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Catching up with Maryland football's 2011 recruiting class, 4 years later

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Randy Edsall's first class still has quite a few starters on Maryland's depth chart.

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Maryland's 2011 recruiting class was the first under head coach Randy Edsall, who took over just a month before Signing Day. It's what's referred to as a "transition class," and is usually considerably lower ranked than a coach's other classes.

That's been the case so far for Edsall -- the 2011 class ranked No. 51, the lowest of any class during his tenure. This is the group that was scheduled to be either true seniors in 2014 or redshirt seniors this upcoming season, and some quality contributors emerged from the class.

After eight multi-year starters from the 2009 class and six from 2010, the 2011 class came through with a solid eight again. The bigger difference was in depth: after a combined 25 of 47 signees in Ralph Friedgen's final two classes left the program, just five of the 22 members of the 2011 class left for other schools.

Here's our recap of the 2009 class and here's the 2010 class. All rankings via the 247Sports Composite.

Multi-year starters

Quinton Jefferson, DE, Woodland Hills (Penn.), 3 stars, .8479

Jefferson broke his jaw the offseason before he was scheduled to arrive at Maryland, instead delaying his enrollment by a year. He spent the 2011 season working 30 hours a week at Best Buy instead, coming to campus as a true freshman in 2012 and backing up future NFL linemen Joe Vellano and A.J. Francis, recording 13 tackles with a fumble recovery in nine games.

Jefferson started all 13 games as a sophomore in 2013, with 47 tackles (7.5 for a loss), and seemed primed for a breakout year in 2014. Three games and eight tackles in, however, Jefferson required season-ending knee surgery. He'll probably end up starting somewhere on Maryland's new four-man front this season.

Marcus Leak, WR, Parkwood (N.C.), 3 stars, .8425

Leak started two games as a true freshman in 2011 and played in seven, catching 12 passes for 85 yards. One of the two starts came against Florida State, when he caught eight passes for 61 yards and a touchdown. He started the first seven games of the year in 2012, catching 23 passes for 393 yards and two touchdowns before a toe injury sidelined him for the rest of the year. He gained a career-high 94 receiving yards in his last game of the year.

Then Leak left school in May 2013, returning home due to personal issues with the intent to re-enroll in January. He did just that, taking a redshirt year before coming back to College Park. He played in all 13 games last season with seven starts, catching 20 passes for 297 yards and three touchdowns. Leak is in strong position for the No. 1 wide receiver spot whenever Maryland decides to release its first depth chart for 2015.

Ryan Doyle, OT, Wake Forest-Rolesville (N.C.), 3 stars, .8257

Doyle redshirted during that awful 2011 season, serving as a backup lineman in 2012. He was named the surprise starter at right tackle in spring practice before the 2013 season, beating out veteran Nick Klemm for the role and holding it for the first nine games of the season before switching to left tackle for the final four. Doyle started nine games at right tackle during the 2014 season before senior Jake Wheeler beat him out for the job. He's since been moved to the inside, and will likely be a second-string guard this season.

Andrew Zeller, OT, Red Lion Senior Area (Penn.), 3 stars, .8257

Zeller committed to Maryland over offers from Oregon, Duke and Rutgers, and redshirted his first season in College Park. As a redshirt freshman in 2012, he played in nine games with three starts at right guard, helping spring this long Stefon Diggs touchdown catch (watch No. 66 fly in from the right) and impressing in limited play.

Zeller was beat out for a starting position in 2013 by walk-on Michael Dunn, but ended up playing in all 13 games and earning the job back at the end of the year. He started the final three games of the season, including the big road win at Virginia Tech, and this time was able to cement himself as a starter. Zeller started all 13 games at right guard in 2014, and the smart money's on him doing the same this year.

Cole Farrand, ILB, Pope John XXIII (N.J.), 3 stars, .8023

A lightly recruited New Jersey linebacker, Farrand played in nine games as a true freshman, recording three tackles. He won a starting job before the 2012 season, leading the team with 78 tackles, and never gave the job up. After ranking second with 84 tackles in 2013, he once again led the Terps in 2014 with 118. He will get a chance at NFL rosters this spring, but is unlikely to be drafted.

Keith Bowers, DT, Dwyer (Fla.), 2 stars, .7922

Bowers had only one other major offer -- Kansas -- and he turned out to be quite the find for the Terps. He started 11 games in 2011, earning honorable mention freshman All-American status while recording six tackles for a loss. His role was reduced under new defensive coordinator Brian Stewart in 2012, recording 11 tackles in eight games, winning the starting job back before the 2013 season. Bowers recorded 32 tackles that year and 40 in 2014, with six for a loss.

Nate Renfro, P, Brentwood Academy (Tenn.), 2 stars, .7000

Originally set to walk-on at Florida State, Renfro instead accepted a scholarship offer at Maryland. He spent his first year on the bench behind Nick Ferrara, earning the starting job in 2012 and holding onto it for the next three years. Renfro punting average slowly improved, from 39.7 as a freshman to 40.8 as a sophomore and 41.5 as a junior, but he never was able to match the kick prowess of special teams partner Brad Craddock. Renfro announced he would be graduating early and leaving the football program after the 2014 season.

Brandon Ross, RB, Charter School of Wilmington (Del.), 2 stars, N/A

After redshirting in 2011, Ross earned a share of the starting running back job with Wes Brown in 2012. He led the team with 390 rushing yards despite playing just six games, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. With Brown gone in 2013, Ross shared the job with Albert Reid, again leading the team in rushing with 776 yards (4.7 per carry). Ross continued his increase in yards per carry in 2014 (4.9) but finished second on the team with 419 rushing yards (behind quarterback C.J. Brown). Ross and Wes Brown are the two favorites for Maryland's starting running back tandem this season.


A.J. Hendy, ATH, Bowie (Md.), 4 stars, .9221

In many ways, A.J. Hendy has been Maryland football's version of Nick Faust. Both four-star locals who decommitted after the coaching changes before re-pledging to the Terps, neither were quite able to live up to their blue-chip billing in their first three years in College Park, despite some standout performances. Only one of the two will be in strong contention for a starting job at Maryland his senior year: Hendy, back from a year-long suspension and ready to make his mark on the program.

Hendy played in nine games as a true freshman in 2011, recording 30 tackles and returning an interception for a touchdown in the season finale against North Carolina State. His playing time drastically diminished the following year under new defensive coordinator Stewart, recording four tackles in seven games. Hendy re-emerged in 2013, playing in 12 games with three starts. He recorded 32 tackles on the season, and was named the Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week after returning an interception for a 28-yard touchdown and recovering two fumbles in the Terps' blowout win over West Virginia. He missed the 2014 season due to an alleged violation of university conduct, and appears the heavy favorite to start beside Anthony Nixon at safety in 2015.

Tyrek Cheeseboro, WR, Fork Union Military Academy (Va.), 3 stars, .8500

Cheeseboro originally signed with Maryland as a member of the class of 2010 out of Milford Mill (Md.), but spent a year at prep school and stuck with his pledge despite the coaching transition. As a true freshman in 2011, he played in three games on special teams before a knee injury ended his season. He played in 11 games in 2012, emerging as a standout on special teams and ranking second on the unit with 10 tackles.

Cheeseboro was hit by a bus while riding his bike on campus in October 2013, suffering a concussion. He left the team the following offseason and now works for a luxury entertainment firm in D.C., per his LinkedIn.

Evan Mulrooney, OC, Salesianum (Del.), 3 stars, .8252

The starting left tackle for Delaware's best program, Mulrooney came to College Park over an offer from NC State. He redshirted in 2011 before playing in seven games as a redshirt freshman in 2012, starting five at center. He played in seven games as a backup in 2013 once again, and entered spring 2014 as a co-starter at left guard with Silvano Altamirano. A viral infection hospitalized Mulrooney into September, and he ended up playing in just one game: the blowout loss to Wisconsin. This season he is expected to be in the mix for either the starting left guard or starting center jobs.

Stephen Grommer, OG, Spartanburg (S.C.), 3 stars, .8172

Grommer enrolled in Maryland over offers from Rutgers and Harvard, among others, redshirting his first season on campus. He did not appear in a game in 2013, and switched to center before the 2014 season. As a sophomore, he made his college debut in the season opener against James Madison, but did not play in another game. He figures to be in the mix at center in 2015 along with redshirt freshman Brendan Moore.

Nate Clarke, OT, Fork Union Military Academy (Va.), 3 stars, .8119

After reclassifying from Friedgen's 2010 class, Clarke joined Maryland as a 6'4, 310-pound offensive tackle prospect. After redshirting as an offensive guard in 2011, he moved to defensive tackle prior to the 2012 season. Clarke made his on-field debut in 2013, recording two tackles in eight games. He retired before the 2014 season due to injuries, staying with the program as a student assistant coach.

Tyler Cierski, RB, Mill Creek (Ga.), 3 stars, .8104

Cierski boasted one of the more impressive highlight films in the class, ranking as one of the top fullbacks in country. Maryland was his first offer (when Friedgen was still head coach), but Edsall was still able to stave off offers from Florida State, Stanford and Tennessee, among others

Cierski started all 12 games in 2011 as a true freshman at fullback, rushing four times for five yards and catching a five-yard touchdown pass against Towson. He kept the job in 2012, rushing three times for 10 yards, but lost the fullback position to redshirt freshman Kenneth Goins in 2013. Cierski played in five games as a junior that year and 13 games on special teams as a senior in 2014.

Alex Twine, OLB, Quince Orchard (Md.), 3 stars, .8007

A consensus all-state player out of high school, Twine was still a fringe offer candidate for Maryland as a local player. The Terps were his first FBS offer, and the linebacking prospect jumped on the opportunity to play for the hometown school. He made an impact as a true freshman in 2011, playing in 11 games with four starts, recording 44 tackles with 4.5 for a loss. He played in all 12 games once again in 2012, starting five with 18 tackles, but returned with a strong 2013 with 49 tackles in 11 games (three starts). As a senior in 2014 (and still behind Matt Robinson on the depth chart than SAM), Twine recorded 35 tackles in 11 games.

Undray Clark, S, Felix Varela (Fla.), 2 stars, .7800

Clark signed with Maryland over offers from Duke and Minnesota, and never ended up breaking into the defensive back rotation in College Park. He played in five total games in his career, not recording any tackles, and was not listed on Maryland's spring roster.

Levern Jacobs, WR, Suitland (Md.), 2 stars, .7000

Jacobs reclassified to 2012, so we'll talk about him then.


Makinton Dorleant, CB, Lely (Fla.), 3 stars, .8700

Dorleant was one of a few defensive prospects signed by Maryland out of Florida in the class, all of whom were close with Maryland defensive coordinator Don Brown. Brown left for Connecticut after Signing Day, leaving Dorleant 'stunned' and likely playing at least some role in his eventual departure.

After redshirting the 2011 season, Dorleant played 11 games in 2012, recording four tackles. He transferred to FCS Northern Iowa after the season, starting all 12 games at cornerback in 2013 with 54 tackles and interception. Dorleant recorded 37 tackles with seven pass breakups this past season as a senior and is considered a fringe NFL prospect.

Justus Pickett, ATH, Ardrey Kell (N.C.), 3 stars, .8631

Pickett was a nice pull for Maryland out of the Charlotte area, choosing the Terps over offers from West Virginia, Wake Forest, Duke and Stanford, among others. He played an instant role in College Park, ranking third on the team in rushing in 2011 with 274 yards (on 74 carries). Pickett's playing time and productivity diminished in 2012 with the addition of Wes Brown (142 yards, 69 carries), and he transferred to Tennessee as a walk-on.

After sitting out the 2013 season, Pickett played in eight games for the Volunteers as a junior in 2014. He ran for 66 yards on 22 carries before being declared ineligible for the team's bowl game due to academic issues. Our friends at Rocky Top Talk say he isn't listed on the team's official roster and looks unlikely to return next year.

Nigel King, WR, Oak Ridge Military Academy (N.C.), 3 stars, .8600

King was one of the more productive players at Maryland in the entire class, but ended up finishing his career elsewhere. Maryland held off a late offer from LSU to keep King in their class, but he was forced to sit out his first season due to an NCAA issue. As a true freshman in 2012, King caught nine passes for 125 yards and a touchdown, including a four-catch, 72-yard performance at North Carolina in the season finale.

With Leak home for personal reasons during the 2013 season, King saw his role increase. He caught 33 passes for 450 yards and four touchdowns, including a stretch where he caught at least five passes in four straight games. With Leak, Stefon Diggs, Deon Long, Levern Jacobs and Taivon Jacobs all returning and four-star recruit Juwann Winfree coming into the rotation, King transferred to Kansas as a graduate student and was eligible to play immediately. He was second on the team with 537 receiving yards on 30 receptions, including a circus catch touchdown against TCU. King declared early for the NFL Draft but was not invited to the combine.

Michael Williams, CB, DeMatha Catholic (Md.), 3 stars, .8192

The last player Maryland has signed from DeMatha, Williams never ended up suiting for the Terps. The younger brother of former Terrapin star Madieu Williams made a surprising decision in June 2012, ditching football for track and eventually enrolling at Tennessee. After one year on the track team, Williams walked-on to the Volunteers' football squad spending 2013 on the bench.

Williams played in 10 games for Tennessee in 2014, starting five at cornerback and recording 23 tackles. He was indicted on two counts of aggravated rape in February, and is no longer listed on the Volunteers' roster.

Lukas Foreman, OLB, Naples (Fla.), 3 stars, N/A

After redshirting the 2011 season, Foreman was suspended for the 2012 season after an alleged violation of the school's conduct code. He left the program after that, ending up as a defensive back at Division II Fairmont State in 2013 but not playing in any games. He was not listed on their 2014 roster.

Missed targets

(A new section added for this class)

Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, DeMatha Catholic (Md.), 5 stars, .9993

Cyrus and brother Arie were both high-value Maryland targets out of DeMatha, and both ended up going to Alabama. Cyrus was the No. 2 player in the class, started for two years at left tackle for Alabama (including an All-SEC selection in 2013) and left for the NFL Draft. He was selected in the second round by the Bills, and played in just one regular season game after losing the starting right tackle job to Seantrel Henderson, the No. 2 player in the 2010 class.

Travis Hughes, OLB, Kempsville (Va.), 4 stars, .9602

The younger brother of Maryland cornerback Trenton Hughes, it seemed like Maryland might have an in with the high-value Virginia target. He instead pledged to North Carolina, spending two seasons as a reserve and two years as a starting linebacker. Hughes had a career-high 76 tackles as a junior in 2013, and is a fringe prospect in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Blake Countess, CB, Good Counsel (Md.), 4 stars, .9337

Countess has had quite the career for himself at Michigan. After starting six games as a true freshman in 2011, he missed almost the entire 2012 season with a knee injury. He led the Big Ten with six interceptions as a starter in 2013, earning all-conference honors, and has established himself as one of the best defensive backs in the conference. Along with former five-star recruit Jabril Peppers, Countess will be part of what could be a scary secondary for the Wolverines.

Darius Jennings, ATH, Gilman (Md.), 4 stars, .9316

The four-star Baltimore prospect chose Virginia over offers from Maryland, Ohio State, UCLA and Virginia Tech, earning early playing time in Charlottesville as a wide receiver and returner. Jennings' role never really grew from there -- he topped 500 receiving yards in 2012 and 2014, but was unable to escape the Cavaliers' woeful offensive numbers over the past four years. His mark was made in the return game, however: Jennings is the program's all-time leader in kick return yards with 1,839 (Maryland's leader, Torrey Smith, had 2,983).

Donovan Smith, OT, Owings Mills (Md.), 4 stars, .9241

Smith played under three different head coaches in his time with Penn State, starting at left tackle for three years before declaring for the NFL Draft. None of the offensive lines he played on were particularly good (especially this past year's version), and his announcement was largely met with surprise. Smith had a strong game in the Senior Bowl, however, and he's currently projected to be picked in the third or fourth round.

Brandon Phelps, S, Damascus (Md.), 4 stars, .9212

2011 wasn't quite a banner year for in-state recruiting. Phelps was one of two in-state blue-chippers lost to Virginia, and had a solid career with the Cavaliers. After a true freshman season spent mostly on special teams, he started for three years in the secondary, recording 131 career tackles, 11 pass deflections and one interception. Phelps is considered a fringe NFL prospect.

Darian Cooper, DT, DeMatha Catholic (Md.), 4 stars, .8983

Another major DeMatha miss, Cooper signed with future conference foe Iowa and redshirted his first season. He was a solid contributor in 2012 and 2013, recording 52 tackles as a backup defensive tackle. He missed the 2014 season with a knee injury, but if he's able to fully recover he should be one of the favorites to replace Carl Davis.

Conner Crowell, ILB, North Point (Md.), 3 stars, .8665

Crowell signed with Ohio State but ended up recording just one tackle with the Buckeyes. While in Columbus, he twice reaggravated an ankle injury suffered in high school, forcing him to end his football career.

Nico Law, S, Bishop McNamara (Md.), 3 stars, .8605

Law signed with Iowa and played mostly as a reserve in his first three seasons, picking up four starts at strong safety in 2012 and recording 44 tackles. He was arrested in June 2014 after a late-night altercation outside a Panchero's (leading to a great BHGP headline), and left the program the next month. Law has since landed back in-state at Towson.

Jordan Lomax, ATH, DeMatha Catholic (Md.), 3 stars, .8504

Lomax's mom apparently wanted him to stay home, but he joined Cooper and Law in signing with Iowa (after originally committing to Virginia). After recording seven tackles in spot duty as a true freshman cornerback in 2011, he missed the 2012 season with an injury. Lomax returned in 2013 as a reserve safety, recording five tackles in eight games. He won the starting free safety job before the 2014 season, recording 92 tackles with six passes broken up, one interception and one fumble forced, earning honorable mention All-Big Ten honors. Lomax is expected to reprise his role as Iowa's starting free safety during the 2015 season.

Rodman Noel, OLB, Milford Academy (N.Y.), 3 stars, .8456

The older brother of Philadelphia 76ers center Nerlens Noel, Rodman tried to sign with Maryland in the class of 2010 but was unable to get his SAT scores cleared. He spent a year at Milford and boosted his status significantly, parting ways with the Terps after defensive backs coach Kevin Lempa left the program. Noel landed at NC State, where he totaled 142 tackles in three years, including 76 (with 12 for a loss) during his senior season.

Delonte Morton, RB, DeMatha Catholic (Md.), 3 stars, .8400

Morton committed to Maryland in March 2010 after missing his junior season with a torn ACL. He ended up not enrolling due to academics, and we haven't found a trace of him since.

Ryan Malleck, TE, Point Pleasant (N.J.), 3 stars, .8339

Malleck committed to Maryland in August 2010, switching to Virginia Tech in January 2011 after the Terps' coaching change. He spent 2011 as a special teams contributor with the Hokies, earning the starting job in 2012 and catching 17 passes for 174 yards. After missing the 2013 season with a rotator cuff injury, Malleck caught 24 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns this past season. He is expected to start at tight end again this year for the Hokies.

Larry Mazyck, OT, Fork Union (Va.), 3 stars, .8294

Originally a Friendship Academy (D.C.) prospect, Mazyck reclassified to the 2011 class as a Maryland commitment. He flipped to Vanderbilt and new head coach James Franklin before eventually signing with New Mexico and Mike Locksley. The 6'7 tackle played seven games as a backup with the Lobos in 2011 before transferring to Iowa Western Community College and eventually recommitting to Maryland. A paperwork error left Mazyck unable to enroll at Maryland, forcing him to end up at Kansas instead. He started nine games at right tackle, playing in all 12 games for the Jayhawks.

Jimmy Stewart, OLB, Island Coast (Fla.), 3 stars, .8100

Jimmy Stewart committed to Maryland in October 2010, flipping to Vanderbilt and James Franklin in January after the coaching change. In three seasons of play he had 26 tackles, mostly on special teams. Stewart played a bigger role under Franklin, but when Derek Mason took over, Stewart's playing time diminished. He elected to graduate early and forgo his fourth season.

Dontez Tyler, WDE, Hertford County (N.C.), 2 stars, .7900

Tyler committed to Maryland in July 2010 before parting with the new staff and ending up at Old Dominion. After redshirting in 2011, he next resurfaced at Division II Elizabeth City State, recording 21 tackles with 3.5 sacks in seven games this season. He is listed on its roster heading into the 2015 season.