A couple of two-time All-Metro players of the year, Dunbar's football and basketball star Tommy Polley and McDonogh's girls soccer standout Laurie Schwoy, head the list of local athletes who will sign letters of intent today, the beginning of the NCAA signing period.
Polley, who chose Florida State over Maryland and Florida, will sign a football scholarship at his home that will allow him to play basketball as well. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound Polley was a member of five state championship teams at Dunbar, two in football and three in basketball.
Polley amassed 58 career sacksin football and is the scoring and rebounding leader for the No. 5 Poets' basketball team.
At McDonogh today, Schwoy, a three-time All-Metro pick, will accept a full scholarship to the University of North Carolina, winner of 13 of the past 15 NCAA soccer titles.
Schwoy, this year's UMBRO National Soccer Coaches of America's national Player of the Year, ends her high school career with 188 career goals and 78 assists.
"This brings closure to my high school career, so I can concentrate on the next four years of my life," Schwoy said.
Polley is the area's marquee name, but All-Metro linebackers such as Loyola's Ryan Burch (Boston College), Hammond's Ron Gamble (Connecticut) and Oakland Mills' Brian Howard (Harvard or Navy) also are signing.
Burch (6-5, 250) has turned down several offers, including a full scholarship to Pittsburgh. A 3.8 student with a 1,210 Scholastic Assessment Test score, Burch said of BC, "I like the community at the school, which is very similar to Loyola's."
Gamble (6-3, 230) turned down three scholarship offers to attend a Division I-AA program that will move to Division I-A in two years.
Howard (6-1, 220) has all the physical tools to go big-time, including a 4.6-second 40-yard -- and a 375-pound bench press. But with a 3.84 grade-point average and a 1,360 SAT score, he is focusing more on academics, having eschewed full rides to Maryland, William and Mary, and Stanford.
Virginia will get two versatile two-time All-Metro football players in C. Milton Wright's Duane Fisher and Hammond's Tim Spruill, along with two local boys soccer players, Centennial's three-time All-Metro Brian West and Howard's Mike Green.
Fisher (6-4, 190) caught 30 passes for 515 yards and 10 touch downs this year, and also has 18 career interceptions, including 11 of the Mustangs' 20 during a junior year in which he passed for 474 yards and four touchdowns as a quarterback.
"It's great to have everything set," said Fisher. "I found out last week Spruill's going there too, so maybe I'll give him a call."
Spruill (5-10, 170) turned down seven other scholarship offers before settling on Virginia.
West, a two-time Howard County Player of the Year, used his blazing speed and superior skills to become Centennial's all-time career scoring leader with a school-record 49 goals. He was chosen as an UMBRO Coaches All-American striker, leading Centennial to its second straight state title and second straight undefeated season.
At 6-3, 180, Green has the size to step right into the Cavaliers' lineup. Green scored five goals as a sweeper along with four assists.
Coach Mike Working said Monday that two Mount St. Joseph football players will sign today: defensive lineman Da'Vaughn Mellerson (6-4, 250), an All-Metro pick, is headed for Wake Forest and linebacker Mitchell McGraw to Rutgers.
Also, All-Metro girls soccer midfielder Ali Schuch, of Dulaney, plans to sign today with James Madison.
Two of Polley's football teammates, All-Metro linemen Dwayne Green (6-4, 255) and Deon Johnson (6-3, 320), will sign with Division II Norfolk State, which in 1997 will move up to Division I-AA and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Morgan State's signees are linebacker Aaron Smith and free safety Vance Robbs of DeMatha, defensive backs Kenneth Williams of Irvington, N.J., and Kevin Samuels of Woodbine, Ga., linemen William Brown II of Seneca Valley, Clint Burns of Oxon Hill and Brian Schultz of Coolidge, Ariz., quarterback William Clyburn of Arundel and linebacker Warner Herndon of Sacramento, Calif.
Headed for Bowie State are defensive lineman Anthony Hill (5-10, 260) and wide receiver Bryan Alexander (5-9, 170), both of DeMatha, defensive linemen Kevin Ballentine (6-4, 260) and Mike Brown (6-4, 278) of Edgewood, quarterback Lavon Carter (6-0, 190) of McLean (Va.) High, offensive linemen Nigel Depierza (6-2, 275) of Brooke Point (Va.) High and Arthur Moore (6-2, 290) of Forestville, and defensive end Corey Walker (6-2, 250), receiver Stacy Plater (5-9, 160) and defensive back Tremaine Neal (6-4, 210) of Montgomery-Rockville JC.
Severna Park's Julie Allen, the Anne Arundel County volleyball Player of the Year, has narrowed her choices to West Virginia Wesleyan, UNC-Wilmington and Elon (N.C.) College.