Terps win top back, receiver

January 20, 1994|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Staff Writer

Maryland has received oral commitments from the top player in Rhode Island, a running back who would become what is believed to be the first Parade first-team All-American to join the Terps, and a wide receiver from Texas.

Buddy Rodgers of East Providence High, Rhode Island's first Parade All-American, is a 6-foot-1, 220-pound running back who recently committed orally to Maryland. Rodgers, who has been timed in 4.47 seconds for 40 yards, also visited Wisconsin and Syracuse and considered Michigan and Pitt.

"An offensive coordinator from another school Buddy was considering said he's the best big back in the country," said Sandy Gorham, an assistant coach at East Providence. "He felt very comfortable with the chemistry he found at Maryland. They're getting the complete package."

Rodgers gained 3,231 yards in three varsity seasons. In nine games last year he gained 1,297 yards on 143 carries, and in his final high school game, a 41-7 Thanksgiving Day victory over La Salle Academy, he had 319 yards and six touchdowns on 13 carries. Rodgers missed two games and part of a third with a bruised shin.

The wide receiver from Texas is Kendrick Walton of Dallas Carter, which annually produces 10 Division I-A players and has four graduates playing in the NFL. Walton (6-3, 185) caught 48 passes for 765 yards and 10 touchdowns last season, when Dallas Carter's only loss came in the state 5A quarterfinals.

The letter-of-intent signing period begins Feb. 2. Maryland expects to sign approximately 25 players. According to Terrapin Times, coach Mark Duffner has received oral commitments from 20 players.

They include: North County linebacker Troy Fowlkes, The Baltimore Sun's Defensive Player of the Year; kicking specialist Brad Rhodes of Gulfport, Miss.; Ryan Rezzele, a 6-6 1/2 , 275-pound offensive tackle of McDowell High in Erie, Pa.; 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; Eric Hicks, a 6-6, 245-pound defensive end from Erie, Pa.; and Richard Abrams, a defensive lineman who returned to Arundel High to receive credits that kept him from being eligible as a freshman in 1993.

Maryland has signed six junior college transfers: linebackers Gary Talbot and Rob Moore and free safety Charles Cannon of Nassau (N.Y.), defensive end Ashley Sims from Hudson Valley (N.Y.), and strong safety Jermaine Smith and cornerback Jonathon Johnson from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.

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