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Five-star OT Prince commits to Terps

Randy Edsall got his man in offensive tackle Damian Prince.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Highly-regarded five-star offensive lineman Damian Prince announced live on ESPNU on national signing day that he will play his college football for the Maryland Terrapins, picking them over the Florida Gators.

Prince has long been a top target for the Terps, who have been trying to improve their offensive line. The need to beef up the line has only become more urgent with the school's move to the Big Ten.

Prince, who played his high school ball at Bishop McNamara in District Heights, also considered South Carolina and Florida State, among others. He is widely considered to be one of the top offensive tackles in the country.

Throughout his recruitment, much was made of the fact that Prince really wanted to be close to home to be around his family and to allow them to see him play on a regular basis.

It's a big committment for the Terps after they lost out on Jalen Tabor to Arizona and then Florida. The cornerback was considered a near lock to Maryland just a few months ago and had been trying to orchestrate a movement for in-state recruits to go to the flagship school for the past couple of years.

The surprising committment to Florida really put a damper on Maryland's 2014 recruiting class, which had the potential to be borderline top 25 had the coaching staff been able to close strong on some of its top targets. Jared Cohen's decommittment, followed by his decision to go to North Carolina, also really stung and tempered expectations for the future offensive line. Still, Prince is the most important player because he fills a position of such great need and is expected to have an immediate impact.

When all the dust settles, it's likely that Maryland will sit in the middle of the pack when it comes to Big Ten 2014 recruiting classes. It's not a terrible place to be for the Terps, who return much of their team from last year and should have an edge at the skill positions over almost everyone in the Big Ten.

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