football Edit

Friendly may have even more talent in 2009

Fort Washington (Md.) Friendly has at least a half dozen Division I prospects in the 2008 recruiting class. It's hard to believe, but the school might have even more next year in 2009 led by cornerback Darrell Givens.
"Darrell is a 6-foot-1, 185-pound cornerback with long arms and is very physical," Friendly head coach Marcus Berry said. "He runs in the low 4.4's and looks the part of a college cornerback, he is the prototypical corner.
"He already has written offers from Ohio State, Pittsburgh and Virginia. Coach Wannstedt came to a practice and saw him and told me that's exactly what he was looking for."
Of his juniors, Berry believes Givens is the only one with a possible favorite.
"I think he really likes Ohio State and Pittsburgh," he said. "I know both of those schools really like him. It's pretty clear those two are the favorites."
Givens is the only 2009 prospect with an offer, but Berry wouldn't be surprised to see his 6-foot-2, 185-pound wide receiver Alex Blake get some scholarships in the near future.
"Alex was the MVP of the underclassmen combine as a sophomore," he stated. "He's probably going to be our go to guy next year. His brother plays at New Mexico State and is a 6-foot-3, 225-pound receiver. I could see Alex becoming a big guy like his brother.
"He's a great route runner with spectacular hands and is a playmaker. He's a big-time guy and a real good kid that is a hard worker. He understands the game a lot more than most players because of his brother and is real polished.
"In recruiting, he doesn't have any offers yet. I for see him having quite a few this spring just after Signing Day."
The one other prospect that could receive an offer around Signing Day is 5-foot-11, 175-pound safety Montez Bentley
"He may play quarterback for us next year, but in college he's a safety," he said. "He's a real strong player, a freak athlete that is a good basketball player too. He's a big-time hitter and had five interceptions at safety for us this season. He has a chance to be a big-time guy.
"He's getting interest from all over the country, the ACC, Big East and Big Ten. I think Alex, Darrell and him will all have offers by February."
There are plenty of other recruits Berry feels may turn out to be stars once they hit the combine circuit. One of those is linebacker Brian Brooks, a 6-foot-3, 200-pounder.
"Brian is a very athletic kid with long arms," he said. "He's one of those kids that can grow into the tight end spot. He could also be a good linebacker. He's a basketball player that we got over to the football field.
"He's just a raw athlete, the kind of guy colleges are looking for. He's still under the radar right now, but once he gets into the combine situation he'll blow up."
Another prospect that may make an impact when combines come around is 6-foot-1, 210-pound linebacker Vincent Holder.
"He's a great student, 3.4 GPA, a smart kid that probably is a mike linebacker in college," he said. "Talk about a motor, he's real quick and posted 70 tackles along with nine sacks this season. He's going to be a real good one. He definitely has room to grow to get up to 230. He's also very strong; he can bench 185, 25 to 30 times."
Defensive end Milton Gilchrist is also getting some looks. The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder is a dominant end according to Berry.
"He's athletic, so athletic he can dunk a basketball any way you ask him too," he said. "He's got long arms and a nice frame. I think he'll grow into it and could be 6-4, 250 at the end. He's a defensive end, tight end type.
"At defensive end, talk about coming off the ball. He came off a couple times this year and was so quick they called him offsides, but he wasn't. His 10-yard time is great, he had eight sacks this season. He's very explosive and a definite Division I-A player that is very solid academically.
"Schools including Boston College, Connecticut, West Virginia, Louisville and others are already interested."
One borderline prospect in the 2009 class for Friendly is 6-foot-1, 220-pound linebacker Xavier Williams.
"He plays the mike and will linebacker spots for us," he said. "He's a real smart kid with a bright future. His mom actually is the assistant principal at our school.
"He's a real good football player. When Eteyen Edet went down this year for a couple games, Xavier filled in. Xavier is a big-time guy. He'll be a solid I-AA player, but possibly a I-A. He'll get interest due to his size and grades."
This year, Friendly had two star tailbacks in Josh Haden and Lamaar Thomas. Berry believes he's got another one next year, 5-foot-10, 175-pound running back Dwayne Price.
"Dwayne is very fast," he said. "Once people see him in the combines, he's going to get offers. He's one of the fastest players I have, guaranteed. He's the only one that can keep up with Lamaar in the 40. He's runs a 10 600 meter.
"The problem, I couldn't get him on the field with Lamaar and Josh there. He only saw time on special teams and in mop up duty. He will be our starting running back next year."
The final junior prospect to watch out of Friendly is 5-foot-10, 195-pound cornerback Uriel Williams.
"Uriel is a real physical cornerback, oh my. He's a big hitter with good technique," he stated. "He plays a lot of cover two and man and guys couldn't get off the line of scrimmage. He's just so physical.
"He's starting to get looks from the Big East and ACC."