Flint Hill tight end Cole Herdman committed to Purdue this weekend. (Photo by Sue Spencer)

Flint Hill tight end Cole Herdman, a two-time VISAA all-state selection, committed to Purdue this weekend after a visit, choosing the Boilermakers over Virginia Tech, Liberty, Campbell and William & Mary, among others.

“I chose Purdue really because of the coaching staff and how professional they were,” Herdman said. “I feel like they’re going to build a special program in Indiana, and I just want to be a part of that.”

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Herdman becomes the second D.C.-area player to commit to Purdue in a week, joining DeMatha All-Met senior linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley.

“I think Coach [Darell] Hazell, the head coach, has brought in a really great staff,” said Herdman, who is undecided on a major but considering business. “They’re doing it the right way. They’re bringing in some great recruits — good guys, not just great football players but people that make the whole program better. I think that’s the main reason why I chose them.”

In Herdman, the Boilermakers grab a versatile and athletic tight end whose blocking ability may even exceed his receiving capabilities — which is saying something considering he caught 24 passes for 334 yards and 10 touchdowns over the past two seasons. Flint Hill Coach Tom Verbanic said Herdman “never came off the field,” as he starred at linebacker too: he made 80 tackles, recovered three fumbles, made three interceptions and had two sacks this season. He also punted for the MAC Champion Huskies, averaging 38 yards per kick.

“I think my career went really well,” said Herdman, who transferred to the Oakton, Va. school after his freshman season at Tuscarora. “Coach Verbanic and the entire program was great. It was a great experience. I came in as the young guy and Coach Verbanic really helped me out and helped develop me into a great player. I got to play with a lot of great teammates who helped me succeed.”

“I played with guys who knew what they were doing, who were very professional,” Herdman added. “And Coach Verbanic was great, too. He came from Westfield where he won multiple state championships. So he also was a big influence.”

Herdman also plays for Flint Hill’s basketball team and is averaging 10 points and eight rebounds so far this season.


The number of times Herdman won MAC titles, earned all-state honors, and earned all-conference honors in his three-year career at Flint Hill.


— The North Point boys may have lost nine seniors from last year’s Maryland 4A finalist team, but they looked just fine Tuesday against Thomas Stone.

— An import from Hawaii has helped Hayfield early the season, including in Tuesday’s convincing win at Chantilly.

— Oakton girls’ basketball Coach Fred Priester always likes to win. A win following the birth of his granddaughter? That’s even better. Read the story here.

— Chantilly DB/WR Raeshawn Smith made his college choice recently, too. See where he’s headed here.

— Gonzaga’s boys’ basketball team — already off to a slow start this year — will now have to recover without its best player.

— Cole Herdman was an honorable mention All-Met selection this season. See who else made the 2013 Fall All-Met teams here.



The W.T. Woodson boys got back on track with a big win at No. 18 Robinson on Tuesday night.

The Cavaliers handed the Rams their first loss of the season behind sophomore Matt Ayoub's 21 points. Eric Bowles added 17 points and seven assists. (Nick Plum for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post/The Washington Post)

Check out some interviews with this year’s All-Met first-teamers.

Brandon Parker caught up with some of the first-team All-met football players to discuss their season. (Nick Plum for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)


In girls’ basketball, five Post Top 20 teams are in action Wednesday night: No. 4 Paint Branch (at Quince Orchard,  7 p.m.), No. 10 Centreville (at Yorktown, 7:45 p.m.), No. 13 Damascus (vs. Watkins Mill, 5:15 p.m.), No. 18 Oakton (vs. Lee, 7:30 p.m.), and No. 20 Howard (at Glenelg, 5:30 p.m.)