Wednesday could very well be the most exciting day of the year in high school football. It’s National Signing Day, and that means top prospects from around the country will be making their commitments official and using a fax machine for the first time in their lives.
As always, the District, Maryland and Virginia are loaded with coveted recruits who will put ink to paper to make college coaches around the country very happy, or heartbroken.
Below we detail 30 of the top Washington area recruits, and mention a whole bunch more, expected to sign letters-of-intent with some of the country’s top college football programs Wednesday. This list does not include players who enrolled early this semester, such as Potomac (Md.) cornerback Deon Jones (Maryland), Quince Orchard defensive back Fofie Bazzie (Maryland), Lake Braddock running back Lamont Atkins (Virginia), Sherwood running back Travis Levy (Boston College)
Keep coming back to this post — as players sign or flip their commitments, we’ll keep this post updated and have links to stories on some of the hottest prospects throughout Wednesday.
1. DE Chase Young, DeMatha — The All-Met Defensive Player of the Year and U.S. Army All-American is expected to sign with Ohio State on Wednesday. He committed to the Buckeyes in July on his official visit to Columbus and has lauded the school ever since, right through the Stags’ undefeated season and Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship. (Young has signed with Ohio State. Read the story here.)
2. OT Calvin Ashley, St. John’s — For three years, the Under Armour All-American has been committed to Auburn. Then Maryland entered the picture his senior season and the increased attention certainly caught his eye. But the 6-foot-7, 330-pound All-Met lineman said in January, “I love Auburn,” and declared he was: shutting down his recruitment to sign with the Tigers. (Ashley has signed with Auburn. Read the story here.)
3. DE Luiji Vilain, Episcopal — The Canada native and All-Met pass rusher pledged to Michigan in June and remains committed to Jim Harbaugh and Big Blue despite a late push from North Carolina to coax him to Chapel Hill. He finished the year with 45 tackles and 8 sacks. (Vilain has signed with Michigan. Read the story here.)
4. LB Nathan Proctor, Lackey — The All-Met linebacker is considered one of the Top 5 players in Maryland. He committed to Virginia Tech on New Year’s Day, but visited Pittsburgh two weeks later. Panthers Coach Pat Narduzzi visited him at school in Indian Head, Md, but Proctor still says he’s sticking with the Hokies. (Proctor has signed with Virginia Tech. Read the story here.)
5. RB Anthony McFarland, DeMatha — The travails of McFarland’s commitment announcement are well documented. On Friday he drove to a Metro station, boarded a train to Reagan National Airport and then took off on a flight to who knows where. It was all streamed live on Snapchat. But McFarland, who missed his entire senior season due to injury, chose Maryland, and will sign with the Terps on Wednesday. (McFarland has signed with Maryland. Read the story here.)
6. OL Marcus Minor, DeMatha — The 6-foot-4, 285-pound blocker is also part of “The Movement” from the WCAC to Maryland. He committed to the Terrapins in August and warded off other schools throughout the Stags’ unbeaten season. (Minor has signed with Maryland. Read the story here.)
7. QB Kasim Hill, St. John’s — The Cadets’ playmaker under center committed to Maryland in April after entertaining offers from Syracuse, Northwestern, North Carolina and Penn State, among others. He’s the Terps’ local answer at quarterback after being spurned by Bullis’s Dwayne Haskins Jr. last year. (Hill has signed with Maryland. Read the story here.)
8. S Jonathan Sutherland, Episcopal — The All-Met second-teamer pledged to Penn State in July and Coach James Franklin recently visited him at home in Alexandria to fortify that commitment. North Carolina is still hoping to swing Sutherland on National Signing Day. (Sutherland has signed with Penn State. Read the story here.)
9. DT Cam Spence, St. John’s — Spence committed to Maryland — and “The Movement” — in April, but has since visited Kentucky, Penn State and Florida. (Spence has signed with Maryland. Read the story here.)
10. DT Jaylen Twyman, H.D. Woodson — The All-Met run stuffer is as much of a showman as he is football player, and might be the first big local prize to commit on signing day. He’s still uncommitted, but South Carolina and Pittsburgh are among his final choices. (Twyman has signed with Pitt. Read the story here.)
11. DE Joshua Paschal, Good Counsel — Paschal, an All-Met pass rusher, had interest from all over the country. He chose Kentucky in December in part because of a family connection. His older brother played there and works in the football office. (Paschal has signed with Kentucky. Read the story here.)
12. S Damani Neal, Bullis — The second-team All-Met ball-hawk committed to Duke in April, but Virginia and Penn State have been trying to swing him back on the fence leaning up to National Signing Day. (Neal has signed with Duke. Read the story here.)
13. CB Tariq Castro-Fields, Riverdale Baptist — The first-team All-Met defensive back didn’t give up a single completion his senior season, and he’s got more than a dozen blue-chip college programs pining after him. He’s still uncommitted and deciding between Penn State, Maryland and Alabama. (Castro-Fields has committed to Penn State. Read the story here.)
14. DE Tyree Johnson, St. John’s — The All-Met first-teamer had 66 tackles, including 32 for loss, and 11 sacks his senior year. He’s committed to play at Texas A&M. (Johnson has committed to Texas A&M.)
15. WR Max Fisher, Gonzaga — Fisher, who caught 41 passes for 583 yards his senior season, attracted mostly mid-major interest until North Carolina State got involved in his recruitment. He committed to the Wolfpack in August. (Fisher has signed with N.C. State. Read the story here.)
16. WR Nykeim Johnson, Friendship Collegiate — Johnson chose Syracuse in June, but has been receiving more attention lately from Virginia, which may try to swing him at the last minute. (Johnson has signed with Syracuse. Read the story here.)
17. WR Cam Sullivan-Brown, Pallotti — Penn State has been keeping a close eye on Sullivan-Brown. He committed to the Nittany Lions in July and since then has visited Happy Valley twice and hosted coaches for an in-home visit. (Sullivan-Brown has signed with Penn State. Read the story here.)
18. RB Tayon Fleet-Davis, Potomac (Md.) — Fleet-Davis committed to Maryland in July the same day as his unofficial visit. He also entertained offers from Rutgers, Iowa and East Carolina. (Fleet-Davis has signed with Maryland.)
19. RB Mohamed Ibrahim, Good Counsel — The second-team All-Met rusher carried for 1,300 yards and 16 touchdowns his senior year. He’s expected sign with Minnesota. (Ibrahim has signed with Minnesota.)
20. OL Johnny Jordan, Gonzaga — The All-Met center, who helped pave the way for All-Met running back Tyree Randolph’s 1,700-yard season — made his pledge to DJ Durkin and Maryland in July. (Jordan has signed with Maryland. Read the story here.)
21. DT Tommy Christ, Dominion — The All-Met selection committed to Virginia in April. He dominated both on the offensive and defensive lines his senior season to help spark the Titans to their first region title game. (Christ has signed with Virginia.)
22. LB Brailyn Franklin, Battlefield — Franklin can play anywhere on the field either as a fast linebacker or heavy-hitting safety and used that versatility to earn Virginia Conference 8 defensive player of the year accolades. He committed to Penn State in July. (Franklin has signed with Penn State.)
23. WR Sean Savoy, Wilson — This two-time All-Met playmaker was the pulse of the Tigers’ offense the last two years and has stayed true to the commitment he made to Virginia Tech over the summer. (Savoy has signed with Virginia Tech. Read the story here.)
23. DE Ryan Thaxton, St. Stephens/St. Agnes — Thaxton committed to Tennessee in January after choosing between the Vols and rival Vanderbilt. (Thaxton has signed with Tennessee.)
24. DE Charles Snowden, St. Albans — Snowden started playing high school football on a whim his sophomore year after years as a sought-after basketball talent. He quickly picked up an offer from Virginia, whose coaching staff liked his versatility and speed off the edge. He’ll sign there on Wednesday. (Snowden has signed with Virginia. Read the story here.)
25. DL Lawtez Rogers, Eleanor Roosevelt — The 6-foot-4, 235-pound three-star defensive end chose to play for the hometown Maryland Terrapins over the likes of Rutgers and Temple. He made his commitment on Dec. 1 and is expected to sign with the Terps on Wednesday. (Rogers has signed with Maryland.)
27. OL David Kroll, South Lakes — This All-Met offensive guard was committed to Richmond for his entire senior season. Then the coaching staff left for Delaware, and Kroll went with them and committed to the Blue Hens in January. (Kroll has signed with Delaware.)
28. RB Julian Garrett, Centreville — Garrett received heavy interest from service academies and Ivy League teams. Through his senior season, though, he favored Army-West Point and is expected to make his commitment to the Black Knights official on Wednesday.
29. LB Ayinde Eley, Good Counsel — Eley is another member of “The Movement” from the WCAC to Maryland and another talented Good Counsel tackler. He committed to Maryland in April. (Eley has signed with Maryland.)
30. OL Naasir Watkins, Good Counsel — Watkins committed to Kentucky in January. He’ll sign with the Wildcats first thing Wednesday morning in a breakfast ceremony in Olney. (Watkins has signed with Kentucky.)
Other potential Football Bowl Subdivision signees:
OL Pierce Banbury, Oakton (Navy); OL Nick Bernacchi, Robinson (Navy); OL Aiden Brown, Bullis (Virginia Tech); QB Garrison Burnett, Maret (Connecticut); RB Malik Burns, Lackey (Temple); OL Christian Darrisaw, Riverdale Baptist (Virginia Tech); ATH Coby Davis, Maret (Wake Forest); OL Dakota Davis, Glenelg (Syracuse); K Brian Delaney, Westfield (Virginia); LB Grant Donaldson, DeMatha (Air Force); LB Arnold Ebiketie, Einstein (Temple); QB Beau English, DeMatha (Air Force); QB Evan Fochtman, Spalding (Navy); S Devante Hall, Stonewall Jackson (Virginia Tech); OL Stanley Hubbard, St. John’s (Connecticut); Mitchell Johns, Gonzaga (Navy); Goran Jovanovic, Paul VI (Wake Forest); QB Jabari Laws, Wise (Army-West Point); DT Axel Nyembwe, Avalon (Duke); TE Andrew Park, Lake Braddock (Maryland); RB Jarett Patterson, Pallotti (Buffalo); LB James Patterson, Pallotti, (Buffalo); WR Darnell Pratt Jr., Good Counsel (Virginia); OL James Tunstall, Lackey (Connecticut); DE Kofi Wardlow, St. John’s (Notre Dame); DE Vonnie Watkins, Patuxent (Ohio).
(If we’ve forgotten any 2016 Washington area football prospects planning to sign with an FBS school on Wednesday, let us know in the comments section.)