Virginia is laden with talent in the 2014 class, and that is evident when looking at the East Region’s five-star prospects.
The region, which stretches from Virginia to New England and throughout Pennsylvania, has a quartet of five-star prospects, and three are from Virginia in FOXSportsNEXT/Scout.com’s just-released five-star players.
Woodbridge (Va.) High defensive lineman Da'Shawn Hand is the top prospect in the region, and he is followed by Paramus (N.J.) Catholic High cornerback Jabrill Peppers. The other five-star prospects are Bayside High (Virginia Beach, Va.) safety Quin Blanding and Oscar Smith High (Chesapeake, Va.) defensive lineman Andrew Brown.
Peppers and Brown were four-star prospects entering their junior seasons, but added their fifth stars after superb seasons.
“To me, it’s a great honor to be named a 5-star player for Fox Sports” Peppers said. “It’s extremely important for me to be successful as a team first and foremost, and it can’t get any better than winning a championship and getting the highest rating a player can get.”
The 6-foot, 200-pound Peppers is set to visit Ohio State, Michigan and LSU next month. He recently said Stanford, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame and Alabama were standing out.
Hand, who is 6-5, 265 pounds, is the nation’s No. 2 player. He recently said Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia Tech and Michigan were his favorites.
"It's wonderful that all the hard work is paying off," said Hand. "But at the same time, I'm never satisfied. I can never get complacent and I have to keep working."
The 6-2, 190-pound Blanding was also a preseason five-star prospect, but unlike the other five-stars in the region, his recruitment is quiet. He announced last week he is committed to Virginia.
"It feels really good," Blanding said of his ranking. “It shows the hard work that I put in, day and night, is starting to pay off for me."
The 6-4, 290-pound Brown, like Peppers, added a star to his ranking.
“It's awesome and humbling," Brown said. "It just shows hard work pays off."
Brown is considering Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio State, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
Michael Clark contributed to this report