The Terps officially have another class of 2015 quarterback target. On Feb. 12, Maryland extended an offer to Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) gunslinger Nick Johns, who UMD had been monitoring for quite some time.
"This feels great. [Gonzaga] Coach [Aaron] Brady just called me and gave me [Maryland] Coach [Randy] Edsall's number and told me he had good news for me," said the 6-foot-3, 218-pound Johns, who also holds an offer from Virginia. "Coach Edsall told me I had done a great job, to keep my grades up and he wants me up at the school soon. He said he'd love to have me there."
Johns has already been in College Park, Md., "more than 20 times," he said, but he plans to take Edsall up on that visit in short order. The Gonzaga gunslinger said he'd definitely be at Maryland's junior day Feb. 22, and might be able to make it to campus even sooner, depending on when he's available.
"Maryland is right in my backyard, it's the hometown program," Johns said. "I've been to games there, practices there, visits, junior days, everything. I really like it there; it's a great campus, school, the student life is great and the football program is getting better every year. They went to a bowl game last year, they brought in some great players and they're going to the Big Ten. There's a lot to like, and plus my dad and family could see me play, which is great."
The local product attended the UMD-Syracuse game last fall and said he liked the student support and fan base in general. He paid close attention to the offense and believes he'd fit in well in offensive coordinator Mike Locksley's zone-read.
"I think the system Maryland runs is perfect for me," Johns said. "I run the zone-read myself. I'm in the pocket most of the time, but five, 10 times every game I take off and run, and that's what Maryland's quarterbacks do too.
"And our coach, Coach Brady, he tries to coach the exact same way Coach Edsall does. Coach Edsall is like his guy, so our practices are exactly the same as Maryland's. We're up-tempo, we do 7-on-7, full-team drills at the end, and it's intense. It's the same practice, same routine, so that would make the transition easier for me."
Locksley is not only Maryland's offensive coordinator, but he's Johns' area recruiter. The Gonzaga quarterback has already developed a rapport and feels very comfortable with the Terps' assistant.
"Coach Locksley is a great guy, a great coordinator, a great recruiter," Johns said. "I sat down in a quarterback meeting with C.J. Brown and Shane Cockerille one time, and [Locksley] seemed to do a really good job with them and just explaining things."
Johns isn't about to commit too soon, however. He also has that Virginia offer to consider, while Michigan and Rutgers have been in touch. Johns said he's currently trying to set up a junior day visit to UVA as well.
"Virginia was my first offer, and they wanted me first, so they're going to get a look," said Johns, who is well aware that quarterbacks typically commit early and plans to make a decision during the spring or summer. "We'll see how it plays out with their QB situation, coaching situation and if I can get early playing time there or not.
"And Michigan, they've been talking to me a lot on Facebook and seem really interested. Rutgers too, their QB coach is new, and he came down to my school. [Rutgers] is looking pretty good right now too."
Johns is coming off a season where he threw for 980 yards and seven touchdowns in just 4.5 games. He broke his collar bone against Carroll (Washington, D.C.) in the fifth game, but is now recovered and just recently participated in the Under Armour Combine in Florida.
"I think I compare pretty well to Jake Locker from when he was in college," Johns said. "Just his ability to run and throw, and he's a big guy who weighs 220 pounds, just like me. So that's a good comparison for how I play."
Johns Thrilled with Hometown Offer
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