Remember that whole "team speed" movement? It just got a nice little boost.
Maryland picked up the fifth commitment of the 2011 football recruiting class, which is moving along with remarkable speed compared to last season, with a pledge from North Carolina WR Marcus Leak. Leak might not be lightning fast - his 40 is in the 4.6 area - but he is extremely athletic, posting the highest SPARQ rating at the Charlotte Nike Combine. SPARQ, if you don't know, essentially measures a player's athleticism. Here's what ESPN had to say about him:
WR - Marcus Leak - 5-11, 196, Parkwood (Monroe, N.C.)
Results: 4.67 40, 4.31 shuttle, 41-5 PB, 37.4 VJ, 117.30 SPARQ
Breakdown: Physical wideout finished with the day's top SPARQ Rating and looks like a strong candidate to qualify SPARQ Rating National Championship in July.
Remember, the 4.67 is electronically timed, not hand-timed - that means it equates to about a 4.5 hand-timed. For the record, that 117 SPARQ rating would have also been tops at the Baltimore combine. Dude's definitely athletic.
Of course, athleticism doesn't always translate to on-the-field skills, but Leak looks pretty darn good on tape. Check the highlights below:
You can kind of see that he's not wickedly fast, but he somehow gets behind defenders with ease and definitely accelerates nicely. What really sticks out is that he's a load to bring down; he's elusive, balance, and surprisingly physical - he's not afraid to lower his shoulder and fight through a tackle. It looks like he'll be at his best after he gets the ball in his hands; will probably get the majority of his yards after the catch. His vert (already 37") means he should probably be a prime candidate for deeper jump balls, too.
Maryland was his only offer, which is the case for a lot of commitments now, but he does have some high-major interest: Clemson, Florida, Illinois, and North Carolina. Offer and interest status doesn't always matter, but it's still good to see some big-timers expressing interest. Getting early commitments from these type of under-the-radarguys is probably the best thing Maryland can do right now; they definitely can't compete for non-local studs this season.
Anyway, Leak looks like a keeper. I'm just waiting on Blake Countess or pipe dream Cyrus Kouandjio and everything will be perfect.