Randallstown High running back Larry Washington, The Sun's 1990 Player of the Year, is expected to announce today he will attend the University of Maryland, said sources close to Washington and within Maryland's athletic department.
Washington has scheduled a news conference at 1 p.m. today to announce his decision.
The commitment to Maryland, along with one from Wilde Lake High running back Raphael Wall on Thursday, would give the university probably the two best running backs in the state, as well as two of the best in the country.
Both were preseason All-Americans in Prep Football Report and Super Prep magazines.
"Larry Washington could play for any team in the country," said Super Prep editor Alan Wallace. "He's got good body lean, reads well, has good acceleration and explosion. We rated him slightly above Wall. The thing about Larry is that he's a force on both sides of the ball [Washington also played safety]."
"But for Maryland to get both of those guys -- whew, that's a major coup. They're both national talents," said Wallace.
Washington, 5 feet 10, 205 pounds, who declined to comment last night, scored 24 touchdowns and gained 1,549 yards on 154 carries this past season while leading Randallstown to the state 4A title. He has the speed to be a halfback and the power to play fullback.
Washington also visited Clemson, Georgia Tech, Tennessee and Michigan.
The Maryland coaching staff cannot comment on an individual player until after the National Collegiate Athletic Association signing date for national letters of intent, which begins Feb. 6 and runs through April 1. Washington's coach at Randallstown, John Buchheister, also declined to comment.
The addition of Washington would give Maryland its most talented backfield since Joe Krivak took over as head coach four seasons ago. The Terps already return two of their best halfbacks, freshman Mark Mason and junior Troy Jackson.
The addition of Washington almost would commit Krivak to a two-back offensive set next season after running the one-back set last fall. Krivak has said he will experiment with the two-back set in spring practice.
With eight days left before the beginning of the national signing period, Maryland seems to have had its strongest recruiting year under Krivak.
Krivak, after a 6-5 regular season in 1990, was awarded a new, four-year contract a week before the Terps played and tied Louisiana Tech, 34-34, in the Poulan-Weed Eater Independence Bowl. It was Maryland's first winning season and bowl appearance since 1985.
Since then, Krivak has been busy trying to find a replacement for fifth-year quarterback Scott Zolak.
The Terps have received oral commitments from two of the East Coast's best high school quarterbacks in Tom Marchese, 6-3, 195, from Dunmore, Pa., and Scott Milanovich, 6-3, 215, from Butler, Pa.
Marchese completed 224 of 455 passes for 3,475 yards in his career at Dunmore High, and Milanovich completed 213 of 433 passes for 2,762 yards and 32 career touchdowns.
The Terps also have quarterback John Kaleo from Montgomery-Rockville, who was the national Junior College Player of the Year, completing 85 of 304 passes for 2,936 yards and 32 touchdowns. Kaleo, 6-0, 200, already has enrolled at Maryland, along with Greg Lister, 6-3, 225, an option quarterback from Admiral Farragut Academy in New Jersey.
Maryland also has received a commitment from place-kicker David DeArmas, an All-American from DeMatha High and brother of Terps junior place-kicker Dan DeArmas. Maryland also has high hopes for offensive lineman Madison Bradley, a 6-3, 275-pound player who played for Nassau Community College in Long Island last season.
"To ask me if I'm pleased thus far is like a two-edged sword," Krivak said. "Right now, we're still in the period where a lot of decisions are going to be made."
A source within the Maryland athletic department said the Terps also are close to getting an oral commitment from Dunbar tight end Kevin Washington (45 catches),6-4, 210.
NOTES: Sophomore outside linebacker Adriene Wilson, because of academic difficulties, did not enroll for the spring semester and will not be eligible for the 1991 football season, Krivak said.