Nekos Brown figured Virginia Tech assistant coach Tony Ball would offer a football scholarship when Ball visited him at Thomas Stone in May. Instead, Brown left the meeting confused.

"Don't think we're not interested just because we haven't offered you" a scholarship, Brown said he was told by Ball.

Brown was stunned.

"I thought they didn't want me," he said. "Why would they say that if they wanted me?"

A month later, the offer came. Last weekend, after a visit to the campus in Blacksburg, Va., Brown committed to the Hokies and became the second Southern Maryland player in the class of 2006 to accept a football scholarship. Westlake defensive end Darius Powell committed to North Carolina last month.

Both players will sign national letters-of-intent Feb. 1, the first day players are allowed to do so.

Brown also had an offer from Virginia, but rather than wait to see if other offers would come once the high school season started, he took the sure thing.

"I got offers from the two schools I wanted," Brown said. "I didn't want to go anywhere else."

Brown said a big selling point was the stability of the Virginia Tech coaching staff; he said he wanted to know that there was a good chance he would be coached by the same people five years from now. Ball is one of nine Hokies coaches who have been at the school since at least 1999.

The 6-foot-3, 227-pound Brown said the Hokies envision him as a linebacker. After playing defensive tackle for Thomas Stone last year, Brown said that this season he will move back to the inside linebacker position he played as a sophomore.

Huntingtown Struggling in Summer League

The Huntingtown boys' basketball team finished 13-9 last winter and advanced to the Maryland 3A South Region semifinals -- an impressive accomplishment for most teams, much less one in its first season. As the Hurricanes look to build on the strides they made in their inaugural campaign, they are participating in the Nike Pro City Summer League at Gwynn Park High in Brandywine.

Huntingtown hasn't quite escaped the growing pains, however. A young Hurricanes lineup consisting mostly of players with no varsity experience struggled to a 1-8 start.

"We've had a lot of young kids playing over there, so we've been getting hammered pretty good over there by some of those teams," Hurricanes Coach Rick Weber said. "But I've seen some promising spurts there where we've looked pretty good."

Weber has emphasized development this summer rather than summer-league wins and losses. He said participation in the team's spring and summer strength and conditioning programs has been exceptional.

"They can't make themselves taller, but they can get stronger and improve their skills," Weber said.

The Hurricanes expect to return five players with substantial varsity experience. Among them is point guard Bryan Shearer, a rising senior who represented Huntingtown in the summer-league all-star game last week.

Playing in the summer league also has introduced Huntingtown to a few of its new 3A South Region rivals. With this season's realignment, Prince George's County schools Gwynn Park, Friendly, DuVal and Surrattsville will join the region. The county perennially features some of the state's best basketball teams.

"It's good for the kids to play against some of them," Weber said, "to see how they play and see what kind of athletes they are."