It was a whirlwind day for Maryland fans on Saturday, as the Terrapin football program received two significant commitments during the basketball team's resounding win over Michigan State. First was three-star Massachusetts defensive lineman Oseh Saine, followed by one of the few big fish remaining in the class: four-star D.C. interior offensive lineman Quarvez Boulware.
It's a significant boon to Maryland's class at two units of need. The Terps were the weekend's biggest improvers in the 247Sports Composite rankings, rising 10 spots to the No. 37 class in the nation, and received some very positive national pub as a result.
Boulware is Maryland's second-highest rated commit in the class, following four-star defensive tackle Adam McLean. He's considered the 18th-best center in the nation by the 247Sports Composite, ranking as the third-best prospect in the District. Boulware chose Maryland over offers from Florida, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State and Miami, among others.
The Friendship Academy prospect (former home of Yannick Ngakoue and Derwin Gray, among others) could play guard at the next level, but his most likely position is center. That's good news for Maryland -- three-year starter Sal Conaboy has graduated, leaving the position open for the taking.
Boulware likely joins redshirt freshman Brendan Moore and junior Evan Mulrooney in contention for the starting job, with the two runners-up likely joining the competitions at guard. Moore, a former three-star prospect from Texas, wrote a terrific essay published here and reportedly impressed coaches during practice last season. Mulrooney started five games at center in 2012, played in seven games as a backup in 2013 and missed all but one game in 2014 after suffering a viral infection.
Boulware's addition gives the Terps even more depth to what's becoming a pretty loaded young offensive line group. Offensive line is one of the hardest positions to adjust to at the college level, and Maryland has seen top prospects struggle in College Park before (Pete White, Mike Madaras). Adding a higher number of such talented players to the mix means the Terrapins can survive even if a player or two takes longer to develop than expected (or drops out of the picture completely).
Moving to the other Saturday commitment, Oseh Saine gives Maryland another big body on the defensive line -- something the Terps massively needed after major losses from the unit. A former two-star signee with Boston College, Saine's college arrival was a year later than anticipated after some academic issues that were later sorted out. A year older and bigger, he's now a three-star prospect by the 247Sports Composite and ranks as the fourth-best player in Maryland's class (behind McLean, Boulware and EJ Donahue).
Saine's commitment also comes at a major position of need, as Maryland lost Andre Monroe, Darius Kilgo, Keith Bowers and Spencer Myers to graduation. That's three starters and one rotation player gone, and while there are some returning players with potential for the Terps, there aren't many clear answers along the line yet.
Quinton Jefferson has the weak-side defensive end spot pretty much covered, but both nose tackle and strong-side end are relatively up in the air. Saine (listed at 6'4, 265 last year) could fit at either one of those positions. David Shaw is the likely favorite at nose tackle, although Kingsley Opara and incoming freshmen McLean and Kieron Howard could fight for time. Roman Braglio is the likely favorite at the strong-side end position, although Opara and McLean could give him a run for it.
Saine will enroll in College Park almost immediately for the spring semester (classes start January 26), participating in spring practice and getting used to the new environment. Early enrollment usually helps true freshmen quite a bit both on the field and off, and as a result Saine has the best chance of any of the true freshmen at seeing playing time early. The Terps had two scheduled early enrollees last year, but neither worked out quite as planned. Larry Mazyck ended up at Kansas after an academic transcript issue and Derwin Gray missed spring practice due to an injury.