It's Monday, which means we're in the real home stretch before the Maryland football team officially signs up its 2016 football recruiting class, whoever's in it.
Here's our week-opening class projection, updated to reflect the weekend's news. As always, this is a rough prediction gleaned from research (lots), conversation, inference and our community recruiting discussions based at PeachesTerp's recurring post. I hope it provides some sense of where Maryland stands ahead of signing day.
This view could change by Wednesday, and I like to distinguish between projecting that a player will go one direction and reporting that he will, in fact, go that direction. What you'll read here is very much the former.
Players who are verbally committed are in bold, and recruiting rankings come via the 247Sports Composite.
Max Bortenschlager, 3 stars, Indianapolis (Cathedral)
Tyrrell Pigrome, 3 stars, Pinson, Ala. (Clay-Chalkville)
The picture clarified over the weekend, but it still isn't all that clear. Three-star dual threat Lindsey Scott committed to LSU, which was maybe a little surprising because of recent expert opinions of his recruitment, but it probably shouldn't strike anyone that LSU beat out Maryland for a kid from its own backyard. Previous Maryland target Chase Fourcade seems very much to now be "former Maryland target Chase Fourcade."
The Terps have added Indiana three-star, pro-style passer Bortenschlager, but it'd be hugely disappointing if they didn't keep adding at the position. The last quarterback target left on the board (that we know about, anyway) is Alabama three-star dual threat Tyrrell Pigrome. Here's Pigrome on an official visit this weekend:
Quit clownin Pig! pic.twitter.com/tlrWyceGje— Clay-Chalk Football (@CCHSfootbal) January 30, 2016
Doesn't look bad, huh? Pigrome could be a strong fit in Walt Bell's spread offense. Maryland wants him and can legitimately claim to need him, lest the Terps want to remain without an obvious dual-threat quarterback option when the only pro-style options on the roster haven't exactly inspired. (It's not clear what the future holds for dual threat Shane Cockerille, but I don't think Maryland is banking on his being a starting quarterback.)
Pigrome could certainly wind up at Virginia Tech, or maybe he'll surprise all of us and go to Tulane. But Maryland's right there and can offer Pigrome a chance to rise quickly, while the Hokies can offer him either a slot as a receiver or near the bottom of a strong QB depth chart. That's surely one of Maryland's most appealing selling points.
Selfishly, I'd like Pigrome to be a Terp for all the rhetorical fun it would bring. SURE HOPE THE OFFENSIVE LINE DOESN'T LET TEAMS TURN HIM INTO BACON, etcetera.
LaDerrien Wilson, 3 stars, Kissimmee, Fla. (Osceola)
Lorenzo Harrison, 3 stars, Hyattsville, Md. (DeMatha Catholic)
Jake Funk, 3 stars, Damascus, Md. (Damascus)
Noah Barnes, 2 stars, Auburn, Ala. (Auburn)
Tino Ellis, 4 stars, Hyattsville, Md. (DeMatha Catholic)
DJ Turner, 3 stars, Hyattsville, Md. (DeMatha Catholic)
No changes at the skill positions, but I don't want this to come across as Maryland not having a chance to add anybody else. If Bortenschlager's commitment showed anything – I'd never heard of him, and I'm guessing neither had you – it's that these things can pop up out of pretty close to thin air.
Terek Zingale, 3 stars, Macedonia, Ohio (Nordonia)
Brian Plummer, 3 stars, Sykesville, Md. (South Carroll Senior)
Terrance Davis, 4 stars, Hyattsville, Md. (DeMatha Catholic)
Richard Merritt, 4 stars, Washington (Archbishop Carroll)
Terrell Hall, 4 stars, Washington (St. John's College)
Dion Goldbourne, unrated, Delray Bech, Fla. (Atlantic)
Three-star defensive tackle "commit" Aaron Thompson said Sunday he'd make a final college choice on Wednesday, which isn't the kind of thing you'd expect from someone who's just going to reaffirm a commitment he made 10 days earlier. So it's hard to operate under any view other than that he's gone to South Carolina. Here's a reminder that verbal commitments are self-defeating and stupid, and also not meaningful.
Thompson's exit would leave Maryland without a defensive line commit at the moment, and nobody seems to be more than roughly 50-50 on Hall's future. Maryland is unlikely to take a total goose egg here, but there are certainly loose ends.
Three-star targets Tavante Beckett and Chase Pine are committed elsewhere but have both recently visited. I still can't confidently say that Maryland will get either of them, but perhaps one (or someone off the radar) wouldn't be too much to ask.
Antwaine Richardson, 3 stars, Delray Beach, Fla. (Atlantic)
Travon Stott, 3 stars, Olney, Md. (Good Counsel)
Elisha Daniels, 3 stars, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Cardinal Gibbons)
Who knows if this was related to the Thompson news, but Elisha Daniels tweeted this Sunday evening:
If your a football player that's scared of competition, I have no respect for you— Elisha Daniels (@_5Livee) January 31, 2016
Whatever this means, Daniels strikes me as the kind of player Maryland fans are going to appreciate.
Elijah Daniels, 3 stars, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Cardinal Gibbons)
Qwuantrezz Knight, unrated, Greenville, Fla. (East Gadsen)
Perry Young, 3 stars, Birmingham, Ala. (Spain Park)
Wade Lees, unrated, Australia.
Changes from Saturday's projection:
In: QB Max Bortenschlager (verbally committed)
Out: DT Aaron Thompson, QB Chase Fourcade, QB Lindsey Scott (committed elsewhere)
This would leave Maryland with a 22-man class, albeit with an understanding Maryland probably finds a linebacker somewhere and that the quarterback situation could go nuclear in either direction at any point. (Don't completely forget about Bishop McNamara's Ramar Williams, even with Trevon Diggs looking far out of reach.)
Early enrollees Funk and Lees wouldn't count against Maryland's 25-scholarship class limit, as several good folks have pointed out in the last few days.