Maryland picked up a huge recruit – literally and figuratively – on Wednesday morning when Houston center Shaquille Cleare, who is 6 feet 9 and 285 pounds, called to say he will accept a scholarship offer to play for the Terrapins.
“He’s a great big kid who has great hands,” said Cleare’s high school coach, Don Harvey. “He shoots the ball extremely well and has great post moves. I really do believe he’s going to well at Maryland and in the ACC.
“He can get up and down the floor. He’s very athletic and has a lot of upside. And he can flat out shoot the ball, which a lot of people don’t know because he scores so easily inside.”
With Cleare in the fold, it seems possible that Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon and his staff could be on the verge of adding commitments from some of the other top prospects they have been recruiting.
“I think so,” Harvey said. “I think a lot of guys were waiting on him. By him going ahead and getting it over with, I think you’ll see some of the other guys start to fall and go that way as well.”
Maryland began recruiting Cleare early in the process, with former coach Gary Williams and his staff making inroads.
“He fell in love with Gary Williams and when Gary Williams left, Shaq was devastated,” Harvey said. “What pulled Shaq to Gary Williams was his ability to put players at the next level. But the school that was next on his list was [Texas] A&M and we know how that ended up. They hired Turgeon and Maryland was even higher on his list.”