So the Maryland Terrapins picked up a pretty big recruit yesterday when 2014 QB prospect William Ulmer of local St. John’s committed to the team. Most recruitniks have a hard time pegging exactly where Ulmer ranks, with 247 rating him the #3 dual-threat QB (203 overall), Rivals giving him a lofty #10 overall at his position, and Scout throwing him the three-star ranking. The general consensus about Ulmer that you get is anything but confusing, though: as my grandpa would put it, “He’s the cat’s meow.”
Ulmer said no thanks to a host of other programs with unquestionably better recent history than the Terrapins, including Michigan State, Florida State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and even West Virginia. That’s just the short list, because the actual number of offers he received is far more long and distinguished. As TestudoTimes’ Pete Volk put it earlier, the Terps “managed to stick it to both their current and future conference rivals simultaneously.” That in and of itself feels great, since the ACC is doing Maryland no favors during our swan song season, so we might as well win when we can.
As an example of how good Ulmer really is, you can just look at the fantastic numbers he put up last season at St. John’s: 1,245 yards passing and 1,412 rushing with 25 total touchdowns. Those numbers speak to ability when you consider that he did it on an overmatched team in the WCAC, which features the #9 team in the country in Good Counsel, along with powerhouses DeMatha and Gonzaga. Ulmer wasn’t going against slouches; he was playing against future Division I athletes.
That Division I athlete thing is probably what most stands out about Will Ulmer’s game, too. If you even take a glance at his highlight reel below, I can assure you you’ll watch the entirety of it because he’s so electrifying on the field. A QB who runs a 4.4 40-yard dash, has the elusiveness of a running back, and can competently throw the ball with a good degree of accuracy is very hard to find, and Ulmer has all of that (think: Stefon Diggs at quarterback). Ulmer may not have an absolute gun, but he can read defenses pretty well for a junior option quarterback, and there’s always room for growth.
Ulmer runs directly at defenders and they often still miss regardless of how well they are positioned for a tackle. He also excels at end around plays, making him a pretty darn good fit for Mike Locksley’s offense. His athleticism makes you think that even if things don’t work out at quarterback for him, at the very least Ulmer can play a number of other positions on the football field. Assuming he can catch the ball, he’d make a pretty dangerous receiving threat considering his speed and ability to create space.
But that’s just speculation, because as it stands Ulmer should thrive in the competitive quarterback environment Maryland has quietly developed on their roster. With C.J. Brown and Ricardo Young available for two more years, Caleb Rowe and Perry Hills on the staff for another three, and Shane Cockerille (Maryland’s top 2013 QB prospect) probably looking at five years in a Terps jersey assuming he redshirts, it’s a crowded, hungry position. Maryland is more than likely not going to have to worry about depth at that position for years to come, and that’s got to please fans,
Will Ulmer is also a pretty symbolic victory, because his commitment continues the trend of the Terrapins program building a strong connection with local schools and their best players. For years, Maryland had been unable to tap the talent-rich DMV area, but Edsall and Locksley appear to be bucking that trend. Some are speculating that his signing could create a “domino effect” of sorts, allowing the Terps to sign even more elite talent in the area (*cough* Jalen Tabor *cough*).
I’m not going to go that far, because I’d rather just relish this victory. The Terrapins picked up a guy that more than a few people didn’t think they would get, and that’s a big enough change for me to be more than pleased with the staff. Ulmer is a phenomenal talent to have at Maryland, and he might be the best QB prospect the Terps have gotten since, ugh, Jordan Steffy. He’s going to help us compete in the Big Ten in a few years, and that’s all you can ask for.