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February 20, 2012

Linemen dominate Class of 2014 prospect rankings

While the Class of 2013 is full of top quarterback prospects, the following year's class looks to have a number of standouts at another position.

VirginiaPreps.com Senior Football Editor, Rod Johnson said "For 2014, it is all about defensive linemen as Andrew Brown, Da'Shawn Hand, and Jalyn Holmes are three that we currently have ranked high. It looks like they could all end up in our top five prospects in that class"

Brown burst onto the scene as a freshman, and last spring was already garnering attention from our analysts. In covering the National Underclassmen Combine last April, Matthew Hatfield wrote of Brown: "Brown has a huge frame already at 6-foot-5, 270-pounds, will be one of the state's best prospects from the Class of 2014 for sure. He's an animal up front."

While his sophomore stats were not eye opening, his overall play was impressive enough to land early offers from Virginia, Virginia Tech and Old Dominion. Brown also had to deal with a pelvic stress fracture that limited his play early on during the 2011 season. Fully recovered, Brown recently put on another display of his skills at the Maryland Five-Star Showcase, and demonstrated once again he is one of Virginia's best from the Class of 2014!

Unlike Brown, Woodbridge lineman Da'Shawn Hand piled up some gaudy stats as a sophomore, including 21 sacks and 88 tackles, 14 for loss, three fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles. His 2011 season efforts have allowed him to rack up numerous D-I offers. Boston College, Virginia, Virginia Tech, South Carolina and Michigan are a few of the schools that already offered, and his list continues to grow.

Described as a "physical specimen" by Rivals.com analysts, Hand was named to the U.S. Army National All-Combine Team after attending the national combine in San Antonio in January. The Vikings standout clocks a 4.6 forty and is expected to threaten for a five-star ranking next year when Rivals begins ranking the 2014 prospects.

Perhaps not as well known as Brown and Hand, Lake Taylor's Jayln Holmes is quickly establishing his own reputation as one of the state's top Class of 2014 prospects. A two-way player for the Titans, last fall Holmes had two touchdowns on offense and added 55 tackles, 13 for loss, five sacks, three fumble recoveries and one defensive touchdown on defense while posting second team all-region and first team all-district honors.

"I did well this year, I did really good on defense and was player of the week two times," he said. "I feel I grew more into the defense than I did before and I was a better teammate than before. I think I could be better, I've got to keep working hard every year."

Brown, Hand and Holmes are only three of the Class of 2014 prospects that we are currently following. Check out our FREE top prospect listing from the class here!

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