Last spring at the Capital Classic high school all-star game, 6-foot-9 Damonte Dodd (Queen Anne’s) appeared to be the most explosive athlete, but also the rawest of five Maryland recruits. So instead of arriving at College Park this fall, he is playing a prep season at Massanutten Military Academy.
Dodd, who verbally committed to the Terps in February, made it official on Wednesday, signing his national letter of intent. Also signing was guard Roddy Peters (Suitland), who averaged 25 points and seven assists last year as a junior. Dodd, a late-blooming three-star (247Sports.com) and four-star (scout.com) prospect averaged 24 points, 16 rebounds, and seven blocks at Queen Anne’s, a small private school in Prince George’s County.
“Damonte will be fun to coach and he really has a big upside,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said in a statement. “He plays extremely hard and he strives to get better every day. He runs, rebounds, and blocks shots.”
Dodd, a lean 240-pounder with broad shoulders, is another of the under-the-radar recruits of Turgeon, who prides himself on talent evaluation. Maryland was the only BCS conference school that offered Dodd a scholarship. Based on their early work this season, freshman forward Charles Mitchell and freshman guard Seth Allen appear to be players who are much better than their high school ratings.
Peters, by contrast is a national-level recruit, rated five stars by 247Sports.com. Peters was pursued by Illinois, Rutgers, UCLA, and Xavier.
“He’s a great example of us trying to keep the best local players home at Maryland. Roddy loves Maryland and we recruit that — kids that love it here and really want to be here,” Turgeon said. “He has excellent court vision, a great feel for the game and his length at his position is a great asset.”
Here are some other quotes on Dodd and Peters, provided by the school:
Dodd (on why he picked Maryland): “When the coaching staff came to see me play, I was just very excited. With Maryland being so close to home and so many people from my family, friends and high school coaches wanting me to go to Maryland, it was an easy decision. I like to make people happy so that weighed into my decision, but most of all I knew Maryland was the right place for me.”
Dale Becraft, Queen Anne’s County High Head Coach on Dodd: “[His] biggest progression occurred between his junior and senior years. He really got serious and hit the weight room hard, and really started working on his game and started playing more on his own time. Last year he made a quantum leap, it was really just astronomical.”
Chad Myers, Massanutten Military Academy Head Coach: “He’s very in tune to what Maryland is doing. He’s always asking me if I saw the Maryland game and talking about the guys. He’s excited and I think he’ll be able to help right away. His ratings went up last summer, but I think he still may be a little underrated. His ceiling is very, very high. Right now, his strength is really being able to run the floor.”
Evan Daniels, Scout.com National Analyst on Dodd: “He has a big, strong body, is active on the defensive end and will lock down rebounds in his area. He’s a post prospect with some nice upside and should continue to get better with another year of high school.”
Peters: “I really liked the coaching staff and I’m looking forward to playing and learning from coach Turgeon. Coach [Dalonte] Hill and I really bonded during this process … Maryland basketball has great history and a rich tradition. I loved watching Steve Francis, Juan Dixon and Greivis Vasquez play.”
George McClure, Suitland High School Basketball Coach: “Roddy is a loyal young man who could have left public high school and attended a prep school, but he wanted to play at Suitland with his teammates … Roddy is the best high school player that I have seen in the open court — not just the best player that I have coached in the open court — but that I have watched play. His skill-set will be unique to Maryland.”
Paul Biancardi, ESPN.com National Recruiting Director on Peters: “He’s clever, he’s smart, he can beat guys off the dribble. He’s more of a combo guard right now. He’s got size on the perimeter. Roddy Peters can do a lot of things well. When you get a point guard with size, speed and clever with the ball, he’s going to help Maryland a lot.”