This time last year, Maryland had three 2010 football commitments. With Georgia FB Tyler Cierski's commitment today, they have seven for 2011. A bit of a faster start this year, to say the least.
We'll get more into that later, but first Cierski: even though there's no articles currently available on him, he's listed as a Maryland commitment in Rivals' database, with a commitment date of today. He visited back in early April, and his only offer was from Maryland. Projected to be a fullback, neither Rivals nor Scout or ESPN have rated him yet. Luckily, there is a bit of video of him out there, which is embedded below:
It's a little tough to get a read on him, partially because it's not a very long video and partially because he plays the nuanced position of fullback, but I'm fairly impressed. He's not going to burn anybody up, but he has some wheels when he gets out in the open field and isn't a liability with the ball in his hands. More impressive, he seems like a load to bring down and runs through tackles with consistency. The length of the video was a little troubling, but the competition (he plays 5A) at least guarantees that he plays against some D1 caliber athletes.
There a minor question about where he might end up, as 2010 commitment Rahsaan Moore is also projected to be a FB. That's not a position where you generally want to stockpile talent, so the versatile Moore may move back to his more natural DE position. Regardless, he looks solid, and Cory Jackson has a legacy that needs filling. Hopefully Cierski is a little better utilized than Cory was.
As for the trend, well, there's no doubt Maryland's coaching staff is moving with greater urgency this year. They're identifying players that are probably high-major D1 players, offering early, and pressing for commitments. That's pretty much what they have to do given the season they just had, and it seems to be working. This class might be devoid of five stars right now, but it's certainly better to have a player with one offer and interest from Clemson and South Carolina than a player with one offer and interest from Buffalo and Akron.
Oh, and what is it with Maryland in the South these days? The Terps have seven commitments already, and only two of them are upwards of the Carolinas. Two are from Florida, two from North Carolina, and now one from Georgia. None of them are above the Mason-Dixon line. We also noted this trend at the end of the 2010 recruiting period; Tom Brattan has had a lot of success recruiting Georgia. Glad to see the little mini-pipeline forming. Hopefully he can keep the Norcross pipeline going, too, with Seth Hinsley.
He'll be added to the database sometime tomorrow. I like this fast-moving class.