InsideMDSports: Breaking down the Terps football team's recruiting class, targets


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There are exactly four weeks until national signing day, and Maryland has several spots still open in this class. InsideMDSports breaks down the situation at each position.

Quarterback targets

Maryland secured a commitment from Will Ulmer, ranked as the nation's 11th-best dual-threat quarterback in the 247Sports Composite. He is very solid in his pledge, and could come in playing a variety of positions to start.

The staff is also looking into the possibility of another quarterback in this class. The Terps have reportedly offered Top247 prospect Brad Kaaya, although he is committed to Miami (Fla.) and is only seriously considering UCLA as another option. Cretin Derham Hall's (Minn.) Ricardo Johnson had a monster senior season, and schools from all over the country are giving him a second look, including Maryland. He expects to have visit plans finalized in the next week, and hopes to hear that he has received an offer from the Terps soon.

Running back targets

The departure of Johnathan Thomas left Maryland reeling, especially since the Terps were intending to take only one back in this class. Currently, there are only a few prospects on the board, but this list is likely to change dramatically over the final few weeks, especially when new assistant coaches are brought in.

Right now, Green Run's (Va.) Anthony Scott is at the top of the list. There are questions surrounding his academics, but certainly not his skills on the field. He claims offers from Maryland, Virginia Tech, East Carolina and more. He plans to officially visit in the next couple of weeks.

Beacon (N.Y.) running back Taurus Phillips sent out his highlight tape and received rave reviews, including an invite from Nebraska for an official visit. Maryland was equally as interested, but things hit a snag when lead recruiter Greg Gattuso left for Albany. If the rest of the coaches decide he is worth pursuing, he could be an interesting late addition.

Linganore's Phillip Butler is also on the list, but recent developments indicate that he may be heading elsewhere.

Receiver targets

Maryland came into the 2014 class looking to secure one wide receiver and one tight end. They accomplished that, and in a big way.

Dwight Morrow's (N.J.) Juwann Winfree was one of the more sought-after athletes in the country, holding offers from schools up and down the East Coast. He was sold on Maryland, however, in large part because of their push to make him "the man." Even with the departure of position coach Lee Hull, the Top247 prospect says he is solid to the Terps.

Several other targets wait in the wings, hoping for a Maryland offer. For now, it is not likely to come, but that could change with a new receivers coach.

Chardon (Ohio) tight end Andrew Gray was another solid pickup, choosing Maryland over Louisville early in the process. The three-star recruit also remains solid, despite the departure of lead recruiter Greg Gattuso.

Offensive line targets

Even with a swing and a miss on Marcus Applefield, and the potential loss of McDonogh's Jared Cohen, offensive line is the centerpiece of this class.

Fork Union's (Va.) Derwin Gray is one of the top tackles in the entire country, and he's joined by one of the best junior college tackles, Larry Mazyck, as an early enrollee. Three-star prospects Brendan Moore and Sean Christie round out a tough, road-grading group that will help pave the way for the Terps in the Big Ten Conference.

There is no denying the top two targets still on the board, though. The first move for Maryland is bringing Cohen back into the fold. The top-25 offensive guard decommitted so that he could check out Penn State, but is now struggling to figure out a plan. Currently, the Nittany Lions do not have a head coach, and Cohen says he is taking a wait-and-see approach to the situation.

The prize of the entire class which is saying a lot when you consider the guys we've already discussed  would be Bishop McNamara's Damian Prince. The five-star prospect is down to five schools: Maryland, Florida, Florida State, Miami and South Carolina. While it looked to be a Terps-Seminoles battle, the word in recruiting circles is that South Carolina could be the biggest threat, with Florida not far behind. Right now, I would consider Maryland the favorite, in large part because of his proximity to family, something extremely important to Prince.

At this point, if one or both of Cohen and Prince head elsewhere, I would expect the staff to save the scholarships for next year. That is, of course, unless a couple offensive linemen committed elsewhere begin to look around at the last minute.

Defensive line targets

With commitments from Good Counsel's Jesse Aniebonam, Spring Grove's (Pa.) David Shaw, and General McLane's (Pa.) Brett Kulka, Maryland could very well be done on the defensive line.

The biggest question mark will be: Is that good enough for the new defensive line coach, whoever that may be? There are a few targets still being scouted, but I wouldn't expect anything to get serious here until a new defensive line coach is brought in.

Linebacker targets

Tyler Burke is the lone commitment in this class, and the Coatesville (Pa.) product had a huge senior year, earning him some looks from a few other schools, although he remains solid.

The staff would like to take at least one more at this position, but no new offers have gone out since Maryland missed on Gilman's Melvin Keihn. Seneca Valley's Daniel Appouh is a likely candidate to get a long look. The staff has shown immense interest in the late-rising pass rusher, and he could very well visit College Park if he does get an offer. Illinois, Indiana and West Virginia have already pulled the trigger, while Penn State, Nebraska and Maryland, among others, are considering it.

Similar to Appouh is Archbishop Carroll's (D.C.) Cory Jones. Capable of playing defensive end or outside linebacker, the three-star prospect has picked up offers from Illinois, Virginia, Wake Forest and more late in the process, and Maryland could be the next to pull the trigger. If the Terps did, I believe they would be one of the favorites in his recruitment.

Secondary targets

Maryland has already secured commitments from a pair of rangy, versatile athletes in McDonogh's Josh Woods and Norcross' (Ga.) Jordan Noil. Both have the ability to play cornerback and safety, and both could be called upon to return punts and kicks for the Terps.

Obviously, Jalen Tabor was a big miss here, but I wouldn't put it past this staff to keep pursuing the five-star prospect.

The other top target on the board is Colonial Forge (Va.) cornerback Daniel Ezeagwu. As we reported last week, Maryland has amped up its pursuit of the late-rising defensive back and will host him on an official visit later this month.

Annapolis Christian Academy's Demetrius Johnson is in the spot he has been all year: He is all Maryland if his grades are right, but is likely heading to junior college.

Expect a new name or two to pop up once the contact period starts next week.

Special teams targets

Long snapper Jordan Adams committed to Maryland shortly after taking an official visit to College Park. The Semper Fi All-American remains solid in his commitment, and is likely the only on-scholarship specialist the Terps will take in this class.

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