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Thursday, September 11, 2008 11:41am
By: Accsports Staff

It's Unanimous: Jefferson A Landmark Signee

COLLEGE PARK — In football recruiting, there are usually widely divergent opinions on prospects. Players can be rated as four-star recruits by one service, two-star by another. There are members of the SuperPrep Elite 50 who weren't accorded All-American status by Rivals and vice versa. When it came to Wesley Jefferson, however, there was no disagreement. Analysts such as Tom Lemming (ESPN), Max Emfinger (TheInsiders), Bobby Burton (Rivals) and Allen Wallace (SuperPrep) were unanimous that Jefferson is an absolute stud. Depending on the service, Jefferson was rated either the No. 1 or 2 linebacker in the nation. That comes from having been the top target at that position of such powerhouses as Miami, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Florida State and many others. Simply put, Jefferson is a landmark recruit for Maryland. He's the highest-rated prospect ever landed by the Terrapins and the most notable in-state signee in program history. Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen spoke with awe on signing day. “Every hit is a great hit. When Wesley tackles a ball-carrier, they always go backward,” Friedgen said. “This guy epitomizes the way a linebacker should play. He reminds me of a great one (All-American linebacker E.J. Henderson) who isn't playing here anymore. This is a kid who could have gone to any school in the country. I had other coaches, like Ohio State's Jim Tressel, remark to me: ‘You got a great one in Jefferson.' I already knew this kid was special, but comments like that only confirm it.” Jefferson is the complete package — a 6-2, 231-pounder who can make tackles from sideline to sideline thanks to 4.7 speed in the 40. He can bench press 320 pounds, vertical leap 32 inches and has that mean, aggressive, nasty streak coaches love to see in a linebacker. He piled up 317 tackles and 23 sacks in his final two seasons.players and coaches. You don't really know a coaching staff until you've seen it after a loss.”

Who Got Away?

By now, every college football fan in the country knows about Maryland's biggest recruiting miss. Losing Baltimore (MD) Gilman DE Victor Abiamiri was like a punch in the gut. The Terrapins had put four years of tireless effort into his recruitment and, by most accounts, he wanted to play in College Park. In the end, of course, the Terps had to stop recruiting the consensus All-American to pacify the NCAA, after cash payments to Abiamiri from Maryland assistant Rod Sharpless came to light in media reports. Here's a sample of the other prospects who had a scholarship offer from Maryland but signed elsewhere: Hampton (VA) Phoebus LB Xavier Adibi (Virginia Tech), Williamsport (PA) High RB Darrell Blackman (NCSU), Bartow (FL) High DE Alex Boston (FSU), Powder Springs (GA) McEachern OL Jarrod Britt (Auburn), Palmyra (PA) High LB Joe Brockington (Notre Dame), Williamsport (PA) High DE Raymond Brooks (NCSU), Richmond (VA) Hermitage TE Duane Brown (Virginia Tech), Hampton (VA) Phoebus DB Philip Brown (UVa), Ellenwood (GA) Cedar Grove DT Shelton Bynum (UNC), Washington (GA) Wilkes DE Richard Cook (Georgia), Miami (FL) Northwestern DT Clifton Dickson (FSU), Hampton (VA) Bethel DE Chris Ellis (Virginia Tech), Cartersville (GA) High DT Andre Fluellen (FSU), Hope Mills (NC) South View DT Kyndraus Guy (UNC), Montclair (NJ) High WR Derrick Harper (USC), Lancaster (PA) McCaskey OL Joel Holler (Penn State), Alexandria (VA) Williams RB Tony Hunt (Penn State), Fairfax (VA) Robinson TE John Kinzer (Virginia Tech), Hamden (CT) Hyde DT Richard Kittrell (Iowa), Cincinnati (OH) St. Xavier DE Nick Larkin (Boston College), Green Cove Springs (FL) Clay OL Luke Lathan (NCSU), Sarasota (FL) High DT Donnell Livingston (UNC), Danvers (MA) St. John's OL Jonathan Loyte (Vanderbilt), Dublin (OH) Coffman WR Chinedum Ndukwe (Notre Dame), Sumter (SC) Crestwood DB Maurice Nelson (Clemson), Bethel (NC) North Pitt DB Quinton Person (UNC), Irvington (NJ) High DT Nate Robinson (Miami), Harrisburg (PA) Bishop McDevitt QB Marcus Stone (NCSU), Greenwich (CT) High OL John Sullivan (Notre Dame), Winston-Salem (NC) Carver DT Isaiah Thomas (UNC), Fayetteville (NC) Smith DT DeMarcus Tyler (NCSU), Harrison (NY) High OL Andrew Weininger (Wisconsin), Greenville (SC) High WR Noah Whiteside (USC), Baltimore (MD) Gilman WR Ambrose Wooden (Notre Dame), Snellville (GA) Brookwood DT Mansfield Wrotto (Georgia Tech) and Union (SC) High OL Eric Young (Tennessee). Compiled by Dave Glenn

2003 Maryland Football Signees

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Stars High School/Junior College Comment
Robert Armstrong^ DT 6-4 300 3/3 Fork Union (VA) Military MAX-1 DT; from Arlington (VA) Wash.-Lee; UVa switch
Lance Ball* RB 5-9 220 4/3 Teaneck (NJ) High MAX-2 FB; SP-15 NJ; early over BC, Iowa, Rut., Syr.
Conrad Bolston* DT 6-4 267 3/3 Washington (DC) St. John's TL-11 OG; SP-19 DL; over BC, Fla., OSU, PSU (!)
Tim Cesa LB 6-2 235 3/3 Kennesaw (GA) Harrison TL-18 ILB; SP-25 GA; 1st-team 5A; over BC, Vandy (!)
Brock Choate OL 6-6 275 2/3 Williamsport (PA) Loyalsock Township 1st-team all-state; 4-year starter; early over NCSU
Garrick Clig OL 6-4 295 2/3 Port Orange (FL) Spruce Creek 2nd-team 5A; big-time weight-lifter; over Duke, Vandy
Andrew Crummey OL 6-5 274 3/3 Van Wert (OH) High 3-year starter; all-conference; over BC, Cincy, Wake
Vernon Davis* WR 6-4 225 4/4 Washington (DC) Dunbar TL-3 TE; RV-4 TE; 2002 POY in DC; over Fla., UVa
Dan Gronkowski QB/TE 6-5 235 2/2 Williamsville (NY) North SP-11 NY; 3-year starter; most see as TE; over Buff. (!)
Wesley Jefferson* LB 6-2 231 5/5 Brandywine (MD) Gwynn Park SP-1 LB; TL-1 OLB; MAX-1 ILB; over Miami, OSU
Robert Jenkins^ OL 6-2 300 3/3 Nassau (NY) CC Two-time UVa signee; originally from Bronx (NY) Columbus
Keon Lattimore* WR 5-11 190 3/3 Baltimore (MD) Mt. St. Joseph TL-10 WR; SP-18 RB; over BC, NCSU, Pitt, UVa (?)
Jermaine Lemons LB 6-3 230 2/3 Tampa (FL) Jefferson 4-year starter for prep power; over Mich.St., Pur., Tul.
Ryan Mitch QB 6-3 201 3/3 Hyattsville (MD) DeMatha SP-20 QB; 3-year starter (29-4); early over 20+ offers
Dre Moore DT 6-4 270 2/2 Charlotte (NC) Independence SP-34 NC; 1st-team all-NC on 4AA champs; over I-AA
Brandon Nixon OL 6-6 325 2/3 Pottstown (PA) High SP-15 PA; all-area; over NCSU, PSU, Rut., WVU (?)
Patrick Powell DE 6-4 250 2/2 Chesterfield (VA) Bird 2nd-team all-state; 3-year starter; over ECU, Marshall (?)
Omarr Savage DE 6-4 235 2/3 Piscataway (NJ) High SP-24 NJ; 1st-team all-state; over Clem., Duke, Rut.
Drew Weatherly WR 6-4 200 3/3 Georgetown (DE) Sussex Cent. Delaware POY but 2nd-team all-state; early decision (?)
Josh Wilson DB 5-9 176 2/3 Hyattsville (MD) DeMatha SP-8 MD; July 2002 commitment from prep power (!)
Donnie Woods^* OL 6-5 285 3/4 Tampa (FL) Jefferson RV-6 OG; ACL injury scared many teams; over USF

*-All-American (top 250 by two/more services)
(!)-strong academics
(?)-unconfirmed academics
MX-Max Emfinger
TL-Tom Lemming
STARS: By Insiders/Rivals