Two all-Met football players, W.T. Woodson's Mark Schultz (6-foot-2, 230 pounds) and Gaithersburg's Jim Joyce (6-4, 210) decided the easiest way to avoid college recruiters was to sign early.

Schultz signed with Georgia Tech and Joyce with Maryland. They are just two of the Washington area's top players who have brought recruiters here in droves.

"This is by far the best year for high school talent since we've been at Maryland," said Gothard Lane, serving his seventh year as Terrapin recruiting coordinator. "The receivers are good, the linemen are especially good. This is a very good year overall for quality players."

Miami (Fla.) recruiter Bill Trout went further: "I would compare this year's Washington talent to any concentrated area in the nation.

"There are excellent athletes at every position. I've been coming up here for years and this is the best year for talent."

Several All-Met linemen are among the most highly recruited in the area, an oddity since this area is best known for producing running backs.

Lineman who will spend part of their Christmas holidays traveling include Lackey's Albert Davis, Whitman's Ben Quinn, Ballou's Darryl Sheffey, Blair's Leon Davis, St. John's Pete Speros, Caroll's Jeff Denney, Garfield's Greg Brown, W.T. Woodson's Jimmy Kidwell, H.D. Woodson's Claypon Fields and T. Roosevelt's Chris Prince.

"Woody Hayes (Ohio State coach) was in here the other day to see Chris. He's very interested in him." said Roosevelt Coach Jim Tillerson. "Chris will make Ohio State one of his six visits."

Hayes also spent time with a few other area prospects, including Potomac wide receiver Clyde Duncan, considered the best pass-catcher on the East Coast.

"We would love to have him (Duncan)," said Bruce Shaw, who recruits this area for Richmond. "But everyone is after him."

Annandale's Phil Denfeld and Largo's Eric Wade were the other two most-often-mentioned receivers.

Heading the running backs were Spotsylvania's Johnnie Edmonds and Fort Hunt's Rocky Belk.

The biggest player in the area, H.D. Woodson's Claybon Fields (6-7, 275), also has been deluged with offers.

"Potentially, he could be one of the best lineman in the nation," said a recruiter for a Big Ten university. "He needs a lot of work but we would be willing to take a chance on him."

Fields, a 3.8 student, already has visited Wisconsin, and plans to see the campuses of Indiana, N. C. State and Michigan State.

Other signees include Wheaton tackle Pepper Jones with Virginia Tech, Jefferson fullback Brian Kuntz with Richmond and Glenelg wide receiver David Hemphill with North Carolina.