Leonard Recaps Maryland Visit

Middletown (Md.) High defensive end Ricky Leonard visited Maryland with his family last Friday for the Terps Spring Game. Leonard spoke with TSR about his experience and where Maryland stands.

A host of top recruits attended Maryland's spring game last Friday. One of the biggest names on campus was Middletown (Md.) High defensive end Ricky Leonard.

After missing Maryland's scrimmage at his high school, Leonard made the trip to College Park, Md. on Friday for the Terps' Red-White Game and he enjoyed the experience. "I liked it, I thought it was a cool atmosphere," Leonard said. "The game was really good too, good competition."

The three-star lineman paid close attention to how the defensive line played. "I thought the defensive line played really well, "Leonard said. "The offense didn't score a touchdown until the fourth quarter, so that's pretty good."

Leonard had a brief conversation with head coach Randy Edsall after the game, and the 6-foot-7, 250-pound Leonard said he plans to return to campus sometime this week.

"I only got to talk to Edsall for a couple minutes," Leonard said. "I just talked to him about getting down here for a private visit with my parents and stuff."

The Middletown lineman also got a chance to catch up with his recruiter, Greg Gattuso, who he said he has built a great relationship with.

"I was talking to Gattuso about a lot of stuff, how he wants me bad and how he wants me to play for him, "Leonard said. "I like Gattuso a lot, he is a real good guy, we talk about football but we talk about a lot of other stuff too, he is hilarious."

Leonard's connection with the coaches at Maryland could be significant when it comes to decision time.

"A good connection with the head coach and the position coach I will be playing for is important because I am going to be with them for four or five years," Leonard said. "I have to like them a lot and like the area, everything just has to click."

Although Leonard was unable to attend Maryland's scrimmage at his high school earlier this month, he was impressed with Maryland's efforts to get out in the community.

"I thought that was really cool [that they came out to Middletown] and it meant a lot," said Leonard, who was visiting Ole Miss the day of Maryland's scrimmage at Middletown. "They are reaching out to these local highs schools, just spreading Maryland football and Maryland pride and it seems to be paying off."

While Leonard was absent from the Terps scrimmage his fellow teammate and Maryland prospect, offensive lineman Justin Falcinelli was on hand to watch the Terrapins scrimmage. Leonard said he talks with Falcinelli about the possibility of going to Maryland together.

"We've talked about it and we both really like Gattuso, "Leonard said. "We both really like Maryland, but Clemson is high on both our list too and I know he likes Stanford. So I mean there are a lot of other colleges who are coming into play now, but we have definitely talked about Maryland"

While neither Falcinelli nor Leonard are ready to name favorites, Leonard suggested he might have some early leaders.

"Clemson and Maryland are pretty high on the list," said Leonard, who plans to visit Clemson with Falcinelli at the end of the month, and could return to Maryland as soon as this week. "Those are pretty much the top two, but Ole Miss is up there too and I still want to check out Tennessee."

Leonard is keeping his options open for now, but he has an extensive list of criteria he is looking for in a program.

"I am going to wait and pick my top three or four schools here in a couple months, "Leonard said. "Then I will hit those schools really hard and dissect them. I want to see what they are all about, who the coach is what type of defense they run, where I fit in, who is above me on the depth chart."

Leonard hopes to address those questions with coach Edsall and Gattuso when he returns to College Park this week.

"I haven't had the chance to sit in on a position meeting yet, so that is one thing I want to do when I get down there," Leonard said. "I want to see coach Gattuso do his thing with the kids and then sit down with coach Edsall and coach Gattuso about where I fit in and where I would be playing on the line."

As a final decision goes, Leonard hopes to have that made by the end of the summer.

"I kind of want to get it done before my senior year because I want to focus on my team and winning states and being the best I can be," Leonard said. "If I feel comfortable at a school and I don't feel like I am looking for anything else then I'll be done with it."

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