Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup.
Ranking The 2017 DMV Recruits
Terps fans are already familiar with the local class of 2016 recruits and how they stack up. We’ve broken down and evaluated (and will continue to evaluate) the likes of Dwayne Haskins (Bullis/Potomac, Md.), Ellison Jordan (Gilman/Baltimore, Md.), Terrell Hall (St. John’s/Washington, D.C.), Shane Simmons (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.), Tino Ellis (DeMatha) and so on and so forth on numerous occasions.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the DMV’s 2017 crop (Maryland and D.C. recruits), ranking them Nos. 1-15. Now, we realize more recruits are bound to emerge during and after the 2015 campaign, so this is just an initial look at the area’s crème de crème.
1. Anthony McFarland, ATH, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.): McFarland (5-8, 183 pounds) is perhaps the most dynamic DMV recruit I’ve seen since Stefon Diggs was at Good Counsel (Olney, Md.). (Steven Smothers at Franklin HS in Reisterstown, Md., could make a case for this distinction as well). Possessing 4.3 40-yard dash speed, elite football quickness, make-you-miss moves and plenty of raw athleticism, it’s little wonder McFarland already claims an offer list in the 30s. The Terps are one of his main contenders are under prime consideration. The SEC, including Georgia and Alabama, are also in McFarland’s ear quite a bit. Expect him in College Park for a game or two this fall.
2. Cam Spence, DT, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.): Spence (6-5, 285 pounds) is included here because he’s from Baltimore, played his first two years at Gilman and is still considered a DMV recruit. He’s a fierce interior tackle who explodes off the ball, drives linemen backwards and actively collapses the pocket. He has strong, violent hands, easily disengages and finishes with authority. Spence has the SEC’s, ACC’s and Big Ten’s foremost programs after him, but Maryland is right in the thick of things thanks to area recruiter Mike Locksley’s overtures and the Cory Robinson-IMG connection.
3. Joshua Kaindoh, OLB, IMG Academy: See Spence above for why Kaindoh is included here. The former Mt. Carmel (Essex, Md.) star, Kaindoh is a five-star talent given his frame (6-5, 245-pounds); athleticism; speed; and power. A do-it-all end/linebacker, Kaindoh pretty much excels all-around: pass rushing, edge setting, tackling in space, tackling in the gaps, covering the flats, etc. The Terps are in hot pursuit, and Kaindoh just told our Scout colleague that UMD resides among his top three suitors, citing DMV-to-UMD and the chance to play for his hometown school. But, at the same time, it’s clear he has his eyes on Penn State, first and foremost, along with Ohio State.
4. Jordan McNair, OT, McDonough (Owings Mills, Md.): The most potent local blindside blocker in the 2017 class, McNair (6-4, 280 pounds) has all the tools to succeed at the next level. He’s a beast at the point of attack, possessing a true road-grater mentality. Plus, McNair comes off the ball low and hard, has nimble feet, and displays a solid initial punch. A must-have for Maryland purposes, UMD-area recruiter Keith Dudzinski is all over him. But McNair also has Ohio State and Penn State firmly on the brain.
5. Deon Jones, CB, Carroll (Washington, D.C.): A lockdown corner with 20-plus offers in tow, Jones (6-1, 180 pounds) has the size, speed and all-around skill-set to be an impact FBS player. He’s a never-back-down competitor who excels in both press and zone. Jones always speaks highly of Maryland when prompted, but right now Clemson; Ohio State; Florida State; and some of the nation’s powers seem to be at the forefront of his mind.
6. Jordan Anthony, LB, IMG Academy: Another Maryland transplant, the former Good Counsel star could easily be higher on this list. Anthony (6-1, 215 pounds) has a fast first step, a constantly humming motor, and is considered a true finisher. Anthony can deliver hits with the best of them, both in space and in traffic, bee-lining to ball-carriers and quarterbacks alike. He has the Terps firmly in play, but Penn State, Clemson and Auburn are real contenders too.
7. Tyshon Fogg, LB, Calvert Hall (Towson, Md.): An active, aggressive and versatile prospect, Fogg (6-2, 215 pounds) is the area’s top linebacker recruit currently residing in Maryland. He can set the edge, defend in space, drop back in coverage or attack the gaps, almost always delivering a thump. Fogg already holds double-digit offers and has Maryland under consideration. Stanford, however, will be difficult to top.
8. Nathan Proctor, OLB, Lackey (Indian Head, Md.): Lined up as a defensive end in Lackey’s scheme, Proctor (6-3, 210 pounds) is explosive off the ball and can beat many high school linemen before they set up. He’s powerful at the point of attack and delivers quite a pop when closing in. Proctor’s still raw fundamentally, but there’s a ton of upside here. Maryland hasn’t offered yet (academic issues?), but plenty throughout the SEC, Big Ten and ACC have anted up. Clemson seems to be a popular destination for Southern Maryland talents.
9. Chase Young, DE, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.): A quick-twitch, fleet-footed, athletic edge rusher, Young (6-5, 220 pounds) could become a force if he bulks up and refines his fundamentals. He has the frame, the point-of-attack power and the explosiveness to succeed, but has to prove he can dominate against top-notch competition. The Terps have thrown their name in the hat and definitely have Young’s attention. Michigan State, Va Tech and Penn State are also heavily involved.
10. Kasim Hill, QB, Gilman (Baltimore, Md.): Hill’s (6-2, 220 pounds) size, arm strength and accuracy project favorably to the Division I level, which is why schools such as Penn State, Michigan State, Syracuse, BC and others have anted up. He may not be the elite gunslinger a Dwayne Haskins is, nor are his fundamentals as refined, but Hill has a chance to make some noise at the next level. The Terps are not in pursuit, however.
11. Joshua Paschal, DE, Good Counsel (Olney, Md.): A heady, active, athletic and fundamentally-sound defender, Paschal is one of the area’s top defensive line recruits. He doesn’t have the burst and potency of a Chase Young or a Josh Kaindoh, but Paschal can pick through the trash; make plays up and down the line; actively disengage; and wrap up well. The Terps have offered and are firmly on his mind, along with Clemson and a few others.
12. Damani Neal, S, Bullis (Potomac, Md.): A tweener-type, Neal (6-0, 185 pounds) does his best work in the box, using his power; acceleration; and anticipation to cut down runners in the open field. Neal has to prove himself as a centerfielder in order to hang as a college safety, but as a pseudo-linebacker he’s one of the best in the DMV. Neal is taking a look at Maryland, but has visited Penn State numerous times and is high on Stanford too.
13. Marcus Minor, OG, DeMatha: Minor (6-4, 285 pounds) is being included here for upside purposes. He has the size, athleticism and tools to become one of the DMV’s standout guard targets, but has to prove it in pads first. We’ll be watching Minor closely this year to see how much he’s developed. The Terps are monitoring him as well, but have yet to offer (if they do, UMD would become the frontrunner).
14. Johnny Jordan, OC, Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.): Jordan (6-2, 290 pounds) has actually proven more on the field than Minor, but he doesn’t have quite as much upside, which is why we’re rating him a tick lower. Regardless, Jordan is one tough customer, a rugged interior lineman who comes off the ball low, hard, and with plenty of power. He keeps his feet moving, fights for leverage, and plows through the whistle. Jordan has an offer from Kentucky and is seeking a PSU scholarship (his dream school); Maryland has not entered the mix yet.
15. Lawtez Rogers, DE, Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.): Rogers (6-4, 245) is long, athletic and possesses good initial get-off. He can rush the passer, disrupt passing lanes and make plays out on the edge. That said, Rogers is still very raw fundamentally, while he must become more explosive and powerful. Maryland is his lone offer to date, the Terps projecting him to develop during his junior campaign. He could shoot up this list if he progresses as expected.
16. Cameron Sullivan-Brown, WR/CB, Pallotti (Laurel, Md.): OK, so we couldn’t decide who to pick for the final spot, Rogers or Sullivan-Brown. Fact is, Sullivan-Brown (6-1, 175-pounds) could be this year’s Marcus Simms (Sherwood/Sandy Spring, Md.), a playmaking wideout who flies under the radar until his junior film is evaluated. Sullivan-Brown’s a downfield threat with intriguing size, physicality and athleticism. NC State, Kansas, Marshall and Temple are some of his initial Division I offers. Maryland could get involved after seeing him in action this season.
Others Under Consideration:
There are numerous other DMV talents who could make a case to be included on this list, and still more who will move up this season. Here are some other area recruits we considered:
Mohamed Ibrahim, RB, Good Counsel
Travis Levy, RB, Sherwood (Sandy Spring, Md.)
Tayon Fleet-Davis , RB, Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.)
Tyree Johnson, ATH, St. John’s (Washington, D.C.)
Jaylen Twyman, DT, Woodson (Washington, D.C.)
Marvin Beander, RB, Quince Orchard (Gaithersburg, Md.)
B’Ahmad Miller, DE, Eastern Christian (Elkton, Md.)
Ayinde Eley, LB, Good Counsel (Olney, Md.)
Terps Keep Trending For Shaq
Rahshaun Smith (IMG Academy/Bradenton, Fla.), the borderline five-star defensive end, has been sitting “hot” on the hot board since the spring for a reason. We’ve let you know time and again the Baltimore native and former Calvert Hall (Towson, Md.) and St. Frances (Baltimore, Md.) stalwart would likely wind up in College Park before it’s all said and done, and now the 6-3, 240-pounder has taken yet another stride in that direction.
After two initial steps (visiting College Park numerous times this offseason, followed by a decommitment from Clemson), Smith announced he would indeed be officially visiting Maryland Dec. 4. What’s more, that UMD trip could very well be one of Smith’s final officials before he announces his college decision at the Under Armour All-American game. Not to mention that early December Saturday is also when numerous current Terps commits like Dwayne Haskins (Bullis/Potomac, Md.), Keandre Jones (Good Counsel/Olney, Md.), LoLo Harrison (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.), Tino Ellis (DeMatha) and D.J. Turner (DeMatha) could be taking their official visits as well. (You can bet UMD recruiter Mike Locksley will want Haskins and Co. in Smith’s ear once again when the latter is back in College Park).
Add the above to Smith’s longtime relationship with Maryland Director of Player Personnel Cory Robinson; his rapport with both head coach Randy Edsall and recruiter Mike Locksley; and his desire to return home to Baltimore, and the stars may be aligning for UMD.
Of course, Smith is going to check out the star-studded competition before ending his recruitment. According to an ESPN article he’s heading to Auburn Nov. 14, Clemson Dec. 11 and still may foray through Miami, Oregon and Oklahoma.
Auburn and possibly Oklahoma could be threats to the Terps, but, until we hear otherwise, we’ll continue projecting Smith, who plans to enroll in January, to College Park.
Class of 2017 Quarterback Recruiting
Despite having Dwayne Haskins in tow this year, Maryland’s staff is pursuing several intriguing rising-junior signal callers. In the past, we’ve let you know about Jack Coan (Sayville, N.Y.), Kevin Knox (Tampa Catholic/Tampa, Fla.) and Lindell Stone (Woodberry Forest, Va.), the former two holding UMD offers.
The 6-2, 180-pound Coan, a former Notre Dame lacrosse commit, has visited Maryland and has the Terps under prime consideration. He’s in contact with UMD-area recruiter Keith Dudzinski and should be returning for a game this fall. Miami, Michigan, Rutgers and Syracuse are also involved with the four-star.
Knox, meanwhile, is a national recruit with plenty of SEC, Big 12, ACC and Big Ten suitors. He’s going to be a tough Maryland lure, although quarterbacks’ coach Mike Locksley is after him, which could keep the Terps in the game.
Stone, for his part, is still searching for a Maryland look, but should receive one in time. He too has visited College Park, speaking highly of the program; its academics; and the staff. UVA, WVU, Wisconsin, UCLA, Indiana, Purdue and others have already anted up, however, with the hometown Wahoos holding appeal.
Aside from those three, we heard about a new potential quarterback target earlier this week. Scout’s Jacquie Franciulli let us know Glen Allen’s (Va.) Alex Faniel has been hearing from the Terps and should be venturing up to College Park this fall. Faniel is apparently intrigued by UMD’s academic reputation, the program’s direction and its location near his home.
The emerging recruit currently has offers from UVA, VA Tech, ECU and NC State, but Clemson; MSU; Notre Dame; Stanford; UNC; PSU; Vandy; UMD; Duke; and South Carolina are all in touch. If he lands coveted offers from Clemson, PSU or South Carolina it could make it difficult for some other potential contenders. But we’ll see if Maryland makes a preemptive strike with an offer and a subsequent visit.
Another Class of 2017 Note
Last week we reported on new Maryland offeree Isaiah Robertson (Neuqua Valley/Naperville, Ill.), the 6-2, 185-pounder raving about the Terps. Robertson said the school’s academics, Big Ten affiliation and the fact UMD was bringing in plenty of top talents all appealed.
While the above were encouraging comments, we surmised Robertson would have plenty of other attractive suitors in time too.
Well, it took less than six days for that to happen.
Robertson just pulled in a coveted Wisconsin verbal and basically placed the Badgers atop his early leaderboard. His father apparently played basketball for Wisconsin during the ‘80s, Isaiah Robertson noting how he’s “heard about the Badgers all my life.” He’s been in Madison, Wisc., multiple times and has strong ties to the program in general.
Needless to say, the Terps’ chances at reeling the Illinois native in just got a lot more difficult.
Off The Board:
Jay Rose, TE, Southington (Conn.): A couple weeks ago, this Connecticut tight end/quarterback let us know he was still in touch with UMD-area recruiter Keith Dudzinski and would be trekking down to College Park for an official visit sometimes this fall.
Well, apparently not anymore. Which comes as no surprise on this end. Rose has reneged on numerous intended Terps trips since last winter, choosing to see other locales such as Syracuse and Wisconsin instead. And, really, we’re not even sure Dudzinski and Co. were truly pursuing him after UMD added Avery Edwards via transfer.
Regardless, Rose told Scout’s Brian Dohn this week his final four leaderboard included ‘Cuse, Wisconsin, UConn and Wake Forest, with a decision possibly coming before the fall. Given Rose’s desire to play quarterback at the next level, the Orange or Huskies (both are giving him an opportunity to sit under center) might be his two best options, with the New York school holding the upper-hand.
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