From shirts to jackets to, of course, hats, the quaint room where Good Counsel held its ceremony for Wednesday’s National Signing Day was filled with folks in orange attire. Weird thing was, few of them actually matched.
On the far left side of the table, a Clemson Tiger footprint stamped the shoulder of Dorian O’Daniel’s orange pullover, clashing with the orange University of Virginia hats resting nearby for teammates Kirk Garner, Andre Levrone and Brendan Marshall.
Traces of the same color could be found on Kendall Fuller’s Virginia Tech gear, which blended well with the plain orange clothing worn by many of the player’s relatives.
But any notion to sing “Kumbaya” was squashed by Fuller, who made it clear that the lines were now drawn among his one-time teammates and new ACC rivals.
“Oh, there’s been a lot of trash talking and there will continue to be some when we get on the field in college,” Fuller said while trying to keep a straight face. “Especially with those Virginia guys.”
These guys didn’t hesitate to respond, with Levrone almost salivating over the looming matchup.
“I can’t wait for November when we can matchup man-on-man again like we always did in practice,” the Falcons senior wideout said. “I give Kendall the nod, 60-40, right now because I think he’s the best cornerback in the country. But he knows I’m going to give him my best shot.”
Though Fuller has the accolades (All-Met Offensive Player of the Year, U.S. Army All-American Defensive Player of the Year, Parade All-American) to back up his status as a highly touted recruit, the newest Hokie is sorely outnumbered by Cavaliers in Good Counsel’s recruiting class.
After Marshall committed in March, Levrone and Garner followed suit by pledging to Virginia in the next three months.
“It’s nice that we can bring a sense of camaraderie to the next level,” Carr said.
“That’s my quarterback,” Levrone said, minus the T.O. tears. “That chemistry we’ve built will be great to have once we get to Charlottesville.”
This friendly rivalry among a sea of orange was just one of the highlights from yet another busy National Signing Day in the area. Here are some of my observations that didn’t make the print and blogosphere on Wednesday:
• Am I the only one who’s curious about what happens to the hats from the schools not chosen by the recruits? For instance, after Avalon’s Jacquille Veii chose Maryland, I noticed one of his classmates playfully wearing the leftover Iowa and Nebraska hats. I meant to ask Veii what he planned to do with the caps but it slipped my mind. I’ll try to get an answer for Friday’s Letters of Interest.
• It’s safe to say Good Counsel is a football factory when it comes to churning out college players. Coach Bob Milloy gave me a sheet chronicling all of the Good Counsel athletes who went on to play college football since 2001 and including this year’s class, the number sits at 109. That’s an average of nine players per year. Very impressive.
• One person not wearing orange among this Good Counsel group was Darien Carr, who signed with Harvard. Of course, the natural response is, “Wow, I wonder what his GPA is?” So I asked him. The senior linebacker said he’s currently sitting at a 3.9 after earning a 4.4 as a junior last year.
Carr also considered William & Mary and Richmond before choosing the Crimson Tide.
“I’m excited but I know it will be a challenge with the demands of football and academics,” Carr said. “Like they told me during my visit, there are three things you can do in college: sports, social and academics. The key is remembering you can’t do all three things in one day or at one time. It’s all about keeping a balance.”
• The scene at Avalon proved pretty cool. Everyone from first-graders to administrators sat in awe over their first major Signing Day ceremony while people from 12 different countries tuned into DMVStream’s live footage of the festivities. Say what you will about Veii and Rachid Ibrahim excelling against lesser competition but those are two high-character young men with the skills and drive necessary to make a mark in college. And they will be joined by Avalon senior linebacker Tommy Vince, who will play locally at Catholic University.
• Speaking of high character, it was nice to hear about Carroll’s Aaron Young realize his childhood dream. As a first-grader, Young wrote a paper on his aspirations of being a football player. Naturally, the adults who read it responded with a half-hearted “that’s cute.” But some 12 years later, there was Young signing with Old Dominion, the newest Football Bowl Subdivision member, after recording nine interceptions, 68 tackles and two fumble recoveries last fall.
After all the hysteria died down, some basketball action did take place, which leads us to this. . .
Potomac Falls’ record in the month of February over the last four seasons following Wednesday’s 58-52 win against Loudoun Valley. The Panthers and Vikings are now tied for first in the Virginia AA Dulles District. Potomac Falls’ lone loss came in a 20-point blowout against Loudoun Valley in last season’s district title game. One week later, the Panthers beat the Vikings in the AA Region II Division 4 championship en route to a third straight state final. Now in different regions, they cannot see each other beyond the district tournament, but a Dulles title game rematch seems like a distinct possibility.
— No. 1 recruit Robert Nkemdiche of Grayson High (Ga.) headlined the entire National Signing Day scene by signing with Ole Miss.
— Signing day typically yields an unusual development and this one takes the cake: After committing to Arkansas, South Plantation’s (Fla.) Alex Collins found out that his mother had stolen the letter of intent and skipped town in an apparent effort to keep her son from leaving home.
— Post reporter Alex Prewitt chronicled the moments when Catonsville’s DeAndre’ Lane put pen to paper and signed with Maryland on Wednesday.
— Now that National Signing Day 2013 is in the books, it’s about that time to look ahead to 2014. Preston Williams tells us which area recruits to keep an eye on.
— Twin brothers Austin and Collin Alley are dominating the wrestling mat for South River.
— Take a look at the latest individual and team wrestling rankings.
— In hockey news, No. 2 Stone Bridge’s depth at goalie is a big reason for its success while Wootton and Whitman are set to do battle on the ice.
— Check out Recruit Watch for an up-to-date database filled with the most recent signings and offers for local players.
Here are a few highlights and interviews from the signing day festivities at Friendship Collegiate and Avalon.
The Rough Riders will put their undefeated record on the line against a tough Riverdale squad with plenty of size. Roosevelt narrowly escaped an upset by defeating Wilson, 74-72, on a last-second basket. Meantime, junior center Chinanu Onuaku has recorded double-doubles in his last four games for the Crusaders.