Quince Orchard Lineman Talks Terps

Last year was a kind one for Quince Orchard. After the Montgomery County high school finished the season 14-0 and won the AAAA state championship, the Cougars sent defensive tackle Zach Kerr to play his college ball for the hometown Maryland Terrapins. The 2008 crop of recruits may be even more impressive.

Strong side defensive end Jason Ankrah is one of Maryland's top D-line prospects. Next to him on the defensive line are three-star defensive tackle prospect Terrence Stephens and defensive end-tight end prospect Cody Magill. In the secondary is four-star cornerback Travis Hawkins. The Hornets' defense is a scary unit, even after losing the All-County lineman Kerr.

Ankrah took a few minutes to speak to TSR and share his feelings on the state of his recruitment. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound D-end had early offers from Maryland, North Carolina State, West Virginia and Syracuse, and was recently extended a scholarship offer from Illinois and Nebraska.

"They came out of nowhere," Ankrah said of his most recent offers.

Even after earning All-Sentinel first team as an offensive lineman, Ankrah says that his favorite position is defensive end. Maryland is recruiting the standout junior on the defensive line.

"I like defensive end, but I also like the stand-up defensive end like a Shawne Merriman type of position," he said.

Terrapin fans may be delighted to hear that the Quince Orchard quartet has considered committing to a school as a package deal, a move that is becoming more and more common these days in recruiting. So far, Ankrah, Stephens and Hawkins have written scholarship offers. Magill is hearing from Maryland, but his only offer to date is from West Virginia.

Ankrah grew up in Montgomery County, making Maryland a natural team to root for throughout his childhood. He has made several trips to campus as both a recruit and a fan.

"[For Junior Day] it felt like I was welcomed home. Coach Sollazzo welcomed me with open arms," Ankrah said.

The defensive end is hearing the most from West Virginia and Maryland after visiting both schools for Junior Day.

"I really liked the [West Virginia] coaching staff. They were really down to earth."

Ankrah says he wants to wait until after his senior season to make a decision, a level-headed move as the junior claims no favorites yet. Could he see himself playing for the hometown Terrapins?

"Yes, I could see something like that," Ankrah said.

In the off-season, he plans to get faster and bigger, two tools that he feels will help him improve the physical side of his game. He also plans to visit Penn State's Nike Camp in May.

Ankrah compares his style of play to Houston Texans defensive end Mario Williams because of "the way we come off the ball and how we have a quick twitch for every play."

Maryland may have an in with Ankrah, as he speaks to current Terps commit Zach Kerr daily.

"He told me he chose Maryland because every other school said they wanted him, but they also lied to him and told him things that he wanted to hear. Maryland is close to home, and he wanted to be near his Mom," Ankrah said of Kerr's recruitment.

The bottom line for Ankrah is simple: "[Maryland is] a family, and they play to have fun and play the game of football. [I want somewhere] that I fit in, somewhere that I have fun, and somewhere it won't take me too long to have my time to play on the field."

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