Floridian? Check. Cousin of Jevon? Check. Ability to play literally anywhere on the field? Check. I like it.
Desmond Kearse (Fort Myers, Fla./Dunbar) has committed to sign as part of Maryland's Class of 2010, ESPN affiliate Web site InsideMDSports.com reports.
Recruited to play defensive back, Kearse registered 25 sacks as an edge rusher during his junior season.
He is the cousin of Tennessee Titans' defensive end Jevon Kearse.
At the Orlando Nike Combine, Desmond posted an electronically-timed 4.49 40-yard dash, 4.25 20-yard shuttle, 31.3-inch vertical and 35-foot power ball throw.
Not much is known about Kearse, Maryland's latest football commitment, except for the fact that he just committed. He's not rated by either service, though Scout has him as a 3 star. Looks like another under-the-radar type of guy.
There are three really intriguing things about Kearse. The first is his versatility. On Rivals, he's listed as a DE. On Scout, an OLB. On ESPN, a safety. Even if he was recruited to play S, you'd have to assume he can move around.
His speed is listed as 4.5, corroborated by the combine time, which would be adequate for a safety, good for a LB, and outstanding for a DE. He'd be criminally undersized at DE (doesn't even crack 200) and would require a lot of prep time before he was ready to go, but his physical tools make up for that, and he's comfortable at the position. Meanwhile, he'd be ready to contribute right away from a size standpoint at safety, but he doesn't know that position as well.
Either way, Maryland seems to be getting a guy that has some great tools but no real position yet. Sounds like a bit of a project, albeit an incredibly high-potential one.
The second thing about Kearse is that he's from Florida. After all but ignoring the state for nearly half a decade, Maryland is setting up a nice little home in the Sunshine State, particularly down south. South Florida has an absurd amount of talent, and as long as Miami is down, Florida State is in transition, and Florida has uncertainty, that area is fair game. Clarence Murphy, Jake Wheeler, and Kearse are all from the southern part of the state, and Tony Grimes is still a major target. That's mostly thanks to Don Brown, who's always recruited the state and has some connections down there. All four of them are blessed with major physical tools, probably representing a change toward more athletic defenses.
The third interesting thing is that I was either completely wrong about Maryland's philosophy or the remaining big time targets aren't headed to College Park. I had thought that Maryland was done except for Tony Grimes, Brandon Coleman, and a select few. Kearse doesn't quite fit that profile. Scholarships are getting very, very tight right now. Either Friedgen expects/knows about a somewhat sizable exodus or he's already received word that the others aren't happening. Or I'm still wrong and somehow he's planning on taking all of them and still having room. Whatever.