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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, 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

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 this week. 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


Has there been an update on Travis Hawkins?

Miles -- Glad you mentioned that. I'm not sure if I've written about this recently, but Hawkins is a solid commitment to Maryland. I spoke to Quince Orchard's coach this week and will have a season recap for Hawkins on Monday.

Do you have an update on Holmes (D-Line) out of NJ?

Just wanted to say - when i see that one recruiting class that PSU built their team with - Derrick Williams, AJ Wallace, Aaron Maybin, and Navarro Bowman ...

imagine if they were here --- I mean, we were so close to ACC title games the past 2 years.. they would have been difference makers (and yes, I know what happened with Williams' dad - so forget DW)

But i bring that up - cuz now Jelani headed out, couple of CB's to Penn State - another to Ohio State.

Kudos to the staff and their efforts - but this endless stream of in-state recruits leaving has got to stop!

Breck -- Holmes has said he'll choose between Maryland, Pittsburgh and Rutgers, probably on Signing Day.

Is there anyway GW picks up Terell Vinson for next year? Do we even have a scholarship available for him?

Steve -- There aren't any scholarships available right now, but as we learned last year, that can always change. Still not sure if the Terps will pursue Vinson, but his father mentioned Maryland as a school of interest a few weeks ago.

While it is positive to see that Maryland has made Vinson's list of considered schools, has there been any particular vibe that you've detected regarding the Terps' effort to recruit him? Reciprocally, have you heard anything surrounding which way he may be leaning? It appears that he's one of the best recruits, if not the top recruit, remaining for 2009.

Also, to secure his committment, won't that exceed the team's number of available scholarships? I fear some attrition to this roster may be coming, including potentially Vasquez (pros, although he's playing himself out of that possibility) and Tucker (who I sense a growing frustration given his noticably reduced playing time and contribution from his freshman season). On the other hand, while the program surely won't be damaged by the loss/transfer of any one or more of Goins, Burney or DuPree, etc., they do have scholarships and, thus, the school's committment to them should they opt to stay.

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

McBride verbally committed to Notre Dame.

Terp 'n Texas -- I believe Vinson still needs to get his release from Loyola Marymount (he signed a LOI in Nov.). So I think it'll be awhile before we get a clear picture on his recruiting. You're exactly right about Maryland's scholarship situation for next year.

Dennis -- Thanks for the info. Cloud's team is so loaded that they don't really depend on her for scoring. She's supposedly a really good defender.

Matt- I think it needs to be pointed out that both recruits next year are nominated for the MCD's game. Plus Vinson. They need to land the tough kids. No more Dupree's and Burney's. Barton, and Buie are the 2 most important for 2010. To replace Vasquez and Hayes.
I would love to see Roscoe Smith with the #10 overall to go with Barton's #24 overall, but, I just do not think they have put in the same kind of time that Roy Williams has.
It is a shame because that would definitely be the #1 recruiting class in the Nation with 2-5star guys. That would put them back on top. A starting 5 of Barton, Mosley, Bowie, Smith and Williams with Buie and Padgett off the Bench would bring a National Championship.
We can always hope.

Come on guys get off of Goins, the kid just showed up and hasn't had time to acclimate yet, since when did we expect all freshmen and sophmores to be out of this world?????

According to Jeff Barker's blog, the UM students were chanting for Lance Stephenson at last night's Miami game.

Was there a particular reason for that? It appears MD wasn't even on his radar.

Mike -- Stephenson visited UM for the game.

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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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