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January 30, 2010

Season recap: Clarence Murphy

Hollywood Hills (Fla.) coach Scott Barnwell cruised down U.S. 27 last July with football at the forefront of his mind and four of his top linemen along for the ride.

The coach and his players -- which included Maryland defensive end commitment Clarence Murphy -- had just completed a lineman camp at the University of South Florida and were headed back home. On a particularly rural stretch of the highway near Lake Okeechobee, however, Barnwell was forced to make an unscheduled stop.

“We had an incident where a car overturned in a canal,” Barnwell said. “[Murphy] was with me and helped me rescue a baby and two people trapped in the car. There was a 2-year old in the car seat. The door had broken through and the car seat became wedged. On the other side, there was a lady unconscious in the water. It was kind of a nightmare -- I can’t even tell you. But [Murphy] completely ripped the car door right off that was trapped. I don’t know how he did it, but he did it. It’s a wonderful thing that he did. That’s the kind of kid [Maryland is] getting in the program.”

On the field, Maryland is getting a player who recorded 75 tackles and 12 sacks as a senior, helping the Spartans to a 6-4 record and a berth in the Florida state playoffs. Barnwell witnessed significant progress in Murphy’s game over three varsity seasons.

“I saw a kid who I knew was athletic that’s just gotten bigger and bigger and hasn’t even scratched the surface yet,” Barnwell said. “He’s going to be a very big kid. His dad is a big guy also. He’s just one of the best kids I’ve ever coached in all these years, from his attitude to the way he plays ... everything.

“[On the] defensive line, he’s the best kid we’ve ever had. I mean, obviously we do have quite a few kids from my school this year, probably six or seven, that will sign that first day. Murphy, he’s an unbelievable kid and he’s a steal. In my opinion, he could have gone to any place in the country and played.”

A three-star prospect according to Rivals, Scout and ESPN, Murphy selected the Terps over offers from Michigan, South Florida and Colorado State, among others. Barnwell said there are a few notable attributes Murphy possesses that set him apart from other high school defensive linemen. Those physical and mental traits lead Barnwell to believe Murphy has a bright future ahead of him at Maryland.

“His quickness stands out and he’s got a very long reach, too,” Barnwell said. “The kid doesn’t have any give-up in him. He doesn’t give up at all. He wants to be the best and he works hard. With some other kids, you have to push them towards that. But it’s all he wants to do. That’s just the type of kid he is.”

Murphy intends to major in criminal justice at Maryland and said academics were a major factor in his decision. A top-notch education plus an opportunity for early playing time and good relationships with the Maryland staff made Murphy’s decision an easy one.

“The school has everything. That’s all he talked about,” Barnwell said. “He’s playing in the ACC, he’s at Maryland, in this big nice area where he’s able to go do what he wants to do. The school offers want he wants and it’s the best at it. And he’s right there, so close to D.C. You almost couldn’t paint a better picture.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 3:46 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Season recaps
        

January 29, 2010

Meet Desmond Kearse

This is part of a series of 2010 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 3. All answers are provided by the featured player.

Name: Desmond Kearse
Birthdate: Feb. 7, 1992
Birthplace: Fort Myers, Fla.
Hometown: Fort Myers, Fla.
Height: 6'2
Weight: 181
Position: Strong safety

High School: Dunbar High School
Senior statistics: 17 sacks, 78 tackles
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 107 outside linebacker. ESPN.com -- Three stars, No. 57 defensive end, 78 rating.
Bench max: 235
40-yard dash: 4.49
Other schools considered: Western Kentucky, Florida Atlantic, Middle Tennessee State
Favorite NFL player: Jevon Kearse
Favorite NFL team: Kansas City Chiefs
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman
Favorite music: Gucci Mane, Lil Boosie
Favorite book: "Sounder" by William H. Armstrong
Favorite movie: "Friday"
Favorite TV show: "The First 48"
Favorite food: Chicken
Favorite high school class: English
Other high school sports: Basketball, track
Hobbies: "Listening to music and playing the game."
Intended major: Undecided
Something that not many people know about you: "I'm a hard worker."
Best football moment: "When i got my first sack."
Role model: "Jevon [Kearse]. I've been watching him all my life, since [he was in] college. He's my cousin and I've been around him a lot and I like what he [does] and how he's been successful."
Why Maryland? "The education they have and the [defensive] package that I'm playing in -- how they got me at strong safety."

Posted by Matt Bracken at 2:21 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

Weekly recruiting roundup

Terps small forward signee Mychal Parker led the Miller School (Va.) to a 66-54 win over Covenant on Thursday.

The third quarter indeed proved to be a long one for the Eagles. Parker took over for Miller in the period, knocking down two deep 3-pointers and gliding to the rim for a one-handed slam while pouring in eight of his team-high 18 points in the frame.

• According to ESPN.com, Gary Williams has checked out Montverde (Fla.) Academy forward Haukur Palsson, a 6-foot-6 senior from Iceland.

[Montverde coach Kevin] Sutton said Maryland coach Gary Williams stopped by practice Wednesday afternoon, and there have been other offers from Central Florida, South Florida, Vanderbilt and Harvard. Palsson, an honors student, is considering top-flight academic schools but says his long-term goal is to play professionally.

• NBE Basketball Report this week offered a scouting report of Quality Education Academy (N.C.) big man Juvante Reddic, who Maryland is reportedly tracking.

Reddic has athleticism to match his size, and though he’s listed at 210 pounds I find it hard to believe he isn’t at least 220 right now from the solid body he exhibits. He’s far from skinny and with about six months of serious weight training he will be the highest mix of strength and athleticism on whatever college roster he eventually finds himself on. Reddic dunks anything close to the rim offensively and rejects close to everything defensively. He runs the court with ease and has a serious demeanor that lets you know he’s all business.

• New Egypt (N.J.) junior forward Desmond Hubert continues to hear from Maryland and several other high-major schools.

An assistant coach from Seton Hall was in the seats to watch Hubert, who averages 15 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocks a game this season. Maryland was at a recent game and Temple has been out a couple times to see him as well.

Other schools that have shown interest in Hubert are Penn State, Villanova, Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh.

• UM junior point guard target Sterling Gibbs guided Seton Hall Prep (N.J.) to a 69-58 win over Montclair.

Junior guard Sterling Gibbs drew Montclair fouls on the next two Prep trips down the court, the second of the and-one variety, helping to salt away the game. Gibbs, a national recruit, finished with 25 points, 13 of which came from line.

Gibbs has plans to visit Maryland next month, according to Adam Zagoria.

“I plan on visiting Maryland for their game against North Carolina,” Gibbs wrote by text.

• Earlier this week Testudo Times took a look at Maryland’s always evolving wish list for the 2011 class. Click here for a look at potential forward targets and here for an introduction to the guards.

• Terps women’s combo guard commitment Natasha Cloud has led a young Cardinal O’Hara (Pa.) team to an 11-5 record.

"Some people may not think that we're very good when compared to last season, but we've beaten some good teams," she said.

Football recruiting

• Rivals.com’s Mike Farrell thinks the Terps have a solid shot at landing Bishop McNamara wide receiver Brandon Coleman.

Coleman is down to Maryland and Rutgers with the Terps now pulling ahead. Rutgers losing its wide receivers coach and now its recruiting coordinator has swung this in Maryland's direction.

• Terps cornerback target Tony Grimes -- a teammate of UM defensive end pledge Clarence Murphy -- will play in the Team USA vs. The World game Saturday.

Tony Grimes, Hollywood Hills CB, 5-11, 165 Grimes is a physical cornerback with great jamming and tackling ability. A highly touted corner, Grimes has been given the No. 11 ranking among cornerbacks in the nation by Scout.com.

Terps quarterback pledge Tyler Smith will serve as one of Team USA's four captains for the game, which kicks off at noon Saturday at Fort Lauderdale’s Lockhart Stadium.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:23 AM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

January 28, 2010

Meet Jake Wheeler

This is part of a series of 2010 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 3. All answers are provided by the featured player.

Name: Jake Wheeler
Birthdate: Jan. 8, 1992
Birthplace: Hollywood, Fla.
Hometown: Hollywood, Fla.
Nickname: Big Wheels
Height: 6’8 ½
Weight: 250
Position: Offensive tackle or tight end

High School: American Heritage High in Plantation, Fla.
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Two stars. Scout.com -- One star. ESPN.com -- No evaluation.
40-yard dash: 4.8
Runner-up: Rutgers or Tennessee
Other schools considered: Georgia Tech, Alabama, Oklahoma, Cincinnati
Favorite NFL player: Jason Taylor
Favorite NFL team: Miami Dolphins
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman
Favorite music: Toby Mac, Reliant K
Favorite book: The Bible
Favorite movie: “The Book of Eli”
Favorite TV show: “House of Payne”
Favorite food: “My momma’s hamburger pie.”
Favorite high school class: Environment
Favorite thing about College Park: “It’s nice and big. I like that.’
Other high school sports: Basketball, track, volleyball, baseball
Hobbies: “I play guitar and I like to watch movies with my brother.”
Intended major: Business and kinesiology
Something that not many people know about you: “That I can play guitar and sing a little bit. I’m not too good of a singer, but [I can sing] a little bit.”
Best football moment: “It would have to be my 10th-grade year. We were up by two in the district championship game, and it had been 10 years since we won the district championship game. I was behind my brother, getting ready to block a field goal because that’s all they needed to win. I was behind my brother and I just pushed him through the line, jumped up and blocked the field goal and we won the district championship.”
Role model: “I would say my brother [Jared Wheeler] because growing up, I always looked up to him because he played football and basketball. He plays [football] at the University of Miami and everybody thought I was going there. But he was always my role model.”
Why Maryland? “After look at all the schools, I did an unofficial to Maryland during the summer and I met a couple of the coaches and liked them a lot. I met the players, and nobody had egos. Everybody was just friendly with everyone else. Everyone was trying to get everyone else better. All the coaches are there to help you, not to put you down. I hear they have the best strength and conditioning in the country right now, so that’s another reason. I need to get faster and stronger, and Maryland can do that.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 2:51 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

Meet Tyler Smith

This is part of a series of 2010 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 3. All answers are provided by the featured player.

Name: Tyler Smith
Birthdate: Oct. 3, 1991
Birthplace: Easton, Pa.
Hometown: Easton, Pa.
Height: 6’4
Weight: 200
Position: Quarterback

High School: Wilson Area High School
Senior statistics: 172-for-323 for 3,130 yards, 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 16 player in Pennsylvania, No. 16 dual-threat quarterback. Scout.com -- Four stars, No. 18 quarterback. ESPN.com -- Four stars, No. 8 quarterback, 80 rating.
40-yard dash: 4.9
Runner-up: Florida State and Pittsburgh
Other schools considered: UConn, Iowa, Rutgers, Syracuse
Favorite NFL player: Drew Brees
Favorite NFL team: Oakland Raiders
Favorite all-time Terp: Boomer Esiason
Favorite music: “Anything, really. I listen to anything. It doesn’t really matter.”
Favorite book: "Bleachers" by John Grisham
Favorite movie: “I like a bunch of movies. I can’t pick just one. I like action movies, sports movies and comedies.”
Favorite TV show: “SportsCenter”
Favorite food: Seafood
Favorite high school class: Independent Living
Favorite thing about College Park: “I like the campus. I like that it’s a true college campus. There’s a lot of things to do, and it’s close to Baltimore and the Inner Harbor and all that.”
Other high school sports: “I used to play baseball.”
Hobbies: “Hunting, fishing, playing cards with my friends. We play Texas Hold’em a lot.”
Intended major: Physical education
Something that not many people know about you: “I have a hunting cabin that we go up to. We hunt deer, bear, pretty much anything. It’s like a getaway spot -- it doesn’t even have running water. It’s just a place to go.”
Best football moment: “Probably playing Bangor. We won, 50-40. It was a fun game. ... It was probably the most fun game I’ve played in.”
Role model: “I look up to my dad and grandfather, just because they’re good people. If I could be like them someday, I’d consider myself a successful person.”
Why Maryland? “I get along good with the coaches and I felt it was just the right place to call home. It wasn’t too far and it wasn’t too close. It had good academics and I think Coach [Ralph] Friedgen and his staff are outstanding people and coaches. So it was a good fit for me.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 27, 2010

Meet Darius Kilgo

This is part of a series of 2010 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 3. All answers are provided by the featured player.

Name: Darius Kilgo
Birthdate: Dec. 14, 1991
Birthplace: Matthews, N.C.
Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
Nicknames: Juice, Big Hoot
Height: 6’4
Weight: 285
Position: Defensive tackle

High School: Weddington High School
Senior statistics: 67 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 55 offensive guard. ESPN.com -- Two stars, No. 110 defensive tackle, 74 rating.
Bench max: 365
40-yard dash: 5.0
Runner-up: Clemson
Other schools considered: Tennessee, East Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan State
Favorite NFL player: Adrian Peterson
Favorite NFL team: Minnesota Vikings
Favorite all-time Terp: Kris Jenkins
Favorite music: Lil Wayne, Walka Flaka, Pastor Troy
Favorite book: “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson
Favorite movie: “The Hangover”
Favorite TV show: “Family Guy”
Favorite food: Spaghetti
Favorite high school class: English
Favorite thing about College Park: “Just the environment and the atmosphere, how they have that open strip in the middle of the school. I like that.”
Other high school sports: Basketball, winter track
Hobbies: “Play basketball, hang out with friends, play video games. Things like that.”
Intended major: Criminal justice
Something that not many people know about you: “I guess sing -- just for fun.”
Best football moment: “My head coach has a twin brother and we beat his team. There’s a trophy between them, too. That was pretty good.”
Role model: “I’d probably have to say my defensive line coach, just because he played in college and played Arena football. He knows what it takes to get there. He’s just been helping me throughout this whole process.”
Why Maryland? “Since Day One, they’ve been recruiting me nonstop. They were the first school to offer me. The more I talked to [Terps defensive line coach Dave] Sollazzo and [wide receivers coach Lee] Hull, the more they interested me. Also, Coach [Ralph] Friedgen came to my house and talked about a couple of things and how Maryland operates. Things like that just made me feel that Maryland was the perfect place for me to fit in. Coach Sollazzo was also saying how excited he was to coach me and there’s a chance to get playing time.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 3:15 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

Meet Matt Robinson

This is part of a series of 2010 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 3. All answers are provided by the featured player.

Name: Matt Robinson
Birthdate: Dec. 31, 1991
Birthplace: Baltimore
Hometown: Columbia
Nickname: Bobble
Height: 6’4
Weight: 210
Position: Safety

High School: Atholton
Senior statistics: 75 tackles, four sacks, one interception, one fumble recovery for a touchdown, one blocked punt. 39 catches for 792 yards and 10 touchdowns
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars. Scout.com -- Two stars, No. 58 tight end. ESPN.com -- Three stars, No. 146 athlete, 75 rating.
Bench max: 290
40-yard dash: 4.6
Runner-up: James Madison
Other schools considered: “Pitt, UConn and Boston College were all close to offering.”
Favorite NFL player: Giants wide receiver Steve Smith
Favorite NFL team: New York Giants
Favorite all-time Terp: Bruce Perry
Favorite music: Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Jay-Z
Favorite book: “Night” by Elie Wiesel
Favorite movie: “Remember the Titans”
Favorite TV show: “24”
Favorite food: McChicken sandwich
Favorite high school class: Law and citizen
Favorite thing about College Park: “The people.”
Other high school sports: Basketball
Hobbies: “Just hanging out with friends. We always have a good time and always find something to do.”
Intended major: Business management
Something that not many people know about you: “That I’m really shy. I’m shy on the inside, but on the outside I just act [like I'm not shy].”
Best football moment: “This year when I had a 90-yard touchdown in the first quarter against River Hill and I pointed to the crowd when I was in the end zone.”
Role model: “My grandfather. He played in the Pan-American Games [in 1951]. He and my dad have always been there for me. He has always been there to give me advice. He also was a former track runner at Morgan State. He’s always coming to my football games and it’s always great to see him.”
Why Maryland? “They were really the only school that believed in me early in the recruiting process. I only had Division IAA offers. A lot of schools were waiting to see my senior tape before they offered me. Maryland got involved early, back in February. I went to the [basketball game against] North Carolina when they won. I’ve always had a great relationship with [Terps linebackers coach Al] Seamonson, [because his son Kalvin] has been one of my boys since seventh grade. So it just felt right. It’s close to home. Distance wasn’t a factor, but it just feels better to be close.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:38 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 26, 2010

Meet Ian Evans

This is part of a series of 2010 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 3. All answers are provided by the featured player.

Name: Ian Evans
Birthdate: Jan. 31, 1992
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Hometown: Atco, N.J.
Height: 6’2
Weight: 245
Position: Defensive end

High School: Hammonton (N.J.) High School
Senior statistics: 52 tackles, 17 sacks, seven quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles. 17 receptions for 360 yards and three touchdowns.
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 25 player in New Jersey. Scout.com -- Two stars, No. 127 defensive end. ESPN.com -- Three stars, No. 36 outside linebacker, 78 rating.
Bench max: 300
Runner-up: Syracuse
Other schools considered: Temple, Rutgers
Favorite NFL player: Chad Ochocinco
Favorite NFL team: Cincinnati Bengals
Favorite music: Kanye West, Incubus
Favorite book: “The Stranger” by Albert Camus
Favorite movie: “Forrest Gump”
Favorite TV show: “Two and a Half Men”
Favorite food: Macaroni and cheese
Favorite high school class: History
Favorite thing about College Park: “The campus.”
Other high school sports: Baseball
Hobbies: “I lift a lot, video games, hanging out with friends.”
Intended major: Criminal Justice
Something that not many people know about you: “I can dance. Like break dance and hip-hop.”
Best football moment: “Winning the state championship this year.”
Role model: “My friend’s father. He has always been there for me and is a real good guy [and has] real good values in life. I look up to him.”
Why Maryland? “I love the campus and love the team. The coaches are great and they are more concerned with my future than just the football part of it.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 3:24 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

Season recap: Desmond Kearse

When Don Brown was hired as Maryland's defensive coordinator after the 2008 season, a top priority on the recruiting trail for the former UMass coach was reestablishing a Terps presence in Florida.

Last month, Brown was making his rounds throughout the Sunshine State, which included a stop at Dunbar High in Fort Myers, Fla.

“Coach Brown was coming through and making contact,” said Dunbar coach Phil Vogt. “We asked him what [Maryland was] looking for. He said, ‘We want someone to come off the edge and rush the passer.’ And we said, ‘We have just the guy for you.’”

The pass rusher Vogt referred to was defensive end Desmond Kearse, a 6-foot-2, 181-pound senior who had scholarship offers from Florida Atlantic, Middle Tennessee State and Western Kentucky.

“We watched some film on him,” Vogt said, “and they immediately went full bore on him.” Kearse committed to the Terps on Jan. 19, roughly “a nanosecond” after UM coach Ralph Friedgen offered him a scholarship.

Kearse was called up to the Dunbar varsity as a freshman and emerged as a force off the edge over the next three seasons. As a junior, Kearse recorded 29 sacks. During his senior season, he collected 78 tackles and 17 sacks, leading the Tigers to a 7-3 record and the first round of the playoffs.

“The sacks are always what everybody likes to talk about,” Vogt said. “But he also blocked punts coming off the edge. When the ball is kicked off, that little light goes off and he’s a different kid entirely.”

Watching Kearse play elicits typical football clichés, Vogt said. People say Kearse has “a motor that doesn’t quit” and then offer observations like, “when the ball is snapped, he’s already gone.” Vogt, however, recalled one play from Kearse’s senior year that backed up the validity of both clichés.

“A team tried to run a toss on him,” Vogt said. “He stuffed the pulling guard, which makes the running back back up outside and turn around, and then [Desmond] runs him down from behind. From a football coach’s standpoint, you go, ‘Oh. Wow.’”

Kearse expects to play a strong safety-type position at Maryland. Other schools brainstormed different ways to take advantage of his pass-rushing talents, but the Terps want Kearse to just do what he does best.

“[He can be a] weakside edge rusher that sometimes drops in the flat,” Vogt said. “He can run. We played him at linebacker in some situations, so he’s not totally unfamiliar with that. If you ever see him in our defense, the defensive end is the most important position. We put our best players there and he fit in there.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:07 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Season recaps
        

January 25, 2010

Meet Javarie Johnson

This is part of a series of 2010 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 3. All answers are provided by the featured player.

Name: Javarie Johnson
Birthdate: May 2, 1991
Birthplace: Washington D.C.
Hometown: Washington D.C.
Nickname: J.J.
Height: 6’3 ½
Weight: 210
Position: Outside linebacker

High School: Dunbar (D.C.) High School
Senior statistics: 80 tackles, 13 sacks, 26 tackles for loss
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Four stars, No. 1 player in D.C., No. 17 outside linebacker. Scout.com -- Four stars, No. 16 outside linebacker. ESPN.com -- Four stars, No. 28 defensive end, 79 rating.
Bench max: 275
40-yard dash: 4.5
Other schools considered: Michigan, Michigan State, Miami
Favorite NFL player: James Harrison
Favorite NFL team: New York Jets
Favorite all-time Terp: Vernon Davis
Favorite music: Lil Wayne, Go-go music
Favorite movie: “White Chicks”
Favorite TV show: “SportsCenter”
Favorite food: Lasagna
Favorite high school class: Creative writing
Favorite thing about College Park: “The environment.”
Other high school sports: Track
Hobbies: “Chilling with friends, and in my spare time, play basketball, run track, lift, work out.”
Intended major: Kinesiology
Something that not many people know about you: “I think I’m really good at basketball. [Laughs]. But I don’t go playing basketball [a lot]. I think I’m kind of good.”
Best football moment: “Our 10th-grade year when we won the [city] championship. We beat H.D. Woodson.”
Role model: “Probably [Dunbar defensive line coach Ashaa] Cherry because I look up to him. He’s all positive.”
Why Maryland? “It’s closer to home, I like the defensive schemes they’re running and the coaches there are real cool, down-to-earth guys.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 3:45 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

Weekend wrap — Stoglin breaks record

Maryland point guard recruit Terrell Stoglin spent Friday night etching his name into the Arizona high school basketball history books.

In leading Santa Rita to a 62-43 win over Sahuarita, Stoglin became the all-time leading scorer in Tucson prep history.

Stoglin entered the game with 2,535 career points, tied with Cholla forward Chuck Overton (1989-92). With 21 points Friday, Stoglin finished with 2,556. If he maintains his 27-point scoring average for the remainder of the season, he would score roughly 2,850 points, if the Eagles return to the 4A-II state championship game.

• InsideMDSports.com caught up with St. Anthony (N.J.) coach Bob Hurley, who discussed the injury suffered by Maryland power forward signee Ashton Pankey.

“What happened was, the bone was not healing. He went to a second doctor, and I think the decision was, it would be prudent to drill a hole in the leg and allow for the marrow to seep out. That will help the healing process. It’s a shame because he was coming a long way and it looks like he’ll miss the rest of the season,” Hurley said. “I just wish we’d been able to find out about it in September rather than Thanksgiving, and then he could be playing most of his senior year.”

• Terps power forward target C.J. Leslie led Word of God Academy (N.C.) to an easy win Friday.

C.J. Leslie scored 25 points in leading Word of God to an 81-57 win over Fayetteville Trinity Christian.

• UM junior point guard target Quinn Cook guided DeMatha to a 70-64 win over Archbishop Carroll (D.C.).

Cook, who scored a game-high 21 points, and junior center Mikael Hopkins did not start the game and sat for most of the first and third quarters due to what Coach Mike Jones called "a small, very minor team violation."

• Maryland junior forward target Desmond Hubert powered New Egypt (N.J.) to a 51-34 win over Allentown.

Hubert led all scorers with 18 points, including a vicious dunk early in the first quarter that electrified the crowd, grabbed six rebounds, blocked seven shots and altered countless other shots.

• The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger reports that Terps women's shooting guard pledge Laurin Mincy -- who tore her ACL last summer -- could return to action soon.

Mincy has been cleared medically, according to [University High coach Felicia] Oliver, and is eager to return to action. When that will be in a full-time capacity is still up in the air.

• UM combo guard signee Natasha Cloud guided Cardinal O'Hara (Pa.) to a big win Sunday.

Led by University of Maryland-bound guard Natasha Cloud, who had 12 of her game-high 15 points in the second half, Cardinal O’Hara outscored Lee 31-12 down the stretch for a 59-41 victory in the Hoops For Hope Classic played at Saint Joseph’s University.

• Despite a huge game from Maryland center commitment Alicia DeVaughn, Pompano Beach (Fla.) Blanche Ely dropped a 65-44 game to Dillard.

She had 21 points, game-high 23 rebounds, four steals and three blocked shots, but didn't get nearly the help from her support cast.

Football recruiting

• Archbishop Carroll (D.C.) linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu committed to Georgia Tech on Sunday.

The three-star prospect, who also considered Illinois, Maryland and Kansas State, was one of two prospects who committed to the Yellow Jackets on official visits this weekend.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 8:51 AM | | Comments (0)
        

January 24, 2010

Meet Max Garcia

This is part of a series of 2010 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 3. All answers are provided by the featured player.

Name: Max Garcia
Birthdate: Nov. 9, 1991
Birthplace: Atlanta
Hometown: Norcross, Ga.
Nickname: Grandisimo
Height: 6’5
Weight: 280
Position: Offensive tackle

High School: Norcross High School
Senior statistics: 50 pancake blocks
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 58 player in Georgia, No. 65 offensive tackle. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 51 offensive tackle. ESPN.com -- Three stars, No. 52 offensive tackle, 77 rating.
Bench max: 330
40-yard dash: 5.1
Runner-up: Vanderbilt
Other schools considered: Clemson, N.C. State, Florida State, Wake Forest, Michigan State.
Favorite NFL player: Michael Vick
Favorite NFL team: Atlanta Falcons
Favorite all-time Terp: D.J. Adams, Vernon Davis
Favorite music: Kanye West, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne
Favorite book: “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Favorite movie: “Remember the Titans”
Favorite TV show: “The Game”
Favorite food: Mexican and Puerto Rican food
Favorite high school class: Language arts
Favorite thing about College Park: “The atmosphere.”
Other high school sports: Track and field
Hobbies: “I just like listening to music and hanging out with my best friends and girlfriend, and going to the movies.”
Intended major: Broadcast journalism
Something that not many people know about you: “I’m half Mexican and half Puerto Rican.”
Best football moment: “Probably forcing a fumble on senior night. It was our last game of the season and the last game of my high school career. They were on our 23-yard line and I forced the fumble. We got the ball back and scored.”
Role model: “It would probably have to be my mother. She’s been independent since she got out of college when she was 22. She came to the United States with really nobody [she knew] here. She’s self-employed and really just established herself independently.”
Why Maryland? “It was the best fit because I had the best connection with the coaches, I really had a good relationship with [Terps offensive line coach Tom] Brattan, and I was about to receive early playing time. [Maryland also] has my major. It just had the right atmosphere that I need to really establish my career and get a lot of experience just being in the Baltimore-D.C. area. I can get that experience that I need for my career whenever I get out of football.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:10 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 23, 2010

Meet Devin Burns

This is part of a series of 2010 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 3. All answers are provided by the featured player.

Name: Devin Burns
Birthdate: Sept. 1, 1992
Birthplace: Orlando, Fla.
Hometown: Orlando, Fla.
Height: 6’3
Weight: 187
Position: Quarterback

High School: Carver High School in Columbus, Ga.
Senior statistics: 123 of 179 for 1,795 yards, 16 touchdowns and five interceptions. 541 yards rushing and five touchdowns on 76 carries
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 80 player in Georgia. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 55 quarterback. ESPN.com -- Three stars, No. 69 athlete, 77 rating.
Bench max: 230
40-yard dash: 4.49
Runner-up: Georgia
Other schools considered: Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Mississippi State
Favorite NFL player: Michael Vick
Favorite NFL team: New Orleans Saints
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman
Favorite music: Lil Wayne, Lil Boosie, Gucci Mane
Favorite book: The “Harry Potter” series
Favorite movie: “Friday”
Favorite TV show: “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”
Favorite food: Sweet potato casserole
Favorite high school class: English
Favorite thing about College Park: “The city itself.”
Other high school sports: Track
Hobbies: “Video games, I like to bowl in my free time, chill with friends, text.”
Intended major: Business, marketing
Something that not many people know about you: “I like cars -- fixing and working on cars.”
Best football moment: “It was my sophomore year back in Texas. I was playing receiver and I caught the game-tying touchdown pass with four seconds left on the clock.”
Role model: “My role model would probably be my dad. He grew up playing football through high school and college. I try to model [my life after] some things he does with his family and tries to do in life. He’s teaching me how to be a man.”
Why Maryland? “They have one of the best business schools in the nation. That definitely caught my eye ... because business is my major. Along with that, I felt love from the coaches and all the players on the team. They’re like another family. They’re all like brothers. Just the whole environment up there [is great] and it’s close to everything.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:38 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 22, 2010

Meet Rahsaan Moore

This is part of a series of 2010 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 3. All answers are provided by the featured player.

Name: Rahsaan Moore
Birthdate: July 26, 1992
Birthplace: Hyattsville
Hometown: District Heights
Height: 6’2½
Weight: 240
Position: Fullback

High School: Wise High School
Senior statistics: 461 yards and 15 touchdowns on 74 carries. Two receptions for 27 yards. 37 tackles (23 solos), 10 tackles for loss, one sack, one interception.
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars. Scout.com -- Two stars, No. 16 fullback. ESPN.com -- Three stars, No. 94 defensive end, 75 rating.
Bench max: 275
40-yard dash: 4.68
Runner-up: James Madison
Other schools considered: Richmond, Old Dominion, New Mexico, Temple
Favorite NFL player: Le’Ron McClain
Favorite NFL team: Baltimore Ravens
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman
Favorite music: Lil Wayne, Drake, Kanye West
Favorite book: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
Favorite movie: “Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins”
Favorite TV show: “SportsCenter”
Favorite food: Macaroni and cheese
Favorite high school class: English
Favorite thing about College Park: “The location.”
Other high school sports: Track and field (shot put)
Hobbies: “I go to church a lot and I’m involved in a lot of extra curricular activities. I’m part of the weightlifting program and track team.”
Intended major: Undecided
Something that not many people know about you: “I can play the drums.”
Best football moment: “I’d have to say this summer, working out with my teammates and just working towards a goal.”
Role model: “I’d have to say my head coach, Coach [DaLawn] Parrish, because he’s been through a lot and he faced adversity. Every time you turn around, it’s something, and he’s fighting through it. He’s just a really good person. He doesn’t let adversity keep him down.”
Why Maryland? “I think Maryland is the best fit for me because it’s a DI program and I really meshed with the coaches from Day One. [Maryland offensive coordinator James] Franklin is a down-to-earth coach. He seems like the kind of person that, if you get away from home, you could go to him or Coach [Ralph] Friedgen and talk to them. They’ll explain things the best way they can. You also have Coach Ryan Steinberg -- he helps out a lot with the recruiting. So it’s a lot of things that are important and I feel good about. I think Maryland is the best fit because of that. And also because of the location. It’s right near D.C., and there are a lot of good jobs in D.C. So I think those were some of the best reasons for me to go.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 4:00 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

Weekly recruiting roundup

Two Maryland commitments have cracked the ESPNU 100 for the class of 2010.

The list, which was updated Thursday, includes Miller School (Va.) small forward Mychal Parker at No. 44 and Tucson (Ariz.) Santa Rita point guard Terrell Stoglin at No. 98. Former Maryland pledge Terrence Ross checked in at No. 26 on ESPN's list.

The reopening of Ross' recruitment caused UM to fall out of Rivals.com's team recruiting rankings.

Maryland's addition of three-star guard Pe'Shon Howard was not enough to compensate for the loss of top-50 prospect Terrence Ross, so the Terrapins fell out of the top 25.

• Stoglin had a huge game Tuesday in Santa Rita’s 90-76 loss to Amphi.

Santa Rita point guard Terrell Stoglin was his usual dominant self in the opening half, scoring 21 points over the first two quarters - including a dazzling 360-degree layup around the six-minute mark of the second quarter. He finished with a game-high 30 points for Santa Rita (13-5, 5-2).

• UM combo guard commitment Pe’Shon Howard helped Oak Hill (Va.) to an 87-65 win over Dudley (N.C.) on Monday.

Roscoe Smith and Pe’Shon Howard led Oak Hill with 20 and 15 points respectively.

• Late last week Rivals.com’s Jerry Meyer fielded a mailbag question about the likelihood of Ross, the Montrose Christian shooting guard, ending up at Maryland.

Ross, the No. 43 ranked prospect in the Rivals150, has decommitted from Maryland. I would place the odds at "slim to none" that he would return to the Terrapin fold.

• MaxPreps.com’s Pat Stevens took a look this week at the top uncommitted recruits of the 2010 class. His list of prospects included Terps power forward target C.J. Leslie.

State runner-up as a junior alongside 2009 All-American and Kentucky freshman phenom John Wall. Co-MVP of August’s Elite 24 Classic. Attended NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp and Nike LeBron James Skills Academy. Inside-out presence is a one-time North Carolina State commit as an underclassman.

• DeMatha juniors and Maryland targets Quinn Cook and Mikael Hopkins gave NBE Basketball Report updated recruiting lists at the HoopHall Classic in Springfield, Mass..

Hopkins, who is quickly developing into one of the top big men in his class, has offers from Kansas, Syracuse, Georgetown, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Maryland, Villanova, Miami (Fl.), Clemson, Florida and Florida State. He added that his favorites right now are Syracuse, Kansas and Miami (Fl.).

• UM junior point guard target Sterling Gibbs had another big week for Seton Hall Prep (N.J.).

The steady junior guard, last week’s Player to Watch, pumped in 32 points yesterday to power an 84-40 decision over Weequahic and reach exactly 1,000 career points. He joins his brother Ashton, a guard at Pitt, on the elite list.

• Terps junior forward target Desmond Hubert was two blocks away from a double-double Wednesday night.

Desmond Hubert blocked eight shots to go with a game-high 17 points, and Mark Pryzbylkowski knocked down three three-point shots in scoring 14 to lead New Egypt to a 46-34 win at Moorestown Friends. Drew Haines (14 points) made three treys for the Foxes.

Football recruiting

• ESPN.com’s Craig Haubert thinks Wilson Area (Pa.) High quarterback Tyler Smith is the top prospect in Maryland’s 2010 class.

A huge get for Maryland was quarterback Tyler Smith (Easton, Pa./Wilson Area), who is the No. 8-ranked quarterback. He has a good frame, which he needs to keep developing, as well as a rocket arm and deceptively good athleticism. His delivery is compact and very quick. Plus, he is a good ball handler. Smith has a lot of ability and upside and could become the face of this offense over the next few seasons.

• Maryland is one of several programs still in the hunt to land Archbishop Carroll (D.C.) linebacker-defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

One of Georgia Tech’s main recruiting targets will be on The Flats for an official visit this weekend. Jeremiah Attaochu is a 6-3, 225-pound linebacker from the Washington, D.C., area who was coveted by new defensive coordinator Al Groh when he was at Virginia. The three-star prospect from Archbishop Carroll is still considering several other schools, including Kansas State, which he visited last weekend, and Maryland and Illinois, which he visited last month.

• Scout.com reported Thursday that Bishop McNamara wide receiver Brandon Coleman has a clear leader in his recruitment.

The Scarlet Knights now lead solidly for wide receiver Brandon Coleman over Syracuse and Maryland. "It’s just a comfort level I have with Rutgers,” Coleman said. “I like everything about them.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:00 AM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

January 21, 2010

Meet Nate Clarke

This is part of a series of 2010 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 3. All answers are provided by the featured player.

Name: Nate Clarke
Birthdate: Sept. 12, 1992
Birthplace: College Park
Hometown: College Park
Height: 6’4
Weight: 290
Position: Defensive tackle or offensive tackle

High School: Archbishop Carroll (D.C.)
Senior statistics: 77, nine sacks, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, 18 pancake blocks.
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Four stars, No. 10 offensive guard, No. 2 player in D.C. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 58 defensive tackle. ESPN.com -- No evaluation.
Bench max: 415
40-yard dash: 4.9
Runner-up: North Carolina
Other schools considered: Illinois and Kansas State
Favorite NFL player: Adrian Peterson
Favorite NFL team: Washington Redskins
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman
Favorite music: Drake, Lil Wayne
Favorite book: “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston,
Favorite movie: “Superman”
Favorite TV show: “Family Guy”
Favorite food: Spaghetti
Favorite high school class: Trigonometry
Favorite thing about College Park: “The University of Maryland.”
Other high school sports: “I used to play basketball.”
Hobbies: Football
Intended major: Undecided
Something that not many people know about you: “I didn’t like football until I came to high school.”
Best football moment: “My game on my 16th birthday. The score was 69-0, and I had three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and four sacks.”
Role model: “My mother because she always keeps me focused and never stops doing what she is doing. She makes sure she stays on task and I do, too.”
Why Maryland? “Maryland was always home to me. So after meeting the coaches, and it just felt like home already, it was pretty much a fit. There’s an opportunity to start [early in my career], so that helped, too. And everybody just felt like family.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 4:00 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

Season recap: Javarie Johnson

The word was out on Dunbar (D.C.) linebacker Javarie Johnson before his senior season.

Other Washington teams were well aware of the 6-foot-4, 208-pounder, who had collected 25 Division I scholarship offers -- from schools like Florida, Maryland, Michigan and others -- before committing to Miami last summer. Knowing about Johnson, however, didn’t help the opposition's attempts to neutralize him.

“A lot of teams didn’t run to his side,” said Dunbar coach Craig Jefferies. “But him being an outside linebacker, he had to go make plays. ... He ended up with 13 sacks, 80 tackles, something like 26 tackles for loss. He knocked down passes and forced fumbles. We went 9-2 and definitely across the board, we were pretty good. We gave up under 100 points all season. He was the leader on the team in terms of his play and his senior leadership that he provided for us.”

Part of that leadership came on special teams, which Johnson played with “a lot of vigor and a lot of intensity,” Jefferies said. Johnson would be the guy who set up the wall on punt returns. He was one of the first guys downfield to break up the wedge on kick coverage. His enthusiasm for special teams was contagious, and it also carried over to his play on defense.

“I saw him become a better tackler and I saw him take more chances,” Jefferies said. “He kind of played it safe, especially as an outside linebacker. It was instilled in him to take the right angle and turn things back in. He had to run his lanes and he had to take his drops. But this year he took more chances. He trusted his speed to get to the ball carrier and quarterback. He did that instead of playing conservative. So that was something that was a great improvement for him.”

Miami was Johnson’s “dream school,” but “things didn’t work out” between him and the Hurricanes, Jefferies said. Maryland was the natural choice for Johnson once he decided to switch his commitment earlier this month.

Johnson has already graduated from Dunbar and will enroll at College Park next week. The Terps coaching staff, Jefferies says, couldn’t be more excited for his arrival.

“Maryland’s excited about him and incorporating some special things in their blitz packages, having him come off the edge, things of that nature,” Jefferies said. “He’s definitely a guy who can contribute right away on special teams. What he can bring to the table is his speed and range as an outside linebacker who can drop into coverage and run with the No. 2 receiver, because he’s definitely a 4.5 guy.

“He has all the tools as far as speed and height to create some problems. Throw him in the zones and he’s fast enough to run with backs and ends. So I can envision him contributing right away. How much, I don’t know. It’s always hard to predict how much a freshman can play. But enrolling in school midyear can’t do anything but help him get on the field faster.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:39 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Season recaps
        

January 20, 2010

Fla. defender Desmond Kearse picks Terps

Maryland landed its third commitment from Florida on Tuesday when Fort Myers (Fla.) Dunbar defensive end Desmond Kearse pledged to the Terps.

Kearse, a 6-foot-2½, 185-pound senior, joins Hollywood Hills defensive end Clarence Murphy and American Heritage offensive tackle Jake Wheeler as Florida natives in Maryland’s 2010 recruiting class.

"That was my best choice," Kearse said of his commitment to Maryland. "Everybody was happy. They say it's a good school."

Kearse, a cousin of Tennessee Titans defensive end Jevon Kearse, had planned to take visits to Florida Atlantic and Western Kentucky. But the recent scholarship offer from the Terps was too much to pass up.

“I knew from previous conversations that he was ready to commit to Maryland as soon as he got the offer,” said Dunbar coach Phil Vogt. “He got the verbal offer over the phone last week and they arranged for Coach [Ralph] Friedgen to offer him [Tuesday]. It took him about a nanosecond to accept. ... He’s going up [to College Park] this weekend.”

Terps defensive coordinator Don Brown first made contact with Kearse -- who runs a 4.49 40 and has recorded 46 sacks over the past two seasons -- in December. It quickly become apparent to Kearse that Brown’s defense would be the best fit for his talents.

“I’ve been rushing the passer all my life and [Brown said] that’s not going to change,” said Kearse, who is expected to play strong safety at Maryland. “I’ll stand up and rush the passer and drop back a bit in coverage.”

Vogt said many schools had trouble figuring out where Kearse would play in college, but the Maryland coaches had a plan in place.

“Maryland didn’t project him at anything other than what he does best," Vogt said. "He can run and come off the edge.”

Check back with Recruiting Report later for more on Kearse’s commitment.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 1:22 PM | | Comments (9)
        

Meet Titus Till

This is part of a series of 2010 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 3. All answers are provided by the featured player.

Name: Titus Till
Birthdate: May 26, 1992
Birthplace: Anchorage, Alaska
Hometown: Upper Marlboro
Height: 6’3
Weight: 205
Position: Safety

High School: Wise High School
Senior statistics: 64 tackles (31 solos), four interceptions, two forced fumbles and one pass breakup
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Four stars, No. 158 player in the country, No. 3 player in Maryland, No. 11 safety. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 91 safety. ESPN.com -- Three stars, No. 36 safety, 78 rating.
Bench max: 275
40-yard dash: 4.5
Other schools considered: Georgia Tech, Clemson, Boston College, Virginia
Favorite NFL player: Brett Favre
Favorite NFL team: Minnesota Vikings
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman
Favorite music: Lil Wayne, Go-Go music (TOB and ABM)
Favorite book: “The Giver” by Lois Lowry
Favorite movie: “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby”
Favorite TV show: “The Cleveland Show”
Favorite food: Pizza
Favorite high school class: World History
Favorite thing about College Park: “I like how everything is so together -- all the football facilities and everything on the campus is nearby. It’s not very far. It’s within walking distance.”
Other high school sports: Basketball, track
Hobbies: “I play saxophone. And I play video games sometimes.”
Intended major: Undecided
Something that not many people know about you: “I guess that my older brother was a better athlete than I was. He was better at my age and he’s still a better athlete now. He had to go to a JUCO [in North Dakota] and he’s playing basketball right now.”
Best football moment: “Last year in the county semifinals against Roosevelt in double overtime. I had 14 tackles that game and a tackle for loss and caused a fumble against their quarterback on the 1-yard line.”
Role model: “My father because he is very laidback. He doesn’t get on me much, but he trusts me to make the right decisions. He stays off my back with sports and grades. I just like the way he’s laidback. At the same time, if I ever need him, he’s there for me. He’s a very loving father towards his family. He does everything he has to do to take care of us.”
Why Maryland? “Basically, they put out a lot of NFL prospects, coming out of [Maryland director of strength and conditioning coach Dwight] Galt’s system. He builds athletes. He builds great football players. That was one of the main reasons I wanted to come. My plan is going to the league, so coming to Maryland helps me in getting there. Also, it’s very close to where my family lives. All my friends can come see the games if they want to. They don’t have to drive very far if they want to catch a game.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:17 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 19, 2010

Meet Jeremiah Wilson

This is part of a series of 2010 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 3. All answers are provided by the featured player.

Name: Jeremiah Wilson
Birthdate: Jan. 7, 1992
Birthplace: Baltimore
Hometown: Baltimore
Height: 5’10
Weight: 185
Position: Cornerback

High School: Handley High School in Winchester, Va.
Senior statistics: 20 tackles, one interception. 926 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns on 95 carries.
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 28 player in Virginia. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 69 cornerback. ESPN.com -- Three stars, No. 117 athlete, 76 rating.
Bench max: 270
40-yard dash: 4.5
Other schools considered: Duke, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Favorite NFL player: Clinton Portis
Favorite NFL team: Washington Redskins
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman
Favorite music: 50 Cent, Lil Wayne, Drake, Snoop Dogg
Favorite book: “Hoops” by Walter Dean Myers
Favorite movie: “Friday Night Lights”
Favorite TV show: “Family Guy”
Favorite food: Lasagna
Favorite high school class: Math
Favorite thing about College Park: “I guess I would have to say their stadium.”
Other high school sports: Basketball, track
Hobbies: “I like to read sometimes and play video games.”
Intended major: Undecided
Something that not many people know about you: “I like to meet people and ... I like to lead, not follow.”
Best football moment: “It was when I scored six touchdowns in one game [last year].”
Role model: “I guess I’d have to say my great granddad, because every time I go talk to him he always has something positive to say. ... He never gets down. He’s blind and had a couple strokes, but every time I see him, he’s still smiling, and I love that about him.”
Why Maryland? “I’ve been following them ever since I was little -- their basketball team, really. But they just seemed like they were really interested and really wanted me to come. It’s a great school, academic-wise, and the coaches, they just seem like they are really interested in not just football, but my life and being successful.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 4:40 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

Season recap: Tyler Smith

The pressure was on Wilson Area (Pa.) High quarterback Tyler Smith as he entered his senior season.

The 6-foot-5, 198-pounder was a sophomore starter for the Warriors two years ago and followed his promising varsity debut up with a standout junior campaign in 2008. As a senior last fall, the Maryland-bound Smith shook off that pressure and met a lofty set of expectations.

“He just was really, really consistent this year -- consistent with his leadership, with his passes, with his moving of our offense,” said Wilson coach Bret Comp. “He sort of went out and did what most people expected him to do, and sometimes that’s more pressure than anything. People want to be wowed and he simply carried through.”

Smith was 172-for-323 for 3,130 yards, 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He led the Warriors to an 11-1 record and their second straight league championship. Smith was named the first-team quarterback on Pennsylvania’s 3A all-state team.

Nothing Smith did on the field surprised Comp. He played to his potential and led the Warriors to another strong season. The physical tools that led Maryland, Akron, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, UConn and others to offer Smith a scholarship were evident once again. Comp, however, took special note of Smith’s improved leadership skills.

“Just the intangibles got even better -- becoming an even better leader than he was, and he was a pretty good leader before that,” Comp said. “I don’t think he tried to take too many things on his own shoulders when things weren’t going too well. He’s always mature and stays within himself. When he was a sophomore, he had a tendency to throw gas on the fire when things weren’t going well. And he really got out of that mode altogether. He’s pretty polished, he’s pretty accomplished and he’s really cool under pressure.”

Smith may seem more ready to see early action than most incoming freshmen quarterbacks, and there’s certainly an opportunity available at Maryland. Chris Turner has exhausted his eligibility, leaving the Terps to enter the 2010 season with uncertainty at the position. Still, Comp thinks it might be a lot to ask of Smith to step in and compete immediately.

“Well I think obviously anytime you go from one level to the next, especially high school to major college football, that’s an enormous leap,” Comp said. “You’re talking about talent level, you’re talking about speed, especially, and you’re talking about a learning curve. I would expect with any major college, you’d want the kid to play catch-up mentally as much as he possibly can. It will probably take a year or two to decipher a lot of that and truly understand it.

“It would be cool if he would walk in and have the ability to compete for the job, but that’s probably unrealistic to say at this point. It’s a huge learning curve and there are lots of lessons to be learned along that education process. Plus, he’s going to go to college. He’ll have to budget his time between academics and athletics and learn a whole new set of responsibilities, so it’s an incredible transition. But because of his attitude and maturity level, he’s ready for the challenge.”

Smith has two more football games on his schedule before enrolling at Maryland -- the Team USA vs. The World contest on Jan. 30 and the Big 33 Classic, a Pennsylvania vs. Ohio all-star event scheduled for June 19. No matter the situation, Comp said Smith has a way of instilling confidence in his teammates whenever he steps under center.

“He’s the type of guy that, when he walked on the field, the entire team felt like, ‘Hey, we have a chance to win today.’ You don’t run into many players like that.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:03 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Season recaps
        

January 18, 2010

Meet Mario Rowson

This is part of a series of 2010 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 3. All answers are provided by the featured player.

Name: Mario Rowson
Birthdate: Feb. 8, 1992
Birthplace: Norfolk, Va.
Hometown: Norfolk, Va.
Height: 6’3 ½
Weight: 190
Position: Cornerback

High School: Lake Taylor High School
Senior statistics: Seven interception, eight touchdown receptions
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 25 player in Virginia, No. 68 safety. Scout.com -- Two stars, No. 155 safety. ESPN.com -- Two stars, No. 157 safety, 73 rating.
Bench max: 240
40-yard dash: 4.4
Other schools considered: Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia, Penn State
Favorite NFL player: Ed Reed
Favorite NFL team: St. Louis Rams
Favorite music: Young Jeezy
Favorite movie: “Friday After Next”
Favorite TV show: “Family Guy”
Favorite food: Philly cheese steak
Favorite high school class: Chemistry
Favorite thing about College Park: “It’s like a family around there.”
Other high school sports: Basketball, track
Hobbies: “Sports, really. That’s about it. And just chilling with friends.”
Intended major: Undecided
Something that not many people know about you: “I just like to have fun, joke around and have fun."
Best football moment: “Even though it was a loss in the championship, it was a big [57-yard] catch in the game that set up our first touchdown.”
Role model: “My two cousins because they try to keep me on the right path and show me the right things to do in life.”
Why Maryland? “Because it’s all about the education. All the other schools talked about was how good their program is. But Maryland talked about education. Also, the defense that they run, the man-to-man, press coverage. We run the same thing in high school, so I think I’ll fit right in with that.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 4:25 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 17, 2010

Weekend wrap — Stoglin stands out

Maryland point guard commitment Terrell Stoglin had one of the best performances of his high school career last week.

Stoglin led Tucson (Ariz.) Santa Rita to a rout of Cholla on Thursday night.

The senior shot 12 of 18 from the floor, including 7 of 12 from beyond the arc, and was a perfect 9 for 9 from the free-throw line as he dropped 40 points during a 77-40 victory.

• Terps combo guard recruit Pe'Shon Howard reached double figures in Oak Hill (Va.) Academy's 47-46 loss to Northland (Ohio).

Doron Lamb scored 13 points and Pe'Shon Howard 11 for Oak Hill, which led 24-22 at halftime and opened the third quarter on a 9-0 run.

Check out Testudo Times writer Ben Broman's impressions of Howard's performance here.

• Princeton Day Academy forward and potential Terps target Eric McKnight scored 13 points and blocked eight shots Friday in the Storm's 87-50 win over Southside Baptist in Richmond, Va. On Sunday, McKnight scored 10 points and blocked 10 shots in a 124-85 win over Mack Academy (N.C.) in the finals of the MLK Classic in Charlotte.

Terrence Ross scored 10 points in Montrose Christian's 67-46 win over T.C. Williams (Va.).

But it was Ross who gave the night an exclamation point, coming up with a steal and executing a highlight-reel windmill dunk late in the third quarter.

• Maryland women's center commitment Alicia DeVaughn earned MVP honors for her play in the Dunbar Lady Tiger Invitational/Aspire Elite Classic in Fort Myers, Fla.

DeVaughn displayed outstanding ability in leading Pompano Beach Ely to the title in Division III. Her athleticism sets her apart, and the 6-4 forward was remarkable in a 36-21 semifinal win over Ocala West Port with 23 points and 18 rebounds.

• UM small forward recruit Alyssa Thomas scored a game-high 23 points in Central Dauphin's 52-50 win over Harrisburg (Pa.).

Thomas following a much-needed 3-pointer from Emilee Salinger, which tied the game at 50-all, with a last-second leaner through the lane with just under four seconds remaining.

Natasha Cloud's Cardinal O'Hara squad suffered a 75-50 loss to Germantown Academy (Pa.).

Teammate Natasha Cloud, a Maryland recruit, notched nine points, five assists, and three rebounds.

Football recruiting

• Maryland offensive line pledge Sal Conaboy was one of two recipients of the Hookey Reap award for the top linemen in Lackawanna (Pa.) County.

A University of Maryland recruit, Conaboy is a two-time All-Region selection. He was one of the driving forces for the District 2 Class AAA champions, who featured a running attack that averaged more than 270 yards per game.

• Terps athlete commitment Matt Robinson scored a career-high 25 points in Atholton's 56-44 win over Marriotts Ridge.

"They were guarding me one-on-one a lot and I was able to take advantage," said Robinson, whose previous career-best game was 20 points against Mt. Hebron. "We've been out of rhythm ever since break and for whatever reason couldn't get ourselves back to where we were, so it felt really good to get back in the win column. I think this is what we needed."

• StaffordCountySun.com's Brian Wright broke down the recruiting classes of Virginia, Virginia Tech and Maryland.

The Terps will have options when it comes to Jeremiah Wilson, from Winchester. Listed as an “Athlete” on Rivals.com. Wilson committed on Feb. 22 of last year. In 2009, he rushed for 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns with Handley High as well as four interceptions.

• Greater Atlanta Christian School wide receiver and defensive back Julian Horton, a former Maryland target, committed to Arkansas on Sunday.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 6:30 PM | | Comments (11)
        

Meet Sal Conaboy

This is part of a series of 2010 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 3. All answers are provided by the featured player.

Name: Sal Conaboy
Birthdate: Nov. 5, 1990
Birthplace: Scranton, Pa.
Hometown: Clarks Summit, Pa.
Height: 6’5
Weight: 255
Position: Offensive guard or center

High School: Abington Heights (Pa.)
Senior statistics: None
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 15 offensive guard, No. 18 player in Pennsylvania. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 10 offensive guard. ESPN.com -- Three stars, No. 21 offensive guard, 78 rating.
Bench max: 300
40-yard dash: 5.0
Runner-up: Pittsburgh
Other schools considered: Rutgers, Syracuse, UConn, West Virginia
Favorite NFL player: Donovan McNabb
Favorite NFL team: Philadelphia Eagles
Favorite music: AC/DC, Phil Collins, Jack Johnson
Favorite book: “Season of Life: A Football Star, a Boy, a Journey to Manhood” by Jeffrey Marx
Favorite movie: “Remember the Titans”
Favorite TV show: “Scrubs”
Favorite food: Ribs
Favorite high school class: Social studies
Favorite thing about College Park: “Football facilities.”
Other high school sports: None
Hobbies: “Youth group, Relay for Life, American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, basketball.”
Intended major: Criminal Justice
Something that not many people know about you: “Probably that I’m the co-chair for Relay for Life. It’s a 16-hour overnight event to raise money for cancer patients.”
Best football moment: “When we won the district championship this year.”
Role model: “Probably my head football coach, Joe Repshis, [for] all the help that he’s given me and all his morals.”
Why Maryland? “From the first time I went there, it just felt like home. It felt like a place I could grow and succeed. I was just comparing other schools to it and nowhere came close, in my opinion.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:45 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 16, 2010

Meet Clarence Murphy

This is part of a series of 2010 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 3. All answers are provided by the featured player.

Name: Clarence Murphy
Birthdate: Oct. 13, 1991
Birthplace: Hollywood, Fla.
Hometown: Hollywood, Fla.
Height: 6’2
Weight: 235
Position: Defensive end

High School: Hollywood Hills High School
Senior statistics: 75 tackles, 12 sacks, three deflected passes
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars, No. 99 player in Florida. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 90 defensive end. ESPN.com -- Three stars, No. 85 defensive end, 76 rating.
Bench max: 300
40-yard dash: 4.8
Runner-up: Michigan
Other schools considered: South Florida, Colorado State
Favorite NFL player: Dwight Freeney
Favorite NFL team: Miami Dolphins
Favorite music: “Old-school music, like Al Green.”
Favorite book: Harry Potter
Favorite movie: Superbad
Favorite TV show: House
Favorite food: Spaghetti
Favorite high school class: Weight training
Favorite thing about College Park: “Everything is close.”
Other high school sports: Track, basketball
Hobbies: “I like to fish and in my spare time I like to sit around and draw.”
Intended major: Forensics and criminology
Something that not many people know about you: “That I’m a quiet, humble person.”
Best football moment: “My best football moment is probably when I made the fourth-down stop against our district opponent. I made the sack.”
Role model: “My father because he went through a difficult life and just the way he pushed himself and succeeded inspires me.”
Why Maryland? “It came down eventually to Maryland and Michigan. Maryland just had the better academics, education-wise for me. They’re top in forensics and criminology and they’re right in the heart of D.C.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 12:51 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 14, 2010

Weekly recruiting roundup

Ashton Pankey's senior season appears to be over before it started.

The Maryland power forward signee from St. Anthony (N.J.) has a stress fracture in his left leg that has kept him off the court thus far and will continue to sideline him for the rest of the year.

“They don’t feel that the bone is healing properly so it might be much more of a long-term thing and we feel bad for him,” St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley said of Pankey. “At this point right now it doesn’t look good for his return during the season.”

• HighSchoolHoop.com’s Jason Jordan conducted a Q&A this week with Montrose Christian shooting guard Terrence Ross, who talked about his reasons for reopening his recruitment.

HSH: When did you first start to think about backing out on Maryland?
TR: A few months ago. I just started to second-guess my decision. I didn’t think that I made the best decision. I wasn’t 100 percent at the time. It was more like 80 percent. So I waited and thought about it and talked to my mom and told her I wanted to weigh out my options.

Montrose Christian coach Stu Vetter appeared this week on Verbally Committed on 106.7 The Fan to discuss -- among other topics -- Ross’ recruitment.

"He still has a lot of interest in Maryland, and I think his decision will come this spring, and it will be a more informed decision," Vetter said.

The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer’s Dan Wiederer, meanwhile, addressed the Ross-to-Durham speculation.

Now there's chatter that Ross may be considering making his pledge to Duke. The 6-foot-5-inch forward is a big-time outside shooter, who has also become skilled with his off-the-dribble moves.

• Terps combo guard pledge Pe’Shon Howard is writing a blog for TurtleSportsReport.com, and filed his first entry this week.

I am excited to be a Terp. I was at the Florida State game. I LOVED the environment. The players said it gets crazier because all the students were not there. I can’t imagine it.

The Diamondback’s Jeremy Schneider thinks there are some similarities between Howard and Grevis Vasquez.

Howard wears No. 21 for Oak Hill, and he hopes to take Vasquez’s number next year. Both are combo guards who can play the point and have the versatility to create off the point as well as score. While we might not see Howard shimmy and shush the crowd in the style of Vasquez, he is an emotional player.

• Maryland small forward signee Mychal Parker had a big game Tuesday in the Miller School’s 52-51 loss to Blue Ridge.

Parker poured in a game-high 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, but his hot hand cooled off when the visitors needed him the most. His only points in the fourth quarter came off a 3-pointer early on.

• Rutgers sophomore forward Greg Echenique has announced his intention to transfer to Creighton.

The 6-foot-9 Echenique has decided to transfer to Creighton, choosing the Omaha, Neb., school over Miami, Maryland and Indiana. Some 20-30 other schools, including Duke, Arizona and Oklahoma, also called with interest.

• Princeton Day Academy senior forward Eric McKnight, who the Terps have been watching, scored 10 points and blocked eight shots in the Storm's 81-76 win over Cesar Chavez in Washington on Tuesday.

• The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., named Seton Hall Prep point guard Sterling Gibbs -- a junior Terps target -- its Player to Watch for this week.

Sterling Gibbs of Seton Hall Prep has been facing gimmick defenses all season, yet keeps coasting along as if he’s seeing only soft zones. The 6-1 junior guard leads Essex County at 27.8 ppg., while also averaging 5.7 assists and 4.0 rebounds to help the Prep to an 8-1 record and No. 8 Top 20 ranking.

Gibbs updated Adam Zagoria this week on his list of schools.

Gibbs says his current list includes Seton Hall, Providence, Indiana, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Virginia, Rutgers, Villanova, Florida and Wake Forest and that he hopes to visit Florida and Wake Forest soon.

• Terps junior forward target Desmond Hubert had another big game on Thursday night.

New Egypt's Desmond Hubert collected 20 points, 14 rebounds, and five blocked shots en route to a 58-36 win over visiting Maple Shade.

• UM women’s recruit Alyssa Thomas guided Central Dauphin (Pa.) to a 72-37 win over Bishop McDevitt.

Alyssa Thomas scored 14 of her 23 points in the second quarter as Central Dauphin pulled away blowing out to a 37-18 halftime lead.

Football recruiting

• Maryland commitment Tyler Smith was selected as the first-team quarterback on the Pennsylvania 3A all-state team.

No Warrior enjoyed more success than Smith, who ended his career with school records of 8,035 passing yards and 87 touchdown passes. He went 30-6 in three years as a starter, including 23-2 in his final two seasons, both of which ended with Colonial League titles.

• Terps offensive line pledge Sal Conaboy was also picked for the Pennsylvania 3A all-state squad.

"I never expected any of this," Conaboy said. "I wanted to go out there and have a tremendous season as a team, and we did. All of this is extra. It feels awesome.

• The Washington Post this week cited Bishop McNamara wide receiver Brandon Coleman as part of a dying breed of high-profile local athletes that play football and basketball.

"Of course a lot of people told me not to play, don't hurt yourself," said Coleman, who is weighing football offers from Maryland, Rutgers and Syracuse while averaging 12.3 points for the Mustangs' basketball team. "I thought about it but I couldn't sit in the bleachers watching my friends play when I know I'm supposed to be on the court. My heart wouldn't let me. I love basketball too much to not play when I have the opportunity."

• DeMatha safety Lorenzo Waters -- a former Maryland target who narrowed his list of schools to Cal, Rutgers and Wake Forest -- has committed to the Scarlet Knights.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:10 PM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

Meet Andre Monroe

This is part of a series of 2010 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 3. All answers are provided by the featured player.

Name: Andre Monroe
Birthdate: Feb. 24, 1992
Birthplace: Washington D.C.
Hometown: Upper Marlboro
Height: 6’0
Weight: 280
Position: Defensive tackle

High School: St. John’s (D.C.)
Senior statistics: 61 tackles, 18 tackles for loss
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Two stars. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 84 defensive tackle. ESPN.com -- Three stars, No. 56 defensive tackle, 77 rating.
Bench max: 365
40-yard dash: 4.8
Runner-up: “To be honest, I don’t know.”
Other schools considered: New Mexico, Akron, Bowling Green, Ohio, Miami (OH).
Favorite NFL player: Dwight Freeney
Favorite NFL team: St. Louis Rams
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman
Favorite music: Gucci Mane, Usher
Favorite book: “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini
Favorite movie: “Set It Off”
Favorite TV show: “Everybody Hates Chris”
Favorite food: French fries
Favorite high school class: Gender and ethnicity
Favorite thing about College Park: “The location. It’s close to home.”
Other high school sports: Track and field (first three years of high school)
Hobbies: “Playing instruments, such as drums, keyboards, things like that. [And I like to] just create things, like drawing or coloring. Stuff like that.”
Intended major: Undecided
Something that not many people know about you: “That my first sport was track and field since I was about six years old. I ran the 100-meter dash and won my second year in [an event in] Florida. ... I was a hefty kid, but it was before I played football. I couldn’t do football because I was too young, but I was big enough. When I was old enough I had to lose 30 pounds.”
Best football moment: “Well, it would have to be this year when we played Bishop McNamara and the running back was running the ball and me and my teammate, our middle linebacker, were going in on the tackle. So I stripped the ball and took it and ran in the end zone. It was a touchdown, but they said it wasn’t. But if you want to check the tape, it’s clear to see that it was a touchdown. They said that he wasn’t going anywhere and [we stopped] his forward progress, but it’s clear to see that it was a legit strip.”
Role model: “My dad. He’s my role model because he guided me throughout life and he has shown me how to be a man and make sure I’m doing the right things. And not just with me, but also my little brother, showing how to live life the right way. And he’s successful as a Baltimore police officer.”
Why Maryland? “Maryland was the best choice for me because I felt very comfortable and it’s a very likable environment. It’s very close to home, so I can see my family and they can come see me. The people there made me feel welcome and made it feel like I can connect with them. I’ve already started connecting with players, especially [St. John's graduate and Terps freshman offensive lineman] Pete White. I hang out with him and met his roommates. So we’re starting to bond early, which I think is very important as a team. I was also very impressed with the academics. [I think I’ll] fit in well and do well academically. And I just feel happy [about committing to Maryland].”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 3:05 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

Meet Tyrek Cheeseboro

This is part of a series of 2010 Maryland football commitment Q&As leading up to Signing Day on Feb. 3. All answers are provided by the featured player.

Name: Tyrek Cheeseboro
Birthdate: May 25, 1991
Birthplace: Baltimore
Hometown: Baltimore
Height: 6’0
Weight: 180
Position: Wide receiver

High School: Milford Mill
Senior statistics: 30 receptions for 523 yards and six touchdowns. Two kickoff returns for touchdowns.
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three stars. Scout.com -- Three stars, No. 120 wide receiver. ESPN.com -- Three stars, No. 142 wide receiver, 75 rating.
Bench max: 235
40-yard dash: 4.35
Runner-up: Rutgers
Other schools considered: Syracuse, Pittsburgh, UConn, West Virginia, Georgia.
Favorite NFL player: Cris Carter
Favorite NFL team: Philadelphia Eagles
Favorite all-time Terp: Shawne Merriman
Favorite music: Musiq Soulchild and Gospel music
Favorite book: “The Purpose-Driven Life” by Rick Warner
Favorite movies: Little Rascals, Little Giants, Friday Night Lights
Favorite TV show: “The Simpsons”
Favorite food: Pizza, hamburgers, shrimp
Favorite high school class: Anatomy and physiology
Favorite thing about College Park: “The people there and how I can go there and feel like it’s just like home. The atmosphere.”
Other high school sports: Track
Hobbies: Reading, jogging and working out.
Intended major: Criminal Justice
Something that not many people know about you: “One thing I would say is that I’m big on country music.”
Best football moment: “I would say 11th-grade year when I helped the team win a big game at Franklin High School. I brought the kick return back to break open the game for us and [helped] us get to the playoffs that year.”
Role model: “My role model is my mom, mostly because she birthed me and taught me so many things in life -- how to respect everyone, no matter who I come across. She’s just a loving person and really, she’s my mom, so anybody that [has a strong relationship with their mother] knows what I’m talking about.”
Why Maryland? “Mostly because it fit me as a person -- socially, academically and athletically. All those things were big for me in choosing a school, especially academically because I wanted to have a school that fit me academically and [allow me to] get a great degree and everything like that.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:30 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Meet the recruit
        

January 13, 2010

Season recap: Jake Wheeler

For some time, Jake Wheeler was South Florida's best-kept football recruiting secret.

The 6-foot-8, 250-pound offensive tackle didn’t participate in any offseason camps or combines, so the major recruiting services were largely unaware of his existence.

College football coaches, however, knew all about Wheeler, a senior at American Heritage High in Plantation, Fla., and a recent Maryland commitment.

“[Maryland] has a fairly good recruiting base in South Florida,” said American Heritage coach Byron Walker. “So Jake was known. Whether or not he was known with Rivals [and other recruiting services], he was known around the collegiate ranks. He has been a valuable prospect and he’s a very good basketball player. He actually had two sports to choose from in terms of what he did on the collegiate level. It wasn’t just football out there.”

Wheeler decided to shun several mid-major basketball offers when he committed to the Terps just before Christmas. In landing Wheeler, Maryland got a versatile, athletic prospect who started at left tackle and defensive end for the Patriots, while also seeing time at tight end and outside linebacker.

“Jake’s a pretty fiery guy, day in and day out,” Walker said. “He’s an emotional leader. He pushes the kids out there with his size and ability. He’s a natural leader for us. The fact that he can do so many things made him so valuable to us. He blocked a kick that preserved a 31-28 win. He did that two years in a row -- blocking field goals. He led our team in fumble recoveries for two years. The ball seems to be attracted to him when it’s on the ground.”

Wheeler helped American Heritage to a 9-3 record and an appearance in the region final as a senior. Walker said Wheeler’s wingspan and athleticism made him a difficult player to deal with for the opposition. “The sky is the limit” for Wheeler, Walker said.

“He’s tall and very athletic,” Walker said. “He has long arms, and that’s critical, particularly for the left tackle position. They just like those intangibles that he has. They can take a good foundation and build that into what could be a great player. He’s very intelligent, so he’s not going to have any trouble learning the offense at that level. I think there are a lot of things they like about him in that regard.

“But that great natural size is the main thing, and the way he moves around at that size. The thing about him is that he has those intangibles that we can’t coach, and that’s great size. We wouldn’t be surprised -- if he continues developing -- to see him playing on Sundays at some point as somebody’s left tackle.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:31 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Season recaps
        

January 12, 2010

City's Adrian Coxson reopens recruitment

City wide receiver Adrian Coxson committed to Penn State last April but won't sign with the Nittany Lions next month.

adrian-coxson.jpg

“I just know that he decommitted from Penn State and is leaning toward Georgia or Florida,” said City coach George Petrides.

Coxson, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior, chose Penn State last spring over offers from Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. He committed to the Nittany Lions after taking an unofficial visit to State College for the spring game. At the time, Coxson called Penn State his “dream school.”

Petrides said he was “really not sure” why Coxson and Penn State decided to part ways.

“He just thought it was better if he picked one of the other two schools,” Petrides said.

Coxson, a Baltimore Sun first-team All-Metro selection, played quarterback for the Knights as a senior. He completed 27 of 57 passes for 650 yards and eight touchdowns, while rushing for 1,280 yards and 11 touchdowns on 106 carries. He also returned four punts for touchdowns.

A five-star player and the No. 9 wide receiver in the country according to Scout.com, Coxson has already taken official visits to Florida and Georgia.

“I don’t think he’s going to make his decision until Signing Day,” Petrides said.

Baltimore Sun photo of Adrian Coxson by Karl Merton Ferron / Sept. 2, 2009.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 2:33 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

Season recap: Mario Rowson

Lake Taylor (Va.) football coach Hank Sawyer keeps it simple when discussing Mario Rowson's senior season.

“He was a real good football player,” Sawyer said of the Maryland cornerback commitment. “He made all-region, all-district, all-Tidewater and second-team all-state. He played some special teams, offense and defense. He was a two-way starter.”

Rowson -- who helped Lake Taylor to a 10-3 record -- made plenty of big plays on both sides of the ball. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound cornerback intercepted seven passes and caught eight touchdowns at wide receiver.

One of his best performances of the year came against Hampton in the Virginia Eastern Region Division 5 semifinals. Rowson caught a 26-yard touchdown pass and played lockdown defense in the Titans’ 10-7 win.

“He went up against the other team’s top receiver, he got on him and shut him down,” Sawyer said. “Against Hampton in the playoffs, they had a receiver that was real good. Mario [covered him] and he had no catches on him.”

Sawyer coached Rowson for all four years of his high school career. From a development standpoint, Rowson -- as expected -- got stronger and faster during his time at Lake Taylor. But that’s not necessarily what Sawyer will remember most about his star defensive back.

“[I’ll remember] he would do anything for the team,” Sawyer said. “He would always go in on special teams and be very unselfish. He didn’t care about his stats. He just wanted the team to be successful.”

Sawyer said the Maryland staff thinks there’s a possibility Rowson contributes early, thanks in part to his ability to play man coverage. Does Sawyer think Rowson could see some action as a true freshman?

“Yes I do,” Sawyer said. “With his height and speed, yes I do.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 8:33 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Season recaps
        

January 11, 2010

Weekend wrap — Two Terps at Big 33 game

Two future Maryland football players have been selected to play in the Big 33 Football Classic.

Tyler Smith will quarterback the Pennsylvania team, which faces Ohio's all-star team June 19 in Hershey, Pa.

Smith, the 2009 Express-Times Player of the Year, completed 172 of 323 passes for 3,130 yards and 32 touchdowns against 11 interceptions last season for the Warriors, who finished 11-1 and won a second consecutive Colonial League title. He finished his career with 8,035 passing yards, third-most in Pennsylvania history.

Offensive line recruit Sal Conaboy will also suit up for the Pennsylvania team in the Big 33 game.

Including Maryland, Conaboy also received scholarship offers from Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Minnesota, Temple, West Virginia, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, New Mexico State, Illinois, Akron, Connecticut, Michigan State, Marshall, Buffalo, Eastern Michigan and Oregon.

• The Washington Post's Josh Barr reports that DeMatha safety Lorenzo Waters has narrowed his list of schools to Cal, Rutgers and Wake Forest.

"He's got to make up his mind shortly here," [Stags coach Bill] McGregor said. "Maryland was in [earlier this week], they were still trying to get Lorenzo. But I called James [Franklin], he wants to go away from home."

Basketball recruiting

• Five-star forward C.J. Leslie led his Word of God Christian Academy (N.C.) team to a 96-48 win over Bluegrass Baptist in Lexington, Ky.

Leslie declined to say if he would join the family by signing with Kentucky. He noted a list of college options that also included Florida, Oregon and North Carolina State.

• Seton Hall Prep (N.J.) junior point guard Sterling Gibbs will trim his list soon, according to NBE Basketball Report.

Gibbs has taken visits to Pittsburgh, Villanova, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Rutgers and is looking to visit Wake Forest and Maryland this winter for games.

• Maryland center target Desmond Hubert's New Egypt (N.J.) squad dropped a 35-34 game to Cinnaminson.

The Warriors' Desmond Hubert collected 16 points, nine rebounds, and eight blocks.

• UM women's center commitment Alicia DeVaughn led all scorers with 17 points in Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely's 48-37 loss to Dr. Phillips.

"Basically, we put our five girls inside the paint to try to defend DeVaughn and then wait for everyone else from Ely to beat us," Dr. Phillips coach Anthony Jones said.

• Maryland small forward pledge Alyssa Thomas guided Central Dauphin (Pa.) to a 52-46 win over Altoona.

Alyssa Thomas produced 30 points and 10 rebounds, and the Rams survived a fourth-quarter rally by Marysa Moyer (24 points) and the visiting Mountain Lions.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:28 AM | | Comments (2)
        

January 10, 2010

D.C. linebacker Javarie Johnson picks Terps

Javarie Johnson was sold on Miami early and committed to the Hurricanes last June.

On Sunday, however, the 6-foot-4, 208-pound linebacker from Dunbar (D.C.) High had a change of heart. Johnson, a four-star prospect, switched his commitment to Maryland.

“Basically, he just changed his mind and felt that he wanted to go to Maryland,” said Dunbar defensive line coach Ashaa Cherry. “He wanted to be closer to home.”

Cherry said “it boiled down to Michigan and Maryland” for Johnson before he decided to inform Terps offensive coordinator James Franklin of his decision.

Johnson led the Crimson Tide to a 9-2 record this season, earning Washington Post second-team All-Met honors for his play. Cherry said Johnson hopes to start classes at Maryland this month.

“Well, he’s still trying to enroll early,” Cherry said. “That was the plan at Miami, to enroll early. He had everything in place to graduate early -- his SAT and his GPA. The only thing he has to do is basically turn all his application stuff in.”

Johnson entered his senior season as Washington’s top-ranked player. Cherry said the hype never adversely affected the future Terp.

“Actually, he handled it pretty well,” Cherry said. “He didn’t miss a practice, played in every game and was a leader on the field. When you get that high profile, you get a lot of attention, especially when you don’t do well or if your team doesn’t do well. But he led the team by example as well as vocally. He’s a gym rat, also. So in the end, [Maryland is] getting a pretty good football player.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 8:18 PM | | Comments (7)
        

January 9, 2010

Fla. DE Clarence Murphy talks Terps pledge

For Hollywood Hills (Fla.) defensive end Clarence Murphy, nothing was able to top his first scholarship offer.

That offer came from Maryland last spring, when Terps defensive coordinator Don Brown visited the 6-foot-2, 235-pound prospect.

“They were the first big school to come after me,” Murphy said. “It was a good experience when they first talked to me and when I went on my visit and they came to visit me at my home and school. I just really fell in love with the coaching staff and the players. I just really felt comfortable with Maryland.”

Murphy committed to Maryland on Thursday, selecting the Terps over Michigan, South Florida and Colorado State, among others. Murphy cited Maryland’s criminology program, the school’s proximity to Washington and available playing time as reasons for his decision.

“I got real comfortable with the D-line coach, coach [Dave] Sollazzo,” Murphy said. “They really need defensive ends. So if I come in at an ideal size and work hard, I’ll have an opportunity to get some playing time or even potentially start. It’s got me real pumped up right now.”

Murphy, who made his official visit to Maryland for the Terps’ 20-9 homecoming loss against Virginia, has been going through the recruiting process at the same time as his teammate and good friend, cornerback Tony Grimes. Both players were seriously considering offers from Maryland and Michigan.

“Me and my friend, Tony Grimes, were planning on going to school together,” Murphy said. “I think he stopped favoring Michigan a little bit. He went up there and got into some cold weather a little bit. … [So] he’s still weighing things out a little bit. He’s still waiting until Signing Day [to commit]. At this point, if [he wants to come to Maryland], I’m all for it. But I will just be happy wherever he goes. As long as we both go to school, we’ll see each other again, hopefully at the next level and later in life.”

While College Park is a long way from Hollywood Hills, Murphy said his family and friends look forward to seeing him play next year on TV and in person when the Terps visit Miami.

“They were just really happy for me,” Murphy said. “They were happy that I made the first big choice as a man in life. They’re really excited to see me come up to school.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 5:18 PM | | Comments (7)
        

January 8, 2010

Ex-Walbrook star Roscoe Smith picks UConn

Former Walbrook forward Roscoe Smith will play his college basketball in the Big East. roscoe-smith.jpg

The 6-foot-8 senior, who now attends Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., committed to Connecticut on Friday. He selected the Huskies over Duke and Georgetown.

“He has had a great feeling about UConn all along,” said Kelvin Bridgers, Smith’s former coach at Walbrook. “You’re talking about a top university where you can pick and choose academic programs of a high caliber. You’re talking about gentlemen who played the wing [at UConn], guys like Rudy Gay, Rip Hamilton, Caron Butler, Ben Gordon, Ray Allen. Just those names alone give you an idea about the ability of [Huskies coach] Jim Calhoun to develop players of Roscoe’s prototype and position.”

Smith is the second Baltimore native to join UConn’s 2010 recruiting class. Former Lake Clifton power forward Cleveland Melvin, who is currently doing a post-grad year at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., committed to the Huskies in November.

A two-time Baltimore Sun All-Metro selection, Smith averaged 21.4 points and 11 rebounds per game as a junior. He led the Warriors to a 22-4 record and the Class 4A state semifinals last season.

“Roscoe can just flat-out shoot the cover off the ball,” Bridgers said. “In the pro-style offense [UConn] runs, they like a big wing player who can stroke the basketball and get to the rim. He’s a guy that can score from anywhere on the floor ... and he can match up with big guys with an arm reach of a 7-footer. So he can post you up, he can shoot the 3 and he can get to the rim.”

Bridgers, who coached Smith for three years at Walbrook, now works as an assistant principal at Bluford Drew Jemison, an all-boys charter middle school next to The Dome in East Baltimore. Bridgers said he fully supported and encouraged Smith’s transfer to Oak Hill, and felt the same way about his decision to commit to UConn.

“Jim Calhoun puts his best players on the floor,” Bridgers said. “We respect how he develops his players. If Roscoe comes in ready to play, he’s going to be in position to see the floor. When a type of program like UConn gives you an opportunity, you can’t pass it up. ... [Smith] has always kept a cool head and had parents who helped him, which is part of the reason why he had the success he had at Walbrook. He has continued that success at Oak Hill and I’m sure he’s going to continue that at UConn as well.”

Baltimore Sun photo of Roscoe Smith by Elizabeth Malby / July 17, 2008

Check out video highlights of Smith at Oak Hill here.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:14 PM | | Comments (11)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

Weekly recruiting roundup

Eric McKnight's decision to spend his senior season at Princeton Day Academy in Lanham has proven to be a good one.

PDA coach Van Whitfield reports that coaches from Maryland, Wake Forest, George Washington and Virginia Commonwealth, among others, were on hand Thursday to see McKnight help the Storm to a 79-68 win over Montpetit Prep of Quebec.

McKnight, a North Carolina native, played a major role in Princeton Day's 14th win of the season.

6'4" senior guard Ryan Woodard led all scorers going a perfect 7 for 7 from the field, while 6'9" senior forward - and current PDA Student of the Month - Eric McKnight notched a double-double with 10 points and 12 blocked shots.

• Terps point guard pledge Terrell Stoglin scored 25 points in Tucson (Ariz.) Santa Rita's 72-70 loss to Palo Verde.

"I have nothing to prove to anybody, so it wasn't different for me at all," said Stoglin, the Star's three-time Player of the Year. "But I was kind of surprised how good they were. We played poorly at times and that needs to change for the next one."

• Five-star forward C.J. Leslie, who is writing a bi-monthly diary for DimeMag.com, still has the Terps on his list of schools.

My list of schools is pretty long: Kentucky, N.C. State, Florida, Oregon, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Georgetown, Connecticut … I may have left off a few. I plan on cutting my list down soon, though. At this point, no one’s really standing out right now; they’re pretty much all on the same level.

Leslie also told WTVQ in Lexington this week that Kentucky "looks like a great place to be."

"I think it's a high interest on both parts, I'm definitely feeling Kentucky, and Kentucky is felling me, they’ve got some of the best fans around," said Leslie.

• MaxPreps.com reported this week on Sanford (Del.) shooting guard Trevor Cooney’s lengthy list of scholarship offers.

Sanford junior Trevor Cooney has received basketball scholarship offers from Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia, Maryland, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Ohio State, Wake Forest, Georgetown, Pittsburgh and Delaware.

• Terps junior power forward target Desmond Hubert had a tough game as New Egypt (N.J.) fell to Hamilton, 37-35.

Hubert, who is being recruited by some of the premier Division I teams in the country (Temple’s Fran Dunphy was in attendance last night), was held in single-digit scoring for the first time all season with seven points, six rebounds and six blocks.

Hubert followed that up with 12 points and 12 rebounds in New Egypt's 47-37 win over Palmyra on Thursday.

• Lakewood (N.J.) guard Jarrod Davis told NBE Basketball Report that Maryland is one of many schools on his list.

Always known for a lenghty college list, Davis did not disappoint as following the contest he told NBE he has offers from Providence, St. John’s, St. Joesph’s, Siena, Seton Hall, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, and Maryland.

• Terps women’s commitment Alyssa Thomas was bottled up in Central Dauphin’s 67-52 loss to Carlisle (Pa.).

The Thundering Herd used a junk defense, enlisting two players to guard CD superstar Alyssa Thomas.

And it worked.

Thomas finished with only 14 points -- a full 15 below her average.

Football recruiting

• Two Maryland commitments -- quarterback Tyler Smith and safety Titus Till -- were selected to play in the Team USA vs. The World all-star football game Jan. 30 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Smith threw for 2,970 yards, 35 touchdowns and had 500 yards rushing for seven touchdowns as a junior. He has good size with a rocket arm and textbook delivery. A dual-threat quarterback, Smith ranks No. 8 nationally among quarterbacks, according to ESPN.com.

• Rivals.com’s Barry Every broke down the game of DeMatha offensive tackle and Maryland target Arie Kouandjio, who will start for the East team in Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Depending on where he goes he could see some action as a freshman. He is a smart player and could play either guard spot on top of his normal position at offensive tackle. Versatility is the key to longevity in the game of football for an offensive lineman.

• MDHigh.com’s Dave Lomonico this week profiled Gilman quarterback Darius Jennings, a top Maryland target for the 2011 class.

Last year, as the quarterback in Gilman's spread-option offense, Jennings ranked No. 1 in the state through 10 games with 2,022 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns. That's an average of over 200 yards per game. Not surprisingly, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound dynamo already has seven Division I offers from the likes of Maryland, Iowa, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, North Carolina, Virginia and Boston College. He is a surefire four-star recruit and should be one of the top-rated prospect in Maryland for the Class of 2011.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:53 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

January 7, 2010

Season recap: Jeremiah Wilson

Expectations were understandably high for Jeremiah Wilson in his senior season.

Fresh off a junior campaign in which he rushed for nearly 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns and recorded 80 tackles and five interceptions, Wilson was hoping to save his best for last.

A strained ligament in his leg prevented that from happening, as the Maryland commitment missed six games of Handley (Va.) High’s 12-1 season. Wilson’s return to the field, however, reminded everyone just how much potential the 6-foot, 190-pound cornerback possessed.

“He got healthy and he had 120 yards [rushing] in our first playoff game,” said Handley coach Tony Rayburn. “He ran well and he played both ways. He played real big at cornerback. Teams we played liked to run the ball out in the flats and he did a real great job of making a lot of plays, whether it was a quick screen outside or a sweep.”

Wilson finished the season with 20 tackles and one interception, while rushing for 926 yards and 12 touchdowns on 95 carries. The Judges advanced to the semifinals of the Virginia Division III playoffs. Handley had success with Wilson on the injured list, but became a “much better offense” when he returned.

“He was all-region both ways last year,” Rayburn said. “And he was all-region again this year, only playing seven games. He averaged 9.7 yards per carry. That’s pretty good. He made a couple huge runs that helped us win games. I think his explosive ability was even better than the year before.”

Wilson, a four-year starter at cornerback and running back for the Judges, first appeared on Rayburn’s radar before his high school career officially began. Rayburn recalled a middle-school student who showed promising signs of leadership on the field and in the weight room.

“He came into the weight room as an 8th-grader and lifted and ever since he’s been consistent in his attendance and work ethic in the weight room,” Rayburn said. “He’s obviously gotten stronger and faster and all those things. We knew he had some ability as a freshman -- he had a big interception in one of our games late in the season to put us in the playoffs. And then we ran a lot of one-back and at 170 pounds, he was the lead blocker a lot of times. He blocked and was real unselfish. As a junior he finally got his opportunity and we knew he had potential. When he finally got that, he took full advantage of it.”

Wilson’s junior season went a long way toward convincing the Maryland coaching staff that he merited a scholarship offer. Wilson, who grew up in Woodlawn, became the Terps’ second commitment of the 2010 class nearly 11 months ago. When Wilson arrives in College Park this summer, Rayburn thinks there’s a possibility he makes an early contribution.

“It sounds like he’s going to have a chance,” Rayburn said. “They’re losing a couple guys this year. I think a lot of times, cornerbacks are smaller than he is at 6-foot, 190 pounds. He’s a strong kid and a physical player. I don’t know what they have and those things, but I know he’s very capable of going in and helping out right away.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:52 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Season recaps
        

January 6, 2010

Video: Roscoe Smith highlights

At this time last year, Roscoe Smith was putting together an All-Metro-caliber junior season at Walbrook.

Now as a senior, Smith has taken his game to Mouth of Wilson, Va., where he is currently starring for Oak Hill Academy's 18-1 varsity team.

In this video from last week's Les Schwab Invitation in Hillsboro, Ore., Smith discusses leaving Baltimore for Oak Hill, his recruiting picture and more. Thanks to OregonLive.com's Tim Brown for the link.

Roscoe Smith at the Les Schwab Invitational
Posted by Matt Bracken at 2:53 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

Season recap: Devin Burns

There were plenty of big plays that Carver (Ga.) High quarterback Devin Burns made during his senior season.

But for Tigers coach Dell McGee, one moment involving the Maryland commitment stood out above the rest.

“There was a fourth-and-1 in the first round of the playoffs with the score tied at 21-21,” McGee said. “We called a QB sneak and he picked the right hole and went 72 yards to ice the game. It was a huge play. But he had several big plays. That probably had the biggest impact and meant the most because of the [circumstances].”

Burns guided Carver to an 11-2 record and the third round of the Georgia Class AAA playoffs. On the season, Burns was 123 of 179 for 1,795 yards, 16 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also rushed for 541 yards and five touchdowns on 76 carries.

While Burns’ 72-yard touchdown run may have been the most memorable moment of his senior year, it certainly wasn’t the only time he orchestrated a big play.

“He made things happen,” McGee said. “We had a great running back that’s going to be a senior. In that regard, we had a couple playmakers back there in the backfield. But when things broke down protection wise, he was able to make plays with his feet as well as his arm. He does a good job of continuing to look down the field and throw the ball.”

Carver was a young team this season, with just Burns, the Tigers’ right tackle and their center as senior starters. McGee counted on Burns to show his young teammates how to win. Burns’ leadership was “definitely big for the team,” McGee said.

“He’s the kind of guy you want in adverse situations because he’s not going to get rattled and he keeps his composure real well,” McGee said. “That’s what you need in a leader. When things are going bad and things are heated, he doesn’t bend or break. He stays even-keeled with everything and he accepts coaching during those times.”

In Burns’ two years as Carver’s starter, McGee saw a quarterback who improved his arm strength and worked hard to better understand the Tigers’ offensive concepts. When Burns enrolls at Maryland later this month, McGee expects his quarterback to demonstrate a similarly impressive work ethic.

“[Enrolling early] will give him the best possible opportunity to learn, get the coverages and the philosophy down, the protection calls -- all the little things he's going to have to definitely pick up,” McGee said. “There’s always a difficult transition from high school to college. Just getting acclimated to that early will give him the opportunity to learn on and off the field. He’s very, very mature for his age and he’s going to step up to the challenge.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:46 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Season recaps
        

January 5, 2010

Jake Wheeler talks Terps commitment

Jake Wheeler had about 22 hours to break down every facet of the Maryland football program.

The 6-foot-8, 250-pound offensive tackle from American Heritage High in Plantation, Fla., took an official visit to College Park on Dec. 17 with his parents.

After a two-day introduction to the Terps, the Wheelers were scheduled to fly home to Florida on Dec. 19. Mother Nature, however, had other plans. The biggest blizzard of the decade hit Maryland that weekend, halting the Wheelers’ travel plans.

“I’ve seen snow,” Wheeler said, “but not like that. ... So all our flights got canceled. The earliest we could have gotten back to Florida was Christmas Eve, but instead ... we rented a car and just drove back. It actually didn’t take too long; 22 hours or so.”

The Wheeler family used the car ride to discuss all things Maryland. It didn’t take long for the trio to arrive at a consensus -- that UM was the best fit for Jake. He committed to the Terps soon after the family got back to Florida.

“I liked how with all the players, there were none with big egos,” Wheeler said. “Everyone liked everyone and all the coaches weren’t getting all up in your face. They’ll get in your face, but then back off and watch you progress. So that’s the kind of stuff I like. [Also], the weight room program they’ve got there ... is amazing. That would really help me get to the next level after college.”

Wheeler’s biggest dilemma in choosing a school was deciding which sport he would play -- football or basketball. The starting center for American Heritage, Wheeler is currently averaging 17 points and 12 rebounds per game. He had offers to play basketball at Florida Atlantic, Charleston Southern, Montana State and Columbia, while South Florida had expressed interest.

For football, Wheeler had contact with Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Miami, Oklahoma, Rutgers and Vanderbilt. Eventually, Wheeler decided his ceiling was higher in football.

“I was trying to see if I had a better chance of going further in basketball or football,” Wheeler said. “[When I was younger] it was basketball. Then I thought I could really go somewhere with football, so I started to lean more toward football. ... I was hoping to find a school where I could play both, which I might even be able to do at Maryland. I’m going to talk to the coach and see what’s going on.”

There are 10 kids in the Wheeler family, ranging in age from one to 20. Jake is the third oldest. Older brother Jared, the second-oldest, is a redshirt freshman offensive guard at Miami. Jake looked to Jared for advice while going through the recruiting process. Now that the brothers will be on different ACC rosters next season, a sibling rivalry has been born.

“Oh, he loves it,” Wheeler said. “It’s a competition now, so it’s good. ... Next year Maryland is going to play at Miami, so I was hoping not to redshirt and maybe play tight end. That was something we talked about. I talked to the coaches about not redshirting and playing tight end. ... They have pushed me toward left tackle right now, but they also opened up tight end. We don’t know for sure right now.”

Wheeler played the first three games of his senior season at left tackle before finishing the year out at tight end. Wherever he ends up playing for the Terps, Wheeler has one promise for the coaching staff.

“On the field, I’m going to give it all I’ve got,” Wheeler said, “and just [beat] the person in front of me.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 12:17 PM | | Comments (2)
        

January 4, 2010

Weekend wrap — Howard's pledge

Less than a week after Montrose Christian shooting guard Terrence Ross reopened his recruitment, the Maryland staff added a different guard prospect to its 2010 recruiting class.

Oak Hill (Va.) Academy combo guard Pe'Shon Howard committed to the Terps on Saturday, picking UM over offers from Georgia Tech, Northwestern, South Florida, UCLA and Virginia.

Paul Biancardi, ESPN.com's national recruiting director, wrote that "the addition of Howard to an already strong class will make the Terps deeper and better."

"Offensively he's a two guard with some point guard abilities but he'll need to make better decisions with the ball," he offered. "On the defensive side, Pe'Shon can guard a one or a two and he's adept at anticipating passes and gambling for steals. At the next level he'll need to be more careful in these situations as players are quicker with the ball."

Click here for video of Howard.

• Terps point guard pledge Terrell Stoglin checked in at No. 23 on the Top 100 list of Southern Arizona's leading sports figures of 2009 by the Arizona Daily Star's Greg Hansen.

Possibly the best high school basketball player in Arizona, Santa Rita's lefty point guard led the Eagles to the 4A-II state title game. He has signed to play at Maryland.

• Terps junior point guard target Sterling Gibbs guided Seton Hall Prep (N.J.) to a 73-56 win over High Tech on Saturday.

Gibbs, a multi-talented junior guard, finished as Seton Hall’s top scorer with 27 points, including 11 from the foul line on 11-of-13 shooting.

• Junior shooting guard Jarrod Davis, who has reportedly received some Maryland interest, led Lakewood (N.J.) to a 58-56 overtime win over Hackensack on Saturday.

Lakewood built a 17-9 edge it never relinquished, while Davis added 16 points and 14 rebounds.

• The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger ranked Terps women's shooting guard commitment Laurin Mincy No. 10 on its list of Girls Athletes to Remember of the past decade.

First freshman named First Team All-State in girls basketball, she was the State Player of the Year twice and helped University to the T of C title as a freshman. Expected to miss her senior season with a knee injury.

• The Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News named UM small forward pledge Alyssa Thomas one of the top girls basketball players in the area of the decade.

On pace to amass 2,000 points and 1,500 rebounds in her high school career. ... Two-time All-State selection, two-time Big 15 choice. Already signed with the University of Maryland.

• Maryland combo guard recruit Natasha Cloud's Cardinal O'Hara (Pa.) squad dropped a 46-35 game to Germantown on Saturday.

Maggie Lucas, last year’s tournament MVP who will play for Penn State, led Germantown with 15 points. Natasha Cloud had 13 for O’Hara.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:56 AM | | Comments (3)
        

January 3, 2010

Video: Pe'Shon Howard highlights

Pe'Shon Howard's performance at the Les Schwab Invitational in Hillsboro, Ore., last week helped convince the Maryland staff that the Oak Hill (Va.) Academy combo guard merited a scholarship offer.

Here's video of the Terps' most recent commitment from the tournament, courtesy of OregonLive.com's Tim Brown.

Pe'Shon Howard highlights from the Les Schwab Invitational
Posted by Matt Bracken at 12:27 PM | | Comments (6)
        

January 2, 2010

Oak Hill's Pe'Shon Howard commits to Maryland

Pe'Shon Howard made sure a plan was in place just in case Maryland offered him a scholarship this weekend.

The Oak Hill (Va.) Academy combo guard had scheduled an unofficial visit to College Park. Before making the trip, Howard told his father, Bill, that he would commit to the Terps on the visit if given the opportunity.

“[Maryland assistant] coach [Chuck] Driesell and Coach Rob [Ehsan] and Coach [Keith] Booth thought Coach [Gary] Williams was going to offer me next week after their game,” Howard said. “Then they were practicing today and Coach Williams came over and told me he watched my game [on TV] last night [and was impressed]. ... When Coach Williams said [he was offering a scholarship], I looked at my dad and just started smiling. Then I told [Williams] I wanted to be a Terp.”

Howard, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior, said he chose Maryland over offers from Georgia Tech, Northwestern, South Florida, UCLA and Virginia.

“I definitely like the environment, I like the players, the coaches and it’s in the ACC,” Howard said. “The fact that I would play early [was important]. It’s a great opportunity to play against the best players in the country.”

The Maryland staff monitored Howard for most of his high school career. The early signing period, however, came and went without the Terps making an offer. Howard chose to remain on the market in hopes of raising his profile while manning the point for Oak Hill as the Warriors embarked on their typically challenging national schedule.

At the Les Schwab Invitational in Hillsboro, Ore., last week, Howard was at his best. He led Oak Hill to a runner-up finish and was selected to the all-tournament team. Williams told Howard he caught his 21-point performance against Westview (Ore.) on tape delay. That game, Howard said, convinced the Terps’ staff that he deserved a scholarship.

“All the coaches said they like my toughness and that I’m a competitor,” Howard said. “I don’t really back down. Also, just the fact that I’ve been winning all my life. I kind of bring that to the team. I’m a versatile scorer. I play D, rebound and do all the things [you would want a point guard] to do.”

Howard, a Los Angeles native, started his high school career at St. Edward High in Cleveland. He transferred to Oak Hill after his freshman year and became just the second sophomore starter for Warriors coach Steve Smith in his 26 years on the job.

As a sophomore, Howard teamed with Brandon Jennings -- now a rookie point guard with the Milwaukee Bucks -- in Oak Hill’s backcourt and averaged six points per game. Last season he shared the ball with MoMo Jones -- now a freshman point guard at Arizona -- and contributed 12 points per game. This season, Howard has averaged 15 points per game, leading Oak Hill to an 18-1 record.

“He’s a big, physical, strong guard,” Smith said. “He’s a combo guard who can play either position. He scores if you need him to and he passes if you need him to. ... He always guards the best player on the other team. I don’t care if it’s a 6-5 guy -- I’ll put Pe’Shon on him. He’s our best defender and he has become a very good 3-point shooter. He’s strong, he drives to the basket and he has a good pull-up [jumper]. He’s going to be a really good player in college.”

Howard said he has been friends with Terps small forward commitment Mychal Parker since his sophomore year and also knows power forward recruit Ashton Pankey from the AAU circuit. He said he's excited to join them, and point guard pledge Terrell Stoglin, as part of Maryland's 2010 recruiting class. Howard thinks his style of play will be the perfect fit for what his future coach wants to do.

“A coach like Gary Williams is the same type of coach as I am a player -- he expects to win,” Howard said. “He’s a fiery coach, and he pushes his players hard to get to the next level. He always expects the best and I know my [future] teammates do too every year. ... I’m someone that's just a competitor and someone that won’t back down in the ACC.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 7:42 PM | | Comments (22)
        

January 1, 2010

Weekly recruiting roundup

Maryland still has a chance to land Montrose Christian shooting guard Terrence Ross, but the Terps now face stiff competition for the four-star shooting guard's services.

Montrose Christian coach Stu Vetter told Recruiting Report on Thursday that Ross withdrew his commitment to UM “within the week.” He is now looking at Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Maryland.

“Maryland has done an outstanding job of recruiting him and Terrence is very familiar with Maryland and he likes Maryland a lot,” Vetter said. “They are still very much in the picture.”

Scout.com recruiting analyst Dave Telep told Recruiting Report on Thursday that Ross’ stock has risen dramatically. It would be a “tough pillow to swallow” for Maryland to lose him.

“When you get to this point in the year, the guys of his caliber are just not out there in quantity,” Telep said. “It would be very difficult to replace him at this stage. ... It’s still a nice class, but definitely there is no way to replace Ross at this stage in the game. So it’s not a Top 25 class. It’s a Top 25 class with him. When you remove him from the equation, obviously it takes a hit.”

Click here for Testudo Times’ analysis of the situation and here for The Washington Post’s story on Ross’ recruitment.

• Oak Hill senior Pe’Shon Howard, a three-star point guard, has plans to visit Maryland soon, according to InsideMDSports.com.

• Seton Hall Prep (N.J.) junior point guard Sterling Gibbs updated InsideMDSports.com on his recruitment.

"I'm going to cut down my list soon and probably make a decision at the end of my season," said Gibbs, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound lead guard who has offers from Maryland, Seton Hall, Pitt, Rutgers, Indiana and DePaul, along with interest from Georgetown, Villanova and Virginia. "I just want to get it out of the way so I can focus on my senior season without any distractions. The process has been fun so far but now I kind of feel like it's time to get it over with.

• Terps forward target Desmond Hubert helped power New Egypt (N.J.) to a 78-65 win over Medford Tech on Wednesday.

Hubert scored 20 points and had 10 blocks and 10 rebounds. He also dished out five assists.

• Maryland women’s commitment Alyssa Thomas scored 29 points and grabbed 22 rebounds in Central Dauphin (Pa.) High’s win over St. John Vianney in the semifinals of the Diamond State Classic on Tuesday.

Thomas (6-foot-1) hit a short jumper with 24 seconds left, two free throws at 0:11 and two key defensive rebounds in the final seconds to preserve the win.

The Rams fell to St. Frances, 61-57, in the championship game Wednesday.

Alyssa Thomas had 27 points for Central Dauphin, going 17-for-18 on free throws but scoring just five points in the second half.

• Terps center pledge Alicia DeVaughn led Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely to a 47-34 win over Blake on Monday.

Senior Alicia DeVaughn, a Maryland recruit, scored 13 to lead Ely (13-2).

Football recruiting

• Maryland remains in the mix for Hollywood Hills, Fla, cornerback Tony Grimes, who is scheduled to play in the Offense-Defense Bowl All-American Bowl on Saturday in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

"He is down to three schools -- Maryland, Michigan and Mississippi," [Scout.com analyst Allen] Trieu continued. "He has already visited Maryland and Michigan and enjoyed both of those visits. The Mississippi visit is to come in the middle of January and his decision will come on signing day."

• Bishop McNamara wide receiver Brandon Coleman will play in the Under Armour All-America Game on Saturday in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Coleman has yet to make his college choice, but it is believed that Maryland and Rutgers are the two schools he is strongly considering. [Mustangs basketball coach Marty] Keithline said he does not expect Coleman to announce his choice before the National Letter-of-Intent signing period begins on Feb. 3.

Kelby Johnson, a junior offensive tackle from DeMatha, is already hearing from the Terps.

“I like Maryland and Rutgers,” he said. “Well, I’ve only seen Rutgers play on TV, but most of my interest is from them. I think they are a pretty good team too.

“With Maryland, they are the hometown team and I like the team and campus.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 2:20 PM | | Comments (11)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        
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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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