Florida QB High On Terps

Maryland may not hit on an elite class of 2015 gunslinger, but the Terps could already have a bead on a young rising star from the Sunshine State.

Maryland may not hit on an elite class of 2015 gunslinger, but the Terps could already have a bead on a young rising star from the Sunshine State. Alonso (Tampa, Fla.) quarterback Chris Oladokun, a 6-foot-1, 170-pounder with early offers from South Florida and Toledo, has already visited College Park, Md., multiple times and said Maryland is among his favorite schools.

“Maryland is one of my top schools even though they haven’t offered me yet,” said Oladokun, who trekked to UMD July 25 for a personal visit. “I’m very interested in them since I have family in the area, and that it’s a good program and a great education. They’re going to the Big Ten, and I feel like it’s a school I fit in well at.”

Oladokun first entered onto Maryland’s radar two summers ago when he attended a Terps’ quarterback camp. Evidently the then-rising sophomore performed so well the staff urged him to return for another evaluation and visit.

“The coaches loved me after that first camp, and then this summer my quarterback coach talked to Coach [Mike] Locksley and he wanted me to come check out the campus,” Oladokun said. “I knew I’d be up there already because I come up to Maryland once or twice every year to see my grandmother and a couple aunts up there. So I was up there [July 25] to check out the school and see what it was like.”

Oladokun said most of the Maryland coaches were on vacation, but Locksley was there to meet the Florida signal caller and show him around. The Tampa native said he spent most of the day meeting academic advisors, checking out the facilities, seeing the dorms and learning about UMD’s future plans.

“A lot of the coaches weren’t there, but I met Coach [Randy] Edsall two years ago at the quarterback camp so I know who they are,” Oladokun said. “Coach Locks is the only one I’ve really had conversations with though, and he really likes me. He took me around to see the locker room, the field, all that stuff. He was great, and he showed me how nice the campus is.

“It’s definitely nicer and bigger than I thought,” he continued. “It’s more like a college town than I expected. I really liked the dorms, because a lot of the players are spread out and not just in one area like a lot of schools. You really get a good feel for the whole campus and other people in that way. I loved the field, too -- it’s one of the few fields I’ve seen that’s built like that with it right in the middle of campus. And I really like how Maryland keeps with the tradition of its flag with the uniforms and all that. The Under Armour stuff is really, really nice.”

Oladokun already liked what was physically on campus now, but he was also excited about what may be there in a couple years. Like many visitors, he was shown plans of the new indoor facility and called it “state of the art.”

“Coach Locksley said they should have that facility ready in about two years. I loved it, and it looks like it’s going to be one of the higher end facilities in the country,” Oladokun said. “They’re going to be up there recruiting-wise with places like Ohio State and Michigan, and that’s going to help them.”

Maryland’s academics also impressed the Florida quarterback. Oladokun said education is one of his primary concerns, and he enjoyed speaking to several UMD advisors.

“Talking to the academic counselors was really good because a lot of schools I’ve been to don’t really stress that aspect of college life,” Oladokun said. “I mean, other schools do talk about it, but at Maryland it’s a priority, and I like that.”

Oladokun, though, has not been offered yet, so he doesn’t yet have the Terps as a viable option. But he’s fairly certain the scholarship will be presented either later this fall or during the 2015 evaluation period.

“I think I’m pretty close. I just take care of business on the field and in the classroom, but I do believe Maryland will offer either after this season or next spring,” Oladokun said.

Besides USF, Toledo and UMD, Oladokun has heard from North Carolina, Wake Forest, Clemson and UCF, with the latter likely to offer next. He has visited Georgia, Maryland and USF, and has attended one-day camps at Clemson, UNC, NC State, Wake Forest and FAU.

“I really like USF and the direction they’re going in. They offered me early and I like what they’re saying,” Oladokun said. “And I’d like to hear more from UNC since I really like what they’re doing up there. And UCF, that’s another one on my radar.”

Two of the schools he mentioned are, of course, in-state programs. Would he like to remain in the Sunshine State for college?

“I just want to play as early as possible and go to the place I can make the biggest impact,” Oladokun said. “As long as it’s the right fit scheme wise and education wise, location isn’t a big deal.”

Right now Oladokun said all of his college looks are for quarterback. He said some recruiting services are listing him as a dual-threat gunslinger, but he bristles at that notion and sees himself in the Cam Newton mold.

“I’m showing these colleges I’m a pocket passer,” Oladokun said. “I’ve been trying to focus on not taking off and running too soon. If a play breaks down I can scramble, but I’m really concentrating on dropping back, scanning the field and showing I can sling it around the field.”

Oladokun is coming off a sophomore season where he threw for 2,003 yards, 23 touchdowns and three interceptions. He has his sights set much higher in 2014, however.

“I set a goal for 3,000 passing yards and 30 touchdowns, and a couple rushing scores as well,” Oladokun said. “I really want to take that next step this year and prove I’m a top pocket passer.”

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