Poquoson High’s 2010 state title and Bruton’s ’09 near-miss aside, Bay Rivers District football has been known more in recent years for a wealth of good teams but few superpowers. That depth is showing up increasingly on the college recruiting trail.
A district that put few players in Division I a few years ago sends six to that level in the fall: four on scholarship and two more as invited walk-ons. The Class of 2014 is shaping up to be just as good, with four rising seniors already entertaining multiple D-I scholarship offers.
Grayson Boyce, Poquoson
Boyce, a 6-foot-2, 245-pound fullback/defensive end for the Islanders, is being recruited as an H-back, a hybrid fullback and tight end in many collegiate systems. With 4.7-second speed in the 40-yard dash and a 395-pound bench press, he brings the requisite physical attributes to the position.
He’s got the on-field stats, too, leading the Islanders in 2012 in rushing with 682 yards, and in all receiving numbers (12 receptions, 176 yards and two TDs), while tying for the team lead with nine touchdowns. He has Division I offers from Central Connecticut State, Hampton and the University of San Diego — the latter coming via San Diego assistant Christian Taylor, a former Grafton QB — and expects an offer from James Madison any day.
“I didn’t even work out at the (JMU satellite) camp (at Christopher Newport University on Sunday) because I was in a 7-on-7 tournament with Poquoson on Saturday,” Boyce said. “But (assistant coach) Curt Newsome told me, ‘We need to offer you a scholarship.’
“San Diego liked my film. Central Connecticut and Hampton are still high on my list because they were the first to offer. I’m going to Richmond’s camp this week and I think they’ll offer.”
Devonte Dedmon, Warhill
Dedmon, the Daily Press Offensive Player of the Year, seemingly gets a new offer every day. Two more big ones might be on the way, as the speedster ran a personal-best 4.43 40-yard dash during a visit last weekend at Connecticut and visited Cincinnati this week.
Dedmon already has offers in hand from JMU, William and Mary, Hampton and Norfolk State. In addition to Cincinnati, Dedmon, a running back, receiver and defensive back, will attend camps at or visit Old Dominion, JMU, Delaware and Maryland.
“At first it was kind of hectic,” said Dedmon, who accounted for most of his nearly 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns rushing, passing and receiving in 2012 in just six games. “But it’s only once in a person’s life you get to go to all of these colleges, so I’m trying to enjoy it.
“It doesn’t matter if I play (FBS or FCS) or offense or defense. I just want a chance to play and contribute.”
That said, there’s at least an outside shot that Dedmon, a 5-10, 170-pound all-district guard who averaged 17.5 points, might play basketball. He said that Division I Mount St. Mary’s (Md.) is showing interest.
Kapri Doucet, Bruton
Doucet, a 6-2, 205-pound running back, receiver and defensive back, has been on college radar screens since earning all-district honors at defensive back as a freshman. Entering his senior year, he has offers from Marshall and Hampton, and says he’s receiving interest from James Madison, Towson and Old Dominion.
“Marshall is a great school with a great coaching staff, and they’re expecting big things from me defensively,” Doucet said. “Hampton feels I’m physical enough to play outside linebacker and get after it.”
Doucet said his camp/visits schedule this summer includes Marshall, Old Dominion, Temple, Virginia Tech and Towson. He said his biggest focus will be on lifting with his Bruton teammates.
“I want to step up and become a more positive leader,” Doucet said, before summarizing the recruiting process. “It all right, but it’s up and down.”
Jahlil Green, Lafayette
Green, a 5-10, 180-pound running back/cornerback, picked up his second FBS offer Tuesday: from Ohio University. FBS school Marshall had already offered, as had FCS Bucknell, VMI, William and Mary and James Madison.
Green led the district last season with 1,546 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns. But his coach, Andy Linn, has said that Green might have an even better chance with the bigger schools as a cornerback because he’s so good at the position.
“Offensively I prefer the spread,” Green said of potential colleges. “Defensively it doesn’t matter, because cornerback is the same with every college.”
Green will be at Richmond this week and Old Dominion later in the month. Those and other state schools might have the best chance of landing his signature.
“I want to play close enough to home so my mom (Rhonda Lassiter) can see me,” he said.