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It was no secret that St. Thomas Aquinas High (Fla.) running back Deltron Sands wanted to be a Terp. He had announced more than a month ago that he likely would commit after his spring game. But just this past week, he decided against that. Or so he thought. On Friday night, he changed his mind again and decided to commit to Maryland, as originally planned.
Lost amid all the back and forth is just what type of player Sands can be for the Terps. I take a look at that and break down his game and what it means for Maryland recruiting going forward.
On the field: The first thing you notice when you watch his film is his footwork. He is extremely shifty and makes just the right moves to get past defenders. He keeps himself compact and never wastes any movement, making sure every move he makes has a purpose. If he can get by a defender by running to 1 o'clock — imagine a clock face — he's going to run there, not to 2 o'clock.
He's not exactly suited for contact, but he's not afraid of it, either. He also shows an ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, which is a nice addition to the repertoire for a high school back.
His negatives are obvious. He's on the smaller side, measuring in at 5 feet 8 and 170 pounds earlier this spring. His top-end speed and acceleration, while very good, are also not at an elite level.
Despite that, he makes plays and colleges like him. Had he held out a little longer — and not made it abundantly clear that he wanted to go to Maryland — I believe he would have picked up several more offers.
For recruiting going forward: Maryland should have a lot of talent returning at running back in 2015, but the staff can't rest with just one running back commit, especially after striking out completely in 2014. I expect them to target at least one more back in this class, and they could end up with as many as three come Signing Day.
Another reason I don't expect the staff to slow down with running back recruiting is that Sands says he likely still will take a couple visits. He named Cincinnati as one when we spoke Friday night. That's the nature of south Florida recruiting, and this staff knows that, and will recruit accordingly.
This also could help down the road. Everyone recruits St. Thomas Aquinas, and for good reason:It typically has numerous Bowl Championship Series-caliber recruits every single year. I don't expect Maryland to beat out the local or in-state schools like Miami, Florida or Florida State, but they have an opportunity to pull a couple more recruits from this perennial power down the road.