Maryland wasn’t able to pull out a victory Nov. 15 against Michigan State, falling 37-15 to the 12th-ranked Spartans, but the majority of the recruits in attendance weren’t fazed by the Terps’ loss. In fact, many of them -- and there were a good amount of “headliners” who saw the primetime bout -- had positive takeaways from the game in College Park’s, Md., Byrd Stadium, noting how the defense held its own against a potent MSU attack.
One of which was St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) junior defensive end Terrell Hall, who is quickly approaching 20 offers and is one of Maryland’s main 2016 targets.
“I definitely liked the atmosphere for the game, and how it was a ‘black out’ and the fans got into it,” the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Hall said. “I mean, everyone was really into it. I loved how the players ran out before the game and went to the fans. That was great, and it was exciting.
“I felt like Maryland didn’t play bad either. I mean, Michigan State is a great team, so it’s tough, but I thought the defense did well keeping Maryland in the game. The offense, it was tough for them without Stefon Diggs and going against that [MSU] defense. But overall, I though [the Terps] did OK.”
Hall said he had a chance to speak to several Terps’ coaches before the game. That allowed him to reconnect with his recruiter, Mike Locksley, whom he hadn’t talked to in person in quite some time.
“Coach Locksley, he’s a good dude, and he was saying how he’s going to be staying in touch and how he wants me there,” Hall said. “And Coach [Randy] Edsall, I talked to him too. He actually came to my game [last week], and that was sweet. He talked to me like two days after my game and said he’s excited about how I’m playing and really wants me to stay home. [Edsall] is a good man.”
The St. John’s end is also quite familiar with the team itself. He knows both Will Ulmer and Damian Prince, in addition to a couple other current Terps. He’s also friends with Maryland’s basketball players like Dion Wiley and Romelo Trimble. Not to mention there are two St. John’s coaches who attended college in College Park and have been talking up the program.
“I’m always going to support Maryland, because it’s the hometown school and I’ve been hearing about them forever. Especially with some of my coaches like Coach [Pat] Ward and Coach Pete [White], they’re suggesting I give Maryland a hard look,” Hall said. “And guys like Will, Damian, they both say they like the school. I mainly talk to Will, and he said the fact you can play in front of your family and the hometown fans, that’s a great feeling. He said it’s great to have that kind of support.
“So I like what they’re saying about Maryland, and it’s a school I like a lot right now. It’s literally like 10 minutes from my house, so my family could easily come to my games. It’s definitely an option for me.”
Hall, though, has a long way to go in the recruiting process. He said he has no current leaders, and is in the process of gathering more early verbals and taking visits. So far, in addition to Maryland, he’s been to Penn State and Virginia Tech for games. He might attend another college contest next weekend, and after that he’ll be heading to either Ohio State or Clemson.
“Penn State was very exciting, and I loved it there. It’s a great environment, it’s very loud and they have great alumni and great coaches,” Hall said. “Virginia Tech, I could tell it’s a great place to be too, with very good academics. Plus they have a really good defensive tradition there.”
While Hall didn’t want to claim any early leaders, he did say a couple programs have caught his eye. Penn State certainly has left an impression, and so have Tennessee and LSU (no offer yet).
“I was supposed to go down to Tennessee but wasn’t able to make it. I really like what they’ve been saying to me, so I’m looking to get down there,” Hall said. “And LSU, they’re coming up to see me at some point, so hopefully I’ll get that offer too. That would be a big one.”
Hall is coming off a season where he recorded more than 50 tackles and nine sacks. His St. John’s team, though, did not make the conference playoffs after being eliminated from contention in the last week of the regular season.
“I wouldn’t say it was a bad year, because we did learn a lot of life lessons,” Hall said. “But we didn’t reach our goals, so it was disappointing. But we know we have a lot of good players coming back, so we’re getting back in the gym early and we’re coming back strong next year.”
Hall Likes What He's Seen At UMD
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