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February 6, 2009

Weekly recruiting roundup

Lance Stephenson is apparently serious about Maryland.

The five-star shooting guard from Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln added the Terps to his top four, and spoke to’s Adam Zagoria this week about his recent visit to College Park.

“Maryland, I had fun,” he said. “We talked about Padge [6-8 Maryland-bound forward James Padgett of Lincoln], how we’re going to get him ready for Maryland,” Stephenson said. “That’s a good look for me and him to go to. I’m just looking at different schools and trying to see where the best fit is.”

He added: “They’re kind of high on my list. I didn’t go and visit all the other schools. I just visited that school. It’s the first official visit. I’m just going to see what the other schools look like and pick by that.”

• Stephenson and UM power forward recruit James Padgett helped Lincoln to an 88-81 win over Thomas Jefferson on Tuesday.

Stephenson led Lincoln (13-8, 11-2 Brooklyn AA) with 21 points and 20 rebounds, Padgett added 18 points and 12 boards and Davon Walls followed with 15 points off the bench. named Padgett its athlete of the week.

[Lincoln coach Dwayne] Morton has seen improvements in every part of Padgett’s game – from defense to rebounding to his soft touch around the hoop. He is averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds in 13 Brooklyn AA league games – one of the reasons the Railsplitters recently won the regular-season division crown – but Morton has been more impressed with the strides he has made as a leader.

“He’s been more vocal,” the coach said, stressing that when Padgett talks, others listen.

• UM power forward signee Jordan Williams recorded his fifth straight 40-point game earlier this week.

The Torrington boys basketball team (10-4) beat Ansonia (4-10) at home Monday evening by the same 20-point margin, 86-66, as last Thursday’s over Woodland.

But Monday’s effort brought a smile to coach Tony Turina’s face versus Thursday’s frown.

“This was a good team win tonight,” Turina said, who saw just two constants between the games. Jordan Williams had 42 points Monday versus 41 last Thursday. Justin Duksis (12 points Monday versus 9 Thursday) had his second career game in a row.

• UM coach Gary Williams is counting on Padgett and Williams to play a part on what should be an improved Terps team next season.

"Yeah, I we lose Dave Neal off this year's team. We've signed Jordan Williams and James Padgett, and I think we're in a pretty good position. I really believe we can be a top 25 team preseason next year."

Gary Williams was on hand to watch DeMatha and shooting guard Victor Oladipo take on Good Counsel one week ago, according to The Washington Post’s Josh Barr.

Oladipo, a 6-5 high flyer, has a terrific upside and seems to have good court awareness. Grant, who is 6-4, is another son of former NBAer Harvey Grant.

• UM junior shooting guard target Taran Buie reached double figures in Bishop Maginn’s win Tuesday night.

Taran Buie's 23 points helped Bishop Maginn remain undefeated in the Big 10 Conference following a 79-68 win at Bishop Gibbons.

• Maryland junior power forward target Will Regan had a double-double in the Nichols School’s 72-47 win over Canisius (N.Y.) this week.

The pair took advantage of open looks as the Canisius defense concentrated on Will Regan (14 points, 14 rebounds) and guard Ron Canestro (15 points, five assists).

• Terps junior power forward target Tobias Harris filed another entry in his online diary for

I have to say the rehab for my ankle went really well. My physical therapist really helped me get through this injury and have me back playing as soon as he thought the time was right. Needless to say, physical therapy was NOT easy, I would leave there with my t-shirt drenched with sweat the therapist wouldn't take it easy on me. Those people are brutal! But I would have to say the worst part about the therapy was the ice bath that I had to put my ankle in afterward. It was just way to COLD for me.

Football recruiting

The State of Columbia, S.C., spoke to Terps defensive end recruit Justin Anderson about the late interest he received from other teams.

Preparing for Wednesday wasn’t easy for Anderson even though his mind was set on Maryland. Other colleges kept calling despite his oral commitment.

“But I brushed them aside because I knew where I wanted to go,” he said.

In another story by The State, Anderson discussed how distance wasn’t really a factor in his decision.

Moving away was not an issue for Anderson, who considered schools in areas where he has family. His stepfather’s family is not far from the Maryland campus.

“When I need to get away from football, I’ll have someone to talk to. I’ll have a life outside of football when I go up there,” Anderson said.

The State ranked UM’s class No. 5 in the ACC.

5. MARYLAND TERRAPINS: Maryland signed five four-star recruits among its 24 signees: DL De'Onte Arnett (Capitol Heights, Md.) DB Travis Hawkins (Gaithersburg, Md.), RB Caleb Porzel (Olney, Md.) and OL Pete White (Washington, D.C.). ranked White the No. 5 offensive guard in the nation. Defensive lineman Justin Anderson of Blythewood High signed with Maryland.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also pegged Maryland as having the fifth-best class in the ACC.

> 5. Maryland: Twenty-two of the 26 signings were either three- or four-star recruits, according to Rivals. The pick of the bunch is defensive end DeOnte Arnett.

The Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens took a look at UM quarterback recruits C.J. Brown and Danny O’Brien and broke down their impending battle

With the struggles of [Josh] Portis and [Jeremy] Ricker in particular, Maryland probably needs one of this year's signees to develop into something more than just a competent option.

"I think C.J. Brown has that potential," recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said. "He's improved every year under center in high school, but most importantly he's very smart and can learn the offense at Maryland. Guys like Jordan Steffy, Josh Portis and Jeremy Ricker all had great athletic ability and live arms, but none of them had the football smarts of Brown, and in Ralph's system, brains are the most important thing."

• Before Pennsylvania offensive lineman Ryan Schlieper switched his commitment from Maryland to Pittsburgh this week, the 6-foot-5, 270-pounder had to make several difficult phone calls.

"It's a long process," he said. "A lot of (Maryland) coaches wanted to talk to me. I got an earful a couple of times."

Another call went to Seneca Valley quarterback C.J. Brown, a rival of North Allegheny in the Quad North, who committed to Maryland last year and plans to sign with the Terrapins.

"I felt like I let C.J. down, but being the quality type of kid he is, he said, 'No hard feelings.' "

• UM offensive line signee Bennett Fulper received some late interest from an in-state school, according to

Despite Virginia making a late run, Fulper had already decided on Maryland over James Madison and a handful of other Division I-A and I-AA schools. While playing left tackle this past season, the 6-foot-5, 291-pound lineman also played center in his first three seasons with Gretna, which could be where he winds up at Maryland.’s John Wallpher conducted a Q&A with Terps defensive end recruit David Mackall just days before Signing Day. You had many offers, why Maryland?

Mackall: Going into the summer of my senior season, Maryland, East Carolina, Eastern Michigan, Clemson and Syracuse offered me first. I committed to Maryland right away. A few other schools showed a lot of interested like like Georgia, Kansas State and Florida, but I committed to Maryland before they could offer.

Note: I spoke to the guys at about UM's football recruiting class for the Web site's weekly Maryland podcast. Other guests include Danny O'Brien, C.J. Brown, Dexter McDougle and Adam Zagoria. Click here to listen to the podcast.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:24 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup



Any word on Vinson and Smith and our recruiting efforts with them? Also Rivals had an interesting story about Stephenson that plays to the conspiracy theorists. They said the big wigs at Under Armour pulled their weight with Stephenson to visit with MD to bail Gary out of trouble. I am hoping that is not the case, and that he just wants to play with Padge. No doubt he wouldl be a nice center piece.

We are two years away from being in the top 10 again consistantly. Gary had a major set back this year but he's back on track now. I believe he's learned his lesson on recruiting in this day in age.

STEPHENSON, SMITH, VINSON, BUIE, HARRIS, MCKIE, BARTON, REGAN, we want you! Come and be legends while playing for a packed Comcast Center. Don't forget you have a better chance here to pick-up a nice endorsement from a big name apparel manufacturer.

Where are we going to get the scholarships to sign these kids other than Padgett and J. Williams?

Unless there are some transfers P and JW are all we're getting.

Believe me, if Lance wants to come here I can guarantee that a scholarship opens for him.


You're right about the scholarship situation for 2009, however, and as I'm sure you already know, this would only affect efforts to pursue Stephenson and Vinson. Even assuming unexpected attrition from the existing roster and a desire of one of these prospects to commit to Maryland, I can only imagine, at most, one additional scholarship opening up. If so, I would think that Vinson, because of his local ties, would be the more logical choice.

All of the other named players are 2010 prospects. Then, a number of scholarships will open up--Hayes, Vasquez and Milbourne. Of course, this still does not provide enough room to accomodate all of those prospects. Then again, assuming they even get any of them, the Terps won't be chosen by all of them anyway.

With that said, and I generaly refrain from speculating who may or may not remain with the program as it is not particularly fair to the kid discussed, Stephenson, if legitimately interested in Maryland, would seem like a nice shooting upgrade over Vasquez should he decide to take his act to Europe, et al. for next year.


I am not saying we will sign all of these players, and I realize we only have so many scholarships. These are our top targets for the next couple of years. I think we can agree that any of these players would look good in a Terps uniform. Don't we want to show an interest in all of them? This year was a prime example of why we should covet more prospects. Especially when a "verbal commit' means little to this generation. Remember Terrence Jennings?

I think Lance fits Gary's system perfectly. He's an effort player with an incredible will to win. Unlike most of Gary's charges, however, Lance has some serious athletic gifts. He'll shine in this system better than in most. Also, I think Lance can probably relate to a head coach who is under seige by the media. Perhaps Lance sees in Gary a man who has proven skills who may have not had his best moments lately and has been attacked for it, a person who just wants to put all this behind him and put the argument on the hardwood floor. That's not to say the interest of media isn't warranted in both cases. It is. As for the scholarship, Anthony Pearman was a walk-on who got a scholarship this year beacuse one was available. I'm not certain he got a multi-year deal. It may have just been a provisional so long as a spot was open.

I saw Born Ready on You Tube yesterday-OMG. Do you really think that a stud like that is coming to College Park? You're dreaming. It does, however, look good for the program that he is actually considering it. The future is bright, but let's be realistic. Me, I blame the last five years on Bush. As goes the country, so goes Terp basketball. We can turn this around-Yes We Can. This is fun!

Say whatever you want about Gary Williams-but would anyone in their right mind trade GWilliams and the Terps for that mess at Georgetown? The man's got an NBA roster and can't get jack out of them. If not for his father he'd already be gone.

I think when all things are considered GW is the best college coach in the history of MD/DC/Baltimore. If he had G-town's roster they'd be top 3, easily. And if the new talent coming in is as good as advertised, we'll see a winner in College Park again very soon.

Terps just pulled out a big win to keep my hopes alive for this season. The team is going to have to get the job done on the road at UVA and NCSU, and the Terps FAITHFUL are going to have to will them to a couple of home victories over tough opponents. I think people will be fired up for Puke, UNC, and Wake, but VT is huge too. So give yourself a great valentine's day present and go cheer on the terps!

By my count, the two scholarships for Padgett and Williams for next year are coming from Neal and Pearman. It's my understanding that Pearman knows he was year-to-year with his scholarship based on availability since he was a walk-on. So for Stephenson or anyone else to join the two already committed someone elsewould have to leave the program. Or maybe Bowie could get a free ride because his dad works for the university, but they probably have rules against that (or at least there should be, in spite of what Nebraska has done for years with their football program).

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

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