As Good Counsel faced Gilman at Towson University on Friday evening, Falcons defensive end Jesse Aniebonam was set to announce where he would play his college football. He did not disappoint.
As a move that didn’t come as much of a surprise, Aniebonam chose to stay home and commit to the University of Maryland. The Good Counsel defensive end also listed Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Clemson, and Notre Dame as finalists for his services. According to 247Sports.com, Aniebonam is listed as the 102nd best player in the country and the second-best player in the state of Maryland.
With Aniebonam now in the fold, Maryland’s 2014 recruiting class should see a big boost in the national rankings. According to most major recruiting services, the Terps fall into the low 80s. Maryland currently only has a pair of four-star recruits in St. John’s quarterback Will Ulmer and now Aniebonam. Obviously with Aniebonam potentially being the first domino in a bevy of Maryland targets including Friendship Academy’s Jalen Tabor and Bishop McNamara’s Damian Prince. It has the potential to be a very strong class from a national standpoint.
Back to Aniebonam, he brings tremendous talent and athleticism to a defensive end group that will consist of Quinton Jefferson (will be a junior), Keith Bowers (senior), Andre Monroe (senior), and Kingsley Opara (sophomore). The Good Counsel senior has tremendous quickness and excels in rushing the passer off the edge. Aniebonam has a great motor and seems to always be in the backfield. He really plays against the run very well and is a very sound tackler.
Aniebonam also uses his size (6’5/240 pounds) to his advantage. The Good Counsel senior bats quite a few balls down at the line of scrimmage. Whether Aniebonam stays at home and reads the quarterback or just rushes, he is an extremely efficient defensive lineman. His size could also allow him to line up at defensive tackle, depending on what type of defensive scheme Maryland is running. Aniebonam just oozes potential and should bring a tremendous boost to the Terps pass rush. Maryland finished seventh in the ACC with 28 sacks in 2012. In heading to the B1G, the Terps will need to be able to effectively rush the passer, since they will be facing signal callers like Ohio State’s Braxton Miller (if he stays for his senior year), Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg, and Michigan’s Devin Gardner.
All in all, Aniebonam’s commitment is a great pickup for Maryland’s 2014 recruiting class. Coach Randy Edsall has really hit the recruiting trail hard since his arrival at Maryland. The 2014 class doesn’t have a ton of big names aside from Ulmer and Aniebonam. However, guys like Massachusetts running back Johnathan Thomas, Texas offensive tackle Brendan Moore, and Pennsylvania defensive end Tyler Burke. When it’s all said and done, the Terps could have a nice class that ranks in the top 30 in the country. It takes time but Maryland is making big strides and getting a guy like Aniebonam keeps that momentum going.