Though I haven’t covered the summer circuit closely the past two summers, it doesn’t seem that Under Armour is doing anything to shuffle players to schools it sponsors. Yes, the Terps got Shaquille Cleare from the Houston Defenders AAU team, the same group that Under Armour now sponsors. And Cleare is a big reason that the Harrison twins are so strongly considering Maryland, even with defending national champion and NBA-factory Kentucky begging them to come to Lexington. But they’re also being influenced by their father, who played at Patterson High and still has family here. And then there’s the matter of Terps coach Mark Turgeon, who spotted the twins long ago when he was the coach of Texas A&M.
Yeah, Under Armour, has some role here. There’s no evidence that the company has done more than it should though.
There’s a saying in Baltimore, made popular by a show that depicted the rugged drug economy in our fair city. “It’s all in the game,” they’d say on The Wire, to explain the morally bankrupt world they inhabited. And that’s something real and raw and in no way comparable to big-time college basketball recruiting. That’s not the comparison I’m trying to make.
What I’m trying to say is: if Maryland’s trying to win national titles, and the Harrison twins are trying to become basketball stars, and Under Armour is trying to expand its brand and make more money … then all of this is part of the game.
As the Maryland football team gets set to open fall camp Monday with Media Day, which returning Terp is poised to make the most significant leap this season?
Matt Bracken: Kevin Dorsey has had a solid college career so far. The fifth-year senior was Maryland's leading wide receiver in 2011, and he's a preseason fourth-team All-ACC selection according to Phil Steele. But for a guy who came to College Park as the No. 154 recruit in the country, Dorsey's first three years have fallen a bit short of expectations.
That should change in 2012. Of all the veteran Terps back this season -- and there are many, including 10 of 11 starters on defense -- Dorsey is the best bet to go (as Kevin Anderson might say) from good to great.
Dorsey was often a lone bright spot for the Terps in an otherwise dismal 2011 season, catching 45 passes for 573 yards and three touchdowns. But an undisclosed injury forced him to miss two games of his junior season, and prevented him from living up to that pre-college hype.
Staying healthy will be the key for Dorsey in 2012. A notoriously hard worker who served as Forestville Military Academy's commandant as a senior, Dorsey might have pushed himself too hard in past offseasons. Going overboard with workouts could have contributed to additional wear and tear. The intensity of his approach was apparently dialed down a bit this offseason, and the Terps co-captain enters the fall as healthy as he's ever been.
Dorsey should also benefit from playing in an offense that suits his strengths better than any other system that he's been a part of in college. First-year offensive coordinator Mike Locksley's multiple offense features plenty of pro-style sets, which should allow Dorsey to stretch the field vertically more than he was able to in Gary Crowton's spread, read-option attack.
All of this, of course, depends on the effectiveness of C.J. Brown at quarterback. The redshirt junior still has much to prove as a passer. But Dorsey and Brown were clearly on the same page toward the end of 2011, perhaps most notably in the season-ending loss to N.C. State, in which Dorsey caught three passes for 88 yards and a touchdown.
Expect a continuation of performances like that this fall. As one source close to Maryland's program told me recently, Dorsey is one Terp that could "really explode" in 2012.