With National Signing Day just around the corner, Maryland is making a final push for top-notch recruits in the Class of 2015. Each week leading up to Feb. 5, Testudo Times will shine the spotlight on one of the Terrapins' remaining high-profile targets.
A quick glance at UMD's final depth chart from 2014 provides a startling look into the immediate future for the Terps. Maryland had an old defense in 2014, particularly along the defensive line. With all three starting linemen graduating, there's arguably no position more important for the Terrapins to find immediate contributors than on the line.
That's a major reason why Adam McLean's commitment was so helpful and why landing Byron Cowart would be doubly important. Cowart, however, is a pipe dream. Austrian Robinson is the more likely solution.
The three-star defensive end is ranked as the No. 35 strong-side defensive end nationally by the 247Sports composite. Robinson, a senior at Trinity-Pawling (N.Y.), lists UMD in a top four that also includes Ohio State, Ole Miss and Miami (Fla.), and has previously singled out the Terps as the favorite. He likes Maryland for the same reason so many others do: He has the chance to do something different and create a new legacy in College Park.
"I can go there and make a name for myself," Robinson said. "There's just an opportunity to play early there."
The difference with Robinson is that he's not a local kid who's decided to try to carve out a legacy at home. The Pawling product is the No. 2 prospect from the state of New York. Despite being three states away, Robinson has bought into the hype.
Instrumental in Robinson's interest is the defensive lineman's relationship with McLean. The four-star end from Quince Orchard High School has at least some sort of relationship with almost every notable d-lineman in the country and Robinson is no exception. The duo has discussed playing together and a chance to do that could come sooner rather than later for the Terrapins.
"We talk about it all the time, just playing together, both being on the edge," Robinson said. "I just want to win and to help the team as much as possible."
At 6 feet, 6 inches and 255 pounds, Robinson is a bit undersized to play an end in UMD's 3-4 defense. That will make adding a bit of weight this summer a priority if he commits to the Terps. He does say that his greatest attribute isn't his size, but rather the energy he brings.
Trinity-Pawling head coach Nick LaFontaine, however, praises his physical tools. His combination of size and athleticism has let him play both an end in the Pride's 3-4 and as an interior lineman when it ran a 4-3 defense.
"Whatever scheme, he'll figure it out. They'll teach him well enough at Maryland if that's where he goes," LaFontaine said. "The combination of his athleticism with his size, he's a super athlete at that size. It's pretty unique and it's why he's getting recruited by who he's getting recruited by."
Robinson doesn't have an immediate plan for when to announce his commitment—he's going to finish taking his official visits and then, at some point, he'll make his decision.
One of the most important factors in his decision comes because of the small school where he was voted a captain of the football team. Trinity-Pawling is an all-boys boarding school of about 325 students and although most of the schools he's considering are large state universities, he wants to have a tight-knit family of a team.
"I feel comfortable with them," Robinson said of the remaining schools on his list. "Especially at Maryland, I've known the coaching staff for a while."
Here's the rest of this week's recruiting news:
- The biggest news of the week for Maryland on the recruiting trail was Quarvez Boulware's decision to verbally commit on Saturday. The four-star guard from Friendship Collegiate Academy Public Charter School in Washington was long considered a Terrapins lean, so his choice doesn't come as a surprise, although it is still an important get for UMD.
- Also on Saturday, the Terps officially landed a verbal commitment from defensive end Oseh Saine. The 6-foot-4, 265-pound strong-side end from Worcester Academy in Massachusetts is unranked by most recruiting services, but 247sports pegs him as a three-star prospect. Saine had committed to Maryland earlier in the week, but he and the Terrapins waited until his visit over the weekend to make anything official.
- UMD offered two-star Class of 2015 defensive lineman Mose Hall a scholarship over the weekend. A product of Murphy High School in Mobile, Ala., Hall also has offers from Minnesota and Wake Forest, and projects as either a strong-side defensive end or a defensive tackle.
Happy to receive my 5th offer from The University of Maryland #GoTerps pic.twitter.com/OLPkHJuPoz— Mos. II (@Mose__vX2) January 19, 2015
- Though most people's immediate focus is on the Class of 2015 and upcoming National Signing Day, the Terps are still going to work on next year's class, too. Maryland became one of the first schools to offer DeMatha Catholic High School athlete Darryl Turner. The unranked prospect from Hyattsville, who now plays wide receiver, has offers from Army and Old Dominion, as well as interest from Penn State and Ohio State.
Today has truly been a blessing, I am happy to say that I have received an offer from the University of Maryland pic.twitter.com/GKbHWIkgtI— DJ Turner (@Djturner15) January 18, 2015