Maryland is on the lookout for big beef along the defensive line, and one of the Terps' top targets goes to school just a few miles away from College Park, Md., in Oxon Hill, Md. Potomac defensive tackle Keiron Howard took his first in-depth visit to UMD May 12, and the 6-foot-3, 293-pounder said the trip was better than he'd thought it would be.
"It went real, real good. Me and my mom both loved it," said Howard, who holds offers from UMD, Tennessee, Marshall, Buffalo, Old Dominion, Temple and Hampton. "The coaches showed me everything and told me everything about the school. It was real nice, and I liked it there. I didn't expect it to be like that; it was really good."
Howard said his recruiter, Mike Locksley, and UMD assistant Ryan Steinberg showed he and his mother around campus. The Potomac defensive tackle noted how both Terps coaches connected and bonded well with them.
"Basically they were telling my mom how good the program is and how good the academics are there. They spent a lot of time talking to her and answering her questions," Howard said. "She definitely liked what they were saying, and I did too. Both [Locksley and Steinberg] were showing us a lot of love."
The Potomac tackle also had a chance to meet head coach Randy Edsall, who reiterated his assistants' message. But one of his favorite parts of the trip was meeting with defensive line coach Chad Wilt.
"Coach Wilt was a very nice man," Howard said. "He was breaking down all the plays, the schemes and saying how Maryland would be a great chance for me to get to the next level. He's helped out a lot of players, and I think he's a great coach. He knows a lot about the game. I think I could learn a lot from him."
Howard, like most recruit visitors, also enjoyed trying on the Under Armour gear, seeing plans for the new facilities and other such aesthetics. But it was his immediate bond with the staff that left an impression.
"Coach Locksley, I've known him for a good minute and he's a great recruiter. I love talking to him," Howard said. "And the rest of the coaches seem like really good people. I like the coaches there a lot, and they made me feel comfortable."
So, where does the trip put UMD in Howard's eyes?
"Oh they're most definitely in my top five. They're up there for sure, since it's good coaches and close to home," he said. "I don't have any definite favorites, but I like Maryland, I like Tennessee, I like Temple, and I like ODU. There's some others that haven't offered yet [I like], but those [UMD, Temple, UT and ODU] I like right now since they've offered."
Howard, who mentioned he hasn't heard from Tennessee in a while, said Iowa has been in touch. UMD, ODU and Buffalo, all offerees, visited Potomac recently.
As far as upcoming trips are concerned, Howard and his teammates will visit Tennessee and Georgia this summer. He is unsure where else the Potomac crew will go, although they'll likely be back at Maryland for a camp.
"I'll take some visits, see where I stand with some schools," Howard said. "I'm looking to try to commit before the season, but I'm not sure yet. We'll see how it goes."
Last year Howard had 55 tackles and seven sacks.
Howard Gives UMD High Marks
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