Oscar Smith trio visits Maryland Junior Day

Maryland has staked its claim the past few years as one of the major players in recruiting Virginia's talent-gorged Tidewater area. It's had particular success at Oscar F. Smith (Chesapeake) High School, landing standout defensive end Brian Whitmore in 2006 and wide receiver Kerry Boykins this past year.

For the class of 2009, Maryland has offered two more Oscar F. Smith players—linebacker Jerod Askew (6-foot, 215 pounds) and wide receiver Timothy Smith (6-foot-1, 171 pounds). Both have written offers, Oscar F. Smith coach Richard Morgan said, and both visited for Maryland's junior day last weekend.

"They're both going to be heavily recruited, it'll be a process, it'll be a fight," Morgan said. "They'll probably both have a dozen to 20 offers to choose from and then it's going to be a matter of finding a place that's comfortable. They both enjoyed their trip to junior day this weekend. They really enjoyed it, had a great time. They were very impressed, so Maryland is certainly already high on their list. Plus they have two former teammates that are already there, so that's a definite plus."

Askew, an All-State and All-Tidewater selection, was part of an Oscar F. Smith first-team defense that allowed just 33 points in 14 games last season, according to the Washington Post. Askew, who also has offers from West Virginia, North Carolina State and Virginia Tech, had 120 tackles (24 for a loss), 13 sacks and two interceptions this past season.

"The kid's an absolutely phenomenal football player that's been starting for us since the first day of sophomore year. I can't say enough good things about him, he does everything well," Morgan said. "He is ungodly, just the way he plays—he's fast, he's aggressive, he understands the game very well and he's an absolutely tremendous athlete. I think he'd be a definite top-notch player to land. I don't where he'll be ranked in the nation or stars and all the other stuff, but he's a flat-out great football player, so he's gonna be a dominant player and he's one of the best linebackers in the state of Virginia."

Smith was overshadowed last season by Oscar F. Smith's three senior wide receivers—Boykins, Todd Harrelson (North Carolina) and Jamal Smith (Marshall)—but still managed more than 30 catches for 700 yards receiving and returned four punts for touchdowns. In 2008 he's expected to be the go-to receiver.

"Tim's faster than any of the wide outs we've ever had," Morgan said of Smith, who also has an offer from West Virginia. "He has a chance to really dominate this year because most of all the action is going to go towards him because he's the only one returning. He's got tremendous speed, acceleration, burst… He's got great upside."

Oscar F. Smith quarterback Phillip Sims, one of the nation's top sophomore signal-callers, also visited last weekend.

Maryland offensive line coach Tom Brattan, who recruits the Tidewater area, got in on both kids early and has a great relationship with Morgan.

"He always recruits our school really well," Morgan said. "He's always a presence in our school and every time he's in the area he always makes it a point to get by our school to see our kids. We have a great relationship and he does a real good job recruiting our kids."

NOTE: To read more on Maryland's diligent recruiting in the Tidewater area, pick up the March issue of Inside the Shell Magazine.

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