High School Stats (Senior Year): 80+ tackles, 16 sacks
Recruiting Ratings: Three stars by Rivals (#25 in Pa.), Scout (#47 DE), 24/7 and ESPN (#40 DE)
High School: Woodland Hills
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.
High School Highlights:
How'd He Get to College Park?
Pete did a pretty great summary of Quinton Jefferson's path to Maryland last year, in which he detailed defensive line coach Greg Gattuso's pursuit of him from Western Pennsylvania to College Park. Gattuso, like Jefferson, has roots in the Pittsburgh area. Q-Jeff was a defensive star for the Woodland Hills Wolverines in high school. That team's one of the best in the region every year, and Jefferson followed in the footsteps of Woody High alum Jason Taylor as a front-seven force who went on to play D-1. Jefferson ultimately chose Maryland amid interest from West Virginia, Cincinnati, Iowa and Wisconsin.
Jefferson broke his jaw and never played for the Terps as a freshman; he signed with the team in 2011 but didn't enroll in College Park until the start of 2012, and he was a backup on the defensive line last year behind Joe Vellano and A.J. Francis.
Appearing in multiple Pennsylvania championship games - and beating my alma mater in the process.
Stepping in for stalwarts Francis and Vellano, Jefferson anchors the defensive line, notches several sacks and a is a solid run-stopping and pass-rushing presence all season long. Check out Alex Prewitt's solid piece on Jefferson's quest to slide into his predecessors' very large cleats.
Jefferson gets injured or never gets off the ground as a starter and loses snaps to one of his redshirt-freshman backups, Roman Braglio or Ty Tucker.
Jefferson's got a chance to be a very valuable part of Maryland's defense in 2013. He was well-regarded throughout his recruiting process, he has good size and he's quite talented. If he stays health -- and there's no real reason to believe he won't -- he figures to be a main character in Maryland's QB-rushing efforts this season, and he can be plenty effective against the run, too. He's listed at 6-foot-4, tying him for the tallest player on the defense and giving him, you'd think, plenty of chances to bat down passes at the line of scrimmage. There are no guarantees, but you've got to be intrigued by the development potential here. Without Vellano and Francis ahead of him and playing at full strength, Jefferson could be a quality contributor on Maryland's line for several years.
Given the greenness of his colleagues on his side of the ball, our next player's value this season lies in his size, strength, and (relatively significant) experience.
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