Former Terps recruit Alaeze leaves Ill., returns to Baltimore

SPORTS DIGEST

October 03, 2006|By Christian Ewell

Former University of Maryland football recruit Melvin Alaeze left Illinois for personal reasons last weekend and returned to Baltimore.

Alaeze, 19, was not available to comment, and his father, Dinma, declined to comment.

Melvin Alaeze's departure comes less than two months after his arrival in Champaign, Ill., where the defensive end landed after marijuana charges and SAT issues led the Terps to rescind their scholarship offer this past summer.

Similarly, suspensions marked the short time in Illinois for the former high school All-American and All-Metro from Randallstown, who played in two games and logged one solo tackle in his freshman season.

"Issues arose, and we felt that the break had to happen," Illinois athletic spokesman Kent Brown said. "He missed a few games for internal reasons. It wasn't his experience in Illinois."

According to the State-Register Guard in Springfield, Ill., Alaeze missed two games because of disciplinary issues. Illinois coach Ron Zook suspended the freshman for the Sept. 24 game against Iowa because of a missed class, and Alaeze missed the season opener against Eastern Illinois because of an undisclosed violation.

The news of his withdrawal came as a surprise to his former high school coach at Randallstown, Albert Howard, who had spoken with Alaeze three weeks ago.

"Every time I talked to him, everything was fine," Howard said. "He was very excited about the chance to show what he has."

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