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Tom Lemming on Md.'s 2011 football class

Tom Lemming has seen his fair share of strong football classes come out of Maryland over the past several years. The 2011 class, collectively, may not live up to those past standards, but it's still a solid group.

"Normally, Maryland is a very good state for football," said Lemming, the CBS College Sports Network and MaxPreps.com football recruiting expert, who released his Top 100 rankings last week. "But there's a lot of good ballplayers that just missed the Top 100. Last year there were a lot. It's probably not a great year in Maryland, but an overall good year for talent."

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Leading the way in-state this year is DeMatha offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, the No. 3 player nationally on Lemming's list behind Tampa (Fla.) Plant athlete James Wilder at 1 and Rock Hill (S.C.) North Pointe defensive end Jadaveon Clowney at 2. Kouandjio, whose brother Arie signed with Alabama in February, is a dominant left tackle for the Stags.

"His brother was very good, and I think Cyrus probably learned a lot from being his little brother," Lemming said. "But Cyrus is 6-7, 290 pounds and he looks thin. I've been to see him three times, and he's going to play for us in the U.S. Army game. He'll be 320 in another year or two. He has great feet and is a remarkable athlete for his size. He can bend his knees and is very flexible. He's got what you want in a left tackle, especially 30 pounds from now in a year or two. He can slide out, is a really good stop-speed rusher, but he's strong and dominant as a blocker. He has all the tools to be a No. 1 draft choice."

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Two rising seniors from the Baltimore area just missed the cut for Lemming's Top 100. Gilman quarterback Darius Jennings and Owings Mills offensive tackle Donovan Smith are both on the cusp of All-American status. Lemming sees Jennings as a running back or slot back in college."He's got great football instincts," Lemming said. "The film he gave me was really remarkable. He's not real big, but neither was Barry Sanders. At running back, he's got a lot going for him. Once he gets out in space, he's an exciting ball player to watch. I don't really see him playing quarterback in college. I see him being an explosive ball player in college."

Lemming said Jennings compares favorably with former Dunbar running back Tavon Austin, a three-time Baltimore Sun All-Metro Offensive Player of the Year who had a strong freshman campaign at West Virginia last fall.

"Tavon was a record-breaker, touchdown-wise and everything. But Darius might be a little bit bigger, and just about as fast," Lemming said. "He's electric in the open field as well. I think they're very, very comparable. But I think Darius might have the upper hand right now because he's a little bit bigger and just as fast."

Smith burst on the national scene last fall, helping Owings Mills snap a 53-game losing streak en route to a three-win season. The Amityville, N.Y., native followed up his strong junior season with an impressive showing at the U.S. Army All-American Junior Combine in San Antonio, Texas.

"He's an impressive-looking kid," Lemming said. "He can put a lot more weight on, too. He's very athletic, and again, on the offensive line he can play tackle or guard, so he's versatile. It's really difficult to find big guys that can move their feet like him and Cyrus. He's a very good athlete, a good run blocker and improving as a pass blocker. He has long arms, quick feet, all the tools."

Two other local seniors have impressed Lemming during his cross-country travels: Boys' Latin defensive end Marco Jones, who committed to Virginia earlier this month, and Gilman offensive lineman Hunter Goodwin, a Wake Forest pledge.

"Hunter's a smart, technically sound offensive lineman who's shown real good lateral speed, moves well and is intelligent," Lemming said. "He's quick enough to block on the second level. He's also a very good ball player. Big guys are tough to find that can move."

Lemming's Top 100 didn't feature any of Maryland's 11 commitments, but the Terps have at least one recruit that could claim a spot on that list before next year. Nigel King, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound wide receiver from Wakefield High in Raleigh, N.C., was in the mix for Lemming's list.

"Nigel King is an All-American, really," Lemming said. "I might have him ranked as the No. 1 wide receiver in North Carolina. He's got great size, great hands, is physical, can run and can play defense. He's probably their top guy so far that's committed. Nigel is a big-time ball player. He's another one very close to being in the Top 100. It's apples and oranges for 150 guys. I went out and saw 2,000, but Nigel is a big-time guy who could be an All-American by the end of the year."

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