Weekly recruiting roundup
Maryland landed its highest-rated recruit of the 2009 class yesterday when Quince Orchard cornerback Travis Hawkins committed to the Terps over offers from Penn State, Michigan and Oregon.
TurtleSportsReport.com’s Seth Hoffman was on hand for the news conference, where Hawkins mentioned his new role as a recruiter for UM.
Hawkins also wants to continue the stream of in-state players going to Maryland. With him and [Caleb Porzel already in the fold, Hawkins immediately turned his attention to teammate and Maryland target Jason Ankrah, who sat with the rest of the football team in the auditorium.
“Jason, you’re my No. 1 recruit right now,” Hawkins said after making his decision.
• Two Maryland defensive linemen signees from the class of 2008 were in College Park this week. Cody Blue and Zach Kerr suited up for Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy in its scrimmage against Maryland’s JV squad. The Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens spoke with Blue and Kerr.
Both Blue and Kerr said the sort of things you would expect to hear from guys who are attending prep schools -- that they would have liked to have made it to Maryland this year, but that they're in better shape academically because of the structure of a military academy.
Both also emphasized they are on track to arrive at Maryland when the spring semester starts -- although they enjoyed the bonus preview they received earlier this week.
• Brooklyn, N.Y., lineman Oday Aboushi -- a classmate of Terps basketball commitment James Padgett -- claims a Maryland offer and says UM and Rutgers are the two schools recruiting him the hardest.
Aboushi admits that Maryland has impressed him the most with their play thus far this season. "They beat Cal and kept Wake Forest from scoring," he said. "They are playing really well. They are a great team and I really like how the coaches stress academics there. I think that's important."
• Woodbridge, Va., running back De’Antwan Williams told Rivals.com this week that the Terps are one of four leaders in his recruitment.
“I would probably say my favorites are Alabama, West Virginia, Pitt and Maryland,” he said. “I’m not sure who would be number five but I like those four a lot.”
Austin has scheduled an official visit to UNC on Nov. 7. He’s already visited Michigan and lists West Virginia as his third school.
The 5-8, 160-pound scatback piled up 2,553 yards rushing and 32 touchdowns as a junior at Dunbar High School.
Williams and Padgett are both the type of big men that coach Gary Williams has had success with during his career. Neither prospect has received a lot of hype, but they are more than competent players who have successfully competed against more highly ranked big men in their class. They are hungry, blue-collar players who I expect to succeed at Maryland.
• Patterson (N.C.) School senior Arsalan Kazemi visited Seton Hall recently but didn’t make a commitment. Kazemi’s adviser, Anthony Ibrahim, told Zags Blog that Kazemi still wants to make two additional official visits.
Kazemi, hoping to become the first Iranian to play American college ball, will visit Rice next weekend and Maryland Nov. 8 for an exhibition.
Other schools remain interested, but those are the only official visits yet set.
“We’re going to see what the future Hall of Famer Ben Braun [of Rice] brings to the table,” Ibrahim said. “And we’ve gotta see what Mr. Gary Williams thinks.”
“It was great,” Epps said. “I loved everything. We went to a football game and I saw their real practice for the first time. It was good. I saw how Gary Williams controlled both teams. I like the way he coaches.”
That same weekend, Albany Bishop Maginn guard Taran Buie attended Maryland. Buie lists Maryland, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame as his leaders. He was slated to visit Georgia Tech this past weekend and Notre Dame this coming weekend.
Playing for a high-profile high school program under long-time head coach Bob Farrell at Seton Hall Prep as well as playing up on the 17-U team of the NY Panthers AAU program has brought a lot of early recruiting attention to the 6-foot-1, 170 pound sophomore. Gibbs rattled off an impressive list of schools showing early interest in his abilities.
“The schools that have shown interest are Maryland, Connecticut, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Seton Hall, Florida and Rutgers,” indicated Gibbs. As for favorites, it's too early to call as “at this point all of the schools are even,” says Sterling.