Maryland may have lost a little recruiting momentum during the last week of the open period when a couple key class of 2015 targets slipped away, but the Terps continue to trend for elite local class of 2016 talents. Although UMD’s staff hasn’t landed a touted DMV junior since Good Counsel’s (Olney, Md.) Keandre Jones jumped on board Dec. 1, the Terps are well-positioned for prospects like DeMatha’s (Hyattsville, Md.) Tino Ellis and Terrance Davis, Bullis' (Potomac, Md.) Dwayne Haskins, Carroll’s (Washington, D.C.) Jauan Williams, Landon’s (Bethesda, Md.) Keith Simms and several others.
Terrapin Times recently caught up with the Stags receiver Ellis, who is a projected Terps lean, and Dec. 21 we touched based with his teammate, the offensive lineman Davis, another prospect who said UMD is resonating.
The 6-foot-4, 310-pound Davis, who goes by the nickname “Squeal” (“I have no idea how I got it. They’ve called me that forever,” Davis said), is the cousin of Maryland running back pledge Lorenzo Harrison, the 2016 DeMatha star who started the “stay home” trend.
“Maryland will always remain high on my list due to the fact that it is my hometown,” said Davis, who holds offers from Alabama, UMD, Florida State, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee, West Virginia, South Carolina and Penn State. “And then my close relationship with my cousin Lorenzo … LoLo is in my ear every day about Maryland and we always talk about playing together in college.”
Davis said the recent commitment of Jones and popular senior defensive lineman Adam McLean (Quince Orchard/Gaithersburg, Md.) has only helped improve Maryland’s perception among locals.
“[The Terps] are really starting to keep top recruits home, which is good,” Davis said. “Getting KeAndre, and then Adam, those are huge gets and really good grabs as far as top prospects in our area, along with LoLo. So, I mean, [UMD] is really starting to try and keep the in-state kids here. I like the direction they are headed.
“Me, Dwayne [Haskins], Tino [Ellis] and some other guys, we all talk about [staying home]. It’s something we’ve all thought about.”
Another factor working in Maryland’s favor -- for Davis and other recruits in Washington D.C. and Prince George’s County -- is the Terps’ ace recruiter, Mike Locksley, has developed close rapports with all of them. Davis has known Locksley for a couple years now, and always talks up Maryland’s offensive coordinator.
“Coach Locks, he’s just a really cool guy,” Davis said, laughing. “I talked to him after a game this year, and he’s just really cool to talk to [in general]. He’s always telling me to keep working and keep getting better.”
The DeMatha lineman, who projects as a guard in college, visited College Park, Md., twice for games this fall, including the UMD-Ohio State bout. He said he was impressed with the atmosphere and appreciated how well the fans and UMD coaches treated him. Davis hasn’t been back to Maryland since that game, but he plans to be on campus for a junior day this winter.
Davis also mentioned it was “big” for Maryland to finish with a winning record and reach the postseason.
“Like I said, I like the direction Maryland is going,” Davis said. “It’s a good program, and they’re always going to be high for me.”
Davis, though, still has a ways to go in the recruiting process. Besides Maryland, coaches from PSU, Va Tech, Georgia, FSU, Rutgers and Tennessee all came through DeMatha during the open period and are making a push for him. Kentucky also just recently offered and has Davis’ ear as well.
“I don’t have anything planned yet, but I’ll be getting out to a few places [this offseason],” said Davis, who has already seen PSU, Florida State, Georgia and UMD. “I’m trying to get out to as many places as I can this summer, because I want to make my [college] decision before my senior season, like in August.”
The DeMatha product is coming off a standout junior campaign where he helped the Stags win their second straight Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title. Davis isn’t about to rest on his laurels, however, as he was back in the weight room just days after his team claimed the championship.
“I played a big role in us winning, but I couldn't have done anything without my teammates,” Davis said. “Now we’re all working towards a three-peat. I [personally] still need to work on my overall technique and hand placement, so that’s something I’m concentrating on [this offseason].”
UMD Resonating With Davis
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