SEC, Big Ten, ACC and Big 12 recruiting top players Va.'s 2018 class

As the 2018 cycle begins, Scout continues its state-by-state breakdown of the "Must Know" players in the East. This segment is Virginia.

The 2017 class is in the books, so let's get ready for 2018. Who are the kids to know in Virginia?

Scout takes a look at the "Must Know" prospects in Virginia's 2018 class, and the latest happenings in their recruitment.

1. Teradja Mitchell is one of the most dominant defensive players in the country. The Virginia Beach (Va.) Bishop Sullivan standout is a complete linebacker who is equally effective against the run and pass. Mitchell, the 15th-ranked prospect in the nation, has a tremendous combination of size, strength and athleticism. His scholarship list has grown to over 30 and although he recently released a top 11, Alabama,Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan and Ohio State are the main schools to watch. Mitchell will be at Alabama on Feb. 25, while Florida, LSU and Michgian could also get visits this spring.

2. Woodbridge (Va.) Hylton running back Ricky Slade committed to Penn State last week. The No. 2 running back in the 2018 class is one of the most dangerous offensive prospects in the nation. Slade has elite speed and quickness. He also shows good versatility, as he can beat you as a runner, receiver and return man. Slade will make an instant impact for the Nittany Lions and have a chance to be one of the school's next great running backs.

3. Stafford (Va.) North Stafford offensive tackle Nana Asiedu has the biggest upside of any prospect in the state.  The 6-foot-6, 270-pound Asiedu played primarily offensive tackle for the first time in his career last season and was sensational. Asideu has great length and is off the charts athletically for a prospect his size. He is also aggressive and physical. When it comes to his recruitment, he recently trimmed his list to ten. But Clemson, Penn State, Auburn, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia Tech are in the best shape for the East's top-ranked offensive tackle. He will visit North Carolina, Penn State and Virginia Tech in the near future.

4. Dinwiddie (Va.) standout K'Vaughan Pope is one of the top two-way players in the state, but projects as an outside linebacker at the collegiate level. Pope is a tremendous athlete with good size and strength. He is also very aggressive and comfortable in any defensive scheme.  Florida was his dream schools growing up, so the Gators are definitely in the mix. However, over 20 schools have offered, and Clemson, Georgia, Louisville, LSU, Ohio State, Penn State and Virginia Tech could make strong pushes for the country's No. 11 outside linebacker.

5. Ronnie Walker, the country's 11th-ranked running back, is a threat to go the distance every time he touches the ball. The Hopewell (Va.) prospect also shows good vision and instincts, as well as great speed and quickness. The 6-foot, 185-pound Walker has a 4.5 GPA, so academics will play a big role in his decision. He visited Duke this week and will go to Virginia next Wednesday. Louisville and West Virginia could also receive visits at some point.

6. Dillon Spalding, who is the top-ranked wide receiver in the state, has nearly 2,300 yards receiving and 27 touchdowns over the past two seasons. He is a big, physical playmaker. Spalding is a polished route-runner and has good body control. Recruiting-wise, the Lorton (Va.) South County star is attracting interest from numerous programs, but NC State, North Carolina, TennesseeVirginia and Virginia Tech are recruiting him hardest. Spalding will narrow his list of schools in the spring.

7. Dashaun Jerkins is one of the most physical defensive backs in the East. The region's fourth-ranked safety also has a high football I.Q., covers well and is versatile. North Carolina leads for Jerkins, but Louisville, Maryland, NC State, RutgersSyracuse and Vanderbilt have offered among others. Jerkins will likely visit North Carolina, NC State and Vanderbilt soon.

8. Big Stone Gap (Va.) Union tight end James Mitchell may be from a small town, but he is a big-time prospect. He is a long, athletic playmaker.  He is comfortable lining up at tight end, but can also split out wide, and runs extremely well.  Clemson, Louisville, Miami, Mississippi and Wake Forest  have offered the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Mitchell recently.  He will likely visit Duke, Clemson and Virginia Tech over the next couple of months.

9. Chris Collins is the next major prospect at Richmond (Va.) Benedictine. He is a dynamic player off the edge. Collins is disruptive and an effective pass rusher. He also changes directions well, is great in pursuit and closes quickly on the football. Georgia offered first and Duke, Rutgers, Virginia and Wake Forest followed. Defensive ends, more specially pass rushers are hard to find, so Collins' offer list could double or even triple over the next few months.

10. De'Von Graves committed to NC State last April and then helped lead his team to a state championship in the fall. Graves, a standout defensive back and wide receiver, is a big, physical playmaker. He is also very athletic and has great ball skills. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Graves recently added offers from Virginia and Virginia Tech, and several more programs will likely pull the trigger soon.

Others To Know

11. Tola Banjoko, DT, Alexandria (Va.) Episcopal

12. Tyler DeSue, QB, Virginia Beach (Va.) Bishop Sullivan

13. Jesus Gibbs, OT, Dumfries (Va.) Potomac

14. Darryl Jones, WR, Virginia Beach (Va.) Princess Anne

15. Jalen Alexander, DT, Chesapeake (Va.) Western Branch

16. Jaevon Becton, DE, Virginia Beach (Va.) Ocean Lakes

17. Keshon Artis, Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith

18. Armani Chatman, WR, Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside

19. Robert Mayo, WR, Woodbridge (Va.) Freedom

20. Jayde Pierre, DT, Sterling (Va.) Dominion

21. Wendell Davis, OLB, Richmond (Va.) Bendictine Top Stories