Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup.
One is Good, Two is Better
From the way it looks, with Ricardo Young gone, C.J. Brown a senior, and the questions about whether or not Will Ulmer will play quarterback or not, Maryland will probably take two gunslingers in this class. Last year the Terps were fairly selective about handing out signal caller offers, but this offseason they're going out right and left. There's probably more out there we don't know about, but off the top of my head Maryland has extended scholarships to Kai Locksley (Gilman/Baltimore, Md.), Nick Johns (Gonzaga/Washington, D.C.), Josh Rosen (St. John Bosco/Bellflower, Calif.), Zach Gentry (Eldorado/Albuquerque, N.M.), Brady White (Hart/Newhall, Calif.), Brandon Wimbush (St. Peter's Prep/Jersey City, N.J.), De'Andre Johnson (First Coast/Jacksonville, Fla.), and most recently Jarrett Stidham (Stephenville, Texas) and Dwayne Lawson (Hillsborough/Tampa, Fla.).
Maryland is also reportedly involved with but hasn't offered Alex Malzone (Brothers Rice/Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Alex Homibrook (Malvern Prep/Malvern, Pa.), Joe Burrow (Athens, Ohio), Chris Chugunov (Montgomery/Skillman, N.J.), Brad Mayes (Berkeley Prep/ Tampa, Fla.), Cinjun Erskine (Barnegat, N.J.) and Ryan Adzima (Wallington, N.J.).
Now, most of these offered guys are not expected to land in College Park, or even visit the school. Johnson is committed to Florida State, Wimbush will likely end up at Penn State, Stidham has talked up the Texas and Big 12 schools, Lawson is high on Ohio State and the Florida programs, and Rosen has major colleges on his radar. White has indicated he may give the Terps a look, but the feeling is once the Pac-12 programs get involved he'll stay on the West Coast.
Gentry could visit this summer as well, and he does have connections to UMD through knowing about Mike Locksley when the UMD offensive coordinator was at New Mexico. But Gentry is a four-star national guy like the others, and he may end up in the SEC before it's all said and done.
Which brings us to Locksley and Johns. While we thought the Kai Locksley boat may have been sailing following his Virginia Tech visit and subsequent interviews praising the Hokies (and Ohio State, Alabama, Florida State and Auburn), I get the feeling the Terps are still very much involved here. I communicated with Kai Locksley earlier this week, and he said UMD is pushing harder; he is set to be in College Park for the Terps-Syracuse game Feb. 24. The vibe from him right now is Maryland is still right in the thick of things for Mike Locksley's son.
Johns, meanwhile, will be at Maryland both Feb. 22 and Feb. 24, and the early poll has the Terps out in front for him. The Gonzaga product also has a Virginia offer and figures to land plenty more this offseason, however, so we'll see if UMD can stem the tide. Johns will visit several major schools in the coming months, and it'll be interesting to see which of them pull the trigger. Either way, we expect Maryland to remain firmly in play until Johns decides this summer.
Five is Good, Six, Seven or Eight is Better
So it seems like Maryland is handing out an offensive line offer every other day, and there's no problem with that. The Terps need help up front and plenty of beef heading to the Big Ten, so it would behoove them to bring in as many talented guys as they can.
In the last week alone we reported verbals for Mbi Tanyi (George Bush/Houston, Texas), Will McClain (Middletown, Md.) Ellis McKennie (McDonogh/Owings Mills, Md.), Tommy Hatton (St. Joseph's/Montvale, N.J.), Martez Ivey (Apopka, Fla.), Kevin Feder (Don Bosco/Ramsey, N.J.), Grant Newsome (Lawrenceville Prep/Lawrenceville, N.J.), Tyler Jordan (Bishop Kenny/Jacksonville, Fla.), Brandon Knight (Noblesville, Ind.) and Jake Fruhmorgen (Plant/Tampa, Fla.).
The Terps also reportedly have offers out to Matthew Burrell (C.D. Hylton/Woodbridge, Va.), David Robbins (Gleneld, Md.), Nick Wilson (Milton/Alpharetta, Ga.), Quarvez Boulware (Friendship Collegiate/Washington, D.C.), Richie Petitbon (Gonzaga), Isaiah Prince (Roosevelt/Greenbelt, Md.), Chuma Edoga (McEachern/Powder Spring, Ga.), Chance Hall (Northside/Roanoke, Va.), Austin Clark (Rockbridge/Lexington, Va.) and Ryan Bates (Archbishop Wood/Warminster, Pa.), a Penn State commit. Not to mention E.J. Donahue (Linganore/Frederick, Md.), who is committed to UMD.
OK, so the rundown…
McKennie is high on the Terps early and will be in College Park Feb. 24. He's another McDonogh product Maryland is in the game off the bat for, and given the relationship UMD has with the school, we wouldn't be surprised if he ended up a Terp. You can read what he had to say about his Maryland offer HERE.
(As a side note, Maryland also offered his teammate, freshman tackle Jordan McNair. McNair told me he was "humbled" by the verbal and now wants to show he deserves it. There's obviously a long way to go in the recruiting process and McNair figures to be a double-digit offer guy).
Hatton has other schools in play but was genuinely thrilled with his Maryland scholarship. He's high enough on UMD for us to mark him as "warm" on the hot board. He's set to visit Maryland on March 8. You can read what he had to say about it HERE.
Tanyi has just the one offer from UMD and is eager to fly into College Park and see the school. He likes that Maryland has a strong pharmacy program and solid academics, although he may be leery about playing so far from home. You can read what Tanyi had to say HERE.
McClain now holds offers from Maryland, West Virginia and James Madison, with plenty of others about to jump into the game. Right now McClain is wide open and doesn't have any favorites, though we'll see what he thinks after he visits UMD Feb. 24. You can read what he had to say about his Terps offer HERE.
Knight indicated he may make the trip out to Maryland, but his profile is growing and growing and he figures to have elite Big Ten programs involved. We'll see if he makes it out to College Park this spring or summer.
Some of the other recent offerees really aren't worth mentioning considering the schools pursuing them. Feder is a Miami commit, Ivey will end up in the SEC or Big 12, Newsome has talked up his major offers, Jordan has talked up his major offers, and Fuhmorgen is an SEC or Notre Dame guy.
The OLs UMD has Previously Been Involved With
We've touched on the guys Maryland had previously offered in recent Shells. I'm not getting great vibes on Burrell, Wilson, Edoga or Clark (Bates is committed to PSU), and none of them are on the hot board.
Quarvez Boulware will be at Maryland's junior day Feb. 24, and we still like the Terps' chances with him early, although he's blown up nationally. Boulware now has SEC schools like Auburn and Mississippi State involved, with Notre Dame possibly considering an offer as well, so things could get interesting. He is hitting the road after the Terps trip, so we'll see what he thinks after he takes a few visits.
Isaiah Prince recently told us he has Maryland is in his top four, along with Florida, Penn State and Auburn. He too will be at the UMD junior day Feb. 24 – and Feb. 22 as well. Prince has a very good relationship with his recruiter, Mike Locksley, and is familiar with College Park, but he's not going to be an easy local pull. Florida and those SEC programs have caught his eye, and his offer list is bound to expand. Again, there's still plenty of time to turn things around, and for his recruiting to ebb and flow.
Chance Hall has been to Maryland a couple times and spoken highly of the program. But the feeling on this end is he's looking to go further south for college, not north. North Carolina, which has offered, looks like a possible destination spot, though the Terps aren't out of the game.
Richie Petitbon, unlike his Gonzaga teammates, will not be in College Park this weekend. As we've said in previous Shells, this one ain't going to be easy with Alabama in the game.
As for EJ Donahue, it's getting a bit worrisome for Terps fans. Donahue is still committed to UMD and will be at Maryland Feb. 22, but recent comments that he's "keeping his options open" are almost 180 degrees different than the tune he was singing a couple months ago. Of course, Donahue didn't have any other offers besides West Virginia when he committed, but now he has Florida State and Wisconsin on the table. He's already visited Morgantown, W.Va., and it wouldn't shock us to see him trip to Wisconsin or FSU either. Maryland will have to continue recruiting Donahue hard all the way until next Signing Day in order to avoid another Jared Cohen situation (well, sort of… you get the idea).
Carter to PSU
While we weren't sure it would happen this early in the offseason, it was no surprise that four-star Gaithersburg (Md.) outside linebacker Kamonte Carter committed to Penn State, a longtime favorite of his. Carter praised the school's tradition, its "Linebacker U" mantra and head coach James Franklin.
The Gaithersburg product always had great remarks for Maryland too, and had been a presence in College Park on multiple occasions, but apparently the Terps never offered him. Both Carter and his coach maintained he held a UMD scholarship since his freshman year, and we (along with everyone else in the recruiting world) were inclined to believe them. Regardless, even if the Terps did actively pursue, they probably would not have been able to change Carter's feelings about PSU, as he was considered a Nittany Lions lock for months.
Is this a "miss" for Maryland? Some disagree, but in my opinion, yes. I like Carter's game and believe he would have been a good fit in College Park as a rush outside backer, similar (though not quite as explosive) to Yannick Ngakoue.
Buchholz to Follow?
One guy we do know has a Terps verbal is Great Valley (Malvern Prep/Malvern, Pa.) defensive end Ryan Buchholz, the brother of Maryland walk-on Carl Buchholz. Ryan Buchholz has long maintained heavy Maryland interest and has been on campus more times than he can remember, but at this point UMD may finish second to the Nittany Lions. Buchholz was in State College, Pa., last weekend, and while he wasn't one of the three guys who committed, we get the sense he was close. Buchholz may take some time to think things through, but unless there's a shift (i.e. PSU pulls the offer) we expect him to be a Nittany Lion.
It's telling that Buchholz is not attending Maryland's junior day this weekend. Perhaps he has cooled a bit on UMD … or perhaps the Terps have stopped their aggressive pursuit of the Pennsylvania product? Anyway, it's food for thought.
Note: Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.) tackle Ryan Bates had a Terps offer and also committed to PSU last weekend. But we never added Bates to the hot board as we was considered PSU bound from the get-go.
Maryland will host at least four New Jersey products Feb. 22 when athlete Myles Hartsfield (Sayreville War Memorial/Parlin, N.J.), tight end Jake Pickard (Milburn, N.J.), receiver Dontae Strickland (Monmouth Junction/Monmouth, N.J.) and defensive tackle Clay Kemp (St. John Vianney/Holmdel, N.J.) make their way down to College Park for the first time.
Hartsfield holds offers from Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Rutgers and Syracuse, but he said he will likely get a Terps scholarship during the junior day. The dynamic running back/safety had high praise for Maryland the last time we interviewed him, but right now he has a couple other programs ranked a bit higher than UMD. Namely Penn State, which is close to offering. The feeling is if PSU pulls the trigger (and indications are it will), Hartsfield will eventually commit to the Nittany Lions. Rutgers, the hometown program, is also firmly in play. We'll see if perhaps the Terps can leave an impression this weekend and work their way into the mix.
Strickland also spoke highly of the Terps, but UMD hasn't offered him either, whereas Georgia Tech, Rutgers, Temple, UVA and West Virginia have. He could conceivable get the scholarship while in College Park, but right now RU probably leads for his services.
As for Pickard, a 6-foot-6, 220 pounder who may grow into a tackle, his recruiting hasn't really taken off yet. But, like Hartsfield, he indicated Maryland could very well offer while he's on campus. Pickard does not have any verbals yet, and if the Terps did pull the trigger they'd be in solid position early. Do we expect Pickard to be a Terp? At this point we can't call it, but he's definitely someone to monitor this offseason.
Kemp, meanwhile, is an under-the-radar guy who said Maryland is interested, but we're skeptical. He doesn't have any offers yet, so he's in the same boat as Pickard.
A Couple PG County Notes
Here's a few notes from the public school powers down in Prince George's County. Other than Isaiah Prince, I'm not too sure there are any "must have" seniors in this year's crop. However, there are a couple interesting recruits to watch.
At Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.), senior tight end/defensive end Trevor Brown, a Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) transfer, just started playing football last year but is supposedly an athletic specimen who stands 6-6 and weighs 250 pounds. He doesn't have any offers yet, but their coach, DaLawn Parrish, expects his recruiting to explode once he hits the camp circuit this offseason. I spoke to Brown and he said he already knows Maryland recruiter Mike Locksley, who has been through the school, and would love a hometown offer. We'll see if the Terps pursue (grades could be an issue here).
Wise also has a junior cornerback, Myles Wolfolk, who is the son of former Redskins lineman Kevin Wolfolk. A long, rangy cover man with wheels, Myles Wolfolk should be a multi-offer guy by this time next year.
Over at Suitland (District Heights, Md.), the Rams don't have any primetime seniors this year, but watch out for junior corner Tevin Singleton. Their coach, Eric Wade, said he's the real deal, so we'll be down to check him out at some point.
And at Douglass (Upper Marlboro, Md.), the Eagles claim much-hyped sophomore gunslinger Devin Butler, who very well could be a national recruit. Expect the Terps to pounce on this one early as Butler has mad game, and does not look (6-3, 185 pounds already) or act (he's a team captain) like a sophomore.
Aazaar to Bama
Earlier this week, former Friendship Collegiate coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim left for Tuscaloosa after accepting a defensive position on Nick Saban's staff. Terrapin Times interviewed Abdul-Rahim about the possible move before the Under Armour All-American game in Florida, and the FCA coach did not deny his interest in moving on to the college ranks. FCA has not hired a new coach yet, but athletic director Mike Hunter is the interim.
So what does this mean for Maryland? Well, not a whole lot. The Terps still have strong connections at the school and the UMD staff knows pretty much all the assistants at FCA. Moreover, the talent level at the D.C. school has started to dip a bit, so it's not as much of a priority as in years past. In the 2015 class, obviously Quarvez Boulware is the top target, and in 2016 the Knights have lineman Richard Merritt. But beyond those two there aren't any surefire UMD targets.
New Offer Out in Virginia
On Feb. 20, defensive tackle Aaron Crawford (Stone Bridge/Asburn, Va.) tweeted he received an offer from Maryland. He's a pure plugger type who looks to be the perfect build for a 3-4 nose tackle. Right now, though, based on his most recent interviews, the North Carolinas and Virginia Techs of the world are standing out and he has not set up a Maryland visit. He is likely to be a double-digit offer guy.
The Visitor List
Alright folks, here's a recap of who is visiting Maryland for its junior days Feb. 22 and 24. Some recruits are visiting both days.
CB Ashton White (Bishop McNamara/Forestville, Md.)
QB Kai Locksley
OL EJ Donahue
DE Eric Assoua (St. John's/Washington, D.C.)
TE Scottie Washington (St. John's/Washington, D.C.)
RB Omar Garcia (St. John's/Washington, D.C.)
RB Jonathan Forrest (New Rochelle, N.Y.)
RB/DB Myles Hartsfield
WR Myles Robinson (Good Counsel/Olney, Md.)
QB Nick Johns
CB Marcus Lewis (Gonzaga/Washington, D.C.)
OL Isaiah Prince
RB Kesean Strong (Potomac/Oxon Hill, Md.)
DT Kieron Howard (Potomac/Oxon Hill, Md.)
CB John Reid (St. Joseph's/Philadelphia, Pa.)
RB Olamide Zaccheaus (St. Joseph's/Philadelphia, Pa.)
TE/OL Jake Pickard
RB Christian Martey (Flint Hill/Oakton, Va.)
RB/WR Elisha Sewell (Middletown, Del.)
QB Brandon Battle (North Point/Waldorf, Md.)
DT Clay Kemp
OL Pat Allen (Franklin/Reisterstown, Md.)
WR Rashad Blunt (Creekside/Jacksonville, Fla.)
DE Trevor Brown (Wise/Upper Marlboro, Md.)
S Robert Branch (Gilman)
DT Jahee Jackson (Gilman)
S Alonzo Mayo (Gilman)
RB Antonio Dupree (Gilman)
DT Ellison Jordan (Gilman)
OT Stephen Spanellis (Gilman)
ATH Dorian Maddox (Gilman)
DE Devery Hamilton (Gilman)
WR Korey Stevens (Gilman)
OLB Shamar Shanks (Gilman)
OL/DL James Lotz (Gilman)
WR John Fitzgerald (Gilman)
QB Kai Locksley
CB Jalen Christian (Damascus, Md.)
CB Dionte Austin (Calvert Hall/Towson, Md.)
OL Quarvez Boulware
OL David Robbins
RB/CB Darnell Savage (Caravel/Bear, Del.)
S Tyler Green (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.)
CB Marcus Lewis
QB Nick Johns
WR Jabari Greenwood (Gonzaga/Washington, D.C.)
RB Reggie Corbin (Gonzaga/Washington, D.C.)
OL Ellis McKennie
LB Wyatt Cook (McDonogh/Owings Mills, Md.)
S Ayron Monroe (St. John's/Washington, D.C.)
OL Will McClain
DT Adam McLean (Quince Orchard/Gaithersburg, Md.) – hasn't completely confirmed yet.
Notes on the Visitor List
And here's the list with quick notes on the recruits.
Ashton White (Bishop McNamara/Forestville, Md.): Virginia Tech commit, Terps still involved and is receptive to their pitch.
EJ Donahue: See above
Eric Assoua (St. John's/Washington, D.C.): Has MAC offers, Terps interested. He would be receptive should UMD offer.
Scottie Washington (St. John's/Washington, D.C.): No offers yet, Terps taking a look
Omar Garcia (St. John's/Washington, D.C.): Cadets playmaker, not sure UMD gets involved
Jonathan Forrest (New Rochelle, N.Y.): Talented New York back, said UMD involved but no offer yet
Myles Hartsfield: See above
Myles Robinson (Good Counsel/Olney, Md.): Has early UVA and Michigan State offers; Maryland could pounce and would be high on Robinson's list if so.
Nick Johns: See above
Marcus Lewis (Gonzaga/Washington, D.C.): Terps among top five suitors; just visited Kentucky and will take numerous trips. Long way to go
Isaiah Prince: See above
Kesean Strong (Potomac/Oxon Hill, Md.): Under the radar type with solid game; Terps monitoring
Keiron Howard (Potomac/Oxon Hill, Md.): Has Temple, Tennessee offers, grades could be an issue for UMD
John Reid (St. Joseph's/Philadelphia, Pa.): Double-digit offer guy who is open to all options; Penn State, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Michigan all involved
Olamide Zaccheaus (St. Joseph's/Philadelphia, Pa.): Reid's teammate with offers from Miami, Pittsburgh and Temple; no indication UMD involved yet
Jake Pickard: See above
Christian Martey (Flint Hill/Oakton, Va.): No indication Terps involved
Elisha Sewell (Middletown, Del.): Terps keeping tabs, but no indication a push is coming.
Brandon Battle (North Point/Waldorf, Md.): Good looking QB (6-3, 180), but no Terps push
Clay Kemp: See above
OL Pat Allen (Franklin/Reisterstown, Md.): Still no Maryland offer, looks to be bound elsewhere at this point.
Rashad Blunt (Creekside/Jacksonville, Fla.): Said he's getting UMD interest, we're not sure it's mutual
Trevor Brown (Wise/Upper Marlboro, Md.): Terps monitoring; he's raw, needs evaluating.
Robert Branch (Gilman): On the radar of many, including Terps.
Jahee Jackson (Gilman): No indication of push
Alonzo Mayo (Gilman): No indication of push
Antonio Dupree (Gilman): 2016 recruit
Ellison Jordan (Gilman): 2016 elite recruit, should get multiple offers including UMD
Stephen Spanellis (Gilman): 2016 recruit
Dorian Maddox (Gilman): 2016 recruit
Devery Hamilton (Gilman): 2016 recruit
Korey Stevens (Gilman): 2016 recruit
Shamar Shanks (Gilman): 2016 recruit
OL/DL James Lotz (Gilman): 2016 recruit
John Fitzgerald (Gilman): 2016 recruit
Kai Locksley: See above
Jalen Christian (Damascus, Md.): National guy, wide open recruitment; Terps among his top suitors and have a shot
Dionte Austin (Calvert Hall/Towson, Md.): Terps in his top three and have a legit shot, though it's still early
Quarvez Boulware: See above
David Robbins: See above.
Darnell Savage (Caravel/Bear, Del.): Terps in very good position
Tyler Green (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.): Says he's high on UMD, N.C. State, but it's early. We'll see.
Marcus Lewis: See above
Nick Johns: See above
Jabari Greenwood (Gonzaga/Washington, D.C.): Terps among top suitors; just visited Kentucky and will take numerous trips.
Reggie Corbin (Gonzaga/Washington, D.C.): Has Illinois offer, no indication Terps will push, but they are monitoring him
Ellis McKennie: See above
Wyatt Cook (McDonogh/Owings Mills, Md.): Terps in good early position, but Cook will look around. Has PSU, Michigan State, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin interested.
Ayron Monroe (St. John's/Washington, D.C.): Terps in solid shape, though he now holds PSU offer following State College visit and is blowing up.
Will McClain: See above
Adam McLean (Quince Orchard/Gaithersburg, Md.): Maryland not among his top five, but there's a long way to go. Terps have time to make up ground, and assistant Chad Wilt is on him.
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