Sunday, February 6, 2011

the recruit: Daquan Romero

Name: Daquan Romero
Position: LB/DE
Hometown: Hampton
School: Phoebus
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 210

ESPN: 77; three stars; #99 DE
Rivals: 5.6; three stars; VA #18
Scout: three stars; #95 DE

Other offers: North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland

This is why it's nice to recruit against schools that are under investigation for hammerable offenses. Daquan Romero (counterintuitively pronounced Day-quan) said that wasn't the reason for his November switch from UNC to UVA, but it had to factor in - just as it probably did for Demetrious Nicholson as well.

Routinely churning out players like Romero is why Phoebus is a powerhouse. In three varsity seasons Romero only lost one game at Phoebus, and all three of those years were state championships. Romero's not even a Ronald Curry or Percy Harvin-level player, but he's surrounded by talent, like his past and future teammate, Caleb Taylor, another UVA signee.

The difference between this team and the last: here, they'll compete for playing time. Romero played defensive end for Phoebus, but he's actually a little smaller than Taylor and will likely be a linebacker at UVA, which clears up a little bit of the DE logjam that the recruiting board shows. (For now the depth chart, when I fix it, will show an LB logjam instead, with five players there. But it's no guarantee they'll all be linebackers, and anyway there are three LBs and two DEs on the field.) ESPN calls him a tweener, which I suppose is fair given his size, but I question the sanity of the evaluator. According to them he's a much better pass-rusher from a two-point stance (i.e. no hands on the ground, like a linebacker) than a three-point stance (like a traditional DE) but he should bulk up and stay at DE regardless. OK then.

Strangeness aside, the services are in agreement as to his value, and it falls right about in line with his offer list, which is the usual local suspects. It's a little surprising he didn't gather a couple more, but his UNC commitment came in the spring, and all his accolades came at the end of the fall. Accolades like being named first-team all-state by the Virginia AP, as well as the Peninsula District DPOY. (And second-team all-Peninsula for his work at TE; Romero caught the game-winning TD against Hampton in the state playoffs.)

In essence, Romero's no superstar, but he's the kind of salt-of-the-earth talent that the 757 has on its assembly-line, and that Virginia Tech has been building its program on. He, Taylor, and D.J. Hill are the top three possibilities at linebacker in the next wave of LBs that I've mentioned fairly often will get their chances as redshirt sophomores in 2013. Romero's also an early enrollee - has been planning it since his days as a UNC commit and worked on it all semester in the fall - and it's good, as an aside, to note the increased flexibility in the admissions department to take a guy in January who commits barely six, seven weeks prior to enrolling. He won't change the program by himself, but routinely recruiting players with his profile will.

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