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January 31, 2008

Video: Kenny Tate's announcement

Here's the YouTube video of DeMatha wide receiver Kenny Tate announcing his commitment to Maryland. The announcement was televised on Comcast SportsNet.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:10 PM | | Comments (0)
        

Tate picks the Terps

The Maryland football team picked up its 20th verbal commitment for the class of 2008 today, and it was a big one.

DeMatha wide receiver Kenny Tate chose the Terps over Illinois and Penn State among others during an appearance on Washington Post Live this afternoon.

Tate, 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, called Maryland a “home away from home” that’s still close to his family.

Tate, Rivals.com’s No. 23 wide receiver in the country, caught 32 passes for 489 yards and six touchdowns during DeMatha’s 10-2 season.

Tate becomes Maryland’s third four-star wide receiver commitment in the class of 2008, joining Forestville’s Kevin Dorsey and Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith’s Kerry Boykins.

The Sun will have more on Tate’s commitment tomorrow.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 6:01 PM | | Comments (6)
        

Meet Davin Meggett

This is part of a series of 2008 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 6. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Davin Meggett
Birthdate: 3/22/90
Birthplace: Upper Marlboro
Hometown: Upper Marlboro
Nicknames: D-Megg
Height: 5’9
Weight: 210
Position: Running back
High School: Surrattsville
Senior statistics: 1,784 yards and 27 touchdowns on 169 carries; Nine receptions for 410 yards and six touchdowns
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 16 player in Maryland. Scout.com -- Two stars, No. 152 RB.
Bench max: 360
40-yard dash: 4.49
Runner-up: James Madison
Other scholarships offered: Delaware, Old Dominion
Favorite NFL player: Bob Sanders
Favorite NFL team: New Orleans Saints
Favorite all-time Terp: Bruce Perry
Favorite music: Common, Mos Def, Y2K
Favorite book: The Bible and Football Physics by Timothy James Gay
Favorite movie: Double Take starring Eddie Griffin and Orlando Jones
Favorite TV show: The Boondocks on the Cartoon Network
Favorite food: Macaroni and cheese, subs
Favorite high school class: AP Government
Favorite thing about College Park: “The energy of the students and just the livelihood, how real they are.”
Other high school sports: Indoor track and outdoor track
Hobbies: Playbooks, making new plays, coming up with blocking schemes and checks
Intended major: Political Science and Education
Something that not many people know about you: “The fact that I don’t really see my father (former New York Giants running back Dave Meggett) much. ... And my name is pronounced Day-vin, not Dah-vin or Duh-vahn.”
Best football moment: “The Gwynn Park game [this season]. The score was about 13-6, we had the ball and the lead. The first play from scrimmage I go 70 yards on the ground for a touchdown. And that was kind of like the back-breaker. I felt good on that one.”
Role model: “My coach, coach [Tom] Green because the way he carries himself throughout every day is amazing. He’s hilarious and he always makes the right decisions. He’s a great guy, probably one of the best men you’ll ever meet in your life.”
Why Maryland? “Great program, some of my family already graduated from there. Close to home. It’s always great playing for the home school and I had the opportunity to do that, so I was going to take it.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:01 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 30, 2008

Terps get Quince Orchard DT

Maryland picked up its 19th football commitment for the class of 2008 today when Quince Orchard defensive tackle Zach Kerr made his decision public.

Read the full commitment story from Yahoo.com here.

Check back later this week for more on Kerr’s commitment.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 7:57 PM | | Comments (0)
        

Meet Eteyen Edet

This is part of a series of 2008 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 6. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Eteyen Edet
Birthdate: 12/18/89
Birthplace: Staten Island, N.Y.
Hometown: Staten Island, N.Y.
Nicknames: E.T.
Height: 6’2
Weight: 245
Position: Linebacker
High School: Fort Washington Friendly High School
Senior statistics: 110 tackles, 5.5 sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and three fumble recovery
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Two stars. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 41 middle linebacker.
Bench max: 315
40-yard dash: 4.6
Runner-up: Michigan State or Louisville
Favorite NFL player: Brian Dawkins
Favorite NFL team: Philadelphia Eagles
Favorite all-time Terp: E.J. Henderson
Favorite music: 50 Cent, Jay-Z
Favorite book: MacBeth by William Shakespeare
Favorite movie: 300
Favorite TV show: Martin
Favorite food: Tofu
Favorite high school class: Psychology
Favorite thing about College Park: “Everything.”
Other high school sports: None
Hobbies: “Lifting weights, hitting the club.”
Intended major: Business or Communications
Something that not many people know about you: “That I’m African. My parents were born in Nigeria.”
Best football moment: “It had to be back at Susan Wagner [High School] in Staten Island where I played [as a freshman and sophomore]. We played against my best friend’s team and I had 16 tackles in the game and in overtime we won the game. It’s the most tackles I ever recorded in a game.”
Role model: “I don’t really have a role model, but I admire my mother so much because of all that she does. I don’t have a father figure and she plays both roles for me.”
Why Maryland? “They just kept it real with me and real straight up and honest. I just felt like everything they were saying was so truthful. They didn’t BS around. They kept it real honest with me. ... And I was grateful.”

• Click here for a profile of Edet.

• Bonus quotes on Edet from Friendly head coach George Earley:

On Edet as a player and person: “He’s a great player. He’s a mature young man. He handled himself well on and off the football field. I wish we had him for another year. He’s a mature young man. He understands he made mistakes coming into high school, but he turned himself around. He’s an honor student and a good kid.”

On Edet’s commitment to Maryland: “I knew he was up for visit [last weekend], but we had no idea they were going to offer him. But once they saw his film, you can’t let your good players get away from the area. They saw an opportunity and took advantage of it. [Some schools] were waiting for his grades to change, but Maryland came right at him. They offered and he accepted. He likes the area, he feels comfortable. They caught his eye and he likes it. That’s the main thing. He’s happy.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 5:00 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

New Terps LB commitment talks Maryland

Six months ago, Fort Washington Friendly linebacker Eteyen Edet’s plan was to earn a GED and enroll in a junior college. Football was the farthest thing from his mind.

But after a standout season for Friendly, Edet took an official visit to College Park last weekend, received a scholarship offer and accepted, becoming part of Maryland’s 2008 class.

“I kind of [expected to get offered],” Edet said. “I’m a big-time football player, so I was expecting something to come out of [the visit].”

Edet spent the majority of his life in Staten Island, N.Y. before moving onto Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy for this junior year of high school.

The 6-foot-2, 235-pound linebacker had drummed up a bit of recruiting interest, but instead of being able to go to camps during the summer and get noticed, Edet was preoccupied with figuring out where he would spend his senior year of high school.

“I was at prep school at Fork Union Military Academy and I couldn’t afford it anymore, so I had to find a new location,” Edet said. “Honestly, during the summertime I didn’t even think I’d be playing high school football anymore. I thought I was going to get my GED.”

One option for Edet was moving back to New York. But that was a possibility that Edet really did not want to consider.

“I didn’t want to be in New York City,” Edet said. “I didn’t want to be over there no more. There was nothing positive in the place I was from. ... My life, struggling, coming from the ghetto -- I was ready to change my situation. A lot of kids were dropping out from school. It just was not the right environment.”

Finally in September, Edet found a home. His aunt, Victoria Bassey, agreed to take him in to her Fort Washington home.

Edet quickly enrolled at Friendly and joined the football team. He sat out a game while transfer issues were ironed out, and then proceeded to accumulate 110 tackles, 5.5 sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

After the season, recruiting started to pick up for Edet. Louisville, Michigan State, NC State, Ohio, Tennessee and Boston College all expressed interest.

But when schools found out Edet was a few points shy of a qualifying test score, many backed off.

“A lot of schools dropped me because of academics,” Edet said. “That’s one of the reasons I liked Maryland. They believed in me. And I feel real positive about Maryland.”

Edet took the SAT again last week, and is scheduled for another test in June -- just in case. For now, though, he’s confident that he’ll qualify, and excited that after years of uncertainty, he can call Maryland his home for another four years.

“It’s a big relief and it’s a blessing,” Edet said. “I just didn’t imagine this. I’m living my dream right now.”

Thanks to blog reader Russ for the link to Edet’s You Tube highlight reel.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:40 AM | | Comments (3)
        

January 29, 2008

Quick football recruiting links

It’s almost decision time for DeMatha wide receiver Kenny Tate.

The Washington Post’s Josh Barr is reporting that Tate will announce his college choice Thursday on Washington Post Live. The show airs from 5:00-6:00 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet.

Tate has narrowed his list to Maryland and Illinois, Barr reports.

While it was intimated that Tate had eliminated Penn State from consideration earlier this month, Stags Coach Bill McGregor last night said that earlier in the day he had talked with Penn State super-recruiter Larry Johnson to tell Johnson that the Nittany Lions were indeed out of the running.

From more Tate reading, check out this ESPN.com profile from former Sun reporter Heather Dinich.

• South Carolina linebacker Sterling Lucas committed to North Carolina State today, according to the [Orangeburg, S.C.] Times and Democrat. Lucas picked the Wolfpack over Maryland, South Carolina and Michigan State among others.

“That is where I feel comfortable,” Lucas said. “I love the players. I have a good relationship with the players, and they have a great coaching staff. I just love the environment.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 4:01 PM | | Comments (0)
        

Meet Justin Lewis

This is part of a series of 2008 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 6. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Justin Lewis
Birthdate: 3/3/90
Birthplace: New Haven, Conn.
Hometown: Johnsonville, S.C.
Nicknames: Big Easy
Height: 6’4 1/2
Weight: 315
Position: Offensive guard
High School: Johnsonville
Senior statistics: 36 tackles, one sack, five tackles for loss, nine quarterback pressures and one recovered fumble
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 61 OG. Scout.com -- Two stars, No. 105 OT
Bench max: 350
40-yard dash: 5.25
Runner-up: Clemson
Other schools considered: South Carolina, North Carolina State
Favorite NFL player: Ray Lewis
Favorite NFL team: Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman
Favorite music: Young Dro, Jay-Z, Plies
Favorite book: I Am Third by Gale Sayers
Favorite movie: Friday Night Lights
Favorite TV show: Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Favorite food: Fried chicken
Favorite high school class: Government
Favorite thing about College Park: “There’s so much to do there. It’s not boring.”
Other high school sports: Basketball, Track (shot put and discus, big man relay)
Hobbies: “I rap, I make beats on my computer. I play a lot of video games.”
Intended major: Business management
Something that not many people know about you: “I watch a lot of news. I like knowing current events. I watch a lot of CNN.”
Best football moment: “It would probably have to be when we beat Hemingway my junior season. We hadn’t beat Hemingway in years, so we were the first Johnsonville team in like six or seven years to beat Hemingway in football. They were winning, we drove the whole field and scored and we ended up being up by, I think, five points. They had two minutes to go, drove it in our territory to about the 40 and we just held them from there and beat them.”
Role model: “My mom because she keeps me in line. Even though I sometimes don’t like the stuff she tells me, I know it’s right and I make myself do it.”
Why Maryland? “I enjoy being around the coaches. I like the coaches a lot and I like the environment because it’s like a family. Everyone gets along good and I see how the linemen interact. And they’re a good program overall academically and athletically. It reminds me a lot of Johnsonville and that’s what I want because I love Johnsonville.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:17 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 28, 2008

Meet Teddy Dargan

This is part of a series of 2008 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 6. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Teddy Dargan
Birthdate: 1/25/89
Birthplace: Baltimore
Hometown: Baltimore
Height: 6’3
Weight: 310
Position: Defensive line
High School: Milford Mill
Senior statistics: 57 tackles, five sacks and two forced fumbles
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Four stars, No. 23 DT, No. 8 player in Maryland. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 47 DT.
Bench max: 335
40-yard dash: 5.0
Runner-up: Tennessee
Other schools considered: Pittsburgh, Virginia, Bowie State
Favorite NFL player: Michael Strahan
Favorite NFL team: Indianapolis Colts
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman
Favorite music: Lil Wayne
Favorite book: None
Favorite movie: History of Violence
Favorite TV show: 48 Hours on CBS
Favorite food: Orange chicken
Favorite high school class: English
Favorite thing about College Park: “I like the campus, the dorm rooms, the classrooms.”
Other high school sports: None
Hobbies: “Working (J.C. Penney in the Owings Mills Mall), going to school, really just staying out of trouble.”
Intended major: Business
Something that not many people know about you: “I’m a very chilled-back dude. Just cool, collected. I like to stay to myself, really.”
Best football moment: “It’s when in my tenth-grade year we almost made it to the states.”
Role model: “My stepfather and [Milford Mill head] coach [Reggie] White. My stepfather because he’s been there for me all this time and he really didn’t have to -- he’s not even my father. Coach White is a role model for me and a good role model for everyone. He could understand what’s going on at home. We’re trying to get where he’s at. He’s a father figure.”
Why Maryland? “I always wanted to go to Maryland when I was young. I just wanted to stay close to home, really. Maryland, it’s a good football program and academic program, so why not?”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:50 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

Terps pick up another commit

Another weekend, another commitment for the Maryland football team.

Fort Washington Friendly linebacker Eteyen Edet made a verbal commitment to the Terps yesterday.

Read the full commitment story from Yahoo.com here.

Check back later this week for more on Edet’s commitment.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:35 AM | | Comments (0)
        

January 27, 2008

Meet Cody Blue

This is part of a series of 2008 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 6. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Cody Blue
Birthdate: 1/31/90
Birthplace: Baltimore
Hometown: Columbia
Nicknames: None
Height: 6’5
Weight: 270
Position: Defensive tackle
High School: Wilde Lake
Senior statistics: 38 tackles and four sacks
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Two stars, No. 19 player in Maryland. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 64 DT.
Bench max: 290
40-yard dash: 5.0
Runner-up: Illinois
Other schools considered: Connecticut, Boston College, Virginia Tech
Favorite NFL player: Brian Urlacher
Favorite NFL team: Denver Broncos
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman
Favorite music: Lil Wayne
Favorite book: Lord of the Rings
Favorite movie: The Last Samurai
Favorite TV show: True Life on MTV
Favorite food: Pizza
Favorite high school class: Weight training
Favorite thing about College Park: “The coaches are cool, it’s a good campus and the people are cool.”
Other high school sports: Track and field (shot put)
Hobbies: Hanging out with friends, watching movies, talking on the phone, football
Intended major: Criminal Justice
Something that not many people know about you: “I’m not as scary as I look.”
Best football moment: “It was my first start on varsity and I was only a sophomore, so it was pretty cool because everyone else was older than me. I was the only sophomore on the field.”
Role model: “Probably my mom. She’s a strong person and she’s always been there.”
Why Maryland? “It’s a great team, a great staff and the school has all the support I need for when I start taking classes. It’s close to home and I’ll get the best education there.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:06 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 26, 2008

Weekly recruiting roundup

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

SI.com’s Andy Staples names Terps quarterback target Nathan Stanley as one of 2008’s top uncommitted prospects.

Update: Stanley will visit Ole Miss this weekend, and he already has visited Maryland and Florida Atlantic. Stanley was recruited by Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt's staff while Nutt was at Arkansas.

• The Terps were/are trying to bring South Carolina linebacker Sterling Lucas in for a visit. According to The State, Lucas is spending this weekend in South Carolina, leaving just one more weekend for the Terps to receive a visit.

Linebacker Sterling Lucas (6-2, 220) of Orangeburg-Wilkinson moved up his official visit to USC to this weekend.

One thing to keep in mind regarding this recruitment which may or may not be significant -- Gamecocks defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder left South Carolina this week (after just a month on the job) to become the Atlanta Falcons’ defensive coordinator.

For VanGorder, the job as defensive coordinator will be his sixth different position in five seasons. He served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at the University of Georgia 2001-2004. In 2005, he was the linebackers coach at Jacksonville, then accepted the head coach position at Georgia Southern in 2006. After one year in the college ranks, he jumped to the Falcons as part of Petrino's staff in 2007, but left to go to South Carolina last month.

• One potential Maryland football target is off the table. This week Anderson, S.C. defensive back Lee Butler went from a Duke ‘soft commitment’ to a very solid Georgia Tech commitment.

”I can’t stress to you enough that I am through with my recruiting. I’ve already called Duke and de-committed and I am excited about becoming a Yellow Jacket. My recruiting is done and I will not be visiting Vanderbilt, that visit is cancelled.”

• Terps fans may not want to read this (depending on what happens between now and Signing Day), but Zach Brown received some lofty praise this week from ESPN.com scout Billy Tucker.

Brown was one of the faster linebackers in last year's 2007 class, utilizing his state champion sprinter speed to chase down opposing ball carriers sideline-to-sideline. When evaluating this fall's Hargrave film, it is apparent the extra year of postgraduate school assisted with his physical development while still retaining his great burst and closing speed to the football. Coverage skills and awareness appear to have improved as well, increasing the probability he could see the field next fall if eligibility standards are met.

• Maryland and Duke do battle on the court this Sunday. Off it, the rivals are competing for the services of 2009 New Jersey center Greg Echenique. PrepStars.com recruiting analyst Rob Harrington gave The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer a breakdown of Echenique’s game.

“He’s not as skilled as a lot of the other big guys Duke has had like an Elton Brand or a Shelden Williams,” Harrington said. “But he’s big, he’s tough and he’s aggressive and he’s a true (center). He’s not going to be a guy who entertains thoughts of facing the basket. He’s a (center). He knows he’s a (center) and I think that would create good cohesion between him and Duke’s more skilled players.”

Rivals.com analyst Jerry Meyer gave his own take on Echenique in this USA Today article.

[Samardo] Samuels teammate Greg Echenique was also a dominating presence on the court, scoring 12 points on 4-5 shooting, 4-4 from the line to go along with 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 assists and 1 turnover. Working his way into one of the top post prospects in the 2009 class, Echenique's constantly improving physique bodes well for his future. Although he is not an overwhelming athlete, he is thick and immovable in a Kevin Love type fashion.

• 2009 Terps small forward commitment Jin Soo Kim will be playing for a new coach next year at South Kent (Conn.) Prep, according to SI.com.

South Kent Prep coach Raphael Chillious, who is in his fifth year at the school, will leave the team Wednesday to take a position with Nike as the Elite Youth Basketball manager. Chillious, who is well thought of on the prep scene, saw his team lose 90-68 to the Hargave Military Academy. "Coach informed us two weeks ago when we got back from break and it took be by surprise," said point guard Isaiah Thomas. "He just has to do what is best for his family."

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:23 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

January 25, 2008

New Terps assistants and recruiting

For those that missed it, the Maryland football staff hired two new assistants on Thursday.

Kasey Dunn left Baylor to become Maryland’s wide receivers coach, while Danny Pearman takes over tight ends and special teams for the Terps following a one-year stint at Duke.

Here’s a look at each coach’s potential recruiting abilities with some outside opinions sprinkled in:

Kasey Dunn

Before I get to the outside opinions, here’s what Ralph Friedgen had to say about Dunn.

“We’re excited to add Kasey to the staff,” Friedgen said. “He has the resources to help take us to a new level. He’s been at a lot of good programs around the country. His experience should really help us in recruiting. Kasey will also contribute to our offensive game plan.”

Dunn spent the 2004-06 seasons coaching running backs at Arizona. Josh Gershon of GoAZCats.com was kind enough to offer his take (via e-mail) on Dunn.

Kasey Dunn did a good job at Arizona and is credited with the development of three NFL running backs in Denver’s Mike Bell, Tennessee’s Chris Henry and Kansas City's Gilbert Harris. He was also the lead recruiter on the UA’s current starting running back, Nicolas Grigsby, who had one of the best true freshman seasons for a running back in school history.

For those that didn’t get a chance to see Grigsby this past season, you missed out. Dunn definitely unearthed a gem in Grigsby (and managed to keep the California native from the in-state schools).

Danny Pearman

First, here are Friedgen’s thoughts on Pearman:

“We’re excited to have Danny on board,” Friedgen said. “He’s a good fit because of his experience in the ACC and his success with special teams and working with tight ends. We feel like he can make a tremendous contribution to our staff.”

Since Pearman spent just one season at Duke (and before that, one season at North Carolina), I tabbed a couple Virginia Tech sources to weigh in on Pearman’s recruiting ability. Pearman spent eight seasons in Blacksburg.

Brian Mohr of HokieHaven.com said Pearman was around before he started covering Virginia Tech, but he didn’t recall him being a “major force in recruiting circles.” Mohr did say he was a solid tight ends coach, citing the development of Jeff King, an all-ACC tight end and current member of the Carolina Panthers.

Another Hokies source noted that Pearman and Virginia Tech parted ways in 2006 when Frank Beamer brought in Curt Newsome, then an assistant at James Madison that was viewed as ‘a terrific recruiter.’ The same source indicated that Pearman wasn’t assigned a very fruitful recruiting area. Sounds like the jury’s out on his recruiting prowess.

Overview

All in all, it looks like a couple of quality additions to the UM coaching staff. Dunn can apparently recruit and he’s got the background as an excellent college wide receiver (a three-time All-American at Idaho). Pearman has a ton of experience in the ACC (played at Clemson, coached at Virginia Tech, Duke and North Carolina) and he’s a well-regarded tight ends coach. Plus, it can’t hurt having a special teams coordinator that learned the trade at Virginia Tech.

Recruiting Report programming note: I’ll post the ‘Weekly recruiting roundup’ tomorrow.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:43 AM | | Comments (2)
        

January 24, 2008

Meet Masengo Kabongo

This is part of a series of 2008 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 6. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Masengo Kabongo
Birthdate: 5/23/90
Birthplace: Lubumbashi, Congo
Hometown: Lubumbashi and Stratford, Conn.
Nicknames: Maska (his middle name)
Height: 6’2 1/2
Weight: 285
Position: Defensive line
High School: Fairfield (Conn.) Prep
Senior statistics: 47 tackles, including 11 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 8 quarterback knockdowns and 3 forced fumbles
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Four stars, No. 24 DT, No. 2 player in Connecticut. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 33 DT.
Bench max: 380
40-yard dash: 4.9
Runner-up: Illinois or Florida
Other schools considered: Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Oklahoma, Clemson, Boston College, UConn
Favorite NFL player: Jason Taylor
Favorite NFL team: New England Patriots
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman
Favorite music: Lil Wayne, gospel, African music
Favorite book: Beowulf
Favorite movie: Remember the Titans
Favorite TV show: Chappelle’s Show
Favorite food: African food, sombe’ with rice and chicken
Favorite high school class: Math
Favorite thing about College Park: “The University of Maryland. The town itself is not that great, but the school is what’s nice about it. And I like the dorms. The dorms are really nice.”
Other high school sports: Track and basketball (freshman and sophomore years)
Hobbies: Go to movies, play sports, lift, hang out with friends
Intended major: Economics and/or International Business, Engineering
Something that not many people know about you: “Most people don’t know about my personality. They just don’t know the person of Maska.”
Best football moment: “My best football moment was probably my first game as a sophomore and maybe the third play of the game I had a sack.”
Role model: “My father because I consider him to be Superman.”
Why Maryland? “I feel like it would be a great fit for me and I like the location of the school because it’s right in between DC and Baltimore and I’m looking to professionally work at the international level somehow. That will help me, with the location of the school. I love the feeling that I had when I visited there, so I went with it.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:46 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 23, 2008

Meet Tyler Bass

This is part of a series of 2008 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 6. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Tyler Bass
Birthdate: 12/20/89
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii
Hometown: Atlanta
Nicknames: T-Bass
Height: 6’3
Weight: 220
Position: Quarterback
High School: Stockbridge
Senior statistics: 99-of-181 for 1203 yards, 12 touchdowns and three interceptions; 81 carries for 606 yards and 11 touchdowns
Bench max: 315
40-yard dash: 4.6
Runner-up: Louisville
Other scholarships offered: Western Kentucky, Memphis, East Carolina
Favorite NFL player: Wes Welker
Favorite NFL team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman, E.J. Henderson
Favorite music: Gucci Mane, Shawty Lo
Favorite book: The White Fox Chronicles by Gary Paulsen
Favorite movie: Gladiator
Favorite TV show: Naruto on the Cartoon Network, Lost
Favorite food: Deep south food
Favorite high school class: Economics, English
Favorite thing about College Park: “The diversity of the people. You see all types of people there. And then the area, that it’s in between DC and Baltimore.”
Other high school sports: Wrestling, Baseball, Basketball
Hobbies: “Lifting weights and playing 7-on-7 flag football with my older cousin.”
Intended major: Pre-Dentistry or Communications
Something that not many people know about you: “I’m petrified of needles. Those Hypodermic needles -- I’m terrified of those.”
Best football moment: “It came in my junior year and we played the school I went to (Dutchtown) and the coach that never let me play quarterback. I think I ran for like 150 and threw for like 180. And my favorite part of the whole career is when I ran, stiff-armed this guy’s head into the ground and then dove into the end zone.”
Role model: “I have to say my momma, because she’s a strong woman. She’s instilled in me a lot of discipline and put football second and school first. Just looking at her, what a great job she’s done with me and my sister makes me want to be like her when I’m older.”
Why Maryland? “Just the diversity and I looked at the education where, if for some reason football doesn’t work out, a degree from Maryland goes a long way. It means a lot. Also the chance to play against top competition in the ACC.”

Click here for a profile of Bass.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 12:29 PM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

New Terps QB commitment talks Maryland

Growing up in Prince George’s County and graduating from Gwynn Park High School, Harold Bass held a longstanding affinity for all things Maryland.

So when his son, Stockbridge, Ga. quarterback Tyler Bass had the opportunity to take an official visit to College Park last weekend, the elder Bass was happy to tag along.

“He loved it,” Tyler Bass said of his father. “He’s from PG County … so he enjoyed going home and was excited going to Maryland. It was the school he wanted to go to, but he went to Tuskegee [University in Alabama]. But he lived in PG County his whole life, so he was happy [when I told him] I was going to Maryland.”

Bass committed to the Terps on Saturday night during dinner at Maryland’s student union. Maryland started heavily recruiting Bass during the late fall.

Bass also seriously considered Louisville, Western Kentucky and Memphis. The latter two actually wanted Bass to start as a true freshman, according to Stockbridge head coach Steve Collins.

But Bass was less concerned with how soon he could get on the field, and more focused on the academics of each school. With a 3.3 grade point average and an 830 on his SAT, Bass was fully qualified per NCAA requirements. But that wasn’t enough for the Terps’ staff, according to Bass.

“It was the only school that asked me to do better on my SAT score,” Bass said. “Everyone else said I was qualified. That showed Maryland was looking at me more as a man than a football player.”

So Bass retook the SAT and gave the ACT a shot. When the scores came back, Bass saw a 110-point improvement in the SAT in addition to notching a 20 on the ACT.

“I called [offensive line] coach [Tom] Brattan and I actually told him I got a 20 on the ACT and he was like, ‘that’s real good.’ He was really happy I did better.”

Brattan, Bass’ recruiter, was instrumental in wooing the 6-foot-3, 220-pound quarterback from Georgia to College Park.

“Coach Brattan recruited me,” Bass said. “He’s a cool guy. He’s a real good guy. He’s just down to earth, a really good guy. Just laid back, chill, that’s coach Brattan all the way.”

As for Bass’ game, Collins said his starting quarterback for the past two seasons possesses talents that could be molded to fit just about any offensive system.

“He’s a dual-threat type quarterback,” Collins said. “He ran for a lot of yards and threw for a lot of yards. He’s very strong. ... But he can adapt to probably a [number of different systems]. He’s a multifaceted guy who can do a lot of things.”

Bass started two years at quarterback for the Stockbridge varsity, going 99-of-181 for 1,203 yards with 12 touchdowns and three interceptions, while rushing for 606 yards and 11 touchdowns on 81 carries during his senior season.

Bass has been backed by a rather vocal, passionate cheering section of family and supporters during his high school football years, so there might be a bit of an adjustment period being so far away from home.

But if that first start at quarterback comes at Maryland, Bass can expect a similarly fervent fan base.

“It’s been said and planned that for my first start, my mom, dad, aunts, uncles, cousins, sister and friends are going to get an RV to come see me,” Bass said. “I’m sure my mom, she’ll come to just about every game. Other ACC games are not that far of a drive [from home].”

Still, the distance doesn’t bother Bass at all. He has an aunt in Reisterstown, a father familiar with the area and excitement for the school and program that overrides any such concerns.

“I can bring some southern hospitality. Maryland is diverse, so I’m sure I’m not the only southern guy there. ... [But] I feel welcome there and I feel at home.”

Click here for 'Meet the recruit' with Tyler Bass.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 12:05 PM | | Comments (1)
        

January 22, 2008

Meet Justin Gilbert

This is part of a series of 2008 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 6. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Justin Gilbert
Birthdate: 11/22/89
Birthplace: Norfolk, Va.
Hometown: Chesterfield, Va.
Nicknames: None
Height: 6’6
Weight: 285
Position: Offensive tackle
High School: Richmond (Va.) Monacan
Senior statistics: 22 tackles, one quarterback hurry and one forced fumble playing defensive tackle
Bench max: 350
40-yard dash: 5.0
Runner-up: Virginia Tech
Other scholarships offered: East Carolina, Marshall, Richmond, Liberty, James Madison, VMI
Favorite NFL player: Emmitt Smith
Favorite NFL team: Dallas Cowboys
Favorite all-time Terp: Andrew Crummey
Favorite music: Rodney Atkins, Tim McGraw
Favorite book: The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
Favorite movie: Remember the Titans
Favorite TV show: House
Favorite food: Steak
Favorite high school class: History
Favorite thing about College Park: "Really the college atmosphere. You go around the campus and everyone has Maryland stuff. There's just a lot of Maryland pride. It’s a really good atmosphere."
Other high school sports: Track and field (shot put and discus)
Hobbies: Hunting, fishing, lifting
Intended major: Business
Something that not many people know about you: "Probably [having] the southern accent."
Best football moment: "Senior Night last year when we beat Manchester, who was ranked eighth in the region. We beat them. We had to win to the go to the playoffs. We pulled through at the very end to win the game. The end of the game, knowing we were going to the playoffs for the first time in eight years [was the best football moment]."
Role model: “My dad, just because he was born in real small town in Pennsylvania, worked his way up and is now one of assistant managers of his power plant now. He worked his way up through all the adversity."
Why Maryland? "The coaching staff would be one of the biggest things. I really like [offensive line] coach [Tom] Brattan and coach [Ralph] Friedgen. Coach Brattan was really close with me and my family. He really cared about my sister and parents. I just like the closeness he and coach Friedgen have with their players and all the other coaches."

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:23 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 21, 2008

Meet Devonte Campbell

This is part of a series of 2008 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 6. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Devonte Campbell
Birthdate: 6/27/89
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Nicknames: Dark Man
Height: 6’2 1/2
Weight: 245
Position: Tight end
High School: Forestville Military Academy
Prep School: Hargrave Military Academy
Senior statistics: 30 receptions for 1,000+ yards and 13 touchdowns
Bench max: 320
40-yard dash: 4.5
Runner-up: Illinois
Other scholarships offered: Tennessee, Georgia Tech
Favorite NFL player: Antonio Gates
Favorite NFL team: Washington Redskins
Favorite all-time Terp: Vernon Davis
Favorite music: Lil Wayne
Favorite book: Harry Potter
Favorite movie: White Chicks
Favorite TV show: Martin
Favorite food: Quesadillas
Favorite high school class: Gym
Favorite thing about College Park: “Probably the marble turtles, or maybe the big 'M' when you first come in.”
Other high school sports: Basketball
Hobbies: Sports, basketball, football, listening to music, lifting weights
Intended major: Business or Family Sciences
Something that not many people know about you: “My first year playing football was my junior year. I was more like a tackling dummy my sophomore year, but junior year was when I actually stepped on the field. I was on the team my sophomore year, but my first real playing experience was my junior year."
Best football moment: “My senior year homecoming I had 200 yards receiving in the game and we beat a team (Potomac) we hadn’t beat in about four years."
Role model: "Probably my coach, [Forestville] coach [Charles] Harley. He’s a father and role model for us on and off the field. As a coach, he gave me good perspective on how to play the game, and off the field I saw how he conducted himself. He was a positive male role model in my life during high school."
Why Maryland? “It fit me because I can play in front of my family. They were my reason for playing in high school. A lot of times I wanted to quit; I didn’t have the motivation. But thinking about them made me become better because of their belief [in me]. And I get homesick really easy and [Maryland] had everything right there, so why leave?"

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:35 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

Good news, bad news for Terps football recruiting

First the good -- Scout.com is reporting that Stockbridge, Ga. quarterback Tyler Bass has verbally committed to Maryland.

As for the bad news, well, I'll just link to the player in question's Scout.com profile and let you see for yourself (and remind everyone that Signing Day is still a couple weeks away, so who knows what will ultimately happen).

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:19 AM | | Comments (6)
        

January 19, 2008

Two quick links

TurtleSportsReport.com’s Jeff Ermann posted a free Bobby Maze article from the upcoming edition of Inside the Shell. It’s a really interesting look at the Terps point guard commitment’s upbringing in Prince George’s County and development as a player.

• Former Kansas State quarterback commitment Chris Harper made a verbal commitment to Oregon last night. There was some speculation as to whether Harper might follow new Terps offensive coordinator James Franklin from Manhattan, Kan. to College Park, but that’s obviously not going to be the case.

"I thought it was the biggest opportunity for me as a freshman," said Harper, the No. 2 prospect in Kansas according to Rivals.com. "My mom and dad wanted me to go to Oregon from the start."

Posted by Matt Bracken at 3:43 PM | | Comments (1)
        

Weekly basketball recruiting roundup

Leftover basketball recruiting links that didn’t make yesterday’s roundup ...

• Based on this article from The [Waterbury (Conn.)] Republican-American, it’s probably safe to say that the UConn coaching staff really wants to land 2008 Terps power forward target Ater Majok.

UConn assistant Andre LaFleur went to Australia on Saturday to check out 6-9 forward Ater Majok, a Sudan native who attends school in Carlington, Australia. LaFleur didn't see Majok play because he's suffering from a minor knee injury. Majok might make a trip to Connecticut in the near future. Kansas, Duke and Maryland are also recruiting Majok, but UConn is the only school to make the trip to Australia.

LaFleur spent almost two full days flying, finally returning to Connecticut on Thursday morning.

ZagsBlog has all sorts of interesting stuff for Terps fans this week. First, Adam Zagoria speaks with 2009 Maryland power forward target Greg Echenique. The St. Benedict’s (N.J.) Prep big man says he’s open-minded about his recruitment.

"People might think I would have some preference for Duke, but it's like another school," Echenique said. "Every school has the same chance and it will all come to when my parents come. That's going to be important."

Earlier in the week, Zagoria mentioned two 2008 prospects that the Terps are currently watching. First up is White Plains, N.Y. shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick reportedly holds offers from St. John's, Kansas State, UMass, Oregon State, George Washington and Auburn and is receiving strong interest from Seton Hall, UConn, Maryland, Manhattan, DePaul, Virginia and N.C. State.

The other 2008 prospect Zagoria discusses is JuCo forward Gary Flowers.

Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez is apparently in Florida today (Monday) to visit Gary Flowers at Chipola (Fla.) College. The 6-8 Flowers had some legal troubles at Oklahoma State, but is playing very well at Chipola (16 ppg, 10.2 rpg), the No. 1 JUCO team in the nation. Read my earlier post on him here, where Chipola coach Greg Heiar says he's being recruited by Seton Hall, UConn, South Florida, Arizona, Maryland and Cincinnati.

Keith Mills at PressBox has an excellent feature on St. Frances assistant coach Mark Karcher. Below is the relevant Sean Mosley information, but the entire story is definitely worth the read.

Mosley is having a great senior year and is drawing comparisons to Karcher. At 6-foot-5, Karcher is 2 inches taller than Mosley, who is strong around the basket with great range on his jump shot and a toughness that is hard to teach.

"Mark's helped Sean a lot," Wells said. "Sean's a special kid. He does things the right way."

"Coming here with Coach Wells and Mark, it's been great," Mosley said. "My father makes sure I do the right thing and makes sure if I need something I get it. I think people get caught up in things when their parents are not there for them. Not there to tell them do this or do that.”

• Maryland point guard commitment Bobby Maze and his Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College teammate (and potential Terps target) Ken Bowman are both putting up big numbers for the Blue Dragons.

"We're not just about Bobby and we're not just about Kenny," [HCC coach Ryan] Swanson said. "We're a complete team. Those guys get a lot of attention, and they should, but it's fun to play in a game where a lot of guys can shine."

The Washington Post has a great profile of 2008 Maryland women’s basketball commitment Lynetta Kizer.

Next year she will play for Maryland, the 2005-06 national champion, and she often signs autographs for children after her games. Still, she has approached this season as if she is just another player in Prince William County with something to prove.

"The scholarship, Maryland -- that's next year," Kizer said. "I have one year left of high school, and I'm playing like I don't have a scholarship right now."


Recruiting Report plug: I’ll be on The Greg Abel Show on Baltimore's ESPN 1300 AM tonight at around 7:45 p.m. to talk Terps basketball recruiting.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:33 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

January 18, 2008

Weekly football recruiting roundup

Just three weekends remain until Signing Day on Feb. 6, and it’s clear the Maryland coaching staff plans on taking advantage of them.

This weekend the Terps will host a few uncommitted prospects. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that one such prospect is Georgia quarterback Tyler Bass -- a dual-threat quarterback who has offers from Louisville, Purdue, Indiana, Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss and Tulane, according to Scout.com.

Most folks in recruiting circles know about Stockbridge’s Tyler Bass, the run/pass threat at quarterback who’s being recruited by several schools, including Louisville (where he visited last weekend) and Maryland (where he has a visit scheduled for this weekend).

Bass won’t be the only 2008 quarterback prospect in College Park this weekend. According to his Rivals.com profile, Tahlequah (Okla.) quarterback Nathan Stanley is also coming to town. Stanley, Rivals.com’s No. 23 pro-style quarterback in the country, holds offers from Kansas State, Mississippi and Oklahoma State, among others.

A third visitor (also according to Rivals.com) is Gonzaga cornerback Johnson Bademosi. According to this December story from Scout.com, academics are a high priority for the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder.

With a 3.6 core GPA and a 1700 SAT, academics are a priority for Bademosi and that's why he's also strongly considering the Ivy Leagues. "I love the Ivy League schools and the education you get there is outstanding," he said. "I know the level of football is different and that's something I'm considering too."

• The Pocono (Pa.) Record has the latest on Maryland’s highest-rated remaining target, DeMatha wide receiver Kenny Tate.

Hyattsville, Md., wide receiver Kenny Tate, rated by Rivals.com as a four-star prospect, moved his visit [to Penn State] from next weekend to this one, cancelling his visit to Florida in the process.

"When we had our meeting (Jan. 11) he made it clear right away that he needed to take his SAT probably the weekend of Jan. 25 and that he wanted to cancel the visit to Florida and only really make three official visits with that final visit being to Penn State," Tate's high school coach Bill McGregor told Blue White Illustrated.

The other two visits were to Maryland and Illinois. McGregor was quoted in the same article as saying he’s “quite confident that by the middle of next week” Tate will let the coaches from his final three schools know of his decision.

One final note from the Record article: Tate will have some Maryland company in State College, Pa. this weekend.

Three-star defensive tackle Zach Kerr out of Gaithersburg, Md., will also visit this weekend. The 6-2, 323-pounder lists the Nittany Lions, Rutgers, Maryland and Virginia Tech as his finalists.

• All is quiet on the Chris Harper front -- at least where the Terps are concerned. The Wichita, Kan. quarterback (who withdrew his commitment from Kansas State after James Franklin took the Maryland offensive coordinator job) mentioned four potential destinations to The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle recently, but Maryland wasn’t one of them.

Anyway, the one-time K-State commit is still up in the air. He said he hasn't heard from any of the coaches in Manhattan -- it is the dead period, after all. But that hasn't stopped Oregon from scheduling a visit to Wichita on the first day the dead period is lifted, nor has it deterred Illinois from making plans for Tuesday.

"They're still writing letters," Harper said. Aside from the Ducks, Illini and the Wildcats, Harper is still keen on Missouri. He's still adamant about playing quarterback -- and he says most of the coaches recruiting him are as excited about the possibility as he is.

• Another new-ish potential name for the Terps in 2008 is Anderson, S.C. defensive back Lee Butler. The Anderson (S.C.) Independent Mail updates Butler’s status.

Westside all-purpose speedster Lee Butler, a Shrine Bowler, has kept his “soft” commitment with Duke, and has had several encouraging conversations with new coach David Cutcliffe, Westside coach Ted Luckadoo said. Butler hasn’t made an official visit to Duke, but he also has offers from Georgia Tech, Louisville, Maryland, and Vanderbilt. Duke and Vanderbilt have recruited him the longest. Butler initially committed to Duke in June.

• South Carolina linebacker Sterling Lucas has plenty of schools -- Maryland included -- chasing him, but according to PalmettoSports.com, the in-state Gamecocks are still evaluating. It might depend on what Steve Spurrier and company decide in their evaluation, but for now Lucas is slated for an upcoming College Park visit.

NC State head coach Tom O'Brien also is visiting with Lucas today, and he was offered by Wake Forest this morning. Lucas visited NC State last weekend and will visit North Carolina this weekend. He has dropped Michigan State and replaced them with a trip to Maryland January 25th, unless he changes that for USC. He also might take a mid-week visit to Wake Forest.

• Terps offensive tackle commitment R.J. Dill earned a spot on Pennsylvania’s 34-man roster for the Big 33 Football Classic this summer.

The Pennsylvania team will again face an all-star contingent from Ohio on June 14 with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. Pennsylvania has won two straight in the series, including last year's 28-10 victory.

CSTV.com’s Tom Lemming mentioned that he liked Terps wide receiver commitment Kevin Dorsey in Tuesday’s edition of ’Five questions’. Based on his recently released 2008 player rankings, Lemming wasn’t kidding.

The longtime football recruiting analyst has Dorsey rated the country’s No. 13 wide receiver and the No. 79 overall player in the country.

• Former Maryland wide receiver target O’Neill Chambers committed to BYU this week.

"I felt really welcome there and knew the people were going to treat me well," Chambers said. "It's the perfect place for all of us."

Recruiting Report programming note: There’s a decent amount of basketball recruiting news from the week, so I’ll save that for another post either later today or tomorrow morning.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:38 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

January 17, 2008

Meet Cameron Chism

This is part of a series of 2008 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 6. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Cameron Chism
Birthdate: 12/25/90
Birthplace: Washington DC
Hometown: Washington DC and Bowie
Nicknames: Chis
Height: 6’0
Weight: 175
Position: Cornerback
High School: Bishop McNamara
Senior statistics: 81 tackles, five interceptions and one fumble recovery returned for a touchdown, 41 receptions for 750 yards and four touchdowns, 10 carries for 157 yards and one touchdown
Bench max: 285
40-yard dash: 4.43
Runner-up: Pittsburgh or Illinois
Other scholarships offered: Boston College, North Carolina State, North Carolina, Temple, Syracuse
Favorite NFL player: Sean Taylor
Favorite NFL team: Washington Redskins
Favorite all-time Terp: Josh Wilson
Favorite music: Lil Wayne, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Cassidy
Favorite book: The Quiet American by Graham Greene
Favorite movie: Friday Night Lights
Favorite TV show: Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Favorite food: French fries
Favorite high school class: English
Favorite thing about College Park: “I guess the environment itself, the fans, the people that make up the environment.”
Other high school sports: Indoor and outdoor track
Hobbies: Working out, eating, sleeping, watching TV
Intended major: Criminal Justice
Something that not many people know about you: “That I’m only 17. They think I’m older, but I’m really the youngest in my senior class.”
Best football moment: “I’ll have to say when I caught an 80-yard post to win the game for my team and we came back from about 21 points and ended up winning the game [against Gonzaga this year].”
Role model: “Sean Taylor because of the excitement he brought to the game and he was just a positive role model on and off the field. He’d go 100 percent, full-speed every play.”
Why Maryland? “Because I visited a couple schools and they had the same stuff out there that they did at Maryland. I was comfortable with the coaches at Maryland and I liked the school. There’s no point in going away when you have everything right at home.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:53 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 16, 2008

Meet A.J. Francis

This is part of a series of 2008 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 6. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Anthony Joseph Francis
Birthdate: 5/7/90
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.
Hometown: Pioneer City (Severn)
Nicknames: Fat Man, JoeFish, Jack Diamond
Height: 6’5
Weight: 320
Position: Defensive tackle
High School: Gonzaga College High School (DC)
Senior statistics: 20 solo tackles, nine assists and two sacks
Bench max: 345
40-yard dash: 5.06
Runner-up: Georgia Tech
Other schools considered: Notre Dame, UCLA, Florida State, Virginia, Boston College
Favorite NFL player: Cowboys safety Roy Williams
Favorite NFL team: Dallas Cowboys
Favorite all-time Terp: Randy White
Favorite music: Jay-Z, Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, Talib Kweli, Seal
Favorite book: Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
Favorite movie: The Ladies Man
Favorite TV show: American Gladiators
Favorite food: Mozzarella sticks
Favorite high school class: Poetry
Favorite thing about College Park: “Even though it’s a big campus, everything is really close together.”
Other high school sports: “Basketball, but I don’t think I’m good enough to play for them now.”
Hobbies: “I make music, write poetry, I make short movies, I listen to a lot of sports radio.”
Intended major: Broadcasting
Something that not many people know about you: “I have a split personality. I’m a nice guy when I’m off the field. There’s not many people that have bad things to say about me. But when I’m playing, I do some of the meanest things you’ve ever seen in your life.”
Best football moment: “Probably my last game against St. John’s. On fourth-and-one, we were down seven in the fourth quarter. They went for it, they were on our 8-yard line and I pushed the offensive tackle. I threw him back and made a 4-yard tackle for loss. We ended up driving down the field and then on our own fourth down we threw a pass and he was wide open, but the sun was in his eye and he couldn’t even see it.”
Role model: “Probably my dad. My dad’s a basketball coach, so I love sports because of him. I’m the only football player in the school that’s in the school musical every spring. When I first came to him about it, a lot of fathers that are basketball coaches – all they know is sports. They probably wouldn’t have been as open-minded to it, but my dad was always cool with it. He says as long as my grades are straight, he’s cool with it.”
Why Maryland? “I feel as if the coaching staff is probably the most genuine coaching staff and the most genuine people I’ve ever met in my life. When I went out to the All-American Combine last year ... the first day I destroyed everybody and Tom Lemming went on ESPN and said I was the best defensive tackle there. So everybody had me as the best defensive tackle in the country. The next day we ran the 40 in the rain outside and I ran a slow 40 time. Even though I was the best defensive tackle there, just because I ran a bad 40 time [schools] didn’t recruit me. But [Terps defensive line] coach [Dave] Sollazzo and [defensive coordinator] coach [Chris] Cosh contacted me and said, ‘We don’t care about that. When’s the last time a defensive lineman had to run 40 yards to get to a quarterback?’ The Wednesday when I got back from the combine, that’s when I committed.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 8:17 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 15, 2008

John Carroll hoops senior goes DI

It’s been a good couple of months for John Carroll guard/forward Mike Maczko.

First, the 6-foot-5 senior was named to the Intensity Basketball Classic All-Tournament team in late December, helping guide the Patriots to the tournament title.

Then over the weekend, Maczko made a verbal commitment to play basketball next fall at the New Jersey Institute of Technology -- a Division I school located in Newark, N.J.

Maczko chose NJIT over interest from Gardner Webb, Quinnipiac, Radford and Campbell. mike.jpg

The Highlanders offered Maczko during the summer, but he elected to take his time and bypass the fall signing period in November.

After weighing his options with his parents, Maczko decided that NJIT was the place for him.

“Probably just the opportunity to play right away and get a great education at the same time,” said Maczko when asked why he chose NJIT. “And also the fact that they were highly interested in me at first and they were pretty forward about it.”

John Carroll head coach Tony Martin was pleased with Maczko’s choice.

“I was excited,” Martin said. “I thought it was a good fit for him. It’s a very strong academic institution and most importantly, they really wanted him. I think for a lot of kids, you have to go into a situation where you are wanted and will be developed and have a chance to compete early on.”

The Highlanders currently sport an 0-18 record, competing as an independent in the program’s second year of DI play. But the infancy of the program is something that Maczko said excited him about the opportunity.

“I mean it’s the same thing with John Carroll -- just a new program trying to build and make a name for themselves,” Maczko said. “I just think it’s a competitive thing and I just want to make something big out of something small and be a part of something big.”

Maczko’s commitment makes him the third John Carroll basketball senior to pledge to a DI school. Center Jakub Kusmieruk signed with Central Florida and power forward Josh Wiegand inked with Loyola.

Photo credit: Christopher T. Assaf/Baltimore Sun

Posted by Matt Bracken at 6:01 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

Five questions: Maryland football recruiting

Long before Rivals and Scout hit the recruiting scene, there was today’s guest for ‘Five questions’.

Tom Lemming, national football recruiting analyst for CSTV and CSTV.com, has been one of the country's top football recruiting authorities for almost three decades. Here's Lemming’s bio:

Recognized as the country’s leading expert on college football recruiting and high school talent, Tom Lemming joined CSTV in June 2005 and serves as the host of “Tom Lemming’s Generation NEXT,” the only national weekly high school football recruiting show. Lemming, who logs 55,000 miles a year, also provides analysis of the top prep players in the country on CSTV.com, Lemming is also the editor of Prep Football Report, considered to be the “Bible of the football recruiting industry” and annually selects the team for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

lemming.jpg

Lemming has been a recruiting analyst for nearly 30 years. Over his career, Lemming's analyses and rankings of the country's leading high school athletes have been regularly featured in national publications, including USA Today. He recently was profiled in the just published book Football’s Second Season about recruiting and Lemming’s long journey.

Lemming took time from his ridiculously busy schedule to answer five questions (via e-mail) about UM football recruiting.

1.) What were your impressions of DeMatha wide receiver Kenny Tate at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl?

He is a big-time player. He plays on a run-oriented team in HS, but he proved himself as a big, physical sure-handed receiver. He is an outstanding downfield blocker. In the year of the great wide receiver, he’s one of the best.

What do you expect from him in college?

He’s talented enough to play a lot as a true freshman.

Did you get any sense as to where he might be leaning?

No, but Penn State, Florida, Illinois and Maryland are in the running

2.) What was your reaction to Maryland bringing back James Franklin? What's his reputation as a recruiter among coaches and players?

He’s a very good recruiter. A couple years ago, Franklin and Locksley dominated the scene. Maryland needs a guy like Franklin to keep the in-state players at home.

Will this move help the Terps stop losing D.C.-area players to Illinois and Mike Locksley?

I think it can go a long way with Franklin’s connections with the area coaches, just like Locksley has.

3.) How do you rank the Terps' 2008 class?

So far so good, not great. They are top 50, not top 40, but they can finish strong.

Are there any under-the-radar kids that you particularly like?

Kevin Dorsey

4.) How are the Terps positioned for the 2009 class? How talented are the local crop of players?

Next year looks like it’s going to be an outstanding year in Maryland. We had a lot of players at the [Army All-American Bowl] combine and Maryland is already on top of the top guys.

Are there any players in particular that Maryland is in great shape with?

They’re in on everyone, but it’s too early to tell.

Tavon Austin, RB
Jordan Love, CB
Leon Kinnard, Athlete
Michael Campanaro, DB
DeOnte Arnett, DE
Jelani Jenkins, LB

5.) The Terps desperately need a quarterback in 2009. Who are some realistic targets?

Tom Savage, a QB from Philadelphia. He’s one of the best in the area right now.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:23 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Five questions
        

January 14, 2008

Meet Kevin Dorsey

This is part of a series of 2008 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 6. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Kevin Dorsey
Birthdate: 2/23/90
Birthplace: Prince George’s Hospital in Cheverly
Hometown: Forestville
Nickname: Boobie
Height: 6’2
Weight: 190
Position: Wide receiver
High School: Forestville Military Academy
Senior statistics: 50 catches, 902 yards, 11 touchdowns, including an interception return for a touchdown, kick return for a touchdown and a rushing touchdown off of a fake punt.
Bench max: 315
40-yard dash: 4.4
Runner-up: Illinois
Favorite NFL player: Jerry Rice
Favorite NFL team: Washington Redskins
Favorite all-time Terp: E.J. Henderson
Favorite music: Lil Wayne, Jay-Z
Favorite book: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Favorite movies: Friday Night Lights, 300
Favorite TV:The History Channel and Discovery Channel -- anything on those channels.”
Favorite food: Salmon, fried chicken
Favorite high school class: Math
Favorite thing about College Park: “Just the diverse atmosphere. Throughout the campus you can run into all different types and sorts of people.”
Hobbies: “School, studying playbooks and football. At one point I did collect football cards. I like collecting DVDs, watching movies, things like that.”
Intended major: Business management and electrical engineering
Something that not many people know about you: “Nothing that I can think of.”
Best football moment: “I guess I’ll have to say my very first game playing high school [as a freshman.] I remember going down on kickoff and actually making the first tackle. I was playing DB at the time, and I think I had maybe two knockdowns and four or five tackles.”
Role model: “It would be my father if anything. He lets me know what to do and what not to do. He lets me make my own decisions, to a degree, but he’ll let me know what he thinks is the best idea. In some cases, he just directs me to what path should be taken. He’s just an overall great role model for a young man.”
Why Maryland? “The same reason that everyone says -- coach Friedgen. He not only cares for us as players, but as people. And that’s honestly the same environment I’ve had in high school. I want to be around the same kind of atmosphere in college.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:32 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 11, 2008

Weekly recruiting roundup

With less than a month remaining until Signing Day, the Maryland football program is apparently far from finished compiling its already highly regarded 2008 recruiting class.

Names like Tate and Kerr have been discussed for months, but in recent weeks several new targets have been identified.

TurtleSportsReport.com’s Sam Latter checks in with one of those emerging targets, South Carolina linebacker Sterling Lucas.

Something didn’t add up. Lucas’ 6-foot-2, 220 pound frame and speed—4.7 speed in the 40-yard dash—alone should have garnered at least a few lower-level offers. However, Lucas earned his first offer from Michigan State only days before earning South Carolina Defensive MVP honors in the Shrine Bowl.

His breakout performance did not go unnoticed. Shortly after his accolades, Lucas added offers from North Carolina State, North Carolina and Maryland. “I think Wake Forest is going to make an offer, and South Carolina has been talking to me,” he said.

• Another recently identified Terps target is Virginia Beach Green Run defensive lineman Joe Jones. In a ‘Five questions’ segment earlier this week, The Virginian-Pilot’s Bryan Black wrote that Virginia Tech was probably ‘the team to beat’ for Jones’ services. But according to The Roanoke (Va.) Times, the Hokies are currently low on scholarships.

[Dwight] Tucker is the 30th player to commit to the Hokies for 2008 but those numbers are a little deceptive. Three players will enroll in January, meaning that they can count toward Tech's 2007 quota, one other player (Cameron Demps) had his offer withdrawn for behavioral reasons and at least 2-3 others are expected to need prep school.

Tech remains in the running for four uncommitted in-state players. They are Roanoke Times Top 25 selections Marcus Davis and Randall Dunn from Ocean Lakes in Virginia Beach, quarterback Ju Ju Clayton from Hermitage in Richmond and defensive end Joe Jones from Green Run in Virginia Beach. Davis played quarterback but both he and Dunn project as collegiate receivers.

• There was some speculation that former Kansas State quarterback commitment Chris Harper might follow new Terps offensive coordinator James Franklin to College Park. No word on the likelihood of that scenario, but according to OregonLive.com, the Ducks are awfully confident in their chances of landing Harper.

Word is Chris Harper, who decommitted from Kansas State after a coaching change, is leaning heavily toward Oregon and might enroll in school this spring.

• Switching to a couple of long-time Maryland football targets, the Pocono (Pa.) Record has recruiting visit updates on DeMatha wide receiver Kenny Tate and Quince Orchard defensive tackle Zach Kerr.

Four-star wide receiver Kenny Tate of Hyattsville, Md., will take an official visit to Penn State on Jan. 25. He's already made officials to Maryland and Illinois and will visit Florida on Jan. 18.

... Three-star defensive tackle Zach Kerr is set for an official visit to Penn State on Jan. 18. The Gaithersburg, Md., product is also considering Maryland, Rutgers and Virginia Tech.

• Terps shooting guard commitment Sean Mosley continued his stellar senior season with 25 points last night. But his No. 2 St. Frances squad was upset by No. 5 City at the 12th annual Morgan State Basketball Academy.

"Our philosophy was there's no way in the world we can stop Sean Mosley, he's a great player," [City coach Mike] Daniel said. "So what we have to do is ... concentrate on the other players, and I thought we did a good job of doing it."

• Maryland point guard commit Bobby Maze has made a habit of filling Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College stat sheets lately. Maze led the 12-4 Dragons with 24 points and six assists in a win this week over conference rival Butler Community College.

Then came the highlight show that had most fans oohing and aahing. First, Weary slammed in two alley-oops from Maze assists. Then Maze had an ankle-twisting crossover move that led to an easy basket that again drew soft cries of appreciation.

• Embarrassing (but then impressive) moment for 2008 Terps women’s basketball commitment Dee Liles. The Gulf Coast Community College standout finished with eight points in a recent win over Tallahassee Community College, but not without some difficulty. The Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat explains.

The Lady Commodores' run was halted for 15 minutes while maintenance crew cleaned the floor after Gulf Coast's Dee Liles regurgitated near the TCC bench. Two minutes after the game resumed, Liles sank a layup to put Gulf Coast up 27-19 with 3:40 left.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 12:07 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

January 10, 2008

Meet R.J. Dill

This is part of a series of 2008 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 6. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Robert John Dill
Birthdate: 7/26/90
Birthplace: Athens, Ga.
Hometown: Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Nicknames: R.J.
Height: 6’7
Weight: 280
Position: Offensive tackle
High School: Trinity High School
Senior statistics: 26 tackles, two forced fumbles and four quarterback hurries
Bench max: 325
40-yard dash: 5.2
Runner-up: UConn
Other scholarships offered: Temple, Duke, Akron
Favorite NFL player: “It was Mike Vick, but he’s not really in the NFL anymore.”
Favorite NFL team: Atlanta Falcons
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman
Favorite music: Garth Brooks
Favorite book: The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
Favorite movie: Friday Nights Lights
Favorite TV show: Criminal Minds on CBS
Favorite food: Pizza
Favorite high school class: History
Favorite thing about College Park: “Location. It’s close to two big cities and College Park itself is kind of a fun town.”
Other high school sports: Basketball
Hobbies: Video games and movies
Intended major: Business or History
Something that not many people know about you: “My mom is from the next town over from coach Friedgen and Sollazzo in New York.”
Best football moment: “Probably being the winningest class in the history of Trinity; winning our division two years in the row and establishing a winning tradition at Trinity.”
Role model: “Probably my dad just because he’s always been there for me and always supported me. He was in the military and defended our country.”
Why Maryland? “I fell in the love with the coaching staff, coach [Bryan Bossard], who moved on, and [offensive line] coach [Tom] Brattan, who really knows his stuff. Coach Friedgen really knows his football. It’s the best school that offered me, has the best tradition and I’ll have a chance to compete for a spot. That’s what sold me on it. Everything fit.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:57 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 9, 2008

Meet Demetrius Hartsfield

This is part of a series of 2008 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 6. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Demetrius Hartsfield
Birthdate: 11/22/89
Birthplace: Raleigh, N.C.
Hometown: Raleigh, N.C.
Nicknames: None
Height: 6’2
Weight: 220
Position: Inside linebacker
High School: Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School
Senior statistics: 124 tackles, 10 sacks, two fumble recoveries; four catches, one touchdown
Bench max: 305
40-yard dash: 4.67
Runner-up: Wake Forest or Georgia
Other schools considered: East Carolina, North Carolina
Favorite NFL player: Brian Urlacher and Ray Lewis
Favorite NFL team: San Diego Chargers
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman
Favorite music: Jay-Z
Favorite book: None
Favorite movie: Friday Night Lights
Favorite TV show: Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Favorite food: French fries
Favorite high school class: Science
Favorite thing about College Park: “The community and how it’s all enclosed. It’s like Maryland, the college, is its own town.”
Other high school sports: Basketball and track
Hobbies: “Playing video games and lifting weights.”
Intended major: Psychology
Something that not many people know about you: “I’m laid back; kind of shy at first, when you first meet me.”
Best football moment: “I think my favorite memory is just experiencing all the camps I went to over the summer -- the experience of meeting all the other players. To be specific, probably the Nike camp in Georgia [was my best football memory].”
Role model: “My mom because she helped me in everything -- provided me with everything. She’s never missed any of my games. She came with me everywhere I went this summer and she will continue to be at all my games. She’s very supportive.”
Why Maryland? “One, because of the environment and how I was treated and another thing, I knew they had my major and I looked at the psychology facilities and they were pretty nice. Also, the history of linebackers that have been there in the last five or six years.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:21 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 8, 2008

Five questions: Maryland's Hampton Roads football recruiting

The Hampton Roads region in Virginia has increasingly become a Maryland football recruiting base. Few have followed high school football in the area closer than Bryan Black, the high school sports editor at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va.

Black, The Pilot's high school sports editor since 2000, has been with the paper since 1981 and held a variety of positions -- including Norfolk city editor and Portsmouth city editor.

Black was kind enough to answer five questions via e-mail on Terps football recruiting in the Hampton Roads region.

1.) What are your impressions of Terps wide receiver commitment Kerry Boykins? How is he regarded among Hampton Roads football followers? What do you expect from him in college?

The first word that comes to mind when I think Kerry Boykins is hands. He has tremendous hands. I've been watching high school football in some form or fashion since the 1960s, and he has made some of the most unbelievable catches in high school football games that I've ever seen.

He had a one-handed grab in the end zone in his junior year that was every bit as good as the one you see replayed regularly on TV made by the Southern Cal receiver a few years back. He has good speed, but he's not a burner. The knee injury he battled this season slowed him down some, and I don't think he ever fully regained his speed by season's end.

In terms of sheer talent, he's probably one of the top receivers ever to come out of Hampton Roads. He didn't get some of the postseason accolades he might have otherwise because he missed about half of the regular season due to injury. At The Virginian-Pilot, we made him second-team All-Tidewater simply because we didn't feel it was fair to make him first team over some other kids who had great seasons.

In the regular season, because he missed so much time with the knee injury, he had just 19 catches for 272 yards and four touchdowns. He was first-team All-Tidewater as a junior. I think he's a great pickup for Maryland. I would expect him to have an outstanding career. If he's healthy, I think it's possible he could play as a true freshman. He certainly has the talent.

2.) How big was it for Maryland to get Boykins and fend off the instate schools and some other traditional powers?

Boykins was a nice get for Maryland. Virginia Tech would have loved to have had him. Virginia has not recruited well in-state recently, so I'm not sure if Virginia was ever much of a player for him. Maryland clearly has a good in at Oscar Smith, which is currently the most dominant program in South Hampton Roads. Maryland already has former Oscar Smith star lineman Brian Whitmore on its roster.

3.) What kind of player is Virginia Beach Green Run defensive end Joe Jones? Why did he slip under the radar? Do the Terps have a decent chance? Who's the favorite?

Jones is a heckuva player. He played defensive tackle at Green Run, and it was very easy for any player from Green Run to slip under all radars. Green Run came into this season having won just two total games in the past seven seasons. There was little reason this decade for college coaches to know Green Run even existed, even though that's where Plaxico Burress came out of years ago. But a new coach, Shawn Wilson, came in last spring and changed a lot at Green Run, and Green Run had a tremendous season in 2007, going 9-1 in the Beach District and making the playoffs. We've been hearing that Virginia Tech is the team to beat for him, but Virginia Tech already has a ton of commitments, so I have to believe if Maryland is putting in the recruiting time, Maryland has a chance. He's a high-motor guy and a very interesting prospect.

4.) Who are some big-time Hampton Roads prospects for 2009? Do any have Maryland interest? Are there any players the Terps are really going after?

It's a little early for us to know who Maryland is really going after. We'll have a better idea after the local combines in the spring. But these are some of the best Class of 2009 players in South Hampton Roads (South Hampton Roads includes Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Suffolk -- and excludes Hampton and Newport News -- we cover the South Hampton Roads schools -- we do not cover the schools on the Peninsula, i.e., the schools in Hampton and Newport News) ... These are listed in no real particular order.

Logan Heastie, WR at Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake
Kevin Newsome, QB at Western Branch High School in Chesapeake
Mike Privott, LB at Lake Taylor High School in Norfolk
Sterlin Phifer, RB at Landstown High School in Virginia Beach
Tim Smith, WR/DB at Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake
Javanti Sparrow, DB at Western Branch High School in Chesapeake
Perry Jones, LB at Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake
Jerod Askew, LB at Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake
Tavon Gatlin, DB at Green Run High School in Virginia Beach
Telvion Clark, LB at Granby High School in Norfolk
Drew Jarrett, K at Cox High School in Virginia Beach

5.) How is Maryland perceived in the Hampton Roads area and the rest of Virginia? Can the Terps be an out-of-state program that steals an occasional Va. player, or at least a viable alternative for non-Virginia Tech and Virginia kids?

There's so much talent in Hampton Roads that Maryland should be able to pick up a player or two every year if it so desires. Virginia Tech can only get so many guys. Virginia recruits Hampton Roads, but its recruiting interest seems more broad and more to the north. Virginia Tech recruits South Hampton Roads extremely hard and is almost impossible to beat for a kid whose heart is already set on going to Blacksburg. You simply are not going to change the mind of those kids.

NC State and UNC also try to pluck kids out of South Hampton Roads annually. So, although the competition is pretty stiff, Maryland certainly can get kids every year if that's what it wants to do. There's more than enough talent to go around. There are South Hampton Roads kids every year who are good enough to play major D1 football, but they don't get major D1 offers because it seems the coaches can't seem to get past that tippy-top tier. The depth of talent in South Hampton Roads is extraordinary. That's one reason Norfolk State is really coming on at the I-AA level. Norfolk State's coaching staff finally started snatching up all these kids who probably could play at the I-A level. It's also a reason Old Dominion likely won't have any trouble being very competitive at the I-AA level when it starts playing football in 2009. There's a lot of talent to go around.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:38 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Five questions
        

January 5, 2008

U.S. Army All-American Bowl thoughts

For football recruiting junkies, today was the Super Bowl.

The East beat the West 33-23 in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. But the game is never really about the result. It’s about college football fanatics and anonymous message board posters finally seeing all the recruits they routinely hype up and fantasize about on a daily basis for the first time.

From a Terps standpoint, there admittedly wasn’t much to be excited about. The one Maryland target invited, DeMatha wide receiver Kenny Tate, made one big play on the day. East quarterback and Minnesota commit MarQueis Gray scrambled for what seemed like a good 15 seconds. Downfield near the right sideline, Tate broke free. Gray hit Tate, who proceeded to juke more than a few West defenders before being brought down near the center of the field for a 31-yard reception.

Here are some additional Army Bowl thoughts:

• East quarterback Terrelle Pryor was fantastic, earning game MVP honors with his 155 yards of total offense and two touchdowns. He also garnered effusive praise from the announcing crew throughout the game (Ray Bentley said whichever school lands Pryor has ‘just won the lottery’). Granted, recruiting is filled with hype and hyperbole (I’m probably guilty of my fair share of this.) But I can’t help but feel a little bad for Pryor, just as I did for Jimmy Clausen last year. Unless both quarterbacks become first-round NFL draft choices, it’s almost as if they are disappointments. I think Pryor will have a great college career, but is it possible to temper the enthusiasm just a bit? He’s not Vince Young yet.

All that said, the play of the day in my mind came when Pryor rolled right, bought some time and threw all the way across his body to hit Notre Dame commitment John Goodman in the left side of the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown. I got Matt Ryan vs. Virginia Tech flashbacks.

Dayne Crist (Notre Dame), Star Jackson (Alabama) and Terrelle Pryor (either Ohio State or Michigan, according to the announcers’ opinions) are all headed to traditional college football powers, but the other three quarterbacks went with some non-traditional choices. Andrew Luck made an academics-first choice this summer, selecting Stanford over Northwestern, Rice and Purdue among others. Blaine Gabbert backed off an earlier commitment to Nebraska and recently committed to his hometown school, Missouri. And MarQueis Gray announced for Minnesota today, a team that went 1-11 in Tim Brewster’s first year as head coach.

The big boys of college football will always nab the lion’s share of big-time prospects, but if you’re a Maryland fan, it’s good to know that some top-flight players pay attention to depth charts. The Terps desperately need a big-time quarterback in the class of 2009 – and they’ve got the available playing time to point to. Maybe UM can be one of next year’s non-traditional powers and land a Gray, Gabbert or Luck type.

• I was really impressed with two former Maryland running back targets – Ohio State-bound Lamaar Thomas and Virginia Tech commit Ryan Williams. With Thomas, it’s all about getting him in space and letting him showcase his ridiculous speed. If Ohio State gets creative with Thomas, he’ll be the perfect compliment to Beanie Wells. Williams has great speed, but also runs with a lot of power. You could easily make a case for Williams being one of the most complete backs in the country.

• The most surprising declaration for me was Chandler, Ariz. wide receiver/safety Gerell Robinson going with the hometown Arizona State Sun Devils over Notre Dame, the school Rivals.com’s Mike Farrell thought was the favorite. You’ve got to feel for Arizona. The Wildcats offered G-Rob as a quarterback, he committed during his junior season and then proceeded to not only back off, but ultimately switch to the UA’s hated rival. On the bright side, Robinson withdrew his commitment to Arizona a long time ago, so they weren’t left in a lurch. And the Wildcats also earned a commitment from Hawaii lineman Solomon Koehler at the game.

• Not that there was much (if any) of an excuse for Notre Dame to go 3-9 this year, but there will be even less of one next year – if the Army game is any indication. The game featured 14 (!) Irish commitments and plenty of them had impressive days. Wide receiver Michael Floyd caught two touchdown passes and had 118 yards receiving. Dayne Crist looked really sharp at quarterback. This recruiting class (which is currently the top-rated class in the country per Rivals) follows two previous standout Irish classes. Sure, they’ll be a young team, but those youngsters are some of the most talented guys in the country. No more excuses.

• Some interesting junior names dot this U.S. Army All-Combine Team list. The most notable name for Terps fans? Baltimore’s own Tavon Austin. Let the countdown to the 2009 Army game begin.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 7:00 PM | | Comments (1)
        

January 4, 2008

Weekly recruiting roundup

• An already impressive senior season keeps getting better for Terps shooting guard commitment Sean Mosley. On Wednesday, Mosley led his St. Frances squad to a 70-54 win over John Carroll -- a team that features multiple future DI players. Mosley had 34 points in the win.

“They tried to double-team me; I know a lot of teams are going to try to come out and do that," Mosley said. "I was able to split it, other guys got in the open court and it all worked out."

Mosley made 12 of 14 field-goal attempts and went 8-for-10 from the free-throw line.

• According to Rivals.com’s Jerry Meyer, Maryland big man target Greg Echenique is a 2009 prospect whose stock is on the rise.

Greg Echenique: Teamed with Samardo Samuels, Echenique has been a defensive and rebounding force for St. Benedict's. The 2009 center is drawing a high degree of recruiting interest with his recent play and has emerged as a top recruiting target for Duke.

• A former Terps running back target has narrowed his list to three. According to the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, Virginia Beach running back Kevin Whaley is focused on two Big Ten schools and one Big East team.

Running back Kevin Whaley, a two-time Virginia regional player of the year and two-time All-Tidewater player of the year from Salem High School in Hampton Roads, has the Gophers, Michigan State and Connecticut as his final considerations, and he will visit Minnesota on Jan. 16, according to the Virginian-Pilot newspaper.

• Terps fans can catch DeMatha wide receiver and 2008 Maryland target Kenny Tate in action tomorrow at 1 p.m. on NBC in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. There hasn’t been a ton of info on Tate’s performance this week, other than this brief nugget from Scout.com’s Bob Lichtenfels

After a great Monday performance, Kenny Tate seemed to have a case of the dropsies and didn’t look sharp at all.

With an official visit scheduled to Florida this month, Tate is not scheduled to make his announcement during the game.

• Might former Kansas State quarterback commitment Chris Harper follow new Terps offensive coordinator James Franklin to Maryland? According to this article from The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle last Friday, it’s a possibility.

Harper won't say much, except that he's considering taking a self-paid visit to College Park to look around.

"It's kind of a wait-and-see thing," Harper said. "The only thing would be trying to get a feel for the head coach (Ralph Friedgen).

"For me, it would be dumb not to at least take a look at see what they have to offer."

Here’s a highlight video of Harper:

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:13 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

January 3, 2008

Meet Matt Furstenburg

Name: Matt Furstenburg
Birthdate: 6/19/89
Birthplace: Somerset, N.J.
Hometown: Whitehouse Station, N.J.
Nicknames: Furst
Height: 6-4
Weight: 230
Position: Tight end
High School: Hunterdon (N.J.) Central
Prep School: The Hun School (Princeton, N.J.)
Senior statistics: 28 catches, 350 yards, 4 touchdowns
Bench max: 365
40-yard dash: 4.58
Runner-up: North Carolina
Other schools considered: Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt
Favorite NFL player: Jeremy Shockey
Favorite NFL team: New York Giants
Favorite all-time Terp: Vernon Davis
Favorite music: Lil Wayne
Favorite book: Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy
Favorite movie: The Matrix
Favorite TV show: Home Improvement
Favorite food: Buffalo wings
Favorite high school class: Math
Favorite thing about College Park: “The number of people there.”
Other high school sports: Lacrosse
Hobbies: “I like to hunt and fish.”
Intended major: Business
Something that not many people know about you: “I like chilling out and watching movies.”
Best football moment: “I intercepted a pass for a touchdown my senior year of high school against Ridge.”
Role model: “My dad. He’s just given me great opportunities and taught me so much.”
Why Maryland? “The coaching staff, the team, the overall school and the student life.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:09 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 2, 2008

Meet Zach Brown

This is the first in a series of 2008 Maryland football commitment Q&As. All answers are provided by the featured player.

Name: Zach Brown
Birthdate: 10/23/89
Birthplace: Estill, South Carolina
Hometown: Columbia, MD
Nicknames: ZB
Height: 6’2 3/4
Weight: 215
Position: Outside linebacker
High School: Wilde Lake
Prep School: Hargrave Military Academy
Senior statistics: N/A
Bench max: 350
40-yard dash: 4.39
Runner-up: Tennessee or North Carolina
Other schools considered: Marshall, North Carolina, Tennessee, Akron, Western Kentucky
Favorite NFL player: Bob Sanders
Favorite NFL team: St. Louis Rams
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman
Favorite music: TI, Lil Wayne
Favorite book: And Then There Were None
Favorite movie: I Am Legend
Favorite TV show: Family Guy
Favorite food: Chitlins
Favorite high school class: Math
Favorite thing about College Park: The location
Other high school sports: Wrestling, Track
Hobbies: Drawing, listening to music
Intended major: “Something in architectural design.”
Something that not many people know about you: “Actually, I tried out for the basketball team and made it ... at Wilde Lake. My wrestling coach had to talk to the basketball coach, and he made him cut me. I was just doing it to keep me in shape.”
Best football moment: “Playing Long Reach my junior year and I broke for a 30-yard run that sparked the scoring drive that gave the team life. We beat them 24-21 that year.”
Role model: “I have somebody who always gives me advice. Asmar Hagler, he was my wrestling coach. He gives me advice, what to do, what not to do inside and outside of school. He’s there for me when I need something. Whenever I have an issue I can talk to him. Whenever I feel down, he says to just stick with it.”
Why Maryland? “The education, the players there -- I get along with the players -- the location and then just being able to stay close to home.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:20 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 1, 2008

Bossard and recruiting

The reshuffling of the Terps’ football staff continued this weekend with the announcement that Maryland had let go wide receivers coach Bryan Bossard.

I’ve received a few e-mails asking how the loss of Bossard impacts recruiting. Overall, it looks like Bossard (who recruited Prince George's County, Washington D.C., eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware) had some big hits, a few misses and a couple notable recruiting losses during his three-year Terps tenure.

According to Rivals.com, Bossard was responsible for recruiting the following players:

2006: Linebacker Adrian Moten from Gwynn Park High School, quarterback Jeremy Ricker from Harrisburg, Pa., running back Da’Rel Scott from Conshohocken, Pa. and running back/defensive back Pha’ Terrell Washington from Westlake High School.

The notable loss from 2006 was Dunbar and now Illinois cornerback Vontae Davis, Vernon’s little brother and the player often credited with beginning the D.C. to Champaign, Ill. pipeline.

Other than that, it was an excellent first haul for Bossard. Granted, Ricker is gone, but he was a highly-sought quarterback prospect. Scott and Washington were also four-star guys. Moten, a three-star, has turned out to be the best of the bunch thus far. Still, it was a great first effort for Bossard.

2007: Fullback Taylor Watson from Gwynn Park.

This was the Arrelious Benn year. Ouch.

2008: Offensive tackle R.J. Dill from Camp Hill, Pa. and wide receiver Kevin Dorsey from Forestville.

All indications are that Dorsey will be an instant-impact guy -- definitely a headliner in Maryland’s 2008 class. Dill had some other nice offers and has good potential. The major disappointment this year for Bossard was when Tavon Wilson switched his commitment from Maryland to (who else?) Illinois.

Newly hired offensive coordinator James Franklin recruited Prince George’s County and D.C. during his earlier tenure with the Terps, so he’d be a logical choice to take over that section of Bossard’s turf. But that, of course, also depends on who Bossard’s successor is, and what areas of the East Coast that hire is familiar with.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:19 AM | | Comments (4)
        
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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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