UMD Taking a Look at Rising Star LB

St. Joseph's (Montvale, N.J.) outside linebacker Joe Giles-Harris has three early offers and more could be on the way.

St. Joseph's (Montvale, N.J.) is one of the more well-known talent factories in New Jersey, and the 2015 class boasts at least two FBS-level recruits in center Tommy Hatton and outside linebacker Joe Giles-Harris. Maryland has kept tabs on both, though the linebacker Giles-Harris, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound do-it-all thumper, seems to be of particular interest.

Giles-Harris holds three early offers from Boston College, Temple and Rutgers, but schools such as UMD, Duke, Arizona State, Penn State and Miami are in contact as well.

"I picked up Rutgers Week 3 last year, then BC two weeks after that and Temple the day before the state title game," said Giles-Harris, whose St. Joseph's squad ended up winning the Group 3 non-public championship for the second straight season. "Then Duke, Arizona State, Penn State, Miami and Maryland are just keeping in touch. Coaches are texting me, hitting me up on Facebook, just asking how I'm doing."

Several of the aforementioned programs have already caught Giles-Harris' eye. He's planning on visits Boston College and Temple during his February break, and he'd also like to get to the five schools showing interest.

"Arizona State's going to be a tough one," Giles-Harris said, chucking. "But the rest of them I'm going to try to get to this offseason. I've already seen Rutgers, and I was down at Maryland back last summer too."

Giles-Harris attended the RU-Arkansas game last fall and said it was a great game and a great atmosphere.

"The way Rutgers didn't give up and then came back and won, that was crazy, a huge win," Giles-Harris said. "Rutgers is a real nice school. I'd kind of get away from home a little bit -- though not too far -- but I'm still looking at Rutgers. It's a good option, so we'll see."

The St. Joseph's linebacker visited Maryland with his older brother, who was receiving Terps interest for lacrosse. Giles-Harris' sibling ended up committing to Duke, but that didn't exactly dampen the linebacker's feelings about the Terps.

"I really liked Maryland when I was there. It was a really nice school when I was there in the summer, and I liked walking around and all that," Giles-Harris said. "I was supposed to go back down there in December, but then a snowstorm hit and it messed things up. But I'm trying to get back down again for a junior day or something. I know they'd like me to visit."

Giles-Harris said he's stayed in touch with his UMD recruiter, Keith Dudzinski, on Facebook. The Terps' linebackers coach hasn't indicated an offer will be forthcoming, but Giles-Harris is intrigued enough to give the program a deeper look.

"Coach Dudzinksi is actually coming up to see me [Jan. 17], and he wants me to come back for a visit, see the football side of things, see how everything works and learn what the expectations are for players there," Giles-Harris said. "It's a place I want to take a look at because I have family 30 minutes from the university. It's a nice area, the education is top-notch and it's a great school."

Besides the schools currently on his radar, the Jersey product also mentioned Clemson and Ohio State as programs he'd like to hear from. Regardless of whether or not those offers come in, though, Giles-Harris plans on dragging out his recruiting until after his senior season. And, hopefully, he said, he'll have a third straight state title to boast about.

"That's the goal," said Giles-Harris, who had 70 tackles, six sacks, four interceptions, one touchdown and two blocked punts last fall. "It would be really special to win three in a row. My sophomore year I was just hoping not to mess up, but this year I knew what I was doing. Now next year I'm looking to get even better."

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