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September 15, 2011
Rivals.com analyst Mike Farrell looks around the Mid-Atlantic region at some of the emerging underclassmen, a promising sleeper prospect and also previews the upcoming weekend of game coverage.
Remember these names
A breakdown of three top underclassmen prospects in the Mid-Atlantic region:
DE Tashawn Bower, Somerville (N.J.) Immaculata (2013)
Bower exploded onto the scene with big offers from Ohio State and Florida State and he is quickly approaching double-digit offers already. With his 6-foot-5, 230-pound size and a frame that can easily add much more weight, he will be a monster defensive end at the next level. He was a standout at Top Gun in July and once he gets his pad level a bit lower and refines his technique, he could be special.
QB Ryan Burns, Ashburn (Va.) Stone Bridge (2013)
It's not a surprise that the 6-foot-5, 218-pounder has early offers from the likes of Boston College, Stanford, Virginia and Rutgers because he has the size, arm strength, accuracy and poise to be a top quarterback in his class. What is puzzling is why he doesn't have more offers as his talent level is clearly that of a 25-offer prospect. Burns has been impressive at every camp we've seen him at including the Elite 11 this year at Penn State as well as the Top Gun Camp in July. Perhaps once his junior film gets around he will blow up as expected, but right now he is making four schools look very smart with their early tenders.
ATH Jarrett Ross, Wilmington (Del.) Charter School (2013)
Ross is a speedy athlete who could play numerous positions at the next level. He impressed at the Northeast NUC Ultimate 100 in his home state this summer by posting the fastest 40 time at the event and he was excellent in drills, one-on-ones and 7-on-7 play. His brother, Brandon Ross, signed with Maryland as a running back in the 2011 class and Jarrett already has an offer from the Terps. While he plays in a state that doesn't get much attention unless you play for Red Lion Christian, look for him to add a few more offers after his junior season.
Sleeper of the week
This week's under-the-radar prospect that won't be unknown for long:
FB Drew Stefanelli, Olney (Md.) Good Counsel
Stefanelli was a huge key to Good Counsel's 26-21 win over Baltimore (Md.) Gilman last weekend at the Patriot Classic. Not only did he pave the way with excellent blocker for Wes Brown and his 100-yard, 2 TD performance on offense, but he caught a touchdown pass as well and made many key hits on defense including the game winner on a 4th and 1 where he stopped superstar Cyrus Jones to seal the game.
He has a Tulsa offer right now and it's doubtful he will be a BCS player, especially with the fullback position going the way of the dinosaur, but this kid will be a steal for someone as he's simply a baller.
On Thursday, Farrell will be at the Ocean Lakes vs Bayside game in Virginia Beach, on Friday he will be at Norfolk Christian vs. Nansemond Suffolk Academy in Suffolk and on Saturday he will be at the Oscar Smith vs Indian River game in Chesapeake. Here's what he'll be looking for.
1. Virginia commitments
There will be numerous Virginia commitments on the schedule including Army All-Americans Eli Harold (Ocean Lakes) and Kwontie Moore (Norfolk Christian) as well as wide receiver Anthony Cooper (Ocean Lakes) and defensive end Courtnye Wynn, wide receiver Mario Nixon and athlete Wilfred Wahee (all Norfolk Christian). Not to be outdone, Virginia Tech running back J.C. Coleman (Oscar Smith) is one of the most dominating players in the state this year.
Ocean Lakes has some impressive underclassmen including quarterback Corwin Cutler, defensive tackle Demetri McGill and 2015 future star Jason Lewis while Bayside has running back Taquan Mizzell and 2014 standout Quin Blanding, a safety. Oscar Smith is loaded with young players as well and there is little doubt a few names will emerge from 2013, 2014 and even 2015 on this trip.
3. Andrew Brown
Indian River isn't loaded with prospects, but 2014 monster defensive end Andrew Brown is worth the price of admission alone. The 6-foot-4, 280-pounder is a man-child and is already considered one of the top prospects in his class. The camp warrior will be tested against Oscar Smith, a team with a spread offense that won't allow him to get after the quarterback much, but just watching him in pads will be a treat.