Jordan Noil picked up an offer from the Terps back in April. Noil wasn't able to make a trip up to Maryland until his official visit on Saturday, September 21, but the 6-foot-3, 175-pound safety said it was definitely worth the wait.
"They are my top school right now," Noil said. "I don't know if I am ready to commit yet, but what I have seen is a big plus for them."
The Norcross (Ga.) safety arrived in Washington, D.C. late Saturday morning and went straight to M&T Bank Stadium, the home of the 2013 Super Bowl Champion Ravens, to kick off his visit. (not a bad place to start). When Noil arrived, he got a chance to go down on the field to talk with his recruiter, Lyndon Johnson and a few of the Maryland players.
"I saw Coach Johnson and we talked for a little while, he just said he was happy to have me there," Noil said. "I talked to both of the injured starting cornerbacks [Jeremiah Johnson and Dexter McDougle] and Anthony Nixon, they were just all talking about how excited they were for the game and saying it would be a good one."
They weren't lying about that.
When the game kicked off, so did the rain, but Noil was focused on more important things, like the defense. The defense put on a show, forcing six turnovers to shut out West Virginia, 37-0.
"They beat up on team they haven't beaten in a couple years now and they beat them pretty bad," Noil said. "That really showed me how good they were and how much better they have gotten."
Noil played close attention to the Terps secondary, as Maryland used a nickel package to stymie West Virginia's pass happy offense.
"I thought it was great knowing that they bringing extra DBs on. That just gives me extra chances to get on the field," Noil said. "I thought that was really great. I see why they want longer DBs and taller DBs, for plays like at the end of the game."
The Norcross standout stayed with safety Anthony Nixon during his visit and got a chance to pick his brain about what it's like playing in the Terps secondary.
"I asked him about how he played, what his biggest plays were, and what he was reading out there on field," Noil said. " He [Nixon] told me everyone has a job to do and what his job is on certain coverages. It really helped because he gave me a little bit more of a specific perspective from a free safety stand point."
After all the football talk Nixon showed Noil around the different buildings on campus, from the athletic facilities to the academic buildings.
"I like it, it was nice and big. There were a lot of people there and it just seemed like a great place and great environment," Noil said. "They have a lot of stuff to do on the campus, and the campus is in the middle of everything, it's very active."
During the tour, academics were a key focus for Noil , who plans to pursue a degree in Engineering.
"I got to chance to check out the engineering parts of the campus and the classes. I thought it was good they had a lot of clubs and things I could get into so I could really be hands-on," Noil said. "I talked to some of the other [football] players (who major in engineering) about the classes and they said it wasn't too hard to balance everything."
Noil finally got a chance to check out Byrd Stadium, and take a closer look at the athletic facilities, the locker rooms, and the weight room.
"I liked the that stadium and how they put the turf down, and the style of all of the buildings. They were kind of older looking, but very modern inside," Noil said. "I liked the weight room and their strength and conditioning plans were really cool to hear about. They don't try and get you huge. They try focus more on building strength so you can perform better on the field, it's not all about bulking up."
Although Noil was impressed with Maryland's current facilities, he was blown away when he saw the plans for the future.
"They showed me the designs for the new facilities they are planning to build," Noil said. "That really stood out it was pretty impressive."
Just in case they didn't get enough touring done on campus, Noil and his family also got a chance to check out some of the landmarks in the Nation's Capital.
"We went on a tour of Washington D.C. all around the sites and stuff on a driving tour," Noil said. "We drove by the White House and the Washington Monument. It was very interesting seeing how that was built everything."
When Noil got back to campus he had a chance to get better acquainted with his position coach, Brian Stewart.
"I established a great relationship with Coach Stewart, I was able to ask him the questions had and he gave me very specific answers. It just made me very confident in him as a coach you know and everything especially knowing he was a coach in the NFL and stuff."
"We got to talk about the DBs and how I would fit in to the program and his whole plan for me to work and to play," said Noil, who hopes to make an immediate impact at the collegiate level. "Basically he wants me to try and start playing as a freshman. I would learn everything in the nickel and dime packages then as I progress I would learn more and start moving up and getting on the field longer."
Noil was impressed with Stewart's potential plan, especially because early playing time could potentially be a major factor in the Georgia athlete's decision.
"Knowing that they play guys early was really big. They put the best players on the field no matter what year they are and that was a big positive in my head that I would have a chance to play early if I go there."
After sitting down with Coach Stewart, Noil and his parents sat down with head coach Randy Edsall to learn a little bit more about the program and his coaching philosophy.
"We talked about how I would fit in with the team, and how I could be a big aspect of the team, but we also talked about academics which was important," Noil said. "He said how graduating and coming out with a degree from the University of Maryland is the most important thing, and be a better man. It was pretty cool to have it all in perspective so it wasn't just about on the field or football."
Of course, Noil couldn't leave without checking out the new Under Armour "Maryland Pride 2.0" uniforms, and the experience left him speechless.
"Oh my goodness, the uniforms, they looked absolutely amazing," Noil said. "The helmet--to actually see them in person it was amazing, I don't even have anything else to say about them."
"We have ADIDAS now [at Norcross], but before we had Under Armour and they didn't feel anything like those ones. [The Maryland Pride 2.0 uniforms] felt a lot tighter. It was nothing you would expect from Under Armour. They really out did themselves with those uniforms."
Noil did try on a "Pride" uniform, but it wasn't enough to convince him to make a decision during his visit. While he was impressed with his trip to Maryland he is planning on taking a few more visits, and could wait until after his season to decide.
"I just want to check out my other options and see how they look, make sure it really is the right fit for me," said Noil, who also holds offers to Kansas State and Western Kentucky among others. "I know I will probably take visits to Kansas State and Western Kentucky. I think I will probably make a decision after my football season."
Noil has 14 tackles so far this season for Norcross (2-3), who hope to reach .500 this week when they travel to Hoschton (Ga.) to face Mill Creek on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
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