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July 2, 2009

Monroe discusses Maryland pledge

After Maryland wrapped up its 2009 recruiting class, one of the Terps’ first junior scholarship offers went out to St. John’s College (D.C.) defensive tackle Andre Monroe.

The 5-foot-11, 290-pounder thought about making an early commitment, but decided to go through the recruiting process for a little while. That ended Tuesday night, when Monroe committed to the Terps.

“It feels great knowing that I’m committed and they were at the top of my list the whole time,” Monroe said. “It feels great and I feel relief, getting it out of the way before the season so I can concentrate on my senior year.”

After Maryland offered, New Mexico, Akron, Bowling Green, Miami (OH) and Ohio followed suit with scholarships of their own. Other major schools expressed interest, and Monroe took visits to Pittsburgh, Duke and North Carolina. But the Terps remained his only BCS-conference offer. St. John’s coach Joe Patterson thinks there’s a simple explanation for Monroe’s relatively low-profile recruitment.

“[Monroe’s height] was the only thing you ever heard anyone talking about ... as far as any issues he may have had,” Patterson said. “If he had been a couple of inches taller, I’m sure he would’ve been a national recruit.”

The Maryland staff first saw Monroe at a summer football camp before his sophomore year. Whenever a Terps coach went to a St. John’s game last season to check out offensive line recruit Pete White, Monroe inevitably played his way into their consciousness. Patterson said Monroe’s junior film led to the early UM offer.

“Andre is as productive as anyone I’ve ever had,” Patterson said. “Teams had to scheme around him. ... He reminds me, as far as being a playmaker, of Tony Tucker, who’s a defensive end for Pittsburgh. I think Andre brings a whole different range of skills just because he has such a tremendously low center of gravity and he uses his body so well. And he’s got incredibly strong legs. That package [is tough to come by].”

Monroe and White used to car-pool together to St. John’s, and the two are admittedly close. But Monroe said his former and future teammate never put pressure on him to commit to the Terps.

“He threw his input in there,” Monroe said. “But he wasn’t trying to do it really hard like all the coaches were. He explained to me that he went through the process, too. He showed me how sometimes the pressure can get to you, and he didn’t want [me to go through] some of the things that happened to him.”

When Monroe arrives in College Park in 2010, he’ll have a chance to go up against White in practice again on a daily basis. Monroe said he’s excited to suit up for the program that believed in him from the start. For the rest of the summer, he’s committed to making his senior season a memorable one.

“Right now I’ll keep working out and continue to get better, spend more time with my teammates to make sure we’re together to have a successful season and win a championship.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:53 AM | | Comments (8)


I certainly hope Monroe becomes a star at Maryland but maybe the reason the Terps have been so average at best the last 5-6 yrs is because we're recruiting kids who are being recruited by the likes New Mexico, Akron, Bowling Green, Miami (OH) and Ohio instead of signing kids recruited by the likes of Florida, Miami, Penn St. and West Virginia.

I wouldn't sleep on the way that New Mexico recruits. Coach Locksley has been a tremendous recruiter for every program he's been involved with. Yeah, he's starting from scratch out there but IMO, if he's looking at a recruit, I'd take a look as well.

Md has been average at worst the last 5 years. and we are signing multiple kids recruited by those schools. A little research goes a long way.

This class is interesting in the lack of kids in which we seem to be competing against Penn State, WV, Va Tech, and UVA. Not sure if that has to do with positions of need or some other reason. Matt, without getting into specifics, I wonder if you could ask the MD coaches about this? Thanks.

CA Terp Fan

The local recruiting scene isn't as strong as it has been say last year. the top guys left MD has a good shot at after missing out on a couple that were really looking to get Out of the State. We have alot of offers in GA this year which looks to be loaded at positions i believe MD is focusing on CB, DE and OL

Thanks Matt. As I've said before, I have every confidence in MD's coaching staff's ability to evaluate talent. Every year there are guys that MD finds that others overlook. Davin Meggett is a great example of that. That being said, you are always looking for a couple of 4 and 5 star guys to add to the mix. So far, this group doesn't have any of signature signings. Hopefully, that will change soon.

Thanks to Josh for answering CA Terp Fan's question. I'd agree that last year was an extraordinary one for the state in terms of talent, but this class can hold its own. There's plenty of time to land a "signature" recruit, and they have a few intriguing guys already on board. I think Monroe's one of them.

Hey don;t fret over this guy. Comes from a good program and built like Kelly Greg the very solid and successful D/T of the Ravens.

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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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Area high school commitments -- 2009
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