Maryland has two prime offensive line targets on its board in Quarvez Boulware (Friendship Collegiate/Washington, D.C.) and Isaiah Prince (Roosevelt/Greenbelt, Md.), but there’s a third trenchman who could be added to that list in short order. Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, N.J.) tackle Jared Southers said he’s been hearing from Terps assistant and area recruiter Keith Dudzinski since the spring, and in recent weeks the attention has ratcheted up considerably.
“I’ve been hearing from a lot more schools, but I’d say Maryland is probably the one talking to me the most,” said the 6-foot-4, 290-pound Southers, who likely projects as a guard in college. “When I talked to Coach Dud, who I have a great relationship with and stay in touch with on a weekly basis, he was saying he and Coach [Greg] Studrawa, the O-line coach, really liked my film and feel I’m worthy of an offer. They were saying they’re going to pass on the information to Coach [Randy] Edsall and go from there. Right now I’m feeling pretty good about [getting the scholarship].”
Southers, who holds offers from Connecticut, UMass, Temple, Old Dominion, Rutgers and several Division I-AA programs, took his first visit to College Park, Md., when the Terps hosted West Virginia. He said he was impressed with the campus, which he saw before kickoff, and also the facilities and academics. The game itself wasn’t too shabby either, despite UMD’s loss to WVU.
“I loved the environment and atmosphere down there. I could definitely see myself playing there,” said Southers, who has been hearing from Syracuse, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, Penn State, Stanford and Harvard, in addition to UMD. “Even though it was raining, the crowd was into it, and it was fun. It was a really good time. Maryland is a really good school, too, and it’s a place I’d definitely consider going if I got the offer.”
Southers said he wants to return for an official visit to Maryland at some point, either for the Michigan State bout Nov. 15 or after his season ends. He has not scheduled any other officials as of yet, although Temple will surely receive one, and UConn should as well. Southers said most of said trips will come after his 2014 campaign ends.
In the meantime, though, he’s trying to get to Temple for its game against ECU Nov. 1, Vanderbilt for its game against Tennessee Nov. 29, and a Yale contest as well. He’s already seen the hometown school, UConn, several times.
“Of the schools that have offered, I’d say Temple, UConn and Yale are sticking out,” Southers said. “Temple was my first offer, and I definitley appreciate that. Plus I have a great relationship with their coaches, and I know guys on the team, which is a plus. Yale, it’s great academics there and a degree from them can set me up for life. And UConn, it’s a new staff and they’re moving in the right direction in my opinion.”
Southers also noted that he’d “love” to receive a scholarship from any of his other interested suitors. He didn’t single out one he’d commit to on the spot, however, mentioning he’d have to officially visit first.
Before Southers selects his college, though, he wants to finish high school strong. One of the reasons his recruiting is just beginning to pick up is he missed all of his junior year with a broken foot, so recruiters are just now getting to see his film.
“I’ve been doing very well this year, and I’ve made a lot of progress, and I think [college] coaches are seeing that,” Southers said. “My pass blocking has always been my strong point, but this year I’ve been dominant with run blocking too. I’m still working on my foot speed, hand placement and changing direction, but overall I think I’m playing well.”
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