2011's signing day is hardly in the rearview mirror, going down only about ten days ago, but the 2012 recruiting cycle started long ago. Because basketball isn't the world's most fun topic right now (Randy Edsall has done the impossible), this isn't a bad time to go over a few (dozen) names to know for Maryland's 2012 recruiting.
It's extremely difficult to do something like this properly. Maryland's offers could number in the hundreds, and the databases that are pretty much our only resource on stuff like this are notoriously inaccurate. The names that follow are more of a rough guide than a comprehensive list. Still, you may find it useful - at least the quick position summaries - or at least a way to pass the time.
A quick note before we hit the nitty-gritty: this is a pretty strong class for the area this year. There are a few legitimate stars in the process, like Eddie Goldman, Cyrus Jones, Stefon Diggs, and Wes Brown. It's doubtful that Maryland stands a chance with too many of them, but if nothing else, it's a chance for Edsall (and Shannon/Crowton/Hull) to make a name in recruiting.
It's pretty much a necessity to grab at least one, if not two. Maryland didn't take one last year, and that's okay because, well, they brought in 4 in the 2 seasons before. But skipping two years for QBs, even with quite a few on the roster, is always a bad idea, especially when you figure that one of those four will likely transfer and Danny O'Brien probably only has two more years left.
The problem is that, for whatever reason, the Mid-Atlantic never seems to produce great QBs. I haven't found a single QB Maryland's offered yet, and that makes it difficult to figure out who they'll go after. A few guesses:
Ian Fisher, 6-6, 245 (Brunswick, Brunswick, MD): Put up extremely gaudy numbers in his junior year, and though I haven't seen anyone offer him yet, he's getting some pretty solid interest from schools like Penn State, N.C. State, and Rutgers. His size for a QB is absolutely ridiculous, and he has some amazing arm strength. He's been said to be a PSU lean, but he might not get that offer. [Video]
Brendan Nosovitch, 6-2, 200 (Central Catholic, Allentown, PA): Maryland's hit PA pretty hard for QBs in the past few years (Jordan Steffy, Jeremy Ricker, C.J. Brown, Tyler Smith), and I imagine they'd hope Nosovitch could continue the trend. Rivals doesn't list any Maryland interest, but I'd be surprised if they didn't at least make a run at him. He might be the state's best signal-caller, and was just named to the ESPNRise Junior All-American team (as a dual-threat).
Nathan Peterman, 6-2, 205 (Bartram Trail, Jacksonville, FL): Considered the best QB in the Jacksonville area (not sure how much talent there is down there, but take it FWIW). Had a big junior year. Has good mobility on roll-outs and places his passes really nicely. No offers yet, but they'll come in as the season progresses. Maryland's shown interest and, of course, has recruited that area harder in recent years. [Video]
With the recent commitment of Justus Pickett, Maryland shored up a weakening position. Still, they've only brought in two RBs in the past two years, and one of those is two-star Brandon Ross. They'll want to get at least one, if not two. And to sweeten the deal, there are a few local studs that they should go after regardless of roster status. Like:
Wes Brown, 6-0, 190 (Good Counsel, Olney, MD): Missed most of last year with an ankle injury, which might've delayed some of his offers. Really a complete back, with both big-play ability and some surprising power. Offers include Maryland, BC, New Mexico, N.C. State, Pitt, and UVA, and I'd expect more to come. Huge recruit. [Video]
Dominic Bryan, 6-1, 225 (Georgetown Prep, North Bethesda, MD): Fantastic size for a running back, and his speed (4.5) isn't bad, either. Offers from Maryland and BC, though more are expected soon. He's the best of the "attainable" local RBs.
Ron Darby, 5-11, 172 (Potomac, Oxon Hill, MD): Very definition of track star: he's the national leader in the 55m and 200m for his age, and recently ran in a national meet in Osaka, Japan. Can play football, too, with 17 offers already, including from powerhouses like Notre Dame and Florida. [Video]
Germone Hopper, 6-0, 166 (Berry Academy of Tech, Charlotte, NC): Not local, but considering he's in NC, probably the next-best thing. Hopper's at a position of need and has a pretty impressive offer sheet, sporting schollies from Kentucky, Louisville, UNC, N.C. State, and Virginia Tech. I've read that Maryland is pretty high on his list.
This is hardly an area of concern for Maryland, considering they brought in three last year - two of which look like potential studs - and Adrian Coxson, also a future star, the year before. They should focus elsewhere, but there's a lot of talent at WRin 2012, both locally and in Maryland's emerging stronghold in Florida.
Stefon Diggs, 6-0, 175 (Good Counsel, Olney, MD): GC's most highly-touted prospect since Jelani Jenkins, and you can expect a recruitment similar in a lot of ways. MVP of the Army All-American Game Underclassmen Combine and could play on either side of the ball (or on both sides, which he's talked about before). The quickness and explosiveness in the videos are just jaw-dropping. He has offers from a host of schools, including Maryland, Miami, Florida, Pitt, Rutgers, and UVA. [Video]
Jordan Floyd, 6-1, 205 (Loyola, Baltimore, MD): My prediction for "earliest commitment of 2012." While that's a huge crapshoot process, Maryland unexpectedly offered Floyd early in the process and the Terrapins were his favorite team growing up. Sounds like a good combo to me, and one that might lead to a quick commitment.
Jody Fuller, 6-0, 196 (Sun Valley, Monroe, NC): Not local, but Maryland's made great in-roads in North Carolina. Both Nigel King and Marcus Leak were NC WRs in the 2011 class, and Fuller is from Leak's hometown of Monroe. Aside from Maryland, he has offers from Clemson, UNC, N.C. State, Tennessee, and South Carolina. [Video]
Cyrus Jones, 5-11, 180 (Gilman, Baltimore, MD): Jones goes to Darius Jennings' HS, and he's probably about as good of a prospect as Jennings was. Much like Jennings, he's electric with the ball and extremely athletic - actually, he's probably a little more athletic than Jennings, and that's saying a lot. He already claims offers from Ohio State and Alabama, so heavy-hitters will be in on this one. [Video]
Deontay McManus, 6-2, 215 (Dunbar, Baltimore, MD): Has been compared to Anquan Boldin thanks to his great frame. He could end up on either side of the ball, though I've heard safety is more likely (we'll get to him again down there). Once again, he already has offers from Alabama, Michigan, Oregon, Georgia, South Carolina, and Penn State, so he'll be a battle. [Video]
Ian Thomas, 6-1, 187 (Franklin, Reistertown, MD): Possession receiver with a solid frame. He's a strong WR prospect behind the Cyrus Joneses and Stefon Diggses of the world, so Maryland should be a major player in his recruitment. Offers from BC, UConn, Penn State, Pitt, and Rutgers.
The numbers here are fine - Maryland's been bringing in offensive linemen like hotcakes the past two years. But we've learned our lesson about that recruitment, and I don't expect them to make it again: recruit at least four linemen a year.
Nick Davidson, 6-7, 270 (Ardrey Kell, Charlotte, NC): Maryland just pulled Davidson's teammate, Justus Pickett, late in the 2011 class, which may give them a slight in with Davidson. His dad played at Ohio State and the Buckeyes are looming, but they're yet to offer. Stanford, South Carolina, and VT have all offered so far.
Brian Gaia, 6-4, 280 (Gilman, Baltimore, MD): For whatever reason, Maryland and Gilman have a historically strained relationship, which means that Gaia might be a longshot. But he's already been offered and his other offers - BC, Iowa, Penn State - make it seem like he'll be one of the more highly-touted linemen in the area.
Mike Madaras, 6-6, 280 (Good Counsel, Olney, MD): Seriously, how did GC pull this much talent together on this team? Madaras has a very impressive offer sheet already, with GT, N.C. State, Pitt, Stanford, VT, and WVU all having already pulled the trigger. Notre Dame has shown some serious interest, too. [Video]
Ian Park, 6-4, 295 (Upper St. Clair, Pittsburgh, PA): Maryland's recruited Pittsburgh pretty decently over the past few years, and the addition of Greg Gattuso to the recruiting staff means they should could continue to do so. Park doesn't quite fit the "quicker, smaller" mold of linemen that Maryland's been moving to, but he claims offers from both MD and Pitt.
Greg Pyke, OL, 6-6, 300 (Boys Latin, Baltimore, MD): An ESPNU150 Watch Listee. Great size and figures to lead a national recruitment. His only offers so far are from Maryland and UVA.
Maryland only brought in two defensive linemen in 2011, so I'd expect at least three this year. Just so happens the area's most highly-touted prospect is a DT, but there are some options beyond that.
Roman Braglio, 6-4, 260 (McDonough, Owings Mills, MD): Has great size for a DE and has been extremely productive in his time as a starter. Maryland's his only offer, but that may change.
Eddie Goldman, 6-4, 300 (Friendship Collegiate, Washington, DC): Quite simply, the area's most coveted prospect as it stands now, with an offer sheet a mile long, including Alabama, Auburn, Florida, FSU, and pretty much every other big-time school in the world. He's a mega-longshot. [Video]
Jamal Marcus, 6-2, 217 (Hillside, Durham, NC): He'd be the perfect Don Brown player, if Don Brown was still around: undersized but fast. Maryland is his first and only offer so far.
Gimel President, 6-4, 240 (Wando, Mt. Pleasant, SC): Crushes the name test. Also, a pretty good player. Looks like an ACC recruit, with offers from Clemson, UNC, and N.C. State, as well as Tennessee and South Carolina. [Video]
Ryan Watson, 6-3, 270 (Good Counsel, Olney, MD): Another GC stud, but this time Maryland might have a fighting chance. Watson has great size for an end and could conceivably move inside to DT with a little more bulk, and he's surprisingly agile, too. Has offers from GT, Purdue, Stanford, and WVU. [Video]
Maryland's brought in six over the past two years, which means there's no big push to load up this year. Still, due to the nature of the position, I'd expect Maryland to grab at least one or two this season, especially with some of the prospects.
Trey Edmunds, 6-0, 200 (Dan River, Ringgold, VA): Maryland might have an bloodlines advantage here: Edmunds is the son of former Terp Ferrell Edmunds. He looks primed to be a top prospect for 2012, as he's included both in 247Sports' Future247 and ESPN's 150 Watch List. He's a tad undersized to play at LB and has gotten some talk of perhaps playing RB, but either way he looks pretty impressive. Consider him this year's version of Travis Hughes.
Ken Ekanem, 6-3, 226 (Centreville, Clifton, VA): Ekanem is one of the most athletic linebackers in the area. He already has offers from BC, UVA, and VT, and it's only a matter of time before his recruitment goes national.
Sam Lebbie, 6-1, 215 (DeMatha, Hyattsville, MD): I'm a pretty big Lebbie fan, and hopefully he'll help to break that DeMatha slump that's Maryland's been suffering. He's a tad undersized if that listed weight is correct, but he's quick and hard-hitting. First look kind of reminds me of Darrin Drakeford. Only offers are Maryland and Rutgers so far. [Video]
Devin Vandyke, 6-1, 195 (South County, Lorton, VA): Maryland recruited his brother last year, but he ended up at Virgnia Tech. The Terps were the first (and so far only) school to offer Devin, which might give them an advantage, but there's some thought that he's a VT lean if they offer.
Having brought in eight in the past two years, they should be okay to tone it down a tad here. Expect the staff to be a little more selective this time around.
Jaylen Johnson, 5-11, 184 (St. John's, Washington, DC): Johnson already has an offer from Maryland and interest from Pitt, and is probably going to be in the "second tier" of highly-touted prospects in the DC area - think Nate Clarke or Marcus Coker. He ran a faster electronic-timed 40 than noted speedster Cyrus Jones (see above), despite being bigger.
Joshua Holsey, 5-10, 171 (Creekside, Fairburn, GA): Much like NC, Maryland's made some slight inroads into Georgia over the past few years. Holsey may be one of their bigger targets in the state in 2012, with offers already in from GT, VT, and N.C. State. [Video]
Yuri Wright, 6-2, 180 (Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, NJ): Already has an offer from Maryland, as well as BC, Pitt, and Rutgers. Don Bosco is very well-respected and he's guaranteed to have been well-coached - and you can't teach that size for CB.
I'll have a basketball one coming out next weekend sometime. Good fun, right?