Five-star safety and Virginia commit Quin Blanding and Boston College quarterback commit Darius Wade headline the first group of prospects to accept invitations to play in the Dec. 29 Chesapeake Bowl, according to event organizer John Walpher.
Blanding, who is the third-rated safety in the 2014 class, is coming off a stellar performance at The Opening in Beaverton, Ore. The Bayside High (Virginia Beach, Va.) standout is also slated to play in the Under Armour all-American bowl.
"It's a great game to play to finish your season off with other great talent from the area," Blanding said.
Meanwhile, Wade is coming off a strong spring in which he jumped up to the No. 25 quarterback in the nation.
“”I am very excited for an opportunity to play in this all star game,” said Wade, who plays at Middletown (Del.) High. “I know it is a game that many kids don’t get the chance to play in. I definitely feel very blessed to be selected and have this opportunity because I know it will be a fun and a very competitive experience that will give me a small taste of what college football is like because I'm playing against top talent in this region.”
Wade said the uptick in competition and the ability to play against the best players in the region are benefits of playing in the game.
“I know this is another great opportunity to compete, continue to improve on my game, and learn from some very good coaches,” he said.
DeVonte Dedmon, a receiver from Williamsburg (Va.) Warhill High, and Aaron Glover, a linebacker from Virginia Beach (Va.) Princess Anne High, earned their spots after competing in the Blue Chip Challenge in late May.
“It means a lot to know that I have been chosen,” he said. “All the hard work I put in during the offseason has paid off. I'm truly grateful”
Glover, who is 6-foot, 205 pounds, holds an offer from Hampton and is speaking with Virginia Tech, Marshall, Colorado, Temple and USC.
“When the Chesapeake Bowl selection committee announced that they would be attending the Blue Chip Challenge in Virginia beach, I saw my chance to display my skills as a LB/SS covering running back, wide receiver and (returner),” Glover said. “I thought I had a good shot at being selected for the bowl game because I MVP'd at the camp but I still wasn't sure until Mr. John Walpher called and left a message on my phone congratulations on being selected for the Chesapeake Bowl game. I called him back and spoke with him about the game. I was hyped.
“This means a lot to me because the selection is a testament to my hard work over the years. Mr. Walpher is looking for football players, not how many stars you have behind your name. He is not swayed by how big/small you are or how many offers an athlete has.”
Glover is unsure where he will camp the rest of the summer.
“Virginia Tech is supposed to pull the trigger real soon, but time will tell,” he said. “I'm on the board at Marshall and Temple. (Assistant) coach (Troy) Walters from Colorado and (assistant) coach Clancy (Pendergast) from USC loves my film but want me to come out and camp, but …that would be a long way to travel with no offer in hand.”