When we first highlighted Imhotep (Philadelphia, Pa.) running back Tyliek Raynor, the junior recruit had just picked up an offer from Maryland to go along with early verbals from Buffalo, Temple and Rutgers. Since then, though, the 5-foot-9, 185-pounder has almost doubled his list, adding Syracuse, Purdue and Connecticut.
“A lot more coaches are talking to me now. Like during January I got three offers alone,” Raynor said. “So things have been picking up for me, and I’m staying in contact with coaches from all the schools that have offered me.”
Of the early verbals, Raynor said the staffs from Temple, RU, Purdue and Uconn have initiated the most contact recently. He said he’s exchanged messages with recruiters from each almost every day or every other day.
“But I’m really liking Temple right now,” Raynor said. “Temple, you could say they’re the team to beat. I’ve been there like five times and it just feels like home, even though I am home already (laughs). We’ll see what happens and what other offers I get, but I like the coaches and atmosphere [at Temple].”
The Owls are actually the only program Raynor’s been able to see this offseason, so his comments are hardly surprising. His opinion could change following campus visits this winter/spring, however.
“I’m supposed to be going to West Virginia soon; I’m not sure when though. I’ve been messaging their one coach, and they like my film. So I want to get down there and see what it’s like and hopefully get the offer,” Raynor said. “And I’m supposed to be at Uconn sometime this month for a basketball game, and I’ll probably get over to Rutgers since it’s not too far. I’ll get down to Maryland too at some point too.”
Raynor had previously trekked to RU, Pitt and UMD, in addition to Temple, last year, checking out the Panthers and Owls for games; the Scarlet Knights for a campus visit; and the Terps for a summer camp.
Raynor lauded all of his trips, and said he “really liked it” in College Park, Md.
“I think Maryland has a great campus, nice facilities and great coaches,” Raynor said. “It’s in the Big Ten, and that’s a great conference and great competition.
“My teammate, D.J. Moore, is going there, and he always says great things about Maryland. He really likes it down there, and he wants me to commit there too. But we’ll see.”
Raynor had initial contact with Terps area recruiter John Dunn, who helped UMD secure Moore. But the junior back said he hasn’t heard too much from Dunn since picking up the offer.
It’s possible with Maryland already having one 2016 running back committed in Lorenzo Harrison (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.), and another firmly on the radar in Robert Washington (Southlake Christian/Huntersville, Md.), the staff will wait to see what happens with the latter before pursuing Raynor in earnest.
“I can’t really say I have a relationship with Coach Dunn yet, because I really haven’t talked to him online or anything like that yet,” Raynor said. “He was the one who let me know about the offer, and he’s been up here [at Imhotep] before to see my coaches, but I personally haven’t had much contact with him.”
Even so, Raynor said he’d still like to visit College Park and rekindle that relationship. He’s considering attending one of UMD’s two junior days – Feb. 21 or Feb. 28 – but isn’t sure if he’ll be able to make it or not.
“If I can’t get to the junior days I think I’ll be coming down for [Maryland’s] spring game in April with D.J. and just to visit again,” Raynor said. “But I don’t know yet. I’ve got to see what happens with my other visits and offers.”
The Imhotep running back said he’d like to wait until at least midseason before selecting a college. He wants to be able to send his senior highlight tape out, just to see what type of interest it generates among high Division I coaches.
“I’m going to weigh things out and see what comes in [offer-wise] during the season. So I’m thinking like midseason or right after the season I’ll decide [on a school],” Raynor said. “But I also know that teams fill up spots, so if I feel good about a school, I could commit before then. We just have to see.”
This offseason, Raynor is running track at Imhotep. He’s currently clocking in with a 10.8 in the 100-meter and a 31 in the 200. His 40-yard-dash time has been timed in the 4.4-second range.
“Workouts and track have been going good. I’m running pretty good, and I’ve been trying to work on my hands, so I can become a better receiver out of the backfield,” Raynor said. “And I’m trying to put on some weight too. I’m 5-11, 185 [pounds] right now, but I want to get up in that 190-200 range.”
Raynor Adding Offers, Updates Status
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