2000 Maryland Football Letter Of Intent Signees
Feb. 2, 2000
Coach Ron Vanderlinden Comments on the 2000 Recruiting Class
"As with every area of our program, our goal is to continually improve and upgrade Maryland football. The 2000 recruiting class is another illustration of the improvement we continue to make. I am very pleased with the balance in this class and our ability to meet many of the specific personnel needs we had in our program."
"Obviously we are extremely excited to have someone with Chris Kelley's talent coming to Maryland. Statistically, you can see where he is an accomplished passer as well as an accomplished runner and playmaker. I look for great things from Chris Kelley. Chris expressed to me that he chose Maryland because it is his state university. Chris's goal is to be the quarterback that leads Maryland to an ACC championship. We were not looking to sign a junior college quarterback. One of our assistant coaches, Mike Gundy, had the task of prospecting junior colleges nationwide in search of specific needs. During his search, he uncovered Shaun Hill. As a former quarterback and quarterback coach himself, he thought Shaun was an outstanding prospect. He then transferred the tape to offensive coordinator Bob Heffner. Together, the staff analyzed Shaun's tape. When [1999 starter] Calvin McCall informed me in the middle of December of his decision to play basketball, coupled with the inexperience and youth we have at the position, it made sense to recruit Shaun Hill to provide experience and insurance at the quarterback position. Shaun has the size, the athleticism and the passing proficiency we look for. One of the things that was appealing about Shaun is that he played in an offense at Hutchinson CC that is very similar to the offense we run."
"Chris Downs, who has played the past two years at Valley Forge Junior College, provides us with experience. He is a quick, slashing runner -- much like sophomore-to-be Bruce Perry -- and is also very thick and tough, much like Bruce. The style of Chris Downs and Bruce Perry is a good complement to the bigger backs in our offense."
"James Lynch has been to the Maryland campus at least 25 times in the last year. Like many of the players we signed, we had an opportunity to work with James in our summer camp. He has excellent hips and deceiving speed. He gives us an outstanding fullback for the future. He should be good with his hands on the ball, as well as a dominating blocker."
"Ryan Flynn was one of the top two tight ends we set our sights on early in the recruiting process. He is a very physical blocker with outstanding size potential. He also possesses good receiver skills, although his high school was a dominant run team."
"We set our goal at 3-4 offensive linemen. Kyle Schmitt was one of the most highly ranked linemen in the state of Pennsylvania. He also is a highly rated basketball player, which speaks to his agility and movement. Reggie Kemp, Lou Lombardo and C.J. Brooks all have outstanding size and potential. Along with Kyle, they all project to be outstanding offensive linemen."
"One of our top priorities was to recruit wide receivers with size. We accomplished this by signing Maurice Shanks and Rob Abiamiri, both of whom are in the 6-3, 6-4, range. Both are athletic, fluid and have good ball skills."
"Steve Suter is good with his hands on the ball. Last year, Steve was the fastest player at the Maryland football combine. Every coach whose team played against Steve had a story to describe his tremendous ability to make big plays in the open field. Steve can play running back, wide receiver or corner. Ray Custis suffered a season-ending knee injury as a junior, but he too has outstanding speed and hips, and displays toughness. Ray could possibly be a running back or a corner. Ike Roberts is fluid as a wide receiver and physical as a defensive back. We will look at him on both sides of the ball before making a decision."
"C.J. Feldheim, like Jon Condo, was a defensive end/fullback in high school. He has displayed speed, agility and toughness. He has the frame to add the weight to develop into a good ACC defensive end. Jamahl Cochran we discovered while evaluating another player. The other player's coach commented that Morristown, which won the New Jersey state championship, had an outstanding, though undersized, defensive lineman. When our coach watched the tape he immediately liked Jamahl. Our entire staff agreed that although Jamahl is not as big in stature, his performance was such that he immediately rose to the top of our defensive end prospects."
"We offered Chris Earhart after watching his spring practice at Montgomery Junior College. He has outstanding size and should help us solidify the interior of our defense. Cole Boykin is a good football player who was in the top tier of our defensive line recruiting from the moment he was evaluated. He is explosive off the ball, uses his hands well, and plays snap to whistle. Cole also was the vice president of his class and has outstanding leadership characteristics."
"Because of the linebackers we signed a year ago, and also because we did not lose a linebacker to graduation, we felt we only needed to sign 1-2 linebackers in this year's class. We identified Chris Linton early in the process as a tall, lean, athletic linebacker with good speed. Chris runs well, bends his knees well, and makes a lot of plays. He projects to be an athletic, physical linebacker that has become a prototype in the '90s at that position."
"Jon Condo, a fullback/linebacker in high school, as well as one of the state of Pennsylvania's top heavyweight wrestlers despite his weight, displays body control, suddenness, natural strength as well as toughness. Jon is an athletic, explosive player who hopefully will add to our pass rush. Kevin Eli is one of the special recruits in this year's class. He is an outstanding basketball player, averaging nearly 30 points per game, and should develop into an outstanding pass rusher."
"This is another position that we were not actively looking to fill. We were so impressed with Curtis Williams on tape that we actively recruited him and set him up for a visit. He immediately put us up at the top of his list. I felt as if he was too good of a prospect not to bring to Maryland. He has size, speed and is a very physical hitter."
"Dennard Wilson is a great example of an unheralded junior who had an outstanding senior season at DeMatha High School, one of the nation's top programs. He is both athletic and physical at the corner position."
*junior college transfer who is already enrolled at the Univesity of Maryland.
ROB ABIAMIRI * WR
HIGH SCHOOL: Attends Mount St. Joseph High School in Baltimore, Md. ... two-year varsity player ... blossomed as a senior by earning first team all-state and All-Mid-Atlantic honors from SuperPrep and Prepstar ... also was named to the Baltimore Sun's All- Metro team ... totaled 13 touchdowns in 1999 -- eight receiving, two rushing, two on punt returns and one on a kickoff return ... finished with 28 receptions for 779 yards ... also competes in basketball and track ... a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete honoree ... high school coach was Mike Working.
COLE BOYKIN * DT
HIGH SCHOOL: Attends Hudson Catholic High School in Jersey City, N.J. ... earned first team All-Hudson County and first team All-HCIAA honors as a senior after totaling 85 tackles, eight TFL's and three sacks ... named to the SuperPrep All- Northeast team and was an all-region choice by Prepstar ... high school coach was Chip Benneway.
C.J. BROOKS * OL
HIGH SCHOOL: Attends Morrow High School in Morrow, Ga. ...capped his senior season in 1999 by earning honorable mention all-state (Class AAA) honors and first team all-area recognition ... graded out at 84 percent during the season ... earned Atlantic Touchdown Club Player of the Week honors ... was an honorable mention all-state and an all-area selection as a junior for a team which went 10-2 and advanced to the second round of the playoffs ... also competes in track, wrestling and basketball.
JAMAHL COCHRAN * DE
HIGH SCHOOL: Attends Morristown (N.J.) High School ... captured first team all-state honors from the Star-Ledger ... also was named first team All-Morris County for the second consecutive season ... helped lead Morristown to an 11-0 record and a third straight NJSIAA North Jersey (Section 2, Group 3) title as a senior ... had a dominant two-way performance in a 20-16 victory over Roxbury his senior season ... an all-region selection by Prepstar ... also considered Illinois and Rutgers ... high school coach was John Porcelli.
JON CONDO * RLB
HIGH SCHOOL: Attends Philipsburg-Osceola High School in Philipsburg, Pa. ... named first team all-state by the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette as a senior after rushing for nearly 1,000 yards and totaling more than 100 tackles, including 13 sacks ... also had three interceptions ... was a unanimous All-Big 8 Conference selection as a running back, linebacker and punter ... nominated to play in the Big 33 All-Star game ... as a junior, was a first team all-conference selection as a running back, linebacker and punter after rushing for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging 17 tackles per game ... set school career records for rushing yards (2,700) and tackles (374) .... also wrestles (he currently is the state's No. 1-rated heavyweight, with a 19-0 record) and plays baseball (three-year starting catcher). ... honor roll student .. high school coach was Chris Davidson.
RAYMOND CUSTIS * ATH
HIGH SCHOOL: Attends Northwest High School in Germantown, Md. ... enjoyed a breakout season as a senior after missing his entire junior campaign with a knee injury ... rushed for more than 1,500 yards and averaged 9.2 yards per carry ... totaled 25 touchdowns, including 20 on the ground ... had a pair of interceptions as a cornerback/safety ... earned first team all-state honors at running back for small schools ... also was an honorable mention All-Met selection by the Washington Post and a All-Montgomery IA-2A choice ... selected as the Montgomery County Offensive Player of the Year by the Montgomery County Coaches Association and was a first team All-Montgomery County choice by the Gazette and the Montgomery Journal ... named an All-American by Prepstar ... eight of his touchdowns went for at least 40 yards ... was the starting point guard on the basketball team as a junior ... was a region champion in the 200 meters in outdoor track as a junior ... high school coach was Randy Trivers.
CHRIS DOWNS * TB
VALLEY FORGE: Attends Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Wayne, Pa. ... a two-year starter who totaled 2,013 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns ... helped his team to a two-year mark of 17-1 ... rushed for 925 yards and 12 touchdowns on just 87 carries in 1999 after totaling 1,088 yards and 11 touchdowns on 148 carries in 1998 ... junior college coach was Jim Burner.
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Malvern Prep in Philadelphia ... enjoyed a tremendous career, earning Philadelphia Daily News Inter-Academic Player of the Year honors in 1997 ... he later was named the Inter-Academic League Player of the Decade by the Philadelphia Daily News ... established a single-season city league record for rushing yards (2,198) and tied marks for rushing TD's (29) and total touchdowns (31), all as a senior in 1997 ... in his career, he scored 54 touchdowns overall, including 50 on the ground ... he became the first player in Inter-Academic League history to rush for more than 4,000 career yards (4,045) ... was a first team All-Main Line choice as a senior.
CHRIS EARHART * DT
MONTGOMERY COLLEGE: Attends Montgomery College in Rockville, Md. ... two-year starter on the defensive line ... entered his sophomore season as a preseason All-American ... rebounded from an early-season ankle injury to help Montgomery College to a 9-1 season, including a final regular season ranking of No. 15 by the National Junior College Athletic Association ... the Knights were selected to play in the Golden Isles Bowl in Brunswick, Ga. .... Montgomery ranked fourth in the NJCAA in rushing defense (67.9 ypg) and sixth nationally in total defense (198.3 ypg) in 1999 ... was named his team's defensive lineman of the year as a freshman in 1998 ... junior college coach was Phil Martin.
KEVIN ELI * RLB
HIGH SCHOOL: Attends Deptford High School in Deptford, N.J. ... All-America choice by Prepstar ... earned first team All-Tri County, first team All-Group III and first team All-South Jersey (Philadelphia Inquirer) honors as a senior ... totaled 72 tackles, including 19 TFL's and 12 sacks ... opponents would generally run away from his side ... blocked a punt and a PAT attempt ... three-time first team All-Tri County ... also played tight end ... played on a state championship team as a junior ... team finished 9-3 in 1998 ... three-year varsity player ... team captain ... outstanding basketball player who is the leading scorer in South Jersey (28 ppg) ... was the MVP of a prep basketball tournament in Hawaii prior to his senior year ... captained his basketball and baseball teams ... high school coach was Al Orio.
C.J. FELDHEIM * DE
HIGH SCHOOL: Attends Hereford High School in Parkton, Md. ... a two-time consensus all-state selection and a two-time All-Metro and All-Baltimore County/City choice ... a three-year varsity starter who played on teams that posted a cumulative record of 35-2, winning one state title (1997) and twice reaching the state semifinals (1998, 1999) ... as a senior in 1999, totaled 14 sacks, 29 TFL's and 66 total tackles ... as a fullback, rushed 77 times for 792 yards and 13 touchdowns ... broke his leg in the season's ninth game ... posted 12 sacks as a junior ... also a standout in wrestling and baseball ... will earn 12 varsity high school letters by the time he graduates ... outstanding student who was a Faculty Merit Honor student all four years and is a member of the National Honor Society ... has a cumulative GPA of 3.9 ... high school coach was Steve Turnbaugh.
RYAN FLYNN * TE
HIGH SCHOOL: Attends Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, Ohio ... a two-time All-Steel Valley Conference choice and an All-Northeastern Ohio selection as a senior ... also named honorable mention all-state ... selected to play in the Big 33 All-Star game ... team captain as a senior ... two-way starter at tight end and defensive end in 1999 ... graded out at 86 percent for the season in a run-oriented offense (only 80 passes thrown all season) ... considered by his coaches to be one of the finest blocking tight ends in school history ... standout first baseman on the baseball team ... high school coach was Don Bucci.
SHAUN HILL * QB
HUTCHINSON CC: Attended Hutchinson CC in Hutchinson, Kan. ... a two-year starter at quarterback who passed for 1,688 yards as a sophomore in 1999 ... also rushed for 370 yards ... totaled 2,058 total yards ... rated the No. 5 JC quarterback in the country by SuperPrep ... earned honorable mention All-Jayhawk Conference recognition ... led Hutchinson to an 8-3 record and a win over Glendale (Ariz.) CC in the Valley of the Sun Bowl ... as a freshman in 1998, was a first team All-Jayhawk Conference choice and an honorable mention NJCAA All-American ... junior college coach was Bob Larson.
HIGH SCHOOL: Graduated from Parsons (Kan.) High School in 1998 ... three-year starter at quarterback and two-year starter at free safety ... a two-time All-Southeast Kansas first team selection ... captured honorable mention all-state honors as a senior ... also played basketball, baseball and ran track ... was a three-time All-SEK first team choice in basketball and earned all-state honors all three years.
CHRIS KELLEY * QB
HIGH SCHOOL: Attends Seneca Valley High School in Germantown, Md. ... highly decorated signal-caller who is rated among the top prep quarterbacks in the country ... was named Maryland state player of the year by USA Today and the offensive player of the year in Maryland by the Associated Press ... a two-time consensus all-state quarterback ... Seneca Valley was 26-0 with him as the starting quarterback and 39-0 with him somewhere in the starting lineup ... earned All-America honors from SuperPrep, Prepstar and Max Emfinger ... was rated the No. 1 QB in the Atlantic region by Prepstar ... was named the All-Met Offensive Player of the Year by the Washington Post ... he was responsible for 95 touchdowns in his two seasons as starting quarterback ... as a senior in 1999, he passed for 1,645 yards and 29 touchdowns in addition to rushing for 1,278 yards and 16 TD's ... in his career, he passed for 3,657 yards and rushed for 2,111 ... high school coach was Terry Changuris.
REGGIE KEMP * OL
HIGH SCHOOL: Attends Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, Md. ... named an All-American by Prepstar and All-Mid- Atlantic by SuperPrep ... a second team all-state choice ... also named second team All-Met by the Washington Post ... a first team All- Prince George's League selection ... registered 15 pancake blocks as a senior ... high school coach was Ed Shields.
CHRIS LINTON * LB
HIGH SCHOOL: Attends Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake, Va. ... was a first team All-Southeastern District and first team All-Eastern Regiona selection as a senior ... was the leading vote-getter among linebackers for all-district honors .... was his team's leading tackler as a senior ... a three-year starter who played defensive end as a sophomore ... also plays baseball ... high school coach was Bill Lyons.
LOU LOMBARDO * OL
HIGH SCHOOL: Attends Calvert Hall College High School in Baltimore, Md. ... a two-time first team all-state selection ... started 43 consecutive games as a prep ... three-year starter on the varsity ... as a senior, was an all-region selection by Prepstar ... named first team All- Baltimore City/County by the Baltimore Sun ... also competes in track (shot put, discus) ... high school coach was Jay Robinson.
JAMES LYNCH * FB
HIGH SCHOOL: Attends Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. ... was an honorable mention All-American as a senior in 1999 by USA Today ... also was selected first team All-Met by the Washington Post and the Pigskin Club ... earned first team All-DCIAA recognition ... was named the Washington, D.C. Gatorade Player of the Year ...earned all-regional citations by SuperPrep and Prepstar magazines ... as a fullback in 1999, he rushed for 1,435 yards and scored 21 touchdowns ... as a linebacker, he totaled 98 tackles and had two interceptions and caused four fumbles ... helped Dunbar to back-to-back city championships as a junior and senior ... rushed for 1,220 yards and 11 touchdowns in 1998 ... high school coach was Craig Jefferies.
IKE ROBERTS * ATH
HIGH SCHOOL: Attends Tottenville High School in Staten Island, N.Y. ... a four-year starter and three-time Staten Island Advance all-star who set most major school receiving records ... established Tottenville career marks for receptions (141), receiving yards (2,234) and touchdowns (27) ... as a senior, caught 57 passes for 827 yards and 10 touchdowns ... was named to the Staten Island Advance all-star team ... also selected second team all-state and first team all-city by the New York Daily News and the New York City Coaches Association ... selected to the New York state "Golden 50" squad which will play the New Jersey all-stars in the Governor's Cup ... was a Prepstar all-region honoree ... a first team all-city selection by the New York Daily News as a junior ... had the game-winning touchdown catch in the 1997 city championship game ... started every game for four years ... also runs track ... high school coach was Jim Munson.
KYLE SCHMITT * OL
HIGH SCHOOL: Attends Derry Area Senior High School in Latrobe, Pa. ... rated one of the top five linemen in the state of Pennsylvania by the Big 33 Coaches Association ... capped his senior season by earning first team all-state honors from the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette ... a Prepstar All-American and an all-region choice by SuperPrep ... nominated to play in the Big 33 All-Star game ... was a two-time first team All-Greater Alleghany Conference selection as an offensive tackle ... two-way varsity starter for three seasons ... entered his senior season as a preseason All-American by Street & Smith's ... also plays basketball ... high school coach was Greg Dorn.
MAURICE SHANKS * WR
HIGH SCHOOL: Attends Phoebus High School in Hampton, Va. ... rated the No. 4 prospect in the state of Virginia by the Roanoke Times ... a SuperPrep All-American who was rated No. 23 in the nation among wide receivers ... was a first team All-Hampton Roads choice after catching 27 passes for 380 yards as a senior in 1999 despite a hamstring injury early in the season ... was rated the No. 1 wide receiver in the Atlantic Region and the No. 9 prospect overall in the Atlantic Region by Prepstar ... averaged 18.1 yards per reception ... was an all-region selection in the state as a junior.
STEVE SUTER * ATH
HIGH SCHOOL: Attends North Carroll High School in Hampstead, Md. ... was named honorable mention All-American by USA Today, all-region by Prepstar, and was a first team all-state and Baltimore Sun All-Metro choice ... rushed for more than 4,000 yards in his career, including 1,748 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior in 1999 ... ranked eighth in the state in rushing ... also caught 19 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns ... was recruited by Temple, Richmond and Buffalo ... high school coach was Bill Rumbaugh.
CURTIS WILLIAMS * S
HIGH SCHOOL: Attends Huntington High School in Huntington Station, N.Y. ... was an all-state selection as a senior in 1999 after accounting for 2,186 all-purpose yards and scoring 20 touchdowns ... as a cornerback, he totaled 71 tackles (52 solos), eight interceptions and 23 pass breakups ... as a tailback, he rushed 110 times for 1,262 yards (11.5 average) ... he returned two punts and one kickoff for touchdowns ... he also played split end and slot back ... in addition to being named all-state, he also was selected All-Long Island, All-Suffolk County and All-Division III ... he was a finalist for the Hansen Award, given annually to the top player in Suffolk County ... was a Prepstar all-region choice ... he was named All-Division III as a wide receiver/cornerback as a junior ... a three-year varsity player ... plays basketball and lacrosse ... high school coach was Steve Muller.
DENNARD WILSON * CB
HIGH SCHOOL: Attends DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Md. ... as a senior in 1999, caught 32 passes for 481 yards and six touchdowns in addition to registering three interceptions as a cornerback ... named honorable mention all-state in addition to pulling down first team All-Prince George's County and first team All-WCAC honors ... selected to SuperPrep's All-Mid- Atlantic team ... was a team co-captain ... three year varsity player and two-year starter ... was one of two players to start both ways in 1999 ... had two interceptions as a junior ... high school coach was Bill McGregor.