The Terps have extended a slew of class of 2016 receiver offers recently, including one to an emerging Northeast wideout who has a strong affinity for Maryland early during the recruiting process.
Donald Stewart, a 6-foot-4, 185-pounder from powerhouse Paramus Catholic (Paramus, N.J.), added his seventh verbal from UMD Feb. 18 when Terps area recruiter Keith Dudzinski let him know it was on the table.
“I’ve been in contact with Coach Dudzinski for quite some time now, and we have a really strong relationship. He messaged me on Twitter [Feb. 18] and asked me to call him, and he said the staff wanted to offer me,” said Stewart, who also holds scholarships from Rutgers, Temple, Boston College, Illinois, Syracuse and Wake Forest. “He likes that I’m a big downfield threat, that I block well, and how I bring a lot of energy to the field. He wants me to get faster, stronger and work on my route running, but overall he was very complimentary of my game. I was honored to get the offer, and it was very exciting for me.”
Stewart will be speaking to head coach Randy Edsall Feb. 19 before visiting College Park, Md., for the first time March 8.
He hasn’t conducted too much research on UMD yet, but Stewart said, at first glance, it’s an impressive school he’s eager to see.
“Definitely, one big thing that stands out about Maryland is the academics,” said Stewart, whose uncle lives in Baltimore. “I know it’s a great school and that they graduate like 98 percent of their [football] players. Academics is always first for me, so that’s big for Maryland and very impressive.
“I also saw them on TV a couple times this year, though unfortunately the game I remember was the [Foster Farms Bowl] against Stanford (laughs). I’m looking forward to checking them out though.”
One of the primary reasons he wants to see College Park, though, is his rapport with Dudzinski. The Terps’ linebackers coach actively recruits New Jersey and has established connections all over the Garden State, making plenty of inroads into Paramus in particular.
“Coach Dudzinski is probably the one coach I’m touch with the most out of everyone. He’s really great,” Stewart said. “We actually haven’t talked too much about Maryland yet, but it’s just good, general conversations about my grades and my family. He just wants to make sure I’m staying on top of things, and he’s not all about football. He makes sure I’m keeping my priorities straight, and I like that about him. He’s always good to talk to.”
Before Stewart takes in Maryland March 8, he’ll be hitting Syracuse March 1. Then, following his stay in College Park, he’ll see Wake Forest and Boston College later during the month.
Stewart had previously been to Virginia Tech for its junior day, while he attended a game at Rutgers last fall.
“The Virginia Tech visit was great. They also graduate 98 percent of their seniors, and the staff takes pride in that, so that stood out,” said Stewart, who mentioned that he keeps in contact with all the coaches that have offered him. “I also got a chance to meet their coaches too, and they showed me around and really treated me well. The offensive coordinator, he drew up a few plays for me, so it was a great learning experience.”
While Stewart mentioned that Maryland and Rutgers may be making the biggest push for him right now, he insists he has no early standouts. He said he’s “open to everyone” and wants to go through the process before putting out any sort of leaderboard.
“Probably in the early summer I’ll put out a top five [list], then later in like August I’ll make my [college] decision,” said Stewart, who holds a 3.4 GPA. “But definitely academics is big for me, and playing time is a huge factor for me too. As long as I can a great education and can contribute, those are the main two things. Location, coaching staffs, conference -- I’m not as concerned with that.”
Stewart is coming off a junior season where he recorded 34 receptions for 685 yards and eight touchdowns.
Terps Offer Stewart, Who Is Set To Visit CP
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