Monroe Gaining Steam, Terps Still Involved

With the open period back in full swing, St. John's (Washington, D.C.) safety Ayron Monroe has seen an uptick in the recruiting interest.

With the open period back in full swing, St. John's (Washington, D.C.) safety Ayron Monroe has seen an uptick in the recruiting interest. Already holding early offers from Maryland, Toledo and Virginia, the 6-foot, 190 pounder said he's been in touch with coaches from Iowa, Northwestern and Georgia Tech lately, with the Wildcats closest to offering.

"I know a lot of schools are set to come up [to St. John's] to talk to my coaches about me," Monroe said. "Northwestern said they'd be in [Jan. 23], so we'll see how that goes. A lot of coaches couldn't come yet because last week we had midterms and then this week we were out because of snow. But later this week and next week I should see a lot more come through."

That includes Maryland head coach Randy Edsall, who Monroe said he's been in touch with. Although Terps offensive coordinator Mike Locksley recruits the D.C. area and has developed a rapport with Monroe, the St. John's safety said Edsall has actually contacted him most recently via Facebook.

"Coach Edsall, we have conversations, though nothing too big. He's just staying in touch, making sure I'm doing well," Monroe said. "I know Maryland still wants me. It's all cool with them. I think Coach Edsall is coming up to see me either later this week or next week."

Monroe, the brother of current Terps' defensive lineman Andre Monroe, was a mainstay in College Park, Md., last fall, attending upwards of six games at Byrd Stadium. He was most recently on campus for the team football banquet, which he attended with his family.

"That was a really nice event. I liked how formal it was, and how all the coaches talked and showed how much they loved their players," Monroe said. "There were a couple moments where some players and coaches shed some tears because the speeches were so emotional. It was really nice."

Although Monroe saw plenty of Terps action in Byrd, his favorite game was actually one he didn't attend. He said Maryland's upset victory against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg resonated with him.

"It was an awesome game, and it was a great win for Maryland. It was one of my brother's best games too, so that's another reason I liked it," Monroe said. "But of the games I went to, they were all pretty nice, just being able to talk to the coaches and seeing the players.

"The thing about Maryland is it's actually a calmer atmosphere than some other places, but I like that. It's different, and for some reason I like it, mainly because it lets you concentrate on your game and not get too distracted by the crowd."

As for Andre Monroe, Ayron has a good relationship with his brother, though he's said time and again he doesn't get the Terps forced on him. That said, Ayron does enjoy watching Andre play and being around the team.

"Andre did really well this year, coming back from the injury," Monroe said. "He proved he could still be a great player, and at times he was even better than before. He's doing really, really well there, and I know he likes it there."

Besides Maryland, Monroe did attend one Penn State game last fall, when the Nittany Lions took on Michigan.

"That game was a good one. It was really fun and a really big game," Monroe said. "I do like Penn State."

Not that Monroe is claiming any early favorites. He tends to get a bit frazzled when people suggest Maryland is a clear leader, insisting he's wide open and has no idea where he'll be attending college in a year.

"I mean Maryland, Penn State, Iowa a little -- I like those schools. But that doesn't really mean anything and won't have an impact on my decision," Monroe said. "Don't read anything into that yet, because I don't really have a top. There's no real order or definite favorites."

This offseason Monroe is running indoor track, competing in the long jump, hurdles and 4-by-100-meter relay. After that, he'd like to visit a few college campuses -- Virginia, a school that has offered but he hasn't seen, is one – though he's unsure exactly where he'll be able to get to.

Monroe is coming off a junior season where he helped St. John's reach the conference finals. He recorded no interceptions but had double-digit pass breakups.

"Right now I'd say I'm doing well with my footwork, coming in and out of breaks and tracking the ball," Monroe said. "But I can work on my tackling, playing the ball in the air and just catching."

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