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More than 340 local athletes headed off to play college sports

July 01, 2008
By ODU Athletics

July 1, 2008

The bottom of the well for college athletic talent in South Hampton Roads continues to be nowhere in sight for recruiters.

In fact, the well appears to be a bottomless pit.

From the Class of 2008, more than 340 South Hampton Roads athletes have signed or verbally committed to continue their playing careers in college.

Football continues to be the major hotbed sport, with recruiters sealing deals with more than 90 Class of '08 South Hampton Roads players.

Also, more than 50 of the athletes are baseball players and more than 20 are men's basketball players.

Among the many notables:

-- The ODU football team, which doesn't start play until 2009, landed its first major class of South Hampton Roads standouts. That group includes Western Branch running back Hykeem Brodie, Ocean Lakes defensive back T.J. Cowart, Kellam tight end/defensive end Andrew Turner, Deep Creek defensive back Fred Credle, Landstown wideout Nick Mayers, Maury defensive back Ricky Nichols, Ocean Lakes lineman James Rainey, Tallwood lineman Charles Walls, Norview receiver Mike Williams, Great Bridge wideout Austin Taylor and Kempsville receiver Alex Arain.

-- Virginia Tech, as usual, came into South Hampton Roads and beefed up its football roster with talent: Ocean Lakes quarterback/wide receiver/safety Marcus Davis, Salem linebacker Lyndell Gibson, Maury offensive lineman Vinston Painter, Landstown safety Xavier Boyce, Ocean Lakes wideout Randall Dunn, Green Run defensive lineman Joe Jones, Smithfield running back/wide receiver Dyrell Roberts and First Colonial running back Tony Gregory.

-- Virginia signed two big linemen: Norview's Klinton Ruff and Great Bridge's Michael Price.

-- Florida State signed All-American quarterback E.J. Manuel from Bayside.

-- Maryland signed Kerry Boykins, a glue-fingered wide receiver from Oscar Smith.

-- Oscar Smith's Todd Harrelson, a multi-talented wide receiver/defensive back, signed with UNC.

-- Running back Kevin Whaley, a two-time All-Tidewater Player of the Year and the all-time leading rusher and scorer in South Hampton Roads high school football history, signed with Minnesota.

-- UConn signed record-setting quarterback Casey Turner of Great Bridge. n In girls basketball, McDonald's All-American She'la White signed with UNC, and Wilson star JoNiquia Guilford signed with ODU.

-- In girls soccer, Virginia Tech signed both of the last two All-Tidewater Players of the Year: Cox goalkeeper Kristin Carden and Kellam midfielder Brittany Michels.

-- In boys basketball, Nansemond River guard Andre Jones signed with Winthrop, and Deep Creek forward Corey Law signed with High Point. ODU landed Nansemond River's forward Nick Wright.

-- In field hockey, Cox's Stefanie Fee signed with Duke, and Cox's Kiley Allosso and Maury's Rachael White both signed with Boston University. Cox's Cristen Atchison signed with Wake Forest.

-- In baseball, Maury catcher Marcus Breeden signed with Maryland.

-- In softball, Salem pitching phenom Kendra Knight also signed with Maryland, and Nansemond-Suffolk Academy catcher Brittany Wilkins signed with Boston College.