Terps recruit some rave reviews Incoming class seen as best in 10 years

February 02, 1993|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- It's being called the best Maryland football recruiting class in the past decade -- at least five All-Americans and 12 interior linemen, most of them with imposing size and speed.

The national signing date for high school players is still one day away, but Maryland already is ranked in the top 25 recruiting classes with at least 21 oral commitments.

Coach Mark Duffner says he may sign as many as 25, the NCAA limit.

"Maryland is competing with the big boys and winning," said Allan Wallace, publisher of the California-based Super Prep magazine. "This is their best recruiting class since we started publishing in 1985. There are at least three players that they went head-to-head against Penn State and won. When was the last time that happened?

"Right now, I would rate them at No. 22," said Wallace. "That may not sound high, but that puts them in the top third of the country. When you consider the number of schools, and their record the past 10 years, that's incredible. And they still have a shot at a few more blue-chippers."

The biggest is Cornell Brown, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker from E. C. Glass High in Lynchburg, Va., whom Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz called the best high school linebacker in the country. Brown's high school coach, Bo Henson, said yesterday that Maryland is Brown's No. 1 choice in his top four, which also includes Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh and Southern Cal.

Henson said Brown will announce his decision tomorrow.

"It's been a long time since Maryland has been mentioned in the same recruiting races as Notre Dame and USC," said Tom Lemmings, publisher of Prep Football Report in Illinois. "If you currently had to rate the ACC, Florida State had the best recruiting year. But Maryland is second, right up there with Georgia Tech and North Carolina. If Maryland's recruiting class isn't in the top 20, then it's somewhere between 20 and 30. He's got some nice players like Ron White, Tim Watson, Keno Shawell and Brian Underwood."

This is Duffner's first full recruiting class, and his emphasis has been on interior linemen. At least four are offensive linemen, led by Ron "Bam Bam" White, a 6-foot-6, 275-pound tackle from Fredericktown, Pa., who was named to the Super Prep All-American team. White and junior college transfer Mark Motley could play right away.

White, along with defensive lineman John Hicks and running back Shawell (800 yards rushing), are the three native Pennsylvanians who apparently chose Maryland over Penn State and coach Joe Paterno.

"I think Maryland stayed within its base and got the great players from the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and New York areas," said Lemmings.

And don't forget Maryland and Washington.

This was one of the few times in the past five years that Maryland went inside and around Washington. The Terps came out with wide receiver Mancel Johnson, a speedster from Eleanor Roosevelt High in Prince George's County, and offensive lineman Pat Ward from St. John's in Washington.

Maryland also got an early commitment from Arundel High defensive lineman Richard Abrams.

Maryland has received oral commitments from several players -- Shawell, Watson and Underwood -- whom Super Prep mentions as All-Americans. Watson was recruited as a tight end by Syracuse and an outside linebacker by Rutgers, but would be a rush end for Maryland.

Underwood ran for 1,299 yards (8.6 per carry) this season, but also had 42 tackles as a safety.

"I think one of the big factors in them getting some of the top-notch players is that recruiting coordinator Kyle Lingerfelt had a national plan at East Carolina before coming to Maryland, and he brought his contacts with him," said Wallace. "He's been very hard-nosed."

"We knew Mark Duffner when he was at Holy Cross," said Carmine Colasanto, coach at Newburgh (N.Y.) Free Academy. "We knew he was a winner then, and he still has that same energy. We feel that he's going to get it done at Maryland, too, and the kids want to be a part of it."

Duffner said: "You can't evaluate the class for at least a year, but we're excited. We could be even more excited within the next day or so."

The commitments

Players who have given Maryland oral commitments to play football next season (speed indicates time in the 40-yard --):

P.. ..Name.. .. .. .. .. ...Ht... ..Wt... .. .. ..Speed Residence

DL..Richard Abrams.. .. .. 6-4.. ..260.. .. .. .. ..5.0 Gambrills

PK-P. Lonnie Callachio.. ..6-2.. ..200.. .. .. .. 5.0 Mississippi

CB..Terrance Carter .. ...5-10.. ..180.. .. .. .. .. ...4.5 Miami

NG...John Coleman.. .. .. .6-3.. ..260.. .. .4.9 Burlington, N.J.

LB-SS. Cleveland Everheart.6-2.. ..220.. .. .. .. .. 4.7 Oklahoma

FS.. .. Lamont Gore.. .. ..6-2.. ..190.. .. .. .4.48 Chatham, Va.

LB.. ..Rhett Hesprich.. .. 6-2.. ..220.. .. ..4.6 Snellville, Ga.

DL.. .. .John Hicks.. .. ..6-3.. ..251.. .. .4.7 Susquehanna, Pa.

WR.. .. Mancel Johnson.. ..6-1.. ..185 .. .. .. .. .4.5 Greenbelt

RB.. .. .Chaney Milner.. ..6-1.. ..220.. .. ..4.4 Alexandria, Va.

OL.. .. .Mark Motley.. .. .6-7.. ..300.. 5.2 Ga. Military Academy

RB-DB.. .Keno Shawell.. ..5-11.. ..200.. .. ..4.4 Glen Mills, Pa.

OL.. ...Pete Sorrentino.. .6-6.. ..294.. .5.2 Staten Island, N.Y.

RB-WR..Jermaine Stewart.. 5-11.. ..185.. .. 4.4 Jersey City, N.J.

LB.. ..Ratcliff Thomas.. ..6-1.. ..200.. .. .. ..4.7 Chatham, Va.

RB-FS..Brian Underwood.. ..6-2.. ..190.. .. .. .. ..4.48 New York

OL.. .. ..Pat Ward.. .. ...6-5.. ..285.. .. .. .. .5.2 Washington

LB.. .. .Tim Watson.. .. ..6-4.. ..235.. .. .. .4.7 Linwood, N.J.

LB.. .. .Brett White.. .. .6-2.. ..215.. .. .. .4.7 Hornell, N.Y.

DE.. .. Cornelius White.. .6-4.. ..235.. .. .. .. ...4.8 New York

OL.. .. .. .Ron White.. .. 6-6.. ..275.. ..5.0 Fredericktown, Pa.

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