As Maryland forays into the Big Ten it makes sense that the Terps are casting a wider recruiting net and attempting to make inroads into prime Midwest prospect territories. Talent-rich Ohio doesn't figure to be an easy state to cherry pick what with Ohio State, Michigan and the like nabbing the cream of the crop, but the Terps are monitoring a number of undervalued recruits who the big boys might overlook.
Recently, UMD came in contact with Olentangy Liberty (Powell, Ohio) guard Hunter Littlejohn, a 6-foot-3, 285-pound athletic bull who holds offers from Purdue, Illinois, Indiana, Boston College, Duke, Akron and Cincinnati. The Terps haven't offered yet, but Littlejohn indicated a scholarship could be forthcoming once the UMD staff further evaluates him.
"I talked to Coach [Andre] Powell [in late March] and he gave me the rundown of what Maryland football is like," Littejohn said. "He asked me if it's a school that would interest me, and I said it was. But I also told him I'm not sure I'd make it out there [for a visit] unless they offered because there's a couple other schools that have offered or are about to offer that I'm more inclined to see."
In other words, UMD must ante up if it wants Littlejohn on board.
"I told Coach Powell I'm keeping my options open and I'd look into Maryland more if they do offer," Littlejohn said. "I'm definitely open to taking a little look and maybe visit and find out more about the school. I don't know a whole lot about them, but I do know they're going to the Big Ten and I want to play Big Ten ball. So Maryland does have that going for them."
Right now, though, Littlejohn is focused on two schools in particular: Indiana and Illinois. Both programs have made a push, he's visited each and they're offering early playing time.
"If I had to decide right now it would be between those two," said Littlejohn, who recently visited Cincinnati. "I really love both Indiana and Illinois. Indiana is recruiting me the hardest, and if I went there I'd be a factor right away. I really bonded with the coaches there and had a great time on my visit.
"Illinois, I just love the campus and developed a great relationship with the offensive line coach. I took a visit, learned a lot about the program and talked to some players, and it was all great. I really liked what I saw there."
Littlejohn does have two "name" programs he's had contact with but have not offered yet. Ohio State is a personal favorite, while Michigan State is another school he's always been intrigued by.
"I was just at Michigan State and it was a good visit. I had already seen the campus before, but I liked the practice and how hard they got after it," Littlejohn said. "I talked to the O-line coach there and bonded well with him. He was saying [MSU] is pretty confident they'll offer June 1 when I go back for a camp."
The Ohio recruit has visited Columbus more times than he can remember. He lives 10 minutes from OSU and his father, an alum, has season tickets.
"At OSU, they recruit all over the country, and Coach [Urban] Meyer didn't know who I was at first, even though his staff all did. So I let [Meyer] know I live 10 minutes away and said it was a dream of mine to become a Buckeye," Littlejohn said. "Ever since I was a little kid I've been going to games there. My dad played baseball there, my mom went there and I would love the chance to play football there. [Meyer] said that really hit home with him and hopefully he can make something happen for me. I'm going up there June 26 or 28 for a camp, so we'll see what happens then."
After the OSU camp Littlejohn could be ready to end the recruiting process, regardless if he secures a Buckeyes offer or not. He said he's satisfied with the verbals he has, and unless another school like Maryland gets involved he'll select from his current crop.
"I'm honestly getting a little tired of the process now, so by the end of June or beginning of July I think I'll be ready to make a choice," Littlejohn said. "That way I'll know where I stand with most schools and be able to make an informed decision."
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