Ahmad Goes In-Depth About UMD

Maryland hosted one of its prime class of 2015 targets May 17 when Shaker Heights (Ohio) forward Esa Ahmad took his first visit to College Park, Md. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound four-star has had the Terps under significant consideration for several months now, and the trip to UMD only helped solidify his feelings about the Terps.

Maryland hosted one of its prime class of 2015 targets May 17 when Shaker Heights (Ohio) forward Esa Ahmad took his first visit to College Park, Md. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound four-star has had the Terps under significant consideration for several months now, and the trip to UMD only helped solidify his feelings about the Terps.

"The visit was real good; it went very well," said Ahmad, who holds offers from the likes of Ohio State, West Virginia, UMD, Clemson, Indiana, Miami, Rutgers, Penn State, Xavier, Iowa State, UNLV and Texas Tech, among others. "I loved the campus, the dorms were great, the Comcast Center was amazing and I loved the coaches."

While there were plenty of aspects of UMD that stood out, Ahmad pointed to the Comcast Center as the university's major selling point. The Ohio product praised the building itself and said he could envision himself playing in front of Terps fans.

"Just the overall feel for the arena was great," Ahmad said. "Just walking through there, seeing the all the seats, the history – I liked that a lot."

Ahmad didn't get too caught up in aesthetics, though. He said he spent a good amount of time asking questions and learning about the school from head coach Mark Turgeon and his recruiter, Dustin Clark.

"Basically [the coaches] were saying how much they want me there, how they love my versatility, how I can play anywhere on the floor, and how I can defend," Ahmad said. "Coach Turgeon, he's a really cool guy and someone that's real easy to get along with. I liked what he was saying to me about the program, and I watched [Maryland] on TV and I think he's a great coach too.

"And Coach Clark, I talk to him like every other day. We're real tight and he's great to talk to. I know he really wants me down there."

The Shaker Heights forward did inquire about the current state of the program, however. He specifically asked Turgeon about the four transfers who recently left.

"I asked all that stuff, but Coach Turgeon was explaining how those guys left for a lot of different reasons," Ahmad said. "There were some personal reasons, some guys worried about playing time, things like that. So I'm really not concerned about anything that's going on at Maryland. I really like the direction the program is going and I think Coach Turgeon has it moving up even though they didn't make [the postseason] last year."

One concern that's been raised, though, is the position UMD is recruiting Ahmad for. There have been reports that the Ohio forward envisions himself as a college guard, which is the position West Virginia is recruiting him at.

"Honestly, if the team has a good plan for me, the position isn't a huge deal," Ahmad said. "Maryland is recruiting me as a 3 or a 4, which is fine. I see myself as a wing."

WVU, which Ahmad is visiting May 20, has caught his eye, however. In fact, some consider the Mountaineers to be the current front-runner. Ahmad insists no school leads for his services, but he did have praise for the Mountaineers.

"I actually know some guys down there now and they say it's a great program," Ahmad said. "They've been on me pretty hard, and I like their offense and their coaches. I'm excited to visit."

Ohio State is another prime contender, and the Buckeyes have been known to keep their in-state targets home.

"Ohio State is a terrific school, the hometown school," Ahmad said. "I like them a lot. I just visited there and it went really, really well for me. Coach [Thad] Matta is one of the best out there, and I really like him."

Next up for Ahmad, after WVU, are trips to Michigan, Michigan State and possibly Indiana. The former two have not offered yet, and Ahmad is hoping each pulls through following said visits.

After taking in those schools, Ahmad said he should be ready to make his college decision by July or early August, since he wants to sign during the early period.

As for this summer, Ahmad and his AAU squad are already full-bore into the heart of their schedule. He said All Ohio-Red is currently 8-3 and playing at a high level.

"We're playing good, and I think I've been doing great," Ahmad said. "I'm making plays, finding my teammates, creating for them and scoring when I have to. There's always things to work on, but it's been good so far."

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