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February 3, 2010

Terps' 2010 class: More from Matt Alkire

I didn't get to use nearly enough quotes from recruiting analyst Matt Alkire in Monday's story about Maryland's 2010 football class. Here's the rest of what Alkire had to say about the Terps.

On whether this was a good class considering Maryland’s 2009 season: “Oh, definitely. You go 2-10, you have to be a very strong program in terms of tradition to be a top pick in terms of recruiting. You really have to recruit the heck out of your state. Maryland is a solid state, but not a hotbed of talent. I guess the crazy thing to me is that the better players Maryland recruits actually weren’t from Maryland. I was surprised they had this good of a class. Their best players, sans a Javarie Johnson, obviously, are not from the Maryland-D.C. area. I think a lot of kids are drawn to Maryland just with it being a strong ACC program. Obviously, they’re typically not a 2-10 team. After a couple years of 2-10, that’s going to be a problem. So right now, I wasnt really surprised, but if that continues, I would be very surprised if they can keep that up.”

On recruits who could surprise people later in their careers: “I really like Sal Conaboy, the offensive lineman they got from Clarks Summit (Pa.) up at Abington Heights High School. He’s a little undersized, a 6-5, 255-pound guard. But he just has great feet. He pulls really well and does a great job of blocking in space. He has a bit of a nasty streak to him. He does all the little things you’d want someone to do. He’s very good in the running game. Obviously, Maryland likes to bring in offensive tackles that are in that 280-pound range that can run. They don’t want to bring in fat kids. They bring in guys they can sculpt. With Sal, they’re going to have to put some weight on him. He didn’t really have to do a whole lot of pass protecting up at his high school, so he’ll need to learn that. But from what I saw on film, this kid obviously had to be very well coached because he does too many things really well for a high school player. I think he could be a really good player down the road for Maryland. ... With Darius Kilgo, North Carolina continues to be a bigger and bigger recruiting state. He did not have a ton of offers on his rap sheet. But Tennessee had offered him and the Carolina schools came after him late but he had already committed to Maryland. And being able to scoop them up from different states and pick what they want is pretty big there.”

On potential early contributors: “Javarie Johnson is obviously extremely talented. I don’t think there’s much time you need to spend on him. He’s just a tremendous player. Another kid that I was just a big fan of is Jeremiah Wilson from Handley (Va.) High School. He’s a three-star corner that played a lot of running back in high school. I don’t know that he’ll end up being a safety or a corner, but just watching him and watching his quickness out of breaks, you can see that translate to the defensive side of the ball. He can change direction really quick. He’s a fast player and has great burst to him. One of the rules in the SEC, which is the best conference in the country, is you take your best athletes and put them on defense. Wilson is a really good athlete. I like him a lot. Not a whole lot of people talk about him, frankly.”

On Maryland’s offensive line commitments: “They’ve been addressing it [for the last couple classes, starting] with R.J. Dill up at Trinity in Pennsylvania. They’ve been putting emphasis on getting quality players that fit their system and getting a lot of depth there. Quarterback and offensive line has really been a struggle for them. Maryland always has great skill players and good players in the secondary. But you’ve gotta win the battle in the trenches. Without a strong offensive line, you can’t do that. This year they went down south and grabbed Max Garcia, a kid from Georgia. And Max was a kid with offers from Alabama, Clemson, North Carolina State. To be able to haul that kid, that’s a big pickup. I don’t care if he’s a three-star. It doesn’t matter. People need to overlook the stars and rankings with some of these kids."

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:11 AM | | Comments (0)

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

High school recruiting database
Area high school commitments -- 2009
Area high school commitments -- 2008
Maryland's 2011 football commitments
Maryland's 2010 football recruiting class
Maryland's 2009 football recruiting class
Maryland's 2008 football recruiting class

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