Inside The Shell: Part I

Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup. In this special Shell, we delve further into Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) junior outside linebacker KeAndre Jones’ commitment to the Terps Dec. 1, and how it impacts the program and local recruiting.

Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup. In this special Shell, we delve further into Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) junior outside linebacker Keandre Jones’ commitment to the Terps Dec. 1, and how it impacts the program and local recruiting.

Jones On Board

KeAndre Jones had been saying Maryland and Penn State were his two primary suitors since late summer, but we didn’t figure he was ready to act on that notion so early in the recruiting process. And, as it turns out, neither did anyone else.

Jones, who committed to Maryland Dec. 1, admitted he “kept everyone in the dark” for the last several months, all the while talking extensively with his family and mentor about his college situation. The Good Counsel backer had a growing offer list that included UVA, WVU, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Iowa and others, but said the bond with his mother, who raised her son as a single mom, convinced him to stay home. So, after sitting down with his closest relatives during Thanksgiving break, Jones was ready to announce his decision more than a year before signing a letter of intent.

“Just what Coach [Randy] Edsall is building there, it’s something I believe in. I’m all for it – family, academics and football,” Jones said. “That’s how we’re going to get it done at Maryland.”

I recall interviewing Jones his freshman year, after he had landed initial verbals from UVA and Maryland, showing plenty of excitement over the hometown offer. The affable, well-spoken Jones said he had lived in Germantown, Md., his entire life and knew all about Terps football. He certainly wasn’t ready to pop just then, expressing a desire to check out schools such as Virginia, Penn State, Virginia Tech and others, but the UMD affinity was definitely present.

Moreover, Jones promptly developed a rapport with area recruiter Mike Locksley, noting how UMD’s offensive coordinator was “always in the school” during the May evaluation period and other open recruiting windows. Jones also attended a couple Maryland junior days and several football games in Byrd Stadium, professing how comfortable he was on campus. He already knew former Good Counsel stars-turned-Terps Stefon Diggs, Wes Brown, Zach Dancel and Jesse Aniebonam, and said all four talked up UMD at said junior days and when they returned to the Olney school.

But it was a November conversation with Aniebonam that resonated. Jones said he and his former teammate talked exclusively about family, with the latter letting the former know how awesome it was to play in front of loved ones -- those who support you in victory and defat. The Germantown native said Aniebonam’s comments hit home, and Jones’ subsequent commitment to Maryland was, in a way, a “thank you” to his mom.

Of course, that was hardly the only reason Jones popped. The new indoor facility, which Jones called “sweet,” played a role, as did Lorenzo Harrison’s (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.) summer pledge to the Terps. When the DeMatha junior running back committed, it sent a signal to all the elite class of 2016 DMV talents that it was OK to go to Maryland. Jones said Harrison’s decision “changed the game,” and now he’s looking to become a class leader just like the Stags’ star has already been.

Jones said he’d be doing his share of recruiting, letting his friends know that Maryland can contend on a national level -- but only if the DMV recruits stick together. (ARTICLEINTERVIEW).

Can Jones Play?

Why, of course he can. The four-star linebacker is a human missile who is consistently in seek-and-destroy mode. Jones has outstanding burst and acceleration, allowing him to cover plenty of ground and/or bust into the backfield. His violent hands allow him to easily disengage, while his deft feet and fast first step help him slice through interior gaps. Moreover, Jones actively locates backs in the holes and on the edge, and when he reaches them, he hits hard and allows little leaky yardage.

But Jones does some of his most impressive work in coverage. A former safety, Jones’ defensive back background is evident as he ranges sideline to sideline; shadows receivers in coverage, and attacks wayward passes like a cornerback. He possesses above-average ball skills and instincts, which, coupled with his quickness, allow him to get a jump on plays. He’s one of those linebackers that’s always around the ball, and it has as much to do with his pure talent as it does his inherent football IQ.

Jones does need to get stronger, however, as sometimes bigger, stronger blockers can stand him up. Moreover, we’d like to see him develop more point-of-attack power and really punish backs/receivers. He’s a solid tackler, but not quite a thumper just yet. Finally, Jones has to continue honing his lateral agility and footwork, as once in awhile you’ll see him get crossed up or take a less-than-ideal closing angle.

Commitment Impact: 2016

We don’t want to fall into the trap of overstating Jones’ commitment. You’d be naïve to think every preeminent DMV talent is going to stay local, as the hometown school isn’t for all recruits. Some kids just want to leave the area, others believe they’ll fit better in a different system, and some will jump at the chance to play for a glamour program. Plus there will undoubtedly be those who will want in, but will find there are no vacancies at the inn.

That said, the Jones pop is significant heading into prime recruiting months. Now the Terps have two high-profile locals in tow in Jones and Harrison, and it has the attention of more than a couple in-state prospects. A number of the DMV’s finest chimed in after Jones’ commitment, with the word of the night being “huge.”

Here are some recruits who the Terps seem to be gaining traction with:

1. WR Tino Ellis (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.): Ellis has long been high on UMD, and Harrison has been on him hard to join the Terps. Then, when Jones committed, Ellis immediately texted this in: “Keandre’s commitment is HUGE! HUGE!” The DeMatha wideout may still want to visit places like UVA, Rutgers and WVU, but a summer Terps pop isn’t out of the question. Ellis was just at the Maryland-Rutgers game and talked up the UMD coaches, namely area recruiter Mike Locksley, whom he has a tremendous rapport with. Ellis doesn’t want to show his hand too soon, making sure to mention his bond with RU, UVA and the like, but reading between the lines, he might be UMD’s to lose. Early Hot Board Reading: Hot

2. QB Dwayne Haskins (Bullis/Potomac, Md.): Haskins attended the UMD-Rutgers affair with Ellis, and while the game itself probably didn’t alter the four-star gunslinger’s position with Maryland, we still like the Terps’ position a lot. Haskins has slowly but surely been warming up to UMD and the chance to be the face of the program. Quarterbacks coach Mike Locksley and area recruiter Chad Wilt have been on him, and Haskins sees an opportunity to showcase his talents right away. It helps that prime contenders like Ohio State and Notre Dame may have faded a bit after securing other elite signal callers, while Haskins was never as high on Penn State as many surmised. He could entertain a couple Big 12 and Pac 12 suitors like Texas, Stanford, USC, Arizona or Arizona State, but Maryland is firmly on the brain. Haskins may not be affected by what other local talents like Harrison and Jones do per se, but their UMD commitment does let the quarterback know there’s going to be plenty of talent around should he stay home. Look for Haskins to make a decision this winter or spring. Early Hot Board Reading: Hot

3. DT Ellison Jordan (Gilman/Baltimore, Md.): Jordan visited Virginia Tech last weekend, extolling the Hokies’ staff, stadium and fan atmosphere. He’s also expressed a desire to go through the process, checking out the likes of Michigan (he was in attendance for the UMD-Michigan game), Penn State (he attended a game this fall), Michigan State, North Carolina and Rutgers. But Jordan has long held the Terps in high regard, mainly because College Park is close to home; UMD has a strong journalism program; and his relationship with the entire staff. Jordan has seen the Terps in action multiple times this year, and always mentions the Andre Monroe-led defensive line, noting how he could see himself in defensive coordinator Brian Stewart’s scheme. The Gilman product is also a Bowie, Md., native and is close friends with players at DeMatha, Good Counsel, St. John’s, Spalding and other private school powers. Jordan’s not necessarily a follower, but the Harrison and Jones commitments certainly rang true with him. Early Hot Board Reading: Hot

4. CB Trevon Diggs (Avalon/Gaithersburg, Md.): This is a tricky one, because Diggs is still on the fence about whether or not he wants to follow in his brother, Stefon’s, footsteps at Maryland. That said, Diggs is a constant presence in College Park, knows all the UMD coaches well, and seems to like the idea of playing in front of his mom. Diggs said he and good friend Dwayne Haskins want to attend the same school, so if the latter does indeed choose UMD, well, we think the Avalon product might just follow suit. (Recall, Maryland is recruiting Diggs as a corner now, not a receiver). Diggs, though, will likely consider some of his other suitors like Penn State (he was at the UMD-PSU game), Georgia, Clemson, Tennessee, UVA, Virginia Tech (he was at the UVA-Va Tech game) and Florida State. PSU and Virginia Tech seem to have left favorable impressions, but we still think Maryland’s in good shape should things go well with Haskins. Early Hot Board Reading: Hot/Warm

5. WR Brennon Dingle (Spalding/Severn, Md.): Dingle has done his best to remain guarded in his pro-UMD comments, but it’s clear he has the Terps right at the forefront of his mind. He called Jones’ commitment to Maryland “big,” though he probably didn’t need another local star to jump on board to convince him College Park is a special place. Dingle’s recruitment kind of reminds me of Darnell Savage’s (Caravel/Bear, Del.) in a way. The Terps affinity is there, but it might take some coaxing to get him to pop. Dingle and his father want to explore what else is out there (Clemson, UVA, Virginia Tech, etc.), but fact is Maryland is still the Spalding product’s only offer. The Terps have recruited Dingle the longest and the hardest, Mike Locksley attended his game this year against Gilman, while area recruiter John Dunn has maintained consistent contact. The Spalding wideout has also been to most Terps games in Byrd, getting to know receivers’ coach Kennan McCardell, head coach Randy Edsall and others in the process. Early Hot Board Reading: Hot

6. OL Terrance Davis (DeMatha): Davis isn’t quite as primed to pop as his teammate Ellis, but there’s no doubt the big tackle has taken a liking to Maryland. The always-smiling Davis has been known to call area recruiter Mike Locksley “my guy,” while he’s fond of playing in front of family as well. Moreover, Davis has cited Harrison’s and Jones’ commitment as significant factors for him as the recruiting process moves along. “[Jones is] a huge get for Maryland and a really good grab as far as to prospects in our area, along with my cousin Lorenzo, so I mean UMD is really starting to try and keep state kids here. Which is good, and I like the direction they are headed,” Davis texted in right after Jones popped. Look for Davis to check out Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina, all of which have offered, but the Terps are firmly in play. Early Hot Board Reading: Warm

7. OL Jauan Williams (Carroll/Washington, D.C.): Williams was just at Ohio State, one of his primary contenders, and came away raving. The stadium, atmosphere and the coaches all resonated with the big 6-7 tackle. But while the Buckeyes are on his mind, along with Penn State and Florida, Maryland has long been a top challenger. The Terps were the first school to offer Williams, and since his freshman year area recruiter Mike Locksley has been after him. Williams has visited College Park multiple times this year, and has routinely left with naught but positive comments regarding the game, the staff and the players. So if recruits he knows like Harrison, Jones and others jump on the Terps’ bandwagon, we think the Carroll lineman may join them. Early Hot Board Reading: Warm

8. OLB Keith Simms (Landon/Bethesda, Md.): Simms is claiming no leaders at this point, but he’s well aware of what’s going on in the DMV. We’ve asked him questions about Harrison, Jones and other locals staying home, and Simms definitely recognizes the Terps’ potential with said recruits on board. "It's huge for UMD and for a bunch of us local guys. It's huge,” he said after Jones’ pop. Simms has a relationship with area recruiter and position coach Chad Wilt, and knows several current Terps. Not to mention he’s enjoyed the Maryland games he’s attended this fall, while making specific note of the new facilities too. Simms will also look into his other offers like WVU, Pitt, Iowa, Wake Forest, Rutgers, BC and Syracuse, but if several of his friends join Randy Edsall’s crew, Simms could seriously consider jumping into the fray as well. Early Hot Board Reading: Warm

9. DE/OLB Terrell Hall (St. John’s/Washington, D.C.): Hall joined Jauan Williams at Ohio State last weekend, and came away seeing Buckeyes stars. He raved about head coach Urban Meyer, and said he could see himself fitting into OSU’s defensive scheme. But that’s typically Hall’s post-visit reaction, as he tends to heap much praise on every school he sees or has offered him. Right now it’s looking like OSU, Penn State and Maryland do have his eye early (he also just added a Michigan State offer), but we do think the Jones and Harrison commitments will have a significant impact on him. Hall is one of those locals with reservations about staying near D.C., but as more and more of his friends choose College Park, the more he seems to warm up to UMD. Here’s what he said about Jones’ pledge: “It shocked me a little bit, but he picked the school he thinks is best for him… It’s definitely great that UMD is getting a lot more guys to stay home though.” With area recruiter Mike Locksley, as well as Randy Edsall (he attended Hall’s playoff game this fall), on him, coupled with the growing hometown movement, we think there’s a Chance Hall could be persuaded to stick around. Early Hot Board Reading: Warm

10. TE Devante Brooks (St. John’s): Brooks seemed to be cooling on Maryland, but now we’re not so sure. Jones’ commitment, in particular, piqued Brooks’ interest, and if his teammate, Terrell Hall, takes the red-and-white plunge too, that could very well send the big tight end over the edge. And if Haskins pops to Maryland this winter/spring? Well, Brooks might start having visions of hauling in passes deep down the seam from the prime Bullis gunslinger. Brooks does have a rapport with area recruiter Mike Locksley, and has long held the Terps in high esteem, though lately other programs such as Virginia Tech, Kentucky and Tennessee have caught his eye. We’ll see if the recent pro-UMD trend makes Brooks think otherwise. Early Hot Board Reading: Warm

11. OL Devery Hamilton (Gilman): Hamilton is much more guarded about his recruitment than his teammate, Ellison Jordan, but he has conveyed initial interest in Maryland. Randy Edsall’s academic-oriented message and the chance to play close to his family are the two major selling points for the multi-offer two-way star. Hamilton takes a highly-measured, deliberate approach to recruiting, though, and isn’t likely to be affected by others’ decisions. So don’t expect him to pop just because Jones, Harrison and others are choosing Maryland. He’ll be checking out some of his other suitors this offseason like Michigan, Michigan State, UVA, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech before deciding on a school later this summer. Hamilton could very well pick Maryland, but, if so, it will probably be an out-of-the-blue deal that has more to do with academics and location than anything else (i.e. Will McClain in this year’s class). Early Hot Board Reading: Warm/Cool

12. DB Eric Burrell (McDonogh/Owings Mills, Md.: There is little question about Burrell’s affinity for the nearby university. He’s yet another McDonogh recruit with eyes for Maryland, and who has a solid rapport with area recruiter Keith Dudzinski. Problem is, Burrell still lacks a Terps offer, and there are some questions about his game. If he’s deemed scholarship worthy, however, we could easily see Burrell joining the likes of Ellis McKennie, Roman Braglio and Josh Woods at UMD. Burrell was just at the Terps-Rutgers game and has raved about the school every time he’s visited. Watching other locals like Harrison and Jones commit only adds to the hometown intrigue. For now, though, Burrell seems to be favoring Virginia Tech or Virginia, both of which have extended firm offers. Early Hot Board Reading: Warm

13. OG Richard Merritt (Carroll): It’s hard to tell whether Merritt’s pro-Maryland comments are genuine or lip service. When we ask him about the Terps, he goes on and on about area recruiter Mike Locksley, the chance to show out for the hometown fans, and the opportunity to play in front of family and friends. But when other reporters have questioned Merritt, he hypes up the Alabamas, Tennessees, Michigan States, North Carolinas, Ohio States and Clemsons of the world. It was telling when Merritt had a chance to attend a couple UMD games with teammate Jauan Williams, but opted not to. Of the two Carroll linemen, the Terps seem much better positioned for Williams than Merritt. But if the latter continues to see more and more DMV prospects pledge to Maryland, perhaps that will alter his thinking. Early Hot Board Reading: Cool

14. OL J.P. Urquidez (DeMatha): We’ve heard Urquidez could be taking a liking to Maryland what with his teammate, Harrison, recruiting him and his increased exposure to the UMD program. Urquidez has even sent out a couple tweets suggesting he had the Terps on his mind. At the same time, the Stags transfer is from Texas and still is fond of the idea of playing for one of those Big 12 or SEC mainstays. Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M and LSU have his eye, as do Penn State (friend Shane Simmons is committed there), Oklahoma and others. If Urquidez does a 180 and starts heavily considering Maryland, it will probably be because the Terps have already landed numerous elite recruits and the DeMatha tackle senses a true change in the UMD culture. Early Hot Board Reading: Cool

15. DE Shane Simmons (DeMatha): So Simmons says he’s firmly committed to Penn State. So he’s visited State College, Pa., three times this fall and has thrown his full support behind James Franklin and Co. But what happens if all his teammates – Harrison, Ellis, Davis, Urquidez – commit to Maryland? What happens if Penn State struggles? Remember, Simmons did have UMD in his final five, along with PSU, Bama, Ohio State and Florida State, so it’s not totally out of the question he could reconsider down the road. Early Hot Board Reading: Cool/Cold

16. DE/OLB Rahshaun Smith (St. Frances/Baltimore, Md.): This one is kind of a long shot still. Currently Smith’s focus seems to be on Oklahoma, Penn State, Florida State, Ohio State, Clemson and other programs throughout the SEC, Big Ten and Big 12, but he is at least aware of Maryland and area recruiter Andre Powell. The key here is that Smith is well connected in the Baltimore-D.C. metro area, and is friends with more than a few Old Line State recruits. If he sees the likes of Harrison, Jones and maybe others like a Dwayne Haskins, a Terrell Hall and an Ellison Jordan commit to UMD, it might alter his mindset. Stranger things have happened in recruiting. Early Hot Board Reading: Cold

17. OLB Cameron Brown (Bullis): Dwayne Haskins’ teammate was just at Penn State and picked up a Nittany Lions offer. He now holds verbals from PSU, Notre Dame, BC, Iowa, WVU and Rutgers, but is still looking for a Terps scholarship. I interviewed Brown a couple weeks ago, and he went on and on about UMD and how much he coveted a Maryland offer. He’s a Terps fan, has attended games before, and is eating up the buzz surrounding the local school, which has been enhanced by Harrison’s and Jones’ pledges. But unless area recruiter Chad Wilt and Co. pounce, Brown will probably focus his attention elsewhere. Penn State is in a solid spot now that it’s offered. Early Hot Board Reading: Warm/Cool

18. CB Patrick Johnson (Bullis): Yet another rising star Bullis recruit Maryland hasn’t offered yet, Johnson is in practically the same boat as Cameron Brown. I interviewed them both back-to-back, and they basically had the same comments about UMD, expressing a desire to join the local movement. But we can’t forecast Johnson for Maryland until the Terps offer. Rutgers, BC and Illinois are his main verbals right now, with RU currently in the pole position. Maybe the UMD staff will go after the likes of Johnson and Brown in order to lure Haskins? The Terps haven’t used such tactics in the past, but Haskins is important enough where it might be worth it in this instance. Early Hot Board Reading: Warm/Cool

19. OG Stephen Spanellis (Gilman): Spanellis is a difficult read, mainly because he still has yet to delve deeply into the recruiting process. He’s unconcerned with what other prospects are doing, and probably won’t be swayed by even his teammates’ decisions. Spanellis did have positive things to say about Maryland following a College Park visit, but he has no clear leaders at this time. Michigan and Michigan State are two primary contenders, and Georgia Tech is involved as well. At this point, we’re not even sure the Terps will make that hard of a push for Spanellis. If they do, Maryland could very well bring him in, but we’ll have to see how the offseason develops before forecasting Spanellis’ destination. Early Hot Board Reading: Cool

20. DB Darryl Turner (DeMatha): One of the most underrated recruits in the DMV, Turner is still stuck on one offer from Old Dominion. Expect that to change this offseason, however, as he shined this year for DeMatha. We’ve interviewed Turner in the past, and he basically said if UMD anted up he might pop on the spot. Add Harrison, Jones and a few more DMV recruits to the mix? Turner could conceivably be a Maryland lock should Randy Edsall and Co. pursue. Early Hot Board Reading: Warm

Commitment Impact: Out-Of-State 2016 Recruits

In addition to those recruits in the D.C.-Maryland area, there are a few out-of-state talents who have connections to Jones, Harrison and other area prospects. These recruits have a Maryland offer, have visited College Park before, have expressed interest in the school and are in-tune to what kind of talent the staff is bringing in.

1. OT Josh Ball (Stafford Senior/Fredericksburg, Va.): Ball, who has gushed over Randy Edsall’s program in the past (academics, near home, Big Ten, etc.) has been on campus numerous times, including twice for games this year. He’s also in close contact with area recruiter Greg Studrawa, who visited Stafford during a UMD bye week. Ball took immediate notice of Jones’ commitment to Maryland and chimed in that he thought it was “a big deal,” indicating he knew what kind of 2016 talent resided in the D.C. corridor. Ball also has WVU and UVA under prime consideration, but Maryland is right there for him. Early Hot Board Reading: Warm

2. TE Naseir Upshur (Coatesville, Pa.): Upshur, the teammate of current Terps commit D.J. Moore, has been to at least two Maryland games this year, in addition to a campus visit back during the summer. Moore has done his part to recruit Upshur, while the nationally-regarded tight end already knows Dwayne Haskins having worked with him at camps. Upshur has said in the past how highly he thinks of the Bullis quarterback, and how he might want to catch his passes one day. In addition, the Coatesville product has talked to Harrison and other DMV recruits during Terps games. Granted, Upshur has 40-plus offers and seems to be high on Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State, in-state Pitt and others throughout the SEC, but he’s consistently delivered favorable Maryland comments. Early Hot Board Reading: Warm

3. RB Robert Washington (Southlake Christian/Huntersville, N.C.): Ohio State, UNC, Notre Dame and Tennessee are all over this guy, but Washington does have connections to Maryland. He knows several players at DeMatha and Good Counsel through camps, including Harrison and Jones, and has visited College Park before. The Terps just recently offered Washington too, indicating they would be willing to take a second 2016 running back. He’s not going to be an easy pull, but if Washington identifies UMD as a program on the rise, he might give them more consideration. Early Hot Board Reading: Cool

4. OT Clark Yarbrough (Woodberry Forest, Va.): The double-digit-offer tackle is wide open in his recruitment, but he has visited Maryland on at least two occasions, including for its game against Rutgers. He’d expressed interest in the Terps previously, interacted with other Terps recruits in Byrd, and has been in touch with UMD staff members. The thinking is that Yarbrough probably won’t venture too far from home for college, making programs like UVA, Va Tech, WVU, UMD, PSU and other regional schools viable options. Maryland, should it continue to trend upwards with more commitments like Jones’ and Harrison’s, might become a very attractive choice for him. Early Hot Board Reading: Cool

5. WR/CB Robbie Robinson (Phoebus/Hampton, Va.): Robinson is someone Terps area recruiter Chad Wilt stopped in to see during a bye week, and who subsequently pulled a UMD scholarship. The in-state programs, namely UVA, will be difficult to beat for this dynamic talent, but Robinson is keeping an open mind. He’s visited College Park before, and said he likes the program’s direction, so we’ll see what he’s thinking should more and more four-star talents sign on with UMD. Early Hot Board Reading: Cool

6. RB Tyliek Raynor (Imhotep/Philadelphia, Pa.): We did hear about at least one new offer this week, and it came from the familiar Imhotep Institute. Raynor now has offers from UMD, Buffalo, Rutgers and Temple, with several “power” programs keeping tabs as well. If Maryland makes a push here, the coaches could be in prime position to pull Raynor in given area recruiter John Dunn’s presence at the school and the fact the Terps just snagged teammate D.J. Moore. Raynor has visited College Park before and knows a few Maryland-area recruits, so there’s already a built-in affinity here. He said he's looking forward to building a rapport with UMD and checking out the school again soon. Raynor is a name to monitor for sure. Early Hot Board Reading: Warm

Commitment Impact: 2015

KeAndre Jones’ commitment could possibly affect a few local class of 2015 targets as well. Here are some nearby seniors to monitor in the weeks leading up to Signing Day:

1. DT Adam McLean (Quince Orchard/Gaithersburg, Md.): For months, McLean had been saying he had little to no interest in Maryland, but he seems to be giving UMD more thought now that a rated recruit like Jones is on board, in addition to Harrison. Not to mention he has recently been in touch with Randy Edsall, Mike Locksley and Chad Wilt, with the headman personally making a pitch. But McLean, who mutually parted ways with Penn State last month due to academic concerns, just officially visited Washington State; and has Ole Miss, Clemson and Arizona State coming up. The Rebels are considered the current leader, with Clemson in the thick of things as well. Maryland, though, is apparently back in the game and could be in contention for his final official. McLean tends to be impressionable, and right now, with Jones on board and more 2016 talents possibly on the way, his Terps opinions are becoming more positive. Stay tuned.

2. S Ayron Monroe (St. John’s/Washington, D.C.): The brother of Maryland senior lineman Andre Monroe picked Penn State over Maryland back during the summer. He says he’s a firm Nittany Lions pledge, but with some recruits flipping from the program of late, coupled with the latest “hometown movement” push, perhaps Monroe begins to waver. We don’t see it, but, hey, it’s possible.

3. S Tyler Green (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.): Green seems like a firm Ohio State commit, but recall, Maryland finished a close second for him back in the summer. He’ll probably end up sticking with the Buckeyes, but it’s a name worth monitoring. Harrison has been in his ear about the Terps, and Green knows Jones as well, so maybe UMD can make some headway if it pushes.

4. OL Isaiah Prince (Roosevelt/Greenbelt, Md.): See Inside The Shell Part II (Coming Dec. 5).

5. OL Quarvez Boulware (Friendship Collegiate/Washington, D.C.): See Inside The Shell Part II (Coming Dec. 5).

While Stopping By Good Counsel…

After talking to KeAndre Jones the night he committed, I ventured to Good Counsel the next day in order to interview him and his coach, Bob Milloy, on camera. Milloy, a Maryland alum, now has five former players and one future linebacker at College Park: Jesse Aniebonam, Stefon Diggs, Wes Brown, Zach Dancel, Drew Stefanelli and Jones.

The Hall of Fame coach was obviously proud to send Jones Randy Edsall’s way, lauding the junior linebacker’s character; attitude; and overall game. Milloy actually compared Jones to some of his most renowned defenders like Dorian O’Daniel, who is now at Clemson, and perhaps even current Miami Dolphin Jelani Jenkins.

But one of the more intriguing comments Milloy made was about Jones’ potential impact on future Good Counsel stars. Just as Diggs and Brown influenced Aniebonam, and Aniebonam in turn influenced Jones, Milloy said Jones holds that same kind of cache.

Which is significant, because the Falcons boast a pair of fast-rising 2017 stars who figure to be national names. Defensive end/outside linebacker Joshua Paschal (6-4, 250) already has Clemson, Kentucky and Ohio State verbals, while linebacker Jordan Anthony (6-1, 210) claims Clemson, Kentucky and Iowa offers.

The Terps know about both sophomore talents, and I’d expect Mike Locksley and Co. to pursue in short order. And given the now-open pipeline from Maryland to Good Counsel, we think UMD could have a very good shot at both down the road. (INTERVIEW).

The Official Visitor List

As a reminder, here’s what we have as far as College Park official visitors are concerned:

December 5-7

DL Drew Bailey (Pearl River C.C./Hattiesburg, Miss.)
DE Austrian Robinson (Trinity-Pawling/Pawling, N.Y.) (Dec. 6-8)
OL E.J. Donahue (Linganore/Frederick, Md.)
OL Will McClain (Middletown, Md.)
OL Ellis McKennie (McDonogh/Owings Mills, Md.)
CB Darnell Savage (Caravel/Bear, Del.)
LB Brett Zanotto (Franklin Regional/Murrysville, Pa.)
WR Jahrvis Davenport (Robinson/Tampa, Fla.)
OL Mason Zimmerman (Anthony Wayne/Whitehouse, Ohio)

December 12-14

OLB Amir Ealey (Coatesville, Pa.)
OL Quarvez Boulware (Friendship Collegiate/Washington, D.C.)
DL Ulric Jones (Butler C.C./El Dorado, Kans.)
QB Gage Shaffer (Frankfort/Ridgeley, W.Va.)
RB Ty Johnson (Fort Hill/Cumberland, Md.)
WR D.J. Moore (Imhotep/Philadelphia, Pa.)
WR Mike Majette (Woodbridge Senior/Woodbridge, Va.)
LB Gus Little (Massaponax/Fredericksburg, Va.)
LB Isaiah Davis (St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes/Alexandria, Va.)

January 23-25

OL Isaiah Prince (Roosevelt/Greenbelt, Md.)
LB Mbi Tanyi (Bush/Sugar Land, Texas)
S Jameel Cook (Ridge Point/Missouri City, Texas)

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