National Letter of Intent signing day is still more than a month away, but the verbal commitments continue to roll in at the University of Maine.
Elizabeth “Liz” Wood of Bealeton, Va., has made a verbal commitment to play basketball for the Black Bears, while Pennsylvanian Logan Fullmer has announced his intention to play baseball at UMaine.
Both players are expected to enroll at UMaine in 2012. Black Bear head coaches Richard Barron and Steve Trimper are prohibited from commenting on the recruits until the school has received the signed NLIs.
Wood is a versatile 5-foot-10 guard who helped Liberty High School win the Virginia AA Division 4 state championship last season.
“I think that she’s probably a natural two (shooting) guard, but at Maine she could play several positions,” Liberty coach Lauren Milburn said of her two-time team captain. “She can post up, she can knock down the 3(-pointer) and she can hit the mid-range jumper,” she explained.
Wood said her two visits to Orono and her interaction with Barron, the staff and UMaine players were key factors in her decision.
“The area’s beautiful and I really like the atmosphere,” Wood said Monday prior to playing in a high school volleyball match. “Women’s basketball is a really big deal there and not all colleges have that. I just thought I’d fit in well there.”
Wood averaged better than 16 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals last season.
“She’s a good rebounding guard,” Milburn said. “She’s very physically strong. A lot of the college coaches I’ve talked to have said she’s physically ready for college basketball.”
Wood said she likes playing multiple positions because it gives her an opportunity to match her strengths in different ways. She can take a bigger post player outside or post up against a smaller defender.
“I definitely don’t mind moving around, only because I can take advantage of my unique size,” she said.
Wood also played for the Fairfax (Va.) Stars AAU basketball program that last summer that finished second in the U16 division at the Nike Elite Premier Showcase, a top-level national tournament.
She and her team also competed in national events at Orlando, Chicago and Washington, D.C., compiling a 21-3 record during July.
“It would not surprise me at all if all 10 of the players on that team play Division I basketball,” Milburn said.
Wood also considered Campbell, North Carolina-Asheville and Penn. She is excited about the future of the UMaine program.
“I definitely think it’s heading in the right direction,” Wood said. “I got that vibe from watching practice and talking to the coaches and talking to the girls.”
Wood is a 4.0 student who is a member of the National Honor Society. She joins 5-8 guard Lauren Bodine of Louisville, Ky., and 5-7 guard Brittany Wells of Indianapolis, Ind., in Barron’s initial recruiting class.
The baseball program has landed a pitcher who had a tie to UMaine athletics.
Fullmer was a former basketball teammate of the late Charles Kyeremeh Jr., a UMaine football player who died last summer in a motorcycle crash.
Fullmer and Kyeremeh played together at Cedar Crest High School in Lebanon, Pa.
“He was an amazing person. He was so friendly,” said Fullmer, who made his visit to Orono last weekend.
“I can’t wait for the opportunity. It’s going to be awesome,” he said of playing at UMaine. “They’re great people. I loved what they were doing and I just loved it there.”
Fullmer is a righthanded pitcher who features a fastball in the low 90s (mph) along with a good slider and an occasional changeup. On May 19, he struck out 15 during a four-hit performance that helped Cedar Crest beat Lampeter-Strasburg 2-0 in the Lancaster-Lebanon League semifinals.
He went 6-1 last spring and earned first-team all-conference honors for the 19-4 Falcons. Fullmer was recruited by the likes of Virginia Commonwealth, Winthrop and Delaware.
“I’m throwing hard and getting a lot of break and throwing a heavy ball,”
Fullmer said of his pitching style.
Last summer, he pitched for PA Select and the Moosic Mets, both travel baseball organizations.
Fullmer will head to UMaine with a class that includes righthander Paul Pappaceno of Rutherford, N.J.
The participation of Fullmer and Wood at UMaine is contingent upon their acceptance by the school and compliance with NCAA initial-eligibility guidelines.
JMU PLAYERS SUSPENDED
Two James Madison University players, including starting quarterback Justin Thorpe, have been suspended indefinitely from the team for violations of the JMU athletics policy, it was announced Monday.
Also suspended was linebacker Chase Williams.
CSNWashington.com reported that Thorpe, a redshirt junior quarterback, has drawn a five-game suspension for a failed drug test and that he is a repeat offender.
Thorpe had directed 10th-ranked James Madison to a 3-1 record, completing 32-of-48 passes for 409 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions. He is second on the team with 163 rushing yards.
Williams, also a redshirt junior, has appeared in two games and has made two tackles.
UMaine plays JMU on Oct. 8 at Harrisonburg, Va.