March 5, 2007

Painter highlights Hampton Roads

Chesapeake, Va. - Norfolk (Va.) Maury offensive/defensive tackle Vinston Painter was the star of Rivals.com's inaugural junior day in Hampton Roads. Bigger than ever at 6-foot-6 and 317 pounds, Painter was a man amongst boys and is one of the best-looking prospects in the country. However, he wasn't the only prospect who passed the eyeball test on Saturday.

It's little surprise that Painter has offers from the likes of Florida, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Penn State and Georgia along with approximately 30 others this early in the recruiting process. He will be one of the biggest names on the east coast in 2008.

Norview, Va. defensive tackle Klinton Ruff isn't far behind Painter when it comes to physique. The wide body lineman checked in at 6-foot-4 and 298 pounds and already holds offers from Virginia and Virginia Tech. Ruff will prove to be one of the top names in the Tidewater area this year.

Aside from the two big men, it was hard not to notice quarterback E.J. Manuel from Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside. The talented signal-caller measured in at 6-foot-6 and has plenty of room to add weight. He has the look of being the next great athletic quarterback from the Hampton Roads region and teams have taken notice with early offers from Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech and others.

Sticking with the quarterbacks, legendary high school coach Tommy Reamon and his son Tommy Reamon Jr. made a an appearance at the event. Reamon was a little taller than what many expected at 6-foot-2 and had a good look overall. He attended the NC State junior day on Sunday.

Virginia Beach (Va.) Salem's dynamic duo, running back Kevin Whaley and linebacker Lyndell Gibson, made the trip to Chesapeake. Both passed the eyeball test with flying colors. Whaley looked solid on his 5-foot-11 frame despite checking in at only 167 pounds. Gibson was thick at 212 pounds on his 6-foot-0 frame. Both players already have D-1 offers.

The host school, Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith, had their three talented wide receivers in attendance. Kerry Boykins, Todd Harrelson and Jamal Wilson hold offers from D-1 programs and each looked the part. Boykins checked in at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, while Harrelson was 6-foot-2 and 181 pounds. Wilson rounded out the group at 5-foot-11, 176 pounds. It's rare for three receivers from the same high school to play D-1 football, but this trio will do it.

Phoebus head coach Bill Dee, who also spoke to the players and parents in attendance, brought his top players. The biggest name in the group is 2009 stud quarterback Tajh Boyd, who was much bigger than last year at 6-foot-1, 196 pounds. Boyd will likely be one of the top players in the Commonwealth next year and was joined by fellow 2009 studs Demetrius Ward and Dominik Davenport.

The biggest surprises of the day were Tallwood defensive end Chris Johnson who impressed observers with an impressive 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame and Blue Ridge (Va.) Blue Ridge School quarterback Chad Byers, a 6-foot-2, 224-pounder.

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