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Football: First-team defense

December 10, 2009

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Thomas Erdman
River Hill, lineman, senior

•Great speed and quickness for a 6-2, 230-pound defensive end; could make the tackle or force the takeaway

•Had 86 tackles - 49 solo and 24 for a loss; tied team record with 10 sacks; forced five fumbles and recovered four

•Key to a defense that allowed just 681 yards rushing and held opponents to an average of 6.5 points

•Had eight tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble in comeback win over Atholton that decided the Howard County championship

•Considering James Madison and Shepherd among other colleges; selected for the Crab Bowl but likely will not play because of injuries sustained in an automobile accident

Anthony Ferguson
Gilman, lineman, senior

•Great strength and balance at tackle made him able to handle multiple players converging on the middle from different angles

•At 6-2, 280 pounds, kept opponents from running inside on the MIAA A Conference champs

•Had 68 tackles, 21 for losses; had five sacks and caused five fumbles

•Consistent player who had his best games against top A Conference foes Loyola and McDonogh

•Committed to Iowa

Kyle Jaski
Kenwood, punter, senior

•Became a punter after suffering a shoulder injury as a sophomore that ended his career as a tight end

•Punted 43 times for 40.3-yard average, 16 for 50 yards or more; also the Bluebirds' kicker with 11 of 13 extra points and one field goal

•Placed two 65-yard punts inside the 10-yard line; placed eight punts of 50 or more yards inside the 15

•In upset win over Milford Mill, landed three punts inside the 10-yard line and averaged 46 yards on six kicks

•Being recruited by Division I programs, including West Virginia

Kevin Johnson
River Hill, cornerback, senior

•Great speed and agility make the 6-1, 165-pounder excellent at pass coverage

•Had 26 tackles, three interceptions; only allowed four passes this season; did not allow a touchdown pass in two years

•Also played halfback, rushing for 1,220 yards on 137 carries; caught 12 passes for 251 yards; scored 18 touchdowns

•Hardly ever left the field; returned kickoffs and punts for the state Class 3A semifinalists

•A member of two state championship teams who has committed to Wake Forest

Isaac Jorgensen
McDonogh, linebacker, senior

•Rangy 6-2, 220-pounder, played with consistency and intensity; key to stopping the inside run

•Had 103 tackles - nine for losses; had six pass breakups

•Workhorse for the MIAA A Conference runners-up, often playing every down on both sides of the ball at inside linebacker and offensive guard

• Eagles coach Dom Damico: "He likes contact, likes being in the pile making hits. You love to coach him because he goes so hard."

•Mainly drawing attention from Patriot League and Division II programs

Jake McGinnis
Joppatowne, linebacker, senior

•Has all the physical tools at 6-1, 225; runs well, has great instincts for the football and is rarely fooled

•Made 13 tackles in the state Class 1A final loss to Catoctin

•Had 162 tackles this fall, 413 for his career; six sacks and four fumble recoveries this season; also played nose guard in some defensive fronts

•Mariners coach Bill Waibel: "The best linebacker we've ever had in 24 years"

•Getting college looks from Division I and Division II schools

Dan McManus
Eastern Tech, lineman, junior

•Aggressiveness, quickness, good off-ball speed make the 5-11, 240-pound tackle tough to contend with

•Good at finding the ball and chasing it down, strong pass rusher

•92 tackles, 11 sacks for the state Class 2A champions

•Mavericks coach Marc Mesaros: "He's a throwback to the 1950s. He's just a tough kid."

• Some Ivies interested in his game and his 3.8 GPA

Chris Nash
Hereford, lineman, senior

•Intensely aggressive nose guard that most opposing offensive schemes were built around trying to stop

•Had 78 tackles - 14 for a loss - as well as 15 sacks and four forced fumbles

•Made 11 tackles in the state Class 3A semifinal loss to eventual champ Linganore

•Bulls coach Steve Turnbaugh: "His motor never turns off. He's relentless. Every play is 100 percent, non-stop."

•Drawing some college looks after breakout season

Reynard Parks
Dunbar, linebacker, senior

•Consistent, strong and speedy at 6-0, 210 pounds; had great sideline-to-sideline coverage

•Led the state Class 1A semifinalists with 148 tackles, 14 against top rival Poly's triple-option offense; also played fullback

•Transfer from Calvert Hall voted a captain by his teammates

•Poets coach Lawrence Smith: "He is Ray Lewis. He doesn't always make the big hit, but if he gets his hands on you, you're going down."

•Considering offers from UNLV, Central Michigan and Towson

Jim Poggi
Gilman, linebacker, senior

•Known for his great closing speed and as a student of the game; tough on foes trying to run up the middle

•Had 127 tackles - 17 for a loss - eight sacks and three interceptions in 10 games; called all the defenses and audibles on the field

•Son of Greyhounds coach Biff Poggi, missed a game and a half during which the defense gave up 28 percent of the points it allowed for the season

•Coach Poggi: "He is everything to our defense."

•Committed to Iowa

Tyler Weedon
Catonsville, linebacker, junior

•Only repeat All-Metro first-team defender

•Had 135 tackles in nine games; started every game on defense since his freshman year

•Slippery defender at 5-10, 230 pounds; quick and aggressive with good instincts, rarely caught out of position

•Played fullback, running for 231 yards and two TDs; also kicks off

•Getting attention from LSU, Georgia, Pitt, Iowa and Rutgers, among others