Football Recruiting Update

1/21/2010 8:42:22 PM I know all the focus is on basketball right now (and rightfully so), but since my work at Turtle Sports Report has forced me to look to the gridiron when I only want to see hardwood and tank tops (Excuse the double entendre), I can’t help but notice that Ralph Friedgen and his staff has put together a pretty good recruiting class.

This class is pretty good by normal Maryland standards. Teams that go to bowl games and are in the hunt for the division title. Considering we had our worst season in program history, the job the coaches did on selling the program is nothing short of spectacular.

Now, when one looks at the class we’ve assembled, the first thing that jumps out is probably the lack of four-and-five-star talent. We have two four-star commits on Scout and four on Rivals, and no five-star guys anywhere. That’s fine, we weren’t getting five-star talent when we went to the Orange Bowl.

Our best recruit is Javarie Johnson, an OLB from D.C. He was a totally unexpected commit, because he de-committed from Miami and switched to Maryland almost immediately to be closer to home. There’s no chance of another switch because he’s enrolled for the spring.

In case you thought there was a typo, that’s Miami, Florida. We stole a recruit from the best school for producing NFL talent east of USC. This guy fits the description of a Miami player too, which is to say he’s just the definition of athleticism. 6’4”, 208 lbs., he runs a 4.5 40 and has a 32-inch vertical. Yeah, he’s an athlete.

Combine him with our most recent commit, Desmond Kearse (Jevon Kearse’s cousin), who is going to play the “rover” position. Basically he’s going to be like Ray Lewis but on the outside. He’s 6’2”, a little undersized (only 185 lbs.), but absolutely flies around the field. He runs an electronically timed 4.5 40. In terms of hand clocking, that’s like a 4.3 (The rule is hand-clocked times at the combine are rounded up by .26 seconds).

That’s two guys playing on opposite sides who are both freakishly athletic and a little raw. Perfect, we don’t need them next year we can redshirt them. Linebacker is a position of strength. With Adrian Moten, Alex Wujciak and Demetrius Hartsfield, those guys can learn, bulk up and get ready to take the reins in 2011.

Those are just two guys. We’ve also recruited a Rivals 4-star defensive end and defensive back: David Mackall and Titus Till respectively. Till might be the best player out of Maryland this year, and he can step in immediately and start if necessary, which is good because we’ve lost the most talent in our defensive backfield then anywhere else.

There’s also Scout 4-star prospect Tyler Smith, a quarterback who could be the most important recruit in the whole class. If Jamarr Robinson doesn’t work out, he can step in, and is easily the most skilled quarterback on our roster already.

In addition to all those studs, we added a bunch of big bodies to the lines on both sides of the ball. Four offensive linemen, four defensive ends and two defensive tackles.
Nothing spectacular (one four star, a bunch of three stars and a couple of two stars), but last year, we didn’t even have bodies. Don Brown’s a great coach and Ralph knows how to coach a line.

That’s really all I have in terms of dropping knowledge. We’re going to win more than two games next year. I’ll guarantee it. Everyone has another year under the belt, other than Turner, we’re not losing anyone important. We may not make a bowl game, but the future is looking bright.

I’m not sure Franklin is the right guy to take the team as far as they can go, but he’s a nice guy, Yow and the Fridge love him, and the alumni seem to believe in those two. I’m going to let the next season dictate my feelings when I feel he has a team worth trotting out on the field.
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