Didn't see this one coming. Apparently Atlanta big man Robert Carter, a five-star prospect on all three major services, visited Maryland yesterday, according to Georgia Rivals writer Dan McDonald:
2012 5-star PF Robert Carter visited #Maryland today with his AAU teammate 2013 SF Quinton Stephens. Both prospects play for ATL Xpress.
Carter had occasionally been mentioned in connection to Maryland in passing, but few, if any, considered him a legitimate target. I guess its time to start taking the courtship a little more seriously.
There's an interesting connection for Maryland with Carter: his AAU team, ATL Xpress, is one of the few in the country sponsored by Under Armour. Hopefully that shoe connection will finally start helping Maryland, because Carter is great. An absolute tank at 6-7, 245, he has soft hands and a great touch, both around the basket and in the mid-range game. The most obvious comparison is Glenn Davis: a huge, not incredibly tall guy with a mid-range game. He's in the top 15 range in the rankings, which would put him above other Maryland targets like Elijah Macon and even Shaquille Cleare.
Obviously, Cleare is still the top priority, given how close he supposedly is to committing. But having it looks like Maryland has a variety of high-level targets in the post in 2012, which is how recruiting should happen: odds are a lot better of landing at least one top 30 guy when you're targeting four of them than when you're target two of them.
Of course, I would caution against getting your hopes up just yet. Carter has all kinds of high-major interest, obviously, including Ohio State, Florida, Tennessee, and his hometown Georgia. Heck, Kentucky might've even offered. Still, McDonald thinks that Maryland can be a legitimate player, even if FSU might have the inside track at the moment (really?). If nothing else, it's another battle the staff has put themselves in, and that's a good thing.
P.S.: Speaking of highly-ranked big men, apparently Oak Hill center A.J. Hammons is listing Maryland again. In the same link, Jerami Grant says he likes N.C. State, Syracuse, and VT, so that one's probably done.