There were other, more prominent football programs recruiting Charlie Rivers and Larrone Moore. Rivers, a running back at Largo High, led Prince George's County in rushing last season. Moore, a speedy athlete who played several positions for Northwestern, was a threat every time he had the ball in his hands.
Opposing coaches last fall were particularly worried about Rivers and Moore and their big-play ability. However, when the time came to make college selections, Rivers accepted a scholarship to play for Division II Bowie State and Moore chose Division I-AA Delaware State -- two schools far from the athletic spotlight.
On Saturday, though, Moore and Rivers have the opportunity to shine one more time on the high school level -- and perhaps show that some bigger colleges made a recruiting mistake -- when they play for the East team in the Good Samaritan Bowl all-star game at Navy Marine Corps Marine Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.
"I'm not going to go out there and be like there is something on my shoulders or I need to do this or that," Moore said. "I want to have fun. But I also want to prove myself and compete with the other great athletes in the area."
Also a standout sprinter in track, Moore wanted to participate in both sports in college. Most of the football teams recruiting him said there was a possibility for him to run track as a sophomore. The college track coaches wanted Moore to only run track as a freshman and then maybe he could try out for football as a sophomore. That, combined with a tenuous academic situation -- Moore and Rivers did not meet the NCAA minimum standards for academic eligibility until late in their senior year -- left Moore with a narrow field from which to choose.
Delaware State, however, was able to wait for Moore and said it will allow him to play both sports. Moore was a three-time All-Met in track and this spring won the long jump at the prestigious Penn Relays. He also wanted to keep playing football.
When Potomac's Eric Knight, who will coach the East team, went looking for players to fill his roster, Moore fit right in. And Knight liked Rivers, who led the county with 1,808 yards rushing last season, because of his hard running style.
"I know I've got to live up to my name because I was the number one back in the county last season," Rivers said. "I just want to go out there and do what I can and hopefully break a big one."
Knight said: "I was picking athletic-type guys. Our team is built on speed and athleticism. When I was talking to a lot of [the players], they were saying to me they were looking forward to playing in the game; one said, I'm not naming names, because his coach was too conservative and he knows I'm not conservative."
Potomac went 14-0 last fall, winning the Maryland 2A title with a wide-open offense that averaged 34.4 points. Knight expects to use a similar strategy in Saturday's game. He selected only three running backs for the team and told them to be ready to catch the ball out of the backfield. Teams are required to throw on at least half of their offensive plays, but Knight said "that will be no problem. There is no question we're going to meet our quota of passes."
That should mean plenty of opportunities for Moore, who lined up at wide receiver, quarterback and running back for Northwestern last season.
"Larrone was probably one of the scariest guys with the ball in his hand," Suitland Coach Nick Lynch said. "Kick returner, punt returner, quarterback, running back -- you name it."