Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.) junior offensive tackle/guard Jay-Jay McCargo has seen his recruitment steadily increase this offseason, adding a trio of Carolina offers from the likes of N.C. State, North Carolina and South Carolina. Add to that previous verbals from the likes of Clemson, Boston College, Duke, Penn State, Temple, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and West Virginia, and the 6-foot-4, 277-pound McCargo is becoming one of the most-sought after offensive line prospects in the mid-Atlantic region.
“The recruiting’s been going really well so far; I’m just enjoying the process,” McCargo said. “There’s a lot of coaches talking to me, staying in touch, and it’s been good. I think Pittsburgh might offer next; I wouldn’t be surprised if they came in at some point, because they’ve been talking to me more and more.
“And I talk to the coaches from Duke, Tennessee, Clemson, Penn State and North Carolina a lot. They all message me like every day, and I’ve spoken to them in person before. I have really good relationships with all those staffs. Those are some schools that I like right now.”
Nearby Maryland has not pulled the trigger on an offer yet, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Terps eventually anted up. McCargo said he had been in consistent contact with assistant Lyndon Johnson, but recently learned that UMD receivers’ coach Keenan McCardell is now recruiting his area.
“I had had a lot of contact with Coach Johnson -- he came down to my school before -- and he was saying how the staff at Maryland liked my film, and just wanted to see me in person,” McCargo said. “After that I could be getting the offer, but we’ll see.
“But most recently I’ve been in touch with Coach McCardell, who introduced himself and said he’d be recruiting me now. He invited me to their junior day [Feb. 21], and I plan to be there for that. I’m looking forward to meeting Coach McCardell in person and just building a relationship with him.”
McCargo has been in College Park, Md., on a couple occasions, although last November was his first time on campus as purely a football recruit. He attended the Terps-Rutgers game and called it a “good experience,” despite UMD’s loss.
“It was a really good visit. I went with my dad, and we both had a good time,” McCargo said. “I saw all the facilities, I talked to Coach Johnson before the game, saw the plans for the new indoor facility. It was a really good trip, and it was a good atmosphere [for the game]. I enjoyed it.”
Although McCargo is not a Maryland or Washington, D.C., native, he is from the DMV.
And he’s heard all about the DMV-to-UMD movement the Terps’ staff has been hyping up.
“Definitely, one of the primary things Maryland has been stressing is they need to keep guys from the DMV from leaving the DMV in order to be successful,” McCargo said. “Like every time I talk to them they bring that up. And I do think that’s a very good strategy, so we’ll see how it plays out. I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet, but I think it’s a good recruiting strategy.”
Either way, the O’Connell lineman said he’s eager to return for the Feb. 21 junior day, Maryland’s first this offseason.
“Obviously Maryland is close by, and I do have interest because of that,” McCargo said. “But I just want more information on the program and see where I stand with them. Like, going for games is good, because you get to experience the atmosphere and the football parts. But I want to see more of the school, see the academics and what the rest of the program is about.”
Before McCargo heads to Maryland, though, he’ll be checking out Duke, a school he has primary interest in. He’s already been to Durham, N.C., before with his father, and this time he’s bringing his mom along as well.
“With Duke, my cousin just signed there in the ‘15 class, so it’s a school I’ll be taking a close look at,” McCargo said. “I was down there before with my dad and we were really impressed and we’re really excited about them. It’s a great academic school for sure, and we’re just excited to see it again.”
Previously, McCargo visited Penn State, Virginia Tech, Clemson, UNC, Wake Forest and N.C. State, in addition to Duke and Maryland. He has been to Boston College and Tennessee for camps.
He offered up plenty of praise for each of the schools he’s seen, saying “I like them all, I have interest in them all.” But, as aforementioned, McCargo did add that Duke, UNC, Tennessee, Clemson and PSU have caught his eye early on.
McCargo also noted that he isn’t sure how he projects to the college level. He said he could see himself at guard or tackle, and college assistants seem to harbor the same opinion.
“I play left tackle for O’Connell, but it varies from school to school where [college coaches] want me,’ McCargo said. “Like Penn State says more of an inside guy, but then like Duke, Boston College, Clemson, West Virginia said tackle. So we’ll have to see how things go later in the process.”
McCargo Building Relationships;Will Visit UMD
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