Manassas Park All-Met Zach Terrell, who for months had planned to play football at James Madison University, said Tuesday that he instead would sign with Liberty University after JMU said it could not offer him a full scholarship.
Terrell, the Virginia A state player of the year, was expected to officially commit to Liberty yesterday, the first day of the signing period.
A quarterback-defensive back who led the Cougars to the Virginia A Division 2 championship on JMU's home field in December, Terrell visited both Liberty and JMU last week, and published reports had him headed to Harrisonburg.
But Terrell said he learned Sunday morning that because of his SAT score, the Dukes would not be offering him a full scholarship.
JMU won the Division I-AA national title last season. Liberty won its last four games to finish 6-5, the Flames' best record since 1997.
"I figured I would go to Liberty because it's a better fit, and they gave me the full ride," said Terrell, who conceded that he had been looking forward to playing for the defending national champions. "I thought it was a better fit for me because I could come in and play right away, and they're going to let me play on the offensive side of the ball," although not necessarily at quarterback.
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Terrell in the fall established a Virginia A record for offensive yards in a season, with 4,523. He rushed for 2,044 yards and 28 touchdowns and threw for 2,479 yards and 26 scores.
Woodbridge running back Andre Bratton was scheduled to sign with Miami of Ohio yesterday. The 5-11, 180-pound Bratton totaled 100 yards in all 11 games to finish with 1,751 yards. He was the Virginia AAA Northwestern Region offensive player of the year.
Miami of Ohio running backs coach DeAndre Smith, formerly of Northern Illinois, joined the program just two weeks ago.
"With this being his first recruit, there's a natural bond there," Woodbridge Coach Keith King said of the prospective relationship between Smith and Bratton.
Other area players who had previously made their college choices known and planned to sign yesterday include Gar-Field defensive lineman Kevin Crawford (Virginia), Osbourn offensive lineman Chris Taylor (Army) and Woodbridge defensive lineman Kingsley Wiafe (Hampton).