February 3, 2009

Top stories in the East/Mid-Atlantic

MORE: Counting Down to Signing Day | Announcement Watch | Expert Commit Predictions

There were many big story lines involving players from the East and Mid-Atlantic regions for the 2009 recruiting year, none bigger than…

1) Virginia quarterbacks

The recruiting journeys of Hampton (Va.) Phoebus quarterback Tajh Boyd and Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy signal-caller Kevin Newsome were quite the saga. The two four-star quarterbacks committed to five different schools between them before ending up at Clemson and Penn State, respectively. Boyd committed to West Virginia early, then changed his mind for Tennessee and finally ended up with the Tigers. Newsome committed to Michigan early as well but changed his mind and chose the Nittany Lions in the end. Fellow Virginia four-star quarterback Bryn Renner's process was quite tame compared to his peers. Renner committed to North Carolina in March and stuck with his decision all the way through.

2) Ohio State gets five-star teammates

Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway teammates Corey Brown and Dorian Bell are two of only four five-star prospects in the Atlantic East region, and both are heading to Ohio State. And to their credit, each made an early decision and stuck to it despite numerous offers and the temptation to open things up like many other top prospects have done this year.

3) North Carolina steals two from New England

The impact of UNC coach Butch Davis in recruiting can be felt up and down the East Coast, but perhaps his biggest steals for the class of 2009 come from New England. There were only four recruits in New England rated four stars or more, and Davis and his staff took two of them away from programs like Boston College, UConn, Rutgers and others. Cheshire (Conn.) Cheshire Academy wide receiver Joshua Adams and West Roxbury (Mass.) Catholic Memorial offensive lineman Brennan Williams were both U.S. Army All-Americans this year and spurned local programs to head off to Chapel Hill.

4) So many de-commitments

In addition to Boyd and Newsome, numerous four-star prospects from the Atlantic East committed to a school early and then had a change of heart. Quarterback Raymond Cotton (Auburn), running back Desmond Scott (Rutgers), tight end Arthur Lynch (Boston College), offensive lineman Oday Aboushi (Boston College), offensive lineman Mark Brazinski (Rutgers), linebacker Gerald Hodges (Rutgers) and cornerback Darrell Givens (Ohio State) all decided that their first decision wasn't their best decision.

5) West Virginia hits Maryland, D.C. and Virginia

West Virginia looks like a lock to finish at the top of the Big East this year and one of the main reasons is the work the staff has done in the Virginia and Maryland/D.C. areas. While Michael Carter, Eugene Smith and Stedman Bailey are big names from Florida, West Virginia has six commitments from players from Virginia, Maryland or D.C. Running back Tavon Austin and wide receivers Logan Heastie and Deon Long are four-star players, while defensive tackle Dominik Davenport, running back Shawne Alston and defensive back Terence Garvin are all three-star players. West Virginia was a big-time player in both areas for 2009 and that is expected to continue for years to come.





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