The roster for Maryland heading into the 2014-15 season, as it stands right now, will look like this:
Centers: Shaquille Cleare (junior), Damonte Dodd (sophomore)
Forwards: Evan Smotrycz (senior), Charles Mitchell (junior), Jake Layman (junior)
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Guards: Nick Faust (senior), Dez Wells (senior), Seth Allen (junior), Roddy Peters (sophomore), Dion Wiley (freshman), Melo Trimble (freshman)
Small forwards Nickens, Donte Grantham and Terry Larrier all claim Terps offers. At the 4/5, Martin Geben, Obi Enechionyia, Chinanu Onuaku, Goodluck Okonoboh and Trayvon Reed have all been mentioned as possibilities. 247Sports has a breakdown of all offered Maryland prospects here.
With just two scholarships left to give in 2014, I’d expect the Maryland staff to be picky as the Terps look to add a wing and a big man. But it certainly can’t hurt the recruiting of high-level forwards by pitching them to join a group that already includes two of the top guards on the East Coast.
Maryland football coaches have talked the past few years about upgrading the speed of the team. So who is the fastest Terp?
Jeff Barker: There’s often good-natured disagreement about this among the players. But I asked around and will go with little-known Amba Etta-Tawo, a receiver and former Georgia high school sprinter who made a positive impression on the football staff during the spring.
Like all coaches, Randy Edsall loves players who can stretch defenses.
The 6-3, 190-pound Etta-Tawo, who redshirted as a freshman last season, caught a 60-yard touchdown pass from Dustin Dailey during a March scrimmage at Baltimore’s Dunbar High. Etta-Tawo ended the spring second on the depth chart at one of the receiver positions behind transfer Deon Long.
It’s hard not to notice his speed.
“He’s got a real long stride,” Ken Hockman, his position coach at McEachern High in Powder Springs, Ga., told my colleague Matt Bracken after Etta-Tawo committed to Maryland. “He gets 10 yards in four strides, maybe four and a half strides. In five strides he’s at 12 yards. It looks like he’s barely running. On the [school’s 4x100] relay team, he did really well. He runs the back straightaway and just passes everybody. On the deep routes, it’s the same thing.”
He's been clocked at 4.4 seconds in the 40, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Speed, of course, isn’t enough for a receiver. Plenty of track guys flop at football.
Maryland receivers coach Lee Hull said he saw something more.
“One thing I liked about him was I saw him go up and high-point the ball and that's what attracted me to him,” Hull said last year. “He's a fast guy and he gets down the field, stretch the field vertically but he goes up and get the ball. He could be another red-zone threat for us.”
Etta-Tawo’s prospects for playing time increased when Marcus Leak said he was leaving school for personal reasons and would miss the 2013 season. Leak expects to return in 2014.