Opportunity Knocked, Majette Answered

Woodbridge Senior (Va.) cornerback Mike Majette is the newest Terps pledge, committing to Maryland July 21.

Mike Majette admitted he had tried to commit to the University of Maryland weeks prior to his verbal pledge July 21. See, the Woodbridge Senior (Woodbridge, Va.) quarterback-turned-cornerback had the Terps as his No. 1 school following a June 16 campus visit to College Park, Md., but when he attempted to jump on the Maryland Pride bandwagon soon thereafter, the Terps already had two corners on board in Darnell Savage (Caravel/Bear, Del.) and Kareem Ali (Timber Creek/Erial, N.J.).

“[Maryland] told me I had to wait,” the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Majette said. “They said they had two corners and I had to wait. But as soon as I saw that one corner [Ali] decommitted, I immediately contacted the coaches again. I mean, it was immediate. I really, really liked Maryland, and I would’ve picked them even if some of the other schools that had offered or were looking at me offered too.”

Majette said he actually wanted to commit July 20, a day after learning of Ali’s flip to Temple. But the Woodbridge corner was told the staff wanted to meet July 21 first, putting Majette on edge for about 24 hours.

“I didn’t think they would get back to me so soon but Coach Randy [Edsall] got back in his office early and said a few coaches were there as well,” Majette said. “So when he got in he hit me with a text and said, ‘Let’s talk.’ He told me about the other corner [Ali] and the situation there, and then he wanted to make sure I was done with the recruiting process and all that. I told him I was ready to commit to Maryland right now and I wasn’t taking anymore visits, and he said, ‘Welcome aboard.’”

Indeed, Majette’s recruitment has in effect ended as of 9:30 a.m. July 21. He had originally planned to camp at schools such as Wake Forest, Virginia and Tennessee in order to attempt to secure more options, but all of those have been cancelled.

“There’s no reason to go [on more visits],” said Majette, who held offers from UMD, Purdue, Indiana, Boston College and West Virginia. “Like I said, Maryland is where I wanted to be. I knew right after I visited there June 16; I saw a video of Vernon Davis when I went up there and he was talking about staying home, playing in front of family and friends.

“Even though I’m not from Maryland, I sort of felt something there because Maryland is close to home and I am in the DMV area. [Davis] was talking about in-state pride, and how much that meant to him even today, and how he was glad he went in that direction in college. When I saw that, I felt that pride myself.”

Majette first came in contact with UMD during his sophomore year when area recruiter Lyndon Johnson trekked down to Woodbridge. But the two-way athlete said there wasn’t too much interest in him at that point.

That changed following a June 8, 2014, one-day camp in College Park, where Majette showed enough speed, athleticism and ball skills to earn an offer.

“Maryland had always been in touch because Coach Johnson was down here, but he said I had to prove myself at camp. So that’s what I did,” Majette said. “I did real well at the camp and Coach [Brian] Stewart, he didn’t really know me before, but by the end of the day he knew who I was. After that Maryland was on me and made sure I was keeping them in the picture. Coach Edsall, he would hit me up from time to time just to make sure I was still considering Maryland.”

While at the camp Majette said he got a feel for Stewart and the rest of the staff. Then a week later, after touring UMD for the first time, he knew the school “was just right for me.” He lauded the campus, the Big Ten move, as well as the coaches.

“I really liked the coaching staff, and they know what they’re doing. Coach Stewart, coming down to the collegiate level and bringing his knowledge to us, that’s big,” Majette said. “I really liked working with [Stewart] at the camp. He was really precise and knows so much about technique. Whatever we were doing, he was on top of us to correct it and make sure we were on-point. He definitely knows what he’s doing.

“And the campus, it’s really huge and beautiful, and I liked the stadium and fields too. They’re building that new facility there and that’s huge – they need one. [Maryland is] moving to the Big Ten too, and that’s big-time ball right there. I mean, if the SEC is the top, the Big Ten isn’t far behind. That’s a real competitive conference, and I can’t wait to play against that type of competition.”

The academics also stood out to Majette. A solid student, he wants to major in either business or criminal justice.

“I actually have a guidance counselor here who went to Maryland, and she said I can’t go wrong with a Maryland education,” Majette said. “I know they have really good programs for both business and criminal justice, so that was one thing I really liked about Maryland. It’s a great, great school.”

Majette did mention that Purdue finished second for his services. He said the Boilermakers’ staff made a hard push, but Majette didn’t have the means to visit the school and didn’t want to commit to a school sight unseen.

“But Maryland was the clear No. 1,” Majette said. “Close to home, great coaches, great academics, great program.”

Now, Majette will attempt to make the smooth transition to cornerback after spending his junior season almost exclusively at quarterback and as a rotational safety. This summer, though, he’s been training everyday with coaches and his 7-on-7 team at corner.

“I’m going to be ready. My footwork, my drops, my transitions, my speed – I’m getting it all down and I’ve been doing well with that,” said Majette, who threw for 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns, to go along with four picks as a safety in 2013. “I’ve mainly been working on my breaks, my reads and getting better jumps on the ball, but I’m confident I can get the job done. I’m physical, I’m aggressive, I like to press and I have no fear back there.”

Majette actually began his football career as a running back, when he took the field with his non-tackle peewee team at five years old. He wasn’t allowed to play real football with pads, however, until he was nine.

“And I wasn’t very good,” said a laughing Majette, who moved from Virginia Beach to the Woodbridge area around the same time. “I started as a fullback and never touched the ball. But then like over the summer, I don’t know what happened, but I grew and just really worked hard. By the next year, somehow my arm strength really picked up, and I was throwing the ball all over the field. My coach decided to put me at quarterback, and I’ve been playing quarterback ever since.”

But Majette knew his college future wasn’t under center. He’s been honing his defensive back skills for years, and he’s intent on becoming a lockdown corner at Maryland when he arrives in College Park.

“I’m going to be ready, and I’m fully on board with Maryland,” Majette said. “Fear the Turtle, that’s all I have to say.”

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