Woodberry Forest football coach Clint Alexander welcomed 86 recruits back to campus Saturday morning, and by the afternoon, he had them on the field working to defend last season's Prep League title.
Alexander hit the recruiting trail hard this summer, bringing in some new weapons to contend with a daunting schedule that is sure to test the Tigers' mettle.
"We need to match or contain the skill level we will face each week, and have our young players come through in some early tough tests," he said. "It will be a tipping point year. We will learn if we are truly ready to run with the bulls."
Leading the list of impressive newcomers is Canadian high school star Terrell Jana, a 6-foot-1, 194-pound junior, who Alexander said has already caught the eye of Football Bowl Subdivision programs such as Rutgers.
"He is special," said Alexander, who led the Tigers to a 7-1 record last season. "He's so fluid when he runs, and when he turns on the jets, there aren't many players that are going to catch him."
The former quarterback at St. Thomas High School in Burnaby, British Columbia looked explosive returning kicks Saturday in practice, and hauled in a nice over the shoulder pass during 7-on-7 drills.
Last season, Jana tallied 1,091 rushing yards, 1,674 passing yards and 32 total touchdowns (21 passing), according to Berecruited.com. His longest rushing touchdown of the season covered 97 yards.
Also making the move south is one of Jana's teammates in Burnaby — 6-4, 285-pound offensive lineman Darius MacKay.
Alexander also brought in some local talent that may see early playing time.
Freshman inside linebacker Korey Smith — a Madison County native — is ranked in the top 10 nationally in the 2019 class for his position.
"He has the skills to play right now," Alexander said. "We just have to see how he handles the physicality that comes with that position."
A teammate of Smith's on the Orange County Stingers travel team, Dequece Carter — a freshman from Louisa County — also made the jump to the private school ranks.
Of course, those newcomers join left tackle Clark Yarbrough, who is committed to Stanford, and quarterback Lindell Stone, who owns more than 10 Division I offers, along with a laundry list of Division I prospects.
Tight end John Kirven has an offer from University of Virginia, wide receiver Zach Roderick has one from Campbell University and defensive back Michael Davenport has an offer from West Point, which happens to be where linebacker Ryan Grady has already committed.
The Tigers know they're going to need all the firepower they can get to survive an 11-game slate, which opens at 7 p.m. Sept. 4 against Bishop McNamara at Orange County High School's Porterfield Park. Woodberry also added games against 2014 North Carolina state champion Pinecrest and stacked Maryland programs Avalon and Bullis.