Here are D.C.-area players to watch this high school football season

There will be no shortage of high school football talent in the D.C. area this fall. From the city to the suburbs, you can find vaunted prospects, hometown heroes and gritty playmakers.

Here are 10 of them, all of whom are expected to play a major role in their respective corners of the local landscape.

Devon Baxter, DE, Sr., Gwynn Park

If the Yellowjackets hope to improve on their 5-4 finish last season, Baxter will be their primary weapon. He made 48 tackles as an edge, then caught 12 passes for 181 yards and four touchdowns as a tight end. The 6-foot-6 powerhouse is committed to Michigan, but first he will tear apart plays on one side of the ball and make them on the other.

Evan Blouir, QB, Jr., Patuxent

A tough playmaker under center, Blouir led Patuxent to a Maryland 2A/1A state championship game appearance in a breakout sophomore campaign. Despite the loss, Blouir showed flashes of greatness on the biggest stage, including a 44-yard touchdown run on the game’s third play. Now he returns for a junior season with a handful of weapons at his disposal. After the success of last season, the Panthers will have a target on their backs in Southern Maryland.

Aaron Chiles, LB, Sr., Good Counsel

An ideal combination of size and speed, this 6-3 Florida commit is a force in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. Last season, Chiles finished with 10 sacks and 15 tackles for a loss. Now he headlines a large group of returning talent for the Falcons, meaning the bar for success will be high.

Football Top 20: Good Counsel, St. John’s, Freedom lead preseason ranks

Tristan Evans, QB, Sr., Freedom (Woodbridge)

Evans is back under center for the defending Virginia state champion after a dazzling 2022 season for the undefeated Eagles. Evans tossed 61 touchdown passes and threw for more than 3,600 yards as his team bulldozed its way to the Class 6 summit.

Jaylen Harvey, DE, Sr., Quince Orchard

Each fall, a new group of Quince Orchard seniors takes on the daunting task of maintaining the Cougars’ local supremacy. This fall it is Harvey’s turn. The 6-3, 250-pounder has been a menace on the edge for some time. Last season, he helped Quince Orchard complete a second straight undefeated campaign with the school’s fifth state title. He enters his final campaign as a high-level prospect (he recently announced a final three of Maryland, Penn State and Southern California) and one of the most respected players in Montgomery County.

Kristopher Jones, OLB, Sr., Fairfax

One of the highest-ranked recruits in Virginia, Jones transferred to Fairfax after starting for Mountain View last season. The Georgia commit is primed for a big senior season with the Lions, who advanced to a Class 6 semifinal a year ago.
Da’Juan Riggs, an Oregon commit, does it all for St. John’s on offense. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Da’Juan Riggs, RB, Sr., St. John’s

St. John’s has been the team to beat in the WCAC in recent years, winning the area’s best conference two seasons in a row. Riggs will be a major part of the Cadets’ mission to make it a three-peat. The do-it-all back was his team’s MVP on offense last season. Before he heads to Oregon next year, he will look to make his mark as a senior.

Greg Spiller Jr., WR/RB, Sr., Champe

The Knights will look to improve on their eight-win 2022 season behind Spiller, a Delaware running back commit who plays a majority of his snaps at wide receiver for Champe. Last season, Spiller caught 70 passes and scored 20 touchdowns, both school records, and broke the program’s single-game reception and touchdown marks.

Dylan Stewart, DE, Sr., Friendship Collegiate

A lot was expected of Stewart last year, and he lived up to the hype. The versatile edge rusher was a juggernaut on defense, helping his team to a D.C. State Athletic Association title with 16 sacks and a touchdown. This year, the five-star South Carolina commit will look to lead a powerful defensive line, disrupting plays in the backfield with explosive force designed to put on a show.

Malik Washington, QB, Jr., Archbishop Spalding

Washington might be the most exciting player in Anne Arundel County in football and basketball. The two-sport star came into his own as a signal caller last fall, leading the Cavaliers to a 11-1 record and the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association “A” championship. He earned All-Met honors as a sophomore and faces great expectations in his junior season.

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