An Exhaustive Overview of the Last Nine Years in Maryland’s Football Recruiting

After watching bowl game after bowl game with teams that had lineups consisting almost entirely (or in the case of TCU’s defense, entirely) of in-state kids, I thought we’d do a very comprehensive review of how Maryland has done in local football recruiting over the past ten years. We’ll go through it year by year, with an overall summary (and graphs!) at the end. We’re going to split it up into two different categories – first, all prospects three stars and up in the state of Maryland, and then all prospects three stars and up within 100 miles of College Park. All information and ratings are from Rivals.

2010:

In the state of Maryland, there were 33 prospects ranked three stars or higher. Malik Cross ended up not going anywhere, so we won’t include him. Of the 32, six (Titus Till, Jeremiah Johnson, Rahsaan Moore, Matt Robinson, Tyrek Cheeseboro, and Adrian Coxson) went to Maryland, so just under 19%. Ugh. Of the four/five stars only, it’s even worse – only one of eight (Till) for 12.5%. Let’s break down the other schools who got commits from the list (for the record, Jordan Haden and Coxson both committed to Florida initially, but I’m counting them with their new teams):

3 – Iowa

2 – Cal, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Wisconsin

1 – Alabama, Boston College, Delaware State, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kansas State, Michigan, North Carolina A&T, Penn State, Temple, Toledo, Virginia Tech, West Virginia

There were 33 prospects within 100 miles of College Park not in the state of Maryland that were ranked three stars or higher. Five of them apparently did not make a decision, so we won’t count them. Of the 28, only two went to Maryland (Nate Clarke and Jeremiah Wilson), and the Terps only got one of the six four/five star prospects (Clarke). Javarie Johnson committed to the Terps, too, but was soon academically ineligible and transferred to New Mexico. Of the other prospects:

4 – Virginia Tech

3 – Penn State, Pittsburgh

2 – Syracuse

1 – Boston College, Clemson, Delaware, Georgia Tech, Marshall, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Stanford, Texas Tech, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Wake Forest, West Virginia

2009:

In the state of Maryland, there were 31 prospects ranked three stars or higher. All of them ended up making decisions on college – good for them. Of the 31, ten went to Maryland (including Caleb Porzel, who transferred after a year), for a rate of 32.3% – much better than some of these others, but still well below what you’d want. The other nine are DeOnte Arnett, David Mackall, Travis Hawkins, Dave Stinebaugh, Avery Graham, Lorne Goree, Marcus Whitfield, Isaiah Ross, and Pete DeSouza. Of the 12 four/five stars in the state, five of them came to the Terps (41.7%). The other schools:

7- Penn State

2 – Ohio, West Virginia

1 – Florida, Louisville, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Stanford, Towson, Wake Forest

Wow. In a good year for Maryland, Penn State nearly matched them in top of the line in-state recruits…from around 200 miles away.

There were 33 prospects within 100 miles of College Park not in the state of Maryland that were ranked three stars or higher. Clinton Simpkins went to community college, so we won’t count him. Of the 32, only three went to Maryland (Pete White, Dexter McDougle, and Darrin Drakeford). That’s a pitiful 9.4%. Here’s the breakdown of the rest:

6 – Virginia

5 – Rutgers, Virginia Tech

2 – New Mexico, West Virginia

1 – Connecticut, Georgia, James Madison, Miami, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, UCLA, Wake Forest

Much more after the jump.

2008:

In the state of Maryland, there were 16 prospects ranked three stars or higher. We’re ruling out Teddy Dargan, who didn’t qualify academically. Of the 15, five (Kevin Dorsey, Cameron Chism, Kenny Tate, Zach Kerr, and Davin Meggett) went to Maryland, not including Dargan. That’s a cool 33.3%, for those who are mathematically challenged – manageable, but less than what’d you want in your own state. Of the seven four/five star prospects, three went to Maryland, for 42.9% – fine by me, although you usually want to be above 50/60%. The others:

2 – Boston College

1 – Massachusetts, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Virginia, Wake Forest, West Virginia

In the surrounding area, there were 19 prospects rated three stars or higher. Another one didn’t end up going to a D-1 school, so we’ll deal with the remaining 18. Of those 18, Maryland got two – A.J. Francis and R.J. Dill. There were only two four star prospects; Maryland didn’t get either of them. The other schools:

5 – Virginia Tech

2- Illinois

1 – Connecticut, Kent State, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio, Purdue, Rutgers, Virginia, West Virginia

Notably absent in 2008 – Penn State.

2007:

In the state of Maryland, there were 14 prospects rated three stars or higher. Of those 14, Maryland got one – Devonte Campbell. Campbell was one of the five four/five star prospects, however, so that helps a little. Only a little, however, because that 7.1% is pitiful. The other schools:

2 – Rutgers, West Virginia

1 – Akron, Duke, East Carolina, Florida, Miami (OH), Syracuse, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech

In the surrounding area, there were 27 prospects rated three stars or higher. Maryland got two – Torrey Smith and Ian Davidson. That’s 7.4%. Of the 11 prospects rated four/five stars, Maryland got none of them. Yuck. Needless to say, 2007 was a pretty awful year for Maryland in terms of local recruiting. Here are the other schools:

6 – Virginia

3 – Penn State, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech

2 – Illinois, Rutgers, West Virginia

1 – Georgia Tech, Miami (OH), North Carolina, Notre Dame, Tennessee

2006:

In the state of Maryland, there were 22 recruits rated three stars or higher. Maryland got three – Drew Gloster, Adrian Moten, and Pha’Terrell Washington, who left school without playing a down after being ruled academically ineligible (he did, however, spend a year or two on campus, so we’re counting him). That’s 13.7%. Of the ten rated four/five stars, the Terps only got one – Washington. The other schools:

7 – Penn State

3 – Syracuse

2 – Virginia Tech

1 – Auburn, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Stanford, Virginia, West Virginia

In the surrounding area, there were 14 recruits rated three stars or higher; Maryland did not get any. There were five rated four/five stars (including LeSean McCoy). Where the 14 went:

4 – Penn State

2 – Virginia

1 – Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, West Virginia

2005:

In the state of Maryland, there were 13 prospects rated three stars or higher. We won’t count Melvin Alaeze, possibly the most troubled recruit ever. Of the remaining 12, Maryland got six, including three of five ranked four/five stars. That’s more like it. Those six were Darrius Heyward-Bey, Anthony Wiseman, Morgan Green, Jeff Allen, Jamari McCollough and Jeremy Navarre – a pretty good batch. The other schools:

2 – Virginia Tech

1 – Connecticut, Penn State, Pittsburgh, West Virginia

In the surrounding area, there were 14 prospects rated three stars or higher. Of those 14, Maryland got one – Stephen Smalls. The other teams:

4 – Virginia

2 – Penn State, Virginia  Tech

1 – Boston College, Duke, Oklahoma, Tennessee, West Virginia

2004:

In the state of Maryland, there were 13 prospects ranked three stars or higher. Maryland got seven of them – awesome. Those seven were George Covington, Scott Burley, Eric Lenz, Christian Varner, Dane Randolph, Jared Gaither, and Kevin Barnes. Of the three four/five stars, Maryland got two – again, awesome. The other schools:

2 – Florida

1 – Boston College, Michigan State, Penn State, Syracuse

In the surrounding area, there were 15 recruits rated three stars or higher. Of those 15, Maryland got one – Jordan Steffy. They also did not get any of the six four/five star prospects. The other schools:

4 – Virginia Tech

2 – Boston College, Penn State, Virginia, West Virginia

1 – Michigan, Syracuse

2003:

In the state of Maryland, there were 15 prospects rated three stars or better. James Dyson and Antowan Bell ended up not going to any Division I-A or I-AA programs, so we’ll exclude them. Of the other 13, Maryland got four – Wesley Jefferson, Ryan Mitch, Keon Lattimore, and Josh Wilson. Of the four four/five star prospects, Maryland got one (Jefferson). The other schools:

2 – LSU, Notre Dame, West Virginia

1- Connecticut, Duke, Pittsburgh

In the surrounding area, there were 18 prospects rated three stars or higher. Maryland got three – Vernon Davis, Conrad Bolston, and Andrew Weatherly. Out of five ranked four/five stars, Maryland got one (Davis). The other schools:

4 – Virginia Tech

3 – Penn State, Virginia

2 – Notre Dame

1 – Boston College, North Carolina, Syracuse

2002:

In the state of Maryland, there were 11 recruits rated three stars or higher. Maryland got seven – fantastic. Those were Shawne Merriman, Reggie Holmes, Dominique Richmond, Chris Choice, Nathaniel Clayton, Brad Schell, and Josh Allen. They got one of the three four/five star prospects (Merriman). The other schools:

1 – Duke, Ohio State, Penn State, Virginia

In the surrounding area, there were 19 prospects rated three stars or higher. Maryland got one – Danny Melendez. The Terps did not get any of the eight four/five star prospects. The other schools:

7 – Virginia

2 – Syracuse, Virginia Tech

1 – Boston College, Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Purdue, Tennessee

Now, fun with graphs! Here is a cheaply made graph of Maryland’s in-state recruiting success over time:

Here is of the surrounding area:

Here are the top “poachers” of Maryland prospects (I threw in UConn, just because) (DOUBLE PARENTHESES: also, Maryland got 49 total, for the record):

The leaders in the surrounding area (Maryland got 15):

And of course, this only means so much. Recruiting agencies are often wrong (Wesley Jefferson five stars, Torrey Smith only three), and it’s a lot more about what you get out of the players than how they’re ranked. However, you don’t want the best in-state talent (the Jordan Hadens and Tavon Austins of the world) to go anywhere else – that’s why we did this post.

Also, we can’t know all the reasons. Some of these guys may not have qualified academically (lord knows we’ve had enough of the Javarie Johnson’s and Pha’Terrell Washington’s), and there may have been reasons beyond the coaching staff’s control as to why a lot of these kids didn’t go to Maryland. This should just serve as a basic guideline – and regardless of those specific situations, it’s still not a very impressive record.

You might look at the raw numbers and say “Hey, Maryland got about 30 more recruits than anyone else from the state of Maryland in that time, what’s the issue?” Well, the issue is the percentages, especially in recent years. If you’re the only major football school in your state (Navy isn’t allowed to recruit, either), you should consistently be getting more than half of the major recruits from your own state. The Terps did that only three of the past nine years, and haven’t since 2005.

As far as in-state recruiting was concerned, Maryland found a lot less success in Coach Friedgen’s earlier years than in his later ones. In terms of local, non-in-state recruiting, it has stayed around the same (mostly unimpressive) level. We’ll see if Coach Edsall can help usher in a level of recruiting success like the one we saw early last decade.

EDIT – I posted this in a comment responding to ckstevenson, but I thought it warranted a mention in the post:

Let’s look at a few schools in a similar situation. Only major school in that state, but not a 5 star program (I included Wisconsin, but not Nebraska, but you could make the opposite case for either).

If you average out Maryland’s in-state recruiting, it comes out to around 28% of prospects over that time (out of 179 prospects).

Colorado got about 30% of 3-star or higher recruits from their state in that time (out of 124 prospects).
Minnesota – around 41% (out of 82 prospects).
Missouri – around 38% (out of 155 prospects).
Rutgers – around 19% (out of 276 prospects).
West Virginia – around 59% (out of 17, jeez).
Wisconsin – around 70% (out of 64 prospects).
Arkansas – around 55% (out of 128).

Boston College – around 59% (out of 44).

Nebraska – around 59% (out of 51).

Syracuse – around 18.5% (out of 135).

Tennessee – around 27% (out of 192), although they compete with Vanderbilt in-state.

Make of that as you will. I think 40% is a reachable goal, with 50% being the ideal.

Topics: Footballrecruiting, Ridiculouslylongposts

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  • http://ckstevenson.blogspot.com ckstevenson

    Great work, a lot of information that is really useful. Might have worked even better in reverse-chronological order, to give a better perspective on the history of things. Though I do get why you did it the way you did.

    I can’t quibble with the facts, and don’t. But one thing I really wish people would bear in mind about keeping the in-state talent (and we should do a better job, I’m not defending Fridge on this front) is that probably about half of the kids DON’T want to go to Maryland.

    Lot’s of kids want to “go away” to college. So even if that is just 1/3 of the top talent, our ceiling is 66%, which means those near 50% years are more like 75% years in retention.

    Further, the top top tier kids are apt to go to the states of California, Florida and Te*as (that’s actually 2 Republics and 1 State). Just like the majority of top talent. The weather is better, those schools have better profiles and better TV coverage. MD just is not a top-tier school. We’re not a top 6 SEC school, and the ACC is not as good as the SEC.

    I also think this is hard for undergrad alumni to wrap their heads around. “How could MD not be the best?” Cause it ain’t. I’m a lifelong Terp, and I mean that literally. I’ll put my attendance record at lacrosse games up against almost anyone else’s hoops attendance record, or my baseball attendance record against anyone else’s football attendance record. I couldn’t be a bigger fan, but not having gone there as an undergrad gives me a view of the school from a little bit of an outsider’s perspective.

    The only shot, at the present and next 5-8 years of MD football, is for a 4 or 5-star kid to have grown up as a mega-Terp fan. Otherwise? No shot.

    I think the “going away” % speaks to a big chunk of the PSU, WVU, UVA and VT crowd.

    Count me in the “go away” camp as a super-local too. My baseball skills aren’t worth bragging about, but I played 1 year in college and would have done 4 if not for shoulder and knee injuries. I know I could have walked on at MD, but I had zero interest in going there as I grew up in Greenbelt and Spring Hill Lakes. It was TOO close. Not even a full ride as a good student enticed me.

    Just something to bear in mind, that there are going to be a decent chunk of kids who will never ever consider MD. I’m not disagreeing with you, just pointing out another view on things.

    PS: when I tried to submit this comment it said I couldn’t because I used the word “Te*as”. Huh?

    • petevolk

      Those are all fantastic points, and it’s true, a lot of kids do want to go away to college. The best coaches, however, can sell above that and you’d hope Friedgen could build from his fantastic start to make Maryland a destination school, not a consolidation.

      Let’s look at a few schools in a similar situation – Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Rutgers, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Only major school in that state, but not a 5 star program (I included Wisconsin, but not Nebraska, but you could make the opposite case for either). I also chose not to include SEC programs.

      If you average out Maryland’s in-state recruiting, it comes out to around 28% of prospects over that time.

      Colorado got about 30% of 3-star or higher recruits from their state in that time.
      Minnesota – around 41%.
      Missouri – around 38%.
      Rutgers – around 19%.
      West Virginia – around 59%.
      Wisconsin – around 70%.

      So where, as a program, do you think we should stand there? Below Colorado, closer to Rutgers than Minnesota? I think 40% is a reachable goal, with 50% being the ideal.