Coming off back-to-back losing seasons in his first two years at the helm of the program, Maryland coach Randy Edsall scoured junior colleges across the country in an attempt to find experienced players who could come in and immediately contribute.
Silvano Altamirano (pictured) and Deon Long will have two years of eligibility in College Park.
He found two players that fit the bill.
The Terps officially announced the addition of two players from the JUCO ranks Wednesday: Offensive lineman Silvano Altamirano and wide receiver Deon Long. Both Altamirano and Long will enroll at Maryland in January and be full participants during spring practice.
Altamirano, who attended high school at San Diego’s Mt. Camel High School, played the past two seasons at Mesa Community College and earned first team All-SCFA honors in 2012.
“I am very happy to have Silvano come in and be part of our offensive line at the University of Maryland,” Edsall said in a statement. “He has the explosiveness, speed, pulling ability and toughness that we want from our offensive linemen.”
Altamirano, who picked the Terps over New Mexico, SMU and Washington State, should help shore up an injury-prone offensive line that gave up 40 sacks in 2012. The 6-foot-3, 290-pound two-star prospect joins Derwin Gray, Malik Jones, JaJuan Dulaney and Moise Larose as offensive linemen signed in the class of 2013.
“He’s one of those guys that is very athletic for an offensive lineman,” Altamirano’s JUCO coach Henry Browne said. “He’s 290 [pounds], but he looks more like 270 on the field. He’s just really solid and athletic. He’s very quiet off the field, but very aggressive on the field.”
While Altamirano’s commitment came within the last few days, Long has been committed to Maryland since July. The No. 7 rated JUCO prospect by 247Sports, who formerly played for offensive coordinator Mike Locksley at New Mexico, put up monster numbers at Iowa Western Community College this season. Long recorded 100 receptions for 1,625 yards and 25 touchdowns, leading the NJCAA in all three categories, and became the first player in JUCO history to catch 100 passes in a single season.
“I am very excited about Deon joining the Terrapin family,” Edsall said. “He is an outstanding young man who has demonstrated the ability to be a big play wide receiver with the numbers he put up this past year at Iowa Western. He is a wide receiver that possesses all of the qualities that we look for in a wide receiver.”
“It wasn’t hard. I’ve been a Terp since Day 1,” Long said. “I just really want to go up there and raise the program back to greatness. That’s something that’s big with me and I look forward to. I wouldn’t have wanted to go to Oregon or Florida or Alabama or somewhere. It means much more to me playing close to home, in front of my mom and with people I already know and have relationships with.”