The Baltimore Touchdown Club has announced the first five players that will be part of the Team Maryland roster for the Big 33 Classic, which will take place June 18, 2016 at Hershey Park Stadium in Hershey, Pa.
The group includes John Daka, a defensive end from Prince Georges County’s Henry Wise High School, running back Jake Funk from Damascus High School in Montgomery County, and Brian Plummer an offensive tackle from from Carroll County's South Carroll High School, as well as wide receiver Steven Smothers and corner back Kareem Felder from Baltimore County's Franklin High School.
Funk, a dynamic talent who has committed to the University of Maryland, rushed for six touchdowns and 301 yards last Friday in leading Damascus to a 44-21 rout of Oakdale in the opening round of the 3A West playoffs.
In 11 games this fall, Funk has rushed for 2,095 yards and he has 3,927 rushing yards in his career with Swarmin’ Hornets.
Helping open holes for Funk in College Park over the next several seasons will be Plummer, a 6’7, 300-pound powerhouse at tackle.
"It's truly and honor to play in the Big 33 game knowing that it's such an old game and it's a tradition," said Plummer. "It's also cool because I know people playing on both the Maryland and Pennsylvania side."
Plummer, who is helping South Carroll make a run at a 2A state title, committed to the Terps shortly after getting an official offer last April.
“I am very proud that Brian was chosen to represent South Carroll in the big 33 game,” said South Carroll coach Steve Luette. “He is the first player I have coached to be picked for this honor and I am sure he will make our state proud.”
Daka is an imposing 6’3, 210-pound defensive end who will play his college football at James Madison University, after receiving recruiting interest from dozens of D1 schools, including Maryland, Arizona, Boston College, North Carolina, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Stanford, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin, among others.
Smothers and Felder are both in the midst of helping Franklin make a run at a third straight 3A state title, but both are excited to represent for Team Maryland.
“It's a honor to play in an all star game like this, it being around so long and just the names of NFL guys that have played,” said Smothers, a 5’10, 150-pound wide receiver who will play at West Virginia next year.
“I’m looking forward to playing on Team Maryland,” added Felder, a 5’11, 170-pound corner back who will play his college football for Urban Meyer at Ohio State.
According to River Hill football coach Bran Van Deuse, who chairs the Big 33 selection committee for the BTC, Team Maryland is off to a great start.
"We are very excited about our first five selections to Team Maryland. These young men have had outstanding high school careers for some of the top programs in the state of Maryland,” said Van Deusen. “We plan on doing a second round of selections in December and then we will have an invite only try-out in January to select the rest of the team.”
Team Maryland returned to the Big 33 game in 2012 and have gone 1-2 over the last three years.