By Dave Glenn, ACC Sports Journal
March 15, 2004 Just six weeks after national signing day for members of the Class of 2004, ACC schools are up to eight commitments with the Class of 2005. Maryland and N.C. State were the most recent schools to get a head start on the rising senior class. Doylestown (PA) Central Bucks South OL Dave McClain (6-4, 330), rated one of the top 25 juniors in Pennsylvania, picked Maryland over an early offer from Syracuse after attending the Terps' junior day on Feb. 28. The day before, Maryland offensive line coach Tom Brattan and recruiting coordinator James Franklin spent 90 minutes showing McClain and his father around campus and the Terps' athletic facilities. Iowa, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State (childhood favorite), Pittsburgh, Virginia and West Virginia also showed interest. A three-year starter and 2003 all-county selection at Buckingham (PA) Central Bucks East, McClain will spend his senior year at Central Bucks South, a new high school that will get many of its students from CB East. One of his weight-training advisors is Vaughn Hebron, a former NFL running back who manages a local fitness center. McClain, who benches 330 pounds and runs the 40 in 5.4 seconds, projects as a guard for the Terps. He plans to attend a Nike camp at Penn State on May 15 and the Maryland summer camp in June. He has a 3.2 GPA, a 970 PSAT score and will take the SAT on March 27. His main recruiter with the Terps is receivers coach James Franklin. They don't have a lot of depth (on the line), so I'll have a chance to play early, McClain said. I like their style, the way they run the ball, smash-mouth football. That's what I do best. Hinds (MS) Community College DE Chad Green, formerly of Rocky Mount (NC) Northern Nash, confirmed his plans to re-sign with N.C. State. A SuperPrep All-American in high school, he originally chose the Wolfpack in 2002 but failed to qualify academically. He said he hopes to enroll at NCSU in January. A starter for Hinds last season, he had 11.5 sacks for a 9-2 team that finished second in the Mississippi junior college ranks. The Hinds program has sent more than 35 players to the NFL, including Leon Lett, Fred Smoot, Jerome McDougle and 2002 Heisman Trophy runner-up Brad Banks (Iowa). Previous commitments to ACC schools for the Class of 2005 included Durham (NC) Southern WR Maurice Covington (Virginia), Ashburn (VA) Broad Run TE/DE Alex Field (Virginia), Gretna (VA) High QB Vic Hall (Virginia), Jones County (MS) Junior College LB/DE Anthony Kelly (Florida State), Robbins (NC) North Moore OL Camaron Thomas (North Carolina) and Ashburn (VA) Stone Bridge TE Ed Wang (Virginia Tech). Long Way Until Signing Day As always, it's important to remember that even the high school and junior college prospects who have announced plans to be a part of the ACC's 2005 signing class cannot sign on the dotted line until December 2004 (mid-year juco transfers) or February 2005 (high schoolers, other jucos). Thus, they can be recruited legally by other schools until then, and they can change their decisions without penalty at any time. Although generally speaking more than 90 percent of football commitments ultimately sign with their original schools of choice, last year four of the ACC's earliest decision-makers wound up changing their minds or being turned away. Of the 30 prospects who made announcements for conference programs by last July, 26 signed in February. In at least two cases a year ago, recently toughened NCAA eligibility (satisfactory progress) standards derailed the plans of two junior college transfers who hoped to attend Florida State. A pair of Northwest Mississippi (MS) Community College teammates, wide receiver John Harris and defensive tackle Chris Turner, said last summer that they would re-sign with the Seminoles after originally choosing them out of high school. After FSU decided to severely limit its juco targets because of the more rigid NCAA standards, Harris (CFL) and Turner (Alabama) headed in other directions. The other two ACC prospects who changed their minds after very early decisions also encountered some unexpected developments. Greensburg (PA) Hempfield LB Mike Marvis, an early Maryland commitment, signed with Indiana after the Terps surprised him in January by asking him to delay his enrollment for a semester. Charlotte (NC) Providence RB Andrew Pearman, an early Virginia commitment, re-opened his recruitment after his main contact person with the Cavaliers (running backs coach Kevin Ross) left to become the offensive coordinator at Army. Pearman, whose brother Alvin is a running back for the Wahoos, ultimately signed with Hawaii.
Terps, Pack Get Early 2005 Commitments
By Dave Glenn, ACC Sports Journal