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Meet Terps defensive end commit Brett Kulka

With today marking national signing day, preview the Terps' class of 2014 with a handy, commit-by-commit guide. Prospect profiles ran all the way through today, when players can officially sign a national letter of intent. (SEE THEM ALL HERE.)

Name: Brett Kulka

Position: Defensive end

Measurables: 6 feet 5, 245 pounds

High school: General McLane (Pa.)

Recruiter: Greg Gattuso (now John Dunn)

Finalists: Akron, Bucknell, Buffalo, Kent State

Rankings: 247: 2*, weak-side DE

Rivals: 3*

ESPN: 3*, No. 71 DE

Stats/honors: 52 tackles (10 for losses) three sacks, three quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles (one recovered), one interception; Class AAA All-State (as an offensive lineman)

Quoted for emphasis: “I’ll do whatever they want me to do down there to help the team out, and if it’s playing defense, then that’s what I’ll do.”

Breakdown: Those words are ripped straight from an interview Kulka did in June with a local TV station shortly after committing. They are also words that hint at a bit of surprise that a school would prefer to have him on defense. His senior season seems to show why. He emerged as one of Pennsylvania’s top linemen, a noteworthy improvement counterbalanced by a notable decline on defense — from his junior to his senior year, both his tackle and sack totals dropped. There are plausible explanations: He was injured. He was double- and triple-teamed. He was playing on a lesser defense. But will defense be in his future? He did finish with 10 tackles for losses last season, and could conceivably could grow into a 3-4 end who leans more to run stuffing than pass rushing. He could also join a crowded offensive line class. With Kulka likely needing a year or two before he’s Big Ten-ready, he should offer Maryland time to check out its options.

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