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Maryland football tries to make inroads at IMG Academy in 2017, 2018 recruiting classes

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The Terps are trying to tap into the football factory's broad talent base.

Maryland recently offered a scholarship to top-rated 2017 center Cesar Ruiz, an IMG Academy prospect.
Maryland recently offered a scholarship to top-rated 2017 center Cesar Ruiz, an IMG Academy prospect.
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The IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., is an interesting concept in and of itself.

It's technically a school and has classes and accreditation and an academic curriculum, but IMG is – first and foremost – an incubator for athletes. It's a private and absolutely for-profit sports training ground, which charges $80,000 per year in tuition and gets millions of dollars annually from the Florida government.

It comes as no surprise that IMG produces dominant football players. Everyone in the college game knows this quite well, and it's a major reason Maryland hired Cory Robinson, IMG's former defensive backs coordinator, to be the Terps' player personnel director last year. DJ Durkin's staff didn't retain Robinson, who's now coaching the secondary at Toledo, and not keeping him could have knocked them out of the running for blue-chip IMG linebacker Rahshaun Smith this winter.

But that doesn't mean Maryland's current staff isn't interested in building an IMG pipeline. Any program would be, but Durkin clearly has taken an early passion for the place. Durkin was at IMG recruiting less than a week after taking Maryland's head coaching job, and he's already extended several offers to prospects there.

The Terps offered 2018 offensive guard Curtis Dunlap on Monday:

... and four-star 2018 safety Mike Jones Jr.:

... and No. 1-rated 2017 center Cesar Ruiz, along with four-star 2017 defensive tackle Cam Spence (who just so happens to hail from Baltimore):

The Terps offered five-star 2017 IMG defensive end Joshua Kaindoh a long time ago, under Edsall. They recently offered 2017 uber-prospect Dylan Moses, who's transferring there for next season. Both are longshots, of course.

Drawing on the recruiting database at 247Sports, Maryland has also extended 2017 offers to four-star IMG running back Jordan Anthony (who's from Olney), four-star receiver (and Baylor commit) Jhamon Ausbon, three-star tight end Tre' McKitty and four-star offensive tackle Robert Hainsey.

The Terps are more-or-less flooding the IMG facility with offers, with at least eight for the 2017 class alone, counting incoming transfer Moses. If just one or two bite, Durkin will probably consider it a worthwhile pursuit. The Terps didn't have any IMG players under Randy Edsall (or Ralph Friedgen, or conceivably ever), so anybody they can get this time around will be a bit of a trailblazer.