Maryland and Washington D.C. both have very proud histories when it comes to high school football teams. It’s well known that the area between Baltimore and Washington along I-95 is home to some of the best prep football talent in the nation. The 2012 season should be no different. Assembled is a ranking of the top 5 teams from the Maryland/D.C. region, and it’s quite impressive. There are the traditional powers like Good Counsel and Gilman hunkered down on this list, but then there is Eastern Christian Academy, which will be competing for the first time this fall. For those looking for a national top 25 ranking, click here.
1. Our Lady Of Good Counsel- Olney MD- The Falcons have one of the best teams in the country for the 2012 season. Even though they lose the incredibly gifted wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who will be suiting up University of Maryland this fall, they return a roster full of big-time talent. They have the best cornerback duo in the nation with Kendall Fuller (Virginia Tech) and Kirk Garner (Virginia). Outside linebacker Dorian O’Daniel (Clemson) is a playmaker who demands attention. Quarterback Brendan Marshall (Virginia) and wide receiver Andre Levrone (Virginia) look to have another solid aerial attack this year before taking their show to Charlottesville. There is little room to warm up this year, Good Counsel goes to Las Vegas to play nationally ranked Bishop Gorman, then plays a home game versus a very good team by the name of…
2. Gilman-Baltimore MD- The Greyhounds, like Good Counsel, have an incredibly difficult schedule. They open the season at Ohio powerhouse Archbishop Moeller in Cincinnati, play on the road at Good Counsel, then follow up with a home game versus national power Don Bosco Prep, from New Jersey. Luckily for Head Coach Biff Poggi, there is a ton of talent returning, led by his own son Henry Poggi (Michigan), who is one of the premier defensive tackles in college football recruiting for 2013. Quarterback Shane Cockerille (Maryland) leads the offense for the final time, while the defense returns Poggi and middle linebacker Micah Kiser (Virginia).
3. Friendship Collegiate Academy- Washington D.C.- The Knights are preparing for life without the legendary defensive tackle Eddie Goldman(Florida State), but Head Coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim is confident there is more than enough talent leftover. Tackle Derwin Gray (Maryland) is one of the nation’s best, and a very strong and deep linebacking corps will anchor this year’s defense. Linebackers Yannick Ngakoue and Cavon Walker are both heading for Maryland with Gray after this year.
4. Quince Orchard- Gaithersburg MD- The Cougars are coming off a good year, 13-1, and are hoping to replicate 2011’s success in ‘12 behind an excellent defense. Middle linebacker Marcus Newby (Nebraska) is an absolute beast, and Head Coach Dave Mencarini has even speculated that he might be the best he has ever seen. That’s saying a lot considering the talent that has flown through Quince Orchard, most recently with Jason Ankrah (Nebraska).
5. Eastern Christian Academy- Elkton MD- This first year program has taken the best players and coaches from Red Lion Christian Academy in Bear DE, and created a program of their own. Red Lion wanted to stop playing a nationally recognized independent schedule and focus on playing Delaware schools. This drew the ire of Head Coach Dwayne Thomas and a slew of their most notable players. So now ECA goes from a school with no football team, to one with some of the most talented players in the nation. Defensive end Kenny Bigelow and guard Khaliel Rodgers are major recruits, both headed for Southern Cal. Quarterback David Sills (yes the phenom who has been committed to Southern Cal since he was 13 years old), returns to continue his remarkable prep career. This team would be ranked much higher on this list if not for such a tumultuous offseason.