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January 26, 2008

Weekly recruiting roundup

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

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

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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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