There ain’t no rest for a new coaching staff. After picking up four commits last week, Randy Edsall and the Maryland football staff didn’t stop there, getting three – count ‘em, three – new commitments to the 2012 class on Sunday.
We’ve actually talked about Riddle before here, and the 6’2, 200 pound running back/safety chose Maryland over Cincinnati and Buffalo after attending camp in College Park this weekend. He is an unranked athlete by Rivals, but is two stars (#93 running back) by ESPN and a two star safety by Scout. He runs a 4.4 40, and we talked about his speed in the previously linked article.
So the first thing we notice is his speed, because it’s pretty obvious he’s faster than everyone else on the field. Frederick County is not exactly known for it’s blinding speed, however, so the quality of his competition is a reasonable question to ask. Rivals reports he runs a 4.4 40, though, so that’s good enough for me.
The most impressive things about Riddle are his burst of speed and is football intelligence. Riddle is able to get to top-speed very quickly, allowing him to burn right past the front seven. But he picks the right angles to take and shoots through holes in a manner that doesn’t allow the linemen and linebackers a chance to stop him (at least in this relatively short highlight tape).
Here’s that highlight tape if you want to watch it again (and let’s face it, you do):
More after the jump.
A.J. Liddell is a 6’2″, 185 wide receiver out of Chapel Hill High School (Douglasville, Ga.) who is unranked by all the recruiting services except for Scout (two stars). Liddell chose Maryland over close-to-home Georgia Tech, who had also offered him, UConn, and Vanderbilt. He holds several Chapel Hill records – receptions in a season (41), longest kick return (99 yards), longest pass (80), punt return yards in a game (64), punt average in a game (49.3), and punt average in a season/career (39.4).
Liddell is the second Georgia commit for Maryland this week, following defensive back Alvin Hill. Let’s look at the tape:
Liddell is very, very fast, so that’s one thing that pops out right away. He also has good ball skills and awareness of where the ball is coming to him, not to mention good enough hands to recover when the ball is thrown to the wrong shoulder. After looking at this tape it would be safe to ask why he’s ranked so well – he played on a below-average team in a below-average Georgia division. He’s got a lot of skills, but his competition leaves some to be desired, making him yet another sleeper prospect headed to College Park. Unlike some of the others, though, his raw talent comes out in the highlight tape.
Malcolm Culmer is a 6’1″, 175 pound wide receiver/cornerback from Willingboro High School (Willingboro, Nj.). Culmer is unranked by Rivals and ESPN and doesn’t even have a profile on Scout, so here I’m supposed to say something about him being a sleeper too but you get the picture. Let’s go straight to the tape:
Rivals list him as a wide receiver, but I see no chance of that happening. Culmer is a below-average prospect as a wideout (the play at around the 3:00 mark is pretty sweet though), but he looks solid as a corner. He’s got a good amount of speed, good tackling form, covers well, and moves well on the field. He’s not big enough to play wide receiver, and his skill set is better suited for the defensive side of the ball. Culmer is also not playing against the best of talent in New Jersey, and that seems to be where a lot of his receiving touchdowns come from – poor coverage and inferior speed. So we’ll pencil him in as a corner and call it a day.
There’s another rumored commitment, too, although I’ve seen no confirmation of it so I’m not reporting it as fact, just as something that might happen in the future. Eleanor Roosevelt quarterback/linebacker Shawn Petty picked up an offer from Maryland this weekend as well, and although some people have said he’s accepted it, his Twitter says nothing of the short and no one has reported it yet. And yes, I am as shocked as you are that we’re actually recruiting someone from the state of Maryland – only three of the Terps’ nine commits are in-state prospects.
Regardless, the Terps are now up to nine commitments for the class of 2012. That’s impressive for a new staff, and some of the kids are actually pretty good. Remember, Edsall got a lot out of kids who were “sleepers” from the recruiting agencies – the guy knows how to scout talent.