A new four-year contract in pocket and a bowl bid in the bank, Joe Krivak has further parlayed the relative hot hand of Maryland's 6-5 football season into recruiting success.
Yesterday's coup of Larry Washington brought to five the number of blue-chip recruits who have committed orally to Maryland.
Where that puts the Terps in the eyes of at least one East Coast scout is third in the Atlantic Coast Conference recruiting season, behind Georgia Tech and North Carolina.
It's barely a month old, but 1991 already looks like a good year for the Terps and Krivak, their coach.
"He's already gotten kids this year who are name people nationwide," said Charlie Weber, of Alexandria, Va., who helps assess high school basketball and football talent for The Bob Gibbons' All-Star Sports Report.
"He's got five kids on his list that any college in the country would want."
The five impact players are Washington, a running back from Randallstown; Raphael Wall, a running back from Wilde Lake; quarterbacks Ted Marchese of Dunmore, Pa., and Scott Milanovich of Butler, Pa.; and place-kicker David DeArmas of DeMatha.
Washington, who combines brute force with breakaway speed at 5 feet 10 and 205 pounds, is the headliner of the group. He rushed for 2,275 yards and scored 34 touchdowns for Randallstown's state Class 4A champions last season.
"Without question, he is the best of the lot, a super running back," Weber said. "He's got to be in the top 10 or 15 players in the East.
"It's subjective, but I'd say he's in the top 15 running backs in the country. And he might even be better than that."
Walls, 6-0 and 200 pounds, is another blue-chipper, but not quite the equal of Washington, Weber said. "That's no knock on Walls. In almost any comparison with Larry Washington, a running back is going to come out second best," he explained.
Washington and Walls should significantly enhance a backfield that already includes sophomore Mark Mason and senior Troy Jackson.
The need for blue-chip recruits at quarterback was more critical. With fifth-year senior Scott Zolak headed for the NFL next season, the cupboard was bare.
In Marchese and Milanovich, Weber says the Terps got the two best quarterbacks in Pennsylvania. And in John Kaleo, the national Junior College Player of the Year at Montgomery-Rockville last season, they may have found their quarterback for the 1991 season. Kaleo will have two years of eligibility at Maryland.
"Kaleo can come in and play next year and let Krivak break the young kids in," Weber said. "I have to believe the two kids from Pennsylvania will be groomed to play the position the way Krivak wants it played."
Marchese threw for 3,475 yards and 32 career touchdowns at Dunmore. Milanovich threw for 2,762 yards and 32 TDs. At Montgomery-Rockville, Kaleo passed for 2,936 yard and 32 TDs.
Weber thinks the Terps will move Greg Lister, a quarterback recruit from Admiral Farragut Academy in New Jersey, to another position.
The fact that Krivak lured Pennsylvania's two best quarterbacks away from Penn State is a sign of the times. The two Super Bowl quarterbacks, Jim Kelly of Buffalo and Jeff Hostetler of the New York Giants, almost wound up at linebacker under Joe Paterno.
"Krivak does a wonderful job with quarterbacks," Weber said. "Penn State, for all the things they do, has not produced quality quarterbacks. Maryland does."
Weber said David DeArmas, brother of current Maryland place-kicker Dan DeArmas, is "one of the best kickers in the country."
And that's not a bad start in 1991 for the Terps.