Terps count on recruits to fill immediate openings

February 05, 1993|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- The 22 recruits that coach Mark Duffner raved about chose Maryland for assorted reasons: a record-setting offense; refurbished facilities; an AFC playoff game with two former Terps quarterbacks starting; the season-ending upset of Clemson.

Then there is the issue of redshirting, or more accurately, not redshirting. College football's elite usually count on fifth-year seniors, but Maryland needs immediate help next fall from some of the 22 that delivered national letters of intent to Duffner on Wednesday.

"One of the things that got their attention was the opportunity to play right away," Duffner said. "You would like to have a veteran team every year, but we're going to be young next season."

The recruiting class has been called Maryland's best in a decade, and if some are as good as their high school billing, the 1993 Terps could be very young, indeed. Duffner lost seven starters on offense and seven on defense from a 3-8 team, so there are openings aplenty.

Lonny Callichio probably will find himself atop the August depth chart as a kicker/punter after spending the past two years at Northwest Mississippi Junior College. Offensive lineman Mark Motley (6 feet 6, 315 pounds) and defensive back Allen Williams come in from Georgia Military Junior College apparently ready to make an impact.

Motley is in the gang of four that led recruiting coordinator Kyle Lingerfelt to say, "I don't feel anyone in the country signed a better group of offensive linemen."

Maryland graduated three starters on the offensive line, and Motley, Pennsylvania's Ron "Bam-Bam" White, New York's Pete Sorrentino and Washington's Pat Ward will be brought along quickly. At 6-6, 285, Sorrentino is the smallest in the bunch, and Duffner said, "We're going to look good coming off the bus."

The Terps' defense allowed 33.2 points per game, and five new linemen could help there. They include Darryl Gilliam (6-6, 300) of St. John's in Washington, who originally had committed to Virginia.

With seven defensive backs gone, Williams and prep school product Lamont Gore will have the chance to step in.

Defensive linemen include Arundel's Richard Abrams, the only recruit from the Baltimore area. City's Terrence Suber (Wake Forest) was the only other metro-area player to sign with a I-A program Wednesday, as there wasn't much eligible senior talent in and around the Beltway.

Motley is the biggest, and Williams and wide receivers Mancel Johnson and Jermaine Stewart the fastest. Johnson is a senior at Eleanor Roosevelt, where last year he helped current Maryland burner Jermaine Lewis set state sprint relay records, and Stewart is a New Jersey indoor record-holder.

NOTES: With John Kaleo gone, Scott Milanovich enters spring practice as No. 1 quarterback, ahead of Kevin Foley. . . . Spring practice begins March 23, and the roster will include LB/SS Cleveland Everheart, a former junior college player from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. . . . Spring practice will conclude April 17 with a game against alumni. Duffner has invited Jerry Claiborne to coach the alumni.

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