“If you can’t get the kids to Harrisonburg this week, you might as well bring Harrisonburg to them,” should be the motto of JMU Dukes Head Coach Mickey Matthews. For several years now, the JMU Dukes Football Program has taken the show on the road, hitting different regions of the state with a satellite one-day camp, including two stops in The 757 each year. This year, the JMU staff will set up shop at CNU on Sunday and at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex on Monday.
Hampton University’s 7 on 7 event Saturday was a smashing success. Following a day of rain due to tropical storm Andrea, the fields were in excellent shape. The event gave 15 of the region’s high school programs an opportunity to visit the HU campus, get evaluated by the coaching staff at HU, and compete against each other in 7 on 7 and lineman challenge activities.
Lafayette High School running back Jahlil Green is picking up steam. His recruitment has blossomed now that the Spring Evaluation period is over. College coaches have gotten back to their offices, evaluated their boards, and discovered that Green is a great fit. He’s up to four offers now, and will likely see more come in as the month progresses.
Warhill High School now has a head coach. Former head coach Billy Jarvis departed a few months ago, after leading the program to a state where they’re looking like a perennial playoff team. Now, Bryan Davis gets to lead the program to the next level.
It’s become increasingly evident that Chris Beatty wants to get back into the Beach. At least to mine the talent here. The last player Beatty successfully recruited out of the area came more than two years ago when he recruited Ocean Lakes quarterback Lafonte Thourogood away from Virginia Tech and into Vanderbilt. Thourogood didn’t last at Vandy. He’s now at JMU. Beatty moved on to coach at Illinois last year and is now at Wisconsin. Coach Beatty is extending offers and has already landed a Juco transfer out of Kansas in Takiem Reynard, who played his high school ball at Greenbrier Christian. Who’s next?
That didn’t take long. Oscar Smith wide receiver Jaylen Bradshaw visited Virginia Tech for a one-day camp on Sunday and walked away with a scholarship offer. After a couple of days to digest the situation, Bradshaw made up his mind. He’s a Hokie.
Oscar Smith lineman Andrew Brown is a highly sought after college prospect. Brown has his choice of somewhere around three dozen colleges that are offering a full ride, and many college coaches have been selling him hard on the opportunities he has for early playing time. Andrew was at the Best of the 757 on Saturday and he camped for Virginia Tech on Sunday. His list has been narrowed to eight schools, with five sitting clearly at the top. You might be surprised at the reason he’s picked his top schools.
Ask anyone in the know about Kellam Football and “elite” won’t be the first word you would hear out of anyone’s mouth. Typically, you’d hear “basic”, “no-nonsense”, or “Wing-T”, since head coach Chris DeWitt loves to play smash mouth football. Kellam football is going to evolve a little bit this year, all because of one player: Pat Kagel.
The first of two one day camps went down in Blacksburg on Sunday and the news was good for players from the 757. Jaylen Bradshaw, Deshawn McClease and Josh Sweat came away from Tech with new offers, and that might have a domino effect that’s very good for the Hokies.
Over 170 local athletes turned out to represent the region on Saturday at Christopher Newport University. The trainers at Bon Secours In Motion ran the athletes through their paces in the combine section of the event, then the high school coaches took the athletes position by position for training and head to head competition. Every athlete shined and the competition for MVP awards was tight.