Sometime between late Sunday night and Monday morning, news broke that Maryland football had landed another 2014 commitment in David Shaw. Shaw, a 6’4, 270 lb. defensive tackle/nose guard from Spring Grove Pennsylvania, did not any major offers outside of Maryland, but took an unofficial visit to Penn State and was receiving moderate interest from other colleges earlier this year. Shaw becomes the fourth commit for Maryland’s 2014 class, joining quarterback Will Ulmer, offensive lineman Jared Cohen, and runningback Jonathan Thomas.
Shaw is largely an unknown entity to most recruiting services; neither 24/7, Scout, or Rivals has even assigned him a star rating. Judging from his pedigree, however, it appears that Shaw has some talent: both his brothers, John and Jim, played football at Penn State. How he got on Maryland’s radar, however, isn’t that puzzling of a story. The head coach of the Spring Grove Rockets, Russ Stoner, played his college ball with Mike Locksley at Towson, and Randy Edsall grew up not too far from the high school. The area itself isn’t foreign territory, and it’s likely that Maryland got a heads up on a sleeper prospect based on those connections.
Reports about Shaw are scant, but most agree that he is quick off the line, and is a behemoth of a guy (his nickname is Frankenstein). What Shaw does bring to the table is some much-needed size, which as we all know, is something you can’t teach. Considering how massive offensive lines are in the Big Ten (more like the boys Ralph Friedgen used to bring in), having someone like Shaw on board could pay dividends in the future. While he isn’t a heralded recruit, and will be more of a project than anything else at this point, being able to coach someone with his frame up can be a plus.
Another thing the addition of Shaw helps with is continuing to make some inroads recruiting-wise in Pennsylvania. With the move to the Big Ten, Maryland is going to have to adjust some of the locations they look for talent, and that includes Pennsylvania. Their biggest competitor there obviously being Penn State, who routinely comes into Maryland and poaches recruits. Being able to lock one up early and solidify a connection to the area (however small) should help in the future.
While there aren’t any alumni from Spring Grove that come to mind off the top of my head, it’s more of a symbolic victory than anything else. I’m happy that the Terps picked up a big dude who has the potential to be a talented sleeper, and that they can still grease the connections in Pennsylvania a bit to ensure that they continue to establish a pipeline in the state after grabbing zero kids from the state in 2013 (which hadn’t happened in a long time).