Feb. 4, 2004
Nineteen football players - including USA Today and Parade All-America linebacker/running back Brian Toal and SuperPrep All-American wide receiver/defensive back Marquise Liverpool from New Jersey's Don Bosco Prep - have signed national letters-of-intent to play for Boston College.
"We're very excited about the class coming in," Head Coach Tom O'Brien says. "I think our coaches have done another fabulous job this year, finding people who can help us in all areas of the football team. We recruited size and speed, we have some versatility in this class, and it seems to be a very athletic class."
The Eagles signed players at virtually every position, including kicker and punter. The class includes three players from Massachusetts, four from New Jersey, three from Florida and Pennsylvania, and one each from Virginia, Texas, Delaware, Ohio, New York and Minnesota.
Toal made his announcement live on ESPN late Wednesday afternoon by holding up the Boston College jersey of his brother, Greg, who lettered for the Eagles the past four years.
"It's a great day for Boston College and a great day for Eagles," O'Brien says. "We realized early on Brian had tremendous talent. He will come in and have the opportunity to compete right away for us at the linebacker position. He has the tools and the abilities to play. It's a great boost for our program to have someone of Brian's caliber join us."
The 2004 signees:
Kevin Akins (Safety/RB, 6-2, 195, North Penn/Lansdale, PA)
One of the best athletes in Pennsylvania...SuperPrep ranked him as the 21st best prospect in Pennsylvania...Rivals.com has him as the 38th best safety in the country and the 22nd best prospect in Pennsylvania...PA Sports Fever named him Mr. Football for the state of Pennsylvania...was also named Times Herald Player of the Year...first-team All-Conference and Area and First-Team All-State...led team to the 2003 AAAA State Championship...team finished ranked 8th in the USA Today High School Poll...rushed for 2,073 yards and 25 TDs on the year...also a track standout...coached by Dick Beck.
Johnny Ayers (Punter, 6-0, 180, James Madison/Oakton, VA)
Three-year letterwinner...named captain his senior year while starting at QB, kicker, punter and free safety...All-District QB in 2003...All-District punter/kicker in '01, '02 and '03...All-Region punter in '02, '02, '03 and kicker in '02...named All-State as a punter in 2003...named to George Michael's NBC Golden 11 All-Met Team in 2003...All-Metro QB honorable mention...Connection newspaper named him as one of the Top Ten Athletes of the Year 2003...High School Player of the Year for Liberty District by Fairfax County Football Hall of Fame...four-year letterwinner in basketball...was named captain for 2003-04 season...was an All-District point guard in '03...is a three-year letterwinner for baseball...was named All-District in 2003 and 2003...coached by Gorden Leib.
Ron Brace (Defensive Line, 6-4, 320, Burncoat/Worcester, MA)
Rated as the fifth-best prospect in New England by SuperPrep...was a two-time team captain...was selected as the team MVP...three-time Inter-High All-Star...three-time T&G All-Star...named All-State in 2003...selected to play in Shriner's All-Star game...2002 state indoor shot-put champion...two-time track team captain...school record holder in shot put...coached by Chris Moriarty.
A.J. Brooks (Running Back, 6-0, 190, Bishop Moore/Orlando, FL)
Rated as the 49th-best player in Florida by SuperPrep...was ranked as the 51st-best running back by Rivals.com...named second team All-State in 2003 and honorable mention in 2002...named District Player of the Year...two-time first-team All-County and District...two-time Most Valuable Offensive Back...rushed for 1,394 yards (2002) and 1,866 yards and 26 TDs as a senior...was also a two-year letterman in basketball and track...coached by Matt Headrick.
Chris Crane (Quarterback, 6-5, 220, Trinity/Mechanicsburg, PA)
Seventeenth-ranked pro-style QB, 18th-best prospect in Pennsylvania, and 51st-best prospect in Atlantic East by Rivals.com...was a member of both Lemming and SuperPrep All-Northeast teams...was a four-year letterwinner...named team captain in 2003...set school records for wins as a QB (31), passing yards (4,320), completions (313), passing TDs (45), rushing TDs (16), rushing yards for a QB (660), career QB rating (133.4), completion rating (54%)...was named second-team All-State in 2003...team MVP...standout basketball player...has scored more than 1,000 points in his career...helped his team to state championships in 1002 and 2003...was a Big 15 selection...National Honor Society member...coached by Jeff Boger.
Robert Francois (Linebacker, 6-3, 220, Governor Dummer Acad/Houston, TX)
Rated as the 8th-best prospect in New England by SuperPrep...was selected to Lemmings All-Northeast Team...3x All-ISL Performer...team captain...Co-MVP...First-team All-New England...Selected to play in the '04 Shriner's Game...was an All-ISL performer in basketball...was the New England Class C 100m Champ and was named Co-MVP for Track...coached by Mark Gerry.
Carlos Huggins (Offensive Line, 6-6, 295, Stoneman Douglas/Coral Springs, FL)
Transferred in from Atlanta for his senior year...rated the 52nd-best prospect in the state of Florida...was named first-team All-Broward County...was also selected to first-team All-State in Florida...coached by Kirk Bosse.
Frantz Joseph (Linebacker, 6-2, 225, Ft. Lauderdale/Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
Selected team captain during his senior season...has led his team in tackles for the last two years...was selected All-County in Ft. Lauderdale...participated in the Ft. Lauderdale Flying L's Scholar-Athlete Program...also played basketball...coached by David Martin II.
Marquise Liverpool (WR/DB, 5-9, 180, Don Bosco Prep/Teaneck, NJ)
SuperPrep All-American...was ranked as the 23rd-best WR in the country...named to the Lemming All-East team...ranked by Rivals.com as the 20th-best DB and 43rd-best prospect in the Atlantic East...three-year starter...helped his team to two state titles and a number two ranking in the USA Today National High School Poll...was a two-time first-team All-State Performer...Two-time All-County, North Jersey, and League Performer...had combined Jr. and Sr. Stats of 80 receptions, 1,602 yds., 20 TDs...had five punt returns for TDs and 12 interceptions...selected to play in the Governor's Bowl...also a highly regarded Baseball Prospect...was coached by Greg Toal.
James Ohliger (Kicker, 5-10, 180, The Tatnall School/Newark, DE)
Rated as the 7th-best kicker by Rivals.com...two-time first-team All-State kicker...broke his old state record of a 54-yard FG with a 58-yarder this year...two-time first-team All-Conference RB, K, P...was selected to play in the Blue Gold All-Star game...also a standout baseball player and is a two-time All-State centerfielder...coached by Jody Russell.
Ryan Purvis (Tight End, 6-4, 235, Lancaster Catholic/Reinholds, PA)
Ranked as the 17th-best tight end in the country, 53rd-best prospect in the Atlantic East and the 17th-ranked prospect in PA...selected to the SuperPrep All-Northeast team...named team captain...was named first-team All-State...selected All-League performer as a TE, DE, and punter...selected as a starter for the War of the Roses All-Star Game...had 31 receptions for 387 yards and 5 TDs...a standout in basketball...has surpassed 1000 points and 700 rebounds for his career...led his team to an undefeated and state championship in basketball '03...coached by Bruce Harbach.
B.J. Raji (Defensive Line, 6-1, 300, Westwood Regional/Washington Twp., NJ)
Team captain in '03...was a three-year starter...was picked as an All-State selection...two-time All-League performer...also selected to All-County, North Jersey and Suburban teams...had 75 tackles, 7 1/2 sacks, and four forced fumbles...selected to play in the Governor's Bowl...hasn't allowed a sack in two years...team has rushed for more than 2,000 yards both his junior and senior years...was coached by Joe Gambardella.
Clif Ramsey (Offensive Line, 6-6-, 265, Loveland/Loveland, OH)
All-Fort Ancient Valley...All-City...All-Southwest District...Cincinnati East-West All-Star Game...nominated for the Ohio North-South Football Game...standout basketball player...selected All-Fort Ancient Valley in basketball...coached by Chuck Warden.
Brandon Robinson (Wide Receiver, 6-0, 190, The Breck School/Minneapolis, MN)
SuperPrep All-American...rated as the 18th-best WR in the country...Lemming All-American...rated as the eighth-ranked DB in the country, the second-ranked prospect in Minnesota, and was a member of the All-Midwest team, and is a Four-Star athlete, according to Rivals.com...All-State, Metro, Conference...Minnesota Preps Player of the Year...Prep Bowl record with 4 TDs and 33 points...senior season he had 82 catches for 1,570 yards and 27 TDs...superb athlete also handled FG, PAT and kickoffs...was also All-Conference in soccer and track...was a member of the Minnesota Olympic Development Team for soccer...coached by John Thiel.
Brian Toal (Linebacker, 6-2, 230, Don Bosco Prep/Wyckoff, NJ)
First-team USA Today All-American...Parade All-American...Gatorade Player of the Year in New Jersey...selected as a starter in the US Army All-American Game where he scored three TDs...First-team All-American Tom Lemming, rated as the 17th-best player in the country...SuperPrep All-American, rated as the top Athlete in the country by SuperPrep...a five-star Athlete, rated as the third-best Inside Linebacker, 25th-best player in the country, sixth-best player in the East and the number one player in New Jersey by Rivals.com...Two-time first-team All-State Selection...Star-Ledger Defensive Player of the Year...SuperPrep Northeast Defensive Player of the Year...Four-year varsity letterwinner...helped his team to two consecutive state championships and a number two ranking in the USA Today National High School Poll...ended his career with 3,678 yards rushing, 79 TDs, 337 Tackles, 37 Sacks and a 43-2 record...also a standout in track...brother Greg played fullback at BC...coached by his father, Greg Toal.
Justin Tougas (Offensive LIne, 6-7, 275, Glenn Falls/Queensburg, NY)
SuperPrep All-American...on Lemming's All-East team...rated as the 38th-best offensive tackle in the nation...ranked as the fifth-best prospect in NY...three-time first-team All-Foothills Council...2x Post-Star All-Area 1st Team...2x Times Union All-Area Team...2x Troy Record 1st Team...two-time first-team All-State defensive end...a highly regarded national heavyweight wrestler...coached by Pat Lilac.
Tom Walls (Linebacker, 6-1, 237, West Deptford/Woodbury, NJ)
SuperPrep All-American...named to Lemming's All-East Team...Rivals.com rated him as the 27th-best inside linebacker in the country...team captain...selected to play in the Governor's Bowl...Gloucester County Player of the Year...Philadelphia Inquirer Offensive Player of the Year...South Jersey Touchdown Club Defensive Player of the Year...first-team All-County, South Jersey, Group II, and All-State...school records rushing in season (1,589), TDs in a season (29), career rushing (3,288), career TDs (56)...three-year two-way starter...85 tackles in his senior year...member of the National Honor Society...coached by Clyde Folsom.
Jerry Willette (Defensive LIne, 6-5, 250, Mansfield/Mansfield, MA)
SuperPrep All-American...Lemming's All-East Team...ranked as the 25th-best defensive end and the second-best prospect in New England by Rivals.com...named Pre-Season PrepStar All-American...also a standout in track and field...coached by Mike Redding.
Keith Willis (Fullback, 6-1, 240, Xaverian Brothers/Stoughton, MA)
SuperPrep and Lemming All-East Teams...rated as the 13th-best fullback in the country and the third-best prospect in New England by Rivals.com...selected to the Boston Herald All-Star Team...Boston Globe Honorable Mention...Two-time Daily Transcript All-Star...Two-time Catholic Conference All-Star...Eastern Mass All-State Team...Super 26 Team...placed fifth in the state in the shot put...son of BC defensive line coach Keith Willis...coached by Charlie Stevenson.