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Routzahn leads area football signees

February 06, 1997

By SHELDON SHEALER

Staff Writer

Evan Routzahn remembers the first college letter that he received and the advice that soon followed.

"I was told if I continued to progress, I could get a Division I scholarship," said Routzahn, a Middletown High School senior, referring to a letter he received two years ago from the University of Pittsburgh. "I wanted to do it. I thought it could be a great deal for me."

That first letter came when Routzahn was a 6-foot-4, 240-pound sophomore. On Wednesday, Routzahn, now 6-7 and 290 pounds, signed a national letter of intent to attend the University of Virginia on a football scholarship.

Routzahn wasn't alone in making formal his college decision.

The Herald-Mail Big School Player of the Year Randall Jones, a quarterback from Thomas Johnson, and lineman Josh Wolfe of Walkersville, have chosen the U.S. Naval Academy. Walkersville running back Vince Collette chose Army.

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Since Army and Navy do not participate in the national letter of intent program, Collette, Jones and Wolfe signed letters accepting their appointments. All three expect to attend a preparatory academy in the fall. Army and Navy coaches have indicated that all three could be starters as early as 1998.

Routzahn, who becomes the first athlete to go straight from Middletown to a Division I football program on full athletic scholarship, expects to be redshirted.

"He's reached his potential," said Middletown coach Tim Ambrose. "We coach all kids the same way. Evan was gifted with exceptional size and ability. It was genetic, nothing that we (coaches) did. It's a testament to him and his family, not me and the staff."

Sherwood running back Tyree Foreman and Leonardtown lineman Darryl Sanders also signed with the Cavaliers.

Other notable signings by Maryland preps include: Gwynn Park's Domonique Williams (North Carolina), Sherwood's Graham Manley (Syracuse) and Eleanor Roosevelt's Sam Goines (Marshall).

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