The Top 30 Players in the State of Virginia, 2005 Recruiting Class
by Chris Horne, 1/21/05

Following the 2004 season, I continue to believe that the 2005 class is a quality one with a lot of depth. The top 10 or so players are ranked as some of the best on the East coast – and some are the best in the country. This class has a lot of depth and this can be seen in the amount of prospects goings to Division I-A programs. At this point, all of the below listed prospects have received official scholarship offers from Division I-A programs. Even more that are not listed in the top 30 have at least received Division I offers.

Highland Springs star Victor “Macho” Harris retained the top spot in the state with an excellent senior season and an appearance in the Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. The 6-0, 180-pound Harris carried his team’s offense this season, rushing for 2,345 yards and 33 total touchdowns. For his career, Harris compiled 5,320 yards on 506 carries and 65 rushing touchdowns. He added 7 career touchdown receptions and 6 career touchdown returns.

Defensively, Harris had 22 tackles with 1 sack, 3 interceptions and 3 pass break-ups 2004. Though he switched between safety and cornerback in high school, Harris figures to play cornerback and return punts and kicks initially at Virginia Tech. He could switch to offense to play running back or wide receiver if necessary. Harris has the potential be a two-way player further down the road at Tech.

A 5-star prospect, Harris is one of the top overall recruits in the country. He chose Virginia Tech over Miami, Michigan, Southern California and Virginia among others. He displays game-breaking speed and excellent agility and fluidity. His ability to accelerate, change directions and move his hips is one of the reasons he is expected to be a shut down cornerback on the next level.

Following Harris is Phoebus tailback Elan Lewis, who also earned a spot in the Army All-American game. Lewis, who ranks 4th on the Virginia High School league all-time rushing list, rushed for 2,323 yards and 35 touchdowns in 2004. For his career, he rushed for 7,156 yards. At 5-8, 220-pounds, he is a natural runner with outstanding vision, cutting ability and power. He accelerates through the hole very quickly and, while he doesn’t have exceptional breakaway speed, he does have good speed and can break big plays. He is the type of back that, given 25-30 carries a game, can really wear down a defense. Lewis is also a good receiver out of the backfield.

Lewis will join Victor Harris at Virginia Tech next year.

Gretna quarterback Vic Hall, who is 3rd on the list, capped a record-breaking career with consecutive state titles in 2003 and 2004. At 5-10, 175-pounds, Hall has used his strong arm and excellent running ability to rack-up 13,770 total career yards, which ranks 5th in national high school history. Hall broke 3 of former Hampton High School standout Ronald Curry’s high school records – career yardage (Hall finished with 13,770), career passing touchdowns (Hall finished with 104) and career passing yards (Hall had 8,731 yards). Hall also broke his own state record for total yards in a season, as he finished with 4,852 in 2004 after setting the record in 2003 with 4,434 yards.

In 2004, Hall finished with 2,857 yards passing and 1,995 yards rushing. He threw 38 touchdowns passes. A verbal commitment to UVa, Hall is being recruited as a quarterback but likely could see time at wide receiver early in his career - just like UVa’s current quarterback Marques Hagans did. Hall could be a very good slot receiver. He isn’t as fast as Macho Harris, but he is fast and accelerates very quickly.

No. 4 is Landstown linebacker Deveon Simmons, who is a hard-hitting play-maker with excellent speed. Though he only goes about 6-0 (but is now up to 221-pounds), he is a huge hitter who makes his presence felt in each game. He uses his speed, quickness and instincts to fly all over the field. In 2004, he tallied 101 solo tackles, 68 assists, 31 tackles-for-loss and 9 sacks. While Percy Harvin received a lot of the attention (and deservedly so), Simmons was the defensive anchor on the state championship squad.

For his senior year performance, Deveon earned Beach District Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. He was named 1st-team all-Tidewater and is a sure bet for 1st-team all-state as well. He has also committed to Virginia Tech, where he’ll likely end up at linebacker.

Rounding out the top 5 once again is Pat Sheil. Sheil, a 6-7, 270-pound offensive tackle prospect, received many offers from big-time Division I-A programs following his impressive performance at the Nike Camp in Charlottesville. Sheil had offers from Florida, Miami, Oklahoma, Virginia and Virginia Tech among others before choosing Boston College early in the process. He played offensive tackle for the first time in his high school career this past season and performed well, yielding zero sacks. He played along the defensive line as a junior, but it was his potential as an offensive tackle that caught the attention of many schools.

Postseason Top 30

1 – CB/RB Victor “Macho” Harris – 6-0, 180-pounds, Highland Springs
Preseason rank: 1
Harris is capable of being a star on offense or defense on the next level. Has tremendous speed, agility, cutting ability and footwork. Offensively, he consistently makes big plays and displays great anticipation on defense. As a cornerback, he has great closing speed.
(Committed to Virginia Tech)

2 – RB Elan Lewis – 5-8, 220-pounds, Phoebus
Preseason rank: 2
A natural runner with great vision and cutting ability, Lewis has been one of the most productive rushers over his high school career. Very strong for his size, he is a back that gets stronger as the game goes on and can wear down a defense.
(Committed to Virginia Tech)

3 – QB Vic Hall – 5-10, 175-pounds, Gretna
Preseason rank: 3
One of the most productive players in national high school history, Vic Hall is an accomplished passer and rusher. He shows a strong arm with good accuracy. As a runner, he is quick, accelerates very well and shows good speed. His running and play-making ability give UVa several options in terms of position on the next level, but I would expect to see him on offense for sure.
(Committed to UVa)

4 – LB Deveon Simmons – 6-0, 221-pounds, Landstown
Preseason rank: 4
Simmons makes big plays on defense with his speed and ability to make crushing hits. He moves from sideline to sideline with ease and shows good anticipation.
(Committed to Virginia Tech)

5 – OT Pat Sheil – 6-7, 270-pounds, Centreville
Preseason rank: 5
Big and athletic, Sheil is a very accomplished pass-blocker at this point in his career. Needs to add some weight on the next level, but I believe the potential to be a great tackle is there.
(Committed to Boston College)

6 – WR Todd Nolen – 6-3, 175-pounds, Hampton
Preseason rank: 10
Rising 4 spots from the preseason rankings, Nolen has good speed, runs good routes and shows excellent hands – he makes very tough catches. Nolen finished with 53 catches for 1,370 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2004.
(Committed to Virginia Tech)

7 – QB/Ath Greg Boone – 6-4, 250-pounds, Oscar Smith
Preseason rank: 7
Boone led his team to an undefeated regular season and earned first-team all-state honors at the quarterback position. As a quarterback, he shows a very strong arm and good mobility. He passed for 1,285 yards, rushed for 949 yards and accounted for 35 touchdowns as a senior despite missing two games due to injury. His athleticism and toughness are why many feel he could also be very effective as a defensive end, linebacker or even as a tight end on the next level.
(Committed to Virginia Tech)

8 – DE Jeffrey Fitzgerald – 6-4, 250-pounds, Hermitage
Preseason rank: 6
If it were not for a season-ending knee injury suffered in the preseason, Fitzgerald would probably be higher. There are some injury questions, as he has missed two out of the past three seasons with injuries. If he stays healthy, I believe he has a whole lot of potential and could be a force on the defensive line throughout his college career. Jeffrey shows good a good first step off the line, good closing speed and excellent hand use as a defensive end. As for the injury, he says he is on track for a full recovery before he gets to UVa.
(Committed to UVa)

9 – LB Darryl Gresham – 6-3, 230-pounds, William Fleming
Preseason rank: 8
Extremely productive, Darryl had 178 total tackles (113 solo, 65 assists) and 4 forced-fumbles as a senior. With solid but not great speed, he shows great anticipation in making a lot of plays around the line of scrimmage. He plays well sideline to sideline and plays with a lot of enthusiasm and energy.
(Committed to Florida)

10 – DE Steven Friday – 6-5, 215-pounds, Phoebus
Preseason rank: 13
Though injury kept him out of a few games, Friday still managed 89 tackles, 21 tackles- for-loss, 17 sacks, three blocked kicks and three fumble recoveries in 2004. Friday has 34 sacks over the past two seasons. He needs to gain weight for the next level, but he shows good athleticism, determination and great intensity.
(Committed to Virginia Tech)

11 – OLB/TE Antonio Appleby – 6-4, 240-pounds, Salem-Virginia Beach
Preseason rank: 11
Appleby missed three games due to an ankle injury but still managed 53 tackles, 8 tackles-for-loss and 6 sacks in 2004. Appleby is a terrific receiver as a tight end but likely projects as an outside linebacker for UVa. Antonio has good closing speed and a quick first step, making him very good in pass rushing situations. Versatile, he played defensive end, middle linebacker and tight end for Salem this past season.
(Committed to UVa)

12 – OG Antonio North – 6-4, 310-pounds, North Stafford
Preseason rank: 12
First-team all-state performer shows good agility and athleticism as an offensive guard. A collegiate weight program should help him develop physically and get stronger, but I believe he has a lot of potential.
(Committed to Virginia Tech)

13 – DE Jason Fuller – 6-5, 225-pounds, Kempsville
Preseason rank: 14
Athletic defensive end/tight end in high school earned 1st-team all-Beach district honors for both positions. Depending on how much weight he can add, Fuller could end up as a defensive end, tight end or outside linebacker for UVa. Fuller moves very well for his size.
(Committed to UVa)

14 – S Cameron Martin – 6-2, 180-pounds, George Washington-Danville
Preseason rank: 8
Martin is a tough player that shows good instincts as a safety. He is very capable at stopping the run and defending the pass. Cam suffered some injuries this past season that hampered his production but, when healthy, is a very solid performer in the defensive backfield.
(Committed to Virginia Tech)

15 – QB Jameel Sewell – 6-4, 200-pounds, Hermitage
Preseason rank: 19
One of the most improved players in the state, Sewell led Hermitage to an undefeated regular season. He completed 106 of 175 attempts for 2,001 yards, 27 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions in 2004. Sewell shows a lot of poise in the pocket, a good arm and good accuracy. Though he is primarily a pocket-passer, he has the ability to avoid the pass rush and make plays with his legs.
(Committed to UVa)

16 – OL Ed Wang – 6-6, 265-pounds, Stone Bridge
Preseason rank: 16
Wang’s combination of size and speed make him an ideal candidate at offensive tackle. He played defensive end and tight end in high school. He could develop into a very effective offensive lineman on the next level.
(Committed to Virginia Tech)

17 – LB Demetrius Taylor – 6-2, 225-pounds, Kellam
Preseason rank: 18
Taylor averaged about 10 tackles-per-game in 2004. He is not a flashy player, but he is a good one that plays within the system. Has good speed to go along with his 6-2, 225-pound frame. Played well as a running back this year too, but defense is where he likely will end up. Taylor is also a dedicated worker in the weight room.
(Committed to Virginia Tech)

18 – DB Chris Cook – 6-3, 190-pounds, Heritage
Preseason rank: 20
A versatile player that played wide receiver and defensive back for Heritage as a junior, Cook was the leading rusher in 2004 with 1645 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns. He is being recruited as a cornerback for UVa, but Heritage head coach Chris Jones believes wide receiver could be his player’s best position. Could also play safety on the next level.
(Committed to UVa)

19 – JAth Alex Field – 6-6, 250-pounds, Broad Run
Preseason rank: 21
Field has drawn rave reviews from opposing coaches in northern Virginia because of his toughness and attitude out on the field. Has the ability to play tight end, defensive end or grow into an offensive lineman on the next level.
(Committed to UVa)

20 – DT Cordarrow Thompson – 6-3, 312-pounds, North Stafford
Preseason rank: 26
The Washington Post all-metro Defensive Player of the Year racked-up 102 tackles, including 43 tackles-for-loss and 9 sacks in 13 games in 2004. Before 2004, Thompson was mentioned most by opposing coaches in his area as a player to watch, and that was for good reason.
(Committed to Virginia Tech)

21 – TE John Phillips – 6-6, 240-pounds, Bath County
Preseason rank: 17
Phillips played for the entire 2004 season after suffering a torn MCL and ACL in his left knee at the end of 2003. He was more productive as a senior than as a junior, however may have been a step slower due to the injury according to Coach Will Fields. Could play defensive end on the next level as well, but assuming he gets the speed he had before his injury he will likely play tight end.
(Committed to UVa)

22 – OL Patrick Slebonick – 6-4, 285-pounds, North Stafford
Preseason rank: 15
An all-state performer in 2004, Slebonick shows excellent technique but needs to improve his quickness for the next level. A solid offensive line recruit for UVa.
(Committed to UVa)

23 – DL Kevin Crawford – 6-5, 270-pounds, Gar-Field
Preseason rank: 23
Crawford saw limited time as a defensive lineman this year, but he is still projected as a defensive lineman for UVa. Combines good quickness and agility. He says he has been timed in the 4.8s in the 40-yard dash.
(Committed to UVa)

24 – DB/RB Kavell Connor – 6-2, 210-pounds, Manchester
Preseason rank: 24
Connor is a work-horse back on offense but likely projects on defense, where he could play safety or play a rover-type position.
(Committed to Clemson)

25 – JAth Aaron Clark – 6-6, 230-pounds, Rockbridge
Preseason rank: 27
Another “jumbo athlete” that has the speed (4.69 40) to play outside linebacker, defensive end or tight end for UVa. Clark shows good athleticism and has a great work ethic.
(Committed to UVa)

26 – CB Sean Smalls – 6-1, 180-pounds, Huguenot
Preseason rank: 22
Solid cornerback prospect that combines decent size and speed. Didn’t have as productive a senior season as he had as a junior. He earned second-team all-metro honors by the Richmond Times-Dispatch in 2004.
(Committed to UMass)

27 – Ath E.J. Wilson – 6-3, 230-pounds, Brunswick Senior
Preseason rank: Unranked
Wilson earned first-team all-region honors at wide receiver and second-team all-region honors at safety for his senior year performance. Wilson was the iron-man for his team, playing virtually the entire game in every game. Very athletic, he excels in basketball as well.
(Committed to UNC)

28 – QB Bobby Rome – 5-11, 210-pounds, Granby
Preseason rank: 28
A dual-threat quarterback, Rome possesses a strong arm and quick feet. He impressed UNC during their summer camp and earned an offer shortly thereafter.
(Committed to UNC)

29 – DL Alan-Michael Cash – 6-1, 280-pounds, Varina
Preseason rank: Unranked
Cash racked-up 63 tackles, 13- for-loss, 6 sacks and 4 fumble recoveries in 2004. Sometimes plays linebacker for Coach Gary Chilcoat. A bit of a ‘tweener on the next level, Cash will play along the defensive line at N.C. State.
(Committed to N.C. State)

30 – RB Justin Carrington – 6-1, 200-pounds
Preseason rank: 29
Carrington had a good senior year, rushing 216 times for 1,886 yards and 28 total touchdowns. Shows good speed, as he was timed last summer at 4.47 in the 40.
(Committed to Indiana)

Best of the rest (in alphabetical order):

  • Centreville CB Derek Bailey and DE Andrew Lewis (Syracuse commits)
  • Westfield P Brent Bowden (VT Commit)
  • West Springfield WR/TE Mike Caussin
  • Huguenot WR Kevin Cousins (PSU Commit)
  • West Springfield OL Eric Davis (VT Commit)
  • Western Branch WR/DB Devin Fentress (PSU Commit)
  • Gretna LB Horace Hubbard
  • Blessed Sacrament Huguenot OL Kyle Jolly (UNC Commit)
  • Oscar Smith DB/WR Tommie Lawrence (JMU Commit)
  • Harrisonburg OL/DL Wes Lokey
  • Atlantic Shores Christian OL Jeraill McCuller (NCSU Commit)
  • Phoebus LB Stevon Moss (Kent State)
  • Hopewell FB Mike Pigram

Postseason Rankings, 2005 Recruiting Class
Top 30 Players in Virginia
Rank Pos Player Ht Wt 40 Pre-
1 TB/CB Victor Harris 6-0 180 4.46 1 1 Virginia Tech
2 TB Elan Lewis 5-9 210 4.45 2 2 Virginia Tech
3 QB Vic Hall 5-10 180 4.4 3 3 UVa
4 LB/S Deveon Simmons 6-1 208 4.6 4 4 Virginia Tech
5 OT Pat Sheil 6-7 260 5.0 5 5 Boston Coll.
6 WR Todd Nolen 6-3 175 n/a 10 10 Virginia Tech
7 QB/ATH Greg Boone 6-4 250 4.65 7 7 Virginia Tech
8 DE Jeffrey Fitzgerald 6-4 250 4.8 6 6 UVa
9 LB Darryl Gresham 6-3 230 4.68 8 8 Florida
10 DE Steven Friday 6-5 215 4.7 15 13 Virginia Tech
11 DE/TE Antonio Appleby 6-4 230 4.6 11 11 UVa
12 OL Tony North 6-4 310 5.3 14 12 Virginia Tech
13 DE/TE Jason Fuller 6-5 220 4.7 16 14 UVa
14 S Cameron Martin 6-2 180 4.5 9 9 Virginia Tech
15 QB Jameel Sewell 6-3 190 4.68 24 19 UVa
16 OL/DE Ed Wang 6-5 260 4.8 17 16 Virginia Tech
17 LB Demetrius Taylor 6-1 220 4.5 19 18 Virginia Tech
18 CB/WR Chris Cook 6-2 185 4.49 21 20 UVa
19 JATH Alex Field 6-6 248 4.8 23 21 UVa
20 DL Cordarrow Thompson 6-2 312 5.24 NR 26 Virginia Tech
21 TE John Phillips 6-6 240 4.75 18 17 UVa
22 OL Pat Slebonick 6-4 295 5.3 12 15 UVa
23 DL Kevin Crawford 6-5 270 4.8 26 23 UVa
24 DB Kavell Connor 6-2 208 4.5 22 24 Clemson
25 DE/TE Aaron Clark 6-6 230 4.7 27 27 UVa
26 CB Sean Smalls 6-1 185 4.5 NR 22 UMass
27 ATH E.J. Wilson 6-3 230 n/a NR NR UNC
28 QB Bobby Rome 6-1 210 4.8 28 28 UNC
29 DL Alan-Michael Cash 6-1 280 4.5 13 25 NCSU
30 TB Justin Carrington 6-1 200 4.47 30 29 Indiana

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