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July 13, 2004When it comes to talented football players throughout the nation, one state that always seems to represent quite well is New Jersey. The Garden State Top 30 and theIowa Top 15 are unveiled today as Rivals.com continues its release of state player rankings.
The nation's No. 3 offensive tackle and No. 11 player overall Eugene Monroe takes home the honor as the top player in New Jersey. Monroe, who is 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds, recently committed to Virginia over monster offers from about everybody in the nation.
"I'm a great pass blocker," Monroe said. "I set my feet well, I get on my guy and I don't give any sacks. I can also dominate the run game."
UVA has three other commitments that made the ranking. The state's No. 5 player, linebacker Lamont Robinson, the No. 7 player, cornerback Mike Brown, and the No. 25 player, defensive end Denzel Burrell, are all heading to Charlottesville to play their college football.
Rutgers and Maryland both have two commitments on the list. The Scarlet Knights' top in-state recruit - to this point - is Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep offensive tackle Brian Roche, who is the state's No. 11 player. Maryland has solid commits from Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic receiver Isaiah Williams, No. 23 on the list, and Westville (N.J.) Deptford linebacker Jeffrey Clement, No. 30 on the list.
In what appears to be a better year in Iowa, the Hawkeyes have already landed a commitment from the state's top player. Defensive tackle Alex Kanellis of Iowa City (Iowa) West picked Iowa early in the recruiting process. The 6-foot-4, 255-pound Kanellis is ranked as the nation's No. 14 defensive tackle and is a four-star prospect.
"He is very quick off the ball and a very physical football player," West coach Dan Dvorak said. "When you watch him play, you see he has great quickness off the ball."
La Porte (Iowa) Union offensive tackle Matt Pipho, another four-star selection, is ranked as the state's No. 2 player.
Pipho took home most valuable player honors for the Iowa City NIKE Training Camp earlier this spring and his name is just now starting to become a household name with college coaches.