Greenbelt power good to Terps again?

The perennially talent-laden football program at nearby Eleanor Roosevelt High in Greenbelt has been good to the University of Maryland football program in recent years, producing such standouts as Josh Allen, Jared Gaither, Tre Covington, Jermaine Lewis and Charles Hill.

Now, after a few lean years by his lofty standards, Roosevelt coach Rick Houchens has a few more big-time prospects the Terps are taking a long look at.

Junior safety Okechuckwu Okoroha and junior defensive end Delonte Wallace are the next big names coming up the pike – or, perhaps we should say the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, from which the school is a few hundred yards away.

Okoroha is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound junior had 43 tackles and four interceptions a year ago for a defense that posted seven shutouts, and has a skill set that is quite attractive to college scouts. He's a tireless worker in the weight room, has great instincts and a great work ethic, and will most likely be in the 210-pound range by the time he hits the college field.

"He's got the total package of a free safety. He's got the size, he bench pressed 185 pounds fifteen times, he ran a 4.68 40[yard dash] on a laser timer and a 4.22-second shuttle," Houchens said. "He can play the pass and see the field real well but he also can knock you out after you catch the ball and he plays the run very well."

Houchens said Okoroha, who also has a 3.0 GPA and will qualify easily, is on the same level as some of his best players in recent years –Gaither, Penn State receiver Derrick Williams and Florida pass rusher Derrick Harvey, to name a few.

Maryland, Virginia, Michigan State, Boston College and Ohio State have all expressed interest in Okoroha, though he doesn't have offers yet. He'll be making the rounds on the summer combine circuit, though, and is sure to attract plenty of them.

Wallace, meantime, is a 6-1, 215-pound end who can play with a hand in the dirt or in a hybrid position similar to the "LEO' position that former Roosevelt star plays at Maryland. He's got similar explosion to Harvey, who is a likely future first-round NFL Draft pick, and bench presses 185 pounds 23 times.

Boston College has been the most dogged in pursuing Wallace, who recorded 11 sacks last season, but he's sure to collect an array of offers.

"They're as good as any guys I've ever had," Houchens said.
And then there is sophomore Devon Smith, probably the crown jewel of the bunch. Smith ran a 4.44-second laser-recorded 40-yard dash at a combine in Baltimore recently, the best time of the 1,100-plus participants there. That included primarily older players, too. The 5-9, 170 defensive back-running back-wide receiver ran a scorching 6.31-second 55-meter sprint this winter, good for second in the state of Maryland.

It's safe to say the Maryland staff knows about all three players and will be watching them closely. will keep you posted…

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