At this point last year, Maryland had already grabbed one football commitment, the at the time unknown Titus Till. So believe it or not, even though they're only a week into the recruiting season, they're already a little bit behind schedule.
With that in mind, it's important to note that 2011 recruiting will obviously speed up pretty soon. When it does that, it's good to be informed, so below you'll find a list of names to keep an eye on (expanded from the one we did in Nov.). Before I break out the names to remember, though, let's take a second to talk about what Maryland will be looking for in 2011.
First off, even though they've taken 4 QBs in the past two classes, don't be surprised if they take another. It's always good to have QB continuity, and that's a position you'd rather have too many than too few. Common sense says take a QB every year.
We'll see a skill position blitz, probably. They'll need at least one RB, and maybe two WRs, in all likelihood. We'll probably see a TE, as well.
I hope they stick to OL and DL recruiting, but it doesn't need to be as massive as 2010. They can calm it down on those fronts just a little; I still expect a few on both sides, but with the huge haul from 2010 there's not a gigantic need.
A stud ILB or two will probably be a major target, as Maryland will be looking for someone to compete with LA Goree, who's never seemed set at ILB in my opinion.
It's worth mentioning that next year's class will probably be about the same size as 2010. The Terps graduate only 13 scholarship seniors next year, compared to 9 last year, so I'm not expecting a class any bigger than 20 or so.
Remember, too that Maryland looks at over 100 kids a year. These are just a few that have interest and info out there. Like the 2011 basketball watchlist before it, don't take it as gospel. Maryland will probably grab few off this list, and most commits aren't on it now. Some aren't even known at all. You could consider this a wishlist of sorts.
Now, on to those names, in alphabetical order: (an asterisk * indicates a major target, RWL = on Rivals Watch List, EWL = on ESPN Watch List, SR = Ranking in Scout 150 - remember that its very early for rankings and they should be considered very rough guides at best at this point)
Jamal Abdur-Rahman, RB, La Salle (PA), 5-10, 175, 4.6 40 - JAR, as I think I will call him, received his first, and to this point only, offer from the Terps. He's one of the few traditional RBs that they're going after, so I wouldn't be surprised if Maryland pressed and he committed early. His highlights, linked below, are actually pretty good. His size isn't really ideal and he's far from lightning fast, but those same traits existed for Davin Meggett and, for a non-Terp example, Shonn Greene. He's a load to bring down and has great balance. (Highlight Reel)
Andrew Buie, RB, Trinity Christian (FL), 5-9, 188, 4.5 - Another Floridian and another RB, this is where Maryland tests their Sunshine State connection. Buie has a rather impressive offer sheet - Michigan, Ole Miss, South Carolina, UNC - so he'll be a tough get. He has Florida speed, and an opposing coach said he "might have the best acceleration in the area". When that "area" is South Florida, you know he's good.
Lamonte Clark, DT, Ballou (DC), 6-3, 284, EWL - Clark's a big dude hovering on ESPNU's 150 watchlist. His size is outstanding and he already has quite a few major schools on his list. Other than that, I can't offer much, but with some of his offers, he's undoubtedly one of the better tackles in the area.
Blake Countess*, CB, Good Counsel (MD), 5-10, 166, 4.56, EWL - Nasty CB. Early projection, I can see him being better than Louis Young, his former teammate. Certainly more explosive. He should be a four star and one of the better CBs in the nation based on camp performances. Maryland was the first to offer and was an early favorite, so hopefully they can close it out. (Highlight Reel)
Vince Croce, DT, Good Counsel (MD), 6-4, 260, 5.17, RWL EWL - Good luck with this one. He's already received offers from Michigan, Pitt, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin, and is receiving strong interest from Florida and Penn State. Given the former's success at GC recently, I wouldn't hold my breath. He's a monster, though. (Highlight Reel)
Curtis Grant*, ILB, Hermitage (VA), 6-3, 222, 4.5, RWL EWL SR - 37 - See above. Grant is my pipe dream for the class on the defensive side. He's impressed everyone that's seen him, and he's utterly dominated some of the camps he's been to. Offers have been extended from VT, UVA, WVU, Miami, and UNC, with Florida showing interest.
Bobby Hart, OT, St. Thomas Aquinas (FL), 6-4, 283, RWL SR - 127 - Maryland sniffed around STA in 2010, so this offer is probably a result of that. Don't know how big of a priority he is, but Aquinas is a powerhouse and he cracked Rivals' watchlist. (Highlight Reel)
Eilar Hardy, S/CB, Central (OH), 6-0, 170, 4.49 SR - 94 - Maryland has offered along with the rest of the Big 10 and Big East, and he's a Cincinnati lean, but you never know how recruiting will turn out. If nothing else, it's worth keeping an eye on. (Highlight Reel)
Seth Hinsley, LB, Norcross (GA), 5-10, 220, 4.6 - This is more inference than anything else, but I'd watch for Hinsley. Maryland has a small Norcross pipeline working right now, taking on about a player per year. If that continues, it might be through Hinsley. Maryland has a legitimate presence down there, and LB is a need. Hinsley led the area in tackles last year, no small feat in the loaded Atlanta region.
Kevin Hogan, QB, Gonzaga (DC), 6-4, 200, 4.74 - A passing machine with an impressive stat sheet, Hogan might be Maryland's QB preference in 2011. He's very familiar with MD, and most of his interest is local. Tough to read.
Travis Hughes*, ILB, Kempsville (VA), 6-1, 214, 4.56, RWL EWL SR - 44 - Does that name sound familiar? It should. Travis is the brother of current Maryland CB Trenton Hughes, so Maryland has a very important in with one of the better linebackers in the area ("about 40 offers", including PSU and VT). He might end up as a top 100 type of player, and seems absolutely giddy about the prospect of playing with his brother one day (fast-forward to 2:00...I think he'll "get the chance" to play with his bro). Oh, and he demolishes the look test like no other. (Highlight Reel)
Kyshoen Jarrett, CB, Stroudsburg (PA), 5-11, 175 - Jarrett's looking at a lot of Rust Belt offers...and Maryland. He's already four stars on Scout, so his ranking is looking very good early in the process. Sounds like a natural CB kind of guy - plays the ball well in the air with a lot of CB skill. I'm intrigued.
Darius Jennings*, WR, Gilman (MD), 5-11, 163, 4.46, RWL SR - 68 - Two words: beast mode. Jennings is legit as legit gets; I can only think of two offensive players who challenge him for top spot. His offer sheet is lengthy, if not stunning yet, and he's pretty darn sensational with the ball. He could end up at WR or RB, and is a long run machine. (Highlight Reel)
Cyrus Kouandjio*, OT, DeMatha (MD), 6-7, 332, RWL SR: 5 - Big bro Arie ended up elsewhere, and I'd expect the same for Cyrus, who's probably better than his brother. Alabama or Cal would be tough to beat, I'd imagine, but Maryland will plug away. You never know what'll happen, and Cyrus is a legitimate stud. The Rivals folks call him the best OT in the country right now, and he's a unanimous top 5 player.
Angelo Mangiro, G, Roxbury (NJ), 6-3, 290, RWL EWL SR: 61 - Maryland's one of the many to offer Mangiro, who has great size and is an athletic specimen. Rutgers was the first school to offer and visit, but he didn't sound all that enthralled with them. Mike Farrell considers him a PSU lean.
Larry Mazyck, OT, Friendly (DC), 6-7, 320 - Take a look at those measurables. That's just about perfect. I've never seen a write-up on Mazyck, but he's received offers from Maryland and (of course) New Mexico. If Kouandjio goes elsewhere, maybe Mazyck becomes a major target.
Kevin McReynolds*, DT, St. John's (DC), 6-2, 281, RWL EWL - From everything I've heard, he's a monster and a four-star type of talent. Very, very good. He looked really strong in the highlight reel, even though he wasn't shockingly disruptive. Hopefully the St. John's pipeline keeps working. (Highlight Reel)
Demetrious Nicholson, CB, Bayside (VA), 5-10, 160, 4.43, RWL EWL SR - 107 - Nicholson is a more traditional cover corner, with average size but great coverage skills and speed. Maryland has offered alongside UNC, Stanford, VT, WVU and others, so he's one to keep an eye on. Maybe he'll end up being more, but interest level is unknown. (Highlight Reel)
Jameel Poteat, RB, Bishop McDevitt (PA), 5-11, 195, 4.48, RWL EWL SR - 20 - I don't know a ton about Poteat, but he has a huge offer list - BC, Illinois, Iowa, Pitt, Tennessee, WVU - and some very solid measurables. He sounds like a rather physical guy with an overall solid set of skills. Farrell called him "excellent in space", and his HS is very PSU un-friendly. Maryland might have a shot here, and he'd certainly be a great get.
Clifton Richardson, ATH, Menchville (VA), 6-1, 195, 4.4, RWL EWL - He's ultra-versatile and one of VA's best prospects - he could conceivably end up at RB, WR, S, CB, LB, or even QB. His versatility, speed and production make him a major target for most schools. The tape linked below is right up there with Jennings' for the most exciting reel in 2011 - definitely a highlight machine. (Highlight Reel)
Melvin Robinson, WR, Annandale (VA), 6-3, 195, 4.5, RWL EWL - An ultra-productive WR who lives just a half-hour away from CP, Robinson is a name to keep an eye on. He has great size and athleticism, making him a big-time deep threat. I have trouble believing the databases, which say he has only one offer, but he's very good regardless of the offer sheet.
Donovan Smith, OT, Owings Mill (MD), 6-5, 257, 5.1, RWL - Smith has a great frame and just looks huge on the field, and I've seen combine reports saying he had the ability to utterly dominate. He never seemed to do it in his film, but his ceiling is huge and I'd be surprised if he wans't one of the major OL targets. (Highlight Reel)
Dominique Terrell, ATH, Osburn Park (VA), 5-11, 175, 4.4, RWL EWL SR - 146 - Right up there with Jennings and Richardson in explosiveness, Terrell's speed and ability to make plays is just silly. He's been compared several times to Percy Harvin, and is Rivals' #1 player in a loaded VA class. Drool-worthy. We can dream, right? (Highlight Reel)
Landon Turner, OT, Harrisonburg (VA), 6-5, 304, RWL EWL SR - 85 - Massive and athletic, Turner just bulldozes people on tape. He never lets up and is strong enough to grind people into the ground. Scary powerful. Both his dad and brother played at WVU, so the 'eers have an edge, but he strikes me as a national type of recruit. (Highlight Reel)
Ronny Vandyke, S, South County (VA), 6-3, 185, 4.5, EWL - A physical guy with great size, Vandyke will be at the top of many college's wishlists. He's drawn comparisons to Kam Chancellor of VT, which fits in well with the Don Brown defense. He said the interest level for Maryland was at an 8 out of 10, and that "they're near the top of the list". Sounds good for now.
Ishaq Williams, DE, Lincoln (NY), 6-6, 220, EWL SR - 91 - Ah, Lincoln, Lance Stephenson's old stomping ground. It also happens to be the alma mater of Lansford Watson, so maybe there's a slight advantage for the Terps in this one. Williams needs to put on weight but has the frame to do it, and he looks pretty quick. (Highlight Reel)
Marquise Williams, QB, Mallard Creek (NC), 6-4, 218, RWL EWL - Maryland got in very early on this one, and they should be happy they did - he's five star potential. Just look at his offers: LSU, Notre Dame, and Florida. Holy crap. I doubt Maryland will win too many recruiting battles against that competition, but hey - they got into Marcus Lattimore's final eight. Maybe they'll win a Carolina recruiting battle in the second go-around.
Gabe Wright, DT, Carver (GA), 6-2, 260, RWL EWL SR - 86 - Guess we'll find out just how well-liked Devin Burns is on this one. Wright is a former teammate of Burns at Carver, and Maryland has offered alongside Alabama, Auburn, Cal, FSU, Georgia, and more. I wouldn't hold my breath, but you never know. For what it's worth, Carver also has Isaiah Crowell, a jaw-dropping RB, but it doesn't look like Maryland's even trying on that one. (Highlight Reel)
Connor Wujciak, DE, Seton Hall (NJ), 6-3, 250, RWL - Another family member of a current Terp, Connor is Alex's little bro. He cuts his hair shorter, for what that's worth, but is just as good at football. He might even be better. I always wanted to see Alex give DE a try, and maybe we'll see what could have been with Connor.