With each win during last fall’s undefeated run to the Virginia Class 6A state football title, several members of Centreville’s strong junior class not only etched their place in school history but also began paving the way for their future on the gridiron.
Beginning with Wildcats All-Met running back A.J. Turner earning his first offer from South Carolina in the days before the state title game and continuing with the elevated recruitment of running back Taylor Boose, linemen Justin Skule and Jordan Brooks, defensive backs Charles Tutt and Xavier Nickens-Yzer and tight end David Liddle, Centreville boasts one of the region’s most highly touted junior classes.
Turner is the most celebrated of the bunch, reeling in offers from Boston College, Duke, Maryland, Old Dominion, Pittsburgh, Virginia and Virginia Tech after totaling 1,697 yards and 32 touchdowns. The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder, who also starts at defensive back and kick returner, recently took official visits to Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech and is likely to see his list expand as the spring continues.
Following Centreville’s championship win, Boose noticed an uptick in the number of emails and letters he received from interested schools before landing his first offer from Austin Peay in February. Since then, the bruising, 5-foot-11, 260-pound rusher has added Bucknell, Cincinnati and Nevada to his list.
“Even though I work hard, it’s an unbelievable feeling to have options, especially at 1-A schools to play football,” said Boose, who rushed for 1,162 yards and 11 scores last season. “I was excited when I got my first offer, and as more keep coming, it motivates me to work even harder.”
While Boose and Turner make up a thunder and lightning backfield combo for Centreville, many of the holes they ran through last season were opened up by mammoth offensive lineman Justin Skule. The 6-foot-6, 300-pound junior is not only strong in the trenches, but with a 4.2 GPA, Skule is an attractive recruit for schools like Virginia, Harvard, Boston College, Duke and Northwestern.
“There’s just not that many kids around like him that have the size and the grades,” Wildcats Coach Chris Haddock said. “He’s already gotten some good interest and with time, I think his recruitment will start to blow up even more.”
Fellow two-way lineman Jordan Brooks also possesses the prototypical college body, measuring in at 6 feet 4, 250 pounds to garner interest from Maryland, East Carolina and Old Dominion.
Defensively, the Wildcats boast two speedy playmakers in Nickens-Yzer and second-team All-Met defensive back Tutt. Nickens-Yzer, who returned a interception for a touchdown in the state final, picked up an offer from East Carolina. Meantime, while Tutt’s size (5 feet 10, 160 pounds) has made some schools slow to pull the trigger on an offer, his strong coverage and athletic ability have left Old Dominion and Cincinnati very interested in Tutt.
“Charles’s film pops off the screen, but the knock on him is he’s slight,” Haddock said. “I think this spring, people will see him run around and realize that’s a misnomer.”
While the market is smaller for tight ends, David Liddle’s skills have drawn interest from the likes of William & Mary, Richmond and Towson, along with a host of Division II and III schools.
Centreville’s football team could actually count another Division I prospect on its roster in linebacker Tyler Love, but the honorable mention All-Met has already committed to wrestle at Virginia.
The majority of Centreville’s junior standouts will take part in the Nike Football Training Camp (NFTC) held at their school on April 26. The half-day combine will feature some of the best players in the D.C. area with the top performers earning invites to compete among the nation’s top 150 players at the fourth annual “The Opening” in Oregon.
NUMBER CRUNCH: 5
Goals that No. 2 Landon trailed by early in Monday’s boys’ lacrosse contest before rallying to stun No. 3 DeMatha, 7-6, on a late score.
— Paul VI junior guard Franklin Howard committed to play at Syracuse on Monday night.
— Colin Zimmerman’s five goals, including the decisive score in overtime, led No. 9 Chantilly past No. 10 Churchill in a wild boys’ lacrosse matchup Monday.
— The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association voted to allow the long and triple jumps at the indoor state track meet beginning next season.
PHOTOS FROM LAST NIGHT
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
No. 4 Gonzaga at No. 1 Georgetown Prep, 4:30 p.m.
Georgetown Prep’s boys’ lacrosse team will put its undefeated record on the line against defending WCAC champ Gonzaga, which has won its last four games.