Best National Signing Day for Maryland in ... ever? I think yes.
After flipping Taivon Jacobs from Ohio State earlier in the day, Randy Edsall, Mike Locksley, and the Maryland Terrapins pulled perhaps their biggest commitment of the year - and surely the biggest in recent Signing Day memory - when Friendship Collegiate linebacker Yannick Ngakoue signed his Letter of Intent to the Terps at his school this morning.
Frienship's Yannick Ngakoue, the #4 outside linebacker in the country, has officially committed to Maryland— Kevin Jones (@Mr_KevinJones) February 6, 2013
Ngakoue, a top-100 player on Rivals and consensus four-star prospect, rounds out an increasingly impressive and local-laden class for Maryland. He had committed to the Terps last summer only to back off midway through the season, assessing his options and taking visits to the likes of Florida State and South Carolina. That Maryland kept in the game with him despite their season, let alone actually landed him, is a testament to what Mike Locksley has done with his local relationships, and to his ability to connect with D.C. area natives.
Once, or I suppose if, Maryland can ever start winning some games? Some serious damage is going to be done in the DMV.
Ngakoue himself, actually, represents some pretty serious damage. He's been probably my favorite recruit for the entire class - partially because he's named "Yannick Ngakoue," because seriously, what a name - but mostly because he's an extraordinary athlete tailor-made for the WILL in Maryland's 3-4. He's ready to play there immediately, and may even push for a starting spot, given the vacuum of experienced talent there.
He's raw and needs some polishing, but he's an athletic monster, already a legitimate 6-3 and 240 pounds, athletic, and quick off the mark. Playing as the WILL in this scheme, where he'll more or less be told to just put his head down and get the quarterback, will hide his lack of technical skills in the short-term. And once he adds them, he has the potential to be elite. Think of what Darin Drakeford was last year, only bigger and even more athletic. That's the hope for what Ngakoue will be in a few years time.
Good day. Very good day indeed.