 6-foot-1 Funderburk is not afraid of playing on bright stages – he got his chance to start at safety last fall after making several key plays against Bergen Catholic (N.J.) and Paramus Catholic (N.J.) But his transition into football at Friendship hasn’t been seamless. Learning the complexity of the school’s defense was a major challenge last fall after transferring. Funderburk said he “had to get help,” in order to learn the schemes, a process that should help translate to his preparation for the college game.
“My game is getting better. I’m not even at my peak yet,”Funderburk said. “It just humbled me, at the end of the day. I was just gaining confidence getting better.”
Plenty of talent resides in Friendship’s defensive backfield, which picked up more notoriety last week when Funderburk’s childhood friend D’Andre Payne surprisingly committed early to Tennessee. Funderburk said he will travel to visit the Volunteers with Payne on April 19.
Funderburk visited West Virginia last month, and plans to go back and visit Morgantown soon, he said. Funderburk has also visited Maryland’s campus; he added that he hasn’t gotten to see enough schools yet to slim down his list.
“Really, everybody is in the same boat. Every [school] has a fair shot. It’s just the visits that I take will give me…get me to know what my top five are,” Funderburk said. “I actually don’t have a date [on committing]. I just want to get more offers first, so I have a big variety.”
NUMBER CRUNCH: 10
The number of shutouts O’Connell standout pitcher Tori Finucane has thrown this season, which includes a 3-0 victory over third-ranked Stone Bridge on Wednesday night. The Missouri-recruit Finucane struck out 11 in the win, pushing her total to 133 through 11 games for the second-ranked Knights.
— St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes girl’s lacrosse standout Carly Reed scored four goals in the second half to propel the No.1 Saints a 14-9 win over No. 2 Georgetown Visitation.
— After suffering from a heart ailment earlier in his high school career, South River pitcher Scott Mitchell has recovered to help lead No. 3 South River to a 6-1 start this season and earn a scholarship to Radford.
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
No. 2 Lake Braddock at No. 5 T.C. Williams, 4:30 p.m.
This AAA Patriot District boys’ soccer matchup will provide a good litmus test for Lake Braddock (4-0-2), which has had an eventful week after battling to a 3-3 draw against Oakton Monday, followed by a 7-0 win over Lee Tuesday. Upstart T.C. Williams (4-0-1) has been one of the area’s best surprises this spring — and all four of its wins have been shutouts.
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