Commentary

Friday Five: July 17

Updated: July 17, 2009, 7:52 AM ET
By Mike Loveday | ESPNRISE.com

Kyle Tucker, OL/DL, Linganore: Anyone who follows high school football in Maryland will recognize Tucker's name.

[+] EnlargeKyle Tucker
Mike LovedayTucker put up 51 reps of 185 pounds at the Nike Baltimore Combine.
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound lineman impressed every coach and player at the 2009 Nike Baltimore Combine by putting up a combine record 51 repetitions at 185 pounds on the bench press.

According to Lancers head coach Rick Connor, Tucker outdid that mark at a recent camp at Harvard, putting up 60 reps.

But Tucker is not just a bench press guy. The rising senior ran a 5.22 40-yard dash and a 4.67 shuttle at the Nike Combine, and had an overall SPARQ Rating* of 74.79.

"He's tough sucker. He's one of those guys that after you've played the game, you know you've played against Kyle," Connor said. "[He plays like] every play is his last play."

The offensive lineman also ranks No. 1 in his class for academics, maintaining a 4.0 grade point average.

According to Connor, Tucker is receiving college interest from Monmouth and Towson.

Carter Pearce, DB, Westminster: Westminster graduates 36 seniors from a team that finished 6-5 and made the Class 4A North Region semifinals.

Everett Weldon
Mike Loveday Weldon will be a leader on Gwynn Park's defense this season.
Even with that many graduates, head coach Brad Wilson is looking forward to the 2009 season and defensive back Pearce is one of the main reasons.

"You're not going to find a kid with a bigger heart," Wilson said. "He plays with a passion, plays to win and he's intense."

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Pearce will start for the third year for the Owls next year. Pearce started 10 games as a sophomore and played in every game last season.

Pearce's greatest asset is his versatility, according to Wilson.

Expected to play defensive back, Pearce will also see some time at linebacker and could play offense this season.

"I don't like kids playing two-ways, but he could be one of those guys. He's got great hands," Wilson said.

Everett Weldon, WR/DB, Gwynn Park: Gwynn Park head coach Danny Hayes expects to have a problem next season - one that every coach loves to have.

The Yellow Jackets have a wealth of talented skill-position players, and could have trouble finding ways to get everyone the ball in every game.

For the 6-foot, 175-pound receiver and defensive back Weldon, getting the ball does not seem to be a problem.

"He's really smart and normally calls the plays. He has great instincts to the ball and he reads the quarterback very well," Hayes said.

Weldon showed good athleticism at the Baltimore Nike Combine, running a 4.69 40-yard dash and a 4.31 shuttle. The rising senior posted a SPARQ Rating of 82.65 for the day.

[+] EnlargeHenry Taylor
Mike Loveday for ESPN RISE Henry has led Cambridge-SD to 14 wins over the last two years.
According to Hayes, Weldon should receive his first college offer soon, and has received heavy interest from Towson in and Maryland.

Taylor Henry, QB, Cambridge-South Dorchester: For a state not normally known producing quarterbacks, Maryland has more than its share of talented signal callers this season.

One of the lesser known quarterbacks this season is Henry, who plays for Cambridge-SD on the Maryland Eastern Shore.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Henry threw for 1,837 yards and 24 touchdowns, leading the Vikings to a 7-4 record and a Class 1A East region semifinal berth.

Henry had one of his best games of the season against Fort Hill, who made the Class 1A state finals, throwing for 284 yards and two touchdowns in a narrow 36-28 loss.

Henry will be a three-year starting quarterback and has led the Vikings to a 14-8 combined record and two playoff berths the past two years.

Henry earned First Team All-Bayside and Small School All-State Honorable Mention last year, and is a member of the 2009 Maryland Crab Bowl Washington team.

Nick Forbes, RB/LB, Thomas Johnson: One look at the Patriots' Forbes and it is easy to understand why almost every major college in the county is recruiting him.

[+] EnlargeNick Forbes
Mike Loveday Nick Forbes committed to California in June.
At 6-foot-1, 223-pounds, Forbes has the body and look of a college senior more than a high school senior.

Forbes runs the 40-yard dash in 4.61 seconds and has a vertical jump of 34 inches.

The rising senior won the linebacker MVP award at the 2009 Nike Penn State Camp and recently committed to the University of California on June 19.

Forbes will be a three-year starter for Thomas Johnson head coach Ben Wright, and will once again play both running back and linebacker.

As a sophomore, Forbes rushed for 1,052 yards and 10 touchdowns on offense and recorded 99 tackles and 10 sacks on defense.

Last season, Forbes proved to be remarkably consistent, rushing for 1,075 yards and 15 touchdowns on offense and recorded 96 tackles and four sacks on defense.

Forbes was named to the Big School All-State second team last year, and should be a contender for Consensus All-State during his senior year.

Click HERE for a complete list of players profiled. Interested in having your profile on ESPNRISE/MDVarsity.com? Click here to fill out the Player Prospect Form and e-mail it to Mike Loveday. All information on the form will be verified through coaches. We will be profiling athletes throughout the winter and spring.

Mike Loveday covers high school sports for ESPNRISE.com. Mike can be reached at Michael.Loveday@espn.com