We’ve all had a few days now to digest the news that Suitland High standout point guard Roddy Peters will be following his childhood dream and suiting up for the Maryland Terrapins in 2013. While the same amount of fanfare that surrounded the announcement of the Harrison twins was not present with Peters commitment the end result could be greater for this Terrapins program. The Harrison’s were going to be one-and-done players, everyone knew that all along. While they might have made a significant impact on the program in the short term being able to bring in a local player as highly touted as Peters will ultimately be a bigger deal in my opinion.
The biggest knock on, in my opinion, future Hall of Famer Gary Williams was that he simply could not get the top flight prep talent that this area produces year in and year out to stay in the area for college. He refused to play the “AAU game” and as a result Maryland brought in recruits that weren’t as highly touted as some of their peers in the area. For years programs would come into our back yard and be able to hand pick blue chip recruits out of DC, MD and VA to go out of state to play their college ball. For the most part these recruits would turn a blind eye to the program in College Park that is only 10 years removed from a National Championship.
That is why I am so hopeful over Roddy Peters commitment. Mark Turgeon is burning up the recruiting trail, by all accounts there isn’t a gym where high level talent from the Baltimore and DC area can be found that he hasn’t stopped by. He, and his staff, are putting in the work that is necessary to “Build a fence” around the DC, MD and VA borders and keep some of this high end talent we have been largely missing out on at home. Peters is the epitome of the type of player the Terrapins need to lock up. He will be someone that will be at least a three year player in this system and will be the lead guard that Coach Turgeon will need once Pe’Shon Howard’s eligibility has run its course.
It has been a long time since a five-star player chose Maryland over a host of other offers, since 2003 to be exact, when Mike Jones decided to take his talents to College Park. Despite entertaining the crowd by allowing them to scream “WHO?” every time he would make a shot, Jones never lived up to his five-star billing during his time as a Terp. Since then, Maryland has been able to attract a host of four-star players, which I want to make clear isn’t a bad thing at all, but have not been able to get a hold of those elusive blue chippers that seemed to be constantly leaving the area. Former TerrapinStationMD editor Pete Volk gave a great look at some of the players that have gotten away over the years in his recent article for TestudoTimes.com.
Why do I consider Peters commitment to be as big of a deal, if not bigger, than landing the Harrison twins? If I can echo some of the sentiments of the tone of Volk’s article, it’s quite simple. The Terps aren’t going to be building any pipelines to College Park from Houston or any other part of Texas for that matter. As I alluded to before we can, however, do that here in the greater Washington D.C. area and Roddy Peters is that first building block Maryland needed. Peters has already come out and said he will not be shy about actively recruiting other local talent to come join him at Maryland.
One thing I have learned from following recruiting is that when in-state blue chip players talk the younger prep stars listen and listen well. There is loads of talent in the 2014 class in this area and having Peters playing with and against these same players in an AAU competition for his D.C. Assault team or in high school matchups as he leads the Suitland Rams on another run at the state title he will have an opportunity to be in every single one of their ears selling them on joining him in College Park.
There are no certainties in life; we all learn this sooner or later. Until he puts on that jersey and steps onto the court for the first time no one can say they know what the Terrapins will get out of Roddy Peters. What I can tell you is this; Turgeon and Co., have brought in an uber talented player that has always dreamed of taking the floor at Comcast Center as a Maryland Terrapin. Thankfully for the Terps, we are going to have plenty of room for whichever players choose to listen to Peters recruiting pitch and follow him to College Park to build Maryland back into the championship contending program it once was.