Prep school DB plans to play for Terps
Just a few months after Rodman Noel finished his senior season at Everett (Mass.) High, the football staffs at Boston College and Maryland recommended him to the coaches at Milford Academy in New Berlin, N.Y.
After finishing his post-grad season with the Falcons this fall, Noel was ready to offer his pledge to one of those ACC programs.
“He just committed to Maryland [last weekend],” said Milford Academy coach Bill Chaplick. “I’ve had a relationship with [Terps defensive backs coach] Kevin Lempa for the last 10 years. He recommended Rodman to us. So we figured he would end up at Maryland when it was all said and done. We were an 11-1 football team and he started and had a great year. I think he should be a great [Football Bowl Subdivision] player. He’s got great size and athleticism and is definitely in the Top-25 caliber. He should fit in right away down there.”
Noel -- whose status as a Maryland recruit is contingent on an improved SAT score -- committed to the Terps during a visit to College Park last weekend for the Florida State game. It wasn’t the first time the 6-foot-4, 206-pound defensive back told Maryland coaches he wanted to play for the Terps. The Boston Herald reported last February that Noel gave UM a "soft commitment" pending SAT results. After his test score came up short of NCAA qualifying standards, Noel packed his bags for Milford.
“He was definitely raw [at first],” Chaplick said. “But coming to Milford and having him play against the college JV schedule was the best thing for him – to be away from home and to get that experience before you have to go to Maryland. He played in 12 college football games. He’s been living away from home, getting his grades up and getting into this regiment of 6:30 workouts, mandatory school, traveling and playing games. The experience makes him a better student-athlete and player for the University of Maryland. There isn’t any way that he goes there as a freshman and other freshmen have as much experience as he does. He’s already experienced college life without losing eligibility.”
In Milford’s 4-2-5 defensive scheme, Noel rotated between cornerback and safety depending on the matchup. If the opposition featured a taller wide receiver, Noel was tasked with man-to-man coverage. He also showed “good upside” as a reliable, play-making safety for the Falcons.
A four-star prospect and Rivals.com’s No. 7 prep school recruit in the country, Noel comes from an athletic family. His older brother Jim plays safety at Boston College, and younger brother Nerlens is a five-star center prospect in the 2013 basketball class.
Chaplick said Noel “should be OK” to enroll at Maryland in January once he finishes this semester at Milford. With a season of top prep school competition under Noel’s belt, Chaplick expects him to have a smooth transition to college.
“Well, I think that he definitely wants to get there,” Chaplick said. “But I also think he wants to go all the way. I think he wants to play on Sundays after he plays on Saturdays. And I think he definitely wants to be a winner. This class we had this year, they all jelled together because they were motivated when they came here. He fit right in. … He’s an athlete. As a defensive coordinator, you put him in there and expect him to make plays. You have it in the back of your mind that he’s not going to get beat. It’s a good feeling to have.”