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September 28, 2007

Weekly recruiting roundup

Here’s your weekly roundup of Maryland football and basketball recruiting news.

Starting with football …

• Fort Washington Friendly athlete Lamaar Thomas is arguably the most talented high school football player in the state – and would likely be the crowning jewel of Maryland’s 2008 class, should he commit.

Maryland seems to have a legitimate shot at landing the 5-foot-10, 178-pounder, cracking his top three along with Ohio State and Illinois.

But not only have the Buckeye coaches clearly made Thomas a top priority, the 11-man OSU recruiting class has done its part to make the wide receiver recruit its 12th member.

When the "Brew Crew" decided that they needed to show up in full force last weekend for Lamaar Thomas, it was no surprise to find Ben Buchanan at the game doing his part for his team. Buchanan takes his responsibility as a teammate very seriously.

"I was there last weekend to help make Lamaar Thomas feel at home," Buchanan said of last week's visit. "He seemed like a great kid and after talking with Brewster and the rest of the guys, I knew I wanted to help out any way I could. It was important for all of us to show up to make Lamaar feel good about Ohio State and the people he might be playing with…”

Buchanan, a kicker, was OSU’s first commit of the 2008 class, and the “Brew Crew” refers to the Buckeyes’ class, led by five-star offensive lineman Michael Brewster.

Probably the most important thing to note about the Thomas recruitment is the difference of opinion between the Terrapin and Buckeye coaching staffs on where he should play in college. Maryland likes Thomas at running back, while Ohio State wants him at wide receiver.

• The Terps are still hanging around in the recruitment of Augusta Ga. athlete Sanders Commings. According to The [Charleston, S.C.] Post & Courier, Commings has College Park pegged for one of his five official visits.

ATH Sanders Commings Jr. (6-2, 195) of Augusta made his second unofficial visit to USC for the S.C. State game. He met with the baseball staff as well and hopes to play both sports in college. He plans to take official visits with USC, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida and Maryland, though he said he could have a decision in a couple of weeks.

• Surrattsville’s football team hasn’t much success throughout the years. In fact, the Hornets have never made the playoffs. According to The Gazette, UM running back commit Davin Meggett is doing his part to end that dubious futility streak.

First, take a look at Surrattsville, which ended five years of frustration against league rival Potomac in a convincing 35-8 victory. Everyone knows about Davin Meggett. The son of former NFL star Dave Meggett ran for three more touchdowns against the Wolverines, giving him five in three games.

Meggett and Surrattsville will try to move to 4-0 on Saturday with a matchup against Terp wide receiver commit Kevin Dorsey and his 1-1 Forestville Military Academy squad.

The Washington Post cites Dorsey and UM athlete target Ben Barber as two prime examples of D.C. area football players that are being fed the ball any way imaginable.

There are times when Forestville wide receiver Kevin Dorsey lines up in the slot and times when he lines up far to the outside. Other times, the Maryland recruit might be at tight end or in the backfield. Knights Coach Charles Harley said there will come a time this season when Dorsey goes under center to take the snap.

• Offensive line commitment R.J.Dill has a huge game tonight.

Finishing with basketball …

• This looks like speculation to me, but at least one Minnesota basketball follower thinks the Golden Gophers are in good shape with 2008 Terp center target Ralph Sampson.

It appears that Gophers men's basketball coach Tubby Smith, who recently received a commitment from 6-foot-10 prep star Colton Iverson of Yankton, S.D., also could end up with 6-11 Ralph Sampson III of Duluth, Ga. …

The [Newport News, Va.] Daily Press also thinks Minnesota has a good shot at Sampson, but they have company at the top.

Georgia Tech, Kentucky and Minnesota appear to be Sampson III's favorites right now, but Virginia Tech is in the mix.

Sampson’s probably not a guy for Terp fans to get excited about yet, but the big man always mentions Maryland in updates, and until that stops, there’s a chance.

The same Daily Press article also contains a small nugget about 2008 center recruit Assane Sene, a fast-developing big man who the Terps are reportedly taking a long look at.

Center Assane Sene, a 6-foot-11, 220-pound recruit from South Kent, Conn., will visit. He has scholarship offers from U.Va., Syracuse and Connecticut, and he's getting a lot of interest from Maryland, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Kansas and UCLA.

Scout.com reports that South Kent (Conn.) Prep shooting guard Maurice Creek has a new top three, but Maryland isn’t part of the trio. Creek, a class of 2009 member, has Marquette, Pittsburgh and Texas out front.

• The Terps are focused on more than just Sene and Creek at South Kent. TerrapinTimes.com’s Dan Painter reported earlier this week that Maryland is also after Jin Soo Kim, a 2009 small forward.

Here’s Kim’s DraftExpress.com profile. Thanks to ‘Recruiting Report’ reader Corn T for the links.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:10 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

September 27, 2007

Terps LB commit headed to College Park early

While his future Terps teammates are currently juggling football and school, Maryland linebacker commitment Demetrius Hartsfield is enjoying a relatively stress-free fall break from class work.

During the break, the Southeast Raleigh (N.C.) High School star sometimes will get in a morning workout, then have lunch, rest a bit and head to football practice at about 2 p.m. After practice and a weight room session, Hartsfield usually hangs out with his teammates and plays Madden.

“I’ve been doing it since middle school so I’m used to it, but I like the break and it’s less stressful,” said Hartsfield of his school’s current two-week break.

He can enjoy the lazy days of fall break now, because in about four months, Hartsfield will be a full-time student at Maryland, attending classes and joining the Terrapins football team for winter workouts and spring practice.

Thanks to Southeast Raleigh’s year-round school schedule, which consists of nine straight weeks of class followed by a two-week break, Hartsfield will have more than enough credits to graduate in December.

In fact, he’s registered for just four courses (math, english, SAT prep and weight training) for his final term at SRHS. Hartsfield is fully qualified academically, but his mother, Tracy, suggested he take the prep course just to see how much he could raise his score.

Tracy Hartsfield has made sure education has been -- and will continue to be -- a huge part of Demetrius’ life. She saw to it that her son applied to the academically rigorous Southeast Raleigh, a magnet school specializing in math, science and technology.

“I make sure that I get As and Bs,” said Hartsfield, who sports a 2.9 GPA. “I try my best and my mom really stresses grades. She’s just always been on me to make sure I don’t slack off, and I’m on myself to make sure I don’t slack off.”

When it became apparent that Hartsfield could easily graduate high school early, Tracy and the Southeast Raleigh coaching staff suggested he think about enrolling early at College Park.

“I was talking with my coaches and my mom and we came to a decision that there wasn’t anything holding me back from going to college and there wasn’t anything here that I’d miss out on,” Hartsfield said.

According to Hartsfield, the Maryland coaches were more than receptive when he raised the possibility of enrolling early and joining the team in time for spring practice.

Just to be certain his decision was sound, Hartsfield sought the advice of Virginia Tech running back Josh Oglesby, who grew up 10 minutes outside Raleigh and started college in Blacksburg last winter following an early graduation from high school.

Oglesby and the UM coaching staff both had the same message for Hartsfield -- Enrolling early and participating in spring practice will give you an advantage over the other incoming freshmen.

Outside the classroom, Hartsfield has helped lead Southeast Raleigh to a 5-1 record, starting at both linebacker and tight end. A four-year varsity player, Hartsfield estimates he’s recorded more than 80 tackles and caught six passes and one touchdown for the season. As a junior, he collected 128 tackles and 13 sacks, according to Rivals.com.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder will suit up for the Terps' defense, but he’s enjoying his first season as a starter on offense for the Bulldogs.

“I’m real aggressive at tight end also,” Hartsfield said. “I like blocking a lot, trying to get pancakes and stuff. It’s real fun. At first I didn’t think of it that much, but when I started playing [tight end] ... you can have as much fun on offense as defense.”

While he hasn’t been able to catch his future teammates on TV as much as he would have liked, Hartsfield has been closely following Maryland’s season thus far. His assessment of the Terps’ prospects the rest of the way is optimistic.

“The wins they had were pretty good wins and the losses they had were just beating themselves,” Hartsfield said. “They had the games in the hand. Against West Virginia, they were pretty close at halftime. But I know they’re working hard because I know how the coaches are. They just had a couple close calls.”

For now, Hartsfield is focused on Friday’s game with 5-0 Smithfield-Selma, as well as enjoying SRHS’s two-week break, before plunging into his last term as a high school student. But while he’s got plenty on his plate right now, Hartsfield’s mind can’t seem to stop wandering toward his future in College Park.

“I get excited because I can’t wait to go ahead and start college and I’m just blessed that I’m able to do that,” Hartsfield said. “Not many people get a chance to play college football, so I just take it as a privilege.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:56 AM | | Comments (3)
        

September 26, 2007

Jennings, Thomas links

Just two quick links on the constantly evolving Maryland basketball big man recruiting situation ...

Rivals.com reported that Terrence Jennings will spend his senior year of high school at Fitchburg (Mass.) Notre Dame Prep, not Mt. Zion (N.C.) Christian Academy.

Jody Demling of the Courier-Journal thinks Jennings' switch to NDP could be a good sign for Louisville in Rick Pitino's efforts to land the former Terp commit.

Adam Zagoria of the Herald News in West Paterson, N.J. is all over the Quintrell Thomas recruitment, particularly where Rutgers factors in.

According to Zagoria, the Scarlet Knights have impressed Thomas more than he expected, but Maryland might still hold an edge.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:07 AM | | Comments (2)
        

September 25, 2007

Five questions - UM men's basketball recruiting

Much has changed with Maryland men’s basketball recruiting in the last week.

Four-star center Terrence Jennings withdrew his verbal commitment to Maryland late last week, although he claims the Terps are still his leader.

In more promising news, New Jersey power forward Quintrell Thomas was in College Park this weekend for an official visit.

Evan Daniels, national basketball recruiting analyst for Scout.com, recently spoke with both Jennings and Thomas. He joins ‘Recruiting Report’ today to sift through the rubble, answering ‘Five questions’ via e-mail about the state of Maryland basketball recruiting.

1.) What happened with Terrence Jennings?

From talking with Jennings, he made it clear that he felt that he made the decision a little too early. He wants to take a few of his official visits and get to know a few other coaching staffs before he makes his final decision.

When I spoke with Jennings following his original commitment, he told me that he hadn’t ever visited Maryland, and that is something that is always a warning sign when it comes to commitments. How can a kid make a decision on which school he wants to go to if he’s never seen the campus or facilities?

At this point, anything could happen with Jennings, and I don’t think he has a timetable on when he wants to make his decision and when he wants to sign. He’s already being pursued by a number of other schools, and following a few more visits he could make his decision or he could choose to wait it out.

2.) Jennings says UM is still his leader, but what are the chances he ends up re-committing to the Terps? What schools should Maryland be most worried about?

In reality, there haven’t been many situations where prospects have de-committed and then re-commit to the same school. There are exceptions like Alex Legion, who re-committed to Michigan last year, but then after Tommy Amaker was fired ended up de-committing again. Jennings is still going to take his official visit to Maryland, which is a very good sign for Maryland, as they’ll get a chance to re-sell him on the idea of being a Terrapin.

Already a number of schools have gotten involved since Jennings announced he was opening it up. West Virginia, Kentucky, Memphis and Louisville are the schools that I have heard the most, but there will be plenty more that will likely try to get involved. When I last spoke with Jennings, he mentioned that he wanted to take an official visit to West Virginia and I know the other three schools are vying for visits as well. Prior to his original commitment to Maryland, Kentucky was very strong with him, so I’m sure they’ll get a strong look.

3.) How did Quintrell Thomas' visit to College Park go? Are the Terps considered his leader?

Thomas enjoyed his visit to Maryland and mentioned that he had a great time getting to know and hanging out with the Maryland players. He isn’t claiming a leader right now, and has said that all of the schools on his list are equal.

He’s actually added another official visit to the list -- he’ll attend UNLV the weekend of Oct. 12. Maryland and UNLV join Rutgers and Kansas as his final four schools. He’s already been to Rutgers and loves the fact that they are close to home. With Kansas, the tradition stands out and is one of the main reasons Bill Self and the Jayhawks are in so strong with Thomas.

When it comes time to make a decision, Thomas is going to have to decide if he can see himself going far away from home. He’s mentioned distance before and I think that could play a factor, as obviously Rutgers and Maryland are much closer to home than the other two schools on his list.

4.) Do the Terps have a legitimate shot at Ralph Sampson?

As sometimes happens with kids of NBA players, it’s hard to get a good feel for Ralph Sampson’s recruitment. What we do know is that he likes Georgia Tech, Kentucky and Minnesota because he’s taken the time to take visits to all three schools. But other schools such as Maryland, Virginia Tech, Clemson, South Carolina and Auburn are still in the mix because he mentions them every time he’s interviewed.

Sampson made huge strides as a player during the spring and summer, thus interest in him picked up. The Terrapins are among the schools that have tried to get involved since his improvement, and he’ll be a tough get, unless they can get the big man on campus. If a school can get a visit lined up, then they always have a chance.

5.) Worst-case scenario -- what happens if the Terps strike out on all remaining 2008 big men targets? Does 2009 look brighter?

If Maryland strikes out on Jennings and Sampson, then they could try and pick off an under-the-radar post threat or take a look at the JUCO ranks, as there are a few big man prospects floating around. However, the Terps won’t have many scholarships for the 2009 class, so saving the ride could be an option as well.

In the 2009 class there are a few prospects nearby that the Terps should have a good shot at. The best of the bunch is Isaiah Armwood, who has the potential to be a McDonald’s All-American. Villanova and Louisville are likely Maryland’s top competition for the Montrose Christian star. Tristan Spurlock and Terrell Vinson, who are high school teammates with Armwood, are also Maryland targets, as is Andrew Fitzgerald. Brian Oliver is another 2009 prospect to keep an eye on, as he grew up a Maryland fan and is considering them among a host of schools.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:27 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Five questions
        

September 24, 2007

Football commitment game recaps

Here’s your weekly recap of all Maryland football commitments’ high school games.

Tavon Wilson -- 6-foot-0, 175-pound cornerback from H.D. Woodson (D.C.)

HD Woodson picked up its first win of the year, a 22-14 decision over Coolidge (D.C.).

Wilson recorded nine tackles on defense, but made the biggest impact when he was inserted at quarterback midway through the second quarter.

“He turned the game around on the offensive side of the ball,” said HD Woodson head coach Greg Fuller. “He made a hell of a difference because of his athletic ability. It was a pick-me-up.”

Wilson completed 5 of 10 passes for 138 yards. He also rushed for 23 yards. Friday’s game was the first varsity action Wilson had ever seen at quarterback, but it won’t be the last.

“Right now, we’re still in the process of figuring out our quarterback situation, but we’re going with him against Central Dauphin East in Pennsylvania this weekend,” Fuller said.

Davin Meggett -- 5-foot-8, 190-pound running back from Surrattsville

In Surrattsville’s 35-8 win over Potomac, Meggett rushed for 299 yards and 3 touchdowns on 21 carries. The touchdown runs were from 24, 30 and 70 yards out.

“Just his vision, yards after contact -- he didn’t let anyone tackle him after first contact,” said Surrattsville head coach Tom Green, when asked what stood out about Meggett’s performance. “He’s just getting better every week.”

For the season, Meggett has rushed for 464 yards and 6 touchdowns on 37 carries, leading the Hornets to a 3-0 record.

Cameron Chism -- 6-foot-2, 180-pound cornerback from Bishop McNamara

Bishop McNamara held on for a 33-28 win over Bishop O’Connell, which moved the Mustangs to 3-1 on the season.

Chism reeled in four passes for 87 yards and one touchdown – a 50-yard catch. For the year, Chism has caught 14 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns, in addition to returning a fumble 43 yards for a touchdown and collecting two interceptions.

“[Chism] made the catches and was a very solid guy on defense,” said McNamara head coach Bryce Bevill. “He was being a leader, and his performance was something we needed. He was the guy at the end of the game that didn’t enable the quarterback to throw the ball. He was making plays when it counted.”

R.J. Dill -- 6-foot-7, 275-pound offensive tackle from Camp Hill (Pa.) Trinity

Trinity moved to 4-0 on the year with a 35-0 rout of Waynesboro.

“Offensively, we ran for 391 yards, and we basically ran to the right side the majority of the time, which is the side [R.J.] plays on,” said Trinity head coach Jeff Boger.

Dill contributed two tackles on the night, giving him nine stops on the season. He's also forced two fumbles and registered one quarterback hurry.

Justin Lewis -- 6-foot-4, 285-pound offensive guard from Johnsonville (S.C.)

Johnsonville dropped to 2-3 on the season with a 42-0 loss at the hands of defending state champion Lake View.

Lewis graded out at 79% of his blocks on offense, but according to Johnsonville head coach Lewis Lineberger, he didn’t make much of an impact on defense.

“They ran away from him most of the time,” Lineberger said. “This wasn’t one of his better games, but he’s going to bounce back like always. It wasn’t a real good game for the whole team.”

Gary Douglas -- 6-foot-0, 178-pound running back from Durham (N.C.) Hillside

Hillside dropped a 14-0 decision to Southern Durham. The Hornets are 3-2.

Douglas rushed for 85 yards on 16 carries. For the season, Douglas has carried the ball 69 times for 618 yards and seven touchdowns.

Demetrius Hartsfield -- 6-foot-1, 210-pound linebacker from Southeast Raleigh (N.C.)

Southeast Raleigh moved to 5-1 on the year with a 35-0 blanking of Knightdale.

Hartsfield had 18 yards receiving for SRHS.

Cody Blue -- 6-foot-5, 280-pound defensive tackle from Wilde Lake

Blue contributed three tackles and half a sack in Wilde Lake’s 45-12 win over Marriots Ridge. The Wildecats are 3-0.

Teddy Dargan -- 6-foot-3, 290-pound defensive tackle from Milford Mill

Milford Mill notched a 27-26 win over visiting Dulaney last Thursday. The Millers are now 2-1.

“[Teddy Dargan is] getting a lot better now,” said Milford Mill head coach Reggie White. “He’s still getting double-teamed and high-lowed all the time, but he’s getting better at dealing with it. If we can get the refs to call a high-low one of these times, we’d be all right. It is an illegal block, but if they don’t see it, they don’t call it.”

Tyler Urban -- 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end from North Huntingdon (Pa.) Norwin

Urban’s Norwin squad lost a heartbreaking 37-36 game to Gateway. Gateway returned three kickoffs for touchdowns.

Masengo Kabongo -- 6-foot-2, 280-pound defensive tackle from Fairfield (Conn.) Prep.

Fairfield Prep moved to 2-0 on the season with 42-0 drubbing of Jonathan Law. According to The Connecticut Post, Kabongo played a big role in holding Law scoreless.

Led by its massive defensive line of Masengo Kabongo, Jake Haddon, Chris Massamillo and Marino Giuliano, Fairfield Prep held Law senior J.J. Jachym, the SCC's leading rusher last season, to just 24 yards on 14 carries and made him fumble once.

A.J. Francis -- 6-foot-4, 314-pound defensive lineman from Gonzaga (D.C.) College

Gonzaga shut out Carroll, 28-0, moving the Eagles to 2-1 overall.

Francis recorded one tackle in the game.

"We ran behind him most of the day," said Gonzaga head coach Joe Reyda. "We’re getting better up front offensively. We did a pretty good job. We ran the ball for over 250 yards."

Kerry Boykins -- 6-foot-1, 200-pound wide receiver from Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar F. Smith

Oscar Smith continued its early season dominance with a 47-0 trouncing of Great Bridge. The Tigers are 4-0.

Boykins dressed for the game, but did not play. A sprained right knee has sidelined Boykins so far this season.

Kevin Dorsey -- 6-foot-2, 175-pound wide receiver from Forestville

Forestville topped Largo, 33-21, moving the Knights to 1-1 on the year.

Matt Furstenburg -- 6-foot-4, 220-pound tight end from The Hun School in Princeton, N.J.

The Hun School moved to 2-0 with a 49-17 win over Mercersburg Academy.

Devonte Campbell -- 6-foot-2, 230-pound tight end from Hargrave Military Academy

Zach Brown -- 6-foot-1, 212-pound linebacker from Hargrave Military Academy

Hargrave topped Salisbury 21-2 on Sunday. The Cadets head to Knoxville on Wednesday for a Thursday matchup with Tennessee.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:45 AM | | Comments (0)
        

September 21, 2007

The Jennings aftermath

There was a collective grunt/sigh/scream from Maryland basketball fans yesterday when the news broke that Terrence Jennings had withdrawn his commitment to the Terps.

UM hoops watchers are no strangers to disappointment on the recruiting trail, but the good news is Jennings’ decision doesn’t necessarily destroy all hopes for a successful 2008 class.

First, Mount Zion (N.C.) Christian Academy head coach Tony Fozard, told Sun reporter Heather Dinich that Jennings still considers the Terps his leader. Conversely, Jennings will do something he hadn’t done before committing to Maryland in August – visit a number of other schools on his list.

So while there’s still a chance Jennings ends up at College Park, it’s by no means a certainty.

Thankfully for Terps fans, Jennings’ initial commitment didn’t stop the Maryland coaching staff from heavily pursuing two more highly regarded big men – New Jersey power forward Quintrell Thomas and Georgia center Ralph Sampson.

As CSTV.com basketball recruiting analyst Van Coleman noted in Tuesday’s edition of "Five questions", Sampson has no favorites, and likely isn’t close to making a decision.

Thomas, on the other hand, could be making a decision shortly, and many feel Maryland is a strong contender for the Elizabeth, N.J. native. Here’s what Coleman said:

Thomas just visited Rutgers this past weekend, he’s scheduled to be in College Park next weekend and then he’ll head to Kansas the weekend of Sept. 29. If he’s not ready to decide at that point, he could make treks to Miami, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall or latecomer West Virginia. Personally, I think Maryland leads early on, but Rutgers is close to his home and Kansas is always a great visit, based on players I’ve known over the years. Quintrell is a man on the glass who would compliment Jennings inside. He is a warrior! Much could be learned after he visits UM.

According to KUSports.com, Thomas will visit College Park visit this weekend.

• Thomas to visit Maryland next: Quintrell Thomas, a 6-8 senior forward from St. Anthony High in Jersey City, N.J., visited Rutgers last weekend. He’ll visit Maryland this weekend, Kansas on Sept. 28-29 and UNLV for Midnight Madness on Oct. 12. He may not visit his other finalist, Houston.

“Once he is done with his visit to UNLV, Quintrell will probably return home, sit down and try to make a decision,” Thomas’ AAU coach, Derrick Bobbitt, told Rivals.com. “I can say that Kansas is very high up on Quintrell’s list.”

The Jayhawks are casting an extremely wide net for the 2008 class, thanks to the possible (likely?) NBA departures of Brandon Rush and Darrell Arthur, and the graduations of five scholarship seniors.

Thomas is very much a priority for Bill Self’s staff, but he does have a lot of company on the Kansas wish list. Rivals.com college basketball recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer offers an excellent breakdown of KU’s targets here.

It’ll be interesting to see how this recruitment plays out, but one thing that Gary Williams and staff can certainly sell Thomas on is, ironically, the same thing they sold Jennings on: loyalty.

The Terps have been after Thomas longer than most, and they continued to recruit him hard even after Jennings committed. This isn’t a situation of Maryland trying to scramble after being left in a lurch – the staff has wanted Thomas badly, regardless of Jennings' commitment.

Now it’s just a matter of whether or not Thomas wants the Terps.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:13 AM | | Comments (4)
        

September 20, 2007

Jennings withdraws commitment to Maryland

Word broke earlier today that Terrence Jennings, a 6-foot-10, 230-pound, power forward at Mt. Zion (N.C) Christian Academy, has withdrawn his verbal commitment to Maryland.

Sun reporter Heather A. Dinich spoke with Mt. Zion head coach Tony Fozard earlier, who said Jennings' decision was a surprise to him.

According to Fozard, Jennings still has Maryland as his leader, and intends to make an official visit to College Park in October for Maryland Madness.

Jennings is also considering Kentucky, Louisville, Memphis and a few ACC schools among others, according to Fozard.

Click here for Dinich's story on the Jennings decommitment.

Click here to see video of Jennings.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 5:57 PM | | Comments (12)
        

Speierman's Michigan decision

On Sept. 1, college softball programs were allowed to start contacting high school juniors by letter, e-mail, text and instant messages.

Just seven days later, Hammond pitcher Stephanie Speierman (a class of 2009 member) ended her recruitment, accepting a full athletic scholarship to the University of Michigan on a visit to Ann Arbor.

Speierman was already weighing offers from Maryland and Lehigh, but she and her parents had considered the possibility that a Michigan scholarship could be forthcoming on her visit.

“We talked a little bit before we left home and a lot more when we were at the airport Friday morning,” Speierman said. “My parents wanted me to get there and see what the campus was like. When we went [during the summer], school wasn’t in session. … We got back to the hotel on Friday night and my parents said, ‘If they offer you what Maryland offered you [in scholarship money] and you know this is where you want to go, then go ahead and accept.’”

Sure enough, Michigan head coach Carol Hutchins came through with an offer the following day. After touring the campus Saturday morning, Speierman and her family went back to Hutchins’ office on the athletic campus where the coach extended the offer.

Ten minutes later, Speierman accepted, much to the elated shock of Hutchins.

“I think she was a little bit surprised,” Speierman said. “I think she was a little more worried about why I made the decision [so quickly] … She said I could take my time. She said, ‘Are you sure? Are you positive?’ She didn’t believe me, but when she did, she gave me a hug.”

One of the highlights of Speierman’s visit – which quickly turned into a series of on-field lowlights – was Michigan’s football game against Oregon. Despite the Wolverines’ 39-7 loss to the Ducks, Speierman enjoyed the up-close look at college football’s largest stadium

“We got to go down on the field before the game, which was really cool,” Speierman said. “We were right on the field for our seats and that was really neat, so I got to see everything up close.”

Thanks to Michigan’s well-documented slow start in football, Speierman has already caught flack from friends – even before she officially became a Wolverine.

“It was rough,” Speierman said. “The weekend before I had Team New Jersey practice for the fall team I play on and Michigan had just lost to Appalachian State. I caught a lot of crap and I hadn’t even visited yet!”

Although Speierman ultimately chose Michigan, she did give the Terrapins' offer serious consideration. Her parents, two younger sisters, grandmother and club softball coach form an extremely tight-knit support group. Admittedly, continuing her softball career in College Park – roughly a 30-minute drive from her Columbia home – had its appeal.

“It would’ve been nice for them to drive down [to Maryland] for a Wednesday night game.

“But I had to make a decision on the individual schools and not focus on, ‘well, they can come to all my games.’ My family and my coach will come watch me. They’ll find the time.”

Speierman has two high school softball seasons left before she begins her college career. It’d be tough to top a sophomore season in which she registered Maryland’s first perfect state title game in 10 years, in addition to throwing a state season record 426 strikeouts.

And while she’s intently focused on her two remaining years at Hammond, Speierman has an eye on her future in Ann Arbor.

“There’s just something about the atmosphere,” Speierman said. “The students have so much pride just being there. Everything about the school … the students are proud to be a part of it all.

“It’s a great academic school, obviously, and it’s got a great softball program. Being able to play that level of softball and get an education that will be really beneficial later in life were both big pros for the school.”

For more on Speierman, check out Wednesday's Howard County notebook. For baltimoresun.com's list of area commitments,click here. E-mail sports@baltimoresun.com to report college commitments by area high school athletes.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:39 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

September 19, 2007

More hoops rankings

Sean Mosley has gotten plenty of love from college basketball recruiting analysts, but it looks like RiseMag.com loves him just a bit more than the others.

In its newly updated Top 50 list, Rise ranks Mosley the No. 34 player for the class of 2008. Fellow '08 Terp commit Terrence Jennings is right behind at No. 40.

For those keeping track at home, here's where Mosley and Jennings are listed on five of the top scouting services:

Mosley

Rivals: 62
Scout: 40
CSTV: 55
Rise: 34
ESPN: 42

Granted, there's probably not much difference between the country's No. 30 and 70 ranked players. But at least there's a general consensus that Mosley fits comfortably within that range.

Jennings

Rivals: 15
Scout: Unlisted
CSTV: 20
Rise: 40
ESPN: Unlisted

Jennings not cracking the Scout or ESPN Top 150 lists is probably due to his reclassification status. 'Recruiting Report' reader Pat says Scout's omission is due to Jennings' status as a 5th-year senior. Regardless, whether he's No. 15, 20 or 40, Jennings is a player.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 1:52 PM | | Comments (2)
        

September 18, 2007

Five questions - UM men's basketball recruiting

Today's guest for 'Five questions' probably watches more high school and AAU basketball than anyone on the planet.

Van Coleman, national recruiting analyst for CSTV.com, has been one of the country's preeminent basketball recruiting authorities for more than 30 years. Here's Coleman's bio:

I’ve been covering and evaluating high school talent since the winter of 1976-77 season. I wrote for Midwest Basketball News (later Basketball Times) from 1977-1980. I began publishing the National Recruiter’s Cage Letter report in 1981, which became FutureStars Magazine in 1989 until the present. I was Basketball Times' Prep Editor from 1985-1996. I started Hoopmasters.com in 2003 along with Bob Gibbons, and have continued it until the present, after Bob left in 2005.

I have been the publisher of FutureStars Scouting Service from 1986 until the present (used by over 150 colleges nationally). I have been a major feature contributor to The Sporting News, Eastern Basketball, ACC Handbook College Yearbook, Lindy’s College Basketball yearbooks, and the CBS Sportsline College Basketball yearbook. I’m a member of the McDonald’s All-American Game Selection Committee, The Naismith Player of the Year Selection Committee, Slam All-American Advisory Board, and the Basketball Hall of Fame Morgan Wooten Award Selection Committee.

Coleman was kind enough to answer five questions (via e-mail) about UM basketball recruiting.

1.) How did Sean Mosley fare in AAU ball over the summer and how does he stack up with other top 2008 shooting guards? How do you see him fitting in with Maryland?

Currently I have him rated the No. 13 shooting guard and the No. 55 overall prospect in the class of 2008. This past summer he showed he was more than a slasher, as he hit the open jumper with regularity, opening up the court for him to explode to the hoop off the dribble. He really finishes in traffic and should give the Terps some instant offense at the two spot from day one in College Park. Whether he starts as a frosh or comes off the bench, he will give Gary Williams another offensive weapon to run the break or put pressure on opposing defenses.

2.) What's the latest on 2008 UM big man commit Terrence Jennings' academic situation? How did he play this summer and are the Amare Stoudemire comparisons apt?

Academically, it really depends on who you talk to. Some West Coast guys say he’s got a ways to go, but folks at Mt. Zion [Christian Academy (N.C.)] say he’ll be eligible at the end of this year. I think it’s going to be close, but I have to give credence to those who are running the show at the prep school; and they say he is going to make it.

Terrence is our No. 6 center and the No. 20 overall prospect coming out of the summer. Comparing him to Amare Stoudemire is a little bit of a stretch since he doesn’t have the same kind of body or approach to the game physically. Stoudemire was ripped at 240 pounds and could flat out destroy opponents physically. Jennings is a solid 230-pounder with good bounce and solid skills facing the hoop or on the blocks. He is a better shooter facing the hoop, but isn’t quite in the same league on the blocks as Stoudemire. I think a comparison to former Terp Chris Wilcox is much more accurate. He has the same type of inside-out game as the current Seattle Supersonic.

3.) Maryland has three offers out to 2008 prospects: New Jersey power forward Quintrell Thomas, Georgia center Ralph Sampson and North Carolina shooting guard Chris Turner. Where is each leaning?

Quintrell Thomas – Thomas just visited Rutgers this past weekend, he’s scheduled to be in College Park next weekend and then he’ll head to Kansas the weekend of Sept. 29. If he’s not ready to decide at that point, he could make treks to Miami, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall or latecomer West Virginia. Personally, I think Maryland leads early on, but Rutgers is close to his home and Kansas is always a great visit, based on players I’ve known over the years. Quintrell is a man on the glass who would compliment Jennings inside. He is a warrior! Much could be learned after he visits UM.

Ralph Sampson – He’s taken a visit unofficially to Kentucky in late August, and was at Minnesota the weekend of Sept. 8. He liked both schools equally well, but said neither is a favorite at this point. He could visit Georgia Tech and Maryland sometime in the next month. He also still lists Virginia Tech, Clemson, Auburn and South Carolina as other possibilities. He told us after the Minnesota visit that; “No one leads at this point, it’s just too early!”

Chris Turner – Turner was ready to commit to the Terps until they received Mosley’s pledge. Maryland is still in the hunt, but they have to hold off Cincinnati, Memphis, Oklahoma, Florida State and George Mason -- all schools who’ve been looking to get Turner to visit. He and Mosley could play together at the 2/3 spots or in a three-guard set. The Terps still have a shot here, but do they need two wings in this class?

4.) Which 2009 kids that are considering Maryland impressed you most during the summer?

Well, I’d have to say that five guys I have rated in the top 25 come to mind first. The Terps are involved with No. 10 rated Deshawn Painter, No. 12 Isaiah Armwood, No. 16 Karron Johnson, No. 20 Daniel Orton and No. 24 Wally Judge. They all had solid summers. Painter is an explosive and long face-up four man. Armwood finishes drives as well as any big man in class. Johnson is physical and can flat out score in bunches. Orton is a physical low block scorer who can swat shots in the paint. Judge was one of the summer’s fastest risers. He‘s raw, but effective around the hoop. The Terps are involved with eight other top 100 prospects to go with the above quintet.

5.) Is Armwood a must-get for the Terps in 2009? Who do you think is UM's most important target?

There will be a lot of pressure on getting Armwood, but nabbing one or two from among Painter, Judge, Johnson, Orton or No. 35 Gregory Echenique or No. 40 Terrell Vinson could fill team needs just as well. I personally think Armwood is their No. 1 target, but because they seem to be in excellent shape with so many top 40 prospects, any combination of two of these prospects will fill their needs.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:05 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Five questions
        

September 17, 2007

Football commitment game recaps

Here’s your weekly recap of all Maryland football commitments’ high school games.

Gary Douglas -- 6-foot-0, 178-pound running back from Durham (N.C.) Hillside

Hillside crushed Northern Vance, 42-6.

Douglas ran for 162 yards and two touchdowns on just 15 carries. (Thanks to Corn T for finding the info)

R.J. Dill -- 6-foot-7, 275-pound offensive tackle from Camp Hill (Pa.) Trinity

Trinity moved to 3-0 on the season with a 45-0 blanking of Susquehanna Twp.

Dill paved the way for a Trinity rushing attack that notched 220 yards on the day. On defense, Dill made three tackles.

Tavon Wilson -- 6-foot-0, 175-pound cornerback from H.D. Woodson (D.C.)

H.D. Woodson fell to Good Counsel, 42-8.

Wilson contributed 10 solo tackles, five assists and one interception (with a 30-yard return) in the loss.

Cody Blue -- 6-foot-5, 280-pound defensive tackle from Wilde Lake

Blue’s Wilde Lake squad beat Atholton, 28-10.

Blue collected two solo tackles and one assist.

“He’s playing inside, but he’s got really good lateral speed,” said Wilde Lake head coach Doug DuVall. “He had a really nice game.”

Davin Meggett -- 5-foot-8, 190-pound running back from Surrattsville

Meggett’s Surrattsville squad dominated Owings Mills, 52-7.

Meggett had ten carries for 82 yards and two touchdowns, and also kicked two extra points and recorded six tackles.

“He only played the first half, I wasn’t trying to run the score up so I put the backups in,” said Surrattsville head coach Tom Green.

“He ran really hard. The first person never tackled him. That’s what we talked about, getting the yards after contact. He’s doing a lot of little stuff that he needed to do last year. If he’s going to play in the ACC, you can’t have a lot of flaws in your game. He’s also blocking a lot better this year.”

In Surrattsville’s week one 42-0 victory over Samuel Banks, Meggett had six carries for 83 yards and one touchdown, caught three passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns, and returned an interception for a touchdown.

Masengo Kabongo -- 6-foot-2, 280-pound defensive tackle from Fairfield (Conn.) Prep.

Kabongo and Fairfield Prep got off to an excellent start to the 2007 season, blanking Wilbur Cross 28-0.

Kabongo recorded two sacks, seven solo tackles and seven assists. He also played offensive tackle.

“They pretty much stayed away from him,” said Fairfield Prep head coach Rich Magdon. “They have a quarterback who’s more of a runner than a thrower -- they run option. I’d say 75 percent of the time on offense they ran away from him. When they did run [to his side], Maska made life miserable for [the quarterback].”

Click here for raw game footage of Fairfield’s game. Kabongo is No. 55.

A.J. Francis -- 6-foot-4, 314-pound defensive lineman from Gonzaga (D.C.) College

Gonzaga beat Georgetown Prep, 20-12 on Saturday. Gonzaga moves to 1-1.

Francis, who plays nose guard and offensive tackle, registered one solo tackle and four assists.

“He played much better than he did against Loyola [in a week one loss],” said Gonzaga head coach Joe Reyda. “He didn’t have any tackles against Loyola… I think against Loyola he wasn’t getting rid of his man. He was sticking with his guy and not getting after the ball. He did a better job this week of hitting his guy, riding down the line and finding the ball.”

Kerry Boykins -- 6-foot-1, 200-pound wide receiver from Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar F. Smith

Oscar Smith blasted Indian River, 37-0 on Friday.

Boykins was held out of Friday’s game with a sprained right knee. He hopes to make his season debut this week against Great Bridge.

“He’ll start practicing today,” said Oscar Smith head coach Richard Morgan. “We’re hoping he’ll feel good. He’s been doing some light sprint work, so we’re hoping he’ll be able to come back and be ready for Friday.”

Cameron Chism -- 6-foot-2, 180-pound cornerback from Bishop McNamara

Bishop McNamara topped Bishop Ireton in Alexandria, Va. 19-14 to move to 2-1 on the season.

According to DCSportsFan.com, Chism caught four passes for 30 yards and one touchdown.

Kevin Dorsey -- 6-foot-2, 175-pound wide receiver from Forestville

Forestville lost to Ft. Washington Friendly in its season opener, 32-12.

Per Josh Barr of The Washington Post, Dorsey reeled in six passes for 123 yards in addition to recording a 40-yard punt return and picking off two passes on two-point conversion attempts.

Click in to Barr's post above for additional info on Terp target and Friendly star Lamaar Thomas.


Tyler Urban -- 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end from North Huntingdon (Pa.) Norwin

Urban’s Norwin team lost its first game of the season, a 19-10 setback to Bethel Park.

Matt Furstenburg -- 6-foot-4, 220-pound tight end from The Hun School in Princeton, N.J.

The Hun School won its 2007 season opener, topping Wyoming Seminary, 33-12.

Justin Lewis -- 6-foot-4, 285-pound offensive guard from Johnsonville (S.C.)

Johnsonville routed Creek Bridge, 41-0, to move to 2-2 on the year.

Demetrius Hartsfield -- 6-foot-1, 210-pound linebacker from Southeast Raleigh (N.C.)

Hartsfield’s Southeast Raleigh team bested Clayton, 7-0 on Saturday.

Teddy Dargan -- 6-foot-3, 290-pound defensive tackle from Milford Mill

Milford Mill topped Woodlawn, 28-6. Dargan’s squad is 1-1.

Devonte Campbell -- 6-foot-2, 230-pound tight end from Hargrave Military Academy

Zach Brown -- 6-foot-1, 212-pound linebacker from Hargrave Military Academy

Hargrave had a Sunday game at Marshall University in Huntington, WV.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:31 AM | | Comments (4)
        

September 14, 2007

Weekly recruiting roundup

• Running back target Kevin Whaley has been one of the more under-publicized recruits on Maryland’s wish list, thanks to him skipping most of the summer camp/combine season. But when Whaley has talked about his recruitment, Virginia Tech, Virginia and Maryland receive the most frequent mentions.

According to The Virginian-Pilot, Whaley’s interest in Maryland is serious.

Salem's Kevin Whaley is headed on his first official college visit on Oct. 6 during the Sun Devils' bye week, according to coach Robert Jackson. He'll visit Maryland when the Terrapins host Georgia Tech. Whaley also is likely to visit Michigan State, although that date hasn't been finalized.

Whaley needs just 76 yards rushing to break the South Hampton Roads career rushing record. To commemorate the occasion, HamptonRoads.tv produced this excellent video profile of Whaley, which has highlights of the 5-foot-9, 165-pounder, as well as interviews with him and his coach.

• Alexandria (Va.) Edison athlete Ben Barber has long been thought of as another Maryland-Virginia-Virginia Tech battle, with the Hokies holding a lead.

The 5-foot-10, 200-pounder, who was moved from wide receiver to quarterback this season, has family ties to Virginia Tech. But The Roanoke (Va.) Times’ Doug Doughty speculates that the Hokies may have more in-state kids wanting to commit than they have available spots, which could leave Barber (or one of the others) looking elsewhere.

Wide receiver Ben Barber from Edison High School in Alexandria is the brother of former Tech safety Willie Pile and is said to favor the Hokies, too, but does Tech run the table and get Painter, Williams, Bennett, Davis, Massie and Barber? I can’t see where there’s room for all of them.

• One of the aforementioned VaTech targets, Lynchburg (Va.) Liberty Christian offensive tackle Bobby Massie, has four official visits set, but is still mulling the fifth – a spot the Terps are in contention for, according to GoUpState.com.

OL Bobby Massie (6-7 315) of Lynchburg, VA has scheduled official visits with Clemson for November 30th and Georgia for December 7th. He will also set officials with Tennessee and Virginia Tech. He is considering North Carolina and Maryland for his fifth visit. Massie plans to attend the Virginia at North Carolina game this weekend. He does not have a favorite among his finalists.

• BYU continues to loom as a potential destination for Saint Cloud (Fla.) Harmony safety/receiver O’Neill Chambers. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Chambers and teammate Kedron Paul are headed to Provo, Utah for an official visit on Jan. 11-13.

The Longhorns are 2-0 so far via touchdowns by both Paul and Chambers. Paul also has offers from Houston and Mississippi State. Chambers has other offers from Florida, Houston, Maryland, Mississippi State, Purdue and South Carolina. The best friends have said they want to play for the same school.

• The state’s top-ranked player (according to Rivals.com) for 2008, Fort Washington Friendly running back Lamaar Thomas, is set to officially visit Ohio State on Sept. 21. According to Rivals.com analyst Mike Farrell, the Buckeyes are in great shape.

… the Buckeyes are the team to beat. If he doesn't commit on his trip, he'll visit Illinois the following weekend. Maryland is a dark horse, but a commitment on his first official trip to Columbus would not be a shocker.

Other links of note

The Gazette checks in with Terp football commits Davin Meggett and Cameron Chism.

Rivals.com released its Prep School Top 50 list, and Hargrave standouts/Terp commits Devonte Campbell and Zach Brown both make appearances.

nbc4.com posted a video profile of DeMatha athlete and UM target Kenny Tate.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:00 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

September 13, 2007

3 Glenelg seniors headed for DI

Glenelg girls lacrosse coach Ginger Kincaid has had some talented teams in the past.

Kincaid led Glenelg to a state championship in 2005, and former Gladiators dot several Division I college rosters, including Vanderbilt, Richmond and Denver.

The 2008 Glenelg team, however, has a chance to be one of its best yet, thanks in part to three seniors already committed to DI schools.

Kristy Black, a 5-foot-5 midfielder, pledged to Maryland, Lauren Giraldi, a 5-foot-5 defender/attacker, chose Vermont, and Alayna Markwordt, a 5-foot-4 midfielder picked Ohio State.

All three are currently focused on fall sports (Black and Giraldi play field hockey, Markwordt plays soccer), and will later shift their attention to bringing Glenelg another lacrosse championship.

During the summer, however, the Glenelg senior trio was busy figuring out where they would each continue their lacrosse careers.

The hometown school

In retrospect, Black’s recruitment probably started when, as a young girl, her mother Kathy regularly took her to Maryland games. Terps legend (and current associate head coach) Jen Adams even signed her stick once.

After sitting down to discuss recruiting with her Hero’s club team coach, P.J. Kesmodel, Black began to realize that playing for her childhood favorite would be a legitimate option.

“[Kesmodel] gave me a list of schools he thought I should look at,” Black said. “He said, ‘Oh you can play top 20, you need to look at all top 20 schools,’ and I was like, ‘oh wow.’ I didn’t know.”

Eventually Black narrowed her list to Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State and Virginia Tech. While her parents and coaches stayed neutral and supportive, brother Robby, a junior at College Park, was unabashed in his support for the Terps, taking every opportunity to host his little sister on campus visits.

When Black committed to Maryland in July, Robby was one of the first people she told.

“Oh he was so excited,” Black said. “He went and told all his friends right away. He was like, ‘You made the best decision. Maryland’s such a better school than Virginia Tech.’”

Black now gets to join not only Adams, who she grew up idolizing, but UM head coach Cathy Reese, who coached her on Hero’s when she was younger.

“It’s been a dream,” Black said. “I grew up watching Maryland women’s lacrosse and I never realized I’d actually grow up and go there.”

The ‘picturesque’ campus

Giraldi, a 5-foot-5 defender for Glenelg, was like many sports fans who grew up in the area – she rooted for the hometown Terps.

But when it came time to choose where she would spend four years of her life, going to a school with major football and basketball programs was not exactly high on her list of priorities.

“I was brought up as University of Maryland fan, a big football school fan,” Giraldi said. "But I wanted to experience something new.”

Still, Giraldi gave strong consideration to a couple of traditional BCS conference schools in Connecticut and Boston College.

Ultimately, it was quaintness of Vermont that won out; from its coaching staff, campus-wide emphasis on lacrosse, smaller student body and overall stunning location.

“It’s beautiful,” said Giraldi of Vermont’s campus. “It’s on Lake Champlain. The buildings are just gorgeous inside and the mountains in the background are beautiful. It’s a pretty picturesque campus.”

And in addition to settling in at Vermont’s scenic campus, Giraldi is excited about the prospect of playing for one of the Catamounts’ most high-profile teams.

“[Vermont’s] hockey team is pretty popular too,” Giraldi said, “but lacrosse is big-time.”

The Midwest sports power

Like Black and Giraldi, Markwordt had a nice selection of East Coast schools to choose from – including Boston University, Virginia Tech, Colgate and Richmond. Ohio State was also in heavily in the mix.

Markwordt, who transferred to Glenelg from St. John’s (D.C) before her junior year, eventually narrowed her list down to Boston University and Ohio State. It was a visit to Columbus that sealed the deal.

“I went out to camp in late June and I just knew that I definitely wanted to go there,” Markwordt said. “I love the atmosphere of Ohio State. It’s such a big sports school.”

While the campus and athletic camaraderie were to her liking, Markwordt was also set on making a college choice that would allow her forge her own path – even if it took her away from the East Coast.

“It’s kind of different,” said Markwordt of her choice. “A lot of people go to Virginia Tech, Penn State, a lot of people go [to those schools] from Maryland. I kind of wanted to start fresh and be independent.”

While lacrosse in the Midwest is still in its relative infancy compared to the East Coast, Northwestern’s three-consecutive NCAA championships have shown that the region is beginning to flourish.

Ohio State’s program, which has been in existence since 1996, is a traditional winner. Head coach Sue Stimmel led the Buckeyes to a 9-7 record last season, which included wins over Virginia Tech and Penn State.

“I think it’s kind of different between high school and college lacrosse,” said Markwordt of the difference between lacrosse on the East Coast versus the Midwest. “The top college team is Northwestern, and they’re obviously not on the East Coast. I know Ohio State was [almost] equal to Hopkins last year. I know they can compete.”

Senior year

As freshmen, Black and Giraldi both made impacts as reserve players on the Glenelg varsity. Kincaid moved Giraldi from her club position of attack to defense, where she contributed 6 goals and 2 assists on the year.

Black (who has collected 82 goals and 58 assists throughout her high school career) was a second-string attacker in ‘05, but stepped into a starting role for the state championship when the starter broke her arm in the state semifinal. Black promptly scored 2 goals in Glenelg’s championship win.

With a move to Class 1A/2A, Glenelg has a good shot to make it back to the championship game.

“I’m guessing that’ll put us down where Century is and will put us out of the state level with Mount Hebron,” Kincaid said.

It would be hard to improve on Markwordt’s 50 goal, 41 assist junior season, but another year of playing at Glenelg and developing better chemistry shouldn’t hurt.

“I made her a matching bookend to Kristy on the midfield,” Kincaid said. “The two of them together are very complimentary.”

Glenelg also sports a goalkeeper, Megan Tart, who has several DI options as well.

Before Black, Giraldi and Markwordt scatter to three very different schools next fall, the trio will get a chance to finish their Glenelg careers as Black and Giraldi started them – as state champions.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:34 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

September 12, 2007

Men's lax recruiting rankings

If you’re a men’s lacrosse junkie, you’ll probably want to read this.

Inside Lacrosse magazine just released its Power 100 NCAA Freshmen list as part of its annual recruiting issue.

The state of Maryland is extremely well represented on the Power 100 list, as are many of the local schools.

By my count, 10 members of the Power 100 are at Maryland, five at Johns Hopkins, three at Navy, three at Loyola and one at Towson.

Here’s a list of local kids that made the list:

10. Travis Reed, Attack, Boys' Latin, MD - Maryland
19. Tim Donovan, Midfield, Loyola-Blakefield, MD - Johns Hopkins
21. Chris Clements, Midfield, St. Paul's, MD - Virginia
34. Andrew Feinberg, Attack, McDonogh, MD - Brown
36. Nick Elsmo, Midfield, Severn, MD - Virginia
38. Alex Lyons, Defense, Boys' Latin, MD - Bucknell
46. Brett Weiss, Attack, Boys' Latin, MD - Maryland
51. Chris Hunt, Midfield, Severna Park, MD - UNC
55. Peter Fallon, Defense, Gilman, MD - Brown
69. Eric Lusby, Attack, Severna Park, MD - Loyola
76. Matt Chriss, Goalie, Gilman, MD - Brown
82. Tyler Boykin, Defense, St. Paul's, MD - Delaware
87. Jake Hagelin, Goalie, Boys' Latin, MD - Loyola
91. Andrew Walls, Defense, Glenelg, MD - Georgetown
95. Rhett De Pol, Midfield, St. Mary's, MD – Navy

Click here to see a preview of Inside Lacrosse’s September issue.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:25 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

September 11, 2007

Five questions - UM women's basketball recruiting

Checking in for today’s edition of “Five questions” is Dan Painter, TerrapinTimes.com’s basketball recruiting analyst.

Painter got his start in scouting with All-Star Sports Scouting Service, balancing that gig with his full-time job with the federal government for more than 10 years. Painter’s primary scouting area was the Washington, DC/Maryland/Northern Virginia corridor.

Painter (who answered questions via e-mail) also covers UM men's and women’s basketball recruiting for Terrapin Times Magazine.

1.) Has Maryland secured any verbal commitments for the 2008 class?

The Lady Terps currently have one verbal commitment for 2008 -- Lynetta Kizer, a 6-foot-3 post player from Potomac High School in Dumfries, Va. Kizer is generally regarded as one of the top 10 players in the class.

Since Coach Brenda Frese is graduating Crystal Langhorne, Laura Harper and Jade Perry, she has to reload the frontcourt and Kizer is a great start. She will have to play immediately. Kizer is big enough to pound down low but also runs well and can step outside and hit the mid-range jumper. She picked Maryland over Duke and Virginia.

I expect the Terps will also likely get a verbal from Dee Liles, a 6-foot-1 forward originally from Riverdale Baptist in Upper Marlboro, who now attends Gulf Coast Community College in Florida. She originally committed to Maryland over a year ago, but went the JUCO route to shore up her academics. Liles is an excellent power forward prospect.

2.) How does the 2008 class fill Maryland's needs? Which recruits do you expect
to make a major impact as freshmen?

The 2008 class is critical. In addition to losing Langhorne, Harper and Perry from the frontcourt, seniors Ashleigh Newman and Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood will also graduate, so five of your top seven players in the rotation will be gone after this season.

In addition to Kizer and hopefully Liles, the Terps would like to land another inside performer. Two possibilities are Cierra Bravard, a 6-foot-5 post player from Sandusky, Ohio, and Chelsey Lee, a 6-foot-2 athletic forward from Miramar, Fla. Both are expected to visit Maryland in the next three weeks.

Lastly, Coach Frese would like to add another multi-dimensional player at the 2/3 slot. One possibility is April Sykes, 5 feet 11, from Crawford, Miss. (the same hometown as Jerry Rice), considered a bonafide super prospect and regarded by one scouting service as the No. 2 rated prospect in the country.

3.) How is the 2009 class shaping up? Who are some recruits worth watching?

The 2009 class appears to be a strong one at this point. One player the Terps have targeted is Kelsey Bone, 6 feet 3, another inside power player from Texas, who some regard as THE premier recruit in the '09 class.

Other possible recruits of interest are Monique Oliver, 6 feet 2 (California); Mariah Chandler, 6 feet 2 (Georgia); Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, 5 feet 10 (Virginia); Antishia Wright, 5 feet 11 (Florida); and super quick point guard Dara Taylor, 5 feet 5 (Delaware).

4.) How will Maryland shift its recruiting as Frese's pregnancy progresses?

Coach Frese's pregnancy should have little effect on her recruiting. All potential recruits have already been notified of her pregnancy, and the lines of communication will not be interrupted. Her staff is extremely active on the road, and all have major recruiting responsibilities.

Brenda, in all likelihood, WILL be back for the NCAAs. She is due March 11, and with twins, they usually arrive early. The Dance does not start until March 23. She is expecting to coach during the tournament.

I would expect Frese to be back on the road next July when the open period for recruiting kicks back in full gear.

5.) How beneficial was the 2006 championship for recruiting purposes? Do recruits still point to that as a deciding factor in their recruitments?

Maryland's visibility in 2006 was definitely a huge boost for their recruiting efforts. A number of recruits have pointed out to me their style of play, their team chemistry, and Coach Frese's outgoing personality and energy as reasons for being interested in the Terp program.

That championship got Maryland into homes they would not have gotten into otherwise. The title made the elite recruits of the nation take notice. As the list of '09 recruits shows, Maryland now is a national recruiting program, with players from California, Texas, Florida and Georgia all considering the Terps.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:06 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Five questions
        

September 10, 2007

Football commitment game recaps

Here’s your weekly recap of all Maryland football commitments’ high school games.

Tyler Urban -- 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end from North Huntingdon (Pa.) Norwin

Urban’s Norwin team moved to 2-0 on the season with a 35-7 win over Butler on Friday night.

Through two games, Urban has collected 14 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2 quarterback pressures and one pass breakup. On offense, Urban has carried the ball 13 times for 97 yards.

“We played an offense we don’t see much – the spread offense,” said Norwin head coach Dan Conwell. “Tyler went from one side of the field to another and led the team in tackles. He's been impressive and that's what we expect from him. The way he can take control of the game and shut down an offense is the biggest thing we’ve noticed.”

Demetrius Hartsfield -- 6-foot-1, 210-pound linebacker from Southeast Raleigh (N.C.)

Hartsfield recorded 12 tackles, including one sack and three TFLs in Southeast Raleigh's 20-7 loss to Cary. SRHS is now 3-1 on the year.

Cody Blue -- 6-foot-5, 280-pound defensive tackle from Wilde Lake

Wilde Lake topped Glenelg 24-7 in its season opener. Blue notched one tackle.

“He played very well offensively and defensively," said Wilde Lake head coach Doug DuVall. "He’s starting to play a lot lower, which is what he needs to do. It’s hard to talk about linemen, but he does the job.”

R.J. Dill -- 6-foot-7, 275-pound offensive tackle from Camp Hill (Pa.) Trinity

Dill and his Trinity teammates bested Delone Catholic, 34-13.

“R.J. did very well for us,” said Trinity head coach Jeff Boger. “On the offensive side of the ball, we really don’t calculate pancake blocks or anything, but we ran the majority of the time behind him and gained 318 yards on the ground.”

Kerry Boykins -- 6-foot-1, 200-pound wide receiver from Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar F. Smith

Oscar Smith blasted Hickory 41-0 to move to 2-0 overall.

Boykins was held out of Friday’s game with a right knee sprain for the second straight week, but Oscar Smith head coach Richard Morgan expects him back at practice this week.

“He’s a tremendous football player, but we need him more for the stretch drive and the postseason,” Morgan said. “We want him back at full speed, so there’s no need to rush him right now.”

Justin Lewis -- 6-foot-4, 285-pound offensive guard from Johnsonville (S.C.)

Lewis and his Johnsonville team fell to McBee, 34-19.

Lewis graded out at 87 percent blocking on offense and contributed eight tackles on defense.

“He played well,” said Johnsonville head coach Lewis Lineberger. “We’re a real young team and people are running away from him on defense. Offensively he’s playing well.”

Teddy Dargan -- 6-foot-3, 290-pound defensive tackle from Milford Mill

Milford Mill fell to Sparrows Points, 20-14.

Dargan posted five tackles, including two for loss.

“It was his first game back off a broken fibula (sustained in late June), so he did what he could do,” said Milford Mill head coach Reggie White. “He’s still the biggest thing out there and probably one of the strongest. This week I’m hoping he’ll be back to midseason form.”

Cameron Chism -- 6-foot-2, 180-pound cornerback from Bishop McNamara

Bishop McNamara followed up a tough loss last week to Ballou (D.C.) with an impressive 33-16 win over Landon. According to DCSportsFan.com, Chism returned a fumble 43 yards for a score.

Tavon Wilson -- 6-foot-0, 175-pound cornerback from H.D. Woodson (D.C.)

Wilson and his Woodson team traveled to Ohio for a nonleague matchup with St. Edward, falling 14-0 to drop to 0-2 on the year.

Davin Meggett -- 5-foot-8, 190-pound running back from Surrattsville

Meggett and his Surrattsville team routed Samuel Banks, 42-0.

Devonte Campbell -- 6-foot-2, 230-pound tight end from Hargrave Military Academy

Zach Brown -- 6-foot-1, 212-pound linebacker from Hargrave Military Academy

Hargrave fell to Louisburg (N.C.) College, 22-12.

Off weeks

Gary Douglas -- 6-foot-0, 178-pound running back from Durham (N.C.) Hillside

Douglas and Hillside were off this weekend. The team is 2-1 on the season.

A.J. Francis -- 6-foot-4, 314-pound defensive lineman from Gonzaga (D.C.) College

Gonzaga was scheduled to take on Mt. Zion Christian Academy on Saturday, but the Durham, N.C. school canceled the trip to D.C. at the last minute.

Masengo Kabongo -- 6-foot-2, 280-pound defensive tackle from Fairfield (Conn.) Prep.

Fairfield opens its season Friday at Wilbur Cross.

Matt Furstenburg -- 6-foot-4, 220-pound tight end from The Hun School in Princeton, N.J.

The Hun School opens its season on Saturday against Wyoming Seminary.

Kevin Dorsey -- 6-foot-2, 175-pound wide receiver from Forestville

Forestville opens its season Saturday against Friendly.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:48 AM | | Comments (2)
        

September 7, 2007

Weekly recruiting roundup

Lamaar Thomas has been somewhat of a dream recruit for Maryland fans.

Despite playing just down the road from College Park at Friendly High School in Ft. Washington, Thomas (a four-star running back) has long been enamored with a certain Midwest power.

A column in the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Telegram late last week that bemoaned North Carolina’s running back options made note of what many recruiting followers have felt regarding Thomas and said power.

The best available running back, Lamaar Thomas, is likely headed to Ohio State.

For a long time, there was a strong possibility that was true – Thomas has admitted as much. But according to this Scout.com article, while OSU is still very much in the mix, the Buckeyes now have company at the top in Illinois and Maryland.

He says the Terps are recruiting him the hardest. "It's home," he said. "It's only 20 minutes away and it would be great to be close, but it's not like it's a big thing.

"I like how they plan on using me. They said they want me at running back and that they'd want me in open space and give me the ball. I really think that Maryland is gonna be solid this season and should be able to be a dominating team in the ACC."

According to Scout, Thomas will make his official visits to College Park, Columbus and Champaign on back-to-back-to-back weekends, starting with Maryland’s Sept. 13 date with West Virginia. His decision should come shortly after the Illinois trip.

• Wilmington, N.C. offensive lineman Nick Becton is one of several remaining OL targets that the UM staff is after, but there’s some heavy competition for the 6-foot-5, 290-pounder’s services. N.C. State – just a two hour drive from Wilmington – is making Becton one of its highest priorities.

There were some pretty high-profile visitors in Raleigh on Saturday for the N.C. State-Central Florida game as well. Concord offensive lineman R.J. Mattes, Wilmington offensive lineman Nick Becton and defensive lineman Anthony Garner from Siler City were there on unofficial visits.

The Terps were able to beat the Wolfpack for Justin Lewis’ commitment. Becton, who also claims offers from Alabama, East Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia Tech, might be a tougher pull.

In other Becton-related news, the Wilmington Star penned an interesting feature on how the text messaging ban has affected recruits. Becton
weighed in with a surprising take.

Nick Becton, a heavily recruited offensive lineman from New Hanover, receives a "few" e-mails and more handwritten letters these days.

"I liked it better the other way," Becton said. "They would text and see how you were doing, tell you that they were glad to hear from you."

• Really tough break for Augusta, Ga. athlete Sanders Commings. According to the The Augusta Chronicle, Commings will be out of commission for a decent chunk of time.

WESTSIDE INJURY: Westside senior Sanders Commings said Monday that he had a cracked fibula in his left leg. He suffered the injury in the second half of a 24-14 loss at Greenbrier. Commings anticipates he'll miss the next three games. Commings has scholarship offers from Georgia, Auburn, Maryland and South Carolina.

• It’s been status quo for Maryland basketball recruiting as of late, but two 2008 Terp targets are planning visits to other schools in the coming weeks. According to Kansas.com, four-star power forward Quintrell Thomas will make the trek from Elizabeth, N.J. to Lawrence, Kan. for a Sept. 28-29 visit with the Jayhawks.

Four-star center Ralph Sampson III is traveling north this weekend. According to TwinCities.com, the 6-foot-11, 220-pounder will visit Minnesota.

Sampson has Kentucky, Maryland, Georgia and Georgia Tech among his finalists.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 8:36 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

September 6, 2007

Hargrave update, other tidbits

Just a few random tidbits from this week …

• The Hargrave Military Academy’s post-grad football team had a successful week, traveling to Moon Township, Pa. and blasting a squad made up of Robert Morris University players, 30-0.

According to Cadets assistant head coach/offensive coordinator Troy Davis, Terp commits Zach Brown and Devonte Campbell both had nice afternoons. Brown (a 6-foot-1, 210-pound linebacker) notched a sack and Campbell (a 6-foot-3, 240-pound tight end) caught a 60-yard touchdown pass.

“I see he’s improving overall,” Davis said of Campbell. “He’s had some things to work on from an on-the-field standpoint. He’s working on some things with blocking. As far as catching the ball, he’s done a wonderful job with that.”

Brown has been solid as well for Hargrave, according to Davis.

“He’s got a lot of upside to him,” Davis said. “Coaches right now are just trying to improve him on his fundamentals.”

As for their recruitments, both were originally members of the 2007 class, but took a post-grad year to get their academic situations in order.

Campbell committed to Maryland last February to much fanfare, while Brown quietly pledged around that time as well – with the full intention of enrolling at Hargrave first.

Both have academic hurdles to clear before they matriculate to College Park, but Davis expects Campbell and Brown to eventually be Terps.

“I can’t say for sure … but I believe if [Brown] qualifies [academically], he’s going to Maryland,” Davis said.

• This is old news for the TerrapinTimes.com message boarders, but yesterday the D.C. Sports Bog broke down a feud on Maryland’s Rivals.com premium message board recently between two posters – one of whom is ESPN anchor and UM alumnus Scott Van Pelt, who posts under his real name.

There’s no recruiting content in the post, but it’s a really interesting take on anonymity, public figures and sports message boards.

• The Key School’s Julian Maldonado missed his senior season of lacrosse due to an injury, but that didn’t stop the class of 2007 standout from getting a chance to play in college.

Per a University of Pennsylvania press release, Maldonado, an attacker/midfielder, is part of the Quakers’ nine-man recruiting class that will make its Penn debut as freshmen this spring.

Maldonado, 6-foot-2, 170 pounds, was a four-year letter winner in lacrosse, basketball and soccer at Key. He led the lacrosse team in scoring in his sophomore and junior seasons.

• It’s a busy week for John Carroll guard Mike Maczko. The 6-foot-5 senior will make unofficial visits to the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Central Connecticut State, Quinnipiac and Princeton. Maczko is one of eight potential Division I prospects for the Patriots.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:26 AM | | Comments (4)
        

September 5, 2007

Five questions

This week’s guest for ‘Five questions’ is Jide Sodipo, a fixture in the Maryland high school basketball recruiting scene for the past decade.

Sodipo, director/publisher of MidAtlanticHoops.com, is based in Baltimore and has been involved with numerous local basketball recruiting sites throughout his career, including DCHoops.com.

Sodipo was kind enough to weigh in on several questions (via e-mail) involving the in-state basketball recruiting scene.

1.) By my count, three surefire Division I kids from Maryland in 2009 have transferred schools or are considering a transfer -- center Andrew Fitzgerald from Towson Catholic to Owings Mills, shooting guard Maurice Creek from Oxon Hill to South Kent (Conn.) School and forward Wally Judge from Bladensburg to Arlington Country Day School in Jacksonville, Fla. What do you make of each situation, and how does it affect each player's recruitment?

Each situation is similar but unique at the same time. The similarity is that all have to do with academic reasons. Wally Judge, Andrew Fitzgerald and Maurice Creek all are originally members of the class of 2008.

Judge was ineligible his freshman year, while Fitzgerald repeated his sophomore year. Creek is still at Oxon Hill, but is planning to attend South Kent.

These three prospects are just looking for a good fit academically to give them a better chance to qualify. This has no effect on their recruiting since all are high-major prospects -- Judge (West Virginia, Georgetown, Pitt), Creek (Maryland, Texas, Villanova) Fitzgerald (Maryland, Pitt, Clemson).

2.) Who do you think is the best player in Maryland in the 2009 class?

The best player right now in the state of Maryland from 2009 is Isaiah Armwood. Going into the summer his teammate Terrell Vinson had an edge, but Armwood, a 6-foot-8 combo forward, really raised his game and his stock. He’s being heavily recruited by Louisville, Maryland and Villanova to name a few. Louisville has a slight edge right now and Rick Pitino will be visiting the school in the upcoming week.

3.) What kind of impact has Sean Mosley's commitment to Maryland had on some of the big-time in-state players? Will Baltimore kids look more seriously at UM because of it?

Sean Mosley’s commitment to Maryland had no major impact whatsoever on some of the big-time in-state players. It will not affect or change anything on how Baltimore kids look at UM. Maryland has to do a better job with its recruitments earlier on… But at the same time, I have to give them a lot of credit for some improvement.

In the past, they have not been as visible in [Baltimore] like they should be. Keith Booth, a Baltimore native, is working hard to change that. He is much more visible, which helps a lot. And Chuck Driesell is one of the best young recruiters in the country.

4.) Which of the local DI programs have impressed you lately in recruiting?

Todd Bozeman and the Morgan State Bears have been impressing lately with their recruiting. They landed three of the top 100 prospects in the Mid-Atlantic areas from the class of 2007. He brought some respect and stability back to the program, which the program had been missing for a long time.

Towson has been solid since Pat Kennedy’s arrival, and with two solid recruiters in assistant coaches Jim Meil and Eric Skeeters, will continue to improve every year in an always tough CAA conference.

5.) Who are some of the most underrated 2008 kids from the Baltimore area?

Some of the most underrated prospects in the Baltimore area for the class of 2008 are all guards and all solid mid-major prospects.

Starting with Larry Bastfield, a 6-foot-0 point guard from Towson Catholic. He’s a unique pass-first guard that is uncommon in this Allen Iverson-era of basketball. Nothing he does wows you, but he gets it done.

Jamar Briscoe, a 5-foot-9 combo guard from Cardinal Gibbons is the complete opposite -- a scoring point guard that will need to play the lead guard position at the next level.

Troy Franklin, a 5-foot-10 point guard from Mt. Carmel is a flashy, shoot-first, Allen Iverson-type point guard.

And last but not least, Devon Branch, 6 feet 3, is a solid off-guard that is capable of playing the two at the next level.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:44 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Five questions
        

September 4, 2007

Help wanted

Know a local high school athlete who has made a verbal commitment to play sports at a college? If so, we'd like to hear about it.

To go along with the recent launch of My Team, we will be updating a list of where local athletes will be continuing their athletic careers.

Commitments in all sports -- male and female -- will be included.

If you know about an athlete who has committed to play at the next level, send me an e-mail at mbracken@baltimoresun.com.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:44 AM | | Comments (0)
        

September 3, 2007

Football commitment game recaps

In what will now be a weekly feature for Recruiting Report, I’ll take a brief look at how each Maryland commit’s high school football team fared over the weekend.

This inaugural commitment recap entry will be much thinner than ones in the future, due to the fact that schools are closed for Labor Day and coaches are unreachable. Also, several Terp commits have yet to begin their senior seasons.

That’ll change starting next week, but here’s what I could dig up from the past weekend.

Tyler Urban -- 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end from North Huntingdon (Pa.) Norwin

Norwin opened its 2007 campaign with a 27-7 win over Seneca Valley on Friday, and according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Urban was instrumental in his squad’s grind-it-out effort.

The complementary running styles of Matt Griffith and Tyler Urban wore down the Seneca Valley defensive front in the first half, and Griffith broke loose in the second. Griffith rushed for 198 yards, including a 94-yard second half touchdown run. Urban rushed for 49 yards.

Tavon Wilson -- 6-foot-0, 175-pound cornerback from H.D. Woodson (D.C.)

Wilson’s H.D. Woodson team traveled from D.C. to Pennsylvania to take on Easton High School. According to The [Allentown, Pa.] Morning Call, Woodson fell 30-8, but Wilson did his part.

“H.D. Woodson, helped by the inspired play of two of its top defenders -- Michigan State-bound linebacker Dion Guy and Maryland-bound defensive back Tavon Wilson -- held Easton scoreless in the second half … "

Cameron Chism -- 6-foot-2, 180-pound cornerback from Bishop McNamara

One of Maryland’s newest commits, Chism and his Bishop McNamara team fell to Ballou (D.C.), 14-7. According to DCSportsFan.com, Ballou quarterback Emmanuel Yeager picked apart the McNamara secondary to the tune of 375 yards passing and one touchdown.

“Chism’s a great player and a great athlete,” Yeager said. “He has a lot of agility and a lot of speed, but we were going to expose him.”

Gary Douglas -- 6-foot-0, 178-pound running back from Durham (N.C.) Hillside

Durham Hillside moved to 2-1 on the season with a 30-16 win over Goldsboro. Stats were unavailable for the Goldsboro game, but through his first two games, Douglas rushed 24 times for 209 yards and three touchdowns.

Demetrius Hartsfield -- 6-foot-1, 210-pound linebacker from Southeast Raleigh (N.C.)

Hartsfield’s Southeast Raleigh squad notched a 30-28 victory over Enloe, putting them at 3-0 on the season. According to The [Raleigh] News & Observer, Hartsfield had 20 yards receiving in the win.


R.J. Dill -- 6-foot-7, 275-pound offensive tackle from Camp Hill (Pa.) Trinity

Dill’s Trinity team held on for a 15-14 win over Lancaster Catholic, courtesy of a missed 27-yard field goal from LCHS with less than a minute remaining.

Kerry Boykins -- 6-foot-1, 200-pound wide receiver from Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar F. Smith

Oscar F. Smith blasted Booker T. Washington, 42-6. Boykins missed the game with a sprained knee.

Justin Lewis -- 6-foot-4, 285-pound offensive guard from Johnsonville (S.C.)

Lewis’ Johnsonville team picked up a road win, besting East Clarendon, 7-6.

A.J. Francis -- 6-foot-4, 314-pound defensive lineman from Gonzaga (D.C.) College

Francis’ Gonzaga team was routed at the hands of Loyola Blakefield, 51-14.

Did not play

Masengo Kabongo -- 6-foot-2, 280-pound defensive tackle from Fairfield (Conn.) Prep.

Teddy Dargan -- 6-foot-3, 290-pound defensive tackle from Milford Mill

Cody Blue -- 6-foot-5, 280-pound defensive tackle from Wilde Lake

Matt Furstenburg -- 6-foot-4, 220-pound tight end from The Hun School in Princeton, N.J.

Devonte Campbell -- 6-foot-2, 230-pound tight end from Hargrave Military Academy

Zach Brown -- 6-foot-1, 212-pound linebacker from Hargrave Military Academy

Kevin Dorsey -- 6-foot-2, 175-pound wide receiver from Forestville

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:47 AM | | Comments (4)
        

September 2, 2007

Tate, DeMatha fall in Herbstreit Challenge

In a fruitless attempt to forget my alma mater's now infamous football disaster, I tuned in to ESPN today to see what all the Kenny Tate hype was about.

Tate's DeMatha Catholic squad squared off against Cincinnati St. Xavier on the campus of the University of Cincinnati as part of the Kirk Herbstreit Ohio vs. USA Challenge.

DeMatha -- in the midst of a 22-game winning streak dating back to 2005 -- fell to the hometown St. Xavier Bombers, 28-7.

Tate was blanketed all day by St. X defenders, often facing double-coverage. DeMatha quarterback Tom Chroniger tried to connect with Tate several times down the left side of the field, but was inches away each time.

The highlight of Tate's day was a 21-yard catch across the middle with three St. X defenders in the area. Other than that, it was a tough day for the entire DeMatha offense.

Tate got a couple carries, as well, but couldn't muster much. According to Keith Cavanaugh of TerrapinTimes.com, Maryland is looking at Tate as a running back. I'm far from a scout or analyst, but I have trouble seeing him playing tailback at the collegiate level, other than on a situational basis.

The debate on his college position has actually been between wide receiver and safety.

"I think he's going to be a pure wide receiver," said ESPN color analyst Tom Luginbill during the broadcast. "...he's got a physically imposing frame."

Tate's partner in the DeMatha defensive backfield, however, was extremely impressive. Jonathan Mason flew all over the field all day long. According to Rivals.com, Mason doesn't have any DI offers, but if that's true, I have to believe it'll change soon.

As for Tate, despite the fact that he (and the DeMatha offense) couldn't get much going from a statistical standpoint, he looks like the real deal at wide receiver. He's physical, has good speed and great hands.

This is definitely stating the obvious, but whatever DI school is lucky enough to land Tate is getting a complete player that can make an immediate impact.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:26 AM | | Comments (1)
        
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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

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Area high school commitments -- 2009
Area high school commitments -- 2008
Maryland's 2012 football commitments
Maryland's 2011 football recruiting class
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Maryland's 2009 football recruiting class
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