If you didn't plan your Thursday night around the Under Armour All-American Football Game, then you missed Good Counsel running back Wes Brown committing to play for the Maryland Terrapins towards the end of the first quarter.
Brown immediately becomes the best player in Maryland's 2012 recruiting class and should vie for playing time right out of the gate in a depleted Maryland backfield. Brown is ranked as the eighth-best running back in the nation on Scout, but he is ranked lower on the other two services. Strictly in terms of his football ability, Brown is a pretty big get for the Terps.
Brown's commitment comes as a pretty big shock, because even as recently as a week ago, Brown wasn't mentioning Maryland among the list of schools he was considering. But on Thursday, Brown chose Maryland over Colorado, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and Miami. So what happened in the last few days to sway his deicion?
The first domino was the hiring of Mike Locksley as offensive coordinator. Locksley is an absolutely dominant recruiter of this area, and when he doesn't have to pull recruits to New Mexico, his results will be impressive. Locksley is listed as the lead recruiter for Brown on some services, which is pretty incredible considering it had been a dead period in recruiting until a few days ago.
The other big factor was the transfer of Brown's former Good Counsel teammate Zach Dancel from New Mexico to Maryland earlier this week. This one had a lot to do with Locksley as well, obviously, considering he recruited Dancel to New Mexico initially. But this was particularly important considering Brown has lived with the Dancel family for the last two years and his relationship with Zach is more than just former teammates. I believe it was a combination of these two things (which are pretty closely related) that helped sway Wes Brown.
Now, here's the important question for Randy Edsall, Locksley and the Maryland fanbase. Where can we go from here?
Brown is a very important recruit, not just because he is a talented football player, but because it could potentially open up the floodgates for other elite local talent to give Maryland a second look. If Maryland can swoop in and catch Brown at the last second, maybe they can do the same for some of the other big names around the area before signing day.
Who might they be? I'm glad you asked! The first name to consider here is Brown's teammate at Good Counsel Stefon Diggs. Diggs is one of the top 10 players in the country and would be an absolute game-changer as a recruit. The other big name is Eddie Goldman, the massive Friendship defensive tackle who could be the best player in the class. Locksley just happens to have a great relationship with Friendship coach Aaazaar Abdul Rahim. I'm just saying...
A few months ago Maryland wasn't being mentioned as a serious contender for either of these players, but now there are legitimate rumblings that the best local players have decided to become a package deal of sorts for Maryland. It will be a while before we know if that is truly the case, but the fact that there is talk of this at all is pretty exciting as a Maryland fan.
Is it likely that both of these players, and possibly even Ronald Darby, will now commit to Maryland? Probably not, but it is a possibility, and that's more than we could have said even a few weeks ago. That's the impact of Brown's sudden change of heart.
For more on Maryland football recruiting and all things Terrapins athletics, head over to Testudo Times.