Broad Run senior Alex Field was relaxing at an Ashburn pizza restaurant this summer when a young boy approached and asked for his autograph. Field is accustomed to random inquiries about his height, but this was a new one.

It wasn't until he glanced down at the Washington Redskins T-shirt he wore that it hit him: The boy had mistaken him for an NFL player. Field confessed that he wasn't.

Not yet, anyway.

"I told him that I wasn't a player, and he just looked so sad," said Field, who at 6 feet 6 and 258 pounds looks every bit the part of a football star. "I'm used to people asking me how tall I am or how much I weigh, but I didn't know what else to say to this kid. I told him that I played at a high school right down the street and that he could come watch me there, but I'm not sure it helped."

It should, however, help the Spartans again this season. Thanks to Field's prowess a year ago, Broad Run posted a 6-4 record and started to erase memories of a winless season in 2002. He recorded a Dulles District-best 11 sacks last year and helped limit opponents to less than two touchdowns per game. The performance earned him district defensive player of the year honors.

Field, who has unofficially committed to the University of Virginia, was also used at tight end last season but caught just seven passes for 44 yards in the Spartans' run-dominated offense. This year Coach Ken Belchik said he is planning to have senior quarterback Kyle Hopeck throw much more often, and there's no better -- certainly no bigger -- target to seek than Field.

"If you're looking for the total package, he's it," Belchik said. "He's got size and strength. He's an athlete on the field, a scholar in the classroom and a mild-mannered, great guy off the field. He's got everything. Players like that don't come along very often."

-- Angela Watts

Alex Field had a Dulles District-best 11 sacks a year ago and has committed to play for the University of Virginia.