National Signing Day 2014: Terps football recruiting primer

February 5, 2014
terpslogo

Good morning on National Signing Day, when dreams are signed onto paper, hats are put onto heads and FedEx Kinkos stores across the country enjoy an uptick in business, but only a small one because no one else uses their fax machines. The Maryland football team will host a news conference with Coach Randy Edsall to introduce its class of 2014 at 3 p.m., but here are some quick tidbits before everything gets underway.

>> Like last year, the Terrapins will be tweeting on Edsall’s account, @RandyEdsall, whenever they receive the signed national letters-of-intent. Expect paperwork to trickle in throughout the day, but there should be an East Coast, pre-school deluge, dependent on weather and school cancellations of course. Last season, wide receiver DeAndre Lane was first, committing before 8 a.m.

This is all a roundabout way of saying I will be flying home from the Maryland basketball team’s game at North Carolina on Wednesday morning, so @TerpsInsider will be tweeting links to prospect profiles as things become official, though there shouldn’t be many surprises.

>> The one decision left belongs to Damian Prince, a five-star offensive lineman from Bishop McNamara, who will choose between Florida and Maryland at 10 a.m. on ESPNU. Colleague Brandon Parker (@brandoncparker) will be on the scene. Prince is ranked 27th among all class of 2014 prospects by 247sports.com, second among tackles and first in the state of Maryland.

Parker profiled Prince for today’s Post, a compelling journey that unfortunately included some heartbreak along the way.

Writes Parker, about the events of Nov. 28, 2011:

That night, Willie Prince pulled over to help a stranded motorist jumpstart his car. As Willie [Damian Prince’s great-grandfather] made his way back across the street, the 78-year-old was struck by a oncoming vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Prince was at home playing video games when he heard the news.

“When my neighbor said there was an ambulance by his car, we thought either he was hurt or he was in there with somebody else because he was always helping people,” Prince said. “Once we found out what happened, I couldn’t believe it. All of a sudden, it was like, what am I going to do? Who’s going to take care of me? Who’s going to understand me?”

In the months afterward, Prince wrestled with the notion of giving up football. But after several talks with his mother and grandparents, who had taken him in, Prince decided the best way to honor his great-grandfather was to keep playing. In the Mustangs’ 2012 season opener, which fell on what would have been Willie’s 79th birthday, Prince switched his number for that game from 55 to 79 in honor of the man he called “Dad.”

>> Barring any surprises — and none are expected right now — Maryland will ink 14 players:

DE Jesse Aniebonam

WR Juwann Winfree

QB Will Ulmer

CB Josh Woods

LB Tyler Burke

DE Brett Kulka

CB Daniel Ezeagwu

OL Brendan Moore

DL David Shaw

LB Nnamdi Egbuaba

OL Sean Christie

S Antwaine Carter Jr.

LS Nate Adams

(Edit: Forgot one.) TE Andrew Gray

Aniebonam and Winfree are rated as four-stars by 247sports.com. Kulka and Adams are two-stars. The rest are three-stars.

>> That above list does not include offensive linemen Larry Mazyck and Derwin Gray, both of whom have already signed their letters. Mazyck initially committed to Maryland in 2011 before moving to New Mexico and finally Iowa Western Community College, while Gray took a prep year at Fork Union Military Academy to shore up his academics.

>> Some other National Signing Day links to check out:

The long, wild recruiting saga of Jared Cohen

Signing day for middle schoolers? It’s happening, writes Roman Stubbs.

In Tuesday’s paper, a profile of long snapper Nate Adams, whose career began with a bloody face.

Chelsea Janes rolls through the area’s top 28 players who will be signing their letters-of-intent, including Ulmer and Aniebonam.

Mark Giannotto explores how Mike London has cultivated a Virginia Beach pipeline beyond the high school route.

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.
Continue reading
Comments
Show Comments