The Maryland staff is certainly gaining traction with local recruits, having secured nearby talents like senior Adam McLean (Quince Orchard/Gaithersburg, Md.) and junior Keandre Jones (Good Counsel/Olney, Md.) in the last week, while the program has caught the eye of numerous others. At the forefront is DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) class of 2016 receiver Tino Ellis, whose teammate, Lorenzo Harrison, pledged to UMD back in July.
Ellis has long been intrigued by the hometown school, and it appears his interest is continuing to ratchet up.
“Maryland is really high on my list. I have high interest in Maryland,” said the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Ellis, who holds offers from UMD, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Rutgers. “I really like what they’ve got going on up there. Obviously Lo [Harrison] is going there, and they just got KeAndre from Good Counsel and the kid McLean from Quince Orchard. [McLean] was huge; didn’t he decommit from Penn State? That was real good, real good for Maryland. Getting McLean and KeAndre, Maryland is setting the stage right now.”
The DeMatha wideout said he’s been in touch with numerous area talents, and the pro-Maryland vibe is stronger than he can ever remember it being. Harrison started the trend when he committed during the summer, and since then Ellis has been hearing about the Terps from both his teammate; UMD area recruiter Mike Locksley; and others.
“Me, Lo, guys like Dwayne [Haskins, the four-star Bullis quarterback], Terrance Davis [four-star DeMatha tackle], we’ve all been talking about Maryland,” Ellis said. “We are all aware what’s going on here. But at the same time we’re taking our time and seeing where the cards fall. We know what’s going on, though.”
Ellis said Terps head coach Randy Edsall and Locksley were both back at DeMatha Dec. 9 in order to talk to Stags coach Elijah Brooks. The recruits weren’t allowed to interact with the coaches, but apparently Brooks relayed the message that the Terps want Ellis and Co. up for one of their practices.
“This weekend I think me and my dad are going up for one of the bowl practices,” Ellis said. “I’m looking forward to that, because I haven’t been up there as much as I’d like. [The coaches] keep trying to get me over there, and I haven’t always been able to because I’ve been so busy, not because I didn’t want to go. So this offseason I want to get to Maryland as much as possible.”
The Stags’ star said Locksley’s overall message to him is just to “keep working” and to keep Maryland in mind. Ellis said he’s not feeling any hometown pressure, but “Coach Locks definitely wants me to stay home. We have a really good relationship. He’s always up here whenever he can come.”
Although he hasn’t been to College Park as much as he’d like, Ellis was at Maryland’s final home game against Rutgers. He also saw the Terps in action against Penn State while in State College, Pa.
“The Rutgers game was disappointing for Maryland, but it was still a good game to watch. The fans were very supportive of me, and I enjoyed being in the atmosphere,” Ellis said. “I didn’t really get to talk to any of the coaches afterwards, but it was good to see a game there and talk to some of the other recruits and fans.”
While Ellis is high on his hometown school, he said he’s not quite ready to jump on the Maryland Pride bandwagon just yet. He said he still wants to see Virginia Tech and Rutgers, along with Virginia and Georgia. A late spring or summer commitment is possible, he said.
“I wouldn’t say I’m too close [to committing], but we’ll see,” said Ellis, who has been hearing from UGA, Wake Forest, Duke and others. “I don’t really want to say a leader yet, but I like Maryland a whole lot. So we’ll see.”
The DeMatha product is coming off a standout junior campaign that ended in a Stags’ Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title. DeMatha finished 9-3 and defeated rival Good Counsel in the finals.
“Obviously the team did great, and I think I did pretty well too,” Elis said. “I just need to work on a couple things like my speed and getting bigger and stronger. And just the little things like route running, footwork, reading my keys – things like that. You can always get better; you can never be satisfied.”
Ellis Singing Terps' Praises, Set To Visit
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