Terps Get Their First Verbal Commitment of 2017

 

College Spun reports, and, Twitter confirms, that tight end Andrew Park has verbally committed to being the first person to join DJ Durkin’s 2017 freshman class at the University of Maryland.

Park is from Virginia, which, as we all know, is in-state recruiting for Maryland.

Urban Meyer, you stay away from this one! We’re not your advance scouting service! 😉

The Terps got the verbal despite interest in the prospect from Big Ten rival Penn State (Imagine your humble blogger trying really hard not to make the obvious joke about Penn State), and an offer from Maryland’s very special former ACC rival designate, the University of Pittsburgh (Either you get that in joke about Maryland’s “rivalry” with Pittsburgh or you don’t. It’s a long story. I’ll save it for a slow blog day 😉 ), among others.

Some sources tag Park as a 3 star recruit, while others have him down as unrated.

Sources say that the key factor in the big man’s decision was the excellent grounds-keeping at College Park. “It will likely be a walk in the park, or a walk for a Park getting from class to class,” he probably did not say.

“Hey, did somebody call my name?” Senior cornerback Will Likely  almost certainly did not interject as he was probably not walking by.

Um, anyway, Maryland got a verbal from a tight end. Putting the Park back in College Park!

I’m clearly not a graduate of Maryland’s journalism school…

What I can tell you, however, is that Park is 6’5″ and weighs 233lbs, plus or minus the weight of a celebratory dinner. I got that information here, the bad joke was all mine. 😉

Good day for Maryland football!

Great to have the next great Maryland TE in the fold.

We have a long tradition of great players at the tight-end position, including NFL star Vernon Davis.

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Cardale Jones: A Cautionary Tale for Quarterbacks Thinking of Attending Ohio State

OSUOverrated

Cardale Jones is a very talented quarterback. He’d have played at least three seasons as the undisputed starter for most power five FBS D1 programs.

In an interview with Cleveland.com, ESPN’s George Whitfield described his arm in a term heretofore reserved solely for discussions about Super Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco: “Elite. It’s rare. […] It’s almost like you want popcorn to watch this throwing session. I haven’t seen anything like this arm and I’ve been around a lot of quarterbacks.”

So, why isn’t this guy a consensus first round draft pick in this spring’s draft?

Well, let’s look at what the Ohio State Buckeyes did to prepare and showcase him or, rather, what they didn’t do.

Out of high school, Jones didn’t academically qualify, and wound up at a military academy.

The next year, he finally made it to Columbus- and despite being a year older than the other freshman, and his cannon arm, was redshirted anyway.

So, by 2014, he was a redshirt sophmore, but, really, by the end of that year, four football seasons would have passed since the guy was actually in high school.  In 2016, he looks like he’s about 30.

Let’s stick with his (defacto double) redshirt “sophomore” season, though.

Surely, Ohio State would be ready to give him a crack at the starting job?  With that “elite” arm and all?

Nope.  Third stringer at the beginning of that year- Third.  Stringer.

However, the football gods smiled on Mr. Jones, and, thanks to an injury to starter JT Barrett, Jones finally got his chance against #11 ranked Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game (No pressure 😉 ).

How’d he do?  Well, Ohio State 59 Wisconsin 0 says it all.  Then he won a playoff game, and the NCAA FBS Championship.

So, you know, you’d think he’d be the starter in 2015, right?

Nope.  Well, not quite, anyway.  He and JT Barrett were in competition all off-season, and, last I saw them, they were splitting time against the Terrapins.  By mid-October, he was holding a clipboard on the Buckeyes’ bench.

So, how much have NFL scouts really seen of this guy?  He should be a first round pick, but, he isn’t, because he went to Ohio State.

Today, news broke that he’s got a hamstring pull, and can’t throw at the NFL combine.  He may not be ready for Ohio State’s pro day in a few weeks.  No last minute chances to impress scouts and GMs.

Going to Ohio State delayed the start of his NFL career by several years, will cost him several million dollars because he’ll be drafted lower than he otherwise would be, and may not have adequately prepared him for league play.

Whitfield, again, this time quoted by NBC from an ESPN interview: “There’s been two main areas we’re trying to work with with Cardale.  His footwork, for one, has been under construction since he landed in San Diego. Bringing him from the shotgun up under center, just the mechanics of coming out with the center exchange, the first step from under center, three steps, five steps, seven-step drops.”.

Gee, you’d think someone would have taught them those things in, I don’t know, the 78 years he’s been in college?

Great job, Ohio State coaching staff.

Maybe Dwayne Haskins should have thought twice before making the biggest mistake of his life.  It’s okay, though, if he works hard and gets that Ohio State degree, he should be supremely qualified for work at a least one internationally known establishment.

Update: A UPI article notes that Cardale is currently projected as a 4th or 5th round draft pick.

 

The DMV Gets Larger

There has always been some debate over what constitutes the DMV for the purposes of the Maryland Pride movement, which aims to keep local football recruits home and playing for the University of Maryland.  Is it the entire state of Maryland plus Washington DC?  The Washington metro area, which includes only parts of Maryland, but also DC and Northern Virginia?  The entire state of Maryland plus  DC and Northern Virginia?  A large swath of the Mid-Atlantic region?

Well, Maryland offensive coordinator Walt Bell has helpfully, almost literally, drawn us a map:

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I like it. 🙂

Take that Confederacy, we’ve absorbed your old capitol into a Union state! 😉

It’s a maximalistic approach to what local is, and an ambitious plan of attack for the new staff.  It’s not unrealistic, though.  Maryland’s coaching staff includes top recruiter and former University of Virginia head coach Mike London, among many others.  People on our staff have ties to that region, and of course we are by far the closest Big Ten school to all of those areas.

If you live in even the most northern and most southern most tiers of that region, you’re getting Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals (baseball) games on television during baseball season, and Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards (Pro hockey and basketball) games during the fall, winter, and early spring.  Football coverage is done differently, but the whole region gets either the Baltimore Ravens or the Washington Redskins or both most weeks of the football season (The mix varying depending on where you are, exactly), and both of those teams play in Maryland (The Ravens, as you might imagine, have their home in Baltimore City, and, perhaps less predictably if you don’t already know the answer, the Redskins in Landover, MD, despite their name reflecting an affiliation with the capitol).

This is our home recruiting territory. 🙂

And, personally, as a Marylander, I like the idea of painting adjoining territory in our state colors. 🙂

base

Might I suggest adding South-Central Pennsylvania?

It’s in the Chesapeake Bay water basin, and York and some other cities close to the border are practically bedroom communities for Baltimore (Meaning people live up there and commute to work by driving down I-83 every morning and back up I-83 in the evening).

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Source for the map: https://twitter.com/coachwaltbell/status/698281521837379584

This Walt Bell Fan Favorite Tweeting Tactic is No Longer Allowed

247 Sports reports that the NCAA has banned a practice known as “subtweeting”.  Essentially, subtweeting is the practice of obliquely referencing a recruit by inference without using his name or twitter handle.

The article cites an example where a coach has dinner with a recruit who’s nickname is “The Shark” and tweets out a picture of all the food on the dinner table with the caption “A meal fit for a Shark!!!”.

Keen observers may recall that Maryland offensive coordinator Walt Bell did something similar prior to signing day this year.  When 3-star quarterback Tyrell Pigrome came to the area for a visit, he referenced “a pig flying” into DC.  Shortly thereafter, he tweeted out a picture of a t-shirt featuring an outline of a pig (the animal) filled in with a Maryland flag.

Fortunately for Bell, and for Maryland Terrapins supporters everywhere, those tweets were made before this rule was implemented, and thus are entirely kosher (Well, if you disregard the pigs… pork is never kosher 😉 ).  Just don’t expected to see similarly creative tweets next year if we wind up pursuing recruits with names like Peter Rhinoceros or Timmy “T” Rex. 🙂

* Those last two names are made up.

Penn State’s Franklin Takes Another Shot at Maryland

At first, Penn State and James Franklin seemed like a match made in heaven.

After all, Penn State was perhaps best known for Joe Paterno, a head coach who allowed his former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who has since moved on from Penn State to the state pen, to rape children in the football team’s showers. Not only did Paterno fail to report Sandusky to the proper authorities, he let Sandusky keep the keys to the locker room and keep bringing kids to the showers after hours.

When they were finally forced to fire Paterno, Penn State students poured into the streets and held a big rally protesting his firing. When sanctions were lifted, they chanted for the reinstatement of his wins and the return of his statue, prompting Keith Olberman to opine that:

This could be discussed for hours but the only two things that are to my mind essential points right now, the naiveté which still much exists in the minds of NCAA and Penn State and defenders of Joe Paterno as if this decision or anything else will ever lessen the guilt the university and Paterno share, or ever reduce the disgust which the names Penn State football and Joe Paterno will produce for decades to come. This is Joe Paterno’s legacy. This is Penn State’s legacy. Football was more important to them than saving children.

And the second point. It is hard to believe that the NCAA and the school could take the most nauseating, the most horrifying, the most indefensible institutionalization of corruption in American sports — the Jerry Sandusky scandal — and make it worse, but today they just did.”

Bill O’Brien took over only to depart after two years, telling confidendants that he was sick of dealing with boosters who were more concerned about preserving Joe Paterno’s legacy than program building.

So, who could bring these child molester enabler revering boosters together? Well, James Franklin may have turned out Vanderbilt co-eds to attract recruits and then tried to silence a rape victim, so he had something in common with them from the start. He also had a reputation for being arrogant and hard to get along with- two traits highly regarded in Happy Valley. It looked like Penn State had found it’s next Paterno!

Of course, times haven’t been very happy at Happy Valley, what with Penn State having gone 0-6 against Ohio State, Michigian, and Michigan State during his tenure, and losing to Maryland after infamously bragging that Maryland was considered in-state recruiting for his team, named after a fictional species of redneck hill dwelling Lions who poor academic standards lead Penn State alumni to believe are real.

Even the players aren’t particularly happy with Franklin, as QB Christian Hackberg helped indicate through omission, when he thanked everyone except James Franklin when declaring for the NFL draft.

Franklin, though, still feels he can talk shit about Maryland, as this quote from national signing day indicates:

Four-star defensive end Shane Simmons’ LOI arrived, and he became the “first pick.” The FaceTime connection cleared up. Simmons was with his family at home in Hyattsville, Md.

“Where are you going to celebrate tonight?” Franklin asked.

“We’re all going out, Buffalo Wild Wings,” Simmons responded.

“Ah, so Mom’s got it organized with all the other Maryland recruits?” Franklin asked. Both the coaches and Simmons’ family laughed.

Hey coach, you can have anyone willing to play for you. Just don’t send them back here looking for a job with that crappy degree when they’re done playing.

Real Marylanders don’t shake hands with Penn State players, let alone become them.

October 8th