Commitment Impact: OL Ellis McKennie

Owing Mills (Md.) Mc Donogh offensive lineman Ellis McKennie committed to Maryland this week, and Scout.com takes a look at what the Terps are getting, and how he fits into the class.

Committed Over: Ellis McKennie committed to Maryland over offers from Rutgers and Marshall.


Rated: McKennie is projected as an offensive guard but is yet to be rated by Scout.com.


On Film: At 6-foot-3, 300 pounds, the Owing Mills (Md.) Mc Donogh prospect is suited to play on the interior of the offensive line, with guard being the first choice.

McKennie is strong and does a nice job in several aspects. He moves his feet after engaging a defensive player, he is quick with getting his hands inside of the defensive player and he sinks his hips to win the leverage battle. He also adjusts his body as a play develops to make sure he is staying square, and he shows good balance.

When it comes to athleticism and the ability to move, McKennie needs to develop more. He has to gain flexibility and do a better job of bending, and he needs to improve his explosion at the snap. Those are things a college strength and conditioning program should be able to help with markedly moving forward. There are times Mc Donogh pulls McKennie, but is more for trap blocking than getting him ahead of a running back and clearing a path.

In looking at some junior film (below), the first play shows some of McKennie's potential. He latches onto the defensive player, then sinks his hips to ensure he wins the leverage battle.

At the 50 second mark, McKinnie makes the block and clears out a lane, but it is not with the burst and devastating initial punch a player like Terps commit E.J. Donahue possesses. More will be needed to stop college defensive linemen from getting up the field, and to move them.

Finally, at the 1:02 mark, McKennie shows his ability to scrape a defensive lineman and get to the second level to block a linebacker. This is mandatory of an offensive lineman, and although McKennie's technique in doing it will become more precise and meaningful, he did a nice job with it.


Recruiting Impact: Maybe Maryland is about to hit a hot stretch in recruiting, and it is needed.

The Terps secured their second commitment in less than a week in McKennie, and that is big news since the first member of the 2015 class committed back on Oct. 26, 2013. It meant until Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas running back Deltron Sands committed late last week, the Terps went nearly seven months without a commitment.

The big news here is Maryland got a potential gem in McKennie, and is adding size to the line of scrimmage. Maryland already has Frederick (Md.) Linganore four-star offensive tackle E.J. Donahue committed, and the staff can now focus its attention on a pair of interior offensive linemen left on the board in Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate's Quarvez Boulware and Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph's Regional's Tommy Hatton.

Maryland is still looking at a number of offensive tackles, including Greenbelt (Md.) Eleanor Roosevelt's Isaiah Prince, Virginia Beach (Va.) Cox's Blake Camper and Middletown (Md.) High's Will McClain, who could also play inside.


Quotable: "Maryland was just the best situation on and off the field and will give me the best opportunities after I graduate. The Big Ten move, the fact it was close to home, the relationships I had there – it all just fit. I knew I was going to Maryland for awhile; I just had to say the words."


Final Thought: McKennie needs to refine his technique and improve his explosion, and if he can do that he can become a physical interior offensive lineman in college. There is work to be done, but the talent exists to make it happen. His offer list was small – Rutgers and Marshall were the other schools to offer – but that is easy to overlook since schools stayed away knowing for a while he was bound for Maryland.

Give McKennie a red-shirt season and some experience in 2016, and let's see where he sits in 2017. He will have the chance to be a multi-year starter.



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