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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

National Recruiting Report | Another Top DMV Prospect Committed (But Not to Maryland)

May 27, 2019

A recruiting cycle is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. That’s something that people will forget at times, but no one should.

A new coach taking over a program is already behind in the race when he takes over. Evaluations are behind, offers are behind, and commitments are typically way behind unless the previous staff set them up well beforehand.

Mack Brown at North Carolina isn’t going to finish first in the 2020 recruiting marathon, but he and his staff have made things happen at a quick pace so far. The Tar Heels already have 13 commits, five of them 4-star prospects. That’s as many blue-chip prospects as Larry Fedora signed in any of his classes from 2012 to 2018 and chances are they will add a couple of more before they complete the class.

On the other side of things is Mike “X-Box” Locksley at Maryland.

It hasn’t been a disastrous start for him with their class up to this point, but it could be headed there. Just today running back Marshawn Lloyd‍, one of the top-three prospects in the state, decided to commit to South Carolina. He joins 11 more of the top-15 recruits in the state that are committed at this point.

Zero of them have chosen Maryland. The three uncommitted players are projected to choose other schools at this time as well.

But it’s not just the state of Maryland that is considered home territory for the Terrapins. It’s the DMV in general (D.C., Maryland, and Virginia). Unfortunately it’s not looking great in those other regions either.

The top-three prospects in D.C. are national prospects. Linebacker Mekhail Sherman‍, wide receiver Rakim Jarrett‍, and defensive tackle Tre Williams‍ could have gone almost anywhere they wanted to. None of them wanted Maryland as they have committed to Georgia, LSU, and Clemson respectively.

The Terps aren’t in on any of the top guys in Virginia either. Running back Chris Tyree‍ just made his pledge to Notre Dame last week. Linebacker Antoine Sampah‍ is going to LSU. Maryland doesn’t appear to be a big factor for any of the top-10 from the state at the moment.

There is a ton of talent in the DMV area every year and this year is no different. There are 13 prospects who are ranked in the top-150 in the country so if anyone was able to grab close to half of that group at the same program, it would be championship level talent accumulation.

No school should be in a better place to do that regionally than Maryland and yet they don’t have a single one of those 13 committed to them.

The Terps were supposed to be Oregon East with their relationship with Under Armour fueling a path to relevancy. It never happened for them like it did at Oregon, though, and it’s primarily because they have whiffed on their recent coaching hires.

Locksley had baggage when he was hired at Maryland that hung over his success as an offensive coordinator at Alabama, but the one thing he was supposed to come in and do very well was recruiting.

As I said, it’s a marathon and not a sprint, but the lead pack keeps distancing itself from Maryland in recruiting. We’ll see where things go from here to finish this class and how things look for the next one (they currently have zero 2021 commits), but it’s not looking like I thought it would for Locksley early in his tenure.

I thought he’d win at least one of these big recruiting battles because he had done it often before as an assistant coach. If he can’t do it, though, maybe no one can (even if they are handing out X-Box Live subscriptions to everyone).

On to more national recruiting thoughts…

- Clemson has been so ridiculous with their class, they recently added defensive end Myles Murphy‍ (16th in the ISD Fab 50) that it’s overshadowed just about everyone else. That’s probably not fair to a program like Georgia who is assembling another great class.

Offensive tackle Tate Ratledge and defensive tackle Jalen Carter‍ both joined their class in the last couple of weeks and are just outside of the Fab 50 for me, but might not be when it comes to the final version.

Ratledge and Broderick Jones (44th in the Fab 50) are the best tackle duo committed to any school this cycle. Their offensive line, projected to be the best in the nation in 2019, is going to continue to be outstanding for a long time with the way they’ve recruited.

- The award for the biggest head scratching commitment of the cycle thus far goes to guard Justin Rogers‍ (18th) to Kentucky. I don’t know how it happened, but it did. I do wonder if it will stick because Kentucky isn’t exactly bringing in prospects of his caliber every year.

- Oregon might have struck out with D.J. Uiagalelei‍ at quarterback for their class, but landing Jay Butterfield‍ is about as good of a consolation prize as any program could hope for. He’s a top-100 talent and one of the top-five quarterbacks in the class in my opinion.

I love his fearlessness against the rush and he’s someone who’s willing to make the difficult throws into tight windows.

- I wasn’t the biggest fan of former Ohio State commit Jake Wray‍ as a prospect so maybe it’s not that big of a deal that he committed to Colorado. But I wouldn’t tell that to anyone who cheers for the Buffs because they don’t get too many 4-star prospects from Georgia.

It’s the first big win for head coach Mel Tucker in recruiting and was badly needed because he hasn’t been able to make an impact with the top players from Colorado yet.

- Rich get richer part 1,743: Alabama nabbed a commitment from wide receiver Thaiu Jones-Bell‍ (39th) who can be best described as a big play waiting to happen.

- Why was Tyree committing to Notre Dame so huge? Outside of grabbing one of the fastest prospects in the country, Tyree was one of eight running backs in my top-50 prospects overall. And he was the only one the Irish had a legit shot at.

With Tyree and Jo’Quavious Marks (50th) coming off the board to Mississippi State, that’s half of them who are now committed.

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