Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup.
The Boulware Situation
So, is he coming?
Yeah, we certainly think so. Of course, there are no sure things in recruiting until the Letter of Intent is signed, but barring something funky happening, Friendship Collegiate (Washington, D.C.) offensive guard/center Quarvez Boulware should be coming to College Park, Md.
While on an unofficial visit Jan. 17 (the official visit was Dec. 12), Boulware reportedly popped to Maryland, along with official visitor Oseh-Lie Saine (Worcester Academy/Worcester, Mass.), sending off a #DailyDouble Randy Edsall #MarylandPride bat signal. We couldn’t reach Boulware until later, but at least six of his friends, including Saine and Quince Orchard (Gaithersburg, Md.) defensive tackle and UMD pledge Adam McLean -- who were both with the FCA product at the Maryland-Michigan State basketball game -- confirmed the commitment.
Boulware, however, never publically acknowledged such a pledge, and both he and his head coach later outright denied it ever occurred. The 6-foot-2, 280-pounder has been relatively silent since, aside from conceding he would be taking his last two official visits to Wake Forest Jan. 23 and Florida Jan. 30. Needless to say, it’s raised plenty of questions about his status with UMD.
Did Boulware actually commit to Maryland, but realize later he had made a mistake? Was Edsall’s #Pride tweet premature? Did Boulware want his commitment to be silent, preferring the staff keep it underwraps? Could Wake Forest and Florida really be legitimate contenders?
Well, we’ll have to wait until Signing Day to answer all of those questions, but after talking to a few trusted sources, here’s what we know:
1. Boulware either “accidentally” popped (i.e. he was caught up in the moment), or his words were misconstrued as a commitment Jan. 17.
2. The FCA guard later said he did not make a firm pledge, and we’re inclined to believe he probably didn’t intend to give the Terps his word that night.
3. The UMD coaching staff obviously felt a commitment had occurred, hence Edsall’s Tweet.
4. Regardless of what actually happened Jan. 17, we still think Boulware will be a Terp come Signing Day on Feb. 4.
5. In the meantime, though, Boulware will honor his intended official visits to Wake Forest (Jan. 23) and Florida (Jan. 30).
6. Boulware is expected to give both the Deacons and Gators a genuine look, but the Terps are by far and away his No. 1 suitor.
7. Boulware will not have to decommit from Maryland, because he didn’t publically pop in the first place.
8. Friendship Collegiate will hold a Signing Day ceremony at 10 a.m. Feb. 4, at which time Boulware is expected to ink a Letter of Intent to the University of Maryland.
So there you have it, folks. It’s convoluted, it’s a little complicated, but it’s the best I can do. If I were you, unless told otherwise, just take Keith’s simple mantra on the whole matter: “Don’t worry about Boulware.”
Prince Not Rolling With The Tide?
We’ve suggested in recent Shells that Maryland’s main competition for four-star offensive tackle Isaiah Prince (Roosevelt/Greenbelt, Md.) was Alabama, followed by Ohio State and Florida (with the latter on the outside looking in).
But now, following Prince’s official visit to Tuscaloosa, Ala., Jan. 16-18, we don’t believe the Tide will be a major player. Not because Prince didn’t like Bama -- he certainly did, talking up head coach Nick Saban; the Tide’s penchant for producing O-linemen; and the school’s rich tradition – but because there’s not enough vacancies at the inn. Alabama already has 27 class of 2015 commitments, and the staff let Prince know there’s really no room for him unless the Tide has a rash of decommitments.
So, barring the latter, Prince’s recruitment could very well come down to Maryland and Ohio State, with the Terps perhaps still holding an edge.
Now, it’s true Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer was at Roosevelt for several hours Jan 20, making his pitch to Prince, his family and his coach. And it’s true Meyer will have yet another crack at Prince Jan. 23 when the four-star takes his official visit to Columbus, Ohio. And it’s true Meyer has a magic tongue, made more potent by the fact he now has a national championship to sell recruits.
But unless Meyer can convince Prince to commit while on campus -- knowing Prince, we don’t see it happening, but it wouldn’t completely surprise us if it did -- the Roosevelt product will then take his final official visit to Maryland Jan. 30. Which means the Terps, who have been in a strong position all along, will have the added benefit of leaving the final impression.
Although Prince has been in College Park countless times already, we expect area recruiter Mike Locksley -- who also visited Prince this week, along with several other college coaches -- head coach Randy Edsall, line coach Greg Studrawa and Co. to roll out the red carpet Jan. 30.
And following the visit, the vibe is the Terps should be in position to secure Prince’s signature Feb. 4.
We’ll have to see what happens Jan. 23-25, however. Stay tuned.
Note: Although this looks like a Maryland-Ohio State race, Florida is trying to work back into the game with new head coach Jim McElwain visiting Prince and making his pitch. In fact, Prince may very well take a midweek official visit to Gainesville, Fla., in order to give the Gators another look. But even if said trip occurs, we don’t think UF will be able to make up ground on either Ohio State or Maryland.
Terps In Good Shape For Two DLs
Maryland now has defensive line commitments from Keiron Howard (Potomac/Oxon Hill, Md.), Adam McLean and Oseh-Lie Saine in this year’s class, and the Terps are in position for at least two more. Defensive end Austrian Robinson (Trinity-Pawling/Pawling, N.Y.) has been considered a Terps’ lean for several months, and now trenchman Mose Hall (Murphy/Mobile, Ala.) looks to be a legitimate target as well.
The defensive end Hall became a priority recruit after Fon Du Lac (Wisc.) defensive end Robert Windsor announced Wisconsin and Penn State were his two finalists Jan. 18, leaving UMD out of the picture. When Windsor made his intentions known, the Terps immediately extended an offer to Hall, whom area recruiter Chad Wilt had been in contact with for a few weeks.
The 6-4, 245-pound Hall was primarily concentrating on offerees Wake Forest and Minnesota up to that point, but when Randy Edsall anted up, the Alabama end admitted it “changed things.”
A day after pulling the scholarship, Hall firmed up a tentatively scheduled official visit to Maryland Jan. 30. He didn’t come right out and call the Terps a “leader” per se (“I have to visit first to declare that,” he said), but he was excited about the scholarship and stated he was “definitely” looking forward to visiting.
We do believe Hall will give Minnesota, which he’d previously called his No. 1 suitor, a hard look when he takes an official visit to Minneapolis, Minn., this weekend, however. Minnesota’s staff has been after Hall for a solid minute now, and the coaches have a longstanding rapport with him. In fact, the Gophers’ staff will probably try to cull out a commitment before Hall leaves campus, sensing they could lose him should he trek to College Park.
It wouldn’t completely shock us if Hall took the bait, but the feeling is the Alabama end will make it to Maryland before selecting his school.
Note that earlier this week, Hall hosted Wilt, who also visited Murphy’s school Jan. 15, for an in-home Jan. 19. The Alabama product said it went “very well,” and noted how he liked Wilt’s personality, in addition to his comments about UMD’s defense; need for beef up front; the school’s Under Armour connection; and the internship opportunities near Washington, D.C.
Now, Hall did just officially visit Wake Forest Jan. 16-18, calling Winston Salem, N.C., “cool" as well. He also played host to the Deacons’ coaches, noting the connection he had with them. Meanwhile, the Gophers’ staff came in too, making their pitch ahead of his Jan. 23 official. Both programs are on Hall’s mind, so it’s not a given he’s going to wind up in College Park.
We’ll know more about Hall’s status following his Minneapolis trip, but if he makes it through that second cut without popping (we think he will at this point), Maryland should be in a real solid spot. After all, the Terps will have last dibs, which is an enviable position to be in. (STORY).
Robinson, meanwhile, continues to list Maryland No. 1 on his favorites list, even though he just took a so-called “great” official visit to Miami. Which, if you’re a Terps fan, is particularly encouraging at this stage of the game.
Earlier during the process, the Trinity-Pawling prospect seemed like someone who would change his mind about leaders on a week to week basis. So the fact he’s kept UMD up top since late summer bodes well for Maryland’s chances.
Robinson did allow his latest official vaulted the Hurricanes up to No. 2 on the leaderboard, but if you’re not No. 1, what does it matter?
Next up for the New York recruit is an official to Ole Miss Jan. 23 and a final trip to Ohio State Jan. 30 (he officially visited the Terps Dec. 6). Robinson insists both the Rebels and Buckeyes are serious contenders, but, as we’ve said every week in this space, we’re not so sure that’s the case.
Mississippi’s “offer” might not even be real, and we’re willing to bet OSU head coach Urban Meyer has other defensive line targets in mind. Plus the Buckeyes already have five D-line commits, so Meyer would probably ask Robinson to greyshirt, which we don’t think he’d be interested in doing.
Given the above, we’re pretty sure we can continue to project Robinson to Maryland Feb. 4.
But fortunately for Terps fans, the UMD coaches are leaving no stone unturned in this recruitment. Just to make sure all their tracks are covered, a coterie of Terps’ coaches visited Robinson in-home Jan. 21: Randy Edsall, area recruiter Lyndon Johnson and defensive line coach Chad Wilt. Robinson -- he’s had a relationship with Johnson and Wilt for close to a year -- and his mother already met the trio in person during the December official to College Park, and all three once again left a distinct impression.
Edsall and Co. reiterated UMD’s need for line help, harping on early playing time opportunities; how Robinson would be taken care of academically; and how his mother and siblings would be just a couple hours from Byrd Stadium. Moreover, Robinson’s comfort level on campus and his interactions with several current Terps have Maryland sitting pretty. (STORY).
Not An In-Saine Addition
As expected, Oseh-Lie Saine (Worcester Academy/Worcester, Mass.) did not pull an Ulric Jones Jan. 17, and indeed followed through with his intentions to commit to Maryland during his official visit. The 6-4, 270-pounder, who is currently enrolled at the Community College of Rhode Island, will be back in College Park in just a couple days, as he is set to enroll Jan. 25 for the spring semester. Saine will have four years of eligibility once he arrives.
Saine had never visited College Park prior to his weekend official, and apparently he thoroughly enjoyed himself. He told me while he at BWI Airport Jan. 18 that it was hard to get back on the plane to Lincoln, R.I. He raved about the campus, the coaches, the students, the other football players -- Nnamdi Egbuaba hosted him, while he hung out with Jacquille Veii, Kingsley Opara and Josh Woods -- and recruits like Terps pledge Adam McLean (Quince Orchard/Gaithersburg, Md.) and Quarvez Boulware.
Saine, who hosted area recruiter Keith Dudzinski for an in-home visit Jan. 15, went on to talk up the Maryland staff, noting how head coach Randy Edsall “has your back” and how defensive line coach Chad Wilt “makes you want to jump up and start playing football.” The Rhode Island product harped on Edsall’s emphasis on education, while explaining how Wilt will be able to cultivate his skills and talents.
More than anything, Saine -- who was actually born in Silver Spring, Md., before moving to Gambia for eight years due to a family situation – was grateful Maryland’s staff was giving him an opportunity after spending the last year out of football. He admitted to being “angry” following a falling out with Boston College after committing to the Eagles in 2013, and said he wasn’t sure another FBS institution would give him a second chance. So when Maryland (and also Wake Forest) presented him with said chance, well, Saine couldn’t have asked for a better gift.
Whether or not Saine ever realizes his potential remains to be seen, but it’s a safe bet he’ll be working his rear off under Edsall. Saine’s well aware not everyone gets a mulligan in life, and insisted he’ll be “grinding hard” to show the Terps they made the right decision.
So, what kind of a player is Saine? Well, he certainly passes the eye test, that’s for sure. I saw him in person at the UMD-Michigan State basketball game, and he instantly caught my eye with his broad shoulders, long arms, thick thighs, stout base and tree-trunk legs.
And based off his 2013 film, Saine looks to have solid upside given his initial get off; potent leg drive; and ability to push into the backfield. He seems to possess above-average agility and aggressive hands as well, allowing him to scrape off blocks and get down the line.
That said, he probably needs to continue honing his fundamentals (faulty footwork, hand placement) and improve his point-of-attack power as well. (For what it’s worth, Saine’s former head coach at Worcester Prep Academy, Tony Johnson, confirmed what I saw on tape).
But, again, a highlight tape is a highlight tape and there’s only so much you can glean from that. Moreover, Saine has been out of football for a year (he’s stayed in shape with the help of two personal trainers), so we’ll be curious to see how he performs when the pads go back on.
For now, Saine said he’s slotted to play left-side (or weakside) defensive end, though he allowed he could play strongside as well, depending on the package and situation. Either way, it sounds like Wilt and Co. value his upside as a pass-rusher.
You can read my story on Saine HERE. Then you can read my interview with his former head coach, Tony Johnson, HERE.
Another Punter On The Radar
Walk-on punter Nick Pritchard (New Egypt, N.J.) is still apparently enrolling at Maryland, but the Terps are now in position for a second booter in the 2015 class. American Heritage (Delray Beach, Fla.) punter Nick Rubinowicz has been in contact with the UMD staff for a few weeks now, and has even met with head coach Randy Edsall.
The 6-4, 215 pounder, who averaged 44.4 yards per boot last year and was class 3A first-team all-state, is officially visiting College Park Jan. 30, and word is he’s highly interested in the program. Maryland’s strong academics appeals to the honors student, as does the chance to compete for a starting job right away with current Terps punter Lee Shrader.
It remains to be seen whether or not Edsall presents a firm scholarship or a preferred walk-on, but Rubinowicz’ coach, Tony Bugeja, felt there was a “good chance” the Terps extend the actual offer.
Regardless, Rubinowicz may still wind up in College Park anyway, as he’s well aware he can earn said scholarship following a semester or year on campus.
The only reason Rubinowicz might not make it to UMD is if somehow Pittsburgh wins him over. The Panthers are having Rubinowicz up for an official Jan. 23, and he is interested in their program as well.
Rubinowicz already took one official to Princeton, and is also considering trekking over to Miami after Signing Day -- if he doesn’t commit to either UMD or Pitt before Feb. 4. (STORY).
Still Not Sleeping On Davis
We were just about ready to write off Lakewood (St. Petersburg, Fla.) four-star receiver Ryan Davis, who seemed to be trending towards Auburn, Alabama, Florida or possibly Michigan and Oregon. But with Signing Day just two weeks away, Davis gave one of his most enlightening interviews yet to an Ole Miss Scout.com reporter.
The 5-9.5, 175-pound speedster, who played quarterback for Lakewood, admitted that some of his newest suitors had been giving him pause of late. Davis said he was initially drawn to the glitz of a university like Alabama, like Michigan, like Auburn. But now, he told the Ole Miss reporter, he asks, “Why it took some of these schools so long to start looking at me?”
Davis went on to say he’s started to think more and more about the programs that have “been with me” throughout the recruiting process, namely Maryland, Ole Miss and Kentucky. He already officially visited College Park way back in September, and said he’s considering cancelling upcoming trips to Alabama (Jan. 23) and/or Florida (Jan. 30) so he can see the Rebels and Wildcats too.
Davis has hosted a slew of college assistants and head coaches since the open period resumed, including those from Ole Miss, Kentucky, Auburn, Alabama, Michigan, Florida and Maryland. UMD area recruiter Mike Locksley went in-home with the four-star Jan. 20, prompting Davis to text me the visit went “very, very well.” He said the Terps were still firmly in play and on his mind.
“I can play right away at Maryland. That's the thing about Maryland. I know I can go in there and make a big impact my freshman season,” Davis told the Ole Miss site. “I mean, I will have to go in there and earn it. Nothing will be given to me, but I see what they are bringing back [in terms of receivers]."
Now, we’re not about to do a 180 and shift Davis to “hot” on the hot board just yet. It sounds like both Ole Miss and Kentucky are right in the game as well, while Davis isn’t exactly ruling out some of those late offerees he mentioned. Auburn, Alabama and in-state Florida are still very much on his mind, and it wouldn’t shock anyone should he choose one of those SEC bigwigs.
But here’s something Terps fans can hang on to, if they wish.
Davis wrapped up his interview by stating that two of the foremost factors in his final decision will be 1) early playing time and 2) finding coaches he can trust the most.
Maryland, for its part, fits both criteria well. Davis had previously noted his close rapport with Locksley, while he routinely mentions the opportunity to shine immediately in College Park a la Stefon Diggs.
Stay tuned. (ARTICLE).
The Next DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) Stag In Toe?
Class of 2016 athlete Darryl Turner pulled in a highly-coveted offer from head coach Randy Edsall Jan. 18 (which happened to be Turner’s birthday), and though he didn’t commit, the 5-10, 175-pounder said UMD was his clear No. 1.
Earlier, Turner said he would think long and hard about accepting a Maryland scholarship on the spot, but while that didn’t happen, his pledge seems imminent. Turner said he and his family want to visit College Park first for a one-on-one with Edsall, and that meeting is supposed to occur Jan. 24. Following that sit-down, the DeMatha athlete should be a Terp, barring a snag.
Stay tuned for a #MarylandPride bat signal sometime during the afternoon Jan. 24.
Turner, who holds offers from Western Michigan, ODU, Toledo, UMass, Army and now UMD, disclosed that Maryland’s location near his home; the fact many of his friends are considering the school; and his relationship with area recruiter Mike Locksley as the reasons he has the Terps sitting pretty. Even more intriguing, Turner brought up the “hometown movement,” revealing how he wants to be part of something he believes is coming to fruition.
Turner specifically noted elite 2016 recruits like teammates Terrance Davis and Tino Ellis should be jumping on the Maryland bandwagon soon, while also bringing up four-star Bullis (Potomac, Md.) quarterback Dwayne Haskins and Avalon (Gaithersburg, Md.) cornerback Trevon Diggs.
As far as his game is concerned, Turner is what you call a “football player.” He doesn’t have the fastest 40-yard dash time, but he has game speed and makes plays all over the field. He originally said UMD liked him at safety, but we see him fitting in as a slot receiver or maybe at cornerback in College Park.
Offensively, Turner has the ability to create yards in the open field; can make defenders miss; has notable start-stop speed; and can accelerate quickly in and out of his cuts. Defensively, he breaks well; possesses loose hips; can flip and run; has good in-air ball skills; and has sound instincts. (ARTICLE).
Haskins Takes In Rutgers
A New Jersey native, the Bullis quarterback Haskins returned to his original hometown school on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and had plenty of positive comments about Rutgers. He lauded head coach Kyle Flood, the Scarlet Knights’ practice and their offensive system, noting how he could take RU “to another level.” Haskins went on to say he was giving Rutgers serious consideration, especially since his friend, receiver Mohamed Jabbie (South Brunswick/Monmouth Junction, N.J.), is already committed there.
Alright, breathe Terps fans. We’re well accustomed to Haskins interviews by now.
The savvy gunslinger never lets on his true intentions, either giving roundabout answers to specific recruiting questions, or talking up one school to a certain media outlet and another program to a second reporter.
Haskins enjoys playing the “game” with media and fans alike, so it’s no surprise when his opinions seem to change on a whim. (For example, a couple weeks back Haskins claimed a top three of Maryland, Ohio State and Notre Dame, but after his RU trip he said he had no leaders whatsoever.)
We do think Rutgers intrigues Haskins -- just as Notre Dame, Ohio State and others interest him -- but, as we’ve been saying for months, the Bullis product is still on track to commit to Maryland. No, he didn’t pop right around the New Year, as we originally surmised, but by the spring (April), the four-star triggerman should be publically on board with Randy Edsall’s program (barring a last-second snag of course).
Two More DTs To Monitor
Maryland assistant Keenan McCardell is certainly putting in the legwork, and Jan. 21 he was in to see Stafford (Texas) defensive tackle Josh Uluocha, a 6-3, 255-pound interior lineman who is currently committed to Texas State. Uluocha said both McCardell and a Purdue assistant are making a late charge and could be anteing up after talking to their respective schools' head coaches.
The Stafford lineman said he doesn't know too much about UMD yet, although he's friends with both Mbi Tanyi (Bush/Sugar Land, Texas) and Jameel Cook (Ridge Point/Missouri City, Texas), suggesting it would be a "good opportunity" to join them at Maryland next year. He also said he'd love to compete in a major conference like the Big Ten.
As far as visits are concerned, Uluocha has not taken any officials yet, but has his first this weekend to Texas State. It's possible, following a standout trip, he could shut down his recruitment altogether and stick with TSU. But he also intimated he could use his final visit weekend (Jan. 30) to see either College Park or West Lafayette, Ind.
That is, if the Terps or Boilermakers offer. Uluocha insisted he won't be trekking anywhere outside of Texas unless the scholarship is on the table.
At this point, we don't think UMD will present the offer unless either Mose Hall or Austrian Robinson fall through. So, maybe if Hall pops to Minnesota after his Jan. 23 visit to Minneapolis, or something goes awry with Robinson, the Terps will pounce. Right now, though, we -- and Uluocha for that matter -- are in a wait-and-see mode. (STORY).
Meanwhile, there's an even more tempting 2015 defensive line recruit Maryland's staff might pursue.
Senior defensive tackle Javon Provitt (Warren G. Harding/Warren, Ohio) isn’t likely to qualify before the Feb. 4 Signing Day due to his SAT scores, but he is a name to keep in mind as the winter moves along. The 6-4, 320-pounder is reportedly a beast run stuffer, according to our Midwest analysts, complete with a fast first step, a strong base and good point-of-attack power.
Provitt’s academic issues have precluded FBS teams from extending firm scholarships at this point, but he said he’s been in touch with Maryland, Illinois and Pittsburgh, while North Carolina could become involved as well. The Warren product mentioned that each program should be offering once he’s qualified, and he’s interested in exploring all four. According to Provitt, he should be cleared academically sometime next month and be ready to sign in March.
We’re not sure how hard the Terps will pursue yet (maybe if they miss on an Austrian Robinson and/or a Mose Hall they’ll ratchet up the interest), but Provitt is someone who could be a potential post-Signing Day addition. (STORY).
Two DBs To Disregard?
I started off last week’s Shell by detailing two new defensive back targets assistant Keenan McCardell and the Terps had started to recruit: safety Rodney Clemons (James Taylor/Katy, Texas) and cornerback/safety Jay Irvine (Sandalwood/Jacksonville, Fla.).
Less than 96 hours after writing about each, however, one was dropped from the hot board and the other was on the verge of being cut. I suggested in my initial articles that both seemed to be favoring other schools anyway, but figured the pair would at least keep their recruitments open for another week or two.
Not the case.
The 6-0, 180-pound Clemons ended up popping to stated leader SMU Jan. 18, while the 6-1, 175-pound Irvine (the better of the two prospects) committed to his No. 1 suitor, Oregon State, a day later.
Clemons didn’t hold a firm Terps offer, noting how he’d have to officially visit College Park Jan. 23 in order to receive one. But rather than wait for that trip, Clemons went with the bird in hand. He officially visited the hometown Mustangs Jan. 16-18, and committed before leaving campus.
While Clemons was intrigued about the idea of playing in the Big Ten, and said he promptly connected with McCardell, fact is he wanted to play his college ball in Texas.
As for Irvine, he initially divulged that Oregon State and Wake Forest were the clear leaders since their staffs had been on him for months. Irvine said McCardell showed preliminary interest back during the summer, with the UMD program catching the Florida corner’s eye, but when the Terps backed off for a bit, so did he.
Irvine, however, said McCardell’s renewed efforts, complete with daily messages via social media, sparked his interest again. Even after Irvine popped to the Beavers, he maintained contact with the Terps’ receivers’ coach, and apparently he’s still scheduled to officially visit College Park Jan. 30.
In addition, Irvine will check out Wake Forest, his stated No. 2, Jan. 23, giving the Deacons an opportunity to win him over as well.
Regardless of how these final two visits go, however, it sounds like Irvine is still a heavy Beavers lean. He acknowledged it would take “a whole lot” to convince him to renege on his Oregon State pledge.
Of course, recruits say that all the time, only to flip their commitments 24 hours later. Could the same happen with Irvine should he follow through with his College Park official Jan. 30 (or his Winston Salem official Jan. 23)?
As we always say, if you get the kid on campus, you’ve got a shot. Let’s see what transpires in the coming weeks.
If No Irvine…
Are there more potential class of 2015 defensive backs out there? Well, as we saw last year, the Terps identified local safety Antwaine Carter right before Signing Day, receiving an on-the-spot pop. So we wouldn’t be shocked should such a scenario arise once again.
For now, though, we haven’t heard of any new names on the radar. Central Catholic (Pittsburgh, Pa.) safety Johnny Petrishen is technically still out there, but we wrote him off a couple weeks ago. Yes, area recruiter Greg Studrawa and Randy Edsall went up to see him, but Petrishen stated a midweek official visit to College Park was “unlikely.”
Petrishen just trekked to nearby Pitt Jan. 17-19, and is scheduled to see Virginia Jan. 23 before wrapping things up at Penn State Jan. 30. He might take in either Northwestern or UMD in-between the latter two, but even if he does, the Terps and Wildcats would seem to be on the outside looking in.
A DT To Disregard
The Terps were on the brain of Fon Du Lac (Wisc.) defensive lineman Robert Windsor for a minute or so, but apparently no longer. Windsor was supposed to officially visit College Park Jan. 30, but he cancelled the intended trip Jan. 18 after receiving an offer from hometown Wisconsin.
Windsor had been saying he was hoping the Badgers would ante up, but he wasn’t sure a scholarship would actually materialize. Now that it’s on the table, it looks like Wisconsin is the team to beat, with Penn State running a close second. Windsor will officially visit State College, Pa., Jan. 23-25 and then decide on his school shortly thereafter. (The Fon Du Lac product has already been to Madison, Wisc., so many times he doesn’t feel the need to take an official there.)
Maryland defensive line coach Chad Wilt visited the 6-5, 260-pounder at his school Jan. 15, and Windsor said he liked what the Terps’ area recruiter had told him about the program (academic emphasis, immediate playing time opportunities, etc.). But apparently it wasn’t enough to trump the appeal of college football bluebloods like the Badgers and Nittany Lions.
An LB To Disregard (Probably)
The chances of elite class of 2016 outside linebacker Rahshaun Smith coming to Maryland were slim at best to begin with, but now the Terps are probably out of the picture altogether. The 6-2, 210-pounder, who was at St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.) last year, announced he was transferring to IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) for his final high school season, where he’ll be even closer to two of his foremost suitors, Florida State and maybe Florida. (Other prime contenders include Oklahoma, Penn State and Ohio State).
At least while Smith was at St. Frances, he had a Maryland alum (Messay Hailemariam) coaching him and another former Terp (LaMont Jordan) on staff as well. In fact, during our most recent interview with Smith, he even mentioned Maryland as a school on his mind, which was a change compared to past interactions.
But now Smith is out of St. Frances’ grasp and no longer in Maryland’s backyard. Expect UMD to focus its attention elsewhere.
What’s Brewing With Burrell?
A few message board posters asked about the status of four-star guard Matthew Burrell (C.D. Hylton/Woodbridge, Va.), who has been committed to Ohio State since November. I sent out feelers to a few of our colleagues, and the sense is that Burrell is a firm Buckeyes pledge.
That said, there have been some inklings – and they are just inklings – that maybe, just maybe, Urban Meyer may have cooled a bit on the Hylton product. Terps fans have seen firsthand over the years how Buckeyes recruits tend to mysteriously “decommit” after months of saying how they can’t wait to arrive in Columbus.
Could such a situation possibly arise with Burrell? Well, don’t ask us to bet on it, but there has been a rumbling or two.
Just keep Burrell in mind as Signing Day nears. Apparently Randy Edsall and Co. still maintain contact with him, so you never know. Stranger things have happened (maybe).
Official Visitor List
Here is a list of the official visitors scheduled to see College Park during the last two open weekends before Signing Day Feb. 4:
Mbi Tanyi, OLB, Bush (Sugar Land, Texas)
Mose Hall, DE, Murphy (Mobile, Ala.)
Isaiah Prince, OT, Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.)
Jay Irvine, CB, Sandalwood (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Nick Rubinowicz, P, American Heritage (Delray Beach, Fla.)
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