When Riverbend standout defensive end TyJuan Garbutt orally committed to Virginia Tech Saturday, some were stunned the junior made his decision so early.

Highly recruited Chancellor junior defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos was one of those people, according to his father.

“Yetur thought it would take a little longer with all the opportunities [Garbutt] had,” Rob Matos said. “He was under the impression that a couple other schools might’ve been front-runners. He was definitely surprised.”

Gross-Matos holds 18 Football Bowl Subdivision scholarship offers. Garbutt said on Saturday he’ll try to recruit Gross-Matos and other area standouts to join him in Blacksburg.

Rob Matos said Garbutt and his son are friends and have communicated on Twitter since the announcement. He said Gross-Matos is considering the Hokies, but they have some ground to make up on Penn State and North Carolina. He added that Gross-Matos hasn’t ruled out any school.

“They both play the same position so I’m sure there are some similarities in what they’re looking for, but there are also some differences,” Matos said. “As far as Yetur is concerned, TyJuan made the best decision for him and he’s going to do the same.

“That being said, Virginia Tech is a school that’s up there. It’s not at the top of the list, but it’s probably in the top three or four at this point.”

Gross-Matos’ next scheduled visit is to Penn State on Feb. 27. Matos said his son also plans to revisit Virginia Tech and Virginia because the Hokies and Cavaliers have new coaches in place.

“I gave [Virginia Tech defensive coordinator] Bud Foster my word that we will get down there and see them again and spend some time with them before we move forward with this process,” Matos said.

Matos added that he would like to see his son make an oral commitment in early spring. However, he didn’t rule an earlier decision if the timing and circumstances feel right.

“He could decide he wants to do something tomorrow,” Matos said. “And as long as I’m good with it, we’ll move forward.”

BARNES CHOOSES RIDER

Fredericksburg Academy senior girls basketball standout Zhane Barnes has signed a national letter of intent with Division I Rider University in Lawrence Township, N.J.

Barnes is averaging 14.9 points per game this season for the Falcons. She averaged 19.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.5 steals in 2014–15, her first season at the private school after transferring from Colonial Forge.

She’s part of a three-player class at Rider.

“Zhane is a solid combo guard that will be able to play any of our guard positions,” Rider head coach Lynn Milligan told the school’s website. “She is explosive with the ball and can shoot from distance or score by creating her own shot.”

DEVILS’ COACH HONORED

Culpeper boys basketball coach James Thompson has been nominated for the Chowan (N.C.) University Athletics Hall of Fame.

Thompson said he’ll find out if he’s been chosen for the honor this spring. Thompson was nominated by his former coach Bob Burke, for whom the school recently named its court.

Thompson played for Chowan from 1989–91 when it was still a junior college before finishing his career at George Mason. He set Chowan’s school record for career 3-pointers made. The Hawks have since moved up to Division II, which gave players opportunities to break his record in four seasons.

STREETER MAKES CALL4

Fredericksburg Christian School volleyball standout Marnie Streeter signed with Division II Carson-Newman (Tenn.) last week.

Streeter was named Delaney Athletic Conference player of the year in 2015. She was also voted Division II first-team all-state by the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association. She finished her senior season with 487 kills.

BROWN PICKS WAGNER

Brooke Point standout senior offensive lineman Ian Brown signed with Wagner (N.Y.) University, a Football Championship Subdivision program in New York, last week. Brown (6-foot-4, 265 EEEEEEEand guard for the Black-Hawks in his career.

JM TO HONOR CHAMPIONS

James Monroe will honor its 1963, 1969, and 1972 state champion boys basketball teams during Friday’s 6:30 p.m. Conference 28 quarterfinal game against Riverside. Attending players will receive medals, and one member from each team will serve as honorary captains.

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Taft Coghill Jr.: 540.374.5526

tcoghill@freelancestar.com

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