Maryland played host to a pair of talented defensive backs May 5, one who has been on campus on multiple occasions and the other an emerging Southern Maryland native who was in College Park, Md., for the first time for recruiting purposes.
While St. John's (Washington, D.C.) safety Ayron Monroe is quite familiar with Maryland -- having seen the school during games, junior days and the like -- Thomas Stone (Waldorf, Md.) cornerback Juwuan Briscoe hadn't taken an in-depth look at the school before May 5 (he had previously visited his cousin, a current Maryland student).
Briscoe, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound burner who posted a 4.43 40-yard dash at a recent combine, has exploded onto the scene with offers from NC State, Maryland, Clemson, ODU and West Virginia to join early verbals from Rutgers and Toledo. He has become a prime Terps target, right alongside the multi-offer Monroe.
"[The trip] was a lot more than I expected," Briscoe said. "Everything was great from the start to the finish. I'd rate it a solid 8 out of 10 – a very, very good trip."
The Waldorf corner enjoyed touring the school and talking to the staff, but his favorite part was one of UMD's more aesthetically pleasing qualities. Most recruits do enjoy trying on the Under Armour gear, and Briscoe was no different.
"That was the best part, trying on all the different jerseys, helmets and gloves," he said. "That Under Armour connection is tight. I loved the red jersey with the Maryland flag airbrushed helmet."
Amid the uniform combinations, Briscoe said the coaches' message did in fact resonate. He explained how head coach Randy Edsall and his recruiter, Mike Locksley, broke down the program, what they expect of their players and how the coaches treat the team.
"It seems like a real family atmosphere there," Briscoe said. "And one thing they want is for the top local players to stay home. It's something I've thought about, because I don't want my family to have to go too far to see me play.
"Then Coach Edsall was saying how 79 of 80 players graduated under him, and that was really impressive. That surprised me; I didn't realize that."
Briscoe also liked the campus in general and how "everything I could need" was easily accessible. The Big Ten shift is a major selling point as well, as Briscoe noted how he'd love to compete against top-not competition.
He also said he'd like to return at some point this summer if time allows.
"The coaches said come back anytime, and I think I might do that," Briscoe said. "I liked it there. It's a good atmosphere there and a good program."
Perhaps aiding UMD's chances is the fact that Briscoe's head coach, Paul Friel, who joined Briscoe on the visit, has a connection to Maryland's headman. Briscoe said Friel and Edsall knew each other from a few years back.
"My coach and Coach Edsall were talking a good amount," Briscoe said. "My coach definitely likes Maryland."
Next up on the docket are trips to N.C. State and UNC Charlotte May 16 and Clemson the day after. Briscoe may also visit a few other interested suitors – he said Ohio State and South Carolina are keeping close tabs -- depending on whether or not they offer.
Briscoe previously called Clemson his "dream school," and while he didn't back off that statement, he didn't want to call the Tigers a clear favorite just yet.
"I'll be able to know more about my leaders after I take some more visits," Briscoe said. "I want to see Clemson, and I want to see NC State. We'll see what happens after that."
The Thomas Stone corner originally wanted to wait until after his senior season to commit. But that thinking has since changed.
"I'm going to decide before the season now," he said. "I talked it over with my coach, and he was telling me the benefits of [committing early] and how I can just concentrate on my senior year. So that's what I think I'm going to do."
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