Keita Awaits Offer but has Terps on Top

LB Ibrahim Keita is still waiting on his first offer but has Maryland first on his list.

Ibrahim Keita is still patiently awaiting his first offer, but the 6-foot-2, 210-pound linebacker is hoping that one school in particular comes calling for him.

The Teaneck, N.J. athlete attended Maryland's camp and believes his performance should help him draw the interest of the Terps.

“I like Maryland a lot,” Keita said. “Camp was really good. I was doing really good at their camp and I talked to them after the camp and they said they would keep in touch with me.”

Keita said he has been communicating with Maryland's coaching staff over the phone and through emails. He said he has been in touch the most with Coach Keith Dudzinski, the Maryland assistant coach who oversees the inside linebackers.

While Keita is hoping that he impressed the Terrapins with his performance at their camp, he said he left College Park impressed with what Maryland had to offer.

“The campus is really nice,” Keita said. “They didn't really show us around the campus, but what I've seen, I like it a lot. When we went to the camp, they said they would show us the practices they do. Their practices were very intense. It was fun.”

Keita watched Maryland's season-opening 32-24 win over the Miami Hurricanes in September on television and came away impressed with both the home team and the uniforms that were on their backs.

“I just like the atmosphere,” Keita said. “I like the way they play, how they move, the defense. I love hardcore defense, defenses that rule the team. I love the Maryland uniforms. I loved them. Oh, the uniforms are beautiful.”

Another reason why Maryland is high on his list is the relationships that players are able to build with the coaching staff, according to Keita.

“I want a program that's easy to work with,” said Keita. “I want a coach that I can have one-on-one time if I need help. I can go to him and ask him and he'll see me in his office. A coach that is easy to talk to.”

This off-season, Keita has been spending more time in the weight room with his team and running more often, Keita said. He has been working on his speed, technique and becoming stronger.

One of his greatest strengths physically is being able to shed blocks and move around blockers on defense, but what really defines him is his leadership, according to Keita.

“I'm a leader,” said Keita. “I like to drive my team to do better. If I see somebody doing bad, I'll pull them to the side and talk to them.”

Another one of Keita's strengths is his versatility and adaptability. He said he can play both inside and outside linebackers. In his defense at Teaneck High, he often finds himself playing like a strong safety and guarding the tight end, according to Keita, and will play both positions at school. He said that his versatility would help him feel comfortable fitting into any new formation.

“As long as I get to look at a new formation and learn, because I learn really fast, I just need a couple days with it and I'll get it,” Keita said.

Keita looks up to Tamba Hali, a defensive end for the Kansas City Chiefs and an alumnus of Keita's high school.

“He actually went to Teaneck High School, so I look up to him a lot,” Keita said. “He's very aggressive. He never gives up. If you think the play is done, he'll still keep going. I like to do that too.”

The Maryland Terrapins headline Keita's wish list, but he has been looking at Delaware, Virginia and Temple. He has also visited Old Dominion and Rutgers.

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