The last remaining puzzle piece slid neatly into place on Wednesday morning, when Damian Prince stood behind a lectern in a sweater and put on a Maryland hat that looked a little too small for his head. No matter. The moment was huge, both for Prince given his long, triumphant journey to National Signing Day, and for the Terrapins, who rounded out their class of 2014 with their second five-star high school prospect under Coach Randy Edsall.
Scoring Prince, who is ranked by 247sports.com as the best player in the state of Maryland and among the top 30 players nationally, was a massive boon for Maryland, which entered this recruiting period with a clear plan to shore up its offensive line. When the 6-foot-6, 287-pound behemoth chose the Terps over Florida on national television, it represented one final get — the biggest one yet this season — for Edsall and his staff.
Prince is Maryland’s highest-ranked recruit since wide receiver Stefon Diggs and clearly possesses the attributes to contribute as soon as he reports to College Park this June. By that point, what was arguably the team’s weakest position over the past two seasons will have become marginally deeper and stronger.
In addition to Prince, Maryland also welcomes former Under Armour all-American Derwin Gray from a prep year at Fork Union Military Academy and 300-pounder Larry Mazyck, who already has two years of post-high school football under his belt at New Mexico and Iowa Western Community College. The Terps will return center Sal Conaboy, tackle Ryan Doyle and lineman Michael Dunn, all of whom started all 13 games last season, as well as guard Andrew Zeller (seven career starts), backup center Evan Mulrooney and rising sophomore Moise Larose, who was thought so highly of by the coaching staff that when Mike Madaras left the program he slid into the starting left tackle role.
According to 247sports.com, signing Prince gave Maryland the 43rd-ranked class nationally and the seventh-best class in the Big Ten.
Some current and former Terps took notice.
Huge commit right there
— Dexter McDougle (@Blasian_Kiddd) February 5, 2014
— IG:NDIKUMANA (@PrimeTymeDerwin) February 5, 2014