Vanderlinden shows positive local signs Landing 3 from area gives new Terps coach biggest local haul since Krivak

February 05, 1997|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Lem Satterfield contributed to this article.

Ron Vanderlinden, Maryland's new football coach, recruited some areas where the Terps usually haven't gone for players, like Michigan and Illinois.

And Baltimore.

When the letter of intent signing period opens today, the Terps expect to make official the oral commitments of 22 high school players. Three are from Michigan and two are from Illinois, reflecting the Big Ten background of Vanderlinden and several members of his staff, but there are also three players from the Baltimore area.

Mount St. Joseph running back Aaron Thompson, The Sun's Offensive Player of the Year, and two other members of the All-Metro team, Arundel quarterback Erik Lipton and Wilde Lake safety Tony Jackson, represent the biggest cache of local talent headed to College Park since Joe Krivak was coach.

Krivak's final recruiting class, in 1991, included Dunbar's Kevin Washington, Randallstown's Larry Washington and Wilde Lake's Raphael Wall. Only Wall made a significant contribution.

Mark Duffner didn't have much luck in the area in his five seasons as coach. His last local signing was in 1994, but North County linebacker Troy Fowlkes has never played because of an asthma-like condition, and Arundel defensive lineman Richard Abrams left school after one year.

Wilde Lake's Jackson was one of the first players to commit to Vanderlinden, who initially decided not to offer a scholarship to Lipton. The Maryland staff changed its mind on Lipton on Jan. 27, and two days later it made another surprise visit, to St. Joe.

Thompson was eating lunch in the school's cafeteria last Wednesday, when interior defensive line coach Rubin Carter came calling.

"I was in shock," said Thompson, who was considering an offer from Division I-AA Marshall. "I met Coach Carter, and we discussed general information for about 40 minutes. They've got a new offense. I'd be a tailback. He never mentioned redshirting."

The young competition at running back will include Suitland's LaMont Jordan and Damone Boone, a Parade All-American who was redshirted. The Terps also recruited Sherwood's Tyree Foreman, who will sign with Virginia. Dunbar's Ali Culpepper, one of the first to visit Maryland in December, is headed to Syracuse.

Thompson was among a group of players who committed to Maryland over the weekend. Defensive tackle Melvin Fowler of New York, running back/return specialist Jason Hatala of Virginia and linebacker Reggie Lewis of Chicago all made their official visit to Maryland last weekend, and committed on the spot.

Terps signings

Player, Hometown or H.S. ............. Pos. ... Ht. ... Wt.

Melvin Fowler, Dix Hills, N.Y. ....... DT ..... 6-4 ... 265

Mike George, East Hanover, N.J. ...... OT ..... 6-5 ... 275

Julian Hambrick, Elizabeth, N.J. ..... LB ..... 6-3 ... 245

Gil Harris, Virginia Beach, Va. ...... QB ..... 6-2 ... 210

Jason Hatala, Centreville, Va. ....... RB ..... 5-11 .. 175

Tony Jackson, Wilde Lake ............. DB ..... 6-2 ... 200

Eric James, Anacostia ................ TE ..... 6-2 ... 227

Chris Jenkins, Ypsilanti, Mich. ...... DL ..... 6-5 ... 255

Derek Jones, Port Jefferson, N.Y. .... DT ..... 6-3 ... 265

LaMont Jordan, Suitland .............. RB ..... 5-10 .. 215

Matt Kalapinski, Marshfield, Mass. ... FB ..... 6-2 ... 210

Brian Kopka, Hollywood, Fla. ......... PK ..... 5-8 ... 175

Reggie Lewis, Chicago ................ LB ..... 6-2 ... 220

Erik Lipton, Arundel ................. QB ..... 6-4 ... 200

Matt Murphy, New Haven, Mich. ........ TE ..... 6-4 ... 240

Doug Patterson, Shelby, Mich. ........ WR ..... 6-2 ... 190

Chris Sanders, Winter Springs, Fla. .. DB ..... 6-1 ... 195

JTC Mike Sherman, Milford, Conn. ......... OT ..... 6-6 ... 315

Chris Snader, Stephen Decatur ........ OL ..... 6-6 ... 298

Albert Surman, Pittsburgh ............ DL ..... 6-2 ... 245

Ryan Swift, Hinsdale, Ill. ........... FB ..... 6-2 ... 218

Aaron Thompson, Mount St. Joseph ..... RB ..... 6-1 ... 200

Pub Date: 2/05/97

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