The Breakdown: Gus Gilchrist to Maryland

Maryland basketball recruiting has seen a whirlwind of activity over the past few months, but perhaps nothing – the verbal and later de-commitment of Terrence Jennings, the commitment of Sean Mosley, the addition of junior sharpshooter Jin-Soo Kim or the developments with Sudanese big man Ater Majok – were as surprising as the breaking news Sunday: highly coveted big man Gus Gilchrist is a Terp.

Gilchrist, a 6-foot-10, 235-pound center-power forward, will be able to join the Terps in January per his release from the Letter of Intent he originally signed with Virginia Tech; he asked out of the commitment in May, citing safety concerns. His trainer and advisor, Terrelle Woody, said the most likely scenario would be for Gilchrist to redshirt as a freshman.

Rated the No. 55 player and No. 11 center in the Class of 2007, Gilchrist is a versatile big man who can put up points from inside and out. He was named MVP of last spring's Capital Classic after scoring 24 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Make no mistake: this is a major pickup for Maryland, which won out over Georgetown, West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia.

"You're getting a top-100 player from the Class of 2007 and one of the top post-graduate players on the board. He's one of the top four or five bigs available," said Dave Telep, national recruiting director for

"I think he would have had an impact at Virginia Tech as a freshman and can be a three-to-four year starter in the ACC if he continues to work."

Maryland had seemingly been in the background among the schools that would vie for Gilchrist's commitment after his Virginia Tech release, but assistant coach Chuck Driesell continued to work hard on him, with assistant Keith Booth and head coach Gary Williams joining in. Gilchrist took an official visit with his parents and Woody this weekend, and he loved what he saw.

"He really likes Maryland. It's a great school and he really likes coach Williams, coach Driesell and coach Booth," Woody said. "He had a great visit."

Gilchrist, who starred for three years at Friendly High in Fort Washington before spending his senior year at Progressive Christian Academy, has enormous upside and gives the Terps' future frontline a huge boost.

"Age-wise, he's an '09. He just turned 18 on Monday," said Woody, adding that everyone involved is ecstatic about the decision.

"I'm all for it. I'm 150 percent behind it. I've always liked coach Williams and the flex offense," he said.

We'll have more later, including an interview with Big Gus…

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