Friday, February 06, 2009

Locals well represented in 2009 class

Maryland did fairly well in assembling its 2009 football recruiting class. Thirteen of the twenty four signees are from Maryland and the next highest state is Virginia with three. New Jersey and Virginia have been bigger targets in years past but clearly the staff was focused on locking down locals within a few hour drive of College Park. Coach Ralph Friedgen has indicated that Maryland will largely drop its efforts recruiting in Florida and you can see that Maryland is going to focus on the Mid-Atlantic region.

This class helps address two of my favorite positions and from my perspective main reasons for Maryland's success and struggles: the offensive and defensive line. I indicated before last season that I wasn't sold on the "experienced" offensive line going into the season. The inconsistency of the unit was largely responsible for the offensive problems the team had last season. In this class guard Pete White and tackles Pete DeSouza and Nick Klemm will add some great talent to the future of the offensive line. DeSouza will need some time to develop but could be a cornerstone tackle at a massive 6-7 325 pounds. Klemm, once a Boston College commit, decided to go with Maryland when the Eagles fired their coach. He will also need some time to develop but his frame (6-7, 275lbs) will allow him to put on muscle after redshirting. Pete White is the jewel of this class. A smart, powerful and aggressive guard White just loves to lock up on defenders and drive them into the ground. He is probably the most college ready lineman in the group and will be at least a three year starter at Maryland.

On the defensive line ends De'Onte Arnett and David Mackall are two of the better pass rushers that Maryland has signed in recent years. Arnett was one of the best players in the state and has the size, strength and speed to be the elite pass rushing end the Terps have lacked for years. Mackall was initially a "below the radar" recruit but has shown that he is also a very talented defensive end who shined at the end of the season in the Maryland Crab Bowl. Those two are very nice bookends for the future. There are potential opportunities for both Mackall and Arnett at defensive end where the situation is very unsettled after the departure of Jeremy Navarre, Trey Covington and Mack Frost. Defensive tackles Cody Blue and Zach Kerr also are added to this class after a prep school season at Fork Union. There will be returning linemen like Dion Armstrong, Travis Ivey, A.J. Francis and Masengo Kabongo but it is a position that will be worth watching in the spring. Arnett is an early enrollee and will participate in the spring game.

Other notable commits are corner Travis Hawkins, running backs D.J. Adams and Caleb Porzel, linebacker Darin Drakeford and kicker Nick Ferrara. Hawkins is an elite corner with great ball skills and a physical style that will suit new defensive coordinator Don Brown very well. He'll continue the tradition of Maryland corners like Domonique Foxworth and Josh Wilson. With Da'Rel Scott and Davin Meggett the backfield is a little crowded so you'd have to think that Adams and Porzel are likely to redshirt, though Porzel could help in the return game. Drakeford highlights a large collection of linebackers this season after Maryland loses five linebackers in the ten player depth chart at linebacker. The departure of Obi Egekeze may open a spot for Ferrara right way.

It may not be a star studded class but it fills needs and does a good job of getting a core of "program" guys who are more than just good football players. With a large senior class that was lacking in leadership on the way out I think a number of these recruits have a chance to develop into the core character of a hard working blue collar team.

You can see more about the 2009 class here. In the 2008 class Meggett and Kenny Tate both made contributions in the first year and you could see that again from a few players this season.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I got to meet Pete DeSouza at a Dematha basketball game recently. What a good guy-and absolutely enormous. If he's 325 its on the moon. With some work in the weight room he is going to kill people in a couple years.

Great class Fridge!