Terps sign 18 recruits, half of them from state

Maryland's incoming football class is heavy on receivers and local talent, in keeping with coach Ralph Friedgen's desire to retain players from the region.

Half of the 18-member class announced yesterday by Friedgen is from Maryland. Friedgen has been seeking to keep local talent away from such schools as Florida State and Penn State that have plucked players from Maryland in the past. The coach said Maryland is increasingly focusing its efforts on players within a five-hour radius of campus."If you look at the press guide, 60 percent of the team is from this area," Friedgen said. "I've always put a lot of stock in it."

With the incoming receivers - including highly regarded wide receiver Kenny Tate from DeMatha and tight end Devonte Campbell from Forestville - the positions "should be a strength of our football team," Friedgen said. "It's definitely a position of depth and strength."

Tate also considered Illinois, Penn State, Ohio State and Florida. He "was a really a big get for us," Friedgen said. Tate was rated 16th nationally among wide receivers by Scout.com.

The new wide receivers also include Kerry Boykins from Chesapeake, Va. - the Terrapins have had recent success recruiting in the Tidewater area - and Kevin Dorsey of Forestville, who committed to Maryland as a sophomore.

The class includes one player - offensive lineman R.J. Dill - from Pennsylvania. "I want to do a better job in Pennsylvania. I'm a little frustrated in the Pittsburgh area," Friedgen said.

The class doesn't include Milford Mill defensive tackle Teddy Dargan. Maryland had looked at Dargan but had some concerns about him academically, officials said.

Friedgen said Maryland could have used more defensive help. "If there's another kid I'd like to have, it's [at] corner. Corner and maybe linebacker," he said.

The class includes one quarterback - Tyler Bass from Stockbridge High in Atlanta. Friedgen described Bass, listed at 6 feet 3, 220 pounds, as a "big, strong, athletic kid" who had also considered Louisville.

The class also includes Davin Meggett, a 5-8 running back from Clinton who is the son of former Towson State star and NFL running back David Meggett.

The other members of the class: Masengo Kabongo, Fairfield (Conn.) Prep, defensive tackle; Demetrius Hartsfield, Southeast Raleigh (N.C.) Magnet High, linebacker; Cameron Chism, Bishop McNamara, cornerback; Eteyen Edet, Friendly (Fort Washington), linebacker; Gary Douglas, Durham (N.C.) Hillside, running back; Zach Kerr, Quince Orchard, defensive tackle; Matt Furstenburg, The Hun School (N.J.), tight end; Justin Lewis, Johnsonville (S.C.), offensive guard; Cody Blue, Wilde Lake, defensive tackle; Justin Gilbert, Monacan (Va.) High, offensive lineman; and A.J. Francis, Gonzaga (D.C.), defensive tackle.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun