Believe it or not, the 2011 football recruiting season is right around the corner. It sounds far-fetched, but Maryland's first commitment for 2009 came in January. If that holds true this year, the first commitment is only 12 weeks away. What better way to prepare than an overview of who Maryland might be targeting next year?
2011 is actually good year in the area, but not in Maryland in particular. There are three very good players in the state, but it's weaker after that. Slightly to the Terps' south, however, is a gigantic pool of Virginia talent - 2011 might be the best year in memory for the Commonwealth. Expect most of the big targets to reside in the Old Dominion State. Without further ado, here's a quick look at some of the players Maryland will be looking at in 2011.
Blake Countess, CB, Olney, MD, Good Counsel - Countess has been courted by Maryland for awhile now, and, as a local kid, that makes sense. He's probably at the level of a guy like Louis Young, who is a teammate and considering Maryland as well, though Countess is more explosive with the ball. He also has a scholarship offer from Wisconsin, who has invaded Good Counsel recently, but I wouldn't say they're ahead of Maryland at this point. I'd actually be surprised if the Terps weren't #1 right now. (Highlight Reel)
Vincent Croce, DT, Olney, MD, Good Counsel - Croce is another big-time GC recruit, and should be a top priority for Maryland. He seems to like Maryland and Dave Sollazzo, but is also fond of Florida and has a ton of offers. He'll be a tough one to keep at home.
Curtis Grant, LB, Richmond, VA, Hermitage - I have little doubt that Grant will be a five star and one of the top 3 players in Virginia. He's a machine, and a monster in the making. He has the perfect combination of size, speed, and strength. A lot of schools will be involved with him, so it's iffy on where the Terps stand, but he's one to keep a close eye on.
Eilar Hardy, S, Pickering, OH, Pickering Central - You don't hear much about Hardy connected to the Terps, but they're one of his three offers, along with Cincinnati and West Virginia. Ohio State and Notre Dame are also involved, but are yet to offer. He looks like a good fit for Don Brown's defense - after seeing his tape, he's at his best near the line of scrimmage and against the run. (Highlight Reel)
Travis Hughes, LB, Virginia Beach, VA, Kempsville - The younger brother of current Terp Trenton Hughes, Travis could be an elite prospect next year. From the talent-rich Virginia Beach area, Hughes crushes the look test, and I've heard only good things about his game. With the connection to Trenton, you have to think Maryland has a real good shot with him. He was in town for the JMU game, too. (Highlight Reel)
Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Hyattsville, MD, DeMatha - Brother of highly-touted OT Arie Kouandjio, Cyrus' recruitment will likely parallel Arie's. He's already gotten dozens of offers from all the top programs - it's doubtful he stays at Maryland.
Kevin McReynolds, DL, Washington, DC, St. John's - McReynolds probably won't be elite, but will be in the low/mid 4 star area. Maryland's developing a bit of a St. Johns' pipeline, as Peter White and Andre Monroe both attend(ed) school there, and that can only help. He seems to like the West Coast schools, but Maryland has a shot here.
Delonte Morton, LB, Hyattsville, MD, DeMatha - Another DeMatha guy, Morton is the Terps' type of linebacker - big and strong, though not necessarily fast. Right now Maryland's the only school to offer or even give serious consideration, it seems, so you have to like their chances regardless of the lack of DeMatha commits recently.
Jameel Poteat, RB, Harrisburg, PA, Bishop McDevitt - Poteat's got a lot of Big East-type offers, which makes sense based on his region and level. Getting him away from the area might be difficult. He lacks breakaway speed, but has nice vision and is shifty. (Highlight Reel)
Clifton Richardson, ATH, Newport News, VA, Menchville - Another target from the same area as Travis Hughes, Richardson is one of the more versatile players Maryland's looking at. He's very fast and very athletic, and there will be a lot of competition for his services. If Maryland makes him a priority, though, it's not an impossible get.
Dominique Terrell, ATH, Manassas, VA, Osbourn Park - Terrell is currently Rivals' top player in Virginia, and with good reason. He's lightning fast and a playmaker. Not without cause, he's been compared to another VA high school legend, Percy Harvin. Obviously, the elite programs will be on him, but it'll be a fun recruitment to watch. Maryland offered him early, for what that's worth.
Landon Turner, OT, Harrisonburg, VA, Harrisonburg - Turner's almost certainly one of the top 5 players in Virginia, and a fringe five star. After breaking his leg last year, top programs have concerns about offering right away, but he's proven his worth quickly. Maryland was one of the earlier schools to offer him, but he's the son of a guy who played at West Virginia, and may be a Mountaineer lean.
C.J. Uzomah, ATH, Suwanee, GA, North Gwinnett - I'll say it right now, Maryland won't be in the running for Uzomah. Though the Terps have been hitting Georgia hard, they'll likely be overwhelmed by the competition unless there's a card up their sleeve. Miami, Tennessee, Alabama, LSU, and Georgia have all offered, just to name the competition. That said, the Terps have offered too, so we'll see where it goes.
Ishaq Williams, DE, Brookyln, NY, Lincoln - There's that school again. Lincoln is becoming familiar stomping ground for the Terps, as they got current Terp Lansford Watson from the school, and heavily recruited Lance Stephenson, who also called Lincoln home. Williams hasn't been recruited heavily, but he's talented and versatile, if undersized. (Highlight Reel)
Marquise Williams, QB, Charlotte, NC, Mallard Creek - If Maryland feels the need to recruit yet another QB - they probably won't, as they'll have taken 4 in the past 2 years - Williams would be the main guy. A quick dual-threat from Carolina, Maryland's offered along with some heavy hitters like LSU and Virginia Tech.
Gabe Wright, DT, Columbus, GA, Carver - Devin Burns, a Maryland commit for 2010, attends the same HS as Wright, who could end up a 5 star when it's all said and done. He's reportedly been in his ear about becoming a Terp, and the Terps have extended an offer. The budding Georgia connection combined with the Burns factor gives Maryland a chance with the highly touted DT.
Connor Wujciak, DE, West Orange, NJ, Seton Hall Prep - Obviously, there aren't too many people named Wujciak, and it's no coincidence that this Wujciak is the brother of current Terp Alex Wujciak. Connor is probably a better prospect than even Alex was, and the family connection can only help. He also has offers from Rutgers and BC, but more could be coming in.