News came out late Wednesday that three-star South Carolina signee Joe Blue, the Gamecocks' first commit in the 2014 class, would not be allowed to enroll at the university after his appeal was denied. Blue was cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse, and his head coach told GoGamecocks.com the issue came years ago.
"They said his grades were too low in the ninth and 10th grade years," said Dillon coach Jackie Hayes. "They've had his transcript. I've bet we've sent them 10-12 transcripts. It's not like this transpired today. Not one single time did anybody communicate there would be a problem. They were just saying, get through the Clearinghouse."
"The last two years in the classroom," his coach said, "he's busted his tail. He did what he was supposed to do."
What does this have to do with Maryland? Hayes also told GoGamecocks.com that Blue is expected to decide between Maryland, East Carolina, S.C. State and Coastal Carolina "by Thursday." Thursday is...here, so we could be hearing about this very soon.
Maryland stands out in that group, but he's from South Carolina and that could play a factor if he wants to remain local. His eligibility status for 2014 is obviously up in the air at this point, but it's possible the latter two schools would offer him an opportunity to get on the field right away.
Blue was considered a three-star prospect by the 247sports composite, rating as the 31st-best inside linebacker in the nation and the 22nd-best player in the state of South Carolina. His offer sheet tells a different story: despite shutting down his recruitment very early (he committed in January 2013 and appears to have not talked to any other schools since), he held offers from Auburn, USC and Florida, among others, so he's a big-time talent.
Inside linebacker sounds pretty good for Maryland right now, who lost Shawn Petty to transfer and Abner Logan to suspension. Both were expected to be the primary back-ups to Cole Farrand and L.A. Goree this season. We're not quite sure if Blue would play linebacker at Maryland, however: that GoGamecocks story lists him as a fullback. The Terps need someone to replace Kenneth Goins down the line, so there's an opening there as well.
Where there isn't an opening, however, is scholarship room. By our rudimentary count, the transfer of Nigel King put Maryland at the NCAA-required 85 limit. That means either A) we're wrong or B) if Blue comes, someone else leaves.
This is also kind of a weird situation, and it sounds like there is more to this story, so we don't know how deeply Maryland wants to get involved. Their name was thrown out there by someone in the know, however, so we thought we'd tell you about it.
You can find highlight footage of him here.