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August 14, 2009

Weekly recruiting roundup

The Maryland football team has suffered its first decommitment of the 2010 recruiting class.

Pittsford (N.Y.) Mendon tight end Sean Fitzpatrick, who committed to the Terps in February, switched his pledge to North Carolina last night.

“I committed to North Carolina tonight,” Fitzpatrick confirmed late Thursday evening in an interview with Rivals.com. “I’ve kind of had it in my mind that UNC is the right place for me for about two weeks or so. I talked with my coach and my family about it and I prayed about it a lot. It was a tough decision so I factored all that in.

• Pittsburgh wide receiver Brandon Ifill continues to list Maryland as one of his favorites.

"I'll definitely visit Maryland and Michigan," Ifill said earlier this week. "Those are still my top two. They are even."

Scout.com reports that Old Mill linebacker Josh Furman will announce his college decision at the Maryland Crab Bowl in December.

Furman has already said that he will definitely take official visits to Michigan, Maryland and Virginia Tech this fall and has also been talking to Pittsburgh and UCLA a lot as of late.

• Forestville wide receiver Antonio Belt still has the Terps high on his list, according to Rivals.com.

“I just came from a visit to Maryland on Saturday and I think I may be going back there tomorrow for practice. I kind of like Maryland. They gave me a lot of love and I talked to Coach Friedgen and Franklin. I want to see what they are all about.”

Basketball recruiting

NBE Basketball Report caught up with Miller School assistant coach Tommy Landseadel, who said Maryland is still the leader for Mychal Parker.

“Parker’s top five at the moment includes Maryland, Wake Forest, Miami, Auburn and Arkansas,” Landseadel told NBE in an e-mail. “Parker appears to be leaning towards Maryland at the moment, and is planning on making his visits in the fall to help finalize his choice.”

Testudo Times broke the news this week that Long Island, N.Y., power forward Tobias Harris will receive a visit from Gary Williams next month.

In what's probably the first time we've ever broken any news ever in the history of ever (get the point?), it looks like Gary will be making an in-home visit with the Harrises at Long Island in the middle part of next month. The source requested anonymity, but rest assured that it's solid.

InsideMDSports.com caught up with incoming freshman center Jordan Williams, who was approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse this week.

"Of course, people are always going to talk, but I'd sat down with the coaching staff a while ago and they'd told me I was fine. I wasn't sweating it at all," said Williams, the 6-foot-9, 270-pound power forward-center from Torrington, Conn., who is expected to man the middle for the Terps for several years to come.

• Phil Kornblut reports that Fayetteville, N.C., power forward Damontre Harris’ list of top five schools is more like a top three.

6-9 Damontre Harris of Fayetteville, NC has a top five of USC, Wake Forest, Maryland, Florida and VCU. And from those five, he says he's looking the hardest at USC, Wake Forest and Florida.

• Baltimore native Roscoe Smith was instrumental in USA East’s championship win at the Nike Global Games in Portland, Ore.

Roscoe Smith was the Leading rebounder for the USA with nine boards, and he also scored 12 points and two blocks.

• Columbus, Ohio forward J.D. Weatherspoon decided this week to stay home and play for Ohio State.

"Two days ago, a school that was recruiting me signed a player at my position and backed out of my scholarship (offer)," Weatherspoon said. "I was just thinking to myself, 'What if Ohio State does the same thing?' I told my family I can't wait no longer."

• The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer profiled Holly Springs, N.C., power forward and Maryland target C.J. Leslie, who spent much of his summer playing outside the AAU circuit.

In the N.C. Pro-Am League at N.C. Central, his team included Jerry Stackhouse, North Carolina's Ed Davis and incoming Duke recruit Ryan Kelly.

Leslie, 6-foot-9, regularly played against North Carolina alums such as Jawad Williams and David Noel (NBA D-League) as well as assortment of area ACC players including Duke's Kyle Singler.

NBADraft.net scouted several Maryland targets at the Global Games, including Portland, Ore., power forward Terrence Jones.

Jones is a long and athletic combo forward who displayed a nice all around game over the weekend. He showed flashes of being a bit of a point forward and has some impressive passing skills. He is more of a 4 than 3 right now and with an improved jumper, can be a prototype 3 man in the league. He's undecided on his school choice but is rumored to be an Oklahoma lean.

ESPN.com’s Paul Biancardi wrapped up the summer evaluation period with scouting reports on several Terps targets, including Los Alamos, N.M., center Alex Kirk.

This isn't a great year for talent on the West Coast, but a few bigs from that region caught our eye this summer. Alex Kirk (Los Alamos, N.M.), a skilled shooter and passer, falls under that category. Kirk checks into the rankings at No. 97. At 6-9, he's more of a finesse big. Although he might not be a traditional low-post type, his skills could be utilized at the college level.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:22 AM | | Comments (23)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

Comments

Nice job Matt! It looks like things are getting interesting for the Terps b-ball recruiting. Not sure how it will pan out, but it appears they are doing the right things. I would love to see Parker commit this fall.

What is the deal with Padge, is he in yet?

Rob -- Thanks for the kind words. And yup, Padgett is all set. He passed through the Clearinghouse months ago.

I agree.Great column this week. Lot's of info on the recruiting front.

Turns out the upcoming meeting with T. Harris and his family is just a formality. His father wants all the colleges on his list to make the visit and they are going to pair it down from there. Of course Kentucky is on the list even though they are new to the game. Totally contradicts what his father said before. Sounding more and more high maintenance and Gary usually does not play that game for long. Can't say I blame him.

Scout has James Johnson as "high" interest. Could we be close here? One more big signing and we get another one after that for sure. Landing T. Ross set the stage for a great recruiting year. G.V. is going to be a recruiting mouth piece for us this year as well. Seldom do you see the love for a coach as you do with G.V and Gary. Things are definitely looking up at this point. We all know Gary can coach. I am really looking forward to this season!

Parker, James, Jones, Smith, Harris, Coleman and Leslie

We want you!!!

Matt-
Why do you think there is such a difference in the ranking services? Espn and Rivals are way different.
ESPN makes Ross sound like MJ and rivals is like, so-so?
Also, the parker news is good, but, how many scholarships do they have open for next year?
I say that because, obviously, if they get Jones and Parker, along with Ross and Stoglin, that is probably their best overall recruiting class ever, but do they have 4 open?
There is 1 extra this year after Dupree. Then Milbourne, Hayes, and Vasquez's open up?

If Burney has to medically retire that opens another Ryan. My bet is we have 5 for next year and do end up with the best recruiting class ever at UMD. Again that is subjective because the National Championship class and Blake's class were pretty darn awesome. You figure Drew Nicholas could easy been a starter on most teams that year and he came off the bench. Gary is at his best when his back is against the wall and he is going to get it done! Let's Go Maryland!!!

Well said Rob. But don't forget the impact of losing their assistant coaches after the title season. Remember, it was Patos and Dickerson that brought thoses players to CP and Gary who closed the deal as one of the best game coaches in all of college basketball.

It seems Maryland is really going after frontcourt players. With Ross, Stoglin and Mosely, they have a solid backcourt for years to come. Should the versatile Parker sign (I think he's coming to Maryland), he can play the 2 or 3. Gary loves those kind of players, though the rap on him is his defense. But he is a tremendous rebounder and dunker and apparently still growing. If they land Parker, they are already top 15 material. It might actually make it difficult to sign other players as their roster would be essentially filled. Ironically, they have so many scollies open for 2010, they might HOLD one or two. Wouldn't that be funny.

Harris is not coming to Maryland (or the ACC). The father is orchestrating the money game. Forget about it.

Sidney Lowe is in on the recruiting of Leslie. NC State is really pushing hard. They may land him after all.

Coleman is so interesting. Duke is heavily invested. So is Florida. That makes it tough.

Just about every ACC school is in the hunt for Roscoe Smith and Calhoun has his wallet open. Can't see him coming to Maryland.

Terrence Jones stays on the west coast. So does Kirk (Arizona maybe).

So my two cents. They get Johnson and either Tony Mitchell and/or Jonathon Graham, a real sleeper and maybe another guard for good measure.

Am I possibly the only one who is skeptical of Roscoe Smith? As a Terp fan and homer, check this out.

Maryland 3A/4A Semifinals at Comcast. 2 big recruits on the floor. Roscoe Smith stars for Walbrook and Will Barton for Lake Clifton.

Barton looks like a star. He cleans up the glass, gets the put backs, brings the team up the court, distributes the ball, and makes a wide array of shots. He will do well at Memphis and I am REALLY sorry he won't be a Terp.

In the Walbrook game, Smith is the biggest guy on the court. Except for a 3-point shot and a few boards, he gets lost for long stretches and is D'd up by smaller guys he should dominate. He's open and possibly coming to Maryland.

I'd like to see what Gary can do with Smith, but I hope he can find some of the hunger that Barton has. Otherwise, we'll be looking at another Terence Morris with tons of tools and talent but no heart.

You know, somehow I missed this. Hopefull Matt, you'll post this, even though it was in another newspaper and is making its way through the blog world.

Gary Williams on (hey Ryan, Ed, you guys around?) John Calipari (and on paying kids, but that doesn't EVER happen in the NCAA.)

“I don’t know, I’m a little concerned. I don’t want to sound like the old head (coach), like things aren’t the way they used to be, but something has got to be done. Because you look at the teams this year that were very successful, a couple of them have been outed for what they did. And next year, when it comes time for college basketball to start again, they’ll talk about certain coaches as being great recruiters that I know cheat, you know. And I could be a great recruiter if I was giving kids money, or if I was changing grades on a kid, I’d be a great recruiter, but that’s where it is right now.”

In the article, the writer names the coach Williams is talking about, the Great Recruiter John Calipari. It's about time some college coaches started saying what we already know, while fans would rather wear blinders and pretend it ain't so. Williams has guts, but I doubt many coaches will follow his lead to clean up the game.

I love this line in the article too:

The NCAA has been poisoned by money that has clouded their ability to punish “big time” schools that violate the rules because they represent millions of dollars in revenue.

Like I've said a few times on this blog, revenue trumps all else and you will always have people that can't face the truth cause it would shatter their little dream world.

Go Terps -- I'm not sure what article you're referencing. Feel free to link it up here.

Hey Matt,

It was an extensive interview originally done by ESPN Sportstalk 980 that the WaPo printed excerpts. I think it was Dan Steinberg at the Post.

I found it on Turtle soup: http://turtle-soup.com/wp/2009/07/02/gary-williams-quote-of-the-year/

Here's the full quote (kinda funny how he backends into it...)

“The penalty that the Alabama football team got, for instance; they have to forfeit games, ok? And they get probation for three years or whatever it is. That has nothing to do with what you’re gonna do this year. You can go to bowl games, you can play on TV. When we got our sanctions in 1990 we could not play on live television, we could not to go to the NCAA tournament for two years, we lost three scholarships and we had to give back a ton of money. And so basically they took the legs out of our program, because you can’t recruit players to the ACC without television, NCAA Tournament hopes, things like that.”

“I don’t know, I’m a little concerned. I don’t want to sound like the old head (coach), like things aren’t the way they used to be, but something has got to be done. Because you look at the teams this year that were very successful, a couple of them have been outed for what they did. And next year, when it comes time for college basketball to start again, they’ll talk about certain coaches as being great recruiters that I know cheat, you know. And I could be a great recruiter if I was giving kids money, or if I was changing grades on a kid, I’d be a great recruiter, but that’s where it is right now.”

Here is the original I think. The story was in July. I just happened to hear them still talking about it when I was in DC this morning. The were talking about the Post's story today on Mychal Parker and his "handler," and how it might affect where Parker goes to school. They also talked about how mid-level high school players now have "handlers." The brought up how his "handler" was trying to get paid for providing access to Parker. Frankly, it sounded like Maryland might take a pass on him now. Anyway, they brought up Calipari and Pitini, the Post's hatchet job on Williams last season and then started talking about Gary's comments about Calipari. I didn't know what they were talking about, so i looked it up.

here it is, though I still haven't found the whole interview. I'll see if I can locate it.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2009/07/gary_williams_on_cheaters_and.html

Nice pull GOTERPS! My thoughts is that with all the egos in the college basketball ranks, and Gary of course being one of those, that Calipari and his cronnies will take the fall this year. No way you land the top 3 recruits at a new school by doing things above board. Clean coaches, the there are still quite a few out there, will not settle for this and police themselves since the NCAA is deep in it as well. Can't wait till you see UCONN, Memphis, Kentucky, Kansas, and yes, even UNC all on sanctions. Get rid of the money grubbing handles and the parents who treat their kids as ATM machines. Time to clean up college basketball even if it becomes watered down! I would love to see Gary as the front runner and the voice to address this with the NCAA. Knowing Gary's luck, the NCAA is liable to sanction Gary for being too vocal. If this is true about Parker...see you later dude.

Unfortunately Rob, the NCAA would rather keep it all under wraps. Eventually, they will take Calipari down, if for no other reason than PR. He is the worst of the worst. But the game is all about dough. And even when a program does get caught (like Alabama) the penalties are relatively weak. The message from the NCAA is you might as well cheat. The Crimson Tide brings money to the table. That;s what really matters.

Players, coaches and owners never said a word about steroid use in baseball. There's a code. No one can tell me they didn't know about it. I remember seeing Brady Anderson the year he hit 50 home runs. The guy was obviously on steroids, even I could see that, But baseball had lost its fan base after the strike. They needed heroes and home runs to spark interest. Better to keep your mouth shut about what was really going on..

So Williams is one of the few with the guts to question what is happening in the game. Good for him. But his comments say more about the NCAA than they do about coaches like Calipari. I would imagine his comments didn't go over real well in St. Louis at NCAA headquarters.

Read the article on Parker today. You get a real sense about how the game is played on the recruiting trail now. Apparently the family fired the "handler," but it is clear from the article how money gets moved around. It is also clear that schools that run clean programs (Maryland) got uneasy with Parker. Just last week I thought Parker was the most likely of the premier players the school is recruiting to be coming to Maryland. Not anymore.

I have to think that is why a Gary has a tough time with MD/DC recruits because they are the greediest of the bunch. Take poor inner city kids with poor parenting and flash a buck in front of them and the Pandora's Box is open. NCAA will have to take a stand or their product will pay the price.

Sad about Parker if true. Hope it does not pan out to be so. Still looking forward to this class and can't wait to see how it plays out. I do hope we have Ross wrapped up because if we should lose him we are right back to where we were last year. It will be interesting to see if Kim can play and the same with Goins. Was not sold at all on Gregory.

Where is that article on Parker GOTERPS? Can you send the link?

Thanks MB. Absolutely pathetic!!!

Davis sounds like a punk. Parker and his old man are not too bright.

Thanks Matt.

I still can't figure out what the Parker's motive would be in having a "handler." Maybe it made them feel important or they were also tryiing to profit somehow.

They spent a little time on Parker again on Sportstalk. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out now that the Post has exposed Parker (and another aspect of recruiting) and whether the Terps are willing to continue recruiting him. They spent some time talking about Ernie Grahma's kid really wanting to come to Maryland even though his old man is still bitter. Johnson came up, too.

On another topic, how can the Terps football team, which returns its starting running backs (2nd in the ACC in total yards) its QB, a tremendous corps of wide receivers and four fifth-year seniors in the secondary, be picked to finish last in the ACC.

If you look at the stats from last year's bowl game, Fridge played his young players and they had a tremendous game. The O-line can't be any worse than last year. Heyward Bey did nothing all year. Granted, they have a very tough schedule, but this team is a lot better than people think.

Looks like Parker committed

That is what I read too. Great news!

Alright, I am a back on the bandwagon. Welcome aboard Parker and I am glad to see you are a Terp. Park your handler at the door though. Sounds like the Post has a vandetta against Gary and tried to squash our chances of landing him with that article. That writter for the Post is a bigger a-hole than Zagoria.

Matt, for the life of me I don't understand why Memphis only has to forfeit that season. These guys need to be thumped harder than that and how does Calipari do the moon walk out of that whole mess to Kentucky. Just a matter of time I guess. Enjoy this season Kentucky fans because your time is next!

funny how they only write articles like that on guys that MD is targeting... You can't say its local because they went after lance stephenson. Prisbell and yanda should never be allowed near college park again.

I refuse to buy the Post anymore. Media today isn't about covering news, it's about trying to make news by creating controversy. The Post disgraced themselves last year with their coverage of Gary and the Terps.

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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 2010 football recruiting class
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