High School

Rundown of recent scholarship offers for DMV football players

Rundown of recent scholarship offers for DMV football players

In these days of “social distancing,” it has become increasingly difficult for student athletes to get in front of college coaches. This time is typically ripe for scouts to visit local high schools and young men to begin planning unofficial visits.

Fortunately, the student athletes of the DMV are not only talented, they are resilient and the story their collective games tell is strong enough to stretch for miles. 

Here’s a look at some of the most recent offers earned.

1. Donte Thornton | 4-star Wide Receiver

Class: 2021

School: Mount St. Joseph

Offers: 26

Thornton is a long and rangy receiver who consistently high points the ball. A long-strider, he has sneaky speed and explosion for his size. He is a polished route runner -- he gets in and out of his breaks flawlessly. Thornton catches the ball with his hands in traffic and has shown an ability to work the entire field.

On March 10, he earned an offer from USC and on March 14, he committed to the All-American Bowl. The crazy thing about it: Thornton may just be scratching the surface of his potential.

2. Kaden Prather | 3-star Cornerback

Class: 2021

School: Northwest

Offers: 30

Kaden Prather is truly a special student athlete. The 6-3, 210-pound wide receiver has the speed to take the top off of any defense. More than just a deep threat, he displays the courage to go across the middle and is a weapon in the screen game; every time quarterback Jordan Morse gets the ball in Prather’s hands, he is a threat to take it to the house.

Prather was recently offered by Minnesota and Missouri, but the one receiving the most attention came from LSU. #GeauxTigers

3. Landon Tengwall | 4-star Offensive Lineman

Class: 2021

School: Good Counsel

Offers: 30

According to Tom Loy, Landon Tengwall has paired down his list to two: Penn State and Notre Dame.

The All-American bowl commit is one of the top offensive tackles in the nation. His size, strength and athleticism make him an ideal fit for just about any program, thus Penn State and Notre Dame are undoubtedly ecstatic to be amongst his top two.

Recruiting pundits overwhelmingly believe Tengwall will choose the Nittany Lions -- Notre Dame is still holding out for the luck of the Irish.

4. Brian Plummer | 3-star Quarterback

Class: 2021

School: Quince Orchard

Offers: 4

Brian Plummer could be on the verge of being amongst the hottest prospects in the DMV. Standing 6-4, 220 pounds, Plummer has prototypical size and the requisite arm strength sought of a high D-I student athlete. In addition to his physical attributes, Plummer is a proven winner, having led Q.O. to a state championship as a sophomore. In preparation for his senior year, the quarterback is beginning to take on the role of vocal leader as well.

On March 13, Plummer earned an offer from University of Maryland. This could open the floodgates of his recruitment.

5. Nate Kurisky | 3-star Tight End

Class: 2022

School: Gonzaga

Offers: 4

Nate Kurisky recently picked up offers from Boston College and Vanderbilt to go along with the previous opportunities earned from University of Maryland and Pittsburgh.

The 6-3, 225-pound tight end is a matchup problem for defenses. His size makes him too big for most defensive backs to cover, and as a former wide receiver, his speed and athleticism are issues for linebackers.

There is a good chance he will be amongst quarterback Caleb Williams’ top targets moving forward. Kurisky is on the rise.

6. Bryce Butler | 3-star Tight End

Class: 2021

School: St. John’s

Offers: 9

Bryce Butler is one of the more versatile student athletes in the WCAC. At 6-3, 225 pounds, he possesses excellent length. His size and speed allow the Cadets to line him up as an in-line tight end or to split him out. The young man can also contribute on the defensive side of the ball. Look for him to slide into a role vacated by the graduation of Mekhail Sherman.

On March 6, Butler earned an offer from Arkansas; his first SEC recognition.

7. Billy Edwards | 3-star QB

Class: 2021

School: Lake Braddock

Offers: 17

On March 17, Billy Edwards earned an offer from Appalachian State, his 17th offer. Edwards may be the best kept secret at quarterback on the East Coast. The young man can flat out spin it.

His arm strength and talent, accuracy, athleticism and creativity are not rivaled by many at the high school level. If, and when, camp season arrives, look for him to open the eyes of many more schools.

8. Naieem Kearney | 2-star All-Purpose Back

Class: 2021

School: Martinsburg

Offers: 2

Naieem Kearney does it all for Martinsburg. The running back ran for over 1,000 yards last season in helping the Bulldogs win their fourth consecutive state championship. His speed, agility and elusiveness make him a home run threat, and his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield allows Kearney to be used as a weapon all over the field.

This offseason, Kearney has focused on putting on mass to make himself an even more effective runner between the tackles. He picked up his first major offer on February 13 -- it won’t be his last.

9. Malcolm Johnson Jr. | 4-star Wide Receiver

Class: 2021

School: St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes

Offers: 23

Malcolm Johnson Jr. is a track star who just so happens to be great at football. The St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes standout is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. His speed makes him nearly impossible to cover one-on-one and he often runs past safety help.

While already holding offers from the likes of Alabama, Maryland and Michigan, Johnson recently added Georgia to the fray. #GoDawgs

10. Bryce Steele | 4-star Safety

Class: 2021

School: Episcopal

Offers: 15

Bryce Steele is a physical and punishing tackler whose style of play is synonymous with his last name. The safety excels playing in the box. He is an excellent run-stopper and is a difference maker when blitzing. Simply stated, Steele plays the game with bad intentions; he runs through ball carriers and specializes in separating man from ball.

For a period of time, it appeared as though Steele-to-OSU was a done deal, but as of late UNC and the Tar Heel fan base are showing the junior safety big love on social media. Can the Tar Heels convince Steele to consider Tobacco road? Or perhaps the University of Maryland will lure the safety to College Park, where he will be the latest in the class of 21’ to commit to the #StayHomeMovement. #LockedIN

To be included in our next edition, please tag @RealChadRicardo in your offer posts.

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These are the top 10 high school defensive backs in the DMV

These are the top 10 high school defensive backs in the DMV

In today’s game, high-powered offenses are king. Long gone are the days of wishbone formations, triple-option quarterbacks and play-calling strategies centered around “three yards and a cloud of dust.”

In 2020, spread sets are the norm and offenses are designed to put up points in a hurry. For defenses to be successful at slowing them down, they need skilled and versatile defenders in the secondary who can stop the pass and help slow the run game. Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia are home to some of the best in the country.

Here are my Top 10 defensive backs in the DMV.

Ryan “Bo” Barnes | Quince Orchard (MD)

Cornerback: 6’2”, 180 lbs

Class: 2021

Offers: 35

Ryan Barnes is a ball-hawking DB with next level length and a knack for making big plays. At 6-foot-2, Barnes is a big corner who blankets his opposition. He uses his long arms and stride to aide in recovering, and once he gets his hands on the ball he is a threat to score.

Though slight of frame, Barnes is a physical, sure tackler who effectively sets the edge against the run.

Antoine Booth | DeMatha (MD)

Cornerback: 6’0”, 190 lbs

Class: 2021

Committed: Michigan State

Antoine Booth often accepts the challenge of lining up against the opposition’s No. 1 receiver -- he does not back down. In fact, he raises his game to that of his competition. He plays the game with a moxie and bravado that will serve him well this season and moving forward.

Booth does a stellar job reading and reacting. He keeps his eyes in the backfield, plants his back foot and jumps routes, often leading to pass breakups and interceptions.

Jalen Clyatt | Sherwood (MD)

Safety: 6’4”, 200 lbs

Class: 2021

Committed: East Carolina

Jalen Clyatt has tremendous size and length. As a long strider, he covers a lot of ground in little time.

Clyatt manages the middle of the field. His range allows him to cover from sideline-to-sideline, and his ball skills make him a threat to intercept passes that sail over the middle.

Cam Johnson | St. Frances (MD)

Cornerback: 6’0”, 170 lbs

Class: 2022

Offers: 13

Cam Johnson has excellent technique. His hips are fluid, his backpedal is smooth and he changes direction effortlessly, which allows him to be successful in man coverage even when playing on an island.

At 6-feet tall, Johnson has nice length and a frame that he will grow into. The rising junior has legitimate “lockdown corner” potential.

Jalen “Buck” McCain | Flowers (MD)

Defensive Back: 6’0, 190

Class: 2021

Committed: Boston College

Jalen McCain is a versatile defensive back capable of making plays from all over the field. He can line up as a boundary-corner or in the slot versus spread offenses, as he displays proficiency in both zone and man coverage.

McCain is a skilled blitzer, has the speed and field awareness to defend in two-deep looks and thrives as a box safety, where his physicality and tackling abilities are on full display.

Will Simpkins III | Quince Orchard (MD)

Cornerback: 6’2”, 180 lbs

Class: 2021

Committed: University of Virginia

Simpkins has a Div.-I body type and he uses it to his advantage. He’s physical at the line of scrimmage and excels at redirecting receivers, making it difficult for them to get into their routes.

His hand-fighting techniques are superb. He has loose hips and solid ball skills. Simpkins is capable of taking away an entire side of the field.

Jalen Stroman | Patriot (VA)

Safety: 6’1”, 195 lbs

Class: 2021

Committed: Virgina Tech

Jalen Stroman is developing into a special student athlete. He’s a big hitter who is most effective coming down hill and attacking. When defending the run, he’s equally adequate at filling the hole as he is setting the edge.

In pass coverage, Stroman displays an ability to undercut routes and break on the ball. He also displays the range to play deep centerfield.

Joshua Thompson | St. John’s (DC)

Cornerback: 6’2”, 190 lbs

Class: 2022

Offers: 8

Joshua Thompson thrives in press coverage. He has the physicality to manhandle receivers at the line, and the length to recover and make plays on the ball.

As a rising junior, his stock is on the rise. Thompson should develop into a 25-plus offer student athlete.

Dante Trader | McDonogh (MD)

Safety: 6’0”, 185 lbs

Class: 2021

Committed: Maryland

Dante Trader is a natural center-fielder who displays excellent range and ball skills. His footwork and technique allow him to cover ground efficiently. He’s a sound tackler who consistently finds himself around the ball.

What he lacks in size, he makes up for in instincts. Trader does an excellent job of diagnosing plays; seeing what’s in front of him and flowing accordingly.

Zakee Wheatley | Archbishop Spalding (MD)

Safety: 6’3”, 190 lbs

Class: 2021

Committed: Penn State

Zakee Wheatley is a big time student athlete who makes plays all over the field. He has the coverage skills to line up on the outside, as well as the size and physicality to run with tight ends down the seam.

Wheatley is a heavy hitter who provides support against the run and routinely uses his force to separate man from ball.

Former Dunbar and Maryland star Keith Booth sues Baltimore City Schools, per a report

Former Dunbar and Maryland star Keith Booth sues Baltimore City Schools, per a report

University of Maryland great, and former Dunbar basketball coach, Keith Booth has sued the Baltimore school system for defamation the Baltimore Sun reported Friday afternoon. The coach was fired in February for an "inappropriate interaction" between two Dunbar students who were under his supervision at the time.

Booth is suing the city school board, schools CEO Sonja Santelises, Dunbar principal Yetunde Reeves, and Jerome Jones, the director of labor relations and negotiations for the school system.

According to the lawsuit, Booth's attorney alleges that the letter released to the Dunbar community, regarding the incident at the time, implied Booth was at fault. 

“Coach Booth will forever live with the stain of Defendants’ false and defamatory letter and denial of his constitutional rights to clear his name," the lawsuit states.

Booth, a McDonald's All-American during his time at Dunbar, returned to coach the boy's basketball program in May of 2019.