NCAA

Recruiting impact of UMD to the Big Ten

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Recruiting impact of UMD to the Big Ten

Now that Maryland moving to the Big Ten is official, fans want to know the athletic impact of conference realignment. And if there is one area fans always focus on, it’s recruiting.

CSN spoke with two recruiting power brokers: Curtis Malone of the famed AAU basketball program DC Assault and head coach Biff Poggi of the Gilman School in Baltimore.

Both men gave positive responses to Maryland’s shift to the Big Ten, but based on the reactions it seems the move may do more for football recruiting than it does for basketball.

“It certainly opens up more of a possibility if you’re a football guy,” Poggi said. “Now you could go to school at home and play in the Big Ten, which is amazing.”

Poggi explained that in the past some schools have recruited talent out of Maryland by selling the opportunity to play traditional Big Ten powers. Now, that is no longer the case.

“In the past you’d have to go to PenState. Now you can go 35 minutes and be playing against OhioState and Michigan,” Poggi said. “It’s probably going to wind up, when I think about it, really helping them recruiting-wise with the local kids.”

Winners of two straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship games, and with 11 titles since 1995, Gilman is a dominant player in the Baltimore prep football world. Current Gilman quarterback Shane Cockerille is heading to Maryland this fall.

Asked if the move to the Big Ten would impact Gilman’s relationship with Maryland, Poggi dismissed the notion.

“That relationship has really improved because we’re big Randy Edsall fans. He’s been magnificent,” the Gilman coach said. “This won’t affect it one way or the other. I’m really happy for Randy, as far as football goes.”

While Poggi admitted Maryland’s move to the Big Ten move came as a big surprise, his response was overwhelmingly positive from a football position. He called the new league “a big stage that’s good to recruit for.”

Improvements will need to be made to the football practice facilities and Byrd Stadium, but Poggi pointed out that with increased revenue from the Big Ten Network the Maryland athletic department should be able to afford the work.

“I would think they’ll have to do something with the facilities to match the rest of that league. The stadiums in that league are monstrous,” Poggi said. “It’s a different world than the ACC.”

In basketball, the shift to the Big Ten will be more complicated.

Malone’s DC Assault team routinely produces some of the country’s best basketball talent. Two players on the current Assault squad will be attending Maryland next fall, big man Damonte Dodd and guard Roddy Peters.

Malone said he spoke with Peters and that the move to the Big Ten will not impact his commitment to the Terps. The same is expected with Dodd, Malone said.

But in the future, recruiting players to the Big Ten will not be the same as ACC.

“Of course I think it’s kind of a shock for everybody in Maryland basketball,” Malone said of the move. “Kids dream of playing against Duke and Carolina.

Now that Maryland will compete against a schedule full of Midwestern teams, Malone said that other ACC schools may use the conference affiliation against the Terps in recruiting.

“The way it’s going down with all these teams changing conferences, it’s going to be an adjustment,” Malone said. “The leagues evolve.”

Young players now hardly remember the old ACC, a league with elite basketball up and down the East Coast where every team played each other twice, the Assualt coach explained.

“The people who like Maryland are going to like Maryland,” Malone said. “I’m not sure kids growing up are that familiar with the history. Once they get the program rolling, I don’t think it will have that much of an effect.”

Once Maryland actually begins play in Big Ten, Malone said many kids will not think much of the difference. Plus, the Big Ten has its own set of high-quality basketball teams.

“Basketball is going into a good conference. Ohio State, Indiana, MichiganState. It’s right there with the ACC at the end of the day,” he said. “In basketball, Maryland goes out to be one of the better teams in that conference.”

Despite a spotty history between the DC Assault program and Maryland basketball – former Terps coach Gary Williams did not interact with Malone – the two teams enjoy a good relationship now.

Former Assault coach Dalonte Hill is now an assistant at Maryland, and Malone said the Terps move to the Big Ten will not impact the goodwill.

“Everyone knows Dalonte Hill is my guy,” Malone said. “He’s family.”

Could Maryland safety Darnell Savage Jr. jump into 2019 NFL Draft's first round?

Could Maryland safety Darnell Savage Jr. jump into 2019 NFL Draft's first round?

Coming out of the NFL combine, former Maryland safety Darnell Savage Jr. was projected to be a second-round pick in the NFL Draft. But could he end up sliding into the first round on Thursday?

It seems like a possibility now, based on some of the teams he's met with, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Monday. And NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah has previously said Savage could rise to the first round too.

NBC Sports Washington's latest NFL Mock Draft has Savage going to the Green Bay Packers as the 44th overall pick.

According to Rapoport, Savage met with 11 teams, including the Carolina Panthers (No. 16 overall pick), Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 20 overall pick), Seattle Seahawks (No. 21 overall pick), Philadelphia Eagles (No. 25 overall pick) and Los Angeles Rams (No. 31 overall pick). 

The three-year starter out of College Park was named Second Team All-Big Ten this season after recording 52 tackles (38 solo, 14 assist) for the Terps, along with four interceptions, including one pick six. He's versatile, strong and fast, and even if he gets passed by in the first round of the NFL Draft, it seems unlikely that he'll still be available by the end of the second.

At 5-foot-11 and 198 pounds, Savage ran a 4.36-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine in February -- a time that was second-fastest among all safeties -- and posted a 39.5-inch vertical, third among safeties, and a 126-inch broad jump. He also had 11 bench-press reps.

Pro Football Focus has Savage listed as the second-best safety in this year's draft class behind Delaware's Nasir Adderley because he's "a missile around the line of scrimmage".

MORE NFL DRAFT NEWS

Jamion Christian, GW basketball receive commitment from Jameer Nelson's son Jameer Jr.

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Jamion Christian, GW basketball receive commitment from Jameer Nelson's son Jameer Jr.

The George Washington University men's basketball team landed the son of longtime NBA point guard Jameer Nelson Tuesday. 

Jameer Nelson Jr., a 2019 guard out of Pennsylvania's Haverford School, decommitted from his father's alma mater (Saint Joseph's) following the news that Phil Martelli would not return for the 2019-20 season. 

This marks first-year head coach Jamion Christian's second commitment since being named head coach of the Colonials after one year at Siena College. 

Nelson Sr. played in the Association from 2004 to 2018, including 10 seasons in Orlando. The point guard averaged a career-best 16.7 points per game during the 2008-09 campaign.