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Insider

East Region looks loaded in 2014

9/27/2012

New Jersey once again has several prospects with national appeal such as Kiy Hester (Wayne, N.J./De Paul Catholic), Gerald Owens (Westville, N.J./West Deptford) and Andrew Trumbetti (Demarest, N.J./Demarest). None is more coveted though than cornerback Jabrill Peppers (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic).

Peppers is a true national prospect, with programs such as Florida, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford and USC setting the pace for the 6-foot, 185-pound prospect. Several SEC programs have offered as well, including Alabama and LSU.

The state of Maryland has proven to be strong in talent, mostly in the Baltimore area. Not surprisingly, Baltimore Gilman is one of the prime producers of top college football prospects with linebacker Melvin Keihn and cornerback Troy Vincent Jr.

Keihn has been a top prospect since early in his sophomore season. He has offers from several schools. Vincent Jr., who is the son of former NFL standout Troy Vincent, also has plenty of offers.

Dual-threat quarterback William Crest from Baltimore Dunbar is an intriguing prospect. He has scholarship offers from Maryland, Ohio State, Rutgers, Virginia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.

Nearby Washington, D.C. has its share of prospects as well, thanks to the ascension of Friendship Collegiate School. Defensive back Jalen Tabor has been on recruiters' radars since his sophomore season.

Running back Jonathan Haden hasn't been far behind. He's drawn strong college interest, even if a bit later than Tabor. The pedigree is certainly there. Haden's three older brothers all played college football, led by Joe Haden, who was selected with the eighth overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft after a standout career at Florida.

Just a bit further south in the East is one of the likely stars of the 2013 class: Da'Shawn Hand. The defensive end from Woodbridge (Va.) High would understandably struggle to recall all of his scholarship offers. The total is approaching 50 schools if he actually took the time to count.

Safety Quin Blanding may not have as many offers but he figures to continue the rich tradition of college football prospects at Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside. Blanding was a summer camp standout and figures to have near limitless options when he decides to commit.

Virginia continues to prove its merit as a top talent-producing state in the East. There are 13 prospects on the ESPN Watch List from the the Old Dominion state.