COLLEGE PARK -- Although he downplayed the best recruiting class in his four years at the school, University of Maryland football coach Joe Krivak conceded that a few of the 20 recruits signed Wednesday could help his team immediately.
Two are running backs Larry Washington of Randallstown and Raphael Wall of Wilde Lake. Wall, 6 feet, 200 pounds, ran for 2,063 yards and 31 touchdowns last season. Washington, 5-11, 198 pounds, rushed for 2,275 yards and 36 touchdowns. They were regarded as two of the best backs in the country.
"We're going to give them a chance to show their wares, and, if they perform well, we're going to play them right away," said Krivak.
Madison Bradley, a 6-3, 270-pound lineman from Nassau (N.Y.) Community College, also could play a key role. The JuCo All-American could fill one of the offensive-tackle spots left by senior tackles Clarence Jones and O'Neil Glenn, or he might play on the defensive line.
"We'll have to make that assessment after spring practice to see where we need the depth," said Krivak.
Outside linebacker Eugene Gray, 6-2, 220, from Valley Forge (Pa.) Military Academy, has enrolled at Maryland and should challenge for a starting position.
Krivak also has high hopes for freshman linebacker/defensive back Ken Green, a 6-3, 205-pound speedster (4.5 in the 40) from Lake Taylor High in Norfolk, Va.
Krivak said there won't be a No. 1 quarterback going into spring practice, but newcomers John Kaleo, from Montomery-Rockville, and Greg Lister, from Admiral Farragut Academy in Mays Landing, N.J., would get the same amount of repetitions as Jimmy Sandwisch, the No. 2 quarterback last season, and redshirt freshman Tony Scarpino.
* Maryland continues to have problems with its defensive line. Junior defensive tackle Derek Steele, 6-4, 263, has been declared academically ineligible for spring practice and possibly the 1991 season, along with junior defensive tackle Larry Webster, perhaps the Terps' best defensive player.
Junior defensive tackle Darren Drozdov, 6-3, 259, who was seventh on the team in tackles as a starter during the 1989 season, also has been declared academically ineligible for spring practice by the university, but is appealing. Drozdov missed all of last season because of back problems that required off-season surgery.
* Sophomore linebacker Joel Goode, who was declared academically ineligible last fall, could return and start for the Terps in 1991. He has been taking classes at a school in his hometown of McKeesport, Pa.
Goode, 6-2, 235, was expected to challenge senior Karl Edwards at starting outside linebacker last season. His huge upper body and strength have Maryland coaches eager to team him with junior starting outside linebacker Greg Hines, who had an outstanding 1990 season. Goode also can play in the middle.
"Everything seems to be encouraging right now with him taking several classes up there," said Maryland defensive coordinator Greg Williams. "Joel is a real nice kid, and, like everything else, I think he has learned you can't half do it, you have to commit all the way when it comes to studying. He would be a big asset to our team, but he still has to go through the re-admissions process first."
* After two years of struggling after major knee surgery, former Oakland Mills standout running back Andre Vaughn has talked to Krivak about playing in the secondary in the spring.
Vaughn, a 6-2, 190-pound sophomore who once was described by a Maryland coach as "the best back to ever attend Maryland", hasn't lived up to that potential and was used sparingly last season as the No. 4 back in the one-back set behind junior Troy Jackson, freshman Mark Mason and sophomore Darren Colvin.
With the addition of Wall and Washington, it seems his playing time would only diminish.
"We're going to talk with him more and there's nothing definite yet," said Williams. "Andre was an outstanding defensive back in high school, and I worked with him in our camp before he attended Maryland. He's definitely a good athlete."
* Athletic director Andy Geiger said he is in favor of playing this season's game against Penn State at Memorial Stadium, but university officials have not begun negotiating with Baltimore officials.