Applefield In Stretch Drive

Weeki Wachee (Fla.) High offensive tackle Marcus Applefield is fresh off a Maryland visit and has trips to Vanderbilt and Rutgers looming, and has the latest on his recruitment.

Although Maryland did not gain much mention as a contender when Weeki Wachee (Fla.) High offensive tackle Marcus Applefield visited campus in the summer, he always rated it highly.

After his official visit to Maryland during the weekend, which included watching the Terps battle Boston College, Applefield still has Maryland high on his list.

"We talked a little bit and he enjoyed it," Weeki Wachee coach Mark Lee said. "He said it was a pretty campus, he liked the players and he had a good trip."

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday and his schedule, Lee and Applefield did not have an in-depth discussion yet about the 6-foot-6, 285-pounder's visit, but he expect the Terps to be in it until the end, which will be Dec. 13 at 1 p.m. He will announce his decision then and enroll in college in January.

Applefield, who previously visited Purdue and Virginia, will be at Vanderbilt this weekend and Rutgers the weekend of Dec. 7.

"I think the best thing he is doing is he's going in with an open mind on his five visits and then he's going to sit down and figure out which school is his best fit," Lee said. "I told him, ‘You have to go on your visits, write the pros and cons down, what you like and make your choice.' I really don't know (about a top school). He hasn't told me much about it, and he said he was going to keep it close to the vest.

"I told him if you start letting (leaders) out, it's really going to get crazy because then you have the other schools calling more and more and trying to change their minds."

The trip to Maryland was a chance for Applefield to get a much more in-depth look at the program.

When he was there in summer, it came at the end of a lengthy string of visits and lasted only a few hours because he was also set to see Virginia that day. However, his relationship with Maryland assistant coach Mike Locksley has been strong, and the feel of the campus always stayed with Applefield.

"He enjoyed his trip up there (in the summer) and coach Locksley came down and had been in contact with him," Lee said. "He got the visit set up and it went well. For me, I was glad to see him go up there because I knew it was a pretty campus and then knowing some of the coaches there."

That feeling continued to develop during the official visit.

"Maryland was kind of the quiet one," Lee said. "You didn't hear too much of it and it just popped up out of nowhere. I know when he went on his unofficial, he had Maryland listed in his top five when he got back."

One of the schools to first recruit Applefield was Rutgers, which went through a rough stretch with losses, a few decommitments and some midseason transfers.

But none of it impacts the way Applefield views the school.

"He hasn't paid that much attention to it," Lee said. "I told him, you see this stuff starting to come out in the papers, I told him ‘Don't believe the first thing you read. Let things run its course. You're not going to get everything at first.' He still likes Rutgers."

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