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.

Yannick Ngakoue’s Next Step

After finishing second in the Big Ten in sacks, Maryland Terrapin Yannick Ngakoue is moving on to the next level.

The Baltimore Ravens are looking for a pass rusher.

Could the state of Maryland, this time in the form of the Ravens franchise, once again be the right fit for Yannick, who tweeted last month that choosing to attend Maryland was the best decision of his life, complete with the hastag #ForeverMaryland?

Former Terps like Jermaine Lewis and Torrey Smith have had successful tenures with Baltimore’s NFL team, both winning (separate) Super Bowls as Ravens.

Here are some highlights from Ngakoue’s standout Maryland career:

 

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.

 

Examining Why NFL Cornerbacks Get Such High Salaries Relative to Some Other Positions

Slightly off-topic, but it’s the off-season.  Be sure to scroll down for our profile of Terps senior quarterback Caleb Rowe

The NFL has a shortage of corners. There just aren’t 64 NFL caliber corners in the country, not even close, which is of course a problem in a 32 team league where you’re going to need at least 2 corners on anything that’s not a goaline stand or the like. In fact, the percentage of plays where offenses are using three receivers has gone way up, it may have hit the 50% mark, some your 3rd and 4th corner have become even more important. Some teams announce their nickle corner as a starter pregame these days.

Really, the NFL needs about 100 corners of reasonable quality. They might have 25. Hence, the payrate goes through the roof.

Adding to the problem is that there is a big glut of capable receivers (Not necessarily elite receivers, but guys who look like they belong on the field), who obviously are going to tear bad corners to shreds.

 

Add to this rules instituted either specifically to increase offense, or to physically protect players, and that’s going to make the distinction even bigger. What would be considered a legal tackle in the past is 15 yards after the end of the play. A cornerback’s best friend is the defensive front seven, and they have to approach quarterbacks so carefully on blitzes that it provides the quarterbacks extra time to throw, the receivers extra time to get open, and the corners extra time to get burnt like grandma’s toast.  If you sneeze in the vicinity of a receiver, out come the yellow flags. Receivers have also become very good at drawing flags.

One thing I like about Big Ten football is that the referees are better and fairer than in the NFL. In the NFL, refs don’t seem to know the rule book and don’t care- there’s a combination of ineptitude and bias there that sometimes makes games hard to watch. Big Ten refs, by contrast seem to know the rules, get in the right position to see the play, and call what they see right down the middle.

One might argue that the speed of the NFL game relative to college makes it harder to call, and that college football is easier to call, relatively speaking, and I agree with that, but so many of the miscues I see commonly I’m the NFL aren’t present in the Big Ten- and it’s often on things that have nothing to do with speed, and everything to do with knowing the rules, paying attention, and refereeing in an unbiased consistent way.

The NFL refs remind me of ACC refs.

Big Ten refs seem to take their roles more seriously.

Also, Will Likely rules. :blush: