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The biggest news of the week in Maryland recruiting came late Wednesday when Mychal Parker, a four-star small forward, committed to the Terps.

InsideMDSports.com caught up with Parker to discuss his decision. The 6-foot-6, 185-pounder said Terrence Ross was a major influence on his choice.

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Earlier this year, Mychal Parker became friends with eventual Maryland commitment Terrence Ross of Montrose Christian (Md.), another top-50 prospect and like Parker, an extremely athletic wing player. Parker considers himself a shooting guard but said he's unsure -- and unconcerned -- about who will be considered the shooting guard and who will be the small forward.

"I don't know, I just know that me and T-Ross are going to be tearing it up," he said, in a rare moment of bravado from a normally understated, quiet high school senior. "Him committing to Maryland really put an edge on me committing."

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Parker told his hometown newspaper, the Washington (N.C.) Daily News, that Maryland's coaching staff played an important role in the decision.

"It feels great to sign with them; it's a blessing," Parker said. "They have such a great tradition, and Gary Williams is just a great coach. He lets you play your game and relax, but he also takes no stuff from you either."Tommy Landseadel, an assistant coach with the Miller School in Charlottesville, Va., credited Terps assistant Chuck Driesell for his dogged pursuit of Parker.

"Maryland has always been in [Parker's] top three, but they had never really gotten up to the top until the beginning of this summer," Landseadel said. "I really think Maryland winning the battle can be attributed to Coach Driesell staying on him. He showed Mychal a lot of love from the start. He was at more of our events last year than anybody else. I know they followed him on the AAU circuit as well. I think Coach Driesell showing his face and making his contacts really made a big difference."

Tony Squire, Parker's former AAU coach in Richmond, Va., thinks the commitment will work out well for both parties.

"You never have to worry about the kid talking back or having any disciplinary problems. He listens and he wants to learn and get better. Having a coach like Gary Williams, who won't spoil you, who won't kiss your tail, [will be great for Parker]. I think Gary Williams is going to bring out the best in Mychal Parker. By the time Mike's a sophomore, get ready to see a major type of guy."

Meanwhile, Testudo Times has already reassessed Maryland's recruiting agenda in the wake of Parker's pledge.

• Port Washington, Wis., combo guard and Terps target Josh Gasser picked up a conditional offer this week from the hometown Badgers.

Gasser and his parents, Pat and Joan, met with Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan late last week. A scholarship offer was extended, though at this point it is a four-for-five deal, meaning Gasser would walkon as a freshman and then be on scholarship the next four years.

• Fayetteville, N.C., power forward Damontre Harris has scheduled an official visit to College Park.

Harris will visit Wake Forest September 6th, USC September 18th, Maryland September 25th and Florida October 16th. He will also visit Virginia Commonwealth in October.

• Maryland is continuing its pursuit of Holly Springs, N.C., power forward C.J. Leslie, according to Adam Zagoria.

Leslie, a 6-foot-8 small forward out of Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God Academy, listed North Carolina, Kentucky, Florida and Maryland as the schools recruiting him the hardest.

• There was no mention of the Terps in Zagoria's update on Portland, Ore., forward Terrence Jones.

He rattled off a long list of schools led by Kentucky, Oklahoma, Kansas, UCLA, Washington, Florida and UConn.

Terrence Ross will participate in the Elite 24 slam dunk contest tonight at Rucker Park in New York. An all-star game will follow at 7 p.m.

The participants for this year's slam dunk contest were announced earlier today and they go as follows: 6-8 power forward DaJuan Coleman of Jamesville-DeWitt (DeWitt, N.Y.), 5-11 point guard Joe Jackson of White Station (Memphis, Tenn.), 6-3 point guard Josh Selby of Lake Clifton (Baltimore, Md.), 6-2 point guard Myck Kabongo of St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.), 6-7 small forward Roscoe Smith of Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), 6-6 small forward Terrence Ross of Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.), 6-6 shooting guard Will Barton of Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.).

Football recruiting

• Terps safety recruit Titus Till was selected to MDVarsity's Dream Team defense.

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Till recorded 65 tackles last season while helping the Pumas to their first-ever playoff berth and an appearance in the Class 4A state semifinals. Till was such an impressive athlete that Army made him an offer during his sophomore season, thinking he was a junior.

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• Two future Terps will face the Maryland JV team this fall, the Washington Times' Patrick Stevens reports.

Another sliver of value comes from the fact Lorne Goree and David Mackall -- a pair of guys who signed with Maryland last February -- will attend Fork Union this fall.

• DeMatha offensive tackle Arie Kouandjio recently trimmed his list to eight schools.

"In no order, I'm down to Alabama, Cal, Miami, Maryland, New Mexico, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Wake Forest," said the 6-foot-6, 314-pounder. "I contacted the coaches today and let everyone know. I haven't decided on any official visits or anything like that, I just wanted to get things down to a number I can work with."

• Greensboro, N.C., defensive end Gabe King was named the No. 2 prospect in North Carolina by The Fayetteville Observer.

King's the prototype rush end who's capable of dominating the line of scrimmage. That's why more than 30 major schools offered scholarships. But King has been declared ineligible to play in N.C. public schools for 2009. Where he'll land was still uncertain at press time. College list: Favor California, Maryland, Miami, Oregon, Tennessee.

• Maryland is still in the mix for Penn Hills cornerback Cullen Christian, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Christian has numerous scholarship offers and has narrowed his list to Michigan, Pitt, West Virginia, Maryland and UCLA. He will make official visits to UCLA, West Virginia and Maryland in September. Michigan has been No. 1 on his list for a while.

The Washington Post's Josh Barr introduced Terps fans this week to Oxon Hill sophomore running back Ken Darby.

Darby, who is 5 feet 10 and 175 pounds, was timed in 4.34 seconds in the 40-yard dash in the Prince George's coaches combine and followed that up with a 4.36 at Maryland's one-day camp this summer, leading to his first scholarship offer.

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