Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup.
Two On Board
The drought is over. After going eight months without a second class of 2015 commitment, the Terps doubled down with a pair of poppers in the last week. St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) running back Deltron Sands started the ball rolling with a surprise commitment May 23, and five days later McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.) offensive guard Ellis McKennie followed suit.
While Sands had stated time and again he would be pledging to Maryland before his spring game May 24, just a few days prior the 5-foot-8, 180-pound three-star seemed to be having cold feet. In fact, he went so far as to say he wouldn't be deciding on a school until the middle of the fall so he could send out some senior film. Schools such as Auburn, Clemson and South Carolina were reportedly intrigued, and Sands said he would wait to see if one of that trio pulled through.
Less than 96 hours later, however, Sands reverted back to form, shocking those close to him, including his head coach. Evidently his Maryland recruiter, Andre Powell, whom Sands had a solid relationship with, delivered a resonating closing argument, which got the Sunshine State runner back on the UMD bandwagon.
Sands -- who also held offers from Syracuse, Cincinnati and WVU -- noted how even if a Clemson or South Carolina pulled through, he wouldn't have the same opportunity to shine that he would at Maryland. The chance to contribute early during his career, play in the Big Ten, and operate in the zone-read appealed to Sands, who committed sight unseen. He plans to visit College Park, Md., for the first time this summer for the June 28 "Under the Lights" camp.
But the feeling here is the Terps are going to have to stay on Sands, especially if one of the big boys ante up later in the game. Powell and Co. will have to keep plugging until he signs on the dotted line Feb. 6.
If Sands is 100-percent for Maryland, expect the Terps to pursue one more back in this class.
Physically, Sands looks to be a decent runner who has a quick first step and can make guys miss in the open field. He has some shake to him, gets downhill in a hurry and runs with a low base. Sands also displays soft hands and the ability to make a play after the catch.
The concern here is he doesn't look to have terrific top-end speed, and his stop-start time isn't exactly DeAnthony Thomas-like. He's not the type of guy who is going to hit the hole, break out the other side and pull away from the defense. Also, he's rather lithe right now and probably isn't built to take a pounding between the tackles. (STORY).
McKennie, meanwhile, was a much-anticipated addition to Maryland's crop. He was thrilled when UMD became his first offer back in February and has been riding high on the Terps since then. More than a month ago, McKennie declared Maryland was his clear No. 1 choice, and it was only a matter of time before he committed. The relationship he had with area recruiter Keith Dudzinski, the chance to play for offensive line coach Greg Studrawa, the academic opportunities (he wants to be a lawyer), and the close proximity to his family in Pennsylvania all played a role in McKennie's decision.
McKennie did entertain the idea of checking out Virginia Tech just to see if the Hokies would offer, but never made that Blacksburg visit. He also procured offers from Rutgers and Marshall, tripping to the former, but RU didn't quite measure up to UMD in the McDonogh lineman's eyes. Thus, he became Maryland's second offensive line commit in 2015, joining Linganore's (Frederick, Md.) E.J. Donahue.
With those two on board, I'd expect UMD to take four or five more offensive linemen to give them six or seven total.
Having known McKennie since last year, I can tell Terps fans they're getting a genuinely great kid who is going to work his tail off: high character, well-spoken, keeps his nose clean, lives in the weight room and film room.
Physically, he's well-suited to Maryland's zone-read scheme, where guards are asked to pull, run and the like. Even though he's 6-3, 305-pouunds, McKennie moves like a guy 30 pounds lighter. He's nimble, shows good footwork, does well in space (he ably locates defenders to take out, a sign of good field awareness), can get to the second level and can finish off blocks. McKennie isn't especially overpowering, but he can knock his man off the ball on straight-ahead runs. He fires off the ball, has rapid-fire hands and has enough strength to hold his block, sometimes pancakeing his man.
He'll need to work on his strength, mostly, in order to hold up in the Big Ten, though that will come after a year in the UMD weight room. For now, he has to make sure he maintains a low base and stays consistent with his fundamentals. McKennie also didn't do much pass blocking last season, so I'm eager to see how well he punches; how he reacts to bull-rushers; and whether he's deft enough to readjust to quick-twitch pass rushers this year.
But all in all McKennie is a very solid pickup with a high ceiling. He wanted to be a Terp from the jump, and we expect him (barring something crazy happening) to be fully on-board with Maryland come February. (STORY).
TT Spring Recruit Tour: Friendship Collegiate Academy (Washington, D.C.)
I stopped by FCA May 27 in order to catch up with new Knights head coach Mike Hunter and star 2015 offensive guard and prime Terp target Quarvez Boulware.
Hunter, the athletic director, has been on staff for years and knows the program inside out. He has a terrific relationship with Maryland and area recruiter Mike Locksley, so UMD should still have a solid "in" at the school.
The only concern is that FCA doesn't have as many elite-level recruits streaming through right now. (In fact, they lost two this offseason when Ashton White left for Bishop McNamara and Richard Merritt went over to Carroll). The Knights should still have a few intriguing names, but probably not quite as many as the last few years under former headman Abdul Aazaar-Rahim, who took a position with Alabama.
As far as Boulware is concerned, he's got about six or seven institutions he's focusing on, with a couple others that could work into the picture. With an ever-growing profile and more glamour programs becoming involved, Boulware has suddenly become intrigued about the possibilities of playing in the SEC. Schools such as Auburn, Florida (no offer yet) and Alabama (no offer yet) are being bandied about, while ACC powers such as Florida State and Clemson are firmly in play. AU, FSU and CU all have his attention and will all receive visits this summer, while Boulware will camp at Bama and UF to try and add those verbals as well.
Wake Forest, which is near his original hometown in North Carolina, is also in play.
Maryland? Yes, Maryland is still firmly in the game, and Boulware was just in College Park a couple weeks ago for another visit. He's well aware how much the Terps want him, and Boulware is very comfortable on campus and around the program. He has a long, strong relationship with Locksley, knows numerous current Terps and likes the fact UMD is so close to home.
But Boulware does not plan to decide on a school until after taking official visits following his senior season, so his recruitment is bound to ebb and flow. Expect the Terps to be right in the thick of things throughout, though it's still too early to call his ultimate destination. (INTERVIEW).
Two 2016 FCA names to watch are offensive guard Eliga Hunter and incoming defensive tackle Taro Lipscomb. Both are already procuring early interest and should secure their fair share of offers down the road.
TT Spring Recruit Tour: Archbishop Carroll (Washington, D.C.)
After taking in FCA, I hit up the school a few miles down the road, Carroll from the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. Head coach Rick Houchens is a good guy a wealth of information. For Terps purposes, he's had a long relationship with area recruiter Mike Locksley, and has sent numerous recruits his way (headlined by Derrick Harvey, who was at Florida when Locksley was on staff).
Houchens had plenty of positive comments about the UMD program, and that could work to the Terps' advantage in a year when Carroll's two elite class of 2016 offensive linemen, Jauan Williams and Friendship transfer Richard Merritt, are set to graduate.
Williams, who Maryland offered first during his freshmen year, still has the Terps near the forefront of his mind. The 6-6, 270 pounder hasn't been to College Park since taking in a game last fall, but he'll be back on campus in June. Williams has a solid rapport with his recruiter, Locksley, and appreciates how long and hard UMD has been on him. He is intrigued about the possibility of learning from new offensive line coach Greg Studrawa too. The fact Maryland is only a few minutes from his Upper Marlboro, Md., home is also appealing, as well as its shift to the Big Ten.
But there's a long way to go in the process, and Williams is up to 24 offers now -- with all the major players involved. Alabama. Georgia. Michigan. Michigan State. Oklahoma, Penn State. Florida State, Florida. Ohio State. And so on and so forth.
This summer Williams will trek to FSU, UF, Ohio State and Alabama, with Michigan also on the radar. His goal is to see as many of these renowned programs as possible between now and the fall of his senior year. His recruiting is bound to ebb and flow for the next two years, with a resolution coming in the winter of 2016.
Williams' new teammate, Merritt (6-5, 320), now holds 22 offers from the likes of Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Connecticut, FSU, UF, Georgia, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, MSU, Nebraska, Mississippi State, NC State, UNC, Oklahoma and more. At this point, Merritt seems focused on the Michigans, Alabamas, Ohio States, Florida States, Arkansas, Floridas and Auburns of the world. He specifically said he wants to go to a program that not only wins, but has a reputation of producing top-flight offensive linemen.
Merritt has been to Maryland for a spring game and is in touch with the staff, but he didn't seem all that interested in the hometown school at the time. Perhaps the Terps can make inroads with Merritt still being a youngster, but I get the sense it'll be an uphill battle.
Merritt will visit many of the same schools as Williams this summer, including Bama, UF, FSU, Ohio State, Michigan and possibly others.
The other two 2016 recruits to watch at Carroll are a pair of running backs: Keon Singleton (6-1, 220) and Christian Melgar (5-10, 185). Both are receiving early FBS/FCS attention and have a shot to secure some regional offers in a year.
Carroll's 2017 class features at least a pair of scholarship kids at this point, headlined by one who will be a national prospect. Cornerback Deon Jones (6-1, 180) already holds six verbals from Clemson (first offer), Michigan State, Toledo, Temple, Nebraska and UConn. Meanwhile, Maryland, Arkansas, Ohio State, Michigan, FSU and UF are highly intrigued.
Jones, naturally, has no early favorites, but he does like the idea of representing his home state. Expect UMD to get involved here in short order, probably as soon as Jones camps in College Park this summer.
The other name to know is quarterback Jermaine Waller (6-1, 180), whom Houchens believes will be an FBS gunslinger. Waller's football IQ, arm strength, athleticism and mechanics are already advanced for his age, according to the coach. We'll be interested to see how he develops.
Carroll does have a couple scholarship rising seniors, but both probably project at the Division I-AA level. Scottie Law is a 6-0, 177-pound receiver with FCS verbals and did say UMD had shown some interest, however, so he will be camping in College Park to see what comes of that. Defensive tackle Julian Nelson (6-2, 260), meanwhile, is a high-academic Patriot/Ivy kid who could pull an FBS scholarship with a strong camp season.
The Word On St. Joseph's Montvale (Montvale, N.J.)
With lacrosse season in full swing, Terps linebacker target Joe Giles-Harris went underground for a good while. But I was able to catch up with him May 26 for an update on where his recruitment stood. Giles-Harris added offers from Wisconsin, UVA and WVU to go along with UMD, Arizona State, BC, Duke, Northwestern, Illinois, NC State, Syracuse and Temple. Of those, he said the Terps, Devils, Wildcats, Illini and Wolfpack have been making the strongest push.
Giles-Harris, who hasn't taken a visit since checking out College Park March 10, plans to return to Maryland in June. He's stayed in touch with area recruiter Keith Dudzinski and continues to laud the school's academics and Big Ten move. Duke will also receive a visit this spring, and others are on the radar as well. He had previously seen NC State, BC, RU and UMD.
The Jersey backer plans to make his college decision by the end of the summer, and it could come down to a handful of the aforementioned schools. I'd say Duke and UMD are firmly in the game, while Wisconsin could make a push now that it's in the picture. (STORY).
We've had plenty of reports on Giles-Harris' teammate, center/guard Tommy Hatton, who we've kept "warm" on the hot board even as he's added coveted offers from South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia Tech. We were ready to downgrade, or even put a fork in, Hatton after his "dream offer" from the Gamecocks came in, followed by another stated favorite, the Tar Heels. But after talking to our Jersey guys again, we still think the Terps have somewhat of a shot here.
The feeling is South Carolina, which already has one center commit, might not accept Hatton's commitment. North Carolina, meanwhile, has another offer out to a prime center/guard target, and if that prospect commits to UNC before Hatton decides in early July, well, the Jersey center could be out of luck.
Which would leave Maryland, Virginia Tech and Boston College in play for Hatton's services (those are the three other schools in his current top five). Hatton is eager to visit Blacksburg and has much love for the Hokies, so they could become the team to beat, but UMD would still be very much alive.
Head coach Randy Edsall, Keith Dudzinski and line coach Greg Studrawa have left their mark, and the school's academic reputation has hit home with the Hatton clan as well. Maryland has been pressing for Hatton for months now, so we'll see if the persistence pays off.
Joe Burrow, The Plains School (Athens, Ohio): In last week's Shell we hinted that Ohio State could be getting involved with this top Terps quarterback target, and May 20 the Buckeyes did just that. Rather than wait for Burrow to prove himself in camp, OSU extended the verbal -- and the Ohio triggerman didn't hesitate to grab it. Burrow had long been hoping for an Ohio State scholarship, so he didn't have to think twice once it was on the table. West Virginia was another prime contender, and Iowa State, a sentimental favorite, was in the game as well, but neither could measure up to the Buckeyes. Burrow said he was interested in checking out Maryland since it was moving to the Big Ten and ran a zone-read offense, but he never made the trip East.
David Sills, Eastern Christian Academy: The USC soft commit Sills continues to mention the Terps as one of the school's he's considering. He said the Terps are making a push for him, and he's learning more about the program while developing a rapport with the staff.
But we still don't get the sense that Sills ultimately wants to play in College Park. West Virginia, where several of his former teammates are, could be an option for him, and he'll be camping at Alabama (recall, Tide assistant Lane Kiffin recruited Sills to USC) and Florida to try and catch the eye of those two programs as well. Michigan, which Sills favored, is probably out of the picture now that the Wolverines have their quarterback commit, Alex Malzone (Brothers Rice/Birmingham, Mich.).
Sheriron Jones, Rancho Verde (Moreno Valley, Calif.): Last week we reported on the four-star California gunslinger's Terps offer and his intentions to possibly visit College Park. That may still happen, but right now he looks to be focused on Florida and Tennessee. The Gators are making a strong push according to our Scout guys out West, and they wouldn't be surprised if he popped to UF in short order (he visits in early June). The Vols, which Jones will see June 5, are right in the thick of things as well. Jones likes the idea of playing in the SEC, and those two programs look to be his best opportunity. We'll see if the Terps can get a shot at Jones if he doesn't commit to UF or UT in the next week or two.
Ryan Adzima, Wallington (N.J.): Adzima still doesn't hold any offers, but he said Miami, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and a couple others are in close contact. The Jersey signal caller said back in April the Terps had had the most contact with him and were considering offering. But since then Adzima mentioned he hasn't gotten quite the same vibe from the staff. He said UMD is still in touch and wants him to camp, "but they didn't say if I did well [at the camp] I'd get an offer. Other schools like Miami, Syracuse, Pitt, Rutgers said if I did good I'd have an offer." So, Adzima's plan is to attend the latter schools' camps, and he isn't sure he'll make it down to Maryland.
Jabari Greenwood, Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.): We mentioned previously that Maryland's best shot at landing local receiver target Jabari Greenwood would be to get his teammate, quarterback Nick Johns, on board. Well, that didn't happen, and after having UMD in his top five last month, Greenwood has since removed the Terps from that list. Last week he told Scout that his new top five consisted of Kentucky, NC State, Rutgers, Michigan State and Illinois. Kentucky, which Greenwood has visited previously, has been considered the front-runner for some time now.
All that said, Greenwood was back in College Park May 26 for a visit. He reportedly reconnected with the staff, heeded their message and does have the Terps on the brain. Receivers' coach Keenan McCardell is the main draw for Greenwood, and he's said in the past he could learn a lot from the former Jacksonville Jaguars' standout. But even if Greenwood does have the Terps back in the fold, we're not so sure he'll be pledging to his hometown school.
Justin Julien, Canada Prep (St. Catharines, Ontario): This is the Canadian slot receiver/kick returner we wrote about following UMD assistant Chad Wilt's trek north of the border. The lightning-fast Julien -- who noted that he'd probably "commit on the spot" if the Terps offered -- still doesn't hold any firm verbals, but he said Maryland has maintained contact.
Here's the real intriguing part: Julien told me he plans to camp in College Park June 25, and several of his teammates will be joining him. That includes nationally-rated defensive tackle Neville Gallimore, who claims more than 20 offers and has the Terps, one of his first suitors, under solid consideration. Julien looks like a nice player, but getting Gallimore on campus would be huge.
Freddie Simmons, Bethlehem Catholic (Bethlehem, Pa.): Simmons, who the Terps have been keeping tabs on for a couple months now, holds offers from San Diego State, Buffalo, UConn, Purdue, Rutgers, UVA, Wake Forest, Western Michigan and California (probably not committable). He's claiming no favorites among those suitors, however, saying he wants to see what potential options open up following camp season. Simmons is planning to attend one-days at Penn State, Duke and Maryland, with visits sets for UVA, UNC, Wake and Oregon.
Simmons visited College Park for the first time back in April and came away highly impressed. He basically said if the Terps offered they'd be one of his top schools, and he'll try to earn said verbal this June. Simmons probably wouldn't pop to UMD on site, but he's a player worth monitoring for sure. We'll see if Maryland makes a run here, which is a possibility now with a couple Terps receiver targets heading elsewhere.
Rashad Blunt, Creekside (St. Augustine, Fla.): For the last few weeks Blunt has been responding to texts saying that Maryland receivers' coach Keenan McCardell should be stopping by his school and possibly extending an offer shortly thereafter. But so far it hasn't happened. I'm getting the sense UMD has other wideouts higher on its board and may view Blunt as a fallback option right now. And after speaking to Blunt personally, I have the feeling he's starting to have that inkling as well.
Remember, Blunt declared the Terps were his No. 1 potential suitor after visiting College Park, Md., in April. But he's since added several firm FBS offers (FAU, FIU, ECU, Cincinnati, Temple, UAB, etc.) and is still waiting on Maryland to show some love. Right now he seems more intrigued by offerees Cincinnati and Florida Atlantic, as well as schools that have been in close contact like Miami, Indiana and Louisville. If Maryland jumps into the fray the Terps could very well vault into his top two or three suitors, but I'm not so sure I'm feeling this one right now.
Chris Barr, Trinity Christian (Jacksonville, Fla.): Barr, who we've written about before, released a top 10 (in no particular order) of Indiana, Cincinnati, USF, Wisconsin, UCF, Rutgers, Utah, Maryland, FIU and Illinois. That's all well and good, but we're inclined to believe Barr does not currently hold a committable UMD offer. He'll likely have to camp/visit in College Park, which he may do, before receiving a firm scholarship.
Regardless, Barr didn't know a whole lot about Maryland when I spoke to him, and I'm a bit skeptical he'll follow through with a trip. If we had to make a call now, we'd forecast his destination elsewhere.
Elisha Sewell, Eastern Christian Academy (Elkton, Md.): Sewell, a Montgomery County native, has continued to express his desire to play for Maryland, though he holds no offers at this time. The 6-1, 200 pounder, who visited College Park for a junior day, has left no doubt where he wants to play his college ball, and he'll be camping at UMD this June. If the offer is on the table, expect Sewell to snatch it up on the spot. However, we'll have to see how well he performs at the one-day and whether the interest is reciprocal.
Temple and ODU are also showing interest, and he'll be visiting both schools this summer.
Irvin Charles, Paul VI (Haddonfield, N.J.): Last week Charles listed Maryland in his top seven, along with Florida, Louisville, Miami, Michigan State, Penn State and South Carolina. Here's an indicator of how we view UMD's chances: I didn't add Charles to the hot board.
There are several questions surrounding Charles, and the feeling here is he might not be the fit what Terps head coach Randy Edsall is looking for. In fact, Maryland may not have even extended a committable offer to the Garden State wideout. Right now, Miami, Penn State or maybe Louisville seem like more likely destinations.
Isaac James, Carmel (Ind.): I wrote about James a few weeks back after Maryland area recruiter Chad Wilt visited Carmel earlier in the evaluation period. The Terps didn't offer, but James said he would be thrilled if they did and may even entertain a visit to College Park. But since then the Midwest recruit has added a coveted Northwestern scholarship and has said he plans to camp at Ohio State and Stanford this summer. Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Toledo, Western Michigan and Ohio are some of his other offers, but right now we get the sense he might just end up with the Wildcats.
Leon Thornton, Montini Catholic (Lombard, Ill.): Yet another Midwest receiver the Terps dropped in on. Thornton said UMD is evaluating him and could possibly extend an offer later this summer. He holds verbals from Illinois, UConn, Cincinnati, Toledo, Indiana, Nevada, New Mexico and Western Michigan. Currently, the Illini are considered the team to beat. We'll see if the Terps get involved, and if so we could see Thornton potentially trekking East to College Park.
Running Back Notes
Deltron Sands, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.): See above.
DeShawn McClease, Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.): The Virginia three-star workhorse took his first visit to College Park May 23, and while McClease already held the Terps in high regard, this trip put UMD firmly in contention. McClease praised Maryland running backs coach Andre Powell, defensive line coach Chad Wilt and Ryan Steinberg, and said the Terps had a good plan for him. He fits well into the zone-read scheme and likes the fact that he could contribute early should he attend school at Maryland. The business program, campus, Big Ten shift, Under Armour connection and location right outside D.C. resonated with the elite back as well.
McClease also has Virginia Tech and North Carolina in his top three, however, and will visit both this summer. Tech, for a good while now, has been considered the front-runner, and Carolina is right in the thick of things as too. Indiana and Louisville, two more offerees, could get official visits early this fall.
McClease wants to decide on a school by October since he'll be graduating from Oscar Smith early. Expect him to pick from one of his current top three suitors (Tech, UNC, UMD) unless another program makes a charge later this summer. (STORY).
Javarius Davis, Edward White (Jacksonville, Fla.):Following a recent Terps offer, Davis sounded intrigued and said he'd like to possibly visit Maryland this summer. But it's becoming clear this Sunshine State back is focused on the in-state schools and national programs. He grew up a Florida State fan and the Noles could very well offer following a summer camp. Florida is another program that may make a run if Davis performs well at a one-day. USC, meanwhile, has already offered, and Davis was absolutely wowed by the Trojans' scholarship. Others he's looking to visit include Georgia, Auburn, Miami and North Carolina, a school he's seen before. Right now, we see him fitting in at one of the SEC programs, or perhaps a UNC, USC or Miami.
Kesean Strong, Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.): Strong continues to add to his offer list, picking up New Hampshire and ODU last week to go along with Buffalo, Toledo, Marshall and Temple. He'll be at UMD's camp this June in hopes of pulling in the hometown offer. But, as we've said in previous Shells, we're not sure UMD sees Strong as an FBS-caliber back. He's really going to have to run well at the one-day to cull out a scholarship. We'll see what happens this June.
Frankie Hickson, Heritage (Lynchburg, Va.): This under-the-radar Virginia back said he continues to have dialogue with the Terps. He holds no firm offers yet, but will attend numerous camps this summer in order to try and secure a few scholarships before the fall. Hickson will be at Maryland June 25 and is hoping to impress the staff. We're not feeling a strong Terps push here given that Deltron Sands is now on-board and DeShawm McClease looks to be another priority, but if UMD did eventually offer Hickson acknowledged he'd jump at the opportunity.
Remus Bulmer, Ridge Point (Missouri City, Texas): As we mentioned last week, Bulmer hasn't heard much from the Maryland staff in quite some time. Remember, he is the 5-6 teammate and close friend of top Terps safety target Jameel Cook, and for awhile it seemed UMD was toying with the idea of offering Bulmer in order to secure the elite defensive back. But I don't see a push coming at this time, and I'm inclined to scratch Bulmer from the hot board.
Defensive Back News
Darnell Savage, Caravel (Bear, Del.): Nothing has really changed with Savage since our last report on him, but Scout's Brian Dohn did just write an update on him. And for Terps fans, you have to be encouraged by this comment: "I've been to Maryland three times, and I love it. I'm going to try and get on another visit soon…. I know where I stand with them, and I think they know where they stand with me, but I love it at Maryland. I think they know how I feel about them. They were the very first school to offer me. I was young, and I think I improved a lot since then. That just shows the amount of faith they have in me."
Temple is also under consideration, and Syracuse and Rutgers are monitoring Savage as well. The Delaware corner could camp at the latter two to see if the Scarlet Knights and Orange offer. But although Savage wants to send out senior film and is taking the process slow, we still think he'll end up in College Park – provided UMD accepts his commitment.
William Harris, Choate Rosemary Hall (Wallingford, Conn.): Maryland was on this Connecticut safety a couple months back, but Harris told me he hadn't heard much from the Terps when I contacted him a few weeks ago. Apparently, though, UMD is back in the game, as he recently said he's been talking to area recruiter Keith Dudzinski again. Harris, who has a connection to Maryland through former teammate Jalen Brooks, will camp at UMD this summer to try and secure an offer. If the Terps pursue, I could see them vaulting way up his list considering Harris had expressed plenty of interest in the school previously.
Harris does already holds verbals from Syracuse, BC and UConn, and will visit SU shortly. Harris plans to camp at Pitt, Duke, Georgia State and UMD in June. We'll see what develops following one-day season.
Jameel Cook, (Ridge Point/Missouri City, Texas): We sensed Maryland's chances with this emerging Texas safety were dwindling following recent offers from Arizona State and Kentucky, two programs he raved about. Missouri, a previous suitor, also has his attention.
Basically, Cook seemed to have his eyes set on the SEC, Pac-12 or possibly one of the Texas programs should they pull through. But Cook recently chimed in that he still had much love for Maryland planned to visit the school this summer. Area recruiter Keenan McCardell, as well as head coach Randy Edsall, have made a strong impression here, while Cook has a connection to UMD in that he has family near the area. While we're not about to jump the gun here, it sounds like Maryland is still very much alive for Cook's services.
Antonyo Sotolongo, Gulliver Prep (Miami, Fla.): Sotolongo claimed a Terps offer, but it was a little premature. UMD has been in touch, but he'll have to come to campus to secure the scholarship. Right now, I'm not sure he makes it up to College Park as I didn't get a great vibe from him (he doesn't know much about the program and offered cursory praise). Sotolongo does claim other offers from Arkansas, FAU, Hawaii, Duke, Syracuse, WVU, Tulane and UMass, and the Razorbacks, Blue Devils or Mountaineers may have the upper-hand early.
Shawn Wood, William Penn (New Castle, Penn): Wood doesn't hold any offers yet, but he's evidently being monitored by Rutgers and Maryland, two schools he'll camp at June 6 and June 8, respectively. Wood's former teammates, Jarrett Ross and Brandon Ross, are both at UMD now, and the Delaware safety/linebacker said he'd love the chance to play in College Park as well. We'll see how he performs this summer and during the fall and monitor the situation.
Maxwell Howell, Palm Beach Lakes (West Palm Beach, Fla.): Maryland assistant Brian Stewart checked out this emerging West Palm Beach corner, who has offers from Indiana, Purdue, Cincinnati, Ohio and Middle Tennessee State. Howell (6-2, 185) claimed a Terps offer, but it probably won't be official unless he treks up to College Park. He's expressed initial interest in checking out UMD with it being in the Big Ten and being a noted academic institution. He's a name worth monitoring down the road.
More News & Notes
Jamal Milan, DT, Al Rabi (Chicago, Ill.): This recent Terps offeree now holds verbals from Illinois, Syracuse, UMD, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Ball State, New Mexico, Miami of Ohio, Minnesota and a couple others. Michigan State, Missouri, Cincinnati and California have been in touch.
Even as his profile grows, Milan is maintaining heavy interest in UMD, thanks to area recruiter Chad Wilt. After visiting a few of his Ohio/Michigan-area suitors in early June, he'll stop by College Park (in addition to Syracuse) for the first time in the second week of June. Milan won't be a particularly easy pull because he has connections to several Midwest programs (Indiana, for instance, signed his teammate Chris Covington last year), but we do like UMD's position here early. We'll know more following his summer tour and trek to College Park.
Noah Listermann, Winton Woods (Cincinnati, Ohio): Maryland offered the four-star Listermann a couple weeks ago. And while his previous comments led us to believe UMD wouldn't be involved, he suggested otherwise following a May 23 interview. Listermann said area recruiter Greg Studrawa, whom he's connected with, visited his school and had been in touch. He also likes the fact UMD has a renowned kinesiology program and is entering the Big Ten. Listermann went on to suggest he could visit College Park at some point this summer, though that's not set in stone.
He's not going to be easy to lure East, however. Michigan State looks to be the team to beat right now, and Illinois is also in play. If UMD can get him on campus though, well, you never know.
Hunter Littlejohn, OL, Olentangy Liberty (Powell, Ohio): Littlejohn had some contact with Maryland awhile back, but he didn't really have much interest in the Terps at the time. But evidently Greg Studrawa has maintained contact, and Littlejohn is at least listening. He hasn't scheduled any visits yet, but perhaps if UMD makes a push here he'll check out the East Coast. He does want to play in the Big Ten, and the Terps would obviously give him that opportunity.
Littlejohn, though, already holds firm offers from Minnesota, Indiana and Illinois and Boston College and said the Gophers have his attention. He seems like someone who doesn't want to venture too far outside the Midwest, which could give the nearby schools an advantage.
Pat Allen, OL, Franklin (Reisterstown, Md.): I finally scratched Allen, who UMD never offered, from the hot board this week. He just doesn't seem to have much Maryland interest, and even if the Terps do eventually ante up, it might be too little too late. He's likely to choose between Georgia, Florida and Ohio State.
TTDave's Inside the Shell
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