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Letters of Interest: Briar Woods OL Jared Coker, WR Brandon Polk earn football offers

Briar Woods WR/KR Brandon Polk (left) recently received offers from Maryland and Virginia Tech. The sophomore is one of several Falcons gaining interest from big-time colleges (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post).

On Feb. 1, when Briar Woods seniors Matt Rolin and Cam Serigne signed with Florida and Wake Forest, respectively, on National Signing Day, it not only marked the end of their high school football careers but also commenced the intense recruitment of the talented Falcons left behind.

Two of those underclassmen, junior offensive lineman Jared Coker and sophomore wideout Brandon Polk, recently earned multiple offers from Football Bowl Subdivision programs. After earning an offer from U-Mass. last month, Coker received a second offer while at Bowling Green’s junior day this past weekend. As for Polk, he’s been offered by Virginia Tech and Maryland in the last two weeks. The duo joins junior QB Trace McSorley, who also has offers from U-Mass. and Virginia Tech as well as Boston College, North Carolina and UNC-Charlotte.

In Coker, a college program stands to get a 6-foot-4, 285-pound lineman who relishes making the big block and opening holes for his teammates.

“I love flying up the hole and nailing someone; that’s one of the greatest feelings for me,” Coker said in a Monday phone interview. “I’ll probably be a guard in college and I feel like I have enough speed and power to knock people over and be effective.”

Falcons Coach Charlie Pierce also loves Coker’s physical play, which is evident on film and in the 3,190 rushing yards that Briar Woods gained en route to its third straight Virginia AA Division 4 championship. That’s why he’s also gained interest from Boston College, Duke, Kent State, Rutgers, Wake Forest and UNC, where he plans to visit this weekend.

“Jared is one of the main pullers on the offensive line, and when he’s pulling lots of things happen — pushing, shoving, elbowing, he’s de-cleating guys,” said Pierce, a former offensive line coach. “He plays with a lot of attitude and off the field, he’s a honorable young man.”

While Coker handles the physical side of things, Polk makes his mark using sheer speed. We all know Frank Beamer loves fast receivers and special teams players and Polk fits that billing, scoring 12 touchdowns and making several big plays as a kick returner last season.

“Brandon has the God-given talent of speed and acceleration,” Pierce said. “He’ll get the ball on a jet sweep, run, jailbreak screen or short pass and he can make a lot of people miss while picking up lots of yards. Once he gets out in the open, he has that extra gear.”

In Monday’s hoops action, which was highlighted by the start of the Northern Region boys’ and girls’ tournaments:

Though built like a linebacker and blessed with scoring ability, Montrose Christian senior and Baylor recruit Ishmail Wainright is just fine with flirting with triple-doubles as the Mustangs’ point forward.

Join my man B.J. Koubaroulis as he brings us another version of Top Plays from the week that was in hoops. This week’s No. 1 play might be the best you’ll see all season.

Age of Derrick Dixon when he made the Lanham Christian varsity basketball team last year. After playing significant minutes last season, the eighth-grader is now the starting shooting guard and second-leading scorer for the Lions at 14 points per game.

— Check out the latest Post Top 20 basketball rankings.

— Largo’s girls claimed the Maryland 2A/1A indoor track title.

— Much to the relief of girls’ lacrosse coaches within Maryland, lawmakers have decided to withdraw a proposal calling for players to wear helmets.

— Forest Park’s Breyana Mason recently topped 1,500 career points to become the most prolific scorer in Prince William County girls’ basketball history.

— Friendly was able to secure the top seed in the Maryland 3A South girls’ basketball playoffs after avenging an early-season loss to Gwynn Park.

— Despite two double-digit losses last week following a 21-0 start, No. 7 Theodore Roosevelt isn’t fazed.

— Although Centennial won’t begin the playoffs with the first-round bye that it’s enjoyed in recent years, the two-time defending Maryland 3A East region champs are plenty confident.

W.T. Woodson at Herndon, 7:30 p.m.
The last time these two teams meet, Woodson won in a thriller, overcoming Will Ferguson‘s tournament-record 39 points and edging the Hornets on an Eric Bowles‘ runner with two seconds left to claim the Ronald Curry Classic title in Hampton.

Brandon Parker is a sports reporter for The Washington Post.



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Eric Detweiler · February 18, 2013