Analysis: Defensive Tackle Tommy Akingbesote to Maryland

Evaluation of how the Terps' latest commitment fits into the defense

The Terps landed an explosive defensive lineman this evening when Flowers (Md.) Tommy Akingbesote announced his commitment, becoming yet another playmaker to help build the front seven. While the 6-foot-4, 270-pound interior lineman enters his senior year after playing just one full season of football, the raw athlete turned his added athleticism from the hardwood onto the gridiron to give Maryland a dynamic pass-rusher.

With another season of high school football ahead of him, the Flowers coaching staff knew that his skillset would translate onto the defense. “Him playing basketball, he played the three, four, five and can move around, so I knew he could move up and down the field as well which he displayed,” Flowers head coach Dameon Powell told AllTerrapins. “It’s just paying attention to the little things, working his hands placement, getting off blocks sooner. It’s the smaller technical things that will make him a better player. because all the other attributes he has—the explosion, toughness, tackling—it’s all there, so it’s the little things to tighten up to get to the next level.”

"He has a nasty mean streak in between the lines," Flowers assistant Mark McCain added. "He would definitely be one of the first to come to mind when it comes to a natural."

"Leadership is his best trait. It translates from basketball. He is vocal and critical of his guys to get the best out of them when the time gets hard," C.H. Flowers defensive coordinator Marsalis Jackson told All Terrapins. "I see a young man who can sharpen up some skills and technique and be very good and become an All American."

The Terps were among a long list of schools to show interest in the fast-rising prospect as Boston College, NC State, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech were among those to join the mix during the spring. Akingbesote’s visit to College Park on March 8 ended up proving to be a pivotal visit in his recruitment. “His family is here and a lot of guys are just deciding to stay home,” Powell added. “My big thing is make sure you go and see the college, if this is the place for you and he had that opportunity to do so with Maryland before all this came home. Plus, he’s a homer so I think it was an easy choice for him.”

As Maryland gets to work with the high-ceiling prospect, the Flowers staff is quick to recognize his ceiling.

“If he does everything he needs to do, he’s going to be playing on a high level. He has that potential, the sky is the limit.”