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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Recruiting Q&A with Matt Bracken from the Baltimore Sun



Hey all, I've got something I'm really excited to share with you.

As a lot of you frequent readers know, I rave all the time about Recruiting Report, one of my essential reading stops for news on Terrapin recruiting and Maryland recruiting in general. Well a week or two ago, I e-mailed Matt Bracken, the guy who does all this footwork for your benefit, some questions about Maryland recruiting. Between all the holiday madness, he had time to dig up some answers for me and for you.

Ladies and gentlemen, Matt Bracken of The Baltimore Sun. Most of this information can be found on the site itself, by the way. I added the links myself - as in none of these are provided or necessarily advocated by Mr. Bracken.

1) Sean Mosley has performed well in some early games. Do you think that maybe some scouts are thinking his stock is going up?

I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Mosley get a slight bump when the rankings are updated, but I don’t think he’ll make an enormous jump. All the recruiting sites/scouts are pretty much in agreement that Mosley is a top 50ish type talent that excels at the little things, has an unreal work ethic, is a leader on the floor, (insert additional basketball-speak cliché’), etc… The thing that might separate Mosley, from say, a top-25 player, is elite athleticism. He’s a great athlete, of course -- just a notch below the one-and-done-type guys. Nobody works harder than Mosley, though. He should make a significant impact for the Terps right off the bat next season.

2) I heard from your site that Augustus Gilchrist might have to wait another year to suit up for Maryland. Is there any way he can appeal and be on the bench by fall, or even this season?

It looks like the rule forcing Gilchrist to sit out and lose a year of eligibility (thanks to the intra-conference transfer from Virginia Tech to UM) was already in place – Maryland’s appeal to the ACC was rejected. That was the news that broke a couple weeks ago. So it appears that we won’t see Gilchrist on the court for the Terps until December or January of next season. Just like with Mosley, Gilchrist can’t see the floor for the Terps soon enough – I wouldn’t be surprised to see him starting as soon as he’s eligible.

3) I also heard from your site that Maryland lost the commit of (cornerback) Tavon Wilson to Illinois. Combined with the recruiting of star wideout Arrelious Benn and a few other Maryland guys, it seems like they have some connections in the D.C. area. Do you know any reason why they recruit so well out here?

The easy answer to that question is Mike Locksley, the current Illini offensive coordinator. Locksley spent six years as a Terps assistant starting in 1997. Locksley coached the running backs and was Maryland’s recruiting coordinator for five seasons, and evidently made a pretty strong impression on the D.C.-area coaches he came in contact with. I have no idea how he sold some of those players on Champaign with the Illini coming off multiple dreadful seasons, but the team’s quick turnaround and Rose Bowl appearance probably means that Locksley taking D.C. kids from Maryland is something Terps fan can continue to expect in the future. He was already a dynamic recruiter – now he’s got on-field results to point to. That said, the hiring of James Franklin from Kansas State should help stop the bleeding for Maryland. Franklin recruited D.C. and Prince George’s County during his previous stint as a Terps assistant. The Illini will still get the occasional D.C. guy, but Franklin will make things tougher.

4) Any updates on how Maryland's handling the recruiting of Kenny Tate? Is he leaning in any direction?

All is still quiet on the Kenny Tate front. He has officially visited Maryland and Illinois, with trips to Florida and Penn State still on tap. If there’s any recruit that will make an educated, informed decision, it’s Tate. He’s not the type of guy to get caught up in the hype of a single visit, so that’s a good thing for the Terps – the program he’s probably most familiar with. He’s really handled his recruitment in exemplary fashion. But any guess on my part would be pure speculation.

5) Assuming Gilchrist is out another year or so, might that leave open another spot on the roster? Is Maryland basketball recruiting over for 2008?

Gilchrist has a scholarship, so his eligibility status wouldn’t affect that. But with JuCo guard Bobby Maze’s commitment a couple weeks ago, the Terps are all filled up for 2008 – at least on paper. As Maryland fans know all too well, the team has had its fair share of struggles and there are some guys getting very few minutes. You can’t help but wonder if there will be some attrition from the roster. It’s pretty clear that Maryland will continue to recruit select guys. Ater Majok is the one big name remaining for 2008. He’s currently playing for something called the Heat Basketball Academy, which is an academics-optional basketball program based in Martinsville, Va. The Terps discovered Majok (who first committed to Baylor) before a lot of the other big boys, but now everyone is aware of the Sudanese (by way of Australia) big man.

Thanks Matt for helping us out!!!

Go Terps!!!

Photo Credits: The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post

2 comments:

URFootball said...

Kyle,

Having known two players recently going through the recruiting process both being offered full rides by Maryland (amongst other schools) I can tell you that Maryland has some serious issues recruiting local talent. The issue both times was trust and the image of Ralph Fridgen.

KGoon1590 said...

Yeah, I actually overheard a current player once say something along the lines of what Kanye West said about President Bush. I think I know who you're talking about and I sadly understand.