Scouting Report: Daniel Ezeagwu

While we did not see Daniel Ezeagwu (Colonial Forge/Stafford, Va.) live this year, we were able to break down film sent to us of the newest Maryland cornerback commitment. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder played both receiver and defensive back for Colonial Forge, though the Terps are recruiting him for defense (he said he'll play boundary cornerback).

While we did not see Daniel Ezeagwu (Colonial Forge/Stafford, Va.) live this year, we were able to break down film sent to us of the newest Maryland cornerback commitment. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder played both receiver and defensive back for Colonial Forge, though the Terps are recruiting him for defense (he said he'll play boundary cornerback).

Here's our take on his game:

Areas where he excels: Physically, Ezeagwu is an impressive looking prospect. He has good length, a linebacker's sturdy build and looks to have solid strength. Last fall, he used that muscle to his advantage, often knocking receivers off their routes in press coverage, while also taking down running backs who hit the edge. Indeed, Ezeagwu did his best work coming downhill, showing the ability to lower his shoulder and drive the ball carrier/wideout backwards. It's little wonder he played a good amount of outside linebacker for Colonial Forge, because Ezeagwu can thump and he wraps up well.

In press coverage, Ezeagwu's best quality is his physicality. He's not going to back down from bigger, stronger wideouts, and he's not afraid to get right up in a guy's grill. He flashes active, aggressive hands and makes receivers work to get off the line of scrimmage.

When tracking downfield, Ezeagwu shows decent wheels, though it takes him a second to get going. However, he closes well and seems to gain speed the more strides he takes, which can be an advantage when covering deep.

Ezeagwu also has big, strong hands, and when around the ball he goes up for it like a receiver. He high points the ball, is active in the air and, better yet, he's not going to drop anything he gets his fingers on.

Areas that need work: The main concern here is Ezeagwu's initial burst and acceleration. He isn't especially sudden, and that could hurt him against quicker wideouts, especially if he's playing press. Ezeagwu needs at least a couple steps to get his motor humming, so he'll have to work on becoming quicker at the snap in order to stick with a receiver downfield. In zone, meanwhile, he'll have to prove he can anticipate a route and shoot underneath of it. In high school Ezeagwu seemed content with plowing a wideout after the catch, but we'd like to see him step in front and knock the pass away before it even arrives.

Also, Ezeagwu has to loosen up a bit; his hips can be stiff, and that hurts his change-of-direction speed. He has to prove he can switch off receivers and readjust to routes. Moreover, he has to fine-tune his backpedal, becoming more fluid in coverage. In zone, for example, Ezeagwu has to be able to actively face-guard without a wideout throwing him a double-move before motoring by him downfield.

Finally, we'd like to see Ezeagwu fight through blocks out on the edge. He's strong enough to do so, but sometimes he let receivers get into his body, sealing him off on certain running plays. This kid is tough, but we'd like to see him bring it every play.

Projection: Ezeagwu, who reminds us of former Terps corner Chad Scott, was recruited as a cornerback, but we'll see if that's the position he ends up at. He may project as an in-the-box safety or outside linebacker given his size and strength.

There's also a chance he could be tried on offense, which is what he was recruited for by UVA. Ezeagwu is big enough, strong enough and has soft enough hands to develop into a tight end if Maryland needs one down the road. He also had a few carries as a running back, and showed plenty of ruggedness.

As for next year, we'd expect Ezeagwu to take a redshirt in order to work on his technique, speed and the like. After that, we'll see how much he develops and where he fits into UMD's scheme.

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