Maryland football fans got a big boost yesterday on the recruiting front -- and it didn't even involve a new commitment.
With the hiring of offensive coordinator/recruiting guru James Franklin from Kansas State, the Terps are bringing back a two-time Rivals.com top-25 recruiter in the nation, and a coach that was responsible for recruiting D.C. and Prince George's County -- among other local areas -- during his five-year stint in College Park earlier this decade.
The move could help combat the D.C. recruiting juggernaut that is Illinois, led by former Terps assistant Mike Locksley.
Here are some notable Franklin-related links:
He said he would go back to his previous list of schools that included Oregon, Missouri, Illinois and Notre Dame. Harper, who announced his commitment to K-State at the same press conference as Wichita East's Arthur Brown, said he isn't necessarily interested in following Franklin to Maryland.
"I'm still committed to K-State right now, but I'm just going to re-think things and see what I can do," he said. "Maryland never recruited me, so I don't know about that. It's just hard to know what I want to do right now.
This article from The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal doesn't mention Maryland as a possible destination for Harper, but does note that Harper considers himself a decommitment.
• Franklin was kind enough to participate in a recruiting Q&A for our site almost three years ago. It's an interesting read for a couple reasons -- 1.) You get a sense for his personality, and why he's been such a good recruiter in the past, and 2.) It's always entertaining to read opinions on a recruiting class three years later, knowing now what hits (Chris Turner) and misses (Melvin Alaeze) the class contained.
Leftover links from last week that got lost in the wake of the Bobby Maze commitment.
• Ever wonder what Ater Majok has been up to since leaving Australia for the U.S.? According to The Washington Post, it's been non-stop basketball for the 6-foot-10 power forward, who has been playing with the Heat Basketball Academy in Martinsville, Va. The academy is an upstart basketball team that makes academics optional to its players.
The Heat Basketball Academy doesn't own a school building, doesn't offer classes, doesn't employ teachers and doesn't issue grades. Rather, it's a haven for 17- to 21-year-olds who want to play elite basketball while pursuing their own academic agendas. Some Heat players are enrolled at a local private high school; some have graduated high school but lack qualifying scores on the SAT; some have attended college but want attention from bigger universities; and some are just visiting from Australia and Nigeria.
The Roanoke (Va.) Times offers its own take on the academy, which gives a glimpse into how Majok's recruitment is being handled.
On Monday, the Heat players were released for a holiday break. They'll return in early January to begin the second half of their 28-game schedule, which concludes March 7.
By then, perhaps Ater Majok will have made his college choice. He has yet to hint publicly where he's leaning. Ater has been on official visits to Baylor and Maryland. UConn coach Jim Calhoun has flown in twice to watch him play. A host of others have offered him scholarships.
"It's exciting, but I'm just a basketball player," he said. "I let the [Heat] coaches handle all that. I know they will guide me in the right direction."
• When word broke a couple weeks ago about the ACC denying Maryland center commitment Gus Gilchrist's eligibility appeal, there was some confusion as to just how much eligibility he would have. The Roanoke Times got some clarification on the Gilchrist situation, and it's not good news for the one-time Virginia Tech signee.
Gilchrist had talked about the possibility of joining the team after the end of first-semester classes and beginning his eligibility next fall at the latest, but ACC rules require a player to sit out one season when transferring from one conference school to another.
Moreover, Gilchrist will lose a year's eligibility, ACC official Shane Lyons said Wednesday. Tech gave Gilchrist a release from his letter-of-intent but that didn't matter.
"Part of the intent is to prevent players from hopping from one school to another and creating hard feelings," Lyons said.
• Recruiting Report programming note: I'm back home in Michigan for the holidays, so there probably won't be another post from me for a few days. Check back later this week for a season recap of Terps offensive tackle commitment Justin Gilbert and other regularly-scheduled material.