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Georgia offensive guard commits to Maryland

Maryland went down south for its latest commitment, nabbing offensive guard Ricky Hart from Folkston, Ga., yesterday.

According to Hart's head coach at Charlton County High School, Rich McWhorter, Hart committed to the Terps during a two-day unofficial visit to College Park this week.

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Hart, 6 feet 3, 315 pounds, plays both ways for Charlton County, and had received a good deal of recruiting interest for his defensive play.

"People like Purdue and NC State offered him as a defensive tackle," McWhorter said. "Florida and Tennessee were interested in evaluating him as a defensive tackle. On his film, it's more offensive line than defensive line -- there's some [defensive line highlights], but not a lot. Florida and Tennessee came by and said, 'are you going to be playing him more on the D-line?' And I said our plans are for him to stay on the field all the time. And they said 'good, we'll evaluate him when we get more film.'"

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McWhorter said he sent film of Hart to most of the SEC and ACC, and to a few select Big Ten schools. The tape found its way to UM offensive line coach Tom Brattan, who then took a trip down to Georgia.

"[Brattan] had a chance to come down and watch Ricky practice at spring ball, and said Ricky's exactly what he's looking for [in an offensive guard]," McWhorter said. "Ricky had family up there, so it's a long way up, but not so long you can't drive. Jacksonville to Baltimore is an easy flight. His grandmother and mother were willing to load up and ride up there to Maryland, and [Ricky and the coaches] really just kind of hit it off right there and kind of came together."

McWhorter said in Hart, Maryland's getting an athletic lineman that plays with a bit of a mean streak.

"First of all, for any sized person, you would say that Ricky's a good athlete," McWhorter said. "He runs real well. He's not just a big kid that plays football. He can play basketball, track, throw the shot, throw the disc. He's got great feet. He's a kid that can really run at 315 pounds. And he can probably run at a little heavier and still be okay. That's the kind of athlete he is.

"He's a real coachable kid. He's been exposed to the two-point stance and pass protection in the three-point stance. We're basically a spread football team. We throw the ball quite a bit, but we'll also run it and knock you off the football. He's what you'd call a real mauler, he'll run you into the ground. So he's a very physical player. He brings some of that defensive mentality to the offensive side of the ball."

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