Maryland football recruiting: An early look at the Terps' offensive targets in 2015

247sports

Kai Locksley, Jalen Christian and Richie Petitbon are the big names, but there's plenty of talent in the area.

Maryland's 2014 class is in the books, which means it's time to turn immediately to the 2015 class. The focus of talent in the area isn't as top-heavy this year (there are no five stars in Maryland or D.C.), but there's plenty of good talent spread across a wide variety of positions. Maryland's probably looking at a class size somewhere between 20-22, so let's take a look at the potential targets, first at the offensive side of things.

All players listed as "departing" are leaving (or likely leaving) after this upcoming season.

Quarterback

Departing: C.J. Brown

Estimated # in 2015 class: 1-2

Targets:

Kai Locksley (highlight film)

High School: Gilman (Baltimore, Md.)

247sports composite: Four stars, .9113 rating, sixth-best dual-threat quarterback, fourth-best player in Maryland

The competition: Auburn, Florida State, Ohio State

Yes, this is offensive coordinator Mike Locksley's son. Kai. His commitment wouldn't necessarily have the same kind of impact of Stefon Diggs's or Damian Prince's, but the ramifications of missing out on him are easy to say. What's the "Stay at Home" movement worth if the lead face of it can't recruit his own son?

The ball gets down the field fast, whether he's throwing it or running it.

Obviously, things are a bit more complicated than that -- Kai is his own person, and may not want to play under his dad (who is reportedly only acting as a father in his recruitment).

Needless to say, he would be a big get. Locksley would be an explosive weapon in the zone-read, and his arm is better than most other "dual-threat" quarterbacks. The ball gets down the field fast, whether he's throwing it or running it.

Nick Johns (highlight film)

High School: Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)

247sports composite: Three stars, .8637 rating, 26th-best pro-style quarterback, seventh-best player in D.C.

The competition: Virginia

Virginia is Johns's only offer, as Maryland hasn't gone so far as to extend one yet. But Johns is a solid prospect who's also receiving interest from Michigan, Penn State, Alabama and others. He stands at 6'3" and is a pro-style (who can still roll out) who makes very accurate throws. While his deep ball lags a bit, that'll change with strength training, as shows good zip on some of the shorter routes (particularly the curl).

Brandon Battle (highlight film)

High School: North Point (Waldorf, Md.)

247sports composite: Three stars, .8400 rating, 36th-best pro-style quarterback, 17th-best player in Maryland

The competition: Duke and Rutgers

Maryland grabbed Westlake safety Antwaine Carter out of Waldorf in the 2014 class, and Battle could be another backup option (or potential additional option) to Locksley. He's got a cannon for an arm, but also has the wheels to run the zone-read, recently running the 40-yard dash in 4.78 seconds. He's also an in-state kid, and the more of those the Terps can pile up, the better.

Ryan Adzima (highlight film)

High School: Wallington Junior-Senior (Wallington, N.J.)

247sports composite: Not yet rated

The competition: Rutgers, Massachusetts and Cincinnati

Adzima visited Maryland in October and received an in-home visit from a coach in December, so he's definitely on Maryland's radar (he's actually the reason the "-2" part was added in the estimation of how many quarterbacks they would attempt to sign). He's the tallest quarterback out of the current targets, at 6'4", and will most likely be a three-star prospect when the services evaluate him. He's got a solid arm with a very quick release, and his Hudl page says he plays cornerback as well (at 6'4"!), which means he can run well enough to run the zone-read.

Running back

Departing: Tyler Cierski

Estimated # in 2015 class: 1-2

Targets:

Raekwon Gray (highlight film)

High School: Urbana (Ijamsville, Md.)

247sports composite: Not yet rated

The competition: West Virginia, Auburn

Gray's the only current possibility at the moment -- the running backs Maryland has offered are all but guaranteed to go elsewhere (Andre Robinson, Javarius Davis and John Kelly) -- but his recruitment is uncertain after the departure of former lead recruiter Greg Gattuso. He took an unofficial visit to campus in October for the Clemson game, and would be a solid in-state get who could help provide some much-needed explosiveness to the Maryland backfield.

With Cierski graduating, they may want to add a fullback, but there are no names on that radar yet. Starter Kenneth Goins and Temple transfer Andrew Stefanelli are both rising sophomores, however, so there's no real rush.

Wide receiver

Departing: Deon Long, Stefon Diggs (likely early departure for NFL Draft)

Estimated # in 2015 class: 2-3

Targets

Jalen Christian (highlight film)

High School: Damascus (Damascus, Md.)

247sports composite: Four stars, .9408 rating, 12th-best athlete in the country, second-best player in Maryland

The competition: South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Ohio State

Christian is the biggest offensive target in the class (if he ends up playing wide receiver), and it's easy to see why. Landing him would continue the Terps' streak of blue-chip wide receiver commits (Diggs, Long and Juwann Winfree in each of the past three classes) and provide them with another playmaker to help fill the void caused by the likely absence of two of them. He's got tremendous speed and would be an ideal replacement for Diggs at the slot position, with Winfree and Marcus Leak or Nigel King lining up on the outside. He's visited Maryland twice -- once in July and once in November

Brandon Polk (highlight film)

High School: Briar Woods (Ashburn, Va.)

247sports composite: Four stars, .8981 rating, 34th-best wide receiver in the country, 13th-best player in Virginia

The competition: Stanford, Virginia Tech, Oregon, Wake Forest

Having two similar players at a position like wide receiver just means twice the reward.

Stanford has another Briar Woods player in cornerback Alex Carter, and they and Virginia Tech appear to be the teams to beat here. You'll note the inclusion of Oregon -- like Christian, Polk is a small, fast receiver who can do a lot of different things for your offense as a playmaker. Polk is a Virginia state track champion, and Briar Woods uses that speed in a lot of different ways (including Polk taking hand-offs on motion plays). Like Christian, Polk would be a perfect fit to replace Stefon Diggs at the slot position, and unlike for Maryland's basketball team, redundancy isn't necessarily a bad thing -- having two similar players at a position like wide receiver just means twice the reward.

Trevion Armstrong (highlight film)

High School: Matoaca (Chesterfield, Va.)

247sports composite: Three stars, .8800 rating, 52nd-best wide receiver in the country, 19th-best player in Virginia

The competition: Virginia Tech, Old Dominion, Pittsburgh, Virginia, West Virginia

Maryland appears to be on the outside looking in on this one, but they made an in-home visit to him in January so we'll keep him on this list. He's a very different kind of receiver than Christian or Polk -- he's big, strong and blocks very well. At 6'4", he's a major red-zone threat, and could provide a nice option outside to pair with one (or both) of the two names above.

Devin Phelps (highlight film)

High School: St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.)

247sports composite: Not yet rated

The competition: West Virginia

Phelps was high school teammates with Maryland 2014 signee Nnamdi Egbuaba, and a commitment from him would only help to further Maryland's Baltimore pipeline (an area the Terps want to expand their hold on). He's a very good route-runner for a high school prospect and has solid top-end speed. He claims an offer from the Terps and visited the school in November.

Felton Davis III (highlight film)

High School: Highland Springs (Highland Springs, Va.)

247sports composite: Not yet rated

The competition: Old Dominion

Old Dominion is Davis's only listed offer, but Boston College, East Carolina and Georgia are the other schools giving him looks (along with Maryland, of course). He took an unofficial visit to the school in October, but his primary recruiter was Tom Brattan. Chad Wilt will likely be taking over his recruitment. At 6'3", he's a tall receiver, and is able to make up a lot of ground quickly with long strides. He's also more than capable of using his height to win contested balls in the end zone.

Scott Washington

High School: St. John's College (Washington, D.C.)

247sports composite: Three stars, .8600 rating, 70th-best wide receiver, ninth-best player in DC

The competition: Old Dominion, Virginia Tech

There's no highlight film readily available for Washington, but he's one of a number of prospects the Terps are targeting at local St. John's College (former home of Andre Monroe and Will Ulmer). He's another big red-zone target at a staggering 6'5", but does not list any offers yet.

Darryl Turner (highlight film)

High School: DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.)

247sports composite: Not yet rated

The competition: Penn State, Virginia

Turner does not list any offers as of yet either, but he may be the Terps' best shot at grabbing a player from DeMatha. I really like Turner as a back-up option to Christian and Polk -- he's small, shifty and extremely fast, and is another top option to replace Diggs in that slot/playmaker role.

Tight end

Departing: Nobody

Estimated # in 2015 class: 0-1

Targets:

Chris Clark (highlight film)

High School: Avon Old Farms (Avon, Conn.)

247sports composite: Four stars, .8908 rating, 11th-best tight end, second-best player in Connecticut

The competition: Georgia, Arizona State, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee

A 6'6" tight end who has wide receiver speed? No one stands a chance.

Clark may seem a little out of Maryland's reach, with his impressive offer list, but the Terps have only offered him recently and it's an area they've had some success in, so it's a possibility. The first thing that catches you is Clark's 6'6" frame, which makes his claimed 4.72 40-yard dash time all the more impressive. Watching his highlight tape, it's simply unfair. Connecticut is not exactly a state known for producing high-level football talent, and a 6'6" tight end who has wide receiver speed? No one stands a chance.

Tyler Green (highlight film)

High School: DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.)

247sports composite: Three stars, .8889 rating, 13th-best tight end, 10th-best player in Maryland

The competition: NC State, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Ohio State

NC State is the only program (besides Maryland) that Green claims an offer from, but Maryland still has some perceived ground to make up here (as appears to be the case with every DeMatha prospect). Rumor has it that Green would prefer to play on the defensive side of the ball -- safety, namely, but outside linebacker is another option. He projects best as a tight end, however, so we'll put him here. He's listed at 6'3" and 200 pounds, but plays much bigger than that, for better and for worse. He's a special teams monster, and would likely play there as a true freshman if he committed to Maryland.

Trevor Brown (highlight film)

High School: Dr. Henry Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.)

247sports composite: Not yet rated

The competition: James Madison, Old Dominion, Western Kentucky

Brown and teammate Damonte Scott-Terrell (another tight end) have both reported some interest on the Terps, but my guess would be it's Clark, Green or bust in terms of tight ends in the 2015 class. Brown is the better prospect of the two -- Scott-Terrell is a strong blocker, but Maryland just got one of those in Andrew Gray, and Brown is bigger, faster and seems further along in his development.

Offensive tackle:

Departing: Jake Wheeler

Estimated # in 2015 class: 1-2

Targets

Isaiah Prince (highlight film)

High School: Eleanor Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.)

247sports composite: Four stars, .9386 rating, 12th-best offensive tackle, third-best player in Maryland

The competition: Florida, Penn State

No, there's no relation to Damian. Maryland went all-out in the 2014 class with offensive tackles, and while there's no such thing as too many linemen, Prince is the only blue-chipper currently on the Terps' radar. While on the surface it may seem hard to sell playing time just a year after bringing in four offensive tackles, one of them will be gone in two years and two others could be headed early to the NFL. Prince is big (6'6", 275 pounds) and has excellent strength and surprisingly quick feet.

Tyler Jordan (highlight film)

High School: Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville, Fla.)

247sports composite: Three stars, .8700 rating, 59th-best offensive tackle, 62nd-best player in Florida

The competition: Georgia Tech, Miami, NC State, South Carolina, Nebraska

It's Keenan McCardell's time to shine. Jordan recently received a Maryland offer (he's actually received eight of his nine major program offers in the last two months), and he doesn't have any perceived favorites right now. His film is very impressive, especially for a Florida recruit. He attacks defenders with gusto, getting low and driving them to the ground in rushing and passing situations. He stands at 6'4" and weighs in at 270 pounds, and would be a very good get for the class regardless of Prince's decision.

Ryan Bischoff (highlight film)

High School: Plymouth Whitemarsh (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.)

247sports composite: Not yet rated

The competition: Penn State, Virginia

Bischoff does not claim any offers yet, and his only listed visit is an unofficial to Penn State, but the 6'4", 290 pound lineman could be a target for the Terps. He gets nice and low and shows good form for the most part in his blocking, but he does not have that same quick initial burst that makes Prince and Jordan elite collegiate prospects. That's not to say he can't be a worthwhile addition to the class, but the first two will likely be the priorities.

Offensive guard:

Departing: Silvano Altamirano

Expected # in 2015 class: 2-3

Targets

Richie Petitbon (highlight film)

High School: Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)

247sports composite: Four stars, .9361 rating, seventh-best offensive guard, best player in D.C.

The competition: Alabama, Penn State, LSU

Petitbon is a Terps' legacy -- his dad played at the school -- and he's the top target behind Christian on the Terps' radar (among offensive players). He can play guard or tackle (or defensive tackle, for that matter), and is equally adept at pass and run blocking. He stands at 6'4" and 301 pounds, and is rumored to be favoring the Crimson Tide and the Nittany Lions.

Quarvez Boulware (highlight film)

High School: Friendship Academy (Washington, D.C.)

247sports composite: Four stars, .9190 rating, 10th-best offensive guard, second-best player in D.C.

The competition: Auburn, Florida State

He adjusts to what's being thrown at him, and simply directs the lineman in the direction he wants them to go in.

Maryland stands in much better position with Boulware, who has attended a Maryland camp and has visited the school twice. There's also the additional benefit of the Friendship pipeline -- the Terps will boast six players from the school on their roster next season. Boulware is a legitimate blue-chip prospect, and if you needed more proof than the offers from Auburn and Florida State, I suggest you take a look at the tape. The 6'3", 270 pound lineman manages to get low and drive against defenders, but what's most impressive is his array of different moves. Boulware doesn't simply run over linemen every play, like so many other prospects do. He adjusts to what's being thrown at him, and simply directs the lineman (with his superior strength) in the direction he wants them to go in. Often, that's the ground, but it's how Boulware gets him there that really impresses.

E.J. Donahue (highlight film)

High School: Linganore (Frederick, Md.)

247sports composite: Four stars, .8914 rating, 18th-best offensive guard, eighth-best player in Maryland

The competition: N/A

Donahue committed to Maryland in October, and currently stands as the Terps' only pledge in the class of 2015. That being said, he committed early on in the process, so it's entirely possible he looks around a bit, now that he's getting some higher level attention. Listed at 6'5" and 315 pounds, Donahue has one of the more impressive frames on this list, and is an absolute beast at left tackle for Linganore.

Tommy Hatton (highlight film)

High School: St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.)

247sports composite: Three stars, .8845 rating, 22nd-best offensive guard, 12th-best player in New Jersey

The competition: Penn State, South Carolina, Tennessee

The 6'3", 280 pound Hatton is being recruited by Keith Dudzinski, who has done a fine job on the recruiting trail in his time as an assistant coach. He has a really impressive first step that sets him apart from a lot of the other offensive line prospects, as he's able to attack opposing linemen from the snap and knock them off-balance. He needs some work in the pass-blocking portion of his game, but his run-blocking is elite-level stuff.

David Robbins (highlight film)

High School: Glenelg (Glenelg, Md.)

247sports composite: Three stars, .8556 rating, 39th-best offensive guard, 16th-best player in Maryland

The competition: Illinois

Robbins, like Hatton, is a relative new face on the list of 2015 targets. New offensive line coach Greg Studrawa visited him in late January, and an offer shortly followed. Illinois is the only other listed offer, but he's planning on attending Kentucky's Junior Day and has received interest from Georgia, Missouri, Nebraska and Penn State, among others. On the first play of Robbins's highlight reel, he essentially carries his man about 20 yards downfield, and his strength is impressive. He's not as good of a run blocker as Hatton (not many are), but he's more polished in the passing game and would be a very solid pick-up.

Travis Kendle (highlight film)

High School: Williamsport (Williamsport, Md.)

247sports composite: Not yet rated.

The competition: Boston College, Rutgers, Michigan, Notre Dame, Texas, Texas A&M, Wisconsin

No one has offered Kendle yet, but he's getting interest from quite the impressive list of schools. He attended a camp at Maryland in June and visited the school in October, but his primary recruiter was Greg Gattuso. Williamsport is in Washington County, which means Chad Wilt will likely be his lead. Kendle has an impressive frame at 6'5" and 305 pounds, and uses his sheer size to simply bowl over defenders in high school. He'll have to get a bit leaner and quicker before succeeding at the collegiate level, but there's a lot to work with.

Stay tuned for part two of this series, when we take a look at the defensive targets.

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