ACC recruits to represent on national stage

April, 14, 2009
4/14/09
11:12
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Five incoming ACC freshmen were selected to the USA Football American Junior National Team, which will compete against seven other countries this summer in the Junior World Championship from June 27-July 5 in Canton, Ohio. The teams are comprised of players ages 19 and under.

Tariq Edwards (Virginia Tech), David Wilson (Virginia Tech), A.J. Ferguson (NC State), Oday Aboushi (Virginia) and Corey Lillard (Virginia) were all selected.

National football teams from Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Sweden have qualified to join the United States to pursue the sport's first world championship on the international junior level (19 and under).

A starter since his freshman year who played on both sides of the ball for Xaverian High School in New York, Aboushi is rated the No. 26 offensive tackle by ESPN. Defensively, he made 70 tackles, including seven sacks as a senior.

Lillard, a standout two-way player Liberty High School in Virginia, is ranked the No. 79 safety by ESPN. He was the team's second-leading rusher with 1,030 yards and 15 touchdowns last season, leading his team to its first regional championship. Lillard finished his junior season with 52 tackles and 600 rushing yards.

"Following each Olympiad, the participants often speak of what a powerful feeling it is to represent the United States," Virginia coach Al Groh said in a prepared statement. "Oday and Corey now have the wonderful opportunity to represent our country and our Virginia team. We are proud that they have been selected to USA Football's Junior National Team.

"Both young men are very achievement-focused and team-oriented players who will do all they can to make our team as strong as possible."

Edwards, of Cheraw, S.C., is listed as the No. 27 outside linebacker nationally by ESPN/Scouts, Inc. The incoming Hokie made 102 tackles and blocked two kicks as a senior.

Wilson rushed for 2,291 yards and 35 touchdowns -- both school records -- his senior season, including two games in which he ran for more than 300 yards. ESPN.com ranks him the No. 5 running back nationally and the No. 50 overall prospect in the country.

"I know that both Tariq (Edwards) and David (Wilson) are very excited about being a part of USA Football's Junior National Team, representing the United States," Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said in a prepared statement. "Both will be outstanding representatives of our country and our university."

A four-year starter at South Brunswick (N.C.) High School, as a senior, Ferguson recorded 90 tackles -- including 20 for a loss -- 10 sacks and three defensive touchdowns. An all-conference performer as a junior and senior, Ferguson also ran track in the 100- and 200-meter events.

"We are very proud to have A.J. represent NC State as a member of USA Football's Junior National Team," NC State coach Tom O'Brien said. "I know that it will be a great experience for him both as a football player and as a proud American.

"He is an extremely talented young player, and I'm happy that he will be able to showcase his abilities at the IFAF Junior World Championship before he begins his career with the Wolfpack."

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