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December 28, 2007

Season recap: Justin Gilbert

As a 6-foot-2, 215-pound sophomore, the odds of Richmond (Va.) Monacan offensive lineman Justin Gilbert becoming a Division I player at that position were essentially nonexistent.

Two years, four inches and 65 pounds later, Gilbert is the happy beneficiary of a startling growth spurt that allowed him to beat those odds.

According to Danny Parsons, Gilbert’s coach at Monacan, the 6-foot-6, 280-pound Terps offensive tackle commitment is still adapting to that unforeseen body transformation.

“I think he’s still getting used to carrying that weight,” Parsons said. “He got so big so fast. Heck, he might even grow another inch. He might even get to 6-7. ... He’s never been a fat kid or muscled up -- just a tall thinner guy who just kept on growing, got bigger and bigger. He’s never been a big overweight guy or anything like that. You look at him and you can tell he’ll be able to, with [Maryland’s] weight program, that he’ll be able to put on an easy 20-25 pounds.”

During his senior season, Gilbert played both ways for Monacan, accumulating 22 tackles, one quarterback hurry and one forced fumble, despite missing three and a half games on defense due to an ankle injury.

A Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch All-Metro selection, Gilbert helped guide Monacan to a 6-5 record and the program’s first playoff berth since the 2000 season. According to Parsons, Monacan has had several recent players go from prep school or junior college to the Division I level, but Gilbert -- to Parsons’ knowledge -- is the first direct high school to DI Monacan player.

Parsons said Monacan’s on-field success was due in some part to Gilbert’s individual improvement.

“He’s gotten more aggressive,” Parsons said, “and his technique has gotten so much better. He’s always gone to a lot of camps and always worked on his individual techniques as well as hand placement. He also worked on strength in the weight room and he’s gotten quicker in the feet. That’s what [coaches] really look for. He can run a 5.0 40, so he runs pretty well for a kid that size. He’s got some athletic ability.”

Maryland wasn’t the first school to recognize that athletic ability (and size), but the Terps were one of the biggest. Army, East Carolina, Marshall, Richmond and James Madison were some of the schools recruiting Gilbert, and Virginia Tech also came forward with a grayshirt offer.

According to Parsons, the Terps weren’t all that interested in Gilbert based on his tape. But when he came up to College Park for Maryland’s summer camp, the coaches were sold on his potential. One factor that ultimately sold Gilbert on Maryland over Virginia Tech was the business program.

“I know his grades are very good,” Parsons said. “He’s got a GPA higher than a 3.5. He’s a good kid, well liked by teachers, stuff like that. That’s what I told [Maryland offensive line] coach [Tom] Brattan -- he’s a typical offensive lineman. You never hear about an offensive lineman getting in trouble ... so he’s one of those guys. He’s a little bit of a country type kid -- likes to hunt, stuff like that.”

As for football, Parsons has high expectations for his star left tackle when he arrives in College Park, but notes that Gilbert’s development will take some time.

“I talked to coach Brattan, [and Justin's] going to be a redshirt,” Parsons said. “They’ll beef him up, let him learn the systems. As a redshirt freshman, he’s probably not going to crack the lineup then, but as a redshirt sophomore, he’ll crack the two-deep.

“He’s smart, runs well and has good feet. So he has all that going for him. Now he really looks the part. ... I know [Maryland puts] out some good linemen. He’s got that build and I think he’s got the work ethic. Maybe he can even go to the next level. I don’t know if that’s possible, but hey, there’s always a shot.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:26 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Season recaps
        

December 24, 2007

Franklin, leftover links

Maryland football fans got a big boost yesterday on the recruiting front -- and it didn’t even involve a new commitment.

With the hiring of offensive coordinator/recruiting guru James Franklin from Kansas State, the Terps are bringing back a two-time Rivals.com top-25 recruiter in the nation, and a coach that was responsible for recruiting D.C. and Prince George’s County -- among other local areas -- during his five-year stint in College Park earlier this decade.

The move could help combat the D.C. recruiting juggernaut that is Illinois, led by former Terps assistant Mike Locksley.

Here are some notable Franklin-related links:

• Kansas State dual-threat quarterback commit Chris Harper might be one to watch for Terps fans. Here’s what Harper -- a four-star athlete -- told The Manhattan (Kan.) Mercury about how Franklin’s departure affects his recruitment.

He said he would go back to his previous list of schools that included Oregon, Missouri, Illinois and Notre Dame. Harper, who announced his commitment to K-State at the same press conference as Wichita East's Arthur Brown, said he isn't necessarily interested in following Franklin to Maryland.

"I'm still committed to K-State right now, but I'm just going to re-think things and see what I can do," he said. "Maryland never recruited me, so I don't know about that. It's just hard to know what I want to do right now.

This article from The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal doesn’t mention Maryland as a possible destination for Harper, but does note that Harper considers himself a decommitment.

• Franklin was kind enough to participate in a recruiting Q&A for our site almost three years ago. It’s an interesting read for a couple reasons -- 1.) You get a sense for his personality, and why he’s been such a good recruiter in the past, and 2.) It’s always entertaining to read opinions on a recruiting class three years later, knowing now what hits (Chris Turner) and misses (Melvin Alaeze) the class contained.

Leftover links from last week that got lost in the wake of the Bobby Maze commitment.

• Ever wonder what Ater Majok has been up to since leaving Australia for the U.S.? According to The Washington Post, it’s been non-stop basketball for the 6-foot-10 power forward, who has been playing with the Heat Basketball Academy in Martinsville, Va. The academy is an upstart basketball team that makes academics optional to its players.

The Heat Basketball Academy doesn't own a school building, doesn't offer classes, doesn't employ teachers and doesn't issue grades. Rather, it's a haven for 17- to 21-year-olds who want to play elite basketball while pursuing their own academic agendas. Some Heat players are enrolled at a local private high school; some have graduated high school but lack qualifying scores on the SAT; some have attended college but want attention from bigger universities; and some are just visiting from Australia and Nigeria.

The Roanoke (Va.) Times offers its own take on the academy, which gives a glimpse into how Majok’s recruitment is being handled.

On Monday, the Heat players were released for a holiday break. They'll return in early January to begin the second half of their 28-game schedule, which concludes March 7.

By then, perhaps Ater Majok will have made his college choice. He has yet to hint publicly where he's leaning. Ater has been on official visits to Baylor and Maryland. UConn coach Jim Calhoun has flown in twice to watch him play. A host of others have offered him scholarships.

"It's exciting, but I'm just a basketball player," he said. "I let the [Heat] coaches handle all that. I know they will guide me in the right direction."

• When word broke a couple weeks ago about the ACC denying Maryland center commitment Gus Gilchrist’s eligibility appeal, there was some confusion as to just how much eligibility he would have. The Roanoke Times got some clarification on the Gilchrist situation, and it’s not good news for the one-time Virginia Tech signee.

Gilchrist had talked about the possibility of joining the team after the end of first-semester classes and beginning his eligibility next fall at the latest, but ACC rules require a player to sit out one season when transferring from one conference school to another.

Moreover, Gilchrist will lose a year's eligibility, ACC official Shane Lyons said Wednesday. Tech gave Gilchrist a release from his letter-of-intent but that didn't matter.

"Part of the intent is to prevent players from hopping from one school to another and creating hard feelings," Lyons said.

Recruiting Report programming note: I’m back home in Michigan for the holidays, so there probably won’t be another post from me for a few days. Check back later this week for a season recap of Terps offensive tackle commitment Justin Gilbert and other regularly-scheduled material.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:39 AM | | Comments (3)
        

December 21, 2007

New Terps basketball commitment

Well this one came out of nowhere.

Both TurtleSportsReport.com and TerrapinTimes.com are reporting that Maryland has added former Oklahoma and current Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College guard Bobby Maze to its 2008 recruiting class.

Maze, 6 feet 2, 180 pounds, has taken a circuitous rout to College Park. He starred at Suitland High School, playing AAU ball with Kevin Durant and North Carolina’s Tywon Lawson on the D.C. Devils.

After being named honorable mention All-Met by The Washington Post in 2004 during his senior year, Maze took his game to Patterson (N.C.) Prep to get his grades in order.

At Patterson, Maze began receiving some pretty lofty comparisons.

“Everyone’s been saying I look just like Allen Iverson,” said the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Patterson School (N.C.) guard. “We’re going to do a commercial together.”
Maze is joking about the commercial, but his game has been anything but humorous lately.

The haircut, headband and sleeve on his arm aren’t the only thing that Maze and Iverson have had in common lately. Maze, who averaged 26 points per game last season as a senior at Suitland High (Md.), has shown that he can get by defenders virtually at will and get to the basket.

After weighing offers from Oklahoma, Wake Forest, Cincinnati, Kansas State and Seton Hall, according to DeaconSports.com, Maze chose the Sooners.

A broken foot sidelined Maze for the first seven games of his freshman season at Oklahoma, but he rebounded by averaging 5.6 points and 2.1 assists in 22 games for the Sooners.

After the conclusion of the 2006-07 season, however, Maze was released from the Oklahoma program, a move that was brought on by “practice habits and overall attitude,” according to the Tulsa (Okla.) World.

"Bobby and I met last week and we came to an agreement that he and our program will part ways," OU coach Jeff Capel said in a statement. "This decision is best for Bobby and for our team."

No more details were offered, and Maze could not be reached for comment. However, sources close to the program said that Maze's freshman season was marked by immaturity and poor decisions, and that pattern continued into the first weeks of OU's offseason.

Maze told TSR’s Jeff Ermann that he wasn’t dismissed from the Sooners. Rather, he and Capel “came to an understanding.”

After leaving Norman, Okla., Maze moved on to Hutchinson, Kan., where he’s currently averaging approximately 20 points and 7 assists per game for the traditional JuCo power.

Maze will have two years of eligibility remaining when he joins the Terps next fall.

Barring attrition, Maryland has now filled its scholarship allotment for the 2008-09 season. The Terps are currently using 12 of out 13 scholarships. UM will lose Bambale Osby and James Gist to graduation, but will add Sean Mosley, Gus Gilchrist and Maze to the mix, giving them 13 scholarship players.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:44 AM | | Comments (16)
        

December 20, 2007

Five questions: Maryland's Pa. football recruiting

Bringing a little Pennsylvania perspective to today’s edition of ‘Five questions’ is Chris Dokish, contributing editor and recruiting writer at the Pittsburgh Sports Report.

Dokish, who has also written for CollegeHoopsNet.com, Insiders.com (now Scout.com) and Rivals.com, recently released his Pennsylvania Top 50 College Prospects list.

Dokish answered five questions via e-mail on the Terps' football recruiting presence in the Keystone State.

1.) What are your impressions of 2008 Terps defensive end commitment Tyler Urban? How is he regarded among Pennsylvania high school football followers? How do you expect him to fare in college?

Urban is what you think of when you think of hard-nosed western Pa. football players. I have him ranked No. 43 in the state because he isn't an elite athlete, and therefore I don't know if he will ever be a star. On the other hand, he [is unlikely to] flop since his game is built on physical and mental toughness, and those traits don't go away. He is definitely the type of player a program needs to be successful because you never have to worry about him. He is what he is -- a tough kid that you can always depend on.

2.) How big of a deal was it for the Terps to fend off Pitt and West Virginia and hold on to Urban?

Pitt is loaded with young defensive ends, so I wouldn't call Urban a must get for them. But it also shows you that, despite not being desperate for a young defensive end, they still liked him enough to offer. He would have fit in well with West Virginia, though, and he is the type of prospect that they turn into a star. I think it hurt West Virginia more because they are desperate to make inroads in the Pittsburgh area, and they usually don't get kids that Pitt wants. So it's good for the Terps to steal a Pittsburgh-area kid that West Virginia no doubt thought they had a great shot to steal from Pitt. It's unusual for Pitt and West Virginia to be two of three teams on a kid, and the kid chooses the third team. But I don't think it will mean anything for the future. In the Pittsburgh area, as long as Dave Wannstedt is at Pitt, the pecking order is usually Pitt, then Penn State, then West Virginia.

3.) What are your impressions of 2008 Maryland offensive tackle commitment R.J. Dill? How is he regarded in the state? What do you expect from him in college?

Dill is not in my top 50, though I'm sure he is in some other top 50s because he had a decent offer list. But the truth is, any time a kid is that big and can move at all, he is going to get offers because you aren't going to find many 17-year old boys who are 6 feet 7 and 270 pounds, and who can run without falling down. That's a lot of body to operate at that age. He needs to put on a lot of good weight and he isn't athletic enough to play left tackle, so his ceiling isn't probably very high, but most offensive linemen are projects at that age. But when he is a redshirt junior, you never know what you may have with him because you can't judge his heart and intangibles until he is actually playing in college for a few years. There are always players who make something out of themselves despite having less than great physical ability. They just need to find other ways to get it done.

4.) Are there any 2009 Pa. kids that you know of that Maryland is going after? Are there any kids that the Terps should be looking at?

It's too early to know who the '09 kids are looking at, but the city of Harrisburg is not far from Maryland and they have a lot of talent there from two schools -- Harrisburg High School and Bishop McDevitt High School (where Jaimie Thomas is from, of course). They each had three top 50 players for me this year and will have some next year, too. The kids from Harrisburg HS have a hard time qualifying so you can always steal a star-caliber player late from that school, if they qualify. A top DE from Central Dauphin High School in Harrisburg, named Jack Lippert, has also heard from Maryland for next year, but he will be tough to get. His teammate, Justin Shirk, is an early favorite for me. He is a QB with a LB mentality and he is the best in the state, by far, at throwing the javelin, so you know he has the arm. Both Pitt and Penn State have a lot of young QBs, so they may not go after him, but he is good. There will be many others, as usual, and I think Maryland's best chance is central and eastern Pa. because they tend to consider Maryland more local than the Pittsburgh-area schools.

5.) How is Maryland perceived in Pennsylvania? Can the Terps be an out-of-state program that steals an occasional Pa. player, or at least a viable alternative for non-Penn State and Pitt kids?

Obviously Maryland is a good program, but with Wannstedt recruiting so well at Pitt, the always looming Penn State, and the hot program of West Virginia, the Terps will be hard-pressed to steal an elite player out of the state. Then, you have Ohio State, Michigan, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Illinois, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, USC, etc., who come in for the top players. And it would be just as hard for Pitt, as an example, to get the elite kids out of Maryland. Even the elite programs have a hard time routinely getting the top prospects out of Pa. It's a bloodbath every year and Maryland will have to be much more successful on the field to have a chance at one of the elite prospects.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:34 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Five questions
        

December 19, 2007

Report: Terps lose CB commit

A bit of bad news for Terps fans on the football recruiting front.

Rivals.com is reporting that H.D. Woodson (D.C.) cornerback Tavon Wilson has switched his verbal commitment from Maryland to Illinois.

Wilson becomes the Illini’s second D.C. commitment for its 2008 class, joining Dunbar defensive tackle Reggie Ellis. Other notable D.C. natives on Illinois' roster include receiver Arrelious Benn and defensive back Vontae Davis.

Here's a link to a list of corners that, at one time or another, reportedly received recruiting interest from Maryland. Anyone out there have a replacement cornerback recruit in mind?

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:34 AM | | Comments (7)
        

December 18, 2007

Season recap: Davin Meggett

Before the high school football season, Surrattsville running back and 2008 Maryland football commitment Davin Meggett was known more for his famous father, former New York Giants running back Dave Meggett, than anything else.

But after a season in which Meggett gained 1,784 yards rushing and 27 touchdowns on 169 carries, while also catching nine passes for 410 yards and six touchdowns, it’s probably safe to say he’s made a name for himself.

While Division I schools – save for Maryland – were slow to recognize Meggett’s potential, Surrattsville head coach Tom Green was unsurprised with his star running back’s breakout senior year.

“I was expecting it,” Green said. “But this summer I saw him in person and saw the times he was running. If they didn’t offer, it was like, ‘well, what are you looking for?’ That’s what I was curious about -- the schools that didn’t offer him. Doing the things he was doing, I was a little baffled. But [his season] was expected for me. I knew the kind of talent he had.”

Green said that Meggett has always been fast, noting that he clocked multiple hand-timed 10.8 times in the 100 over the summer. But for some reason, that undefined ‘football speed’ eluded Meggett, particularly on his junior year film.

For whatever reason, that changed prior to Meggett’s senior year.

“I think the game, just playing more football … the game just slowed down for him,” Green said. “Once you know what’s going on and what’s going to happen, you can read the blocks. He made better decisions and trusted where he should go with the ball.”

With Meggett leading a potent Hornets offense, Surrattsville secured its first playoff berth in school history. The team finished with a 10-2 record, falling in the 1A south regional final against eventual state champion Dunbar.

Green describes Meggett as an every-down power back with great speed that can catch the ball out of the backfield. Meggett, a 3.2 student, impressed Green this year beyond the football field as well.

“A lot of his leadership abilities are doing the right things in school, in the hallways and in the classrooms,” Green said. “Helping kids in study hall, tutoring other kids and helping them bring their grades up. A lot of his leadership abilities off the field were probably just as important as what he did on the field.”

While Meggett’s senior year was much better than most expected, Green thinks that flying under the radar suited the future Terp well.

“I’m kind of happy that he was underrated because that made him work hard,” Green said. “He was okay with it. The fact that he did get the offer from Maryland, he knows his work is being recognized.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 12:03 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Season recaps
        

December 17, 2007

Quick weekend wrap

On the heels of St. Benedict’s upset win over Oak Hill (Va.) on Thursday, the Newark, N.J. school’s two biggest stars have seen some significant developments in their recruitments.

According to Adam Zagoria of the Herald News, ’09 Terp target Greg Echenique’s play in the victory impressed Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski enough that he offered the Venezuelan native a scholarship. Here’s Zagoria’s take on Echenique and the Duke offer.

We think there's a strong chance Echenique ends up at Duke, although Miami, Maryland, Villanova, Penn, Rutgers and others are involved.

St. Benedict’s junior point guard Tamir Jackson scored 29 in the victory, and raised the awareness of numerous college coaches around the country in the process. No word on whether Maryland (who Jackson has expressed interest in previously) is among the newly interested.

Jackson, who holds offers from Alabama-Birmingham, Clemson, South Carolina, Miami and Virginia Tech, according to his father, chose the right night to have the performance of his life. Memphis coach John Calipari, Creighton coach Dana Altman, LSU coach John Brady and assistants from Louisville and Kentucky were all on hand.

Sean Mosley led St. Frances to 56-47 win over Simon Gratz of Philadelphia on Saturday.

Sean Mosley and Wayne Sparrow combined for 45 points as the Panthers (6-2) won the National Cancer Society Basketball Classic at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia.

• The weekend stats for 2009 Maryland women’s point guard commitment Dara Taylor: 15 points and 5 assists in a 54-46 loss for Caravel (Del.) Academy to Hodgson Vo-Tech on Friday; 8 points, 12 assists and 5 steals in a 61-44 win over Cape Henlopen on Saturday; 8 points, 7 assists and 5 steals in a 52-41 loss to St. Michael Academy of New York City yesterday.

Dee Liles and her Gulf Coast (Fla.) Community College squad is in the midst of a 21-day layoff, but will return to action Dec. 29. Thus far, the 2008 Terps women’s commit has helped lead the Commodores to a 12-0 record and the No. 1 junior college ranking in the college. Liles is currently averaging 10 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 12:00 PM | | Comments (0)
        

December 14, 2007

Weekly recruiting roundup

Looks like Gus Gilchrist will have to wait a bit longer to suit up for the Terps than originally thought.

The Washington Post reported today that Gilchrist will not be eligible to play for the Terps “until the middle of next season.”

Atlantic Coast Conference associate commissioner Shane Lyons said that conference policy stipulates that if a recruit signs a National Letter-of-Intent with one member school but winds up enrolling at another school, that player must sit out one year of competition and lose one year of eligibility.

Greg Echenique’s St. Benedict’s (N.J.) team pulled a big upset over Oak Hill (Va.) – the No. 1 high school team in the country – last night on ESPN. But the story of game was St. Benedict’s junior point guard Tamir Jackson, who dropped 29 points on 11-of-19 shooting (and has expressed some Maryland interest in the past).

The 6-2 Jackson hit 11 of 18 shots, including 3 of 6 three-pointers, and scored eight points in the final 2:32. He said he's being recruited by Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, Virginia and Pennsylvania and hopes there will "be more after tonight."

• More evidence that 2008 Terp target Ater Majok has blown up. JournalInquirer.com reports that Majok is hearing from Maryland, West Virginia and Oregon among a slew of others.

UConn has stepped up its recruiting effort for 6-9 forward Ater Majok, a Sudan refugee now living in Australia. Unfortunately for the Huskies, so has every other Division I team that has seen him play and the list of interested schools is growing.

• With the season behind him and All-Tidewater Player of the Year honors under his belt, Virginia Beach (Va.) Salem running back Kevin Whaley is ready to focus on recruiting. According to The Virginian-Pilot, Whaley continues to list Maryland as one his possible destinations.

“I’m still kind of open,” said Whaley, the Abe Goldblatt All-Tidewater Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. “But it’s going to be soon.”

Whaley, South Hampton Roads’ all-time leading rusher, has scholarship offers from more than a dozen college programs, including Marshall, Maryland, Michigan State, Penn State, Virginia and Virginia Tech. He took his first visit – to the University of Connecticut – on Dec. 1 and is likely to take more trips after the holidays.

The Virginian-Pilot also presented its All-Tidewater team this week. Maryland wide receiver commitment Kerry Boykins made the second-team, but that doesn’t really tell the story of his talent.

A note on Boykins -- he's clearly a first-team talent. He was first-team All-Tidewater as a junior, but he missed a good bit of his senior season due to a knee injury. Without his postseason production, he likely wouldn't have made second-team All-Tidewater this year. In the end, given the choices we were faced with, we could not justify giving him a first-team spot this year. But we definitely felt he deserved a second-team spot.

• D.C.-area Terps fans have another chance to see Maryland running back commitment Davin Meggett in action before he arrives at College Park. Meggett will take part in the Ralph Paden Prince George’s County All-Star Game, which takes place noon tomorrow at Northwestern High School.

For the South, keep an eye on Surrattsville RB Davin Meggett, Suitland WR Tavon Green and Forestville QB Kevin Dickerson.

• Terps fans can get a look at DeMatha wide receiver Kenny Tate in January. Tate, along with former Maryland targets Lamaar Thomas and Ryan Williams, will take part in the nationally televised U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Friendly running back Lamaar Thomas became the third area player chosen to play in next month's U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. Joining Thomas on the 42-man East roster are wide receiver Kenny Tate of DeMatha and running back Ryan Williams of Stonewall Jackson.

• It’s fairly obvious that reeling in a top-flight quarterback is at or near the top of Maryland’s 2009 football recruiting wish list. One name worth watching is Tajh Boyd from Hampton (Va.) Phoebus. The Daily Press named Boyd its No. 1 player to watch in 2008 for the Newport News area.

"He had a heck of a season," Phoebus coach Bill Dee said.

He should only get better. During the offseason, Boyd plans to attend as many camps as he can -- including the Army All-American Combine in San Antonio as well as an Elite 11 at Penn State. Boyd already has four offers from Division I-A programs -- Virginia, Virginia Tech, Boston College and Maryland. More will come.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:35 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

December 13, 2007

Season recap: Cody Blue

Maryland defensive tackle commitment Cody Blue was a marked man all season long.

Word traveled fast throughout the Howard County high school football scene when Blue, a 6-foot-5, 275-pounder at Wilde Lake, committed to the Terps last May.

So when Blue suited up for the Wildecats this fall, high school football observers might have expected to see a dominating force, something that was neither fair or realistic according to Wilde Lake head coach Doug DuVall.

“It’s always hard because [fans] don’t quite realize that often times big linemen signed to Division I schools are signed for their ability growth-wise, strength-wise,” DuVall said. “So you might find better high school players, but because they’re 5’10 and 195, [they might not play DI]. But they may be a better player at this point.

“[People will think], ‘a kid that big, he just ought to take the whole game over by himself.’ Well he takes his section over, but linemen just don’t [take games over]. ... The really good high school linemen [colleges are] looking for, it’s almost like in race horses. [They’re] looking for the pedigree, the build. That’s what they’re looking for in a lineman. Kids that are going to be big, carry 300 pounds and can run.”

In DuVall’s opinion, that description fits Blue perfectly. He’s got the size with the room to add some weight, and he ran a 4.9 40-yard dash at Maryland’s summer football camp.

But all the potential/productivity discussion is not to say that Blue had a down year -- quite the contrary. A co-captain, Blue recorded 38 tackles and 4 sacks on the season, helping Wilde Lake to a 10-3 season and a 3A semifinal appearance.

And perhaps most importantly, Blue got better with each game.

“Against North Harford in our quarterfinal he really had a great game,” DuVall said. “He sacked the quarterback and shut the option down. As the season went on he got better and better. In all the playoff games he played really well.”

DuVall likens Blue’s potential to another former Wilde Lake standout, current Terps offensive lineman Dane Randolph. While they play on different sides of the ball, Blue possesses the same size and strength as Randolph, in addition to having slightly better speed.

Blue, a Maryland fan since middle school, has really been working since that time toward becoming a Terp. Add that desire to his measureables and consistent improvement, and DuVall thinks Maryland is getting a great prospect.

“I think he’ll be fine,” DuVall said. “He’s one of those kids that by the time he’s a senior, he could be an all-ACC player because he’s big and he can run and he’s athletic. ... He’s got great lateral speed, playing up and down the line of scrimmage. He can get to that corner in a hurry and that’s important at the collegiate level because the game's so wide open. That’s a big plus that he can run sideways. ... Cody’s going to be a good player.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:51 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Season recaps
        

December 12, 2007

Season recap: Masengo Kabongo

The senior season of Maryland defensive tackle commitment Masengo Kabongo was not without its fair share of adversity.

Fairfield (Conn.) Prep was 3-1 heading in to an Oct. 12 date with Cheshire, but the Jesuits suffered a humbling 42-7 loss that day. According to Fairfield Prep head coach Rich Magdon, the entire team played “terrible” -- Kabongo included. But Magdon’s star defensive tackle, a 3.3 student, may have been distracted thanks to an academic issue at school.

“I’ll tell you what; he got in a jam in school that day,” Magdon said. “He had a real big test the last period of the day. He said he wasn’t prepared for it, he went into the teacher’s classroom two periods before and said he didn’t feel good.”

But Kabongo felt just fine, and somehow the teacher got wind of his excuse. That revelation earned Kabongo a trip to the Dean of Students office.

“He got ripped,” Magdon said. “That might have deflated him on that given day.”

That didn’t excuse his poor play that day, said Magdon, but for an academically-conscious kid like Kabongo, it was certainly something that weighed on his mind.

Kabongo and Fairfield regrouped and rallied following the Cheshire loss, winning their last five games to finish the season at 8-2. While it wasn’t enough to earn a playoff berth, Magdon felt the Cheshire loss was a turning point for his team, and Kabongo.

“Well he responded by playing with more enthusiasm and more intensity,” Magdon said. “He had a good season. Against the run he was very, very tough. A lot of teams would try him and then just go the other way. Very few people would run at him with a lot of success and they wouldn’t even try it. They’d test him early and then go away from him. He didn’t have as many sacks as last season, but they ran away from him.”

Kabongo recorded 47 tackles, including 11 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 8 quarterback knockdowns and 3 forced fumbles on the season.

While his statistics were down from his junior season, Kabongo’s performance and potential has kept other schools to continue courting the future Terp. Magdon still receives mail inquiring about Kabongo from Miami, Oregon, Penn State, Purdue and Virginia, while still fielding the occasional phone call from Boston College, Florida and Illinois.

“People are still bugging him from other places,” Magdon said. “His head’s on right and he’s serious about Maryland and that’s where he really wants to go and I think he’ll do very well.

“There’s no worry in my mind [of Kabongo switching commitments]. He really got along well with the Illinois coaches and thinks they’re going to be a real national power, but I think he’s set with Maryland. He likes [Director of Character of Education] Kevin [Glover] and he likes [defensive line coach] Dave [Sollazzo] and he likes Coach Fridge. And the big thing is he knows Maryland is an excellent academic school. Believe it or not, that means a lot to him.”

Magdon thinks Kabongo will ultimately be a starter for the Terps, noting that Sollazzo sees him as more than a situational player. It’ll be a challenge for the young defensive tackle, but Magdon feels Kabongo will mature and ultimately flourish in College Park.

“He’s a jovial kid,” Magdon said. “He’s a real likeable kid. He’s always in a pretty good mood, he’s very congenial and very jovial. But he’s a kid. Maska hasn’t turned 17 yet -- he’ll turn 17 in May, so he’s still a pup in a lot of ways. Even that day with the exam, you get mad at him, but you shrug it off. He’s like a big Saint Bernard.

“Is it going to be a challenge? Sure it’s going to be a challenge. He’s going from high school to the Atlantic Coast Conference. He’s going to be a small fish in big pond, but if he keeps his head on and doesn’t get distracted he’ll be fine -- both in the classroom and on the football field.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:55 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Season recaps
        

December 10, 2007

Quick weekend wrap

• South Kent (Conn.) small forward and 2009 Maryland commitment Jin Soo Kim scored 11 points in an 81-79 loss to Patterson (N.C.) School on Saturday.

... SKS had the ball with 8 seconds left and missed a jump shot, but Jin Soo Kim got the rebound and put it back in for what we thought was a game tying put back. However, the time expired on the game clock before the ball left his hands ending the game.

Sean Mosley led St. Frances with 27 points in Friday night’s 73-44 win over New Town. The Panthers fell to Paul IV 57-48 Sunday.

Dara Taylor led Caravel (Del.) Academy to a 55-46 win over Glasgow on Thursday. The 2009 Maryland women’s basketball point guard commit had 16 points and 8 assists in the win.

• Former 2008 Terps shooting guard target Chris Turner verbally committed to Oregon State.

• Maryland 2008 defensive tackle target Zach Kerr and his Quince Orchard team won the Class 4A state championship Friday with a 36-30 win over Arundel.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:56 AM | | Comments (0)
        

December 7, 2007

Weekly recruiting roundup

It wasn’t easy getting info on Hargrave Military Academy this season (consult my Monday commitment game recaps for proof), but Mike Farrell of Rivals.com managed to get a breakdown of several Tigers from Hargrave head coach Robert Prunty.

No mention of Zach Brown in the piece, but Prunty did weigh in on Terps tight end commitment Devonte Campbell.

"He's a big tight end," he said. "He's a big, strong athletic guy, he's very athletic."

Masengo Kabongo’s Fairfield Prep team was left out of the Connecticut high school playoffs despite an 8-2 record. The Fairfield (Conn.) Minuteman notes that it was still a solid season for the Jesuits – due in large part to Kabongo.

Kabongo, a native of Nigeria who has played football only for the last five years, has verbally committed to Maryland, which broke the hearts of several major college recruiters, such as Notre Dame, Boston College, Duke, Florida, and Clemson. Kabongo was named All-SCC this season and a lock to repeat as All-State. His statistics are down from the previous season, but certainly strong with 47 tackles and 5.5 sacks. The previous season he racked up 87 tackles and 10 sacks. The drop off in stats has more to do with other teams double-teaming Kabongo on almost every play, according to Magdon.

• Just one instate Terps target is still aiming for a state championship. Quince Orchard (13-0) and defensive tackle Zach Kerr take on Arundel (13-0) tonight at M&T Bank Stadium.

HometownAnnapolis.com previews the matchup and makes mention of Kerr’s impact.

The front four in Quince Orchard's 4-3 defense have each attracted Division I offers, Mencarini said. Senior two-way lineman Zach Kerr has received 10 to 15 offers including Maryland, Penn State and Virginia Tech and headlines both stout lines for the Cougars.

• For those who missed it, The Sun’s high school basketball preview came out earlier this week, and St. Frances guard and future Terp Sean Mosley got top billing along with Mount St. Joseph center and Georgetown commit Henry Sims.

Click here for the story, which includes a video interview with Mosley.

• The word is out on 2008 Terps power forward target Ater Majok. The Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World offers this nugget on who’s competing against the Terps for Majok’s services.

Recruiting: KU, UConn, Cincinnati and many others are looking at recruiting Ater Majok, a 6-10, 220 senior from Sudan, Rivals.com reports.

The Washington Post looks at Montrose Christian head coach Stu Vetter’s enviable ‘problem’ -- figuring out the right combinations for the similarly sized (and heavily recruited) trio of Isaiah Armwood, Tristan Spurlock and Terrell Vinson.

The competition has driven the trio to improve their games. Spurlock, listed at 6 feet 7 and 220 pounds, is regarded as a better shooter. Armwood, at 6-8 and 195, is considered more athletic and a better shot blocker. Vinson (6-7, 195) is considered by Montrose Coach Stu Vetter to be one of the smartest players he's ever had. Vinson averaged 12 points per game last season, Spurlock 9.8 and Armwood 5.7.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:25 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

December 6, 2007

Introducing Dara Taylor

Following a furious rally by visiting Wilmington (Del.) Delcastle Tuesday night, Caravel Academy girls basketball coach Kristin Caldwell called a timeout to settle her team.

But one Caravel player was too excitable to be settled down.

Maryland point guard commitment Dara Taylor couldn’t help but speak her mind.

“We got down by like two points and I just remember Coach Caldwell talking in the huddle and I just spoke up and tried to hype everybody up,” Taylor said. “I probably wouldn’t have ever done that before, but it just came out of me. I’m trying to be a leader.”

The plan worked as Caravel cruised to a 46-36 win, led by Taylor’s 18 points.

While Taylor, a junior, had in the past let her talent do the talking, her timeout rallying cry was just the latest in a concerted effort to become more of a vocal leader.

“We graduated a point guard from our team that now plays at Richmond and [Dara and I] talked about it all summer that this year, as a junior, she’ll have a lot more leadership responsibilities on her shoulders,” Caldwell said. “She really embraced it. She’s always been a hard worker. Now she’s more vocal. The kids have really responded very well. She has everyone’s respect.”

Taylor’s newfound loquaciousness was a much-discussed plan between point guard and coach, but it proved to be a bit of surprise to the rest of the Caravel squad.

“I think a lot of people were shocked because I’m kind of laid back and quiet and shy,” Taylor said. “The first day of practice this year I just came out screaming and jumping up and down and being really energetic. A lot of people weren’t expecting it, but they were sparked by it and now they’re getting used to it.”

Taylor, who’s averaging 14 points and 6 assists per game this season for Caravel (2-1), is still getting adjusted to her role as a vocal leader, but said she realizes she has two years to perfect it before arriving in College Park.

She’s also started to realize just how surreal it is to be committed to a program and coach that she has watched on television for so many years.

“Actually before this summer I’d never talked to [Maryland coach Brenda Frese],” Taylor said. “I always just saw her on TV and idolized her because of the energy that she brings on the sideline. The very first time I talked to her I was really nervous, but we’ve built up a good relationship ... Every time I’m [in College Park], it’s just crazy to think that that’s going to be my coach.”

The Terps offered Taylor, 5-foot-6, a scholarship in August. After getting over the initial astonishment on the car ride from College Park back to Delaware (“I just sat in the back seat in shock”), Taylor was able to use the past four months to figure out the differences between Maryland and Penn State -- the runner-up for her services.

When Taylor came to a decision early last week, she phoned Frese of her decision. Needless to say, the Terps coach was excited to reel in her first commitment of the 2009 class.

“I think she screamed into the phone and was kind of yelling, but it was good to see she was excited because I was excited,” Taylor said.

As for Taylor’s game, Caldwell says her star point guard -- who averaged 13 points, 6 assists and 4 steals per game as a sophomore -- has all the tools you want in a floor general.

“First of all she is lightning quick and fast,” Caldwell said. “She is able to play the game at a really fast pace, but I think what has really impressed me is now she’s getting a feel for when to play fast and when to slow it down. She shoots great off the dribble and goes hard to the rim; great defensively on the ball and she’s pretty tough.”

Taylor now has two high school seasons before arriving in College Park. While she’s excited about her team’s prospects and loves her teammates and coach, the competitor in her can’t help but turn her eyes to her future at Maryland.

“I’m ready,” Taylor said. “I wish I could go tomorrow. But it’s definitely nice just to have it out of the way. It’s going to make the next year of high school a lot easier.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:36 AM | | Comments (2)
        

December 5, 2007

Magazine excerpt: Inside the Shell

TurtleSportsReport.com editor (and occasional Recruiting Report contributor) Jeff Ermann is set to launch Inside the Shell, a new magazine covering Maryland athletics, in mid-December. Ermann was nice enough to forward an excerpt from a feature piece in the inaugural issue.

The subject is Maryland basketball commitment Gus Gilchrist and the author of the piece is TurtleSportsReport.com's Seth Hoffman.

Gilchrist was a 6-foot-4 13-year-old who hadn't played organized basketball. He'd played pick-up and shot hoops in his backyard. His game was raw and he got hurt a lot because he didn't properly train his ever-sprouting body. During a growth spurt during his freshman year that ended with him standing 6-foot-7, he had trouble with his back and hamstring.

"I worked hard," Gilchrist says, "but I just didn't necessarily have somebody to show me the tools to get better."

For the most part, though, he was still under the radar when he signed with Virginia Tech in November of 2006. He'd transferred for his senior year to Progressive Christian Academy in Temple Hills, Md., where Woody coached, to gain more exposure by playing against top teams from around the country. Home-schooled for much of the year because of Progressive's NCAA accreditation issues, Gilchrist's stock exploded - he averaged nearly 30 points a game and his name shot up the national rankings.

After the mass shootings on the Virginia Tech campus in April of 2007, Gilchrist said he was rethinking his decision. Speculation swirled that Gilchrist was using the shootings as an excuse for changing his mind about Virginia Tech, that perhaps his relationship with the Tech staff had soured. Sources close to the situation said Hokies coach Seth Greenberg was infuriated; his staff, after all, had identified Gilchrist as a big-time prospect before anyone else and worked quickly to secure his commitment.

Hokie fans were doubly upset by the loss of a potential star and the fresh emotional wounds left by the killings. They also feared his highly-publicized de-commitment could plant a seed in the minds of many other recruits, both for football and basketball.

Internet message boards were filled with bile from Virginia Tech fans, directed at Gilchrist.

"I don't hope he tears his ACL, but I hope he has something else bad happen to him. I was pretty heated hearing what he had to say as far as his reasons for de-committing. Pretty cowardly in my opinion," wrote one Virginia Tech fan.

"You have got to be kidding me," posted another. "He used the worst shooting in United States History to back out of a binding agreement. Karma is gonna be hell to pay for that kid."

Click here for more information on Inside the Shell magazine.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 8:15 PM | | Comments (0)
        

Season recap: R.J. Dill

The height and weight dimensions of 6-foot-8, 280-pound R.J. Dill don’t necessarily scream out ‘basketball star,’ but that’s what the Maryland offensive tackle commitment initially envisioned for himself during his early high school years.

Toward the end of his junior season of football, however, the switch flipped for the Camp Hill, Pa. native. Dill began to realize that his athletic potential was on the football field, not the hardwood. According to Trinity head coach Jeff Boger, that realization was the right one in terms of potential. But Dill’s affinity for hoops was still important for his development as an offensive lineman.

“He’s not bad,” Boger said of Dill’s basketball-playing abilities. “For 6’8, 280 he can get up and down the court pretty good. He takes up space. He gives them height when they need it and he can score it at times. He’s not going to set the world on fire, even though he might tell you differently. But I mean he’s a good basketball player and it definitely helps him being a lineman because it just helps him with his feet. If you can move up and down the basketball court, you have the ability to be a good lineman.”

His nimble footwork and a revitalized focus on football – thanks in part to calls from dozens of college recruiters – set the stage for Dill to flourish as a senior. Defensively, he contributed 26 tackles, two forced fumbles and four quarterback hurries.

At the right tackle position, Dill paved the way for a Trinity rushing attack that accumulated 3,244 yards and 37 touchdowns. The Shamrocks averaged 5.7 yards per attempt throughout their 12-1 season, which ended in the district finals.

“I don’t know for sure, but I’d say the majority of those yards came because we were going to the right, which was the side he was on,” Boger said. “And I would say the same for the touchdowns. I would say the majority came from the right side.”

If there’s a knock on Dill’s play, it’s that he didn’t get much of an opportunity to develop his pass blocking skills thanks to Trinity’s Wing-T offense.

Still, Boger feels the potential is there, and when the Shamrocks did drop back, Dill held his own.

“We don’t pass that much,” Boger said, “but for what we did, he did fine. He’s going to see a lot of different stuff in college. But when he went to the combines for the colleges, [pass blocking is] what they really looked at. From my understanding, from the coaches that came through, he really showed some good pass blocking ability. It’s there -- it just needs to be harnessed more.”

Boger, who has coached Dill for three years on the Trinity varsity, cautions that his star offensive tackle is still ‘a young pup.’ In fact, Dill will still be 17 when he enrolls at College Park.

But according to Boger, the Terps are getting a hardworking player on the field, and an entertaining personality off it.

“They’re going to get a kid that is going to work hard and I think they’re going to enjoy him,” Boger said. “He’s silly at times, he has a good sense of humor and he’ll sweat a lot. He’ll do stuff and he sweats up a storm really quickly. It’s actually pretty funny.

“I’m sad to see him go, but four or five years from now, Maryland will be sad to see him go. We all have times when you have to go to the next level. But I look forward to seeing what he can do.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 12:05 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Season recaps
        

December 4, 2007

Season recap: Teddy Dargan

Teddy Dargan’s senior season got off to a rough start.

The Maryland commitment and Milford Mill defensive tackle broke a bone in his leg in June, putting his final year of high school football in question. But in early September, Dargan got some good news on the injury front.

“He got cleared a week before the first game,” said Milford Mill head coach Reggie White. “He was cleared to practice light ... but he wasn’t completely ready. Teams were double-teaming him and he was very apprehensive about his leg ... I knew he was a tough kid. He was like, ‘I’m going to get through this regardless.’”

As the season progressed, Dargan became more comfortable on his leg. He rebounded from his slow start to record 57 tackles, five sacks and two forced fumbles.

But during the week of the Franklin game -- the third to last game of the year -- Dargan came down with a nasty flu bug. The illness sidelined Dargan for the rest of year, which included single-digit Milford Mill losses to Franklin and Perry Hall.

“He makes us win [those games],” White said. “We lost one by seven (Franklin) and one by three (Perry Hall). We were on the goal line vs. Perry Hall and we would’ve run behind him because he plays offensive tackle as well.”

While it wasn’t the ideal senior year, White was pleased with Dargan’s ability to play through adversity and grasp some of the nuances of the defensive tackle position.

“He’s got to get faster, stronger, meaner,” White said. “[But] like I said, he’s a fast learner. He learned a lot of stuff real quick and was able to adapt to some of my teaching. He took a lot of stuff to the field. He learned to play at a lower level.”

Following a standout career at North Carolina A&T, White moved on to a five-year NFL career, starting with the San Diego Chargers in 1992. White’s tenure with the Chargers coincided with Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen joining San Diego’s staff.

Having played under Friedgen and developing "a lot of respect for the entire staff" over the years, White believes the Maryland coaches will do their best to keep Dargan motivated and continue his learning curve and overall development.

“Well I’ll tell you what, I think Maryland’s a great fit for him,” White said. “He’s going to be shocked to realize these guys are bigger and faster and stronger than him. He’s going to have to play and use the leverage tools [we’ve worked on]. But he’ll get adjusted. He’ll get his butt whipped, but then he’ll get adjusted. ... Everybody needs a good swift kick some time.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:01 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Season recaps
        

December 3, 2007

Football commitment game recaps

Here are your final high school game recaps of the 2007 season for Maryland’s football commitments. I’m still waiting on season statistics for a few players. Hopefully I’ll get those by next week.

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

Oscar Smith sophomore quarterback Phillip Sims threw for 470 yards and three touchdowns, but the Tigers fell to Westfield 24-21 in the Virginia Division 6 semifinals.

Boykins reeled in seven passes for 72 yards in his high school finale. North Carolina receiver commitment Todd Harrelson caught 15 passes for 349 yards and three touchdowns.

Unofficially, Boykins finished the season with 44 catches for 712 yards and 10 touchdowns. Oscar Smith was 13-1.

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

Wilde Lake was defeated by Damascus 35-6 in the Class 3A state semifinals.

Blue contributed two tackles and one sack.

For the season, Blue accumulated 38 tackles and four sacks. Wilde Lake finished 10-3.

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

Meggett finished the season with 1,784 yards rushing and 27 touchdowns on 169 carries. He also caught nine passes for 410 yards and six touchdowns. Surrattsville was 10-2.

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

Douglas finished the season with 2,078 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns on 233 carries. He also caught 10 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns. Hillside finished 11-3.

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

Hartsfield recorded 124 tackles, 10 sacks and two fumble recoveries on the season. He also caught four passes, including one touchdown as a tight end. Southeast Raleigh finished 8-4.

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

Chism registered 81 tackles, five interceptions and one fumble recovery returned for a touchdown from the cornerback position. At wide receiver, Chism caught 41 passes for 750 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 157 yards and one touchdown on 10 carries. Bishop McNamara finished 6-5.

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

Urban made 61 tackles, 5.5 sacks, six quarterback pressures, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery from the inside linebacker position. As Norwin’s starting fullback, Urban carried 80 times for 510 yards and 7 touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 38 yards and one touchdown. Norwin finished 7-4.

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

Dorsey finished his senior year with 50 catches for 902 yards and 11 touchdowns in addition to 168 yards rushing and three touchdowns on seven carries. Forestville was 5-5.

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

Francis notched 20 solo tackles, nine assists and two sacks on the year. Gonzaga finished its season at 4-5.

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

Lewis contributed 36 tackles, one sack, five tackles for loss, nine quarterback pressures and one recovered fumble. Lewis graded out at over 80 percent of his blocks on offense. Johnsonville finished 4-6.

R.J. Dill -- 6-foot-8, 280-pound offensive tackle from Camp Hill (Pa.) Trinity

Trinity finished 12-1.

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

Woodson finished 8-4.

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

Fairfield Prep finished 8-2.

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

Milford Mill finished 5-5.

Justin Gilbert -- 6-foot-6, 280-pound offensive tackle from Richmond (Va.) Monacan

Monacan finished 6-5.

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

The Hun School went 9-0 this season.

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 went 4-3-1 this season.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:14 AM | | Comments (0)
        
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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
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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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