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National Signing Day 2017: What to watch for and who to follow on a busy day for high school football recruits

H.D. Woodson defensive tackle Jaylyn Twyman and Riverdale Baptist defensive back Tariq Castro-Fields are the area’s top uncommitted local recruits set to make a decision on National Signing Day. (Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)
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National Signing Day is here, meaning it’s time for the area’s best high school football players to put on baseball hats.

Check out the top recruits expected to sign with Football Bowl Subdivision schools here, and then take a look at the top uncommitted national prospects here.

But just like you, we’re focused on what’s going down today around D.C., Maryland and Virginia. So here’s our guide to what’s happening across the area on Wednesday.


Decisions, decisions

Maryland is up against Big Ten rival Penn State and juggernaut Alabama for the services of Riverdale Baptist defensive back Tariq Castro-Fields, who did not allow a completion in his senior season. The 6-foot-2 speedster, who was first-team All Met this past fall and a four-star recruit according to, is set to make a decision Wednesday afternoon at the Upper Marlboro private school. Less than 24 hours after starting in College Park, D.J. Durkin visited Riverdale Baptist to emphasize his intention on keeping the best players in the area at home. Update: Castro-Fields has committed to Penn State. Read the story here.

Your one-stop shop for all of our National Signing Day coverage

In Northeast, the area’s other top undecided prospect is H.D. Woodson defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman. The 6-foot-2, 300-pound senior, who like Castro-Fields was a first-team All Met pick and is a four-star recruit, is set to decide between Pittsburgh and South Carolina. In his final fall with the Warriors, Twyman posted 91 tackles and eight sacks. Update: Twyman has committed to Pitt. Read the story here.

His family devastated by violence in D.C., H.D. Woodson lineman Jaylen Twyman plays to get them out

Local Big Three 

Once the dust settles on Wednesday night and commitments are official, Maryland, Virginia, and Virginia Tech will all welcome casts of promising local prospects. The Hokies landed one of the crown jewels of this year’s local recruiting class on New Year’s Day when Lackey linebacker Nathan Proctor committed to Virginia Tech at the Under Armour All-America game. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound senior, who was a first-team All Met selection, posted 68 tackles and eights sacks this fall.

Heavy-hitting Lackey outside linebacker Nathan Proctor sticks with Virginia Tech

Riverdale Baptist offensive lineman Christian Darrisaw, Wilson playmaker Sean Savoy, and Stonewall Jackson safety Devante Smith are also expected to sign with Virginia Tech.

Maryland received a boost last week when DeMatha running back Anthony McFarland chose the Terps over Miami and Alabama. The home-run hitter is one of 11 locals expected to sign with Maryland on Wednesday.

In Charlottesville, Bronco Mendenhall successfully landed Lake Braddock running back Lamont Atkins (an early enrollee), Dominion defensive lineman Tommy Christ, Good Counsel Wide Receiver Darnell Pratt, St. Albans linebacker Charles Snowden, and Westfield kicker Brian Delaney.

Flippin’ commits

Last year, Bullis quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. and Good Counsel linebacker Keandre Jones surprised the area a few weeks before signing day by switching their oral commitments from Maryland to Ohio State. As nothing is official until players fax their letters of intent, prospects are free to change their mind on National Signing Day, much to the chagrin of fans bases. Will any of this year’s top recruits make a last-minute flip?

National Signing Day has less early mystery, but a little drama at Michigan


@allmetsports: Our main Twitter account is your one-stop source for every signing in the area. All. Day. Long.

@jacobbogage: Jacob Bogage will be at Lackey at 11:30 a.m. to watch Proctor, running back Malik Burns (Temple), and offensive lineman James Tunstall sign. Then he’s headed to DeMatha, where McFarland, All Met defensive player of the year Chase Young (Ohio State), and a host of other Stags will pledge to some of the country’s top college football programs.

@NickEilerson: Nick Eilerson will kick things off bright and early with a 7:30 breakfast signing ceremony at Good Counsel. Later in the afternoon, he’ll be at Riverdale Baptist to tweet the details of Castro-Fields’ highly anticipated commitment.

Kentucky blue dominates the scene at Good Counsel’s signing day ceremony

@EricGoldweinWP: Eric Goldwein will be at H.D. Woodson to see Twyman make a choice before heading to St. John’s in the afternoon, where highly touted offensive lineman Calvin Ashley and Maryland quarterback Kasim Hill are among the players expected to put pen to paper.

@DillonMullan: Follow me(!) south of the Potomac as I visit two Virginia schools coming off breakthrough seasons — Dominion and Virginia 6A state champion Westfield. Update: Read about Dominion’s best signing class to date here.

More on

Ohio State secures five-star DeMatha defensive end Chase Young

Towering St. John’s OL Calvin Ashley inks with Auburn

St. John’s quarterback Kasim Hill makes it official with Maryland

Maryland hooks DeMatha lineman Marcus Minor | Gonzaga’s Johnny Jordan, too

Penn State lands another D.C. area talent in Episcopal DB Jonathan Sutherland

Kentucky picks up Good Counsel All-Met DE Joshua Paschal

Late-blooming St. Albans WR signs with Virginia | Lake Braddock RB Lamont Atkins enrolls early

Friendship Collegiate wide receiver Nykeim Johnson brings speed to Syracuse

See where all the locals are headed on our Recruit Watch