Following TerrapinStationMD’s recent article covering legitimate Terps basketball targets, we have decided that doing something similar for football only seemed right. Although National Signing Day is a long ways away, it’s never too early to look at realistic targets that Randy Edsall and staff could bring in by the time February 2nd rolls around.
Keep in mind that Maryland has tons of offers out there, and some recruits who hold a Maryland offer did not make it onto this list. Some recruits put out very little information, while for others it’s difficult to gauge whether a teenager’s interest is sincere or fluff. In any case, here is the list of 2014 recruits that could potentially find their way to College Park in 2014:
Will Ulmer (St. Johns, Washington DC) (Committed) – With Ulmer on board, Maryland seems to be done looking at other quarterback targets. Ulmer chose the Terps over offers from Wisconsin, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Michigan St, Miami, FSU, Arizona St, among others. Excellent get for Edsall and staff.
Johnathan Thomas (St. John’s Prep, Massachusetts) (Committed) – Thomas committed to the Terps because he loved the campus, the direction of the program, and the location. He visited Maryland numerous times, including the Spring Game, and was close to committing then. His recruitment picked up recently, receiving offers from Arkansas and Nebraska. Other schools such as Penn St and Rutgers were close to offering as well. He liked Boston College a lot and enjoyed his visit to Arkansas, but ultimately the Terps offer was too good to pass up. With Thomas in the fold now, it’s hard to see Maryland push for another running back.
Ray Lawry (Kingsway Regional, New Jersey) – Lawry is a good looking back who’s recruitment is slowly building. He currently holds offers from Maryland, Temple and Old Dominion, but schools like Miami, Penn St, Rutgers, Wisconsin and Pittsburgh are monitoring him closely. He has stated that he would like to stay local, but more schools are likely to get involved. After Thomas’ commitment, we’ll see if the Terps make a push or if they’re content with Thomas’ pledge.
Taiwan Deal (DeMatha, Maryland) – Deal is a back with great size and surprising speed for someone who’s close to 230 lbs. The Terps were his first offer, but RB isn’t a crucial need for this class, especially following Thomas’ commitment. Maryland hasn’t been pushing the issue, and Deal has no issue looking elsewhere. He holds offers from a number of Big Ten schools, including Purdue, Iowa, Michigan St and Wisconsin. West Virginia, Tennessee and Vanderbilt have offered as well, but with Mikale Wilbon committing to Vandy, it appears the Commodores aren’t pushing so much either. Maryland could get involved later in the process down the road, and if they choose to do so, it seems that Deal would listen. But as it looks right now, it looks as if Deal won’t be happening to Maryland.
Chris Jones (DeMatha, Maryland) – Jones is a tad under the radar, but Maryland was one of the first schools to offer him. Along with Maryland, Jones holds offers from Wisconsin and Temple, while schools like Virginia, Rutgers and FSU continue to monitor him. He apparently likes the Terps a good deal, and he has been to many Maryland games and camps already. He has said he will wait it out to signing day, but the feeling is that Maryland could possibly land him before February rolls around.
Cam Phillips (DeMatha, Maryland) – On the opposite side of Jones, Phillips brings a good amount of talent to the gridiron. He holds offers from Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Rutgers, Penn St, UNC and Georgia Tech. What’s a tad surprising is that Maryland has not offered, but if the Terps were to push, he’d listen.
Freddy Canteen (Eastern Christian Academy, Maryland) – Canteen is a serious talent, and Maryland was one of the firsts to notice. Other offers include Rutgers and Temple, while UCLA, UNC, Miami and West Virginia continue to keep tabs on him. More schools will continue to jump in, but he appears to be legitimately considering the Terps. But as any recruit at ECA, academics could come into question.
Jared Cohen (McDonogh, Maryland) (Committed) – Cohen was the first to commit to Maryland in the 2014 class, and he comes at a position of need. He didn’t wait long to join former teammate (and now current teammate) Roman Braglio in College Park as Maryland was the first school to offer him. Cohen will most likely be a guard in college.
Justin Falcinelli (Middletown, Maryland) – Maryland was one of the first schools to notice Falcinelli’s talents, but it didn’t take long for others to notice too. Since picking up a Maryland offer, he has received offers from Clemson, Penn St, Rutgers, Virginia and West Virginia. Falcinelli really likes the hometown Terps, and has expressed interest in staying home for college. He already has a brother on campus, which can’t hurt Maryland’s chances. At this point, and it’s still early, it looks to be between Maryland and Clemson. Fortunately, Maryland won’t have to wait until February to find out, as he plans to have his decision in before his senior season.
Brock Ruble (DeMatha, Maryland) – This mammoth tackle has offers from all over, including FSU, Cal, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and many more. But despite a heavy offer sheet, Maryland is right in the thick of things. He’s been on campus plenty of times, and has even stated he wouldn’t mind staying home for college. Ruble’s decision could come by the end of summer.
Damian Prince (McNamara, Maryland) – Prince is one of the best offensive linemen in the country, as indicated by his offer list. Top dogs like Alabama, Ohio St, Auburn, Florida, Clemson, FSU…well, let’s just say Prince has his choice of any school in the country. He’s been to many Maryland practices and games, and he does like Maryland. Prince is considered a longshot, but if Maryland can get some W’s early and a few more top local recruits to jump on board, Prince could very well be a Terp as well by signing day.
Sam Madaras (Good Counsel, Maryland) – Sam is the younger brother of current Terps starting LT Mike Madaras. But even with big bro on board, Maryland has yet to offer Sam. While the Terps wait for Sam to camp to decide whether or not to offer, Madaras holds offers from NC State, Hawaii and Miami of Ohio. Madaras is being monitored by schools such as Boston College, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Penn St, along with Maryland.
Kevin Wilkins (St. Joseph’s, New Jersey) – although a tad underrated, coach Edsall spotted Wilkins on a trip to New Jersey and didn’t hesitate to offer. He currently holds offers from Boston College and UCF, but schools like Miami, Rutgers, Syracuse and Virginia Tech are snooping around. Wilkins will most likely be a guard in college.
Jesse Aniebonam (Good Counsel, Maryland) – Aniebonam is one of the top defensive linemen in the country. He holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, South Carolina, Clemson, Ole Miss…the list goes on. And yet, the Terps are right up there on Aniebonam’s list. He loves the direction of the Maryland program, and a decision could be coming soon. Aniebonam is a no-nonsense kind of guy, the kind of guy Edsall salivates over. I like the Terps chances here.
Rick Leonard (Middletown, Maryland) – It would be hard to argue that there’s a recruit whose recruiting and exposure has blown up more than Leonard. Since receiving a Maryland offer, Leonard has gotten offers from FSU, Clemson, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Arizona, and Washington. He holds a West Virginia offer, but he immediately informed the Mountaineers that he was not interested (how can Terps fans not love this guy?). Despite an impressive list of offers, Leonard really likes Maryland. And just like teammate Falcinelli, the Terps will be in his top 3 when he decides hopefully by the end of summer.
Ricky Walker (Bethal, Virginia) – Although a tad on the short side for a defensive linemen, Walker has great size, the size of a prototypical defensive end in the 3-4 base set. Walker has offers from all over, including Illinois, Ole Miss, Nebraska, UNC, Penn St, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Wisconsin. With a list like that, Walker is in no hurry to commit, or narrow down his list for that matter. He’s been to Maryland a few times, and has said good things about the Terps program. But more schools will offer, and the more big schools that offer, the more Maryland could eventually become an afterthought.
Deonte Holden (DeMatha, Maryland) – Holden’s got some pretty good offers on the table, uncluding Temple, Iowa, NC State, and Virginia. The Terps have not offered, but Holden likes Maryland a lot. My guess is, if they offer, he could be a Terp sooner rather than later.
Antoine White (Millville, New Jersey) – White is a good talent with an even better attitude. He’s a hard worker who’s received offers from Boston College, Rutgers, Temple, ODU, Vanderbilt, as well as Maryland. Schools UNC and Penn St are keeping close tabs on him, and offers could be around the corner. While he really likes Rutgers, he does like the Terps and their Criminal Justice program, which could be a bigger factor than fans realize. Like I said, he’s got a good head on his shoulders.
Melvin Keihn (Gilman, Maryland) – Getting Gilman recruits has always been a difficult challenge for Maryland, but Randy Edsall has the Terps positioned well with this star linebacker. Keihn seems comfortable staying local for college, which helps the Terps a great deal (along with having fellow teammate Cockerille on board). But Maryland faces stiff competition, as he also likes Virginia and Virginia Tech too. He holds offers from UNC, Rutgers and West Virginia as well.
Jawhaun Bentley (DeMatha, Maryland) – Bentley has been to Maryland many times, and has a great deal of respect for both the Terps and their coaching staff. He holds offers from Pittsburgh, Iowa and Virginia, while more schools are bound to offer. The good news is he really likes the Terps, and Maryland has positioned themselves well to land this Stagg.
Tyler Burke (Coatsville, Pennsylvania) – Burke possesses great size for a linebacker, and the Terps offered him early in the recruiting process. Lots of regional schools have been in to see Burke, such as Temple, Rutgers and NC State. But Maryland was on him early, and Maryland could very well be Burke’s college destination if things go well this summer.
Spencer Kleinrichert (DeMatha, Maryland) – needless to say, the Staggs are stacked at Linebacker this season. And Maryland wants in on the action. Kleinrichert is under the radar at this point of the recruiting process, but that only benefits Maryland’s chances and he could very well be a Terp before his recruiting blossoms.
Jalen Tabor (Friendship Collegiate, Washington, DC) – There’s not much more that can be said that Terps fans don’t already know about when it comes to this prized jewel of the 2014 class. He’s been on record saying that he wants all top talent in the DMV to end up in College Park so Maryland can become a powerhouse. But like all 16- and 17-year olds, they love attention, especially if it’s coming from the best of the best. With Tabor’s recruitment, any school can be out of his top 10 one week and appear in the top 10 next week. He holds offers from just about every top school in the country. In the end, Maryland should be in his top 5, but he also loves Florida and Alabama, so Terps will be facing an uphill battle.
Troy Vincent Jr. (Gilman, Maryland) – Vincent is the kind of kid that every coach wants on his team. He has a great attitude, is serious about his academics, and comes from a strong no-nonsense kind of family. He has an impressive offer list (Michigan, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Wisconsin, Michigan St) but this could very well come down to Maryland and Penn St. He loves both coaching staffs and he likes that both head coaches are straight shooters. Penn St could be the favorite, but Maryland isn’t going to give up without a fight.
Marcel Joly (Forestville, Maryland) – Joly is an interesting recruit. He hasn’t been in the US all that long, and he hasn’t played organized football all that long either. But he already possesses some serious skill in the backfield. He’s still raw, hence his small offer list (Maryland and Vanderbilt). Joly could be a perfect fallback option if the Terps fail to land Tabor and/or Vincent, but Joly won’t wait around forever. Terps will need to decide real soon if they want to make a serious push for Joly or not, otherwise he will be a Commodore.
D’Andre Payne (Friendship Collegiate, Washington, DC) – Yea yea yea I know, he already committed to Tennessee. But Taivon Jacobs committed to Ohio St last season, and now he wears Maryland red instead of Buckeye red. These things happen every year; a player commits to a school and after February 2nd he’s wearing another team’s colors. Something tells me Payne’s recruitment isn’t over just yet. After all, Maryland was pretty high on Payne’s list before he committed to the Vols, so we’ll see.
Marcus Boone (Woodbridge, Virginia) – Boone was once considered a running back, but he’ll most likely play his college ball on the defensive side. Boone doesn’t hold any offers yet, but regional schools like Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, JMU and ODU are keeping a close eye on him. Unfortunately Boone is more known at this point for being best friends with top prospect and 5-star talent DeShawn Hand than for his play on the field. But a strong showing this summer and senior season could land Boone some pretty good offers, including Maryland.
Marcus Allen (Wise, Maryland) – Allen is an intriguing talent. At one point he only held offers from Maryland and Pittsburgh, but now he holds offers from Arizona, Illinois, Clemson, Georgia Tech, NC State and Vanderbilt. Allen really likes the Terps, and Maryland couldn’t have positioned themselves any better to acquire Allen’s services. But Allen is a Pittsburgh native, so Pitt could be a serious contender. And schools like Clemson and Vanderbilt can’t be taken lightly, especially in the DMV.
Demetrius Johnson (Annapolis Area Christian, Maryland) – Annapolis isn’t exactly a recruiting hotbed of talent, but Johnson is the exception to the rule. Maryland is in great shape with Johnson, being local and having best friend and former 2013 safety Elvis Dennah already already on campus. The only issue with Johnson could be academics, and if things get too out of hand, Johnson could be on his way out of Maryland an into the arms of the Wolfpack (he holds an offer from NC State in case you didn’t figure that one out).
Jordan Noil (Norcross, Georgia) – Although underrated at this point, Noil has the size and speed that coach Edsall couldn’t pass up. Noil is a recruit of a different color; he is very serious about his studies and wants to go to school that has a top notch architecture program. Advantage Maryland over everyone else!
MJ Stewart (Yorktown, Virginia) – Stewart has the ability to play both safety and corner in college, and that intrigues a lot of college coaches. He really likes the direction of the Maryland program, especially moving into the BIG. Although Maryland is in great shape, he does like UNC a lot. Schools like Virginia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia round out his list. This looks to be a battle between the Terps and Tar Heels. Stewart looks to make his decision at some point during the summer.