Less than a week after receiving an offer from Maryland, St. Joseph (Montvale, N.J.) three-star linebacker Joe Giles-Harris made the trek down to College Park March 10 to check out the Terps. Giles-Harris, who now holds 11 verbals, has been on campus once before, but this time he got a much deeper look at the university.
"The first time I was at Maryland was with my brother back last September when he was on a lacrosse recruiting trip. I was able to see the campus then, but this visit was a whole lot different," said the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Giles-Harris. "I learned a lot about the school this time, and saw a lot more. I saw all the new plans for the facilities, the academics buildings and met some academics advisors and all the coaches. I had a great time and learned a lot."
Giles-Harris has an aunt near College Park, so he's been on campus a few times before. And while he visits his relatives often enough and has been to games in Byrd Stadium, it was nothing like a planned recruiting trip.
"Just talking to the coaches, I met everyone. They were all very welcoming and made me feel wanted," Giles-Harris said. "The practice was intense and I could tell they knew what they were doing. Very up-tempo, and on-point. And, like, coach [Brian] Stewart, Coach [Keith] Dudzinksi, Coach [Randy] Edsall, they were all talking to me, telling me about the defense, the program, everything. They were talking about the academics and how they have a high graduation rate, and they told me how I'd fit into the scheme. They definitely want me there; it was great.
"Coach Dud recruits me and he was talking to me the most, just about family, how I'm doing, things like that. We stay in touch a lot, and he's great."
The Jersey backer went on to say that he was impressed with the educational aspects of Maryland and how the football coaches stress academics first. He also mentioned how he's comfortable on campus and comfortable around the team.
"You know, I picked up a lot just from watching the practice and being around the team," Giles-Harris said. "The defense really knows what it's doing, and it's a great scheme. It was a great experience overall, and I really enjoyed it. I'm definitely going to consider Maryland, and I'll try to get back for a game or another visit at some point."
Giles-Harris, who plays outside linebacker at Montvale but is being recruited as an inside-backer, also has a teammate who is being heavily recruiter by Maryland. Two days prior to Giles-Harris' trip to College Park, center Tommy Hatton made a return visit to the school.
"Tommy and me, we've talked about going to school together, and that would be really cool," Giles-Harris said. "We're good friends, so it would be pretty cool to play with him [in college]. We'll see what happens."
But while Giles-Harris lauded UMD, he insisted he is wide open in his recruitment and has no early standouts. He has only visited a few campuses (UMD, N.C. State, Boston College and Rutgers) and wants to see more before coming to any sort of consensus. Giles-Harris plans to see BC again March 22, followed by Northwestern and Illinois in April.
He currently holds offers from the likes of Maryland, Syracuse, N.C. State, Boston College, Arizona State, Duke, Illinois, Iowa, Rutgers, Temple, Northwestern and ODU, with others keeping tabs.
"As of right now I can't name any frontrunners until after I take all these visits," Giles-Harris said. "I'm not going to be ready to make a decision anytime soon."
Giles-Harris Recaps College Park Trip
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