Much has changed for the Dunbar football team since the spring.

In an April interview, Poets coach Lawrence Smith identified two rising seniors -- lineman Devin Clark and running back Nathan Ayers -- as players with Division I potential.

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Since then, Dunbar has benefited from an influx of talent via transfer, and now the Poets' 2010 senior class could rival the highly touted 2009 group.Clark holds offers from UNLV, Towson and Morgan State, while Ayers has scholarships from the same three schools plus Toledo.

Checking in with the Dunbar football team

Quarterback Evan Pittman, who transferred from Calvert Hall, is the heir apparent to Jonathan Perry, who's now a freshman at UAB.

"Evan's a big kid, 6-2, 220," Smith said. "We can do a lot of things as far as running the ball and being more of a run-oriented team. We're just looking forward to a good year and moving forward with him."

Smith has high hopes for another Calvert Hall transfer, linebacker Reynard Parks.

"He could be the best linebacker out of the bunch," Smith said. "He's really big and has a lot of DI interest ... from the ACC and Big East and a lot of the MAC schools."

Yet another former Cardinals player, running back P.J. Quarrie, has an offer from Morgan State and "a lot of interest from UNLV and Central Michigan," according to Smith.

The most high-profile transfer into Dunbar is Josh Alaeze, a three-star linebacker prospect from Parkville. Alaeze has offers from Akron, New Mexico, Old Dominion, Rhode Island and Towson, according to Smith. Alaeze is arguably the biggest name on the Poets' roster now, but Smith expects others to generate similar levels of interest in a matter of time.

"When people start seeing P.J. and Reynard Parks and [wide receiver] Darrell Edwards, you're really going to see a lot more kids [get offered] like last year," Smith said. "When you talked about us going into last year, it was all Tavon [Austin]. That's what people talked about. But when people started coming around and seeing the kids, that's when the offers started coming in. I talk to college coaches every day, and they're waiting to see one game to be sure before they pull the trigger."

Edwards played quarterback on Dunbar's JV team in 2007. He sat out last season to concentrate on basketball.

"He's a DI guy for basketball," Smith said. "And he has the potential to be a DI guy for football."

Baltimore Sun photo of Reynard Parks by Jed Kirschbaum / November 27, 2008

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