Meet the Recruit: Kingsley Opara
Commitment Date: July 20, 2012
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
High School: Mandarin High School
Weight: 269 lbs.
ESPN Rank: #85 DT, 3-star
Scout.com Rank: #81 DT, 3-star
Rivals Rank: N/A, 3-star DT
247Sports Rank: #57 DT, 3-star
40 time: 5.59 secs. (ESPN); 4.80 secs. (Scout.com); 5.00 secs. (Rivals); 4.90 secs. (247Sports)
Other Offers: Arkansas State, Connecticut, Florida A&M, Furman, Georgia State, Middle Tennessee State, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Alabama, Temple, Tennessee State, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Western Kentucky.
According to Matt Bracken of The Baltimore Sun, the day before Kingsley Opara committed to Maryland he told his father that he was committing to West Virginia. But after talking it over one more time, and listing the pros and cons of each school, Opara chose Maryland. He cited the large amount of NFL experience surrounding Maryland, especially Randy Edsall’s close relationship to New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin.
In October, a few months after his commitment, Opara announced he was still committed to Maryland, but was exploring other options. He seems to be a bit more sure about attending Maryland, but is worth keeping an eye on. Since then, many more teams have entered the race for Opara, trying to flip his commitment. N.C. State was trying, but ultimately failed a few days ago. North Carolina and Georgia Tech are among the schools still pursuing Opara.
One of Opara’s biggest strengths is his versatility. He has shown the ability to play nose tackle or defensive end, which should help him get playing time this coming season with the departure of senior defensive linemen Joe Vellano and A.J. Francis. The Terps told Opara to be ready to play as a true freshman. He has good athleticism for a big man, and is able to get around the end as well as push through the line.
As mentioned above, Opara has a good chance to get early playing time, especially with the dismissal of DT recruit Demetri McGill from the team after what the team called a misrepresentation of a previous injury. Opara will compete with Darius Kilgo, Isaiah Ross, Alex Walker, Quinton Jefferson, Justin Anderson, and Keith Bowers for time on the defensive line.