2014 Recruiting Update: DEFENSE

TurtleSportsReport.com breaks down Maryland's 2014 recruiting class. Find out what positions the Terps are still looking to fill and who they have they best shot with, here...

Recruiting Roundup: Defense
The Terps are looking to bring anywhere from three to four lineman, three linebackers, and two corners and a safety.

On defense, The Terps already hold commitments from the "Tri-State Trio." The "trio" consists of: General McLane (Edinoro, Pa.) 6-foot-5, 230-pound two-star defensive lineman Brett Kulka, Spring Grove (Pa.) High two-star defensive lineman David Shaw, and Coatesville (Pa) 6-foot-4, 240-pound three-star linebacker Tyler Burke.

Find out where Maryland stands with the remainder of their prospects:

DEFENSIVE LINE
Jesse Aniebonam
- Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, Md.), 6'4, 225 lbs., four-star

Aniebonam lives less than 30 minutes from College Park, and he has been a frequent visitor on campus throughout his recruitment. The Maryland-Good Counsel pipeline has been a key factor here. Aniebonam is very close with the Terps young stud Stefon Diggs and several other Good Counsel alums on the team. Another big plus for the Terps is Aniebonam's relationship with his recruiter Mike Locksley. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound defensive end has said multiple times that Locksley has been a tremendous source of help, and he has been like a "father figure" during this whole process. . While Aniebonam named a few other schools to his top 5 or loose top 3, it looks like it will come down to Clemson and Maryland. Aniebonam has built a "Locksley-like" (I just made that word up lol) relationship with Clemson DC and his recruiter Brent Venables, and the Tigers also have a GC alum on their roster, Dorian O'Day.

The deal breaker here could be location, which plays into Maryland's favor. I don't get the feeling that Aniebonam's mom wants him to venture too far away, but things are always subject to change. He has said he will decide Aug. 23 when Good Counsel opens up against Gilman on ESPN.

- Key Competition: Clemson, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, UNC

Ricky Leonard
– Middletown (Md.) High, 6-7, 250 lbs., three-star

The Terps had high hopes when they held one of their spring scrimmages at Middletown (Md.) High, but the effort does not seem to be paying off in terms of recruiting. Middletown (Md.) OL Justin Falcinelli committed to Clemson last week, and now it looks like his teammate and fellow Terp prospect, defensive end Ricky Leonard, could head south as well. Maryland was one of the first to offer the 6-foot-7, 250-pound Leonard, but since then he has blown up on the national scene. Bottom Line: it looks like it is down to FSU or Clemson, with Maryland left on the outside looking in.

Key Competition: Florida State, Clemson, Tennessee, Wisconsin

LINEBACKERS
Maryland already picked up a commitment from Coatesville LB Tyler Burke, so the next two LB's that jump on the offers could round out the class. Here is how things shape up.

Melvin Keihn
- Gilman School (Baltimore, Md.), 6'3, 225 lbs., four-star

Maryland remains in a good position for the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Gilman linebacker. Keihn had previously said that he wanted to make a decision sometime around July, but now it is looking like a decision could come around late-August or early-September. Virginia and Virginia Tech have always been right there with Maryland on Keihn's list, but now Georgia Tech, Vandy and Miami are heavily involved as well. Maryland is still in good shape, but they might need to up the ante a bit with new players in the mix.

- Key competition: UVa, VT, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, Miami

JaWhaun Bentley
- DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.), 6'2, 245 lbs., three-star

Bentley said that Iowa, Rutgers, WVU, Pitt and Maryland are all in regular contact. He said that Maryland is the school he knows the best and he feels very comfortable there. He also said he feels like the Terps would prepare him well for the NFL, but that doesn't mean Maryland is No. 1 on his list. Bentley said he wants to wait until after the season to make a decision. Interesting thing here is that Maryland is only likely to take 3 LBs, and it will be the first three to commit. If the Terps pick up a second commitment at the position, Bentley's timeline could be an indictor of where the Terps stand. If he moves up his timeline, it could be good…if not, the situation might not be as favorable.

- Key competition: Iowa, Rutgers, WVU, Pitt

Spencer Kleinrichert
- DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.), 6'3, 220 lbs., NR

The DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) linebacker holds an offer from the Terps, and is well acquainted with the ins-and-outs of the program. Maryland doesn't seem to be making much of a push for the 6-foot-3 220-pound outside linebacker, but as decision are made etc…he could come back into play.

-Key competition: William & Mary, Bucknell, Marshall

CORNERBACKS
Maryland missed on several of its targets, like Troy Vincent Jr., Alameen Murphy, D'Andre Payne, Brandon Watson, so where do to the Terps stand with the remainder of their targets?

Jalen Tabor
- Friendship Collegiate (Washington, D.C.), 6'2, 195 lbs., four-star

Tabor is another prospect that is a regular on Maryland's campus. Tabor named Maryland and Florida in his top two and he likes the idea of creating his own brand at College Park. Unfortunately, Maryland is up against stiff competition-Florida, Alabama, Vanderbilt-but the hometown card seems to be carrying some weight. However, Tabor seems to fall in love a little too easily, so its hard to het a firm read on him. He will not be making a decision until January so a lot could change between now and then. For now the Terps are in a good position.

- Key Competition: Florida, Alabama, Vanderbilt, Michigan, FSU, South Carolina, FSU (to name a few…)

Elliot Davis
- Ouince Orchard (Gaithersburg, Md.), 6'1, 165lbs., NR

Davis was very high on Rutgers, however, RU already filled Davis' spot, and they are no longer recruiting him. He picked up a Maryland shortly after the Terps' one-day camp a few weeks ago. However, Maryland did not offer on the spot (I think it may have left a sour taste in Davis' mouth). The minor details aside, the Terps are still in good position with Davis. He has a good relationship with the coaching staff, and he likes the idea of playing close to home. It looks like it will be a matter of when, not if, Davis picks the Terps.

- Key Competition: Clemson (Davis claims an offer from the Tigers)

Marcel Joly
- Forestville (Md.), 5'11, 190 lbs., NR

The Forestville corner picked up an early offer from Maryland, but the Terps have not been making much of a push as of late. If one of their other options does not pan out, Joly could become more of a significant player.

- Key Competition: Iowa, UVa, Vanderbilt

SAFETIES
Keep in mind, Maryland is most likely only taking one safety in this class.

Jordan Noil
- Norcross (Ga.) High, 6'3, 175 lbs., NR

The Norcross (Ga.) prospect was very high on Maryland after he picked up an offer back in the spring. The Terps were the first BCS program to pull the trigger on Noil, but now Kentucky and Kansas State have joined the party. Noil still has solid interest in the Terps and the new offer do not seem to be effecting his feelings toward MD too much. He is waiting to take an official visit to College Park this fall. Barring any big changes, his visit to campus could seal the deal for the Terps.

- Key Competition: Kentucky, Kansas State, Buffalo

Demetrius Johnson
- Annapolis (Md.) Area Christian, 6'2, 190 lbs., three-star

Johnson has maintained a high interest in the Terps throughout the recruiting process. He has a good relationship with the coaching staff and is close with incoming freshman and AAC alum Elvis Dennah. He also holds offers from Marshall, Syracuse, and NC State, but it doesn't seem like those are what is holding Johnson back from making a decision….but his grades could be.

Key Competition: Marshall, Syracuse, and NC State


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