- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 7, 2008

Maryland signed the 32nd-ranked football recruiting class in the nation yesterday, according to rivals.com, as coach Ralph Friedgen and his staff focused on acquiring wide receivers.

After a year in which the Terrapins went 6-7 with an Emerald Bowl loss, Friedgen used the recruiting season to find blue-chip playmakers, especially in the passing game.

The Terps added a trio of four-star prospects, Kerry Boykins (Chesapeake, Va.), Kevin Dorsey (Forestville High School) and Kenny Tate (DeMatha). If those three blossom into quality wide receivers, they could be the eventual replacements for holdovers Darrius Heyward-Bey, Isaiah Williams and Danny Oquendo.

“I think they should be a strength of our football team,” Friedgen said. “And not only do we have a guy like Darrius and Danny Oquendo and Isaiah Williams, but we got a bunch of guys coming up that are gonna push those guys. And now, with a couple guys we’ve added here, it’s definitely a position of depth and strength, and I’m expecting them to excel.”

Meanwhile, Virginia Tech signed the nation’s 18th-ranked class, and Virginia came in at No. 62.

The Terps’ impressive catches of Boykins, Dorsey and Tate could help new offensive coordinator James Franklin jumpstart an offense that produced only nine passing touchdowns last season. All three are more than capable of competing with young receivers like Emani Lee-Odai for playing time.

Boykins, who runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, would seem most likely to make an impact next season. Friedgen described Tate as a team player who “makes other people better around him because of the type of person that he is.”

Friedgen called it the “best academic class” he has recruited, toning down the talk about grabbing elite recruits. That focus may have prompted scout.com to rank the Terps’ class 52nd in the nation, but the Terps aren’t worried about the number of stars.

But one big name on Maryland’s radar was conspicuously unsigned yesterday: four-star defensive tackle Teddy Dargan from Baltimore, whom rivals.com listed as “committed/not yet signed.”

“We’re not recruiting him. Academically, I was concerned,” Friedgen said.

The Terps did address losses along the defensive line, nabbing Connecticut product Masengo Kabongo and local lineman Zach Kerr. Replenishing depth there is important for Maryland, which lost reliable cogs Carlos Feliciano and Dre Moore.

“I’ve been pretty spoiled,” defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator Dave Sollazzo said. “We need to build depth at that position, and that’s something I think we addressed in this recruiting class.”

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