The Eagles graduated the Cardinal District’s offensive and defensive players of the year in Tyquan Brown (ASA-Brooklyn) and Josh Fuga (Virginia Tech) as well as other key starters from a team that reached the Class 6 state final.
Despite the losses, Freedom remains in prime position to continue its reign as the district’s top team. The Eagles have won 15 straight conference/district games and 29-straight over opponents from Prince William County and city of Manassas.
Freedom returns six starters on offense and seven on defense, including two (Jason Hawkins and Kealey Davis) who go both ways. Hawkins earned second-team all-state honors at defensive back and was Freedom’s second-leading receiver (30 receptions for 460 yards and six touchdowns) and scorer (68 points). He has offers from Buffalo and Howard and three Division II schools.
Davis, a first-team, all-district defensive lineman and second-team, all-district offensive lineman, has offers from Liberty, Buffalo, Hampton and Norfolk State.
Senior left tackle Vershon Lee, a South Carolina commitment and second-team all-state offensive lineman, and senior center Damien Holloway (first-team, all-district) are also back upfront. Lee is ranked the No. 19 player in Virginia for the class of 2020 by Rivals.
Senior Quest Powell threw for a Prince William County-best 30 touchdowns in 2018 along with 2,373 yards in earning first-team, all-district honors. He has offers from William & Mary and Howard.
As a four-year starter, Brown established himself as one of top best running backs around here after finishing with county-record 6,768 career rushing yards. But junior Julian Edwards showed last season he was more than capable of filling in for Brown when he was injured. Edwards totaled 838 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in 2018, including 116 yards in Freedom’s 35-28 win over three-time defending state champion Westfield in the state semifinals.
Junior Umari Hatcher is a big target at wide receiver. The first-team all-district pick caught 24 passes for 449 yards and eight touchdowns last season.
Hatcher, senior linebacker Marcus Hicks, senior defensive back Nijhere Johnson, senior linebacker Cameron Eanes and senior defensive back TJ Mountain are returning starters on defense.