2016 High School Football Preview

2016 High School Football Preview

Published on August 24, 2016

Story lines | The Post's Preseason Top 20 | Previews | Games to watch | All-Met Watch

Story lines

Scaling back offenses

Three years ago, the spread offense was all the rage in Fairfax County. High school football coaches across the area were mimicking the playbooks of successful coaches such as Chip Kelly and Urban Meyer, placing the quarterback in the shotgun and multiple receivers out wide in a hurry-up attack meant to keep defenses off balance.

The spread remains prevalent heading into this season, but several local teams are dialing back a whirlwind offensive approach that can engender more confusion than execution at the high school level.

No one was more ambitious about implementing the spread than Trey Taylor in 2014. Intent on transforming a middling South Lakes football team into a fast-paced steamroller, Taylor installed a true no-huddle offense in the mold of Kelly’s famous Oregon juggernaut. Goofy picture signs relayed play calls to offensive personnel, who scurried frantically from one play to the next without pause.

The experiment didn’t work out. South Lakes finished 2-8 that season, failing to score on four occasions.

“What it was doing to us the first year was we were getting more snaps in a game, but our defense was so bad that it put the defense on the field more,” Taylor said.

Last season Taylor scrapped the signs and tweaked the hurry-up, instead making his offense snap the ball within two seconds of breaking the huddle before every play. The Seahawks’ revised spread-option attack yielded a breakout 9-3 campaign.

Mike Scott is looking to simplify a different sort of spread attack at Annandale. The Atoms try to wear teams down with a hurry-up power scheme in the mold of Gus Malzahn’s Auburn offense, but miscommunication and self-inflicted blunders made it clear that the playbook needed trimming.

In neighboring Loudoun County, Briar Woods’s experiment with the spread failed to yield consistent results during last year’s 3-8 campaign. The Falcons plan on taking their time more in 2016.

“You score quick or you go three and out quick. It makes it tough on your defense,” Briar Woods Coach Charlie Pierce said. “This year we’re going to slow it down. No rush.”

Everywhere you look, the tweaking continues. Jared Van Acker planned to install a pass-happy spread in his first season as Battlefield’s coach last year, but the Bobcats ended up pounding Prince William rival Hylton, 28-0, with a familiar brand of smash-mouth football in their season opener. Lake Braddock, a pure spread team three years ago, tilted its emphasis toward the run game and will continue to do so this fall.

Powerhouses such as Battlefield, Lake Braddock, Westfield and Centreville tend to churn out the big bodies needed to pound the ball. But smaller schools like Annandale and South Lakes feel that trickier spread schemes present the only path to stay competitive.

“Those bigger schools can win the war of attrition, whereas we’re going to have wear you out,” Scott said.

— Nick Eilerson

Sherwood RB Travis Levy (1) fumbles the ball out of bounds after being hit by Paint Branch defenders. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Tough Maryland regions

Despite an 8-1 start, Paint Branch had not yet secured a playoff spot heading into its season finale against Quince Orchard last fall.

But as it turned out, the Panthers’ postseason fate was already sealed.

Paint Branch dropped to 8-2 after losing the Week 10 game, but even with a win, the Montgomery County school would have missed the cut. Such is life competing for one of the four spots in the ultra-competitive Maryland 4A North region.

Each of Maryland’s four state tournaments (1A, 2A, 3A, 4A) are split into four regions, whose four qualifiers are determined primarily on record and strength of schedule.

Some regions leave little to no room for error. The 4A North’s qualifying teams (Howard, Mergenthaler Vocational, Sherwood and Bel Air) lost three games combined, and one of them — Sherwood’s forfeit — weakened the Panthers’ strength of schedule, hurting their playoff chances.

The 4A East included two undefeated regular season teams — Old Mill and North Point — and two 8-2 teams, Broadneck and Annapolis. In 2014, Seneca Valleymissed the cut in the 3A West with an 8-2 record.

Other regions have more leeway; Watkins Mill and Magruder made the 3A South region playoffs despite 5-5 records, while Forestville (5-5) and Fairmont Heights(4-6) qualified in the 1A North.

While proposals to modify the playoff structure were made this past offseason, nothing came to fruition, leaving some teams to continue fighting for their playoff lives every time they take the field.

“It’s cliche, but we have to take it one game at a time,” Paint Branch Coach Mike Nesmith said. “We can’t afford a lot of slip-ups.”

— Eric Goldwein

The Stone Bridge football team makes their way onto the field before the start of the Virginia 5A Football Championship between Stone Bridge and Highland Springs (Ricky Carioti/ The Washington Post)

As Loudoun grows, Richmond resurges

During a 10-year span from 2003 to 2012, the state championship game in Virginia’s highest classification was won by a team representing Northern Virginia or Hampton Roads eight times.

Since the Virginia High School League’s realignment shifted postseason competition from four regions to a two-region format before the 2013 season, only four schools have competed for a championship in 6A: Fairfax’s Centreville andWestfield and the Tidewater region’s Oscar Smith and Ocean Lakes.

While that shake-up three years ago has not changed the status quo at the top, it has disrupted the balance of power in lower classifications.

Ashburn’s Broad Run and Briar Woods combined for five straight AA Division 4 state titles from 2008 to 2012 before being re-classified and moving up to 5A. In the three seasons since, L.C. Bird and Highland Springs have won 5A titles over Loudoun schools representing the 5A North region. The Richmond-based schools were part of AAA Division 6 before moving down to 5A in 2013.

“The Loudoun schools like Broad Run and Briar Woods, we were some of the biggest 4A schools, and that put us at an advantage,” said Tuscarora Coach Mike Burnett, who coached Broad Run to the AA Division 4 title in 2008 and 2009. “Now we’re the smallest 5A schools, which is a disadvantage. If you look at the games, in Division 4 we played some state championship games that weren’t as competitive. In 5A, there’s a lot more parity between the teams.”

Loudoun schools have continued to dominate their region, however. Tuscarora reached its first state final in 2014, and Stone Bridge advanced to a county-record sixth title game in December. Loudoun County has been represented in a state final in nine straight seasons since 2007. But the opening of three new Loudoun high schools since 2012 has diluted the talent pool at some of the county’s traditional powers and appears to have shifted the balance of power to the center of the state in the VHSL’s second-largest classification.

— Dillon Mullan

Transfers of power

Perennial title contenders are built through talent pipelines flowing from youth leagues to middle schools and into the high school ranks. But this fall, as with past seasons, the D.C. area’s top teams are leaning on transfers to put them over the top.

To aid in its fight to end DeMatha and Good Counsel’s 13-year reign as Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champions, St. John’s welcomes a group of promising transfers. Senior quarterback Kasim Hill, a Maryland commit, and freshman linebacker Shane Lee — who already has offers from seven schools — arrived in Northwest Washington from the Gilman School in Baltimore. Senior defensive tackle Cam Spence, another Maryland commit, joins St. John’s from the IMG Academy in Florida along with 6-foot-6, 310-pound Orlando native and Auburn commit Calvin Ashley.

Defending 4A state champion Wise added one of the area’s most imposing defenders after 6-foot-3, 220-pound defensive end Isaac Ukwu transferred from Springbrook. Ukwu, who has 19 college offers, will be joined at Wise by former O’Connell linebacker Calvin Hickerson.

Damascus, the defending Maryland 3A state champion, is adding running back Elijah Atkins, a senior from Urbana, to help replace graduated All-Met Player of the Year Jake Funk. And in Loudoun County, Bradley Block had the opportunity to become Briar Woods’s all-time leading rusher but he transferred to Stone Bridge. Now Block teams up with dynamic running back Josh Breece to form one of Virginia’s most dangerous backfields.

— Eric Goldwein and Dillon Mullan

New title game sites

For some, the size of the University of Virginia’s Scott Stadium and Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium took away from the atmosphere at high school state championship games. As the state finals move to new venues this December, local schools have mixed reactions on either side of the Potomac.

After the Ravens replaced their artificial turf with natural grass, the Maryland high school football championships will move about 30 miles south to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. The venue has a capacity of 34,000 compared with 71,008 seats in Baltimore.

“The stadium itself is more conducive to high school football,” Wise Coach DaLawn Parrish said. “I think it’ll be a better atmosphere in terms of that.”

The Virginia High School League’s executive committee voted to relocate the Class 6A and 5A football state finals to Hampton University’s Armstrong Stadium, which holds over 12,000 compared with Scott Stadium’s 61,500.

While the game experience will be enhanced by fewer empty seats, local schools worry that the fan experience could be diminished by the location of the stadium. Fairfax and Loudoun County teams traveled about 100 miles to Charlottesville while many of their opponents from the greater Norfolk area traveled twice as far.

Now Northern Virginia schools will have to travel 200 miles to play state championship games in Hampton Roads — the back yard of a number of the state’s perennial football powers.

“The first thing is location. That’s the problem. You’ve made it incredibly difficult for our fans to come,” Tuscarora Coach Mike Burnett said. “It’s tough to travel. You’re going to have to get on a bus for four hours while somebody else has to get on a bus for 30 minutes. I think it’s a poor choice for that reason.”

— Dillon Mullan

The Post's Preseason Top 20

Story lines | Previews | Games to watch | All-Met Watch

1. DeMatha (2015 record: 11-1; final 2015 ranking: No. 2)

The three-time defending WCAC champions lost a talented senior class, but a roster full of potential college prospects and the return of 10 starters mean the Stags shouldn’t miss a beat.

2. Wise (14-0; No. 3)

The defending Maryland 4A state champions remain the team to beat in Prince George’s County with a plethora of skill position talent back and two crucial transfers on defense.

Westfield quarterback Rehman Johnson hurdles center KenYoshino for a 1st down run in the Virginia 6A North region football championship. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

3. Westfield (14-1; No. 4)

Even without graduated do-it-all athlete Tyler Scanlon leading the way, the Bulldogs have the depth on both sides of the ball to defend their Virginia 6A state title.

4. Damascus (14-0; No. 1)

No more All-Met Player of the Year Jake Funk, but the Swarmin’ Hornets’ ground game remains a weapon with Markus Vinson and Urbana transfer Elijah Atkins in the backfield.

5. Gonzaga (11-2; No. 5)

Tailback Tyree Randolph, wide receiver Max Fisher and offensive tackle Johnny Jordan lead an experienced senior class in search of the Eagles’ first WCAC title since 2002.

6. Lake Braddock (11-2; No. 12)

As if senior tailbacks Lamont Atkins and Ibrahim Mansaray weren’t difficult enough to bring down on their own, the Bruins head into this season witha massive offensive line.

7. Good Counsel (7-5; No. 16)

The Falcons have ample talent in place on both sides of the ball to rebound from an up-and-down 2015 campaign and return to the WCAC championship game.

8. Quince Orchard (10-2; No. 13)

Quarterback Doc Bonner, running back Marvin Beander and wide receiver Fofie Bazzie make the Cougars one of the area’s most experienced and dangerous offenses.

9. St. John’s (7-4; No. 18)

A collection of highly touted transfers, most notably Maryland quarterback recruit Kasim Hill, and new Coach Joe Casamento could push the Cadets to the top of the WCAC.

10. Stone Bridge (10-5; No. 8)

The Defending 5A North region champions have been to six state title games since 2005, and running back Joshua Breece and a more stingy defense could lead them to a seventh.

11. South County (13-1; No. 6)

Still smarting from last year’s 6A North region final loss to Westfield, the Stallions have the talent and motivation to make a run at their first Virginia 6A state title.

12. Patuxent (12-2; No. 7)

The defending Maryland 2A state champions will be a threat to repeat with talented dual-threat quarterbacks Reese Crounse and Jaelen Grossback in the fold.

13. Tuscarora (13-1; No. 9)

After back-to-back undefeated regular seasons, Tuscarora enters 2016 with a new quarterback in sophomore Justin Allen but the same lofty expectations.

14. Episcopal (6-1-1; NR)

The Maroon added former Bishop Ireton tailback Perris Jones to a roster featuring defensive lineman Luiji Vilain (Michigan) and safety Jonathan Sutherland (Penn State).

15. Battlefield (9-3; NR)

The Bobcats are eyeing their first Virginia state crown since 2010 with nose guard Brailyn Franklin back and a beefy offensive line paving the way for a formidable rushing attack.

16. Sherwood (10-2; 15)

Senior running back Travis Levy is ready to lead the offense with wide receiver Marcus Simms and quarterback Shawn Bliss graduated from last year’s region finalist squad.

17. Old Mill (11-1; No. 11)

The Patriots’ dominant regular season turned sour after an early exit in the playoffs last year, but they’re out for redemption with many key contributors back in Millersville.

18. Eleanor Roosevelt (9-3; NR)

Senior Karl Mofor is among the area’s most valuable players because of his role as the Raiders’ primary runner on offense and a menacing linebacker on defense.

19. Northwest (9-4; No. 17)

Quarterback Chris Craddock steps in for Mark Pierce as the Jaguars look to win their third Maryland 4A state title in four years.

20. H.D. Woodson (8-5; NR)

The three-time defending Turkey Bowl champions could be a force this fall if junior quarterback Khalil Wright continues to improve at the clip he was able to last year.

On the bubble: Broadneck (10-3), Georgetown Prep (7-3), Howard (13-1), Hylton (9-3), Potomac (Md.) (10-3).


Story lines | The Post's Preseason Top 20 | Games to watch | All-Met Watch

Games to Watch

Story lines | The Post's Preseason Top 20 | Previews | All-Met Watch

Aug. 26

Battlefield at Hylton, 7: Battlefield manhandled the Bulldogs, 28-0, in last year’s season opener. Hylton’s powerful offensive line hopes to mitigate the likely absence of injured tailback Ricky Slade in this battle of Prince William powers.

Woodgrove at Champe, 7: The Knights won last year’s matchup, 20-17, en route to a perfect regular season while the Wolverines won out after their Week 1 defeat. This should again be the toughest test for both teams.

Sep. 2

Damascus at Quince Orchard, 6:30: Expect a packed Cougar Dome for this Montgomery County powerhouse matchup featuring the defending 3A state champion Swarmin’ Hornets.

Sep. 3

Oxon Hill at Potomac (Md.), 2: The battle for Oxon Hill could also determine the pecking order in Prince George’s 3A/2A/1A play this fall as both the Clippers and Wolverines have postseason aspirations.

Sep. 9

Westfield at South County, 7: The Stallions were the only team to defeat 6A state champion Westfield last season, but all they’re thinking about is the 40-8 beatdown that handed the Bulldogs the 6A North region title on South County’s home field last November.

Lackey at North Point, 7: Two of the best defenses in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference square off in Week 2 as Eagles linebacker Keisean Wilson goes toe to toe with highly recruited Lackey senior Nathan Proctor.

Northwest at Seneca Valley, 6:30: The King’s Trophy is on the line, and the Jaguars will be hungry for revenge after the Screaming Eagles won last year’s game.

Sep. 16

Friendship Collegiate at H.D. Woodson, 6: These two District football powerhouses, and neighborhood rivals, finally meet in the regular season.

Potomac (Md.) at Wise, 7: The defending Maryland 4A state champions host one of the leading contenders to win this year’s Maryland 3A title in a battle of Prince George’s County league favorites.

Sep. 23

Falls Church at Wakefield, 7: Falls Church lost this matchup, 24-20, last season, the second straight year the Jaguars have come one score short of their Arlington rivals. An explosive Falls Church team returns eight starters on both sides of the ball this fall, while a young Wakefield squad aims to reload.

Tuscarora at Centreville, 7: Centreville held a 28-7 lead over Tuscarora before falling, 49-42, in last year’s matchup. The improved Wildcats have a chance to settle the score on their home turf.

Sep. 24

Good Counsel at St. John’s, 1:The Cadets’ cadre of high-profile transfers will be welcomed to WCAC play by dynamic tailback Mohamed Ibrahim and the Falcons.

Wilson Tigers quarterback Steve Williams (5) goes airborne as he dives into the end zone for a touchdown against H.D. Woodson. (Toni L. Sandys/ The Washington Post)

Oct. 7

Stone Bridge at Robinson, 7: After surrendering over 300 rushing yards in last year’s narrow loss to the Rams, Stone Bridge’s much-improved defensive front will need to hunker down against Robinson’s vaunted ground game.

Wilson at H.D. Woodson, 6: This rematch of last year’s Turkey Bowl could also be a preview of this season’s DCIAA title game as both the Tigers and Warriors have plenty of weapons back in the fold this fall.

Oct. 14

Eleanor Roosevelt at Wise, 7: The Raiders gave Wise more trouble than anyone last year, and they appear to be the Pumas’ biggest threat in the Prince George’s 4A race yet again.

Episcopal at Bullis, 7: Two of the three teams that tied for the IAC title a year ago meet in a game that will likely impact the top of the league standings again.

Madison at South Lakes, 7: South Lakes has extra motivation after getting smoked, 38-6, by their crosstown rivals last year, the Seahawks’ lone conference defeat in an otherwise stellar season.

Oct. 15

DeMatha at Gonzaga, 2: Dynamic running back Tyree Randolph and the Eagles handed three-time defending WCAC champion DeMatha its only loss of the season a year ago.

Oct. 21

Old Mill at Broadneck, 7: A rematch of last season’s Maryland 4A East region final, which saw the Bruins upset the unbeaten Patriots, 7-0.

Sherwood at Paint Branch, 6:30: A must-win game for both teams, who will be vying for playoff spots in the competitive Maryland 4A North region.

Oct. 22

Gonzaga at Good Counsel, 4: The Falcons knocked Gonzaga out of the playoffs with a 35-12 win in last year’s WCAC semifinals, and both appear to be contenders again.

Oct. 28

Howard at Glenelg, 7: The Lions haven’t lost to a Howard County team since 2013, but the talented Gladiators could spell trouble in this Week 9 matchup.

South County's Demarcus Ramsey, left, vaults into the end zone for the game winning touchdown during South County's defeat of Lake Braddock in overtime 33 -30. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Nov. 4

DeMatha at Good Counsel, 7: Either the Stags or Falcons have played for or won the WCAC title in each of the last 14 years, and this regular season finale could be a preview for their latest championship battle.

Lake Braddock at South County, 7: This rivalry is never short on excitement. South County claimed last year’s Conference 7 title with a dramatic overtime win on Lake Braddock’s home turf, and both teams are looking as formidable as ever heading into this year’s showdown.

Nov. 11

Georgetown Prep at Bullis, 7: The Little Hoyas will look for revenge after losing to the Bulldogs on the final drive of last year’s regular season finale, when they had a chance to win the outright IAC title.

All-Met Watch

Story lines | The Post's Preseason Top 20 | Previews | Games to watch

First-team Offense

QB Kasim Hill

St. John’s, 6-2, 220, Sr.

Maryland recruit and Gilman transfer will instantly boost the Cadets’ passing attack.

RB Tyree Randolph

Gonzaga, 5-7, 175, Sr.

Area’s leading returning rusher had 1,823 yards and 26 total touchdowns in 2015.

RB Travis Levy

Sherwood, 5-11, 189, Sr.

Boston College commit racked up more than 1,400 rushing yards last year.

RB Joshua Breece

Stone Bridge, 5-7, 165, Sr.

Gained more than 1,500 yards while averaging better than 6.4 yards/carry last season.

WR Sean Savoy

Wilson, 5-11, 189, Sr.

Virginia Tech recruit had 71 catches for 1,351 yards and scored 26 touchdowns in 2015.

South County's Dillion Spalding, left, has a touchdown pass knocked away by Westfield's Cole Huling. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

WR Dillon Spalding

South County, 6-1, 215, Jr.

Physical receiver had 61 catches for 1,251 yards in the Stallions’ up tempo offense.

OL Marcus Minor

DeMatha, 6-4, 287, Sr.

Four-star recruit will assume a leading role as Stags’ latest high-profile offensive tackle.

OL Calvin Ashley

St. John’s, 6-7, 310, Sr.

Auburn commit and consensus five-star recruit transferred from Orlando this season.

OL Johnny Jordan

Gonzaga, 6-2, 295, Sr.

Powerful run blocker is a dynamic left tackle and recently committed to Maryland.

OL Pierce Banbury

Oakton, 6-3, 285, Sr.

Navy commit is a versatile presence in the trenches for the Cougars’ run-first offense.

OL Dakota Davis

Glenelg, 6-5, 310, Sr.

Syracuse recruit helped pave the way for a 2,000-yard rusher last season.

P/K Brian Delaney

Westfield, 5-10, 200, Sr.

Virginia commit averaged 45 yards/punt and kicked a 49-yard field goal last year.

On the bubble

Quarterbacks: Doc Bonner, Quince Orchard, Jr.; Mark Ellis, West Potomac, Sr.; Beau English, DeMatha, Sr.; Evan Fochtman, Spalding, Sr.; Jarome Johnson, Eastern, Sr.; Jabari Laws, Wise, Sr.; Peter Muskett, West Springfield, Sr.; Devante Smith, Stonewall Jackson, Sr.; Steven Williams Jr., Wilson, Sr.; Khalil Wright, H.D. Woodson, Jr.

Running backs: Lamont Atkins, Lake Braddock, Sr.; Marvin Beander, Quince Orchard, Sr.; Daiimon Cleveland, West Potomac, Sr.; Devin Darrington, Bullis, Sr.; Meech Hembry, Broad Run, Sr.; Jordan Houston, Flint Hill, So.; Mohammed Ibrahim, Good Counsel, Sr.; Jalen Jackson, Annandale, Sr.; Perris Jones, Episcopal, Sr.; Adrian Platt, Seneca Valley, Sr.; Ricky Slade, Hylton, Jr.; Markus Vinson, Damascus, Sr.; Owen Wright, Georgetown Prep, Sr.

Wide receivers/tight ends: Max Fisher, Gonzaga, Sr.; Daniel George, Oxon Hill, Jr.; Christian Greaves, Einstein, Jr.; Justin Hairston, Osbourn Park, Sr.; Nykeim Johnson, Friendship Collegiate, Sr.; Anthony Lytton, Wise, Jr.; Andrew Park, Lake Braddock, Sr.; Charles Peeler, H.D. Woodson, Sr.; Thyrick Pitts Jr., Forest Park, Sr.; Jarrett Powell, Hylton, Sr.; Cameron Sullivan-Brown, Pallotti, Sr.

Offensive linemen: Nick Bernacci, Robinson, Sr.; Cole Cheripko, Northwest, Sr.; David Kroll, South Lakes, Sr.; McCord Meyers, McLean, Sr.; Derrick Tangelo, Bullis, Sr.; Rasheed Walker, North Point, Jr.; Naasir Watkins, Good Counsel, Sr.

Kickers/punters: Aaron Broner, Landon, Sr.; Cameron Giesman, Woodgrove, Sr.; Adam Luftglass, W.T. Woodson, Sr.

LORTON, VA OCTOBER 31:Lake Broddock's Ibrahim Mansaray looked to get away from South County's Tyler Uhiman. (Mark Gail for The Washington Post)

First-Team Defense

DL Chase Young

DeMatha, 6-5, 235, Sr.

Ohio State recruit is considered one of the top defensive ends in the country.

DL Luiji Vilain

Episcopal, 6-4, 240, Sr.

Explosive defensive end and Michigan commit earned more than 30 scholarship offers.

DL Joshua Paschal

Good Counsel, 6-3, 253, Sr.

Dynamic athlete and coveted recruit that can shed blockers with his speed and power.

DL Brailyn Franklin

Battlefield, 6-4, 200, Sr.

Penn State recruit had 18 sacks in eight games after switching from cornerback to nose guard.

LB Nathan Proctor

Lackey, 6-3, 217, Sr.

Athletic four-star prospect has almost 30 scholarship offers and finished with 85 tackles.

LB Kevin Petrillo

Westfield, 6-1, 185, Sr.

Georgetown lacrosse commit is an aggressive tackler with a nose for the ball.

LB Keisean Wilson

North Point, 6-1, 220, Sr.

Old Dominion recruit hopes to eclipse 100 tackles this fall leading the Eagles’ defense.

DB Tariq Castro-Fields

Riverdale Baptist, 6-2, 183, Sr.

Two-way athlete emerged as a coveted recruit and will be used all over the field again.

DB Deon Jones

Potomac (Md.), 6-1, 180, Sr.

Maryland commit and top 100 recruit thrived in the WCAC at Carroll the past three years.

DB Damani Neal

Bullis, 5-10, 184, Sr.

Duke recruit and three-time all-conference pick will be a threat at safety and wide receiver.

DB Fofie Bazzie

Quince Orchard, 6-1, 180, Sr.

Emerging cornerback who had five interceptions during his first season with the Cougars.

DB Ibrahim Mansaray

Lake Braddock, 5-6, 165, Sr.

Undersized playmaker is also a spark plug for the Bruins at running back.

On The Bubble

Defensive linemen: Marcus Bowman, Douglass, Sr.; Bryant Boswell, Georgetown Prep, Sr.; Caleb Brooks, Centreville, Sr.; Tommy Christ, Dominion, Sr.; Marcus Coleman, Riverdale Baptist, Sr.; Darnell Creek, Broadneck, Sr.; Cameron Hough, Annapolis, Sr.; Tyree Johnson, St. John’s, Sr.; Lawtez Rogers, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sr.; Cam Spence, St. John’s, Sr.; Ryan Thaxton, St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes, Sr.; Jaylen Twyman, H.D. Woodson, Sr.; Vonnie Watkins, Patuxent, Sr.

Linebackers: Levi Brickner, Calvert, Sr.; Grant Donaldson, DeMatha, Sr.; Ayinde Eley, Good Counsel, Sr.; Tayon Fleet-Davis, Potomac (Md.), Sr.; Marquis Hall, Potomac (Va.), Sr.; Josh King, Battlefield, Jr.; Karl Mofor, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sr.; James Patterson, Pallotti, Sr.; Noah Taylor, Avalon, Jr.

Defensive backs: Coby Davis, Maret, Sr.; Taejon Gray, Thomas Stone, Sr.; JD Guerrero, Paint Branch, Sr.; Dashaun Jerkins, Woodbridge, Jr.; Dearage Mason, Blake, Sr.; Jonathan Sutherland, Episcopal, Sr.