Damonte Dodd, a 6-foot-9 forward from Queen Anne’s County, said Tuesday he plans to sign his National Letter of Intent next week during an official visit to Maryland, which means he’ll be on the Terrapins’ roster for the 2012-13 season. Dodd said he has not been informed yet whether the Maryland coaches plan to redshirt him next season.
There had been speculation ever since Dodd orally committed to the Terrapins in late February that he might spend a year at a prep school before enrolling at Maryland. Dodd said he had reviewed a list of potential prep schools and that at one point it seemed he was headed for Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts. Had that been the case, Dodd said he would have been fine with that option.
“I looked at the prep school list, and I saw a lot of people that went to the NBA that went to those prep schools,” said Dodd, who will compete Saturday in the Capital Classic all-star game at T.C. Williams. “It’s just another year to get better, get stronger. It’s just making you better. It’s basically like a whole other year of high school.”
But Dodd took an SAT prep class and felt he performed well in his latest attempt at the college entrance exam. He said the first time he took the SAT he worried too much about making sure to answer all the questions. On his second attempt, he said he was more patient and focused more on answering the questions he could get to correctly in the allotted time.
Dodd’s coach at Queen Anne’s County, Dale Becraft, said Dodd had raised his SAT score enough to academically qualify for the fall semester, though Dodd said he had yet to see his latest exam scores. If necessary, Becraft said, Dodd will take an online course to fulfill any lingering requirements.
According to Becraft, Maryland had been planning to redshirt Dodd next season, but that is not a certainty.
Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon called Dodd on Monday to inform the player of the plan to bring him on campus for an official visit next week. As of now, that’s when Dodd will put his commitment to the Terrapins in writing.
“It was nice that [Turgeon] told me that,” Dodd said. “But I’m a humble kid. I always keep my head up because you never know. Something always could go wrong, so I just always keep my head on straight.”
Dodd will become the fifth member of Maryland’s 2012 recruiting class to sign his letter-of-intent. Counting the six returning Terrapins, five incoming freshmen and Michigan transfer Evan Smotrycz, Maryland will have 12 of 13 available scholarships filled.
The Terrapins also reportedly remain in contention for the services of shooting guard Sam Cassell Jr., who also will compete in the Capital Classic. The other four Maryland commits – guard Seth Allen, forwards Jake Layman and Charles Mitchell and center Shaquille Cleare – also are scheduled to play in Saturday’s event at T.C. Williams.
As for Dodd, the primary objective over the next few months is to gain strength. Dodd said he weighs 240 pounds and hopes to gain 10 pounds by the start of school in the fall.
“I went to a lot of open gyms at different colleges, and I could do a lot of things,” Dodd said. “But the main thing that was hard was just finishing through contact. And you’ve just got to be stronger to be able to do that.”