Image via WaPo
Right before the football recruiting stretch run began, my two big positions of worry were at running back and linebacker. The quick commitments of Abner Logan and Dallas Griffiths satisfied the latter concern; but not until Wes Brown's commitment a week ago were the concerns over running back assuaged.
And now, one week later, they're assuaged some more: three/four-star D.C. running back/athlete Albert Reid, formerly a West Virginia commitment, picked the Terrapins today over Vanderbilt, Iowa, and Illinois, plus offers from Cincinnati, Stanford, and others. (Side note: eat it, James Franklin. That's two running backs in a row we got that you wanted. Ha.) Anyway, Reid, who's drawn some rave reviews for his play-making ability, should do well to complement Brown's more powerful running style.
It seems to me to be a bit of a case of Locksley Magic. When Locksley was officially hired a few weeks ago, Reid was still committed (at least officially) to the 'Eers, and had given Maryland hardly any consideration early in the process. After he decommitted Maryland was in his top three, and then of course he just pulled the trigger today. The Terps were working on him before Locksley's arrival, but the Locksley connection looms large, not least due to the D.C. connections.
If you're a highlight fan, check them out post-break, with some more thoughts:
Reid certainly has speed in bunches, and in this case it seems to be mostly of the straight-line variety. He appears to often pick a hole and get north-south through it, turning on the burners quickly. He does have elusiveness - he's not just a track star in football pads - though it appears like most of that happens in the open field on cutbacks, not so much in close quarters. He has pretty good size, plus the ability to run through arm tackles, which elevates him from scat-back to a more all-purpose guy.
The first question will be how he's used right away, and of course that's a pretty good question. Maryland isn't exactly swimming with depth at running back - Justus Pickett is there now, but he wasn't well-received in his freshman year; the only other scholarship RB is Brandon Ross, virtually an unknown to fans who possesses no game experience. The other running back commitments, Joe Riddle and Kenneth Goins, were both a little underwhelming in terms of offers, and both could end up elsewhere (Riddle at safety, Goins at linebacker). While I hesitate to say that Reid could start from day one, he can certainly contribute right away, and the commitments of he and Brown have substantially upgraded the talent and depth at the spot.
That said, Reid is really classified as an "athlete," meaning he could end up multiple areas, in particular defensive back. If he's found himself low on the depth chart or the Terps have a DB crisis, changes could always be made. But I'd think he's a running back first and foremost.
For those of you who like rankings, Reid seems to be firmly in the 3.5 star category. Both Rivals and 247 like him as a three-star prospect; the nascent 247 seems particularly tepid on him. But ESPN and Scout peg him as a four-star, so there's some variation there.
No matter the ranking, Reid seems a potential impact player. Of course, the big throughout all of this commotion that can't be overlooked is the cumulative effect of recruiting: this is the second big player in the D.C. area to commit to Maryland in two weeks, and that sort of movement won't go unnoticed among area coaches and elite prospects. For every big local that stays home, Maryland's chances get that much better with Eddie Goldman, Ronald Darby, and Stefon Diggs. Not to mention that Reid is teammates with Goldman and 2014 standout Jalen Tabor. I don't know how close that trio is, but having one on-board could only help matters with the others.
Signing Day is on the first of February, which doesn't leave much time to make an impression on those who remain. The snowball effect is utterly important in that sense, but even if Reid doesn't lead to anyone else, he's a fantastic coup considering where Maryland was only about a month ago.