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Sports Terps Tracking the Terps

Terps football addressing multiple areas with 2015 recruiting class, analyst says

ESPN National Recruiting Director Tom Luginbill likes two things in particular about the 2015 recruiting class Randy Edsall and Maryland are building.

"One thing I think they’ve done a really good job of is they’ve really spread around their scholarships and hit on multiple positions within this class,” Luginbill said during a phone interview. “You’re looking at quarterback, inside linebacker, outside linebacker, the offensive line. You also look at players that can play on both sides of the ball, guys like Ty Johnson, as an athlete-type.

“So I think what they’ve done is they’ve kind of addressed multiple fronts within this roster in relation to where they felt their needs are. The other thing I think they’ve done is added some speed and athleticism.”

Maryland does not have any verbal commitments from players rated better than a three-star prospect by ESPN, but none of the Terps’ 16 commitments are rated less than a three-star either.

Luginbill spoke highly of Johnson, a three-star athlete from Fort Hill High School in Cumberland.

He also referred to quarterback Gage Shaffer as a player who has “an opportunity to blossom” at Maryland.

“We really like this kid,” Luginbill said.

The 6-foot-6, 205-pound Shaffer is ranked as just a two-star prospect by Rivals, but ESPN rates him just shy of being a four-star recruit and has him ranked as the top player in Maryland’s current class.

The Terps have also gotten commitments from Rivals four-star wide receiver D.J. Moore as well as six offensive linemen, including Ellis McKennie (McDonogh) and 6-foot-5, 330-pound E.J. Donahue (Linganore). McKennie and Donahue are both rated as upper-tier three-star prospects by ESPN.

"When you’re projecting these guys going forward, you’re having to project on what you see athletically and how a guy fits into what you do,” Luginbill said. “It’s not just about getting the best player. It’s also about getting the right player.

“I think that’s one thing you have to give Randy Edsall a lot of credit for. His entire career, wherever he’s been, he hasn’t cowered to public opinion or outside influence, and they’ve really kind of stuck to their guns and said, ‘Hey, we’re going to go with guys that fit us and who we are.’”

That's not to say Maryland doesn't still have work to do with this class.

The Terps’ class is ranked 30th-best in the country by Rivals, but Maryland would still like to add a top player like four-star offensive lineman Isaiah Prince (Eleanor Roosevelt) or quarterback Kai Locksley (Gilman).

The Terps have reportedly fallen behind Texas and Florida State in the race for Locksley. However, Eleanor Roosevelt coach Tom Green told The Sun last week that he believes Maryland is currently the top team on Prince’s list.

The Terps are also still in the running for some players like offensive lineman Quarvez Boulware, who is rated as a four-star prospect by Rivals.

Maryland’s class did take a hit when Rivals four-star cornerback Kareem Ali decommitted last weekend. However, Luginbill says the Terps could set themselves up well for the future in more ways than one by adding a top local player like Prince.

"When prospects within the Maryland, D.C. and Virginia area each and every year start seeing other high profile guys staying at home, they’re going to start looking at Maryland a little bit different,” Luginbill said. “That’s where you’ve got to work tirelessly to keep those guys at home and make that type of impression.

“So, if you do close out the class with a Prince or a Boulware or some of these guys, I think what that does is upgrade that perception, which at the end of the day is what you’ve got to have is a positive perception from kids in your own backyard.”

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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