Terps get LB, kicker prospects

January 05, 1994|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Staff Writer Staff writer Pat O'Malley contributed to this article.

The Baltimore Sun's Defensive Player of the Year and a three-way standout from Mississippi who could be Maryland's kicker are the latest recruits to orally commit to play football for the Terps.

Maryland has received oral commitments from 12 players, four weeks before the national letter-of-intent signing period begins. Half are high school seniors, the most recent being North County's Troy Fowlkes, who yesterday announced he'll play for coach Mark Duffner.

Fowlkes, who is listed as the nation's No. 3 linebacker prospect by Chicago-based recruiting expert Tom Lemming, was The Baltimore Sun and Associated Press Maryland Defensive Player of the Year in 1993, when he had 196 tackles, 80 unassisted. The 6-foot-1, 240-pound senior had been a defensive end before this season. Maryland also is among the finalists for The Baltimore Sun's Offensive Player of the Year, Poly running back Greg Kyler.

"Considering that he [Fowlkes] only had 15 weeks to learn linebacking techniques, he could develop into a great college player working on his technique every day," said North County head coach Chuck Markiewicz.

Fowlkes meets NCAA Proposition 48 requirements to play as a freshman next season, Markiewicz said. He chose Maryland over Wake Forest, Penn State and Boston College.

"He made an excellent decision and will get the opportunity to play right away," Markiewicz said. "The Terps are young and it's up to him how much he plays."

The Terps have immediate needs everywhere on their defense, which set an NCAA record for yards allowed.

Their kicking game was also a mess last season, but they may have found the specialist they need in Brad Rhodes of Gulfport, Miss.

According to Mike Barlow, his coach at St. John High, Rhodes kicked a 52-yard field goal as a junior and a 51-yarder as a senior. For his career, he made 21 of 29 field-goal attempts. Rhodes is only 5-9, 150 pounds, but Barlow said "he can kick a football with the best of them. Brad's an outstanding student and mature for his age, and he's made some pressure kicks for us."

Barlow said the majority of Rhodes' kickoffs traveled into the end zone. Rhodes had 1,200 yards total offense as a wing-T halfback and a team-high six interceptions in the secondary.

Other high school seniors making commitments to Maryland: Kendall Ogle, a running back from Hillside, N.J.; John Feugill, a 6-8, 280-pound tackle from Methuen, Mass., who some consider the top offensive line prospect in New England; and Eric Hicks, a 6-6, 245-pound defensive end from Erie, Pa.

The Terps went into the recruiting process with a commitment from Richard Abrams, a defensive lineman who returned to Arundel High to receive credits that kept him from being eligible as a freshman in 1993.

All six of the junior-college transfers signed by Maryland play defense, and half of them helped Nassau (N.Y.) reach the national junior-college title game: linebackers Gary Talbot and Rob Moore and free safety Charles Cannon. Defensive end Ashley Sims is from Hudson Valley (N.Y.), and strong safety Jermaine Smith and cornerback Jonathon Johnson were teammates at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.

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