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January 15, 2008

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, 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, 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 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


At least Terps football pretends to go after top talent.

Sure their success rate is low, at best; but they have good excuses at least - and the only reason they even are considered is b/c of the head coach.

Only similarity with Terps basketball is the low success rate with top recruits.

There are no excuses for them though. Top notch facilities, best bball conference, and a great tradition. The reason they don't even get considered is b/c of the head coach.

If Gary loses to Wake tonight - it's time to strongly consider if his time has passed. Complete nose dive since that magical Dixon/Baxter/Blake/Wilcox team. Problem is, with his recruiting (or lackthereof), you can only catch lightning in a bottle so many times.

I mean, let's be real.

What is so great about playing ACC football, much less at Maryland, to a top recruit? The ACC is probably the worst conference in the BCS. And at Maryland, the football team is always going to be second fiddle to the basketball program, no matter how competitive they are.

In basketball, the graduation rate has hurt the recruiting process. A lot of coaches (apparently led by Thad Matta) seem to have no problem with letting in a string of one-and-doners, but Gary can't afford that right now (why do you think we lost Terrence Jennings?). Instead he's building up classes of guys that will be solid college players. The last two classes have gotten pretty good ratings, and next year's players are going to be immediate impact-type guys. I think Gary Williams is unfairly attacked for recruiting sometimes - we forget how highly-ranked the post-championship classes were, and how they didn't pan out.

Although I am pretty upset we didn't get any of the following: Roy Hibbert, Ty Lawson, Kevin Durant, Scottie Reynolds, Jack McClinton, Donte Green, Jeff Green. At least one of those names would've been apprecitated.

Franklin will make a big difference for the Terps in football recruiting. He came in late this year, but I expect he will have a great impact in garnering some of Baltimore and Maryland's best players in 2008 for the Terps. With this area beginning to gain more respect for high school talent, do you expect Ralph to see the Terps success on the field translate to greater success in in-state recruiting?

Can Maryland compete with other southern schools and make a serious run at the National Championship? It would be nice to see in it again since 1954.

Frank - I think the Terps had good success this year in-state, and could have a better in-state group for the class of 2009.

TechTerp - National Championship? I'd say first they need to compete for an ACC title. Baby steps, but they're moving in the right direction.

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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.

High school recruiting database
Area high school commitments -- 2009
Area high school commitments -- 2008
Maryland's 2011 football commitments
Maryland's 2010 football recruiting class
Maryland's 2009 football recruiting class
Maryland's 2008 football recruiting class

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