As was first reported last night, four-star linebacker Yannick Ngakoue (Friendship Collegiate Academy, Washington D.C.) has decommited from Maryland and opened his recruitment back up.
Landing a commitment from the outside linebacker from the district had been one of the major recruiting coups of Mike Locksley’s brief tenure in College Park, and now it appears that the Terrapins will have to put up a fight to try and bring Ngakoue back into the fold for this year’s recruiting class. The four other schools that Ngakoue will now consider along with the Terps are West Virginia University, the University of Tennessee, the University of Miami and the University of South Carolina.
Ngakoue holds committable offers from each of the schools he listed as having interest in and is widely considered as one of the better ILB prospects in his class, so it is plain to see why there is so much interest in obtaining his commitment from these programs. Ngakoue is considered to be the number two player in all of Washington D.C. and the number 12 ILB prospect in the nation according to the most recent 247 Composite rankings.
The decommitment of Ngakoue cannot come as a complete surprise as he had verbally pledged his commitment to Maryland rather early on in the process without taking many visits to other schools. Since this news has come out there has been rampant speculation as to who now has the upper hand in Ngakoue’s recruitment. Mike Ferrall, of Rivals.com, has stated on his twitter account this morning that “West Virginia could be the biggest threat to the Terps for Yannick Ngakoue, he always liked them and they were first offer.”
Being a graduate of the University of South Carolina I have been able to maintain a few connections to the school and its athletic programs since leaving to come back to the Washington D.C. area. According to a source with knowledge of the situation Yannick Ngakoue made an unofficial visit to the Columbia, S.C. campus on July 28th while he was still committed to the Terrapins. While details of the visit are scarce it is known that Ngakoue’s main recruiter with Gamecocks, offensive coordinator G.A. Mangus, was on campus for this visit. This has all been confirmed by TheBigSpur.com, the website covering the University of South Carolina on the 247Sports Network. At this point in time I am comfortable saying that Ngakoue will likely make on official visit to the South Carolina campus and that they will be a real factor in his ongoing recruitment for the Terrapins.
One thing the Terrapins do have in their favor is that Ngakoue’s FCA teammate, and current Maryland commitment, Derwin Gray did not drop Maryland like his high school classmate. While Mike Farrell of Rivals.com reported earlier today via his twitter account that Gray will take trips to some other schools (Florida, FSU, Auburn, Ohio State, Nebraska, South Carolina and Tennessee all mentioned) he decided to stick with his commitment to Maryland, at least for the time being. If Locksley is able to keep Gray committed to the Terps it could go a long way in convincing Ngakoue that College Park is the right place for him. However, when a committed recruit is taking “secret” unofficial visits to other campuses it is usually a cause for concern.
As more on this story develops we will have the scoop for you here at TerrapinStationMD.com. Also, be sure to follow us on twitter @terpstationmd for constant updates on all things Maryland sports as this story and the unrelated saga surrounding the Harrison twins are sure to keep me busy social media wise.