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December 16, 2009

Season recap: Titus Till

Titus Till's senior season at Wise didn't get off to the smoothest of starts.

On the second day of practice last August, the Maryland safety commitment fractured his collarbone. The injury would sideline him for the next five weeks.

“He just wanted to help the team win,” Wise coach DaLawn Parrish said. “It was hard in the beginning when he got hurt, but he supported his teammates and cheered them on from the sidelines. Some kids get hurt and go into the tank and wait for themselves to get better. He never did that. He just kept supporting his team. He wanted to be 100 percent when he came back and he did a tremendous job. I couldn’t ask for anything more from a young man.”

Till returned to the lineup for the Pumas’ Week 4 game against Eleanor Roosevelt and caught a crucial 50-yard pass to set up the only touchdown of the game in Wise’s 6-0 win. Wise’s defense dominated throughout the season, with the Pumas recording eight consecutive shutouts. The front-seven was especially impressive, Parrish said, which left Till and the rest of his defensive back counterparts doing more watching than hitting.

“He really didn’t have to do as much this year,” Parrish said. “The D-line and linebackers had a lot of the action. But he was able to raise his game to another level in the playoffs. That’s when he had more of an opportunity to make plays and he did just that. He had three interceptions in the playoffs and he started coming up with a lot of big tackles and caused fumbles. He was back to his normal self.

"He had come off the shoulder injury and he didn’t have to do much. With our D-line and linebackers, there really wasn’t much left to do when we were pitching a lot of shutouts. He was dependable Titus. When you get to the playoffs, you have teams more on your level that can attack you better through the air. And he was able to make plays.”

Till finished the season with 64 tackles (31 solos), four interceptions, two forced fumbles and one pass breakup. Wise, which allowed just 46 points all season, ended the year 12-2 with a 17-16 loss to Old Mill in the Class 4A state championship game.

The title-game defeat was a disappointing end to a record-breaking season, but Parrish said Till was instrumental in helping Wise reach its potential. Till also demonstrated why he is the highest-ranked recruit in Maryland’s 2010 recruiting class.

“To me, Titus is a cover-2 safety,” Parrish said. “Maryland loves the cover 2 and he’s a player that [can cover] half the field. He comes downhill, he hits well and tackles. Once he understands the speed of the game on that level -- and as all freshmen, gets comfortable -- he should be tremendous for the system that they run.”

Parrish, a Wake Forest graduate and four-year standout for the Demon Deacons, knows what it takes to be successful in the ACC. After coaching Till for the past four seasons, Parrish is confident that the 6-foot-2, 190-pound safety will thrive at Maryland.

“Nothing he does really surprises me,” Parrish said. “I’ve had him for four years now. We brought him up the last game of his freshman year. I’ve seen him do so many things and I’m always proud of what he does. He’s a student of the game. He gets better and better and is going to be tremendous in college.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:50 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Season recaps


Matt -- anything new on the Terrance Ross front?

Ed -- There's a lot of speculation out there but I don't have anything concrete to report.

I do think that T Ross wants to be a Terp but he is being pulled by other people. I'm sure T Jones is turning the tables on him and recruiting his friend just as hard. You also have the Nike sponsors pushing for him to be at a big Nike sponsored school, like UK. And as hard as it is to swallow, I do believe that he and Jones end up at UK. But there is a bright side to all of this that we just have to be patient about. My point is, we may lose this fight but we will win the war. You know at some point UA is going to be just as good as Nike, if not better. We are in a position to be rewarded greatly with UMD ties to UA. No one will be crying when AAU coaches are pushing players in our direction in a couple years. It will happen, UA is already aggressively pursuing AAU coaches. There is no doubt that we will lock down our local talent at that point. We know college hoops is all about the money, especially for the elite players. Don't think that Gary does not know that for a second. He was quick to get out of those Nike sweats for those new UA duds. Nike was not all too happy about that and we are paying the price. But we are probably 3 years away from having our choice of 5 star talent. Why on earth these kids and AAU coaches have not figured this out sooner is beyond me. You have a great product like UA and it does not have a face to it. All the other shoe companies do have a face in Jordan, Kobe, LaBron, CP3 and on and on. One day they will, and UMD will be in a great position in both basketball and football. Yet another reason why we need a better AD and football coach. But have faith, it is going to happen.

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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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