Is Burrow a Legitimate UMD Target?

With Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) quarterback Nick Johns off the board to Virginia, and Gilman (Baltimore, Md.) triggerman Kai Locksley perhaps looking elsewhere, one of Maryland's top remaining targets is The Plain School (Athens, Ohio) signal caller Joe Burrow.

With Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) quarterback Nick Johns off the board to Virginia, and Gilman (Baltimore, Md.) triggerman Kai Locksley perhaps looking elsewhere, one of Maryland's top remaining targets is The Plain School (Athens, Ohio) signal caller Joey Burrow. In fact, according to Burrown's father, Ohio University defensive coordinator Jimmy Burrow, UMD offensive coordinator Mike Locksley was up in Athens May 1 to watch his son throw.

"It was a real big group, and Maryland, West Virginia, Michigan State and Vanderbilt were all up here [May 1]. I'm not sure exactly what Coach Locksley has been saying to Joey on Twitter or whatever, but I know [Locksley] likes him," Jimmy Burrow said. "It was a real windy day that day, and Joey threw very well. He opened some eyes."

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Joe Burrow currently holds offers from UMD, Iowa State, Boston College, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, West Virginia, East Carolina, Fresno State, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Western Michigan, Toledo, Ohio and Virginia Tech. Vandy and Kentucky, a pair of SEC schools, were the most recent to verbal, while Ohio State, Michigan State and Tennessee continue to monitor him.

"Joey really doesn't show a ton of emotion when these offers come through. There weren't any that made him come bounding down the stairs saying, ‘Dad, guess who offered me,'" Jimmy Burrow said. "He thought Vandy had been close for awhile, so that wasn't a huge surprise, and neither was Kentucky… He is excited he has those opportunities, though, and always appreciative of any offers, but there's been none of them where he said, ‘That one is definitely No. 1.'"

Maybe so, but Iowa State may have Joe Burrow's attention. Offensive coordinator Mark Mangio has built a rapport with Burrow and let him know he is their class of 2015 priority. Burrow has said he fits the Cyclones' system well and has connected well with the rest of the staff. He also visited Ames, Iowa, last month and raved about the town and the facilities.

"The connection with Iowa State is I coached there for seven years, and [Joe Burrow] was born in Ames," Jimmy Burrow said. "There isn't family there anymore, but we have friends there. He's known about ISU for a long time.

"We left when he was four, but it's where he was born and where I met his mom. There's some good memories there. But other than that there's not anything that's going to make him commit to them right now, though he does like them."

Another school firmly in play is West Virginia. The Mountaineers' staff has already been through The Plains School twice this spring, and Burrow did visit Morgantown a few months back.

"There certainly is interest there on Joey's part," Jimmy Burrow said. "WVU was probably one of the first schools to offer, and the staff has really made it known they want him. We had a chance to visit, and it's only 2.5 hours away from home, which is a plus on our end. Distance really doesn't seem to bother Joey much, but I know he liked [Morgantown]."

In addition to those two programs, Burrow has visited Cincinnati, Tennessee, Ohio State and Michigan State. Of those, only the Bearcats have extended a scholarship.

The family has not taken any trips since heading to OSU a couple weeks back, with none scheduled for the immediate future either.

"Really, he just wanted to take a break, so there's not much going on with visits right now," Jimmy Burrow said. "He has prom coming up and things like that. I don't see him making a decision on where he wants to visit right now. He still wants to see what schools stop by in the rest of evaluation period and then go from there. It's a wait and see type of deal."

Some of the schools that could be on his radar, however, include NC State, Boston College, Kentucky, Maryland and Virginia Tech. Jimmy Burrow said many of those proposed trips – none are set in stone – will take place between late May and mid-June.

"Joey hasn't said to me, ‘Oh, I definitely want to see this school next,' but I do think there is interest in seeing Maryland," Jimmy Burrow said. "He likes the Big Ten, that's a big plus for Maryland, and he's certainly had communication with the coaches. He's talked to Coach Locksley on social media and things like that, and he has them on the radar. If we decide to start taking trips again Maryland will be some place we'll look into visiting."

Maryland's zone-read offense has also caught Joe Burrow's eye, according to his father. Jimmy Burrow said his son is a dual-threat who hasn't really sat under center during his high school career.

"Maryland's style definitely fits him," Jimmy Burrow said. "That's the kind of system he likes – spread, hurry-up, using his arm and legs to make plays. He's never said he wouldn't consider a pro-style team, but the spread, the zone-read, that's what he does."

Ideally, Joey Burrow would like to have his college decision made by late June or early July. Which means, once the family decides to hit the road again, he'll have about a month to take any remaining visits.

"He definitely wants to get this done before the season, and in July his team gets together for 7-on-7s and camps," Jimmy Burrow said. "So I think he wants to have all the recruiting behind him by then."

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