By the end of the school year, Phoebus High wide receiver Romond Deloatch has two goals in mind. He has the power to make one of the ambitions become a reality on his own, but the other goal is slightly out of his hands.
Still, there's no denying the goals are intertwined. If he can get his 40-yard dash time closer to the 4.5-second mark, he'll be an absolute lock to get the football scholarship offer he desires more than anything else.
Then again, with a 40-yard time of 4.57 seconds, a breakout junior season and a memorable performance in the state championship game (six catches for 125 yards and a touchdown) under his belt, he probably won't have to wait long to receive good news from college recruiters anyway. Now that he has some impressive numbers to go along with his 6-foot-5, 210-pound frame, Deloatch will likely be one of the state's top offensive recruits for the class of 2012.
"I feel like if I keep doing what I'm doing, then I'll do good in the long run," said Deloatch, who had 24 catches for 422 yards and five touchdowns last season. "I'm not trying to put too much pressure on myself because that's not really going to help me do anything."
While Deloatch awaits his first offer, more than a dozen class of '12 recruits from the state of Virginia already have offers from Football Bowl Subdivision programs.
Eli Harold, a 6-4, 215-pound receiver from Ocean Lakes High in Virginia Beach, already has offers from Virginia Tech, Florida, West Virginia, Arkansas, Penn State and North Carolina State. Some schools are recruiting him as a defensive end or linebacker.
Speaking of linebacker, it looks to be a loaded position in terms of the in-state '12 class. At least four in-state linebackers already have offers from Virginia and/or Tech.
Norfolk Christian's Kwontie Moore (offers from U.Va., Tech, Old Dominion, UNC and Connecticut), Ken Ekanem from Centreville High in Clifton (offers from U.Va., Tech, Maryland, Boston College and Duke), Trey Edmunds from Dan River High in Ringgold (offers from U.Va., Tech and UNC), Deon Clarke from L.C. Bird High in Chesterfield (offer from Tech) and Calvert Cook from Booker T. Washington High in Norfolk (offer from Western Kentucky) will be some of the state's most sought-after linebackers.
Linebacker Devon Johnson from Richlands High in Richlands has already committed to Marshall.
Virginia could also be a gold mine for defensive tackles.
Korren Kirven from Brookville High in Lynchburg (offers from U.Va., Tech, N.C. State and Wake Forest), Nigel Williams from Benedictine School in Richmond (offers from U.Va. and Tech) and Norfolk Christian's Courtnye Winn (offer from U.Va.) are defensive tackles that have picked up significant early interest.
A few of the other most intriguing players from around the state include safety Joel Caleb from Clover Hill High in Midlothian (offers from U.Va. and Tech), receiver Anthony Cooper from Bayside High in Virginia Beach (offer from U.Va.), 5-7, 170-pound running back J.C. Coleman from Oscar Smith High in Chesapeake (offers from U.Va., Tech, ODU, West Virginia, Vanderbilt and Florida International), Christchurch School offensive tackle Win Homer (offers from U.Va., Tech and BC) and offensive tackle Josh Hess from Richlands High (offer from Marshall).
In addition to Deloatch, several other players from the Peninsula may draw serious looks from FBS programs. Hampton High running backs Kavon Bellamy and Dallas Cogdell, Phoebus linebacker Justin Lyles and kicker Eric Enderson and Denbigh High tight end Paul Gostomski (49 catches for 646 yards and eight touchdowns last season) are all attractive players.
Grafton High defensive end/tight end/receiver Dylan Stallings and Lafayette High receiver Thomas Smith, should bring plenty of attention to the Bay Rivers District.
As for Deloatch, who started to put his name on the recruiting map last summer when he earned Most Valuable Players honors for wide receivers at the National Underclassmen Combine camp in New Jersey, he's looking forward to his first big junior day. On the weekend of Feb. 18, he's headed to Florida State. He's interested in hearing more from FSU, as well as following up on initial interest he has received from U.Va. and UNC.
"It definitely make me a little nervous not to have an offer yet, but I'm not really too worried," said Deloatch, who was considered one of the 20 best receivers in early January at the prestigious U.S. Army National Combine in San Antonio. "They're going to start coming in, but I still have a lot to handle with like SAT's and stuff like that."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun