Maryland Coach Bobby Ross says he is not concerned that none of his 24 recruits are ranked among the top 100 high school football players in a recent issue of The Sporting News.

The eight schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference signed only four of those 100 recruits. Notre Dame led the nation by signing 11.

But, as Ross pointed out, the services and publications that rank high school football players do not test the athletes and must rely on hearsay and inconsistent information.

"I think the recruiting lists are interesting, but they are taken out of context," Ross said. "I'm sure there are a lot of good players among those 100. But it's not the bottom line. I don't lose any sleep over not having some of our recruits on that list. The true test of recruiting lies further down the road. Sure, we lost some players we'd like to have signed. But I believe the ones we signed are as good as the ones we lost."

Ross said having several recruits show up on those lists is a "great advertisement and great for alumni salesmanship. But I know you can't evaluate your recruiting effort on the basis of that.

"I remember when I was coaching at Rice, we signed the top quarterback prospect in the state of Texas, one of the top prospects in the nation, and he never even played."

Maryland does have Rick Badanjek, a freshman fullback, who last year was not ranked on many, if any, surveys. Badanjek became a starter by midseason and scored nine touchdowns.

"Boomer Esiason (the Maryland quarterback) wasn't rated highly out of high school, either," Ross said. "But this fall, he'll be one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. Antonio Rice, the running back at Virginia, wasn't ranked that highly. But look at his performance last year."

Ross added that he doesn't know whose players--his or other coaches'--belong in the top 100.

"If Notre Dame got 11 of the top 100, then Notre Dame ought to be No. 1 soon," he said. "In previous top 100 rankings, Notre Dame has ended up with a lot, but they weren't necessarily ranked in the top 10 at the end of the season. That's not an attack on Notre Dame, but on these ranking systems. Who's to say? How do we know? We can't test them in any shape or form."

A spokesman for The Sporting News said the survey was mostly for fun because "readers love it." He said the list is a consensus of major surveys done during and after the season.

Several of Maryland's signees were highly recruited, including David Amend, a lineman from Baltimore's Archbishop Curley High School; Richard Shure, a fullback from Calvert Hall, and Tommy Neal, a running back from Magruder.