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January 31, 2009

Meet C.J. Brown

This is part of a series of 2009 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 4. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Clark David Brown Jr.
Birthdate: June 27, 1991
Birthplace: Troy, Mich.
Hometown: Cranberry Township, Pa.
Nicknames: C.J.
Height: 6’3
Weight: 190
Position: Quarterback
High School: Seneca Valley (Pa.) High School
Senior statistics: 149-of-269 for 2,154 yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions. 640 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns on 131 carries
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 17 dual-threat quarterback, No. 14 player in Pennsylvania. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 67 quarterback.
Bench press: 260
40-yard dash: 4.58
Runner-up: Penn State or Michigan State
Other schools considered: Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Stanford, Boston College
Favorite NFL player: Tom Brady
Favorite NFL team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Favorite all-time Terp: Vernon Davis
Favorite music: Akon
Favorite book: Friday Night Lights
Favorite movie: Step Brothers
Favorite TV show: Lost
Favorite food: Mexican
Favorite high school class: Newspaper
Favorite thing about College Park: “The weather and probably the atmosphere."
Other high school sports: Basketball
Hobbies: "I like to play golf, play cards with some friends, hang out."
Intended major: Undecided
Something that not many people know about you: “I can hit a golf ball 300 yards.”
Best football moment: “Probably throwing my first touchdown pass my sophomore year in a varsity game.”
Role model: “My parents just because they're always there for me and always setting the right example."
Why Maryland? “Just because of the coaches. I mean, we just got along so well. They have great academics and that’s what I was really looking for. And they have a great football program and it wasn’t too far away from home.”

Click here for a recap of Brown's senior season.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 8:14 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 30, 2009

Weekly recruiting roundup

While his future coach bemoaned past recruiting losses and battled athletic department staff members, Maryland power forward recruit Jordan Williams made history.

On Tuesday night, Williams’ Torrington (Conn.) team fell to Crosby, 73-70. But the UM commitment scored 50 points, grabbed 23 rebounds and blocked four shots while breaking a long-standing school record.

For 22 years, Murray Williams was the all-time scoring leader for Torrington High, but those 22 years came to an end Tuesday night when his nephew, Little Jordan -- all 6 feet, 10 inches of him -- passed him.

With 5 minutes, 44 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Jordan Williams scored on a put-back, and officially the torch was passed from one Williams to another.

• St. Frances forward Terrell Vinson was named boys Athlete of the Week by The Baltimore Sun.

The 6-foot-7 senior forward led No. 2 St. Frances to three victories last week, including two over ranked teams. Vinson, a transfer from Montrose Christian, scored 34 points and had 14 rebounds in the Panthers' 83-76 double-overtime win against No. 5 Mount St. Joseph; 23 points and 12 rebounds in a 68-49 victory over No. 14 John Carroll; and 22 points and eight rebounds in a 96-38 win against St. Maria Goretti. Vinson has a 3.0 grade-point average and averages 27 points, eight rebounds and 3.3 blocks.

The Gazette profiled Montrose Christian shooting guard Terrence Ross this week. The 6-foot-5 Oregon native has heard from Maryland and several other schools.

Ross, who lives just off campus with other out-of-county players, has drawn local attention from Maryland and Georgetown. According to Rivals.com, he has offers from Washington, Arizona State, California and Oregon State. Ross mentioned Kentucky, Louisville, Villanova, Oklahoma, Memphis, Tennessee and 2008 National Champion Kansas as other programs that interest him.

A report last May by ESPNU said "Ross may be considered the No. 1 two-guard prospect out West in the Class of 2010," referred to his frame as "Jordan-esque" and called his athleticism "off the charts."

• UM junior power forward target Tobias Harris came off the injury list Saturday and had a double-double (22 points, 14 rebounds) in Long Island (N.Y.) Lutheran’s 63-61 win over All Hallows. On Tuesday, Harris helped Lutheran to a 70-55 win over Bishop Ford.

While highly touted junior Tobias Harris (18 points) made his second appearance since missing 12 games because of torn ligaments in his ankle, [Achraf] Yacoubou was the hero for LuHi for a second straight day against a New York City team.

• Terps junior shooting guard prospect Taran Buie led Bishop Maginn with 21 points in its 61-56 loss to Boys and Girls (N.Y.). Albany (N.Y.) television and radio personality Rodger Wyland penned a recruiting-related message to Buie on TimesUnion.com.

Memo to Taran Buie: After spending Saturday night in State College watching your brother, Talor Battle, help Penn State beat Iowa before 10,000, I couldn't help but envision you and Talor in the backcourt together. Penn State's program is on the rise, and I can see the headlines now: Buie and Battle lead the Nittany Lions to another win, and a spot in the Final Four.

• Maryland women’s power forward commitment Tianna Hawkins played a huge role in Riverdale Baptist’s 81-48 win over Harrisburg (Pa.) this week.

Tianna Hawkins led the Crusaders with 31 points and 13 rebounds. Tierra Hawkins also had a double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds, as Riverdale Baptist improved to 16-2.

• Terps women’s combo guard recruit Natasha Cloud was held in check offensively during Cardinal O’Hara’s 47-37 win over Villa Maria Sunday.

Kayla McBride, a 5-foot 11-inch junior guard, led Villa Maria (14-3) with 18 points. McBride place tough defense on 5-foot 10-inch junior guard Natasha Cloud, who was scoreless. Cloud has verbally committed to Maryland.

Football recruiting

• Marietta, Ga., offensive tackle Nick Klemm, a Boston College commitment, is now considering Maryland thanks to a change on the Eagles’ coaching staff.

Klemm - a 6-foot-6, 280-pound tackle - was 100 percent committed to BC but that was before offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. took a job with the Giants. The Wheeler standout went on an official visit to Boston College on Dec. 12.

After just returning from an official to Maryland this past weekend, Klemm’s recruitment status now comes down to a two-team race between Boston College and the Terrapins.

“It’s pretty tough to deal with something like this,” Klemm said. “It’s very hard to build relationships in a short amount of time. Boston College hasn’t named an offensive line coach yet, and that’s someone you want to know. You’ll be with that person throughout your college career.

• Forestville defensive end DeOnte Arnett, Roosevelt D.C., linebacker Darin Drakeford, West Florence, S.C., linebacker Avery Murray, and Fork Union, Va., linemen Zach Kerr and Cody Blue got a jump on their classmates this week by enrolling early at College Park. The Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens expects this to especially benefit linebackers Drakeford and Murray.

Getting into school early is far from a guarantee of playing time. But regardless of where Drakeford and Murray fit in, they are going to get a ton of work during spring practice.

Consider that Maryland loses five of its top eight linebackers from last year's two deep --- Chase Bullock, Rick Costa, Trey Covington, Moise Fokou and Dave Philistin. Then, consider that Alex Wujciak and Ben Pooler will both sit out after undergoing knee surgeries.

The State of Columbia, S.C., named Terps defensive line commitment Justin Anderson its 4A all-area defensive player of the year.

WHAT HE DID: Shrine Bowl player made 51 total tackles, 13 for losses, two sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick.

HIS FIRST TOUCH: “I started playing football in the fifth grade and I just got hooked into it.”

HIS COLLEGE CHOICE: “I committed to Maryland and I’m just really excited about having the opportunity to play Division 1 football.”

• John Wallpher conducted a brief Q&A with UM offensive tackle recruit Pete deSouza for Scout.com this week.

Scout.com: How was the recruiting experience?

DeSouza: It all started last year. It was real cool. My mom really helped me out. And then in June I went to Maryland and loved it so I committed there.

• Newark, Del., offensive tackle Malcolm Bunche committed to Miami this week.

Bunche (6-foot-6, 322) had made a non-binding verbal commitment in August to Rutgers, but in November decided to re-open his college search, which came down to Miami, Rutgers and Maryland.

"It just felt right," Bunche said of committing to Miami.

• Stafford, Va., defensive end Lanford Collins, a former UM target, was going to wait until Signing Day announce his choice , but decided today to publically declare for Virginia Tech.

He received scholarship offers from a dozen schools. He initially narrowed his choices down to Virginia Tech, Virginia and Penn State. He then eliminated Penn State and was down to the state rivals.

• Good Counsel linebacker Jelani Jenkins will most likely choose between Florida and Penn State on Signing Day.

Under Armour All-American linebacker Jelani Jenkins (Wheaton, Md./Good Counsel) is considering Penn State, Florida, USC, Notre Dame and Stanford. Speculation centers around the Nittany Lions and Gators having the inside track with perhaps Urban Meyer's team being the top choice. Jenkins will announce his decision on Wednesday on ESPNU.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:44 AM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

January 29, 2009

Meet Darin Drakeford

This is part of a series of 2009 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 4. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Darin Drakeford
Birthdate: July 5, 1991
Birthplace: Washington DC
Hometown: Washington DC
Nicknames: Drake
Height: 6’1
Weight: 215
Position: Outside linebacker
High School: Theodore Roosevelt (D.C.) High School
Senior statistics: 91 solo tackles, 33 assists and 14 sacks. 768 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns on 37 carries. 22 receptions for 422 yards and four touchdowns
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 77 outside linebacker, No. 3 player in DC. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 41 weakside linebacker.
Bench max: 265
40-yard dash: 4.57
Runner-up: Duke
Other schools considered: Pittsburgh, Illinois, Boston College
Favorite NFL player: Marion Barber
Favorite NFL team: Dallas Cowboys
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman or Vernon Davis
Favorite music: 2Pac, Biggie, Lil Wayne
Favorite book: The Malcolm X Autobiography
Favorite TV show: The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Favorite food: Chicken
Favorite high school class: English
Favorite thing about College Park: “The location.”
Other high school sports: Basketball, track
Hobbies: “Listening to music.”
Intended major: Undecided
Something that not many people know about you: “Growing up I played the trumpet. Another thing is until my junior year of high school, I always thought I’d be in college playing basketball.”
Best football moment: "I’d have to say there’s two. My first hit, I made the running back fumble, and my last hit, when I sacked the quarterback on Homecoming my senior year. It was like a really big hit and the quarterback, at the last minute, saw me coming. And he started going down [before I could hit him full on]. My first hit was one of the best hits of my career.”
Role model: “I would say my coach [Daryl Tilghman]. He always told me to never be scared to ask people things. He said the worst thing people could say was 'no.' He never bites his tongue or is afraid to ask something. I admire him for that.”
Why Maryland? “I thought about things outside of football. That’s what ultimately made me decide on Maryland. The location and the graduation rates [were important factors]. After you graduate, you can come right back to Washington DC and get a high-paying job right out of college.”

Click here for a recap of Drakeford’s senior season.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 8:19 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 28, 2009

Meet Avery Graham

This is part of a series of 2009 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 4. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Avery Graham
Birthdate: Jan. 8, 1991
Birthplace: Baltimore
Hometown: Originally from Baltimore, now lives in Clarksburg
Nicknames: None
Height: 5’10
Weight: 195
Position: Defensive back
High School: Clarksburg High School
Senior statistics: 84 tackles, three sacks and four interceptions (one returned for a touchdown). 620 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 51 carries. Nine receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns.
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 69 cornerback, No. 5 fastest cornerback. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 105 running back.
Bench max: 265
40-yard dash: 4.23
Other schools considered: “It was Maryland all the way. A lot of schools were contacting me, but I always liked the Terps. I’m from Baltimore and I wanted to stay near my brother. I didn’t consider other schools. I had other offers, but it was Maryland all the way.”
Favorite NFL player: Ed Reed
Favorite NFL team: Baltimore Ravens
Favorite movie: Boyz n the Hood
Favorite TV show: House
Favorite food: Chicken fingers
Favorite high school class: Science
Favorite thing about College Park: “Probably the Gossett team house.”
Other high school sports: Indoor and outdoor track
Hobbies: “Playing video games, taking care of my animals, going to the animal farm with my boys.”
Intended major: Animal science
Something that not many people know about you: “A lot of people don’t know I like animals. They don’t see that I’m the type that would like animals, but I’ve been raising animals all my life. I have birds, I have a macaw and a horse, a lot of dogs and goats and cows. I live on a farm out here. I also did something called arabbing in Baltimore. We got on the carriage with a horse and we’d sell fruit. I used to do that when I was younger.”
Best football moment: “It definitely has to be when we played Watkins Mill High School. It was a really muddy game and a hard-hitting game because we were rivals. It was our last game of the [regular] season last year. But we were playing for this little bowl. We went to four overtimes. The game was so long, but I scored the winning touchdown on a 44 counter. [The win gave us a] 10-0 record.”
Role model: “It’s got to be my mom because she gives me lots of inspiration. I don’t live with my mom anymore, but she lets me know where I come from and [tells me to not] forget where I come from.”
Why Maryland? “Because for one, if I maintain a 2.5 [grade-point average] they’ll let me run track and that was kind of my first sport. That was one of the main reasons I got a football scholarship -- because of my speed. But it was close to home and close to all my support people. I want to stay near my brother (9) who lives in Baltimore. And I just love Maryland football. And they have my major, which is animal science. It’s an agricultural school, so it’s the best thing to do. And looking at Maryland historically, a lot of their defensive backs go to the NFL. That’s definitely an opportunity for me to be in the best situation.”

Click here for a recap of Graham’s senior season.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 8:14 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 27, 2009

Wise safety Titus Till talks Maryland pledge

Titus Till grew up dreaming of playing football at the next level. He just didn’t think it would be the American version of the sport.

Much of Till’s childhood was spent in Italy, where his father, Durward Till III, was stationed at the Aviano Air Base. For sport, Till turned to Italy’s national pastime.

“Soccer was my first sport,” Till said. “When I was a child I used to go to the playground. We lived in an Italian neighborhood. Just as you see on TV and movies, I’d be playing [soccer] with the Italian kids. That’s all they do.

“So I always thought I would play on a professional scale as a soccer player. I always saw myself on TV running down the field with a soccer ball at my feet. ... I was talking to my parents the other day, and they never envisioned [me playing Division I football].”

In about a year and a half, that’s exactly what Till will do. He committed to Maryland on Saturday, becoming the first member of the Terps’ 2010 football recruiting class. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder from Wise High School in Upper Marlboro picked up the UM offer in December.

“I had been thinking about [committing] over the small period of time before I went and visited [College Park last weekend],” Till said. “I didn’t tell [the coaching staff that I wanted to commit] when I got there. I waited until the end just to make sure it was the right decision. They showed me the football facilities and I talked to coach [Ralph] Friedgen and coach [Don] Brown, the new defensive coordinator. I just liked the whole atmosphere and [committing] was the whole exclamation mark at the end of the visit.”

Till was born in Anchorage, Alaska and lived there for a year and a half before moving to Okinawa, Japan. After three years in Japan, the Tills moved to Italy, where they remained for seven-plus years. Till gave up soccer for football in seventh grade when his family moved from Italy to Medical Lake, Wash. He played quarterback as a seventh grader before moving to Maryland for his eighth grade year. The Till family spent six months in Annapolis before settling in Upper Marlboro. His first year playing safety on a full-time basis was as a 10th grader at Wise.

Wise head coach DaLawn Parrish, a former Baltimore Sun All-Metro selection at Howard High School, thinks Till’s best days are ahead of him.

“He’s an outstanding player,” Parrish said. “But I believe his best football is ahead of him because he does so much. He’s an outstanding citizen in the school. He has a 3.5 GPA, he [plays saxophone] in the jazz band, does acting, he’s in the theater classes, plays basketball, runs track. So he does so many different things. In college he’ll be able to focus on one thing. I’m sure he’ll excel from that point on.”

A two-year starter at free safety, Till recorded 30 solo tackles, 35 assists, two tackles for loss, one interception, five pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery as a junior. Offensively he caught five passes for 32 yards in a possession receiver role. He also punted 23 times for a 37-yard average, landing 10 punts inside the 20-yard line.

With Parrish as his coach for the last two-plus years, Till has received expert instruction in playing free safety from a four-year standout at Wake Forest. Parrish, a defensive back for the Demon Deacons from 1995-99, says he sees plenty of attributes in Till’s game that will translate well to the ACC.

“He hits like a truck,” Parrish said. “He comes downhill and gets his pad level right. To be 6-2 and be able to get his pad level under the opponents’ pads [is impressive]. He reacts well coming out of the break and attacks that high point. He’s a leader in the secondary and does a great job with that. He does everything a safety’s supposed to do. He’s going to develop into a cover-2 safety. He’s very good in man-to-man situations when he’s on the ball. He’s so smart, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he weighed in at 215 or 220 [once he enrolls at UM].”

Till still has another football season (plus one and a half basketball seasons, two years of track and plenty of additional jazz band concerts and theater performances) before he enrolls at UM. But Till said there’s no doubt in his mind that he made the right choice in committing so early.

“It basically just ties into wanting to have a great team,” Till said. “I want to go somewhere where there are going to be a lot of great players around me. If I set myself out there, it shows [other players] they need to commit early so they know who’s going to be on the team. I’m looking at this as a team aspect thing, but also to help Maryland in the future. ... I just feel very blessed to be in this position right now and just have the opportunity to get it out of the way. It’s just a wonderful opportunity.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 4:29 PM | | Comments (5)
        

Meet David Mackall

This is part of a series of 2009 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 4. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: David Mackall
Birthdate: March 20, 1991
Birthplace: Baltimore
Hometown: Baltimore
Nicknames: “My family calls me Mookie.”
Height: 6’3
Weight: 230
Position: Leo
High School: Edmondson-Westside High School
Senior statistics: 91 tackles, six sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Four stars, No. 15 strongside defensive end, No. 9 player in Maryland. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 83 defensive end.
Bench max: 335
40-yard dash: 4.7
Runner-up: Georgia
Other schools considered: Clemson, Syracuse
Favorite NFL player: Julius Peppers
Favorite NFL team: Baltimore Ravens
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman
Favorite music: Gucci Mane, Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, Kanye West
Favorite book: The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Favorite movie: Remember the Titans
Favorite TV show: The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Favorite food: Fried chicken
Favorite high school class: World history
Favorite thing about College Park: “My favorite thing about College Park is the chemistry that the team has. When I went up there for my official visit, everybody stuck together and interacted with each other like they were family. You wouldn’t have people sitting apart; everyone was together. And I noticed that was different than a lot of other schools.”
Other high school sports: Basketball for two years, lacrosse for three years.
Hobbies: “I like to draw, I like to ride dirt bikes and play video games.”
Intended major: Business management, sports management and finance
Something that not many people know about you: “A lot of people think I’m just a mean person, like I ain’t got no type of heart or I’m not outgoing. But when a lot of people meet me, they see I’m a funny guy. The only time I’m serious is when I get out on the football field.”
Best football moment: “I was in [a rec football league], playing for a team called the Hamilton Tigers. We were undefeated and it was a game that we had to win to go to the championship. When I was at rec, I played tight end, running back; I played it all. So we spread it out and coach told me to go long and I caught the winning touchdown to get to the championship. We went 13-0 and we won the championship. That was my favorite moment.”
Role model: “My mother because she’s a strong lady and she showed me since I was younger that through hard times, things are going to get better if you keep working hard and wait it out. She’s been out there for me ever since I was born.”
Why Maryland? “Maryland was the best fit for me because ... it’s near home and I’m a home person. I don’t want to be that far from my family. On another level, there’s a coach up there by the name of Jemal Griffin (Maryland’s Director of Football Operations). He was my high school coach [at Woodlawn]. Me and him had a great connection and I feel he’s going to look out for me. The Leo position that they’re recruiting me for, I feel that’s the best position because I’m the type of player that can stand up and rush the passer and do all that type of stuff.”

Click here for a recap of Mackall’s senior season.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 4:25 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 26, 2009

Dunbar's Muse, Onuekwusi make choices

Two Poets seniors have found homes for next year.

Linebacker Gary Onuekwusi is headed to Temple, while running back Davon Muse will attend Central Michigan.

Onuekwusi committed to the Owls over the weekend. He also considered offers from Liberty and Morgan State. Onuekwusi was a Baltimore Sun All-Metro selection after recording 156 tackles, 4 1/2 sacks, two fumble recoveries and five forced fumbles as a senior.
onuekwusi.jpg
The 6-foot-1, 215-pounder said the Temple coaches think he can play any of the three linebacker spots.

“The coaching staff is tremendous. They’re ... all like another set of fathers to me right now,” Onuekwusi said. “They’re were like, ‘welcome to the family’ with arms opened. ... They’re expecting me to bring the same intensity from high school on the football field to their program.”

Muse picked the Chippewas late last week over offers from Toledo and Morgan State. The 5-foot-9, 180-pounder rushed for more than 1,110 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior.

Dunbar coach Lawrence Smith said Muse will be a running back at Central, with the potential to contribute in the slot as well.
davonmuse.jpg
“They started [recruiting him] towards the end of the year,” Smith said. “[CMU defensive coordinator] Tim Banks used to be at Maryland and he’s a good friend of mine. I got a hold of him [and he started recruiting Muse]. ... [Muse] can turn into a great Division I tailback with the way he’s built and the way he can run the ball every down. I think that’s what the coaches saw in him.”

Muse is the fourth Maryland native to become a part of Central Michigan’s 2009 recruiting class. He joins Thomas Johnson (Frederick Co.) cornerback Darrick Scott, and River Hill teammates Malek Redd, a running back, and linebacker Leron Eaddy.

Five Dunbar seniors have now made commitments to Div. 1 schools. Running back Tavon Austin pledged to West Virginia, while cornerback Courtney Bridget and linebacker Horace Miller are ticketed for UNLV.

Click here for a list of local high school commitments.

Credits: Baltimore Sun photos of Gary Onuekwusi (top left, Dec. 1, 2007) and Davon Muse (right, Nov. 22, 2008) by Kim Hairston

Posted by Matt Bracken at 5:12 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

Meet L.A. Goree

This is part of a series of 2009 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 4. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Lorne Goree Jr.
Birthdate: Aug. 16, 1991
Birthplace: Washington DC
Hometown: Bowie
Nicknames: L.A.
Height: 6’2
Weight: 210
Position: Outside linebacker
High School: C.H. Flowers High School
Senior statistics: 90 tackles, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries (one returned for a touchdown). Six catches for 140 yards and two scores.
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 47 outside linebacker. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 35 weakside linebacker.
Bench max: 275
40-yard dash: 4.58
Runner-up: West Virginia
Other schools considered: Illinois, East Carolina, Syracuse
Favorite NFL player: Troy Polamalu
Favorite NFL team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Favorite all-time Terp: Domonique Foxworth
Favorite music: Jay-Z, Juelz Santana
Favorite book: Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter
Favorite movie: Drumline
Favorite TV show: Family Guy
Favorite food: Shrimp
Favorite high school class: Financial literacy
Favorite thing about College Park: “Proximity.”
Other high school sports: None
Hobbies: “I like to go out with friends, go to the mall or whatever, party.”
Intended major: Undecided
Something that not many people know about you: “Some people call me L-Boogie because I’m crazy and I like to party and stuff. Everybody calls me L-Boogie when I’m doing funny stuff or whatever.”
Best football moment: “In my first (junior) year at Flowers, it was the first game (against Bladensburg) and I caught an interception that turned the game around. And we won that game.”
Role model: “I guess it would have to be my father because he’s a very strong person on the inside. You’ll never see him sweat nothing.”
Why Maryland? “I think it was just that feeling mostly. I got a good vibe. When I went to other schools, I didn’t feel at home. When I was at Maryland, I felt like this was the place I needed to be and I like the area. I’m a Maryland boy.”

Click here for a recap of Goree’s senior season.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 8:20 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 25, 2009

Meet Dexter McDougle

This is part of a series of 2009 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 4. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Dexter McDougle
Birthdate: April 8, 1991
Birthplace: Woodbridge, Va.
Hometown: Fredericksburg, Va.
Nicknames: Dexter Doogie
Height: 5’11
Weight: 180
Position: Defensive back
High School: Stafford (Va.) Senior High School
Senior statistics: 97 tackles and six interceptions. 48 receptions for 885 yards and 11 touchdowns. 457 yards rushing and nine touchdowns on 76 carries.
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 76 athlete. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 63 safety.
Bench max: 240
40-yard dash: 4.5
Runner-up: South Carolina
Favorite NFL player: Hines Ward
Favorite NFL team: Baltimore Ravens
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman
Favorite music: Lil Wayne, Jay-Z
Favorite movie: Friday
Favorite TV show: SportsCenter
Favorite food: Chicken
Favorite high school class: Weightlifting
Favorite thing about College Park: “There’s a lot of things to do. It’s in a big metropolitan area. I just like how it’s close to DC. Everything is bunched together and there’s always something to do.”
Other high school sports: Basketball
Hobbies: “I just like to chill with my friends.”
Intended major: Undecided
Something that not many people know about you: “I’m kind of quiet. I’m kind of shy at first, but then I open up.”
Best football moment: “Probably winning the Bell this year. It’s a rivalry game [with North Stafford] and we play for a big bell. I had about four touchdowns that game.”
Role model: “My father. He’s a hard worker and a dedicated man who cares about his family. He taught me a lot.”
Why Maryland? “They’ve got good academics, good facilities, a good football team and coaches who care about you as a person and not just as a player.”

Click here for a recap of McDougle’s senior season.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 8:03 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 24, 2009

Meet D.J. Adams

This is part of a series of 2009 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 4. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: D’wayne Adams Jr.
Birthdate: Sept. 27, 1990
Birthplace: Atlanta
Hometown: Atlanta
Nicknames: D.J.
Height: 5’10
Weight: 212
Position: Running back
High School: Norcross (Ga.) High School
Senior statistics: 1,584 yards and 14 touchdowns on 257 carries
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Four stars, No. 29 running back, No. 22 player in Georgia. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 62 running back.
Bench max: 375
40-yard dash: 4.48
Runner-up: LSU
Other schools considered: Cal, Clemson, Notre Dame
Favorite NFL player: Brian Dawkins
Favorite NFL team: Baltimore Ravens
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman
Favorite music: Gucci Mane, Lil Wayne, Young Dro, Ludacris
Favorite book: Of Mice of Men by John Steinbeck
Favorite movie: Blue Streak
Favorite TV show: 24
Favorite food: Chinese food
Favorite high school class: Sociology
Favorite thing about College Park: “Just the people, the atmosphere.”
Other high school sports: None
Hobbies: Piano
Intended major: Journalism
Something that not many people know about you: “I have a sister that’s 13 years younger than me.”
Best football moment: “Probably my sophomore year scoring the winning touchdown in double overtime against Grayson.”
Role model: “Probably my grandfather because of his leadership and his commitment to family.”
Why Maryland? “It was just the best place for me both academically and athletically. The coaches were great. I met some of the players and everybody was great. It just feels like the place I want to be.”

Click here for a recap of Adams’ senior season.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 8:36 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 23, 2009

Weekly recruiting roundup

The Terps have landed four of the top 10 football recruits in Maryland, according to Rivals.com’s newly updated state rankings.

UM defensive line commitments DeOnte Arnett (Forestville) and David Mackall (Edmondson) were among the notable in-state prospects who moved up in the rankings.

There was some movement in the Rivals.com postseason Maryland Top 20. Of course Wheaton outside linebacker prospect Jelani Jenkins still resides at the top spot. But now at No. 2 is Forestville strong side defensive end DeOnte Arnett. Another strong side defensive end recruit who made his way up the rankings is Gaithersburg's Jason Ankrah, who now sits at No. 4. He moved past cornerback Travis Hawkins and defensive tackle Terrence Stephens, two of his teammates, in the state rankings. Speaking of cornerbacks, four of the top seven play this position. Baltimore strong side defensive end David Mackall moved into the No. 10 position.

• Maryland running back commitment D.J. Adams checked in at No. 114 on the Press-Register’s Super Southeast 120.

114. RB D.J. Adams, Norcross, Ga., 5-10, 210. Powerful runner has surprising open-field moves. Rushed for 1,462 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior in 2007. Committed to Maryland.

The Washington Post’s Josh Barr reports that Good Counsel linebacker Jelani Jenkins made an official visit to Penn State last weekend, and the Nittany Lions occupy one spot on Jenkins’ list of five schools.

Jenkins' only other official visit was to Florida last month. He also is considering Notre Dame, Southern Cal and Stanford.

• Jenkins’ Good Counsel teammate, two-star cornerback Mike Wallace, pledged to Penn State this week. Scranton (Pa.) Times-Tribune reporter Donnie Collins analyzes the commitment.

1.) He goes to Good Counsel High School in Maryland.

2.) Wallace's best friend is Jelani Jenkins, who coincidentally, also goes to Good Counsel.

Hmmmmm.…

• Atco, N.J., linebacker Ka'Lial Glaud spoke to Scout.com’s Allen Wallace this week about his “confusing” recruiting picture, including his thoughts on the Terps.

While the Mountaineers visit proved to be a lot of fun, he says the campus itself that stood out was at Maryland. “It’s a great campus,” he said. “It’s all in a big circle and not all spread out or anything.”

Another thing going for the Terps is that he’s friends with sophomore defensive back Antwine Perez. “He played at Wilson High School so we knew each other,” Glaud said. “He first signed with USC but transferred back because he says he really wanted to be close to his family. He told me that’s the most important thing…to have that support around you.”

Scout.com’s Bob Lichtenfels thinks Glaud is mainly focused on three other schools.

Atco (N.J.) Winslow Township High School middle linebacker Ka’Lial Glaud who seems to be down to West Virginia and Rutgers right now with Iowa on the outside looking in. Glaud has said for a long time now that WVU was the favorite, but Rutgers has made up some ground.

• Hoboken, N.J., defensive lineman Bernardo Nunez ended his recruitment on Tuesday when he committed to Pittsburgh.

Nunez (6-3, 234 pounds), who is from Hoboken, NJ, chose the Panthers over scholarship offers from a number of other schools, including Michigan State, Rutgers, Oklahoma and Maryland.

He is ranked as the 19th best overall prospect from New Jersey and one of the top 40 defensive ends nationally by Rivals.com. He is also rated as a three-star prospect by the web-site. He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.76 seconds, bench presses 300 pounds and squats 450.

• Rock Hill, S.C., tight end Asa Watson picked up a late offer from Maryland, but the two-star prospect pledged to NC State on Sunday.

His father, Ken Watson, who is now the pastor of Rock Hill Bible Fellowship, played at Maryland in the mid-1970s. Asa's older brother is Ben Watson, a tight end for the New England Patriots who played at Duke one season before transferring to Georgia.

According to his father, Asa Watson chose State over Duke and Maryland and had about 10 major scholarship offers.

• Windsor, N.C., offensive tackle Travis Bond, a three-star recruit, committed to North Carolina last weekend.

Bond entertained offers from Duke, East Carolina, Maryland, Michigan, N.C. State, South Carolina, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech before settling on UNC.

“He liked what Carolina had to offer,” Bertie coach Tony Hoggard said. “The atmosphere was good for him. It was like home to him. He didn’t want to go too far from home. He wanted to be somewhere his mom could easily get to his games without it being a burden.”

• Stafford, Va., defensive end Lanford Collins has narrowed his list of schools to three, according to The Daily Press.

He's the top uncommitted defensive prospect in [Virginia], but at least he's not the only top-notch recruit in the state without specific college plans yet. Collins is torn between the three final schools on his list of considerations: Virginia, Virginia Tech and Penn State.

"Last year at this time, I never thought it would take this long," said Collins, a 6-foot-4, 240-pounder considered by many recruiting analysts to be one of the nation's top 40 defensive end prospects. "I was hoping it'd be all over with by now."

Basketball recruiting

• Terps power forward signee Jordan Williams turned in a dominant performance last week, leading Torrington (Conn.) High to an 88-56 win over Seymour.

“The big guy is nearly unstoppable,” said Seymour coach Joe Carrafiello.

That translates into Friday’s numbers for Williams: 43 points on 19-for-23 shooting from the field; 15 rebounds; 7 blocks; and 6 steals.

Williams is closing in on the all-time scoring record at Torrington.

Jordan Williams is on the verge of breaking the all-time basketball scoring record at Torrington High set by his uncle, Murray Williams.

After the 6-foot-10 center scored 43 points on Friday, he has 1,569 points, just 68 points shy of tying Murray Williams’ career mark of 1,637, set from 1983-87.

Jordan Williams is averaging 31.5 points per game through the first 10 games of the regular season.

• Maryland power forward recruit James Padgett had a double-double in Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln’s 67-54 loss to Leflore (Ala.) High School.

James Padgett, who is a Maryland Terrapin-to be, added 17 points and 12 rebounds for Lincoln.

• St. Frances forward Terrell Vinson led the Panthers with 34 points and 11 rebounds in an 83-76 win over Mount St. Joseph on Tuesday. Scout.com’s Evan Daniels thinks it’s only a matter of time before Vinson’s recruitment picks up again.

Although Terrell Vinson still doesn’t hold his release from Loyola Marymount, when he does receive it he’ll become one of the more highly recruited prospects in the 2009 class.

A quick glance at Scout.com’s top ranked power forward explains exactly why Vinson should get plenty of attention from college coaches when he gets his release from LMU. Of the top 35 power forwards, only Renardo Sidney and Vinson are available.

Sidney’s recruitment has a bit of a mystery and only a handful of schools are involved. With Vinson there’s a chance to get involved with a Top 100 prospect, that will likely start the recruiting process all over.

• The Barton brothers, Will and Antonio, helped Lake Clifton to a 68-29 win over Dunbar on Wednesday.

Forward Will Barton scored 21 points; his brother Antonio added 19; and center Cleveland Melvin had 17 as the Lakers took a 42-17 halftime lead and never looked back.

• UM shooting guard target Taran Buie scored 25 points last Friday in Bishop Maginn’s 87-26 win over Catholic Central. On Tuesday, Buie was part of a balanced Maginn scoring attack in its 86-68 win over Albany (N.Y.) High.

Taran Buie added 17 points to the Maginn cause as five Griffins scored in double figures.

• Maryland power forward target Will Regan had a big second half in the Nichols (N.Y.) School’s 55-41 win over Buffalo East last weekend.

Will Regan, a 6-9 junior, scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half as Nichols downed Buffalo East at the fourth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Challenge at Erie CC, 55-41.

• Maryland women’s point guard recruit Dara Taylor squared off against a future ACC rival in Caravel (Del.) Academy’s 65-50 loss to Middletown last weekend.

The game showcased two of the state's top prospects -- [Chelsea] Davis and Taylor. One, Davis, is a 6-foot-3 forward-center headed for Florida State University and she had 27 points, 20 rebounds, four blocks, four assists and three steals.

The 5-foot-7 Taylor is a point guard headed to Maryland and she also had 27 points.

• Terps junior forward recruit Alyssa Thomas led Central Dauphin (Pa.) to a win over Central Dauphin East on Tuesday.

Alyssa Thomas produced 25 points and point guard Gabby Singer added 18 as the unbeaten Rams unleashed a pair of spirited runs to register a 63-45 victory, their 22nd in a row.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:01 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

January 22, 2009

Meet Caleb Porzel

This is part of a series of 2009 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 4. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Caleb Porzel
Birthdate: April 26, 1991
Birthplace: Salisbury
Hometown: Salisbury
Nicknames: C.P.
Height: 5’8
Weight: 180
Position: Running back
High School: Good Counsel
Senior statistics: 1,152 yards and 16 touchdowns on 121 carries, nine catches for 81 yards and one score and two punt returns for touchdowns
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Four stars, No. 15 all-purpose back, No. 10 player in Maryland. Scout.com -- Four stars, No. 14 running back.
Bench max: 285
40-yard dash: 4.21
Other schools considered: West Virginia, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Syracuse, Richmond.
Favorite NFL player: Clinton Portis (current), Sean Taylor (former)
Favorite NFL team: Washington Redskins
Favorite all-time Terp: LaMont Jordan
Favorite music: Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane
Favorite book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Favorite movie: Friday Night Lights
Favorite TV show: Law and Order
Favorite food: Pizza
Favorite high school class: Sign language
Favorite thing about College Park: “The campus and the people that are there. They’re just really cool. And I already made a whole bunch of friends there already.”
Other high school sports: Track and field (Porzel runs the 100, 200, 4x200 and 4x100).
Hobbies: “Listening to music, hanging out with friends.”
Intended major: Kinesiology and communications
Something that not many people know about you: “I’d say that I’m adopted. Not many people know about that.”
Best football moment: “I’d say my freshman year, I think it was our first home game at Wheaton. We were playing Georgetown Prep and I scored all four touchdowns and returned an interception 90-some yards”.
Role model: “I’d say [Good Counsel linebacker] Jelani [Jenkins]. Not only is he one of my best friends, but he’s also a role model to me because he’s got close to a 4.0 [grade-point average] almost every quarter, which is something I strive for. He’s someone I look up to.”
Why Maryland? “It’s just close to home and close for my family to come and watch me play without having to travel.”

Click here for a recap of Porzel’s senior season.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 8:23 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 21, 2009

Meet DeOnte Arnett

This is part of a series of 2009 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 4. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: DeOnte Arnett
Birthdate: Dec. 10, 1991
Birthplace: Washington DC
Hometown: Capitol Heights
Nicknames: None
Height: 6’4
Weight: 250
Position: Defensive end
High School: Forestville Military Academy
Senior statistics: 59 tackles, 13 sacks, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Four stars, No. 6 strongside defensive end, No. 93 player in the country, No. 2 player in Maryland. Scout.com -- Four stars, No. 22 defensive end.
Bench max: 305
40-yard dash: 4.8
Other schools considered: Georgia, Ohio State.
Favorite NFL player: Retired New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan
Favorite NFL team: Dallas Cowboys
Favorite music: Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Lupe Fiasco, Nas, Jay-Z
Favorite movie: The Dark Knight
Favorite TV show: SportsCenter
Favorite food: Chicken
Favorite high school class: World history
Favorite thing about College Park: “The location.”
Other high school sports: Swimming, track
Hobbies: “Playing video games, going to the movies, hanging out with other teammates.”
Intended major: Civil engineering
Something that not many people know about you: “Most people probably don’t know that I’m a [Prince George’s] County champion in swimming in the 100-meter freestyle.”
Best football moment: “Crab Bowl.” (Arnett was named Most Valuable Lineman at the Maryland Crab Bowl in December).
Role model: “Probably my mother because no matter what, she has always been a hard worker and she always reached her goals no matter what. Even though time may not be on her side, she wouldn’t let it deter her [in reaching her] goal.”
Why Maryland? “Number one, they have a great engineering program. Number two, their football program is phenomenal. There’s so much young talent. They’re short on defensive ends also, and it’s just a great, great school overall. I don’t know how better to explain it.”

Click here for a recap of Arnett’s senior season.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 8:18 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 20, 2009

Drakeford set to enroll early

Roosevelt (D.C.) linebacker Darin Drakeford will get an early start to his Maryland career.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pounder has graduated from high school and will enroll at College Park next week.

Drakeford said he made the decision to enroll this semester at UM last week.

“I always knew I had enough credits [to graduate high school early]," Drakeford said. "I spoke to [Roosevelt coach Daryl Tilghman about enrolling early] and that’s when I called [the Maryland staff] up. When I did decide to do it, they were happy I did it.”

Drakeford said deciding to enroll early was a difficult decision, mostly because it meant forgoing his senior season of basketball. As a junior, Drakeford averaged 12 points and nine rebounds per game for the Rough Riders. But ultimately, he decided the benefits of joining the Terps in time for spring practice was more important.

“I spoke to a lot of people [about the decision],” Drakeford said. “A lot of my basketball teammates are kind of mad I’m leaving, but they know I’m not going to play basketball in college. They know it’s best for me. It’s going to be weird, but I’ve got a lot of support.”

Click here for a recap of Drakeford’s senior season.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 3:27 PM | | Comments (0)
        

Season recap: Dexter McDougle

Stafford (Va.) High School football coach Chad Lewis knew he had something special in senior athlete Dexter McDougle. It just took some time for college programs to figure it out.

McDougle, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound defensive back/running back/wide receiver, was derailed early in his junior season after suffering a freak injury in practice that left him with two broken knuckles.

But according to Lewis, the Maryland-bound McDougle quickly made up for lost time as a senior for Stafford, which started the season 0-4 but rebounded to finish 5-5.

“He had a phenomenal season,” Lewis said. “He’s one of those players that’s just extremely explosive. He’s a very electrifying player that can make a play at any given time, whether it’s on offense, defense or special teams. ... I'll tell you what, Dexter just really went on a roll the last four games. He was just amazing. He had a heck of a season, but the last four games he was just really hitting full stride.”

McDougle, who will likely play cornerback at Maryland, recorded 97 tackles and six interceptions at free safety. Offensively, he caught 48 passes for 885 yards and 11 touchdowns, and rushed for 457 yards and nine touchdowns on 76 carries. McDougle also returned one punt and two kickoffs for scores. He earned all-area and all-district honors for his efforts, in addition to being named honorable mention All-Met by The Washington Post.

Because McDougle missed the majority of his junior season, his recruiting picture was close to nonexistent when it came to Division I. Six games into McDougle’s senior year, Lewis hurriedly compiled a highlight tape and sent it out to several programs.

Maryland, Virginia Tech and South Carolina, among others, all responded to McDougle’s film with scholarship offers. Lewis said McDougle had an immediate interest in UM, thanks in some part to a current Terp two years removed from Stafford High.

“You don’t get any better than [Terps wide receiver and kick returner] Torrey Smith,” Lewis said. “He came to a couple of our games this year. He serves, obviously, as a big role model to our kids. ... He had very positive things to say about the University of Maryland, but at the same time ... the only person who can make the decision really is that student-athlete. But I think Torrey may have had something to do [with McDougle’s commitment] because he’s been there [and excelled] there.”

Lewis said McDougle does most of his damage with the ball in his hands. He’s slotted for the Maryland secondary, but Lewis also thinks he’s capable of making significant contributions on special teams, and offense if the need arises.

“Dexter is going to compete,” Lewis said. “He’s got that driving force in that he wants to do the best he can do. He’s going to do some exciting things, obviously on the defensive side of the ball and [hopefully on] special teams. I think he’s going to have a bright future there.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:10 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Season recaps
        

January 19, 2009

Meet Ryan Donohue

This is part of a series of 2009 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 4. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Ryan Donohue
Birthdate: Dec. 2, 1990
Birthplace: Rockland County, N.Y.
Hometown: Stony Point, N.Y.
Nicknames: None
Height: 6’2
Weight: 225
Position: Inside linebacker
High School: St. Joseph Regional High School in Montvale, N.J.
Senior statistics: 135 tackles, one sack, one interception. 32 carries for 153 yards and three touchdowns. Six receptions for 53 yards and one touchdown.
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 75 inside linebacker, No. 20 player in New Jersey. Scout.com -- Two stars, No. 60 middle linebacker.
Bench max: 330
40-yard dash: 4.6
Runner-up: Rutgers or Boston College
Other schools considered: Miami, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Penn State, Akron
Favorite NFL player: Ray Lewis
Favorite NFL team: Atlanta Falcons
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman
Favorite music: Lil Wayne, Ludacris
Favorite book: Inside the Helmet: My Life as a Sunday Afternoon Warrior by Michael Strahan and Jay Glazer
Favorite movie: The Dark Knight
Favorite TV show: Hard Knocks on HBO
Favorite food: Pizza
Favorite high school class: Sports medicine
Favorite thing about College Park: “I just like the whole environment. I’m from New York and the weather [in College Park] is a little bit nicer. It’s really clean and it just feels like family.”
Other high school sports: “Basketball for two years. Might throw shot put this year.”
Hobbies: Lifting weights, playing video games
Intended major: Kinesiology
Something that not many people know about you: “I have a strong interest in cars, quads, outdoor sports.”
Best football moment: “When we won the state championship this year.”
Role model: “My role model is probably Reggie Bush because he’s got all the fame and glory and all that money, but he does all that charity work in New Orleans and a lot of people don’t know that about him.”
Why Maryland? “I went to visit a lot of schools and spent a lot of time at camps. They all tried to sell their schools, but I felt like all the other schools [besides Maryland] were fake. [The Maryland coaches] just told me what I would do. It felt like a family; a family away from home.”

Click here for a recap of Donohue's senior season.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 7:44 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 18, 2009

Meet Marcus Whitfield

This is part of a series of 2009 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 4. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Marcus Whitfield
Birthdate: Dec. 15, 1990
Birthplace: St. Louis, Mo.
Hometown: Germantown
Nicknames: None
Height: 6’3
Weight: 215
Position: Outside linebacker
High School: Northwest High School
Senior statistics: 39 tackles, nine tackles for loss, six quarterback hurries, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. 25 receptions for 372 yards and three touchdowns. Four carries for 97 yards. 16 punts for a 28.5-yard average.
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 84 outside linebacker. Scout.com -- Two stars, No. 63 strongside linebacker.
Bench max: 280
40-yard dash: 4.48
Other schools considered: West Virginia, East Carolina, Buffalo, James Madison, Richmond, Akron, Army
Favorite NFL player: Antonio Gates
Favorite NFL team: St. Louis Rams
Favorite all-time Terp: Vernon Davis
Favorite music: Lil Wayne and Gucci Mane
Favorite book: The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Favorite movie: Friday Night Lights
Favorite TV show: The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Favorite food: Anything
Favorite high school class: Sociology
Favorite thing about College Park: “The football complex and it’s a real nice campus. And the stadium.”
Other high school sports: Indoor and outdoor track
Hobbies: “Playing basketball, playing other sports other than football.”
Intended major: Undecided but leaning toward sports medicine
Something that not many people know about you: “Probably that I eat a lot and don’t gain any weight.”
Best football moment: “Probably the whole experience of going through the recruiting process.”
Role model: “My father because he’s always been coaching me since I’ve been growing up, no matter what sport it is. Basketball, football, track, whatever.”
Why Maryland? “The academic programs they had and how they basically are family. [The UM staff was] great to my family and my family loved them. It was just the best decision for me and my family.”

Click here for a recap of Whitfield’s senior season.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:09 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 17, 2009

Meet Avery Murray

This is part of a series of 2009 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 4. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Avery Murray
Birthdate: Sept. 7, 1990
Birthplace: Florence, S.C.
Hometown: Florence, S.C.
Height: 6’1
Weight: 215
Position: Linebacker
High School: West Florence (S.C.) High School
Senior statistics: 105 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions. 334 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 42 weakside linebacker.
Bench max: 315
40-yard dash: 4.56
Other schools considered: Buffalo, Clemson, South Carolina
Favorite NFL player: Brian Dawkins
Favorite NFL team: Philadelphia Eagles
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman
Favorite music: Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Outkast
Favorite book: A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
Favorite movie: Friday
Favorite TV show: SportsCenter
Favorite food: Fried chicken
Favorite high school class: English
Favorite thing about College Park: “The environment and the diversity.”
Other high school sports: None
Hobbies: “Watching movies, playing Madden, listening to music.”
Intended major: “I’m leaning toward physical therapy.”
Something that not many people know about you: “I almost broke my neck jumping on a trampoline.”
Best football moment: “Being at the Shrine Bowl (South Carolina vs. North Carolina high school football all-star game) when one of the kids from the Shriners Hospital walked on the field.”
Role model: “My mom because she just paves the way for me and showed me all the right things to do.”
Why Maryland? “I like being around different communities and I like the different coaches. I always wanted to go to Maryland. It was either [South Carolina] or Maryland. I liked the environment.”

Click here for a recap of Murray’s senior season.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 8:53 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 16, 2009

Mount St. Joseph's Robinson picks JMU

Mount St. Joseph wide receiver Renard Robinson is headed to James Madison for college.

The 5-foot-11, 170-pounder committed to JMU on Tuesday, picking the Dukes over Villanova.

renardrobinson.jpg

“Coach [Mickey] Matthews came and visited my house two weeks ago and he was real blunt and straightforward,” Robinson said. “He’s not promising anything. If you work hard, you never know. [He said], ‘you may play as a true freshman and you may not.’

“I also met coach [Ulrick] Edmonds, the running backs coach, at Maryland over the summer, so I knew how he was and his personality and his charisma. I really liked that about him.”

Robinson, a Baltimore Sun All-Metro selection as a defensive back, had more than 1,500 all-purpose yards as a senior at Mount St. Joseph. He said he’s excited to suit up for JMU, a Football Championship Subdivision power which went 12-2 this season, including an 8-0 showing in the Colonial Athletic Association.

“Going undefeated in your conference is really tough and they were one win away from [playing for] the national championship,” Robinson said.

Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth K. Lam / Dec. 5, 2008

Posted by Matt Bracken at 6:06 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

Weekly recruiting roundup

St. Frances forward Terrell Vinson is apparently back on the market.

The 6-foot-6, 200-pounder signed a letter of intent to Loyola Marymount in November, but will reportedly ask for his release due to the recent resignation of Lions coach Bill Bayno. According to i95ballerz.com, the Terps are on Vinson's short list.

“Virginia Tech and South Florida” along with Providence are all possible suitors, plus “definitely Maryland” said [Vinson’s father James] Gilyard, with more to surely be evaluated. According to him, Terrell initially “liked the weather (Southern California provides), but now he’s at the point where he wants to go where he’s wanted and playing time will be available”.

• Maryland power forward signee Jordan Williams was stifled by the Holy Cross defense in Torrington (Conn.) High’s 73-66 loss on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-10 Williams, who has averaged 32 points per game this season, had just seven points at halftime and none in the third quarter before finishing with a season-low 13 points.

The reason was three-fold: Holy Cross' Ryan Kolb (game-high 23 points, seven rebounds), Kyle Murphy (20 points, 16 rebounds) and Trevor Platt (10 points, seven rebounds). When they weren't scoring on the offensive end, defensively they swarmed Williams from every angle, preventing the University of Maryland recruit from getting the ball down low.

..."We couldn't let Jordan Williams beat us," Murphy added. "I think this was the first time we kept him under 40 points.”

• Plainfield, N.J., point guard Isaiah Epps spoke with MyCentralJersey.com about his commitment to Pittsburgh early this week.

"I sat down with my family and all my AAU coaches," Epps said. "They were talking about what would be better for me, and said that in the Big East there are better guards. I wanted to try and play in that conference."

Epps chose the Panthers and head coach Jamie Dixon over Maryland, Rutgers and Seton Hall, saying that while he likes both the ACC and the Big East, he felt most at home at Pitt.

• Maryland and Pitt will apparently battle for another 2010 recruit, according to NBE Basketball Report.

The Panthers only had one opening for the 2010 class, but they will continue to pursue top prospects, especially 6′4″ wing Will Barton of Lake Clifton HS in Baltimore, MD.

• UM power forward target Will Regan reached a career milestone last week.

Will Regan scored 37 points to surpass 1,000 in his career as Nichols downed St. Francis, 83-71, in a Monsignor Martin Association basketball game Friday night. The junior center also had 19 rebounds as the Vikings moved to 11-1, 3-0. Nichols led, 47-46, at halftime.

• Maryland shooting guard target Taran Buie led Bishop Maginn to a blowout over Troy (N.Y.) on Tuesday.

Junior Taran Buie pumped in 18 points to lead Big 10 frontrunner Bishop Maginn to an 83-30 victory over Troy.

• Terps forward targets and Miller (Va.) School teammates Mychal Parker and Hippolyte Tsafack had big games for the Mavericks in a 58-54 loss to Blue Ridge this week.

But Miller (9-3, 1-1) got a big-time performance from Mychal Parker, who poured in a game-high 23 points to go along with seven rebounds and three steals. Hippolyte Tsafack also had a productive outing, contributing 12 points and pulling down a team-high 12 rebounds.

• Maryland women’s commitment Alyssa Thomas paced Central Dauphin in its 57-34 win over Trinity (Pa.) on Wednesday.

Broken by the talent of Alyssa Thomas, the touch of Karyn Purcell and the leadership of Gabby Singer, Trinity again played victim to girls' basketball rival Central Dauphin Wednesday night.

Thomas poured in a game-high 24 points and Purcell chipped in 13 for the Rams, who needed one memorable period to resolve this Commonwealth tussle.

• UM women’s combo guard recruit Natasha Cloud has played an integral role in helping Cardinal O’Hara (Pa.) to the No. 1 national ranking.

It is a talented, interchangeable group. All five starters are headed to Division I schools. Star senior center Stephanie Holzer, bound for Vanderbilt, once walked through O'Hara with a halo around her right leg, unable to walk up and down a court, let alone run. Natasha Cloud, the lone junior starter who verbally committed to Maryland last month, was once the starting quarterback of her grade-school football team. Danielle Callahan (La Salle) and Alicia Manning (Lafayette) each come from rich basketball bloodlines, and Alysha Womack (Monmouth) somehow manages to find time to breathe in between juggling three varsity sports.

Football recruiting

• According to the Boston Herald, Everett, Mass., cornerback and Boston College recruit Jim Noel is looking at other schools thanks to the coaching change at BC.

One local player who had committed to BC, Everett defensive back Jim Noel, now has scheduled visits to Penn State and Maryland. Everett coach John DiBiaso said yesterday that Noel, who was recruited by Spaziani and defensive line coach Jeff Comissiong, would look positively at a Spaziani hire.

“He’s just waiting to see what happens with the coaching situation,” DiBiaso said. “He’s got a good relationship with the current staff. They’re the ones who recruited him and he’s comfortable with them. I don’t know how he’s going to decide though. Right now it’s up in the air.”

• According to Gainesville.com, Quince Orchard cornerback and Maryland commitment Travis Hawkins is scheduled to visit Florida this weekend.

These next two weeks will be huge for UF, as some of the top talent is expected on campus. The Jan. 16 weekend lineup currently stands at Reid, Gadsden, Ala., Gadsden City cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama running back pledge Trent Richardson, of Pensacola, Tampa Plant tight end Orson Charles, Irvington, N.J., athlete Joshua Evans, Gaithersburg, Md., Quince Orchard defensive back Travis Hawkins, Columbus, Ga., Carver linebacker Jarvis Jones, Miami, Gulliver Prep linebacker/safety Frankie Telfort and Fort Pierce, Westwood defensive tackle Luther Robinson.

• Maryland cornerback commitment Avery Graham had a strong showing at last week’s Montgomery Invitational track meet.

... Clarksburg's two-time 2A shot put state champion, Avery Graham, an All-Gazette first-team linebacker, placed sixth (50-0.25).

... Graham continued his strong performance by taking second in the 55-meter dash, clocking a time of 6.35 seconds. He finished less than one-hundredth of a second behind Damien Thigpin of Stonewall Jackson (Va.).

• Two prospects with Maryland offers committed to Virginia in the past week. Brooklyn, N.Y., offensive lineman Oday Aboushi pledged to the Cavaliers one week ago, while DeMatha defensive end Jeremiah Mathis verbally committed on Sunday.

Mathis said he also had scholarship offers from Maryland, Kansas State, Wake Forest, Clemson, N.C. State, New Mexico, Syracuse and Liberty. He arrived at Virginia with his parents for an official visit Friday and committed before heading home to Bowie, Md., Sunday.

“UVa was the perfect fit,” Mathis said. “It just made sense. UVa’s not just building football players, they’re building young men in their program.”

• Gwynn Park defensive tackle Raynard Randolph committed to N.C. State earlier this week.

Randolph was offered scholarships by 13 schools, among them Penn State, Tennessee, Maryland, West Virginia, Michigan State, Syracuse, Illinois, Louisville and Connecticut. He said that he was glad to have his decision made so he can return to a normal life.

"It was crazy," Randolph said. "When I went to N.C. State I kind of had the pressure relieved off me. It felt like the right choice. I'm glad I can stay close to home."

• Terps defensive linemen targets and Hoboken (N.J.) High teammates Bernardo Nunez and Isaac Holmes both made official visits to Pittsburgh last weekend. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Holmes will choose between Maryland, Pitt and Florida, while Nunez is considering Maryland, Pitt and Michigan State.

• Former Sun reporter and current ESPN.com blogger Heather Dinich took a look this week at Maryland’s recruiting needs.

The Terps' main focus was to stock up on linebackers, especially with the departure of Rick Costa, Moise Fokou and Dave Philistin. Maryland will have to replace three seniors on its offensive line, and that was the staff's second priority. The Terps are still shopping in that department, but have a good start with three commitments in Pete DeSouza (Hyattsville, Md.), Bennett Fulper (Gretna, Va.) and Ryan Schlieper (Wexford, Pa.).

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:06 AM | | Comments (16)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

January 15, 2009

Meet Nick Ferrara

This is part of a series of 2009 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 4. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Nick Ferrara
Birthdate: April 24, 1991
Birthplace: Syosset, N.Y.
Hometown: Hicksville, N.Y.
Nicknames: Nicker the Kicker (“It wasn’t really by choice.”)
Height: 6’1
Weight: 195
Position: Kicker
High School: St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) High School
Senior statistics: 14 of 16 field-goal attempts (including a 47-yarder) and 46 of 48 extra points
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Two stars. Scout.com -- Two stars.
Bench max: 245
40-yard dash: 4.9
Other schools considered: Michigan, Tennessee, South Carolina, Rutgers, Syracuse, Georgia, LSU
Favorite NFL player: Adam Vinatieri (“That guy’s automatic.”)
Favorite NFL team: New York Jets (“It’s been rough.”)
Favorite all-time Terp: Nick Novak
Favorite music: “Billy Joel, Rascal Flatts, P. Diddy. Pretty much everything.”
Favorite book: The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Favorite movie: Billy Madison
Favorite TV show: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Favorite food: Chicken cutler with mashed potatoes
Favorite high school class: Western civilization
Favorite thing about College Park: “Pretty much the environment. Coming from a city atmosphere [in New York] and [College Park being] between D.C. and Baltimore [is a plus]. So I kind of get that feeling that I’m in the city.”
Other high school sports: None
Hobbies: Water sports, pickup basketball, watching movies
Intended major: Business marketing
Something that not many people know about you: “I don’t get rattled easy. My friends and family know that. From a football aspect, I stay laidback at all times. Nothing really gets to me. Another thing is that I’m very big into helping out kids with special needs. My cousin, he’s got autism and I really like helping out.”
Best football moment: “[It was the] championship game last year, down by four and a snap went over my head to the goal line. Our snapper snaps like 50 yards over my head, so I had to run back, juked out some guys and punted it for 60 yards to get us back in the game.”
Role model: “Probably my dad. He’s always teaching me how nothing ever comes easy and you always have to work for something in order to get it. I wouldn’t be where I am now without him.”
Why Maryland? “It’s like a family environment. My sister goes to Towson ... so I’m really close to my family. Also I just like how the coaches treated me when I got on campus. When you’re a kicker, you’re not exactly the top prospect on the list. But when I got to Maryland they made me feel like I was like [any other top recruit], so that was good. Also my recruiter, coach [Dave] Sollazzo, he’s one of the best guys I know. He’s awesome.”

• Click here for a recap of Ferrara's senior season.

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

January 14, 2009

Season recap: L.A. Goree

When asked if one particular play made by Maryland linebacker recruit L.A. Goree stood out among the rest this fall, C.H. Flowers coach Mike Mayo drew a blank.

It wasn’t for lack of options to choose from, Mayo said. It was just difficult to isolate one moment in a season full of big games.

“He’s pretty steady in every game,” Mayo said. “He’s the one kid I didn’t have to worry about. You can always count on him making plays. He showed up every game. Even in games we lost, he would still be outstanding at that spot. A lot of teams ran away from him. They were well aware of him. They would go the other way, or they’d try him and he’d shut it down.”

Goree, a two-year starter at outside linebacker for the Jaguars, recorded 90 tackles, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries (one of which he returned for a touchdown) as a senior. Offensively, Goree caught six passes for 140 yards and two scores. Flowers went 10-2 with a runner-up finish in the Maryland 4A South region.

Goree, a second-team All-Met selection by The Washington Post, really came on as a player midway through his junior season, according to Mayo. That’s when the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder started displaying the traits that led to Maryland offering a scholarship.

“[Goree’s best attributes are his] speed, his mobility, he’s pretty smart and his toughness,” Mayo said. “Being able to rush the passer as well as drop into coverage [are also strengths]. ... He’s very athletic and has good hands. He’s a playmaker.”

Mayo said it might take a little time, but eventually Goree will make an impact for the Terps.

“I just hope it works out for [Goree and Maryland],” Mayo said. “I think he could go in there and help them a lot. I know they were losing quite a few linebackers. How soon that will come, I don’t know. He may sit for a year or two and develop, I don’t know. But I know if he stays there and does what he’s supposed to do, he’ll be a player for them.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:41 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Season recaps
        

January 13, 2009

Season recap: Bennett Fulper

College football coaches haven't routinely made a habit of recruiting Gretna (Va.) High School.

Gretna, a town of approximately 1,300 people, has regularly turned out powerhouse football teams in one of Virginia’s smallest classifications. But that hasn’t translated to recruiters making the trip to Gretna.

“We’re out here in the southern part of the state between Lynchburg and Danville,” Gretna coach Chris Thurman said. “It’s not the biggest metropolis. ... [College coaches came] to Lynchburg to see [Virginia Tech tight end commitment] Logan Thomas and bypassed us to go to Danville and see [Virginia Tech running back recruit David Wilson]. So [our area is not] really the hotbed like Northern Virginia or the beach (Hampton Roads). When guys come out here to look at one of our kids, he’s gotta be special.”

In Thurman’s opinion, Maryland offensive line commitment Bennett Fulper fits that bill. The 6-foot-5, 295-pounder pledged to the Terps a few days before Christmas. The Maryland coaches offered Fulper a scholarship in November after seeing his highlight tape.

As a senior, Fulper started for the Hawks at offensive and defensive tackle. During his previous three seasons on varsity, Fulper was Gretna’s starting center.

Fulper paved the way for Gretna’s 13-1 season, which culminated with a win over Floyd County in the Virginia Group A Division 2 state championship game.

Thurman said winning a second-straight state title was a fitting end to Fulper’s high school career.

“That kid has played for four years. In that time here, we went 47-4,” Thurman said. “That kid plays his butt off in every football game. He started off that way as a freshman. There are very few times you can take a freshman and he gets after people. In that first year I was hoping he could hold his own and he did more than that as a freshman.”

In Gretna’s spread offense, Fulper, as a right tackle, was charged with making a lot of audibles at the line. Thurman thinks that intelligence, in addition to Fulper’s strength and versatility, make him a good fit for center at UM.

“I think they’re going to move him back to center,” Thurman said. “They really needed some guys to add depth at the center position. They liked to see him move outside; they saw he had the feet to move outside, and the fact that he [has already] played center.”

Thurman thinks Fulper (who sports a 4.2 grade point average, according to the coach) will prove to be a great fit at Maryland.

“He’s a kid that will represent the University well,” Thurman said. “He’s a church-going kid. He’s going to be third in his class. He’ll be [an asset] to the University as an athlete and as a person.”

• Click here for Fulper's commitment story.

• Click here for a Roanoke Times story on Fulper and Gretna.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:52 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Season recaps
        

January 12, 2009

Meet Danny O'Brien

This is part of a series of 2009 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 4. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Danny O'Brien
Birthdate: Sept. 26, 1990
Birthplace: St. Paul, Minn.
Hometown: St. Paul, Minn.
Nicknames: None
Height: 6-3
Weight: 195
Position: Quarterback
High School: East Forsyth (N.C.) High School
Senior statistics: 117-for-235 passing for 1,640 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions. 780 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns on 160 carries.
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 37 pro-style quarterback, No. 25 player in North Carolina. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 57 quarterback
Bench max: 245
40-yard dash: 4.64
Other schools considered: Virginia, Wake Forest, Clemson, Duke, East Carolina
Favorite NFL player: Peyton Manning
Favorite NFL team: Minnesota Vikings
Favorite all-time Terp: Boomer Esiason
Favorite music: Lil Wayne, Coldplay
Favorite book: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Favorite TV show: SportsCenter
Favorite movie: Remember the Titans
Favorite food: Chili
Favorite high school class: U.S. History
Favorite thing about College Park: “I just love the area. It’s in between D.C. and Baltimore. I just love the overall atmosphere and area.”
Other high school sports: Basketball
Hobbies: “Besides training and lifting and running, just hanging out with friends and relaxing when I’m not doing sports.”
Intended major: Business management
Something that not many people know about you: “I go fishing more than the average guy.”
Best football moment: “I would say beating our rival school Glenn 49-7 this year.”
Role model: “I would say Peyton Manning again just because of his work ethic. He’s not the most physically gifted athlete, but he just works so hard and that’s why he’s successful.”
Why Maryland? “I just like the direction of everything going on up there. [UM offensive coordinator and quarterbacks] coach [James] Franklin is a great guy and so is coach [Ralph] Friedgen. And I just established a lot of good relationships with the players coming up there and the coaches.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:25 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 11, 2009

Terps lose out on point guard prospect

Plainfield, N.J., point guard Isaiah Epps won’t play his college basketball in College Park.

The 6-foot-2, 170-pound junior announced his commitment to Pittsburgh today. Epps chose the Panthers over offers from Maryland, Rutgers and Seton Hall, among others.

Epps, Rivals.com’s No. 8 point guard recruit for the class of 2010, told SNY.tv’s Adam Zagoria that his relationship with Panthers assistant Brandin Knight, who played for the same AAU program as Epps several years ago, helped give Pitt the edge over UM.

Maryland was also a strong possibility for Epps, who visited the ACC campus with his friend Taran Buie of Albany (NY) Bishop Maginn.

“I was thinking about going to Maryland but like I said I felt more at home at Pitt and the relationship with Brandin Knight and him playing with the Playaz,” Epps said.

Click here to read Zagoria’s story.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:50 PM | | Comments (16)
        

Meet Bradley Johnson

This is part of a series of 2009 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 4. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Bradley Johnson
Birthdate: Sept. 25, 1991
Birthplace: Richmond, Va.
Hometown: Amelia, Va.
Nicknames: None
Height: 6’1
Weight: 210
Position: Outside linebacker
High School: Dinwiddie (Va.) High School
Senior statistics: 124 tackles, five tackles for loss, five pass breakups, four interceptions, two fumble recoveries
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 22 outside linebacker, No. 22 player in Virginia. Scout.com -- Two stars, No. 57 weakside linebacker
Bench max: 300
40-yard dash: 4.7
Runner-up: Virginia Tech
Other schools considered: West Virginia, South Carolina, Duke, East Carolina, Richmond
Favorite NFL player: LaDainian Tomlinson
Favorite NFL team: None
Favorite all-time Terp: E.J. Henderson
Favorite music: Lil Wayne
Favorite book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Favorite movie: The Longest Yard starring Adam Sandler
Favorite TV show: The Simpsons
Favorite food: Pizza
Favorite high school class: Government
Favorite thing about College Park: “The people.”
Other high school sports: None
Hobbies: “During the summer I like to fish.”
Intended major: Business
Something that not many people know about you: “I’m terrified of spiders.”
Best football moment: “[Making an] interception at Hopewell last year. It was my first interception.”
Role model: “My mom because she never gives up.”
Why Maryland? “Because I just fell in love with the coaches and the players.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 8:34 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 10, 2009

Meet Justin Anderson

This is part of a series of 2009 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 4. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Justin Anderson
Birthdate: Jan. 22, 1991
Birthplace: Columbia, S.C.
Hometown: Columbia, S.C.
Height: 6’5
Weight: 254
Position: Defensive line
High School: Blythewood (S.C.) High School
Senior statistics: 34 solo tackles, 17 assists, two sacks, nine quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one blocked kick
Rankings: Scout.com -- Two stars, No. 170 defensive end.
Bench max: 340
40-yard dash: 4.9
Other schools considered: Marshall, Toledo, Georgia Tech
Favorite NFL player: DeMarcus Ware
Favorite NFL team: Philadelphia Eagles
Favorite all-time Terp: Vernon Davis
Favorite music: Kirk Franklin, Lil Wayne
Favorite book: The Pact by Sampson Davis, George Jenkins and Rameck Hunt
Favorite movie: Remember the Titans
Favorite TV show: The Boondocks
Favorite food: Macaroni and cheese
Favorite high school class: Math
Favorite thing about College Park: “The atmosphere … when I came to watch the Georgia Tech game.”
Hobbies: “Listening to music, helping out with the [Fellowship of Christian Athletes], doing leadership at my school on how important it is to get your grades in order to move onto the next level.”
Intended major: Sports medicine
Something that not many people know about you: “Growing up I wanted to be a gospel singer. … I sing a lot, but not as much as I did when I was young.”
Best football moment: “When we won the state championship my sophomore year.”
Role model: “I would say my (defensive line) coach, Preston Thorne. He played football for the University of South Carolina. He’s an honest guy. He speaks the truth. He helped me out so much with my recruiting process. He’s an honest person and he does the right things. You can talk to him about anything. He’s been through a lot and knows a lot about football.”
Why Maryland? “When we got up there, [the UM staff stressed academics]. That’s what really got to my family. They showed us the tutoring center, the graduation rates, how everyone would be assigned a tutor freshman year, how academics are a big thing. They stressed that grades were the main thing. [The UM coaches said], ‘that’s what we want out of everyone. We want to see you succeed in the classroom and that will translate on the football field.’ If you’re disciplined in the classroom, you’ll be disciplined on the football field.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 8:15 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 9, 2009

Towson's Ambrose lands two Poly standouts

Rob Ambrose got off to quick start in his second week on the job as Towson’s head football coach.

The former Connecticut offensive coordinator landed commitments earlier this week from two Poly seniors, linemen Arnold Farmer and Charles Johnson.

Farmer and Johnson went on an unofficial visit to Towson on Wednesday. Johnson committed before leaving while Farmer called Ambrose later that night to commit.

Both Poly linemen were recruited by Ambrose when he was at UConn.

arnoldfarmer.jpg

“Me and Coach Ambrose already had a connection because he was my recruiting coordinator at UConn,” Farmer said. “I already knew what he was about. When he was at UConn, he promised me that if I didn’t get an offer from UConn, he’d find a school for me. So I was really excited when he came and gave me that offer.”

Johnson said Ambrose made a similar pledge to him.

“He made a promise to me that he was going to help me [find a school] and when he became head coach [at Towson], he carried it along,” Johnson said. “That actually took part in my decision. I highly respected him doing that for me and I honored that. I was told that maybe I was just a little too short for the Division I level and he couldn’t approve me through all the [UConn] coaching staff, so when he left he took it upon himself [to offer me]. He’s a man of his word.”

Farmer, a 6-foot-1, 320-pound defensive tackle, starred in the Maryland Crab Bowl at Towson’s Johnny Unitas Stadium last month. He picked the Tigers over offers from Navy, Bucknell and Fordham.

Johnson, 6 feet 2, 262 pounds, can play either offensive or defensive line. Lehigh was recruiting Johnson the hardest, while Albany, Bucknell and Johns Hopkins also expressed interest.

“It was the opportunity of a lifetime to get a full scholarship to a [Division I Football Championship Subdivision] school, so I just had to go for it,” Johnson said.

Farmer said he’s looking forward to being part of the Tigers’ new beginning under Ambrose.

“[Ambrose] said that he wanted to get local guys in,” Farmer said. “Coming from Poly, that's right in [Towson’s] backyard and they found me. I’m really excited about what I can do at Towson. There’s going to be some big things coming out of Towson in the next couple of years.”

Photo credit: Arnold Farmer / Baltimore Sun photo by Monica Lopossay / November 6, 2007

Posted by Matt Bracken at 2:53 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

Weekly recruiting roundup

Maryland cornerback recruit Travis Hawkins won't arrive in College Park this month as originally planned.

The Quince Orchard standout intended to graduate high school early and enroll at Maryland this semester. But according to The Washington Post, Hawkins is shy of a qualifying SAT score. He’s still committed to the Terps, but he may visit other schools.

"He's really close, but at this point he can't take it again before you have to enroll," [Quince Orchard coach Dave] Mencarini said. "He is still committed to Maryland, that's what he has always said. He has said in the past to Ralph [Friedgen], 'If I don't graduate early, I still might take some other visits.'"

• Hoboken, N.J., defensive lineman Bernardo Nunez told Scout.com this week that Maryland is the leader in his recruitment.

“Maryland is number one right now,” Nunez says. “I’ve been there a lot and I feet really comfortable with all the coaches and players already. There’s probably about an 80-90 percent chance I’ll go there.”

The Terps still lead solidly over Pittsburgh and Michigan State, who he is visiting on Jan. 9 and 17 respectively.

“If I get that feeling at Pittsburgh or Michigan State it could change things,” he said. “I want to compare them to Maryland and see how the other schools are. I need to see how they stack up and how I feel when I’m there.”

The Hudson (N.J.) Reporter’s Jim Hague offers a prediction on Nunez and teammate Isaac Holmes that should please Terps fans.

Hoboken grid standouts Isaac Holmes and Bernardo Nunez will both head to the University of Maryland in a package deal.

• Dunbar running back Tavon Austin committed to West Virginia this week, picking the Mountaineers over Maryland, Michigan and North Carolina.

"I went to West Virginia, and I felt like I was part of the family. ... Besides, I thought I would play earlier at West Virginia. I did my homework, and West Virginia leads the Big East in Rhodes scholars. They graduate a lot of their players."

He also watched the Meineke Car Care Bowl between his top two choices, West Virginia and North Carolina. The Mountaineers won, 31-30.

"I did watch the game, but I pretty much had my mind made up by then. I wanted to see the different styles between the Big East and the ACC. I was glad that West Virginia came out on top," he said.

• Maryland and Miami are both in the running for offensive linemen Pete White (St. John’s D.C.) and Malcolm Bunche (Newark, Del.). According to the Miami Herald, the Hurricanes may hold an edge with Bunche.

UM has a good chance to land Plantation American Heritage tackle Jared Wheeler (leans toward Miami over Vanderbilt) and Newark, N.J. (sic)-based Malcolm Bunche. UM also is in contention for Washington-based Peter White (UM, Maryland and Tennessee are finalists), Cleveland-based Marcus Hall and Hargrave's Bobby Massie (the No. 1 prep school player).
• Good Counsel linebacker Jelani Jenkins, who was selected to MaxPreps.com’s All-American team this week, has scheduled an official visit for next weekend.

Good Counsel All-Met linebacker Jelani Jenkins, who played in the UnderArmour All-America game on Sunday night, plans to take his next official visit to Penn State on the weekend of Jan. 16-18. He visited Florida last month and does not have any other official visits scheduled, according to his father, Maurice.

Basketball recruiting

• Maryland power forward commitment Jordan Williams had a monster week for Torrington (Conn.) High School, starting with Saturday’s 65-62 win over Wilby in which he had 43 points, 21 rebounds and eight blocks. Williams followed that performance by leading the Raiders to an 81-68 win over Naugatuck on Tuesday.

Six-foot-10 All-State center Jordan Williams (30 points, 21 rebounds, 6 blocks), who averages well over 30 points a game while dominating the middle on both ends of the court, had two fouls in the first quarter and a third by the half. He started the third period, but picked up a fourth foul with 4:45 left in the third, then sat on the bench until there was just 6:33 left in the game, fourth quarter.

• Terps power forward signee James Padgett, who’s battling an ankle injury, reached double figures in Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln’s 71-61 loss to Boys & Girls High earlier this week.

[Lincoln’s Lance] Stephenson, the nationally known college prospect, got his points – 37 of them and the Railsplitters’ first 12 – but the Kangaroos shut down everyone else. Only senior forward James Padgett finished with Stephenson in double figures, scoring 12.

• Maryland junior power forward target Tobias Harris writes about his ankle injury in a diary for Syracuse.com.

Unfortunately, I have only played 3 of the 8 games this season. In practice after our win versus Holy Trinity, I came down and rolled my ankle really badly (I hope it's not "the curse of Ryan's blog").

The next morning i got MRI results stating that the ligaments in my ankle were torn. It was devestating news for me. But everything happens for a reason and what doesnt kill you makes you stronger. The doctor said I'll probably miss six to eight weeks.

• Terps junior shooting guard prospect Taran Buie scored 23 in a losing effort last Saturday and 17 in Bishop Maginn’s 77-38 win over Amsterdam (N.Y.) on Tuesday.

• Maryland junior power forward target Will Regan led the Nichols (N.Y.) School to a 76-55 win over North Catholic on Tuesday.

Will Regan scored 16 for Nichols (10-1, 2-0), while Connor Vandegriff added 14 points.

• Maryland women’s point guard signee Dara Taylor led Caravel (Del.) Academy in scoring Tuesday in a 51-40 loss to No. 1-ranked St. Mark’s.

Taylor scored a game-high 21 points, but only two came in the fourth quarter as the Spartans used clutch free-throw shooting to pull away from the Buccaneers.

• Terps women’s center recruit Essence Townsend turned in a dominant defensive performance in Paterson (N.J.) Catholic’s 52-33 win over Teaneck on Sunday.

Essence Townsend, a 6-6 center, scored two points and added 12 rebounds and 10 blocks and sophomore guard Starr Breedlove helped with eight points, seven assists and four steals.

• UM women’s power forward signee Tianna Hawkins was instrumental in Riverdale Baptist’s IAABO holiday tournament championship last month, according to The Washington Post.

Top-ranked Riverdale Baptist and No. 12 Wise, along with Northwestern, Largo, C.H. Flowers and DuVal, took part in the three-day event at Flowers. Riverdale (10-2 through Monday) won the tournament, capturing the final by a decisive 24 points over No. 4 Forest Park of Prince William County. Sisters Tierra and Tianna Hawkins each averaged 14 points per game. Tierra, a 6-1 junior, also pulled down 12 rebounds in the finals, and Tianna, a 6-3 senior headed to Maryland, grabbed 16.

On Monday, Forest Park and Riverdale played again (a previously scheduled contest), and the host Crusaders again prevailed, 54-41, behind a powerhouse, 19-point, 16-rebound effort from Tianna Hawkins.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:36 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

January 8, 2009

Meet Pete deSouza

This is part of a series of 2009 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 4. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Pete deSouza
Birthdate: Oct. 14, 1990
Birthplace: San Francisco, Calif.
Hometown: Silver Spring
Nicknames: Big Pete or Iggy
Height: 6’7
Weight: 320
Position: Offensive tackle
High School: DeMatha
Senior statistics: N/A
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 60 offensive tackle, No. 18 player in Maryland. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 69 offensive tackle.
Bench max: 335
40-yard dash: 5.3
Other schools considered: West Virginia, Rutgers, Virginia, Syracuse, Akron, Boston College, Miami, North Carolina.
Favorite NFL player: Albert Haynesworth (current), Jonathan Ogden (former)
Favorite NFL team: San Francisco 49ers
Favorite all-time Terp: Boomer Esiason
Favorite music: Lil Wayne, TI
Favorite book: The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis
Favorite movie: 300
Favorite TV show: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Favorite food: Sushi
Favorite high school class: Psychology
Favorite thing about College Park: “The fact that it’s near my house. It’s like 20 minutes away from my house. And I also heard there’s a rock-climbing spot in College Park. I want to check that out.”
Other high school sports: None
Hobbies: “I like watching a lot of movies, playing video games, playing basketball.”
Intended major: Psychology or communications
Something that not many people know about you: “I’m a really nice guy. I’m laidback, chilled.”
Best football moment: “Winning the [Washington Catholic Athletic Conference] championship my senior year.”
Role model: “My mom because she’s been there since day one and she’s helped me grow up. She’s helped me in tough times and in good times. I had coaches that helped me out, but she was really there.”
Why Maryland? “It was home. It was also the fact that I was comfortable there. I had a relationship with the coaches. I didn’t have a bond with the other coaches like I did with the coaches from Maryland.”

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

January 7, 2009

Meet Dave Stinebaugh

This is part of a series of 2009 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 4. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Dave Stinebaugh
Birthdate: Feb. 20, 1991
Birthplace: Baltimore
Hometown: Baltimore
Nicknames: None
Height: 6’4
Weight: 212
Position: Tight end
High School: Perry Hall
Senior statistics: 45 receptions for 632 yards and nine touchdowns. 75 tackles, seven interceptions (one returned for TD), seven pass breakups and five fumble recoveries (two returned for TDs).
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 64 athlete. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 56 tight end.
Bench max: 265
40-yard dash: 4.5
Runner-up: UConn or Wake Forest
Other schools considered: Rutgers, Syracuse
Favorite NFL player: Ed Reed
Favorite NFL team: Baltimore Ravens
Favorite music: Eminem, rock and rap
Favorite movie: The Dark Knight
Favorite TV show: Friends
Favorite food: Steak
Favorite high school class: Chemistry
Favorite thing about College Park: “The atmosphere.”
Other high school sports: Basketball, lacrosse
Hobbies: Working on cars, going to car shows
Intended major: Kinesiology
Something that not many people know about you: “I’m a big family-oriented guy, when it comes to my family and my teammates.”
Best football moment: “The biggest one is last year in the first round of the playoffs, I caught the game-winning touchdown pass with about 40 seconds left in the game against North Carroll.”
Role model: “My dad just because a lot of people tell you what to do and they don’t really follow the same stuff, but he leads by example and he’s an all-around great person. He’s done a lot for me and my family.”
Why Maryland? “Just because of the close family atmosphere and how with everyone there, it’s just like one big family.”

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

January 6, 2009

Season recap: Avery Murray

Avery Murray committed to Maryland in July with very little fanfare.

The little-known linebacker from West Florence, S.C., chose the Terps over offers from Buffalo and Middle Tennessee State, then slipped back into relative anonymity -- until he strapped on the pads for his senior season.

“He just played with an unbelievable [level of] confidence,” West Florence coach Trey Woodbury said. “Once he finally committed and got it all out of the way, he just relaxed and his confidence went up. He played extremely well in the Shrine Bowl, which is the 45 best players in [South Carolina] against the 45 best in North Carolina. He started at linebacker and played extremely well. His confidence level against better competition was so much better than last year.”

Murray finished his senior season with 105 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions. As West Florence’s short-yardage back, Murray rushed for 12 touchdowns and approximately 334 yards. The Knights went 7-5 with a first-round loss in the playoffs to South Pointe, the eventual South Carolina Class 5A-II state champions.

Based on Murray’s senior season and Shrine Bowl performance, it wouldn’t surprise Woodbury if plenty of schools were kicking themselves for not discovering the 6-foot-1, 220-pounder before Maryland got involved and landed his commitment.

“Avery’s kind of a laidback guy. He wasn’t big about going to camps, combines and all those other things,” Woodbury said. “He likes to just be Avery, I guess. He’s a good kid, a very smart kid, really worries about his grades, those types of things. So he didn’t do all the combines that a lot of the high-profile athletes do. He was probably a kid a lot of people overlooked. He’s a big kid, a strong kid and a fast kid and he’s going to be a very good player for Maryland.”

Murray is all set to enroll at Maryland later this month, joining the Terps in time for spring practice. Woodbury thinks that will give Murray -- who’s “big enough for inside linebacker and fast enough to play outside” -- an edge over his fellow classmates in terms of competing for playing time as a true freshman.

Regardless of whether or not Murray makes an early contribution in College Park, Woodbury is confident he’ll be a valuable asset to the team from the start.

“He’s just a good kid,” Woodbury said. “He’s an unbelievable athlete with a great work ethic. Not many kids with that type of character have the kind of athletic ability that he has. ... He’s just a big team player. Whatever it takes for the team [to succeed], he’s going to do.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:59 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Season recaps
        

January 5, 2009

Mackall shines at Offense-Defense Bowl

Edmondson defensive end-linebacker David Mackall is no longer under the radar.

davidmackall.jpg

At the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Myrtle Beach, S.C., last Friday, the Maryland-bound Mackall recorded four tackles, including two sacks, and blocked a punt for the East in a 29-3 win.

Scout.com’s Allen Trieu named Mackall to his Fabulous Fifteen, noting that the future Terp impressed all week long.

For the most part, the guys who had the best weeks, had the best games. [Demond] Dennis and [Kwame] Geathers won MVP, but the East had great performances from a number of players. Mike Gilliard had a strong game on defense along with Quandon Christian, a player I've been very impressed with this week and David Mackall.

• Click here for a recap of Mackall’s senior season.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:17 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

Meet Isaiah Ross

This is part of a series of 2009 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 4. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Isaiah Ross
Birthdate: Jan. 24, 1991
Birthplace: Washington D.C.
Hometown: Mitchellville
Nicknames: None
Height: 6’2
Weight: 240
Position: LEO
High School: Eleanor Roosevelt
Senior statistics: 80 tackles, 12.5 sacks
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 65 inside linebacker. Scout.com -- Two stars, No. 72 middle linebacker.
40-yard dash: 4.7
Runner-up: Illinois
Other schools considered: Buffalo, NC State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse
Favorite NFL player: Terrell Owens
Favorite NFL team: Philadelphia Eagles
Favorite all-time Terp: E.J. Henderson
Favorite music: Lil Wayne, Backyard Band
Favorite book: The Bible
Favorite movie: Menace II Society
Favorite TV show: Martin
Favorite food: Soft tacos
Favorite high school class: Math
Favorite thing about College Park: “The campus and how big it is. I like big campuses.”
Other high school sports: Basketball
Hobbies: Pickup basketball, working out
Intended major: Business management or sports communication
Something that not many people know about you: “I guess I’m a funny dude.” (Click here for video evidence)
Best football moment: “When I made [The Washington Post’s] All-Met [team] and was [Prince George’s County] player of the year. That was huge for me.”
Role model: “I think my parents because they support me in everything I do. They’re strong willed, for as much as they’ve been through. There hasn’t ever been a time they broke down or haven’t come through. Everything thrown at them, they face it and make it through.”
Why Maryland? “[Because of the] family atmosphere, how I will be looking on the depth chart, it’s close to home and I feel comfortable with the coaching staff.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 8:17 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 4, 2009

Meet Eric Franklin

This is part of a series of 2009 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 4. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Eric Franklin
Birthdate: Feb. 12, 1991
Birthplace: Baltimore
Hometown: Baltimore
Nicknames: E
Height: 6’3
Weight: 200
Position: Safety
High School: Archbishop Curley
Senior statistics: 80 tackles, seven interceptions. 13 receptions, three touchdowns.
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Two stars. Scout.com -- Two stars, No. 117 safety.
Bench max: 250
40-yard dash: 4.6
Runner-up: Richmond or Akron
Other schools considered: Duke, Virginia, Bryant, Buffalo
Favorite NFL player: Ed Reed
Favorite NFL team: Baltimore Ravens
Favorite all-time Terp: Jack Scarbath (“I went to school with his grandson.”)
Favorite music: Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Jay-Z, 50 Cent
Favorite book: Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Favorite movie: Pineapple Express
Favorite TV show: South Park
Favorite food: Fried chicken
Favorite high school class: Math
Favorite thing about College Park: “The people.”
Other high school sports: Basketball and track
Hobbies: “Hanging out with my friends.”
Intended major: Civil engineering
Something that not many people know about you: “I have a deformed right pinky. When I was positioned in my mom’s belly, my hand was up against the side. So basically I’m missing one bone in my pinky.”
Best football moment: “In rec football I caught a touchdown pass with a minute left in the game that sent us to the championship game in the playoffs. I was 13.”
Role model: “My grandma taught me to be really tough and not complain; basically to suck it up.”
Why Maryland? “I like the people and the engineering program is really great. The football team and the coaching staff are just great people.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:45 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 3, 2009

Meet Ryan Schlieper

This is part of a series of 2009 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 4. All answers are provided by the featured player. Click here for previous entries in the series.

Name: Ryan Schlieper
Birthdate: Aug. 18, 1990
Birthplace: Allison Park, Pa.
Hometown: Pittsburgh
Nicknames: Schlieps
Height: 6’6
Weight: 278
Position:Offensive tackle or guard
High School: North Allegheny (Pa.) Senior High School
Senior statistics: N/A
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 89 offensive tackle, No. 34 player in Pennsylvania. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 74 offensive tackle.
Bench max: 350
40-yard dash: 5.0
Runner-up: Pittsburgh
Other schools considered: UConn, West Virginia
Favorite NFL player: James Harrison
Favorite NFL team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Favorite all-time Terp: E.J. Henderson
Favorite music: Coldplay
Favorite movie: Remember the Titans
Favorite TV show: Seinfeld
Favorite food: Chicken wings
Favorite high school class: History
Favorite thing about College Park: “It’s the nicest college campus I’ve ever been to.”
Other high school sports: “I used to play baseball and basketball.”
Hobbies: Lifting
Intended major: Education
Something that not many people know about you: “I’m a religious man. I go to church every week.”
Best football moment: “Beating our archrival (Shaler) all four high school years in a row.”
Role model: “My father. He’s taught me everything I know.”
Why Maryland? “It’s a great academic school and also a really good football school, so it just fit everything I wanted. I wanted [a degree] to look forward to after college. It’s also a great football program.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:28 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 2, 2009

Weekly recruiting roundup

Tonight's Offense-Defense All-American Bowl at Coastal Carolina University will feature Maryland defensive end commitment David Mackall (Edmondson) and Terps running back target Tavon Austin (Dunbar).

According to Scout.com’s Allen Trieu, Mackall has impressed during East team practices.

The two other guys in the front seven who stood out today were a pair of east coast defensive ends in David Mackall and Andre Civil. Civil, at 6’5, 250, is long and athletic and when they went live, he was constantly in the backfield harassing the quarterback and meeting the running back behind the line. Mackall looked like one of the more athletic of the East linemen in drills and then made a couple nice stops during team play.

• One Maryland commitment (Quince Orchard cornerback Travis Hawkins) and two UM targets (Good Counsel linebacker Jelani Jenkins and St. John’s (D.C.) offensive guard Pete White) are scheduled to play in Sunday’s Under Armour All-American game in Orlando, Fla. According to Scout.com, White won’t announce his college choice at the game.

Pete White also expects to make his decision later in the process. White is considered one of the top offensive guards in attendance rating as the fourth best guard in the country.

Rivals.com reported this week that White has narrowed his list to three schools.

"I am down to three schools -- Maryland, Miami, and Tennessee," White said. "I took an official visit to Maryland about two weeks ago. In about two weeks I am going to Tennessee and then the week after that I am going to Miami."

• Maryland running back commitment D.J. Adams participated in Georgia’s North-South All-Star game earlier this week.

North Gwinnett quarterback Mike Tamburo engineered the North's most promising drive in the second quarter. His 18-yard pass to Norcross running back DJ Adams gave the squad its first first down of the game.

• According to The Washington Post’s Josh Barr, DeMatha defensive end Jeremiah Mathis is now on Maryland’s radar.

Defensive end Jeremiah Mathis, a second-team All-Met, also has picked up more scholarship offers, with Kansas State, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina State all in the mix.

The Daily Press’ Norm Wood predicts that Stafford, Va., defensive end Lanford Collins will commit to one of Maryland’s ACC rivals.

Lanford Collins: He's a top-50-caliber defensive end, but the 6-4, 240-pound recruit from Brooke Point High in Stafford could end up at linebacker depending on which college he winds up attending. Collins has visited U.Va. and Penn State this month, and he's slated to visit Tech Jan. 23. He's also interested in Maryland.

Prediction: Tech.

Basketball recruiting

• Terps power forward commitment Jordan Williams helped Torrington (Conn.) to a 75-39 win over Woodland this week.

Desmond Williams (29 points, 11 assists) and Jordan Williams (20 points, 12 rebounds, six blocks) recorded double-doubles for the Red Raiders in Beacon Falls.

• Maryland power forward target Will Regan had 18 points and 18 rebounds in the Nichols (N.Y.) School’s 62-57 overtime win over Gwynn Park at the NHSCA High School Basketball Festival in Salisbury.

Near the end of regulation, which featured nine ties and 10 lead changes, Gwynn Park held a 51-43 lead, with 47 seconds showing on the clock, having utilized a spread offense to kill much of the previous three minutes, seemingly sealing the win.

But a Will Regan three-pointer, with 38 seconds showing on the clock, cut the Yellow Jackets' lead to five and started the comeback. Gwynn Park missed its final four free throws, while Nichols' Chris Stegemann hit his two chances, cutting the lead to three, setting up Meyer as the hero.

• UM shooting guard target Taran Buie’s Bishop Maginn team suffered a 78-58 loss to Niagara Falls (N.Y.) on Sunday.

"This is bad. It is definitely not a good feeling," Bishop Maginn junior guard Taran Buie said. "The locker room is totally different. It is definitely a feeling you don't want to have. I haven't felt this way since the sixth grade."

• Maryland point guard target Isaiah Epps struggled in Plainfield (N.J.) High’s 77-59 loss to Bishop Loughlin on Tuesday.

It was evident that the Lions would have the mismatch inside, especially with three players 6-feet-6 and taller -- Plainfield has just one player listed at 6-feet-6. But the Cardinals were supposed to have the edge in the backcourt, led by highly touted junior Isaiah Epps, who has received offers from Pittsburgh, Maryland, Seton Hall and Rutgers and has also drawn interest from Kansas and Marquette.

Well, Loughlin dominated there, too. Led by Anthony Hamer, the Lions pressured all over the court, forcing numerous turnovers. Epps scored just eight points on two field goals. Anthony Baskerville and Tyrone Johnson led Plainfield with 16 points apiece.

• Terps women’s point guard recruit Dara Taylor guided Caravel (Del) to a 42-37 win over Roosevelt (Wash.) on Monday.

Caravel (6-2) nursed a 38-37 lead for more than three minutes in the fourth quarter. Arielle Chard put Caravel ahead 40-37 on an 18-footer with 1:27 left, and then Dara Taylor (20 points) assisted Chard for a 42-37 lead at 0:55.

• Maryland women’s commitment Tianna Hawkins led Riverdale Baptist to the IAABO Christmas Tournament championship.

"It's a big tournament, and everybody was anxious to get this victory," said Crusaders center Tianna Hawkins, a Maryland recruit who had a game-high 15 points and 16 rebounds.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 8:21 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

January 1, 2009

Season recap: Dave Stinebaugh

Nothing came easy for Perry Hall tight end Dave Stinebaugh this season.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder was well known throughout the area after earning Baltimore County player of the year honors as a junior and then making a commitment to Maryland over the summer.

“We got into games and right from the first snap, it was evident that he was going to be double-teamed,” Perry Hall coach Keith Robinson said. “Teams were going to try to take him away and make us go somewhere else. Our first play was specifically designed to figure out how they were going to defend him. So he didn’t sneak up on anyone this year.”

Despite all the extra attention from opposing defenses, Stinebaugh caught 45 passes for 632 yards and nine touchdowns at tight end. Playing linebacker and free safety on defense, Stinebaugh recorded 75 tackles, seven interceptions, seven pass breakups and five fumble recoveries. He returned two fumbles for touchdowns and one interception for a score. Stinebaugh was also “easily the best punter in the county,” Robinson said.

The Gators were 9-3 with a runner-up finish in the 4A North region. Stinebaugh, a team captain, essentially never left the field, according to Robinson. The future Terp showed off his nose for the ball on game days and in practice.

“He’d make one-handed catches in practice and just make things look so easy,” Robinson said. “The running joke on the team amongst the players was that he had magnets that he stashed in his gloves. In games whenever there was a fumble, he just always seemed to be around the ball. ... He had five fumble recoveries and seven interceptions. That’s 12 turnovers. In high school, that’s a pretty astounding number. He’s just in the right place at the right time. It just seemed to work out that way.”

Robinson said Stinebaugh, who also plays basketball and lacrosse for Perry Hall, will need some time in the weight room before making an impact for the Terrapins.

“Everybody’s in agreement that he’s going to have to put on some size. I expect he’ll be redshirted for that purpose,” Robinson said. “But according to what [the UM staff has said], he fits in nicely to their H-back or their tight end that usually goes in motion. They have two special types of tight ends -- a big blocking tight end and a receiving tight end and Dave is slotted for [the latter] position. Their offensive coordinator, after watching some of our film, was very impressed that he played on the defensive side as well. They’ve got big plans for him.”

Robinson said the Perry Hall community is excited to see Stinebaugh’s career in College Park unfold over the next five years.

“We’re all anxious here to kind of fast forward a couple years and see him out on the field and see him grow into a very good college football player,” Robinson said. “He’s a great kid, he’s smart, works hard, isn’t out for himself. He just plays to win. I think the people down there will be happy with what they’ve got.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:37 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Season recaps
        
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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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