TTDave's Inside The Shell

Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup.

Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup.

DeMatha-Good Counsel Reports

I began the high school season watching DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) triumph over Miami Central (Miami, Fla.), and ended it seeing the Stags win a third-straight conference title against Good Counsel (Olney, Md.). DeMatha downed their WCAC rivals, 48-17, Nov. 22 in Byrd Stadium, giving me one last look at the numerous Terps’ targets on both sides.

Of course, I’d already written extensive scouting reports on the likes of Good Counsel’s KeAndre Jones and DeMatha’s LoLo Harrison; Tino Ellis; Terrance Davis, D.J. Turner, Anthony McFarland and Chase Young. So I mainly honed in on the Stags’ senior receiver, Kellon Taylor, who the Maryland staff has identified as a potential late offeree.

The 6-foot-5, 195-pound Taylor wasn’t overly involved in the offense Nov. 22, but I was able to gauge his inherent talents such as his athleticism; quickness; and vertical leap. Plus I got a keens sense of his route-running abilities, footwork, field awareness and his blocking.

The feeling on this end is Taylor’s an intriguing talent with upside, but will need at least two years before he’s FBS ready.

His patterns, breaks and transitions appear to be mechanical; they need to become second nature. Taylor must develop more initial burst, become smoother with his routes, and show he can quickly eat up the cushion. In addition, Taylor isn’t the fastest receiver out there, so if he can improve his suddenness and dexterity it would aid his ability to get behind the defense and disguise routes. He also has to keep building up his body and adding bulk.

But it’s clear Taylor’s an athlete with loads of physical attributes at his disposal. He possesses a power forward’s wingspan and has above-average hops, giving him a wide catch radius. He also has soft, mitt-sized hands, which he uses to high-point the ball and occasionally come down with the circus reception. Taylor’s body control, after-the-catch prowess and physicality (i.e. he can defeat jams, out-muscle cornerbacks for jump balls and is a willing blocker) are counted as positives too.

Considering the above, we project Taylor to eventually become a productive possession receiver at the next level. It’s conceivable he could spend the next couple years adding serious muscle mass in order to play tight end, but more than likely he’ll end up as a short- to intermediate-level wideout.

-- As far his recruitment’s concerned, Taylor’s waiting for his UMD offer to materialize. Terps’ receivers’ coach Keenan McCardell reinitiated contact in early November, and since then he’s had a couple conversations with Maryland interim head coach Mike Locksley. Taylor said Locksley is intrigued about his potential and would be monitoring his senior film closely.

If the scholarship’s presented (we think it eventually will be), Maryland figures to be in position to land the local. Taylor couldn’t say enough about the nearby school after his game Nov. 22, talking up DMV-to-UMD; the chance to play with teammates-turned-Terps LoLo Harrison, D.J. Turner and Tino Ellis; and the UMD staff. He’s been in College Park, Md., several times and is looking to return for an official visit at some point this winter.

But Taylor has a longstanding offer from Temple, which he’ll be trekking to Nov. 28. The DeMatha product appreciates the Owls’ loyalty and currently has them siting atop his leaderboard. It’s possible Taylor could opt for the Philly school over Maryland -- if the Terps’ coaches drags their feet and/or Locksley leaves College Park.

Boston College, another school Taylor will be officially visiting, is also in play. The Stags’ standout has been hearing from Indiana, Illinois and Kent State too.

Expect Taylor to finalize his recruitment sometime in late December or early January. You can read more about his game, as well as see the interview, HERE.

More DeMatha-GC Recruiting Notes

-- Besides Taylor, the main uncommitted prospect I wanted to catch up with was the DeMatha guard Terrance Davis. Davis, who we wrote about following his latest foray through College Park Nov. 7 for the Wisconsin game, is about to embark on his first official visit Nov. 28. The 6-2, 300-pounder will be in Ann Arbor, Mich., for yet another in-depth look at his frontrunner, Michigan.

Indeed, Davis didn’t deviate from his No. 1 Nov. 22, extolling Wolverines’ headman Jim Harbaugh and the rest of the staff. Davis spoke to the welcoming environment in Ann Arbor, the school’s tradition/academics, and the program’s growth under Harbaugh.

Michigan has been Davis’ favorite school since the spring, and unless the Wolverines back off (conceivable with four 2016 offensive linemen currently committed and more than a couple studs on their radar), they’ll be tough to top. But the Terps are hanging tough, Davis naming UMD his No. 2, ahead of Georgia (Dec. 11 official); Alabama (Jan. 22 official); Florida and UCLA (Jan. 15 official).

The DeMatha four-star said the chance to represent his home state, and play with his cousin, LoLo Harrison, as well as Tino Ellis and D.J. Turner, holds weight. Davis also lauded interim head coach Mike Locksley, the rest of UMD’s 2016 recruiting class and his comfort level in College Park.

In fact, Davis said he had enough love for the hometown school that he’d be keeping them near and dear even if Locksley’s out. Now, Davis admitted UMD’s staff would have a better shot at securing his services if the Terps’ interim remains, but it wouldn’t be the be-all-end-all.

Our feeling, however, is Davis will opt for another locale if Locksley’s not present, but it does seem like the Stags’ guard’s Maryland affinity isn’t based solely on its coach. That said, he will undoubtedly monitor who the next headman is before coming to any sort of definitive conclusion regarding the UMD program.

As for Davis’ other suitors, we’re not certain Alabama's staff is making a potent push. Head coach Nick Saban may not be inclined to accept his pledge.

UCLA’s coaches are in close contact, however, and have Davis’ attention. But the distance figures to preclude him from heading to Los Angeles, Calif.

Georgia might be sitting third in the race, right behind Michigan and Maryland. Davis has been in Athens a couple times already, most recently for Dawg Night. He ate up the atmosphere at UGA and has had consistent communication with the staff.  

Florida, which Davis is in the process of finalizing an official to, could be a darkhorse candidate. The Gators have made a late charge, and their success this year, coupled with their SEC affiliation, have piqued Davis’ interest. 

Look for Davis to select his school on Signing Day. You can view the interview with him HERE.

-- The other seniors I interviewed Nov. 22 were all members of Maryland’s 2016 class. The most tenuous among them, though, was the four-star Good Counsel linebacker KeAndre Jones. Jones didn’t say much more than he had during previous reports, but it’s worth repeating his comments (and deciphering his body language).

Initially, the Falcons’ stalwart reiterated his status as a firm UMD pledge, asserting that he’s not ready to waver. But, when pressed, Jones said he’d have to rethink his situation if interim head coach Mike Locksley isn’t retained.

“[Locksley is] saying just hang in there, because you just never know what can happen with the new head coach. You can only wait,” Jones said. “If he does leave, I’ll have to open up my options. But I don’t want to think about that, because he’s such a great guy and we have such a great bond. We have a great class coming in, and I want to stay with those guys. [Dwayne Haskins and I] we’re talking about keeping  the class together and locking everyone in.”

That’s all well and good, but Jones said he should be taking at least a couple official visits before singing on the dotted line. He hasn’t finalized any dates yet, but Jones said USC; Clemson; and Ohio State are on his radar.

“If any other interest comes my way, I’ll have to look into it,” Jones said. “But right now I’m locked in with Maryland.”

Our gut? Well, of all Maryland’s 2016 in-state commits, Jones might be the most likely to leave. Stay tuned.

You can see the interview with Jones HERE.

-- We’re a bit leery about Jones’ status, but Lorenzo Harrison sounds like he’s on board with UMD, regardless of who the coach is or what recruits will be joining him in College Park. The three-star running back, who busted out with a 244-yard, three-touchdown game Nov. 22, said “nothing has really changed for me” in regards to his Maryland commitment.

“I’m here to play for my hometown, my home state,” Harrison said. “I really want Coach Locksley here; he recruited me, and I want him here. We’re just waiting to see what happens [with Locksley and the coaching situation], but I want to stay home.”

Harrison didn’t say it on camera, but he’s basically cut off contact with other college assistants. At one time, he did hold an offer from UVA, but the Wahoos haven’t pursued since last summer.

Now, it’s plausible a late suitor could emerge if Harrison lets it be known he’s thinking about exploring other schools. For now, though, UMD is his best option -- and could remain so with or without Locksley.

You can see the Harrison interview HERE.

-- The receiver pledge Tino Ellis was even more adamant about his Terps’ allegiance. The four-star went so far as to say it “didn’t matter” what happened with his recruiter, Mike Locksley, or the other DMV-to-UMD pledges.

“I didn’t commit [to Maryland] because of Dwayne [Haskins] or the coaches,” Ellis said. “That’s the school I felt most comfortable with and wanted to be at. I wanted to play close to home and in front of my family.”

We’ll see if Ellis is singing the same tune if Locksley’s a goner and the hometown movement starts crumbling, but he did sound emphatic. And, honestly, Ellis might be in a similar boat to his teammate, Harrison, anyway (read: Maryland is his best option).

Two of Ellis’ former ardent pursuers, Va Tech and Rutgers, also have shaky coaching situations, and neither presents a more attractive destination than Maryland (for now at least). It’s possible a Wisconsin, a Kentucky, or a Wake Forest could reengage Ellis, but the DeMatha wideout wasn’t overly keen on those schools prior to his UMD commitment. The one program that could pose a problem (for UMD purposes) is West Virginia -- if the Mountaineers’ staff will accept another wideout pledge.

But while Ellis might entertain a few phone calls, we’re not so sure he’ll be taking any other officials except Maryland Dec. 4. At least, that’s the vibe based off his latest interview.

You can see the interview with Ellis HERE.

-- In addition to the upperclassmen, I also touched base with Stags’ four-star athlete Anthony McFarland post-title bout. The diminutive dynamo is always a terrific talker, but we pretty much know his shtick by now. A savvy, “politically correct” prospect, McFarland makes sure to heap praise on each of his 30-plus pursuers, either specifically (if directly asked about one) or in general.

Which is not to say McFarland is a difficult read. It’s quite clear the Stags’ stud has his eyes focused on the SEC, with Alabama and Georgia continuing to resonate. He’s set to embark on a long summer tour through the Southeast, with Athens, Ga., Tuscaloosa, Ala., Knoxville, Tenn., Lexington, Kent., and Gainesville, Fla., all on his radar. Florida State, Clemson, Baylor, UCLA and others of that ilk also have McFarland’s attention.

For what it’s worth, McFarland keeps insisting Maryland will reside among his foremost five suitors throughout the recruiting process. The DeMatha four-star said he has much respect for the hometown movement, UMD interim head coach Mike Locksley and his teammates heading to Maryland next year. McFarland’s also attended a couple Terps’ games this season, offering up compliments for the fans; players; and facilities.

If his UMD-area recruiter, Mike Locksley, leaves College Park, though, McFarland admitted it could diminish his view of Maryland. McFarland will be a difficult pull anyway, but we don’t envision UMD having any chance at landing him sans Locksley.

You can see the interview with McFarland HERE.

-- I snagged McFarland before he bolted Byrd Nov. 22, but his 2017 classmate, four-star defensive end Chase Young, escaped my grasp. Which was OK, because the two fast friends mirror each other in terms of their respective recruitments. So much so that it wouldn’t shock in the slightest if they somehow ended up at the same college.

Like McFarland, Young is smitten with the SEC and is giving Alabama and Georgia long, hard looks. The defensive end will probably join his teammate this summer, visiting those two campuses and various other schools throughout the south. (Note that Scout’s Michael Clark did interview Young this week, and the defensive end told him he was also looking at some Big Ten elites like Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan).

Young is also keeping the Terps in play, noting his relationship with UMD-area recruiter Mike Locksley and Harrison’s/Ellis’/Turner’s consistent pro-Maryland overtures.

But, like McFarland, Young’s UMD affinity is dependent on Locksley’s status and the direction the program’s headed. Without the current interim in tow, Young’s forecast to the SEC or a Big Ten stalwart.

Nov. 20-22 College Park Visitors

Rahshaun Smith, DE, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.): There will be more than 100 recruits in attendance for the Nov. 28 Iron Bowl at Auburn, but the only one with Maryland ties is the four-star defensive end Smith. The Tigers and defensive coordinator Will Muschamp have been after Smith for quite some time, but the feeling is AU may be fifth in the pecking order among the four-star’s final suitors. While Smith has made sure to talk up his relationship Muschamp and head coach Gus Malzahn, he has been more effusive in his praise for Clemson; Maryland; LSU; and even Oregon. Perhaps Auburn, which has struggled at times this year, will move up the list with a solid showing against Alabama Nov. 28.

After the Iron Bowl, the Baltimore native Smith will have taken official visits to Oregon; LSU; and Auburn, while’s he’s seen Clemson, the school he originally committed to, several times. Next up is Maryland Dec. 4 and CU Dec. 11 before Smith announces his college destination shortly thereafter.

Prior to his UMD official, though, Smith stopped by College Park during Thanksgiving break for another sitdown with Maryland interim head coach Mike Locksley and Director of Player Personnel Cory Robinson. He was on campus numerous times during the summer, but not since ex-headman Randy Edsall was fired in early October. Smith wanted a chance to reconnect with the coaches and hear what they had in mind in regards to the program’s future.

The Baltimore native didn’t directly respond to inquiries this week, but we’ve been told he had another productive meeting Nov. 22. Smith and Robinson have a longstanding rapport, and the defensive end has developed a relationship with Locksley as well. Moreover, Smith would like to return home for college, giving his family a chance to see him play. He’s readily taken to DMV-to-UMD too, staying in close contact with Terps’ quarterback pledge Dwayne Haskins (Bullis/Potomac, Md.).

Perhaps Smith will even give Locksley and Robinson his word while on campus Dec. 4. But with Locksley’s Maryland status precarious -- and increasingly so in recent weeks -- Smith could eventually fade from the Terps’ grasp. Basically, if Locksley’s not around and Robinson bolts for greener pastures, Smith has virtually no chance of winding up in College Park.

In that case, he’ll likely re-commit to Clemson, which is thought to be first or second on his favorites list alongside UMD. For what it’s worth, the Tigers’ beat writers believe Smith will commit to them during his Dec. 11 official.

We’ll find out soon enough.

Cam Spence, DT, IMG Academy (2017): In addition to the Good Counsel and DeMatha players interviewed Nov. 22, I spoke to IMG Academy 2017 defensive tackle Cam Spence, another Baltimore product back in town for Thanksgiving break. Following the Stags-Falcons title game, the former Gilman (Baltimore, Md.) star addressed his current offerees; early standouts; upcoming visits; and his thoughts on Maryland.

For the moment, Spence holds offers from Ohio State, Penn State, Kentucky, FSU, Maryland, Michigan State, West Virginia and NC State. He said he’s been hearing regularly from Notre Dame, USC and Oregon, and could secure scholarships from each this offseason.

Spence refused to name favorites, but admitted CU, PSU, UMD and OSU were in touch fairly regularly. The 6-5, 285-pounder just tripped to State College, Pa., Nov. 21 for his third look at the Nittany Lions. Spence is seemingly giving PSU prime consideration; he has a strong rapport with head coach James Franklin and recruiter Sean Spencer and loves the Happy Valley vibe. Meanwhile, Ohio State, another school Spence has trekked to, also figures to remain in play throughout.

Other programs Spence is looking to see this winter include Clemson, Notre Dame, Kentucky, WVU, Pitt and Maryland.

Of course, Spence was a regular in College Park prior to his IMG transfer, tripping to UMD several times for games and summer visits. He finally had a chance to return Nov. 22 for a chat with interim head coach Mike Locksley. After the brief foray, Spence said he had much love for Maryland and its current staff.

“Maryland is the hometown school. I’m real close with Coach Locksley. I feel he’s a real good coach, and if they let him stay they’ll have something special there,” Spence said. “And I do know Coach [Cory] Robinson too; he’s real cool. He knew me when I was at Gilman, and he’s cool.

“And as far as staying home, I wouldn’t mind at all. It’s always nice to get a home-cooked meal from your mom (laughs). I talk to a lot of guys up here from the WCAC and Baltimore.”

But what if Locksley and Robinson head elsewhere? Would Spence still be interested in returning to the DMV for college?

“I can’t honestly say yes or no, because I don’t know who they’re going to bring in as coach,” Spence said. “They might bring in someone else who would be interesting as well. So I just have to wait and see who they bring in.”

Spence can pretty much speak for the rest of the DMV: Everyone’s in a holding pattern with Maryland until the next headman is tabbed.

You can view the interview with Spence HERE.

Jordan Anthony, LB, IMG Academy (2017): The former Good Counsel prospect Anthony joined his teammates Shaq Smith and Cam Spence in College Park Nov. 22. The four-star linebacker said he was mainly at Byrd to watch his ex-teammates in action, but he still reconnected with his UMD recruiter, Mike Locksley, who was in his office.

I talked to [Locksley] for a little bit, and we were just talking about the coaching situation at Maryland and where things are heading,” Anthony said. “He’s still trying to get the head coaching job there, so we were talking about that. I hope he gets it, because that would do a lot for recruiting. A lot of guys in the DMV and a lot of guys down [at IMG] are looking at Maryland because of Coach Locksley, so hopefully he stays and gets the job.”

Anthony can include himself in that statement. While the IMG prospect mentions Maryland in most interviews, it’s rarely a program at the forefront of his mind. Clemson and Penn State, two campuses he trekked to earlier this month, seem to be resonating, the Tigers perhaps the early leader. Ohio State, Oklahoma, Michigan, Florida and UCLA are also on the brain, with Anthony proposing offseason visits to each.

For the Terps to land Anthony, not only would Locksley have to remain in College Park, but DMV-to-UMD would have to be in full effect; he’d have to have several standout visits; and he’d have to witness steady progress throughout the next year (read: winning more than two games in 2016).

You can read more about Anthony HERE.

Daniel George, WR, Oxon Hill (Md.) (2018): The above recruits all stopped by Gossett Team House Nov. 22, but the sophomore George was the only notable recruit who actually watched the Nov. 21 Indiana-Maryland game. The local receiver, who picked up a Maryland offer following a standout summer 7-on-7 performance, said despite the Terps’ 45-28 loss, he thoroughly enjoyed the Byrd Stadium atmosphere; seeing the players interact with the fans; and chatting with the staff.

After the game, George and his teammates went down to the locker room, the receiver having a chance to talk to his position coach, Keenan McCardell, as well as interim head coach Mike Locksley. George connected with both, harping on the bond he’s developed with Locksley and noting how he’s, “happy to see him in position as the head coach.”

George’s coach, Craig Jeffries, has known Locksley for years, the two having coached/recruited in D.C. for almost two decades. Jeffries has sent more than a couple prospects Locksley’s way over the years, so it’s no surprise the interim’s known about George since his freshman campaign at Oxon Hill.

The 2018 product has a growing list of offers to consider, but if Locksley sticks in College Park, the Terps would hold a decided edge moving forward. If Locksley’s out, however, George has UVA; WVU; Va Tech; Iowa; and BC verbals -- with plenty more interested suitors throughout the Big Ten; ACC; and SEC.

“I think it's very important that Coach Locks stays at Maryland. In my eyes a lot of people are wondering why Maryland has a great local class coming in, and I tell them it has a lot to do with Coach Locks,” said George, who is in tune with DMV-to-UMD and wouldn’t mind showing out for his home state. “I wouldn't say Maryland would be less attractive without [Locksley], because there are other coaches on the staff that are great at what they do. But for the DMV kids it will be a big blow to not have Coach Locks as part of the staff. It would be disappointing if he’s not the coach.”

Insightful and telling comments from a sophomore.

You can read more about George HERE.

More 2016 Recruiting Notes

Myles Wolfolk, CB, Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.): The local Terps’ cornerback target and Virginia Tech pledge took his second official visit to Madison, Wis., Nov. 21. We don’t project Wolfolk to be a Badger, but apparently there are some connections that could keep Wisconsin in the race.

Wolfolk has known Badgers’ defensive backs coach Daronte Jones since his youth-league days, the assistant having coached Wolfolk’s father, Kevin. On top of that, Wolfolk knows running backs coach John Settle and recruiting coordinator Andrew Marlatt, both of whom played with Kevin Wolfolk in the pros.

During the visit, Wolfolk took to the Badgers’ players; the atmosphere on campus; and the rest of the staff, namely head coach Paul Chryst. But, most importantly, Wolfolk sensed an opportunity to contribute immediately in Madison. Wisconsin is losing almost its entire starting secondary next year, so there will be openings.

Wolfolk has not scheduled his third official yet, but Maryland (Dec. 4 is the tentative date, provided Wise isn’t in the class 4A state-title game) and Virginia Tech should both receive trips. He’s also thinking about taking in Kentucky or Wake Forest before ending his recruitment in early January and enrolling at a school later that month.

The Terps, for their part, are right in the thick of things and could be positioned to flip Wolfolk. The Upper Marlboro native and his father favor UMD interim head coach Mike Locksley, who has their ear. Plus, the idea of the hometown movement and the chance to star just a few miles from family and friends appeals as well. Wolfolk is also privy to the Terps’ cornerback struggles and is well aware there will be playing-time opportunities.

But Wolfolk won’t be heading to Maryland unless he’s assured Locksley’s in College Park and DMV-to-UMD remains intact. If not, he’ll probably stick with Va Tech or perhaps flip to North Carolina, the school he officially visited Nov. 7.

Abdul Adams, RB, Hillside (Durham, N.C.): The former Woodson (Washington, D.C.) running back Adams took his first official visit to Oklahoma Nov. 21,witnessing the Sooners knock off Big 12 rival TCU, 30-29. The ex-Michigan State commit Adams didn’t respond to Scout media inquiries (as expected), but he told our D.C. sources he loved his stay in Norman.

Evidently Adams has known his Sooners’ recruiter, Lincoln Riley, for two years now. In fact, when Riley was the offensive coordinator at ECU back in 2013, he actually secured a commitment from Adams. That relationship convinced Adams to give Norman a closer look, and we’re led to believe the Sooners will now become a player for his services.

But maybe only if Alabama and Maryland fall by the wayside.

Indeed, our contacts are maintaining Adams to the Tide or Terps, with UMD holding an edge if Maryland interim head coach Mike Locksley resides in College Park. Adams, who would like to play his college ball in the D.C. area, is set to visit UMD while home on Thanksgiving break. He’s expected to get the lowdown from Locksley and learn more about the program’s future plans.

After that, Adams should be taking a Maryland official visit Dec. 4, giving him even more insight into the hometown school. If the borderline four-star is convinced the Terps are heading in the right direction -- with Locksley in tow -- Adams’ much-anticipated Maryland pop should materialize.

If the D.C. runner is leery, however, he’ll likely follow through with a Tide official and subsequently pledge to head coach Nick Saban. Adams visited Tuscaloosa during the summer and may have committed then if not for his recent Michigan State verbal. If Adams is still a “take” for the Tide, don’t expect him to pass up another opportunity.

Note: Adams listed Indiana as another possible destination, but we don’t envision the runner winding up in Bloomington, Ind., unless there are issues with Bama; Maryland; and Oklahoma.

Trevon Diggs, WR, Avalon (Gaithersburg, Md.): The four-star Diggs returned to Alabama Nov. 21 for the first time since his Nov. 7 Tide commitment. Per our Bama contacts, Diggs spent plenty of time with head coach Nick Saban and his area recruiter, the staff ensuring the Avalon receiver they’d honor his pledge. . . . for now.  It’s always possible Saban could “encourage” a flip if another talented wideout pops up on his far-reaching radar. But, as long as the latter doesn’t occur, Saban seems to be alright with the receiver’s choice.

Diggs, for his part, connected with several Bama players Nov. 21 and had a great time taking in Tuscaloosa and experiencing the Tide tradition. Following the visit, we’re told Diggs may no longer be entertaining other programs. Diggs was supposed to see LSU Nov. 14, but elected not to venture through Baton Rouge, La.

Maryland still has a heartbeat here, but as long as Diggs and the Tide are seeing eye to eye -- and UMD’s coaching situation is in flux -- the Terps will be on the outside looking in. But, just in case, Maryland interim coach and area recruiter Mike Locksley has kept the Diggs-family communication lines open.

If Locksley is assured a spot on UMD’s next staff, Diggs may “quietly” visit College Park to hear what the coaches have to say. Remember, Diggs would have chosen Maryland in the first place if not for the uncertainty surrounding the interim.

So, really, this recruitment remains somewhat fluid. Given the nature of the Diggses, this may not truly reach a conclusion until right around Signing Day.

Tyrone Hill, CB, Don Bosco (Ramsey, N.J.): The general consensus, in the wake of former UMD-head coach Randy Edsall’s firing, is Maryland commit Tyrone Hill would monitor Maryland-area recruiter Keith Dudzinski’s status before deciding whether or not to reopen his recruitment. But after Scout’s Sam Hellman caught up with Hill last month, and national analyst Brian Dohn interviewed the corner yet again Nov. 21, it seems like the Jersey product will stick.

While Hill certainly respected Edsall and has a rapport with Dudzinski, neither were the primary reasons the Bosco recruit pledged. The 6-0.5, 190-pounder told Dohn he committed to Maryland mainly because of its location, his comfort on campus and the school’s academic reputation. Therefore, barring a change of heart, we expect Hill to sign with the Terps in February.

TTDave’s High School Football Star Ratings (2016 & 2017)

The DeMatha-Good Counsel championship game will be the last high school football game I’ll see this year. Although there are two weeks left in the MPSSAA playoffs, my attention has shifted indoors to hoops recruiting and Maryland basketball. So, as promised, here are my personal star ratings for the prospects I watched live this season. (I will offer more in-depth analysis after Signing Day).

A brief explanation:

Two-star (**): A possible “reach” recruit. May have more success at the FCS level.

Three-star (***): An FBS prospect who projects as a role player. Has the potential to make an impact several years down the line, either as an occasional-starter or as a rotational contributor.

Three-and-a-half star (*** 1/2 ): A solid FBS prospect who projects as a starter in a year or two. A multi-year impact player.

Four-star (****): A high-impact, high-upside recruit who should contribute soon after arriving on campus. A multi-year starter with all-conference potential.

Four-and-a-half star (**** 1/2): An immediate FBS contributor who has multi-year all-conference potential. Has a clear path to the NFL.

Five-star (*****): A face-of-the-program type. A franchise changer. Someone who could eventually enter the school’s Hall of Fame and be an early-round draft pick provided they realize their inherent talents.

Note: Click on each player’s name for a link to my scouting report

Maryland’s 2016 Commitments

Dwayne Haskins, QB, Bullis (Potomac, Md.): **** 

LoLo Harrison, RB, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.): *** ½ 

Jake Funk, RB, Damascus (Md.): *** 

Tino Ellis, WR, DeMatha: *** ½ 

D.J. Turner, Slot, DeMatha: *** ½ 

Michael Clark, OT, Downingtown East (Exton, Pa.): *** 

Brian Plummer, OT, South Carroll (Sykesville, Md.): ** 

Joey Fisher, DL, Clear Spring (Md.): ** (evaluation from TT’s Mark Clem) 

KeAndre Jones, LB, Good Counsel (Olney, Md.): **** 

Silas Kelly, S/LB, South Carroll: *** 

Devin Butler, S, Douglass (Upper Marlboro, Md.): **

Mike Viti, S, Cedar Cliff (Pa.): *** (evaluation from TT’s Mark Clem) 

Parnell Motley, CB, Woodson (D.C.): *** ½ 

Tyrone Hill, CB, Don Bosco (Ramsey, N.J.): *** ½ (evaluation from Scout’s Brian Dohn)

Class of 2016 Maryland Targets

Trevon Diggs, WR, Avalon (Gaithersburg, Md.): **** 

Kellon Taylor, WR, DeMatha: *** 

Devery Hamilton, OT, Gilman (Baltimore, Md.): ****

Terrance Davis, OG, DeMatha: ****

Richard Merritt, OG, Carroll (Washington, D.C.): *** ½

Stephen Spanellis, OG, Gilman: *** ½

Keith Simms, LB, Landon (Bethesda, Md.): **** 

Ellison Jordan, DT, Gilman: ****

Terrell Hall, DT, St. John’s (Washington, D.C.): **** ½ 

Shane Simmons, DL, DeMatha: **** ½

Myles Wolfolk, CB, Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.): *** ½ 

Class of 2017 Maryland Targets

Jordan McNair, OT, McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.): **** ½

Marcus Minor, OG, DeMatha: *** ½

Anthony McFarland, RB, DeMatha: **** ½ 

Josh Paschal, DE, Good Counsel: *** 

Lawtez Rogers, DE, Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.): *** ½ 

Tyshon Fogg, LB, Calvert Hall (Towson, Md.): **** 

Damani Neal, S, Bullis: *** ½ 

Deon Jones, CB, Carroll: **** 

Various Notes On Rankings

-- The 2017 star ratings are a bit different than the 2016 ratings, because I am projecting two years down the road instead of one.

-- The best senior I saw live this year was Gilman’s Ellison Jordan, but due to his physical stature (read: short arms) I could not rate him as a 4.5-star.

-- The only two 2016 prospects I rated 4.5 stars were Terrell Hall and Shane Simmons, but that is based more on potential than pure production. Both flashed tremendous upside and could be dominant college players, but, at times, both disappeared when I watched them play. I might call them “boom or bust” types at the next level.

-- The best overall recruit I watched, regardless of class year, was DeMatha’s Anthony McFarland.

-- The best Maryland commit I watches this year was KeAndre Jones.

-- The prospect who made the greatest leap from last year to this season was Landon’s Keith Simms. Myles Wolfolk was a close second.


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