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August 16, 2011

Where are they now? Former Terps footballers

Maryland coach Randy Edsall is officially introducing his 2011 football team at media day in College Park today.

Across the country, meanwhile, several Terps transfers and one-time commitments are suiting up for other programs. Here’s a class-by-class look -- starting in 2008 -- at where those players ended up.

Class of 2008

Tyler Bass: A late addition to Maryland’s 2008 class, Bass was released from his letter of intent before beginning his Terps career. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound dual-threat quarterback ended up at Memphis, where he appeared in six games (starting three) over his first two seasons, throwing for 774 yards (63-for-94 passing), seven touchdowns and five interceptions, while rushing for 259 yards and two touchdowns on 56 carries. As a junior, Bass played in just one game. He later transferred to Florida A&M, where he entered fall camp as a backup.

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February 16, 2011

Where are they now? Derrious Gilmore

derrious-gilmore-lake.jpg derrious-gilmore-jcc.jpg Since leading Lake Clifton to the Class 3A state semifinals in 2008, Derrious Gilmore has bounced around a bit.

The 5-foot-9, 165-pound point guard did a prep year at Princeton Day Academy in Lanham. After that came a freshman season at Pensacola State (Fla.) College, but a coaching change meant that Gilmore had to pack his bags again.

Don Skelton, meanwhile, was looking for a point guard to lead his Jones County (Miss.) Junior College squad. Gilmore, who was recommended to Skelton by a former assistant, was just what the Bobcats needed.

“I never saw Derrious play until he came onto our campus,” Skelton said. “But coming in, [he was] just a guy that plays with a lot of energy. We play an up-tempo style, and he fits that bill. He pushes the ball as a point guard and really pushes our offense.”

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September 3, 2009

Where are they now: Kim English

Every summer Baltimore's best basketball players converge on their old stomping grounds, resurrecting old rivalries on the court and trading war stories on life as a college athlete.

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Few Charm City natives earned more bragging rights last season than Kim English, the former Randallstown star who was an integral part of Missouri’s 31-7 season.

English, a 6-foot-6, 200-pound shooting guard, had plenty to say this summer about the Tigers’ trip to the NCAA tournament’s Elite Eight.

“It’s kind of like we’re all trash-talking, but it’s fun seeing where everyone went,” English said. “In Baltimore, it’s whoever wins gets the most range. So it was me and [Pittsburgh shooting guard] Jermaine Dixon. Everyone else couldn’t say too much except for that they’re going to do better than us next year. But [former Calvert Hall standout and UMass guard] Ricky Harris beat Kansas, so that was a great feat. Kevin Palmer (Parkville), from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, he scored [31] on Georgia, so we were talking about that. We were all kind of exchanging stories and just playing like it was old times.”

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August 27, 2009

Where are they now: Larry Bastfield

It was the summer of 2007, and point guard Larry Bastfield knew things would be different for Towson Catholic in his senior year.

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Power forward Donte Greene was off to Syracuse and shooting guard Malcolm Delaney headed to Virginia Tech, leaving Bastfield with the weighty task of running the show for the defending MIAA A conference champions without those departed stars.

Bastfield responded by averaging 17 points, seven assists, five rebounds and four steals per game, leading the Owls to their second straight conference title.

Now a sophomore point guard for the University of Toledo, Bastfield will once again be counted on to guide a group of young teammates to a successful season.

“We have no seniors this year, two juniors, two sophomores and eight freshmen,” said the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Bastfield.

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June 17, 2009

Where are they now: Teddy Dargan

When Teddy Dargan came up short in the classroom senior year, the plan for the talented Milford Mill defensive tackle was to get as far away from the area as possible.

Mission accomplished. The one-time Maryland commitment has resurfaced 2,550 miles away from Baltimore in Yuma, Ariz., as a member of the Arizona Western College football team.

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Dargan, a former Baltimore Sun All-Metro selection, was the Terps’ second commitment for the 2008 class, pledging midway through his junior year. When the 6-foot-3, 280-pounder fell short of NCAA qualifying standards, Arizona Western coach Tom Minnick was happy to welcome the four-star prospect to Yuma -- even though it meant waiting another year for Dargan to take the field.

“He actually grayshirted for us in the fall because he didn’t have a diploma from high school,” Minnick said. “So he had to take 11 hours in the fall and he took 12 hours and was eligible after the spring semester here. So his [eligibility] clock started in January. But he had a great spring and he’ll be ready to play this fall, so we can’t wait to see him go.”

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March 12, 2009

Where are they now: Latay Darden

Maryland's search for a defensive-minded big man last spring led the Terps staff to Progressive Christian Academy in Camp Springs, where senior forward Latay Darden was averaging 15 points, 13 rebounds, 11 blocks and four steals per game.

The UM staff was reportedly intrigued with the 6-foot-7, 195-pounder, but never offered a scholarship. Marquette and Indiana also expressed interest, according to PCA coach Russell Branch. But Darden was never approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse, making him ineligible for Division I play.

That’s when Paris (Texas) Junior College coach Ross Hodge entered the picture.

“His prep school coach at Progressive, Russell Branch, I’ve known him for four or five years now,” Hodge said. “With most guys at [Darden’s] level, you kind of just monitor [the academic situation] and hang around. We ended up getting him around June or July when it was evident that he was not going to get qualified.”

Darden moved to Paris last summer. Located just south of the Oklahoma border, about two hours northeast of Dallas, Paris Junior College is a traditional basketball power. The Dragons won the NJCAA national championship in 2005.

This season, Darden helped Paris to a 23-5 regular-season record. Paris’ season ended Monday with a loss in the Region XIV championship. Hodge said he was pleased with Darden’s contributions.

“Offensively, he can really finish and he’s a good passer,” Hodge said last week. “But his biggest strength [is that] he really, really impacts the game on the defensive end of the floor with his length and athleticism. Right now, on the year, he’s averaging 7 points, 6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. ... We have four people averaging double figures, eight people averaging 6 points or more. We kind of spread it around. ... [On defense is where] he impacts the game. He has an unbelievable feel for blocking shots. He really gets his hands on a lot of balls. He’s a really good rebounder.”

Hodge regularly brings in players that were heavily recruited by Div. I schools, and Darden was no different. Still, there was a small adjustment period going from prep school to junior college.

“I think that’s the biggest shock to these guys,” Hodge said. “They think, ‘hey, I’ll go to junior college so I’m going to come in and dominate. It’s not going to be that hard. I’m going to be better than everybody.’ We played in Region 14, one of, if not the best, junior college regions in the country. So everybody in the league has guys like Latay Darden. Bambale Osby, who played for Maryland, he played at Paris Junior College. There are just really good players in the league, so I think that was a big shock at first.”

Hodge was an assistant at Paris during Osby’s lone junior-college season. The 6-foot-8, 250-pounder averaged just 6 points and 5 rebounds for the Dragons. Two years later, Osby was an integral member of the Terps, finishing his senior season third on the team in scoring (11.5), second in rebounding (6.5) and second in blocked shots (2.1) per game.

At 6-7, 195 pounds, Darden’s body couldn’t be more different than Osby’s. But Hodge thinks there are some similarities in their games.

“Without any question, physically they’re completely different,” Hodge said. “But Latay on the defensive end of the floor, tip-ins and finishing, all those things he does at a high level. The biggest thing for him at the ACC or Big East or Big 12 level is that he needs to improve his strength. If he would’ve went to a Maryland right out of Progressive, they would’ve had him in the weight room and put 10, 15 pounds on him like it was nothing because of the resources they have.”

According to Hodge, the staffs at Maryland, Marquette and West Virginia call periodically to get updates on Darden’s progress. Hodge expects Darden's recruitment to pick up during the coming months.

“To play at the ACC level, he has to improve on his strength and his overall skill level,” Hodge said. “But the things he can do, you can’t teach those things.”


Is there a former high school athlete with Maryland ties you’d like to see profiled in a Where are they now segment? If so, e-mail me at mbracken@baltimoresun.com.
Previous Where are they now? features:

Football: Wayne Dorsey (Southwestern) and James Carmon (City)

Basketball: Omar Strong (Douglass)

Basketball: Jeremy Robinson (Northwestern)

Football: Eteyen Edet (Friendly)

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March 4, 2009

Where are they now: Wayne Dorsey and James Carmon

Wayne Dorsey was a Sun second-team All-Baltimore City selection in boys basketball at Southwestern High School in 2006.

James Carmon was a two-time All-Metro selection on the offensive line at City College, where he graduated in 2008.

Though two years apart in age, and better known for different sports in high school, Dorsey and Carmon are both on the same track now, which could very well lead to the SEC for football in 2010.

Dorsey, a 6-foot-8, 255-pound defensive end, and Carmon, a 6-foot-7, 370-pound defensive tackle, both completed standout freshman seasons at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College this fall. The Baltimore linemen helped the Bulldogs to a 10-2 season.

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“Both of them are here and both of them are doing great,” said Mississippi Gulf Coast coach Steve Campbell. “They both had great summer semesters, had a lot of credit hours under their belt, they came back and had real strong [fall] semesters in the classroom and on the football field. They helped lead us to a state championship. Both are looking forward to great sophomore years. They’ve already generated a lot of interest from Southeastern Conference schools. We even had Southern Cal call [two weeks ago] about both of them.”

Dorsey, a two-sport standout at Southwestern, was supposed to sign with Virginia Tech’s football program in 2007, according to Scout.com. There was an issue with the NCAA clearinghouse and he was rerouted to Milford (N.Y.) Academy. Minnesota then offered a scholarship, but another clearinghouse issue arose, at which point Dorsey decided on Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Carmon played football and basketball for City. He had plenty of Div. I interest but needed some work in the classroom.

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Campbell, who coached MGCCC to a national championship in 2007, said his staff discovered both Baltimore products while looking at a different lineman in the Mid-Atlantic region.

“We found another big kid up in Virginia. It didn’t work out with him,” Campbell said. “[An assistant coach] had another couple days to look around and ended up in Baltimore looking for big guys that were athletic. The coach got put on Wayne and we found Wayne, hunted him down and squared him away. Another coach told him to see this guy play on the basketball court, and that was James. Six-foot-seven, 370 pounds running down the court. So we watched some highlights of him on You Tube and got him signed up.”

Eighteen MGCCC sophomores signed with four-year schools last month, including seven with Div. I schools. The most notable recent MGCCC graduate is Alabama defensive tackle Terrence Cody, who’s considered a surefire first-round pick in the 2010 NFL draft. Campbell thinks Dorsey and Carmon are both positioned well to make a similar jump from junior college to major Division I programs.

“Wayne is a great athlete,” Campbell said. “He’s a 6-8 kid that can really run and is athletic. He’s a very athletic young man that has great hands and feet. He’s an outstanding kid with a great work ethic. He has a good family back home. Both have great support systems back home.

“James, he’s 6-7, weighs 370 pounds and the thing that makes him special is that he can move so well for a guy that big. He came in here bench pressing something around 275 pounds. [Two weeks ago] the last set he did was 450 pounds on the bench. He’s got freakish strength and he can move so well for a guy that’s 6-7, 370 pounds.”

Both Dorsey and Carmon have been offered scholarships by Tennessee, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, according to Campbell. They could end up at the same school, but Campbell said he doesn’t necessarily expect the pair to be a package deal. They’re both on track to graduate from MGCCC in December and be ready to enroll in college by January 2010. Campbell thinks Dorsey and Carmon will live up to those lofty standards of those that played for Mississippi Gulf Coast before them.

“We’re always looking for those diamonds in the rough,” Campbell said. “They’re either under the radar because of grades, they’re too big or too small, but they’re special football players. We can only take eight out-of-state football players, so we need them to be guys that are future NFL players, which I believe [Carmon and Dorsey] are.”

Credits: Baltimore Sun photo of Dorsey (left) by Glenn Fawcett (Jan. 4, 2007). Carmon photo by Gene Sweeney Jr. (Dec. 5, 2006)

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March 3, 2009

Where are they now: Omar Strong

Omar Strong was definitely good enough to play Division I basketball after graduating from Douglass High last spring.

But Strong had work to do in the classroom, so the 5-foot-9 combo guard moved on to Cecil College in North East.

Strong, a two-time Baltimore Sun All-Metro selection who averaged 22 points per game last year, has put together a solid rookie campaign for the Seahawks.

omarstrong.jpg

“He’s having a good year,” Cecil coach Bill Lewit said. “I had no idea how hard he works and how hard he prepares to be a great player. He’s really diligent and very conscientious unlike a lot of freshmen coming in that rely on natural talent. He really works hard on preparing in everything from conditioning and drills to [the game itself]. His work ethic is extremely impressive.”

On Sunday, Strong scored 24 points to lead Cecil to an 89-75 victory over Howard Community College in the NJCAA Division II Region XX championship. Strong was named to the All-Tournament team.

Strong will lead the Seahawks (32-1) in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament in Danville, Ill., which begins March 19. He’s averaging around 15 points and 3.5 assists, while shooting 42 percent from the floor and 43 percent from 3-point range.

“A couple good schools will gamble and overlook his size,” Lewit told Recruiting Report last week. “There are a lot of things he still needs to improve on. No. 1 is his ability to play the point guard spot. He needs to really learn [to develop] his point guard skills. He’s not going to grow, but he can get physically stronger. But he’s made marked improvement since he came here in August.”

Lewit said Strong performed well in the classroom during the first semester, earning a GPA better than 3.0. Lewit said junior college recruiting really gets going during the summer before sophomore year, but he expects Strong’s profile to rise as the Seahawks’ postseason play continues.

“I think he’s moved himself right into being a bonafide mid-major player,” Lewit said.

Credit: Baltimore Sun photo by Kim Hairston / March 8, 2008

Click on the YouTube player for Strong’s senior highlights.


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February 18, 2009

Where are they now: Jeremy Robinson

Two years removed from a senior season at Northwestern High School that earned him Baltimore Sun second-team All-Metro honors, Jeremy Robinson has made a temporary home for himself down South.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder is the starting point guard for Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College (14-13, 3-8). Robinson, the Eagles’ lone returning sophomore, averages 7.5 points, 2.8 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.04 steals per game.

“Jeremy’s a system guy and he’s done pretty well,” TCC coach Eddie Barnes said. “We’ve had to break some habits, like all kids coming out of high school transitioning into college. But he’s a very solid point guard. He has a toughness about him. He has a good work ethic and he’s shooting the ball a little bit better than when he came in. His decision-making is getting better. He’s been very good on and off the court. We’re happy to have him and he’s going to graduate [later this year].”

jeremyrobinson.jpg

According to Barnes, Robinson has received interest from Ball State, Wichita State, Mercer and several Sun Belt Conference schools.

“Jeremy’s kind of one of those Catch 22s because of his size,” Barnes said. “He’s got a big heart, but sometimes his size ... doesn’t allow him to play at the level that is similar to his toughness.”

As a freshman at Tallahassee, Robinson was able to learn from Baltimore native Jermaine Dixon (the younger brother of former Terp Juan Dixon), who now starts for No. 4 Pittsburgh. Barnes said it’s been a big challenge for Robinson to help make up for Dixon’s departure.

“Being the only sophomore returning from last year, it’s been kind of tough because we’ve asked him to do so much as far as being a leader and directing those freshmen,” Barnes said. “As far as trying to fill the shoes of Jermaine, that’s kind of tough. He’s come a long way and I know he’s reaping a lot of benefits from being able to play here. ... Jeremy’s a very stable point guard who handles the ball, gets to the free-throw line, makes good decisions and passes.”

Several Baltimore-area standouts have made the jump from Tallahassee Community College to Division I programs, including Dixon, former St. John’s standouts Marcus Hatten (Mervo) and Bootsy Thornton (Dunbar), and ex-College of Charleston guard Marcus Johnson (Annapolis).

If all goes according to plan, Robinson will be the next.


Credit: Sun photo of Jeremy Robinson by Elizabeth Malby (February 20, 2007). Bio photo of Robinson courtesy of TCC.

Is there a former high school athlete with Maryland ties you’d like to see profiled in a Where are they now segment? If so, e-mail me at mbracken@baltimoresun.com.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:42 AM | | Comments (2)
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February 17, 2009

Where are they now: Eteyen Edet

Much has changed in the last year for Eteyen Edet.

The former Friendly High School linebacker committed to Maryland last January and signed a letter of intent to play for the Terps on Signing Day 2008.

After missing NCAA qualifying standards, Edet enrolled at Milford Academy last summer. His stint at the prep school in New Berlin, N.Y. was short-lived, however, thanks to Edet joining the team out of shape and clashing with a member of the Milford coaching staff. Edet was rerouted to North Carolina Tech in Charlotte, but his departure from Milford caused Maryland to cut ties with him.

Now, a year after signing with the Terps, Edet’s still looking for another place to play football in college. He had a successful prep season at North Carolina Tech, but still has some business to attend to academically, according to former Friendly assistant Marcus Berry.

“He didn’t sign anywhere this year. Basically, we’re trying to get him qualified,” Berry said. “He needs 30 more points, but he’ll get there. ... He had a really good season. The coaching staff did tell me that. If he wasn’t the best defensive player there, he was one of the top two or three best.”

Berry mentioned four schools that are still monitoring Edet’s progress.

“Ohio University, Akron, Michigan State still has some interest and also North Carolina has interest also,” Berry said. “But like I said, when he qualifies, we’ll just go from there. It’s kind of hard to find a 6-2, 245-pound linebacker with his ability.”

Berry said Edet is back home in Staten Island, N.Y., studying for the SAT and ACT, but he’ll soon return to Maryland to live with his aunt in Fort Washington.

“He told me he’s supposed to come back in the next week or two,” Berry said. “He’ll just work out and do everything here. He’ll have a better opportunity [to concentrate on his studying].”

It’s been a difficult year for Edet, but Berry said he’s putting the past behind him. Edet’s completely focused on getting a qualifying test score and putting himself in position to earn a Division I scholarship.

“He came out gangbusters for us at Friendly. He’s one of the best Mike linebackers we’ve ever had,” Berry said. “He gets off blocks great, he’s a great rusher and blitzer, he runs well. He’s a can’t miss. Whoever gets him is going to be stealing. ... When he gets qualified, we’ll find him a place.”

Click on the YouTube player for highlights of Edet at North Carolina Tech. The music in the clip contains profanity.


Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:53 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.

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