The University of Maryland has received an oral commitment from Lovett Purnell, a fullback and linebacker from Valley Forge Military Academy in Pennsylvania, Valley Forge coach Jim Burner said yesterday.
Purnell, 6 feet 3, 200 pounds, rushed for 534 yards and five touchdowns on 83 carries last season and made 39 tackles as an outside linebacker. He made only two official college visits, choosing Maryland over West Virginia.
Purnell is at least the ninth player to commit to Maryland before the Feb. 5 early-signing date. Maryland coach Mark Duffner said he would like to sign about 15 recruits.
Purnell is one of four Valley Forge players recruited by Maryland. The other three, all uncommitted, are quarterback George McDaniels (6-4, 185) and linemen Bob Urban (6-5, 270) and Dante Proctor (6-2, 260). Proctor and McDaniels are from Archbishop Carroll High in Washington.
Two players from Fork Union Prep in Virginia, inside linebacker Tim Brown (6-1, 215) and lineman Duane Ashman (6-4, 245), are expected to visit Maryland this weekend, Fork Union coach John Shuman said. Brown has visited Cincinnati, Virginia and Louisiana State. Ashman has been recruited hard by Wake Forest, Louisville and Virginia.
Loyola High defensive back Brad Hoag (5-10, 175) and Cinnaminson (N.J.) High free safety Mark Nelms (6-2, 170), have expressed interest in attending Maryland, but have yet to meet all of the university's academic requirements.