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Damascus DB picks up offers from Maryland, Penn State

It was an interesting Wednesday for Damascus junior football player Brandon Phelps.

The 6-foot, 175-pound wide receiver and defensive back was walking into his seventh period weightlifting class when his teacher - Swarming Hornets football coach Eric Wallich - handed him his cell phone to talk. On the other end was Penn State assistant coach Larry Johnson, offering a scholarship.

"That was crazy to even be talking to him," Phelps said. "I had no idea" a scholarship offer was coming.

After school, before the Damascus basketball game against neighborhood rival Clarksburg that night, Phelps went home to do schoolwork and got a text from Hornets assistant coach Gregg Frazier, alerting him that Maryland also was offering Phelps a scholarship.

A two-way starter since his freshman year, those were the first two scholarship offers for Phelps. Maryland and Penn State are recruiting Phelps to play cornerback. His father, Gary, played football at Virginia.

"It's probably a pretty great feeling for him, it takes a lot of pressure off kids when they get offers like that their junior year and have that security blanket going into their senior year," Wallich said. "A lot of schools had shown interest in him, but no one had pulled the trigger on it. I think Penn State doing that is going to start a snowball effect. That same night, Maryland made an offer."

Phelps tore knee ligaments at the end of his sophomore season and, while returned to play this past season, Wallich has high expectations for the coming fall.

"When you do tear your knee, even if you do play the next year, it takes two years to get the feeling back to 100 percent," Wallich said. "He's a really smart player. A lot of kids frustrate you as a coach because they don't get it but he understands coverages, he understands how to run routes and get separation. He has great hands. A lot of high school kids body the ball but he catches it way out in front. Lastly, the physical tools, he glides like it's effortless."

After Damascus's basketball game Friday night, Phelps was planning to drive to Duke for a junior day Saturday and then will spend Sunday at North Carolina State.

By Josh Barr  | February 19, 2010; 7:23 PM ET
Categories:  Brandon Phelps, Damascus, Duke, Football, Maryland, North Carolina State, Penn State  
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How does this work with NCAA recruiting guidelines? It seems these players are Juniors and with the call coach to coach (and handed to the athlete), the player didn't initiate the phone call. Is that OK with NCAA?

Posted by: LuanneOOO | February 22, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

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