With national signing day only days away, preview the Terps' class of 2014 with a handy, commit-by-commit guide. Prospect profiles will run all the way through Wednesday (Feb. 5), when players can officially sign a national letter of intent. (SEE THEM ALL HERE.)
Position: Defensive end
Measurables: 6 feet 4, 230 pounds, 4.6 40-yard dash
High school: Good Counsel
Recruiter: Mike Locksley
Finalists: Clemson, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Virginia Tech
Rankings: 247: 4*, No. 6 strong-side DE, No. 95 overall
Rivals: 4*, No. 10 weak-side DE, No. 155 overall
ESPN: 4*, No. 11 DE, No. 98 overall
Stats/honors: U.S. Army All-American, honorable mention All-Met by The Washington Post
Quoted for emphasis: "It's been a long season."
Breakdown: The Curse of Maryland Defensive Ends, at least as it relates to Maryland's recruiting of them, seemed to reach new levels of twisted in late September. Jesse Aniebonam, the Terps' top-rated commit, was playing in a big game against a conference rival. Then he got hit in the helmet, and hardly moved. For 20 minutes he lay on the field, waiting to be stabilized and taken to a local hospital. The worst was assumed, because bad outcomes have become a fact of life when Maryland and big-time in-state defensive ends mingle. In the past decade or so, the Terps have missed on, among others, Eleanor Roosevelt's Derrick Harvey (Florida), Randallstown's Melvin Aleaze (Illinois, prison) and Mount Hebron's Aaron Maybin (Penn State). They have landed, among others, Forestville's DeOnte Arnett, who finished his Maryland career as an offensive lineman and without a sack, and Edmondson's David Mackall, who finished his Maryland career after just two seasons to begin a new one at Delaware. It was with that inauspicious history that a sense of hard-earned fatalism began to creep in as news of Aniebonam's injury spread. It was all wrong, of course. Aniebonam had suffered only a concussion, and he was back on the field weeks later. As much as anyone in the class, Aniebonam has the ability to have an enchanted career in College Park. Terps fans just hope it's the good kind.
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