For the other 22 recruit reactions from Maryland's Feb. 22 junior day, click HERE. For the Feb. 24 junior day recruit reactions, click HERE.
Of the more than 70 recruits who ventured over to College Park, Md., Feb. 22 and Feb. 24, a few of them were actually scheduled to attend both junior days, including two of Maryland's top quarterback targets. As it turns out, only Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) signal caller Nick Johns took in both Saturday's events and the Terps-Syracuse basketball game, while Gilman's (Baltimore, Md.) Kai Locksley was only able to attend Feb. 22.
Even so, the four-star Locksley, son of Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, had plenty of praise for a program he already knew quite well.
"I probably can't make the game, but basketball games at Maryland are always a great environment. The Terps fans are always doing crazy things in the stands, and it's always high energy there. It's a real fun atmosphere; I've been to big games there before," Locksley said before the Feb. 24 showdown, which UMD lost, 57-55. "But going on a junior day [Feb. 22 at Maryland] is a lot different than just being there and having your father as a coach and watching him. You get to see things you don't normally see, like the coaching staff as a whole and how they interact with people and recruits. It gave me a different perspective on Maryland, and what it's all about."
Locksley spent a good amount of time Feb. 22 with Randy Edsall. The Gilman quarterback said UMD's head coach has actually taken the lead in his recruiting, with area recruiter Andre Powell concentrating on other Baltimore City prospects.
"I'm building a closer relationship wit Coach Edsall because he's my primary recruiter now," Locksley said. "He said when it's my time I'll have a chance at the starting job. He said I can be the hometown hero there, and if I go there others will follow me. He said I can be a big-time player like Stefon [Diggs], and he talked about how people gravitated towards the university when he went there and the same would happen if I went there."
Evidently that message struck home with Locksley. He mentioned that for awhile he had his mind focused on other programs, but after these recent junior days, and his conversations with Edsall, it's clear UMD is back in the game.
"Yeah, I love Maryland. I like having those high expectations and being a hometown leader; it's something I'm thinking about," Locksley said. "I'm looking at Maryland a lot more now. It kind of died down for a second with some of the other schools I was looking at, but now it's back up there again."
Of course, there's always the question about whether or not Kai Locksley wants to play for his father. There is plenty of pressure and angst when taking instruction from your dad, especially as a quarterback. But Kai Locksley said when he's in quarterback mode and his father is in coaching mode, it's like any other coach-player relationship.
"It's like normal conversations with [Mike Locksley]; I don't feel any added pressure or anything," Kai Locksley said. "Just being in the office at the junior day, it was like being in my room talking to him. It was just normal. First he had us [quarterbacks] go over our favorite plays, then he broke it down, and we were talking about all that great quarterback stuff. It was a normal meeting."
Locksley said his favorite part of the junior day, however, was seeing other recruits he competes against at Gilman.
"Just all the familiar faces. There's a lot of people I knew there, and it was great to be around them again," he said.
One of those faces was the aforementioned Johns. Johns and Locksley each have Maryland offers, and even if UMD does take two triggermen in this class, which seems likely, it's conceivable the two locals could be competing for one spot.
"I'm not too focused on other guys, just worrying about my own thing," Locksley said. "I'm not really focused on who commits or who doesn't commit. That's not really my concern."
The Gilman product has plenty of other options at his disposal, holding about 20 verbal offers at this time. He was just at Virginia Tech, a prime suitor, for a junior day, and he visited another personal favorite, Ohio State, awhile back when the Buckeyes played Wisconsin. On March 1 he's heading to Miami, and after that Florida State, Auburn, UCLA Alabama, Ole Miss, Louisville, Georgia and Oregon should get visits.
"Those are the main schools I'm looking at right now since they fit my style, though a lot of other schools are contacting me, and offering me, so I might reevaluate some things," Locksley said. "Right now I'm keeping an open mind and just going through the process."
Last year Locksley threw for 950 yards and six touchdowns, while rushing for 850 yards and 14 more scores. He completed 55 percent of his throws.
UMD in Good Standing with 4-star Locksley
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