Maryland always seems good for at least one or two New Jersey commitments every year: Ryan Donohue in 2009, Ian Evans in 2010, and, most recently, Cole Farrand in 2011. Looks like the Terps can add another to that list: New Jersey tight end Ryan Malleck committed to Maryland tonight, per InsideMDSports' Twitter.
Malleck's pretty big at 6-5, 230. He's rated 77 (three stars) on ESPN and three stars on Rivals (#20 player in New Jersey). Maryland was the pick over Connecticut and Rutgers, but Army, Navy, N.C. State, UCF, and Virginia had all offered as well. Judging by the ratings and offer list, Malleck's a pretty nice coup at this point for Maryland, as the reality of last year's 2-10 record has caught up with them on the recruiting trail.
This is commitment #14 for Maryland, which means that it's getting a little bit tight scholarship-wise. Tyreke Cheeseboro and Nate Clarke both prepped, and they'll come in next year. They'll still probably sign around 20 players this year and do the scholarship math later, but I wouldn't be surprised to see recruiting continue at the pace it's been going recently (ie, very slowly).
More importantly, Malleck fills a big hole for the Terps at tight end. Maryland's great at utilizing tight ends: just ask Jeff Dugan, Vernon Davis, Joey Haynos, or even Jason Goode and Tommy Galt. But Maryland didn't bring a tight end in last year after decommitted, meaning the last one to come into the program was Dave Stinebaugh, who may or may not be starter-level. Tight end was a necessity in this class, especially considering the two-tight end sets Maryland runs, and it seems they got a good one.
Luckily, there's some film on Malleck out on the 'net. Check it below, with some first impressions:
He's definitely a receiving-oriented tight end, and seems to do a good job of going out with his hands and reaching for the ball. He even looked to win a few jump balls in there. His speed won't hold him back at tight end, either, though he's not a burner by any means. He's even moderately dangerous with the ball in his hands; not Steve Suter or anything, but he can make a few guys miss or break some tackles, and even out-run a safety if he has the angle.
At least one person compared him to Garrett Graham, who played for Wisconsin last year and was drafted in the fourth round by the Texans. Like Malleck, Graham is a tall receiving tight end, and was utilized very well by Wisconsin. Graham had 51 catches for 624 yards his senior year, and that seems pretty reasonable for a guy of Malleck's caliber as far as uninformed comparisons go.
The only worries should be blocking, which you don't see a lot of in that clip. If I remember correctly, there were some worries about that with Stinebaugh, too, so hopefully either one of them can figure it out or Maryland can find another tight end, just in case.