Maryland recruit Damonte Dodd is no dud

When Maryland accepted a commitment from 2012 center Damonte Dodd (Centerville, Md./Queen Anne’s), we at RecruitingNation collectively went, “Who?”

A 6-foot-9 native of the eastern shore near College Park and nobody knows about him? This guy can’t be very good, right?


Dodd is a classic late-bloomer, or at least he’s got the markers. After seeing him for the first time, I could care less what competition he faced, what his stats were his senior year or if he could walk and chew gum in unison. If I had a scholarship to spare, he’d get it. Taking it a step further, if our 2012 ESPN 100 wasn’t finished, Dodd would be in it.

Dodd, who ran with D.C. Assault at the Under Armour Are You From Here Classic in Dallas, last weekend, hasn’t qualified yet; he’s waiting on a test score that will determine his path. If he makes the grade, he’s Maryland-bound in the next few weeks to start training and head to summer school. If Dodd falls short, a new path needs to be charted. Failure to qualify would bring prep school into the equation and every elite prep powerhouse will try and get him.

Dodd is committed to Maryland whether it’s now or a year from now. If I’m Mark Turgeon, I want this kid in my program ASAP to get the training regimen underway. I’ve heard some coaches advocate a year of prep school. Hogwash. This guy needs collegiate attention.

Should he qualify, the notion of redshirting has been considered the likely route. In the long run, it’s probably best for him but I wouldn’t be too quick to rule out him playing a little this year. Maybe I’m being na├»ve because of the high he left me on after watching him twice, but Dodd has talent.

He has long arms, a nice wingspan and an eagerness about him. Dodd played hard and is not overly aggressive, but in no way is he timid. He closed out for rebounds, chased down loose balls, dunked a put-back and hustled.

In AAU years, he’s the rookie, that’s for sure. Some of the kids on his team probably didn’t know much about him. In fact, after one dunk Dodd was over exuberant and let out a scream. What did the benchwarmers on the team do: they laughed. Funny, the two guilty of laughing weren’t even in his league.

This kid is no stiff. Turgeon, like his predecessor Gary Williams, has a reputation for getting a lot out of his guys. At Texas A&M, Turgeon was particularly adept at working with … you guessed it, big men.

Watching this former “unknown” was exciting from the standpoint that you can see the direction he’s heading. My guess is he gets there and turns into an ACC player. The difficulty in gauging his value is that you don’t know if this is a guy who is going to put in the work and fall in love with the game or is he happy to be a Terp? With prospects like this there’s rarely a middle ground. He either turns out to be a valuable contributor (which is my guess) or he looks amazing in the layup line for the next four years.