The Terps hosted a key South Carolina visitor June 11 when Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.) receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who has held a Maryland offer since April, trekked to College Park, Md., for the first time. The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder currently holds offers from UMD, Wake Forest, Cincinnati, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Central Florida, Miami of Ohio and others, and has said repeatedly that the Terps held particular intrigue – even as his offer list has expanded.
"I really liked Maryland a lot more than I thought I even would," Arcega-Whiteside said. "You know, I thought Maryland was more like a city school and didn't really have a real a campus feel, but that couldn't be further from the truth. It's a really nice campus, really beautiful and I like the facilities they have and are going to have. They said they're constructing the new bubble and that sounds really nice. So I got a really good feel for the place and liked everything about it."
That includes the coaching staff. Arcega-Whiteside said he spent the majority of the day with his recruiter, Andre Powell, receivers coach Keenan McCardell and head coach Randy Edsall. He explained how all three were selling the school, the academics and the direction of the program, urging him to give the Terps a closer look.
Of course, Arcega-Whiteside had already heard that message from Powell, whom he talks to at least a couple times a week, via social media or otherwise.
"Coach Powell, he's not one to try to call you every day – he gives you your space. But he makes it known he really wants me. He really likes me and thinks I'd fit in well there and could really help the team," Arcega-Whiteside said. "He's not pressuring me and I appreciate that. He was great on the visit; I enjoyed going around with him and the other coaches."
McCardell and Edsall also impressed the South Carolina wideout. Arcega-Whiteside described how UMD's new receivers' coach came across as humble and unassuming, yet extremely knowledgeable.
"I really like Coach McCardell; that was my second time meeting him," Arcega-Whiteside said. "If you didn't know he played in the League, you wouldn't guess it. He doesn't boast and shove that in your face. He's really a good guy, and is just a good teacher and knowledgeable.
"And that was my first time meeting Coach Edsall. I really liked what he had to say about the academics, how they take care of you up there and how the school works in general. Maryland has a great engineering program, and I really like that about them."
Arcega-Whiteside also ran into Maryland quarterback Caleb Rowe, who is from South Carolina. The two immediately connected even though their conversation was brief.
"Everyone I ran into there was nice, but Caleb Rowe is from where I am, and he was telling me how it's different from South Carolina but really nice," Arcega-Whiteside said. "He really likes it there."
The Dorman wideout also tried on the Under Armour jerseys and said he loved the different color combinations. Moreover, he harped on the Big Ten move and how he could see himself fitting into Maryland's offense.
"I like Maryland a lot more after this visit. I'd heard some things about Maryland, but I didn't get a real feel for the place until now," he said.
Even though he had a productive, positive trip, he insisted all his suitors are dead even at this time. Wake Forest at one point held his attention, but when pushed for any standouts, Arcega-Whiteside reiterated that he couldn't separate any programs pursuing him.
"It's like every school I visit has something unique to offer, and I like different things about each one," Arcega-Whiteside said. "All the schools that have offered me are big right now. By the end of the month I'll analyze all the schools I've been to, talk to my parents, talk to my coaches, and then narrow it down. But right now I'm not ruling out anyone."
Besides Maryland, Arcega-Whiteside has visited Wake, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Auburn and Duke, while he's heading to UVA June 12. He'll be hitting up Georgia June 14 and Stanford soon after that.
"I might make a return visit to some of my top schools if I have time, but I don't think I will," Arcega-Whiteside said. "I'm planning on making my decision in July, and after I take these next couple trips I'll evaluate the academics, what staffs I like best, how I fit in – things like that."
Arcega-Whiteside Enjoys Trip to College Park
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