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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)


A 185-lb DE recruit is definitely going to draw a lot of mocking comments. That, and people will feel compelled to mock the competition for his services. But it is nice to see the pipeline to Florida building.

I remember a Florida player named Ray Lewis who was once labeled as too small.

Other than being light for a DE or LB, why didn't many other schools recruit this kid? That's a lot of sacks in 2 years.

“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. “I’ll stand up and rush the passer and drop back a bit in coverage.”

Seems that we plan to have him play Strong Safety. If he grows and gets bigger/stronger maybe he becomes a LB.

Is he playing strong safety or going to be rushing the QB. Or does MD plan on one day calling 40+ safety blitzes a game?

I added the quotes from Kearse after the first two comments were published, so hopefully that clears up the confusion about his position.

his cousin Jevon started off as a wide reciever and grew into the OLB/DE known as "Freak" He had 6 sacks in the FACA allstar game so hes not just doing it against scrubs. My guess is after he gains 40 lbs he ends up at OLB

Have friends who have seen this kid play and all said he has tons of upside. Has the frame to add weight and will gain speed in a college training program. Real nose for the ball and has great leverage to avoid last second blocks as he is getting to the QB.

Keep in mind there is so much talent in FL that programs can afford to focus on the kids who easily fit into a common position. As I understand our D or what it is supposd to look like, the Strong Safety will eventually blitz quite often and we rely on LBs (faster versions) to drop back into deep coverage as well as CB FS rotation.

i think this KID Desmond Kearse w ill ADD 40-45 pounds of weight muscle in 3 years, to get uo too 235 Pounds and be a OLB/DE like MAthis with t he Colts.

Maryland needs to get there butts back into Florida thats where the most talent is . I mean wake forest gets talent out of florida . why not us thats why franklin will be coaching the team in a few years . we cant be penny pinching and worry about the cost of flying down to florida , maybe the fridge can give some money back because of a 2 win season he needs to win soon or else.

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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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