Houston defensive end Zeke Riser is reportedly transferring to Maryland and will be eligible to play immediately, according to Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post. Riser, a 6'4", 255 senior from LaVernia, TX, had 38 tackles (15 solo) last season for the Cougars, while also recording four sacks.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Former Houston DE Zeke Riser says he's transferring to <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Terps&src=hash">#Terps</a>. Arriving Thursday, sigining financial aid agreement within next few days.</p>— Alex Prewitt (@alex_prewitt) <a href="https://twitter.com/alex_prewitt/statuses/356606592038346752">July 15, 2013</a></blockquote>
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After graduating from Houston in December, Riser was planning to walk-on at Texas this season, but apparently those plans fell through, thus Zeke is now heading to College Park, where he'll reunite with defensive coordinator Brian Stewart, who previously worked with him when he was still at Houston. Since Riser graduated in December, he'll presumably be taking advantage of the graduate school transfer rule, making him eligible immediately.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Riser, who started 27 career games for Houston, played under <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Terps&src=hash">#Terps</a> DC Brian Stewart with the Cougars. His sister lives in Annapolis too.</p>— Alex Prewitt (@alex_prewitt) <a href="https://twitter.com/alex_prewitt/statuses/356609225973174272">July 15, 2013</a></blockquote>
So where does Riser fit in on Maryland's current depth chart? Riser had planned on competing for a starting stop at Texas, so perhaps he was told that wasn't likely to happen and thus decided to look elsewhere for opportunities. But it seems unlikely, barring injury, that he'll step in as a starter for Maryland in 2013. With Quinton Jefferson and Keith Bowers currently slated as Maryland's starting two defensive ends, it's doubtful Riser will surpass either on the depth chart once he gets to College Park, despite the fact that he's familiar with Stewart's defense and started 27 games for Houston. Here's how Pete sees Riser fitting in at Maryland this season:
With Monroe behind them [ Jefferson & Bowers], that's a 1-2-3 core that will stay intact. He'll probably slot in at number four, which is a needed position. Roman Braglio is a redshirt freshman who may not be ready to contribute consistently, and the other players are either walk-ons or true freshman. This is one of those behind-the-scenes pick ups that won't matter until it does - and one that most fans won't immediately notice but could make a key impact down the stretch.
In the coming days, we'll likely learn more about Riser and his decision to finish out his career in College Park. But until then, what do you think? Seems like a smart move that adds depth to the defensive line. I like it.