Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup.
The February 21 Junior Day
There are probably numerous others who will be attending Maryland’s first junior day, but here are the names we have so far, followed by a synopsis on their recruitments:
Dwayne Haskins, QB, Bullis (Potomac, Md.): We just broke down Haskins’ situation in the last Shell, and there’s really not too much to add other than he just took a visit to Rutgers Feb. 16.
Haskins has been to Piscataway, N.J., twice this offseason, and does seem to have a real affinity for the Scarlet Knights. His good friend Mohamed Jabbie (South Brunswick/Monmouth Junction, N.J.) is committed there, his former Pop Warner coach, Mohammed Sanu, is an RU grad, and he has a relationship with offensive coordinator Ben McDaniels and head coach Kyle Flood. (It should be noted that RU is also going after Bergen Catholic quarterback Jarrett Guarantano from Oradell, N.J., and might actually prefer him to Haskins. Should Guarantano choose Rutgers over Ohio State, his other top suitor, it would obviously end the Scarlet Knights’ pursuit of Haskins.).
Haskins, though, is still considered the Terps’ to lose. He continues to keep UMD at semi-arm’s length, careful not to talk Maryland up too much, but if you read between the lines, it’s clear he buys into head coach Randy Edsall’s program. He’s specifically addressed the DMV-to-UMD movement and is readily aware he could ignite a second wave of nearby Terps poppers should he commit.
The Feb. 21 junior day will be yet another opportunity for Maryland quarterbacks’ coach Mike Locksley and area recruiter Chad Wilt, along with Edsall, to make the hometown pitch. It will also give the Bullis triggerman a deeper look inside the program, as he hasn’t visited College Park, Md., since taking in a couple Terps games during the fall.
Haskins originally wanted to have his college chosen shortly after the New Year, but he’s pushed the date back a couple times with more college coaches jumping into the fray. Now, the four-star wants to check out recent offerees Oklahoma, Alabama, Michigan and LSU, in addition to previous suitors Ohio State, Notre Dame, Texas, Arizona, Arizona State and UCLA. The Sooners, Tide, Tigers and Wolverines all seem to have his ear, and we do think Haskins will at least give the latter quartet a look.
Now, Haskins probably won’t have time to see all the aforementioned schools, but his comments do suggest he’s not ready to end his recruitment just yet. Look for him to set a late March or April decision date, though at this rate, it wouldn’t shock us if he waited until May or June.
Trevon Diggs, CB, Avalon (Gaithersburg, Md.): Like Haskins, we wrote about Diggs in this space last week. But unlike Haskins, there really isn’t anything new to report here.
Diggs was most recently at the UMD hoops game against Indiana Feb. 11, so this Feb. 21 visit will be his second trip to College Park in two weeks. At this point, he’s been on the Terps’ campus so much he probably doesn’t even have a guesstimate of the number of times he’s been through.
But regardless of his comfort level in College Park and around the staff, we’re only going to project Diggs to Maryland if a certain quarterback is on board with UMD as well. You know our position by now: We think Diggs, the younger brother of former Terps receiver Stefon Diggs, will join the program if his good friend Haskins is truly “in.” If not, expect the Avalon product to wind up at one of his national suitors.
In the meantime, Diggs should still be checking out Florida, Florida State (no offer yet), Penn State, Georgia and Ohio State (no offer yet) this March/April. He might also trek to Alabama, his most recent suitor, and could camp at OSU this summer to cull out an Urban Meyer verbal.
PSU, Florida, Alabama and OSU (should it offer) hold water with Diggs, alongside UMD.
Aaron Hansford, S, St. John’s (Washington, D.C.): Maryland offered the local safety Jan. 30, and this will be his first time on campus since pulling the verbal. Hansford has been to UMD a couple times before for camps and the UMD-Michigan State football game, but he has yet to tour the school or learn about it in-depth.
Hansford, who holds verbals from UMD, Duke, Pitt, Toledo and ODU, isn’t claiming any clear leaders at this point, but he’s admittedly high on the “hometown movement,” noting that he’s “definitely” thinking about sticking around for college.
Hansford knows numerous current Terps, is well aware his friends are looking at Maryland, and would like for his parents to see him play as well. Moreover, UMD’s strong academics and the fact it’s in the Big Ten give the Terps added appeal.
Hansford has also been in touch with both area recruiter Mike Locksley and head coach Randy Edsall, the two coaches making the St. John’s prospect aware he’s a top priority in 2016.
But we don’t expect Hansford to pop while on campus Feb. 21. He just checked out Duke, another prime suitor, for its junior day Feb. 7 and came away thoroughly impressed. And after Maryland, he’ll re-visit Pittsburgh and two more programs that could offer down the line: Penn State and Ohio State.
Hansford will likely pick his school sometime later this summer.
Keith Simms, OLB, Landon (Bethesda, Md.): Maybe this Feb. 21 Maryland junior day can vault Maryland back into the pole position, but from the sound of things, Simms might be Stanford’s to lose.
When the Cardinal offered, Simms called them his “dream school,” promptly setting up a Palo Alto, Calif., trip in March. He raved about Stanford’s academics and football program, and then told our Cardinal reporter that “[the Cardinal] are my favorite” for the moment. (It may not help the Terps’ chances that Stanford defeated Maryland in the recent Foster Farms Bowl, which Simms took note of).
Simms said he’s still going through the recruiting process, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he popped to Stanford during his March campus visit.
Again, we’ll have to see if Terps area recruiter Chad Wilt, who has long been a Simms favorite, can turn things around in the near future.
Other schools in play include Wisconsin, UNC, Iowa and California.
Naseir Upshur, TE, Imhotep (Philadelphia, Pa.): The major news in Upshur’s recruitment was his addition of Alabama and LSU offers, putting the Tide and Tigers among the top contenders for the four-star’s services. The Philadelphia product is expected to take in Bama, which he’s visited once before, as well as LSU this spring or summer.
Upshur has already seen Maryland a couple times, in addition to South Carolina, Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers, Temple, Miami and Penn State. He’ll be visiting Ohio State shortly, followed by Notre Dame, Arizona State, Florida State, Bama, LSU and others this offseason.
At this point, Upshur’s recruitment is still in its infant stages, and it’s hard to get a real read as he typically gives different reporters different top suitors and “favorites lists.” Schools that figure to be under consideration, however, include UMD, Bama, LSU, Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, FSU, Arizona State, Temple, Miami, Rutgers and Penn State.
The Terps are right in the thick of things for the Imhotep product, however. Area recruiter John Dunn has done well here, and Maryland signee and teammate D.J. Moore continues to recruit Upshur as well.
The Feb. 21 junior day will allow Upshur to not only reconnect with the UMD staff and return to campus for the fourth time (he was most recently at the Terps-Michigan State football game), but it’s a chance for him and quarterback Dwayne Haskins to discuss a potential “hookup” in College Park. The pair have mulled attending the same college before, so this impending face-to-face meeting should be interesting, to say the least.
Upshur has not timetable for selecting his future destination.
Jordan Fuller, CB, Old Tappan (Northern Valley, N.J.): Fuller will actually take in UMD the day before the junior day, Feb. 20, but we included him in this section anyway.
The four-star cornerback has about 20 offers from the nation’s elite and his brother goes to UCLA, so we’re not inclined to place him on the hot board. That said, Fuller is visiting College Park Feb. 21 and has been in close contact with area recruiter Keith Dudzinski.
We’ll see if the Terps can gain any traction following the trip, but for the moment he’s tabbed for a national suitor. Penn State, Notre Dame, Stanford, Florida State and Alabama are all involved, as are hometown Rutgers and Virginia Tech (in addition to UCLA).
Jay-Jay McCargo, OL, Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.): McCargo does not hold a Maryland offer yet, but he could very well land one Feb. 21. He had been communicating with former Northern Virginia Terps recruiter Lyndon Johnson, but is in the process of building a relationship with new area recruiter Keenan McCardell.
If McCargo pulls the scholarship, expect him to keep Maryland on his mind considering it’s a nearby school and an opportunity for his parents to easily attend home games. But it wouldn’t be a game-changing offer per se.
McCargo already has verbals from N.C. State, North Carolina, South Carolina, Clemson, Boston College, Duke, Penn State, Temple, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and West Virginia, with many of the southern schools catching his eye. Clemson, Duke, South Carolina and UNC are the favorites at this time.
McCargo just visited Duke and was previously at UMD, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Clemson, UNC, Wake Forest and N.C. State. He’ll return to UNC and PSU in March before taking in Tennessee, South Carolina and N.C. State again this spring.
McCargo would like to make a summer college decision.
Robbie Robinson, CB, Phoebus (Hampton, Va.): One of Maryland's top cornerback targets will be in town Feb. 21. That said, this Virginia product has offers from Clemson, Michigan State, Duke, Penn State, Arizona State, Ohio State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Temple, Rutgers, Wake, West Virginia, Vanderbilt, Temple, Wisconsin, Georgia Tech and others.
Robinson said he's open in his recruitment at this time, but we'd be surprised if he doesn't end up at a power program or an in-state school. Virginia is a front-runner for the time being, while Duke and the SEC have his eye as well.
We'll see what he's thinking following the Feb. 21 trip to UMD.
Hasise Dubois, WR/S, DePaul Catholic (Wayne, N.J.): This 6-4, 200 pounder can play both receiver and safety, and is someone we touched on in the last Shell. Maryland area recruiter Keith Dudzinski has been through DePaul and been in touch with Dubois, and the multi-offer athlete will return the interest by visiting College Park Feb. 21.
The Terps haven’t offered yet, but we suspect they might during the junior day. If so, they’d be joining Boston College, Ohio State, Pitt, Rutgers, Temple and Wake, all of which have pulled through with scholarships. The Buckeyes are holding Dubois’ attention following a visit to Columbus, Ohio, and the hometown school RU is also hot on his trail.
Tymir Oliver, DE, West Philadelphia Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.): Oliver has offers from Boston College, Uconn, Umass, Pitt, Temple, UVA and Rutgers. Maryland hasn’t pulled through yet, but, like Jay-Jay McCargo and Hasise Dubois, the Terps could ante up Feb. 21.
UMD area recruiter John Dunn has been through West Catholic a couple times, and Oliver has suggested he’s interested in Maryland. The chance to play early and compete in the Big Ten are two factors working in UMD’s favor.
But even if the Terps’ staff makes a run, they have ground to make up. Rutgers is the stated favorite as Oliver has visited RU several times and has close ties to the staff. He’s also receiving looks from some power programs like Penn State, LSU and other Big Ten universities, and each would become attractive suitors should offers arise.
K.J. Gray, WR, St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.): Gray claims offers from Boston College, Uconn, Rutgers and Syracuse, but programs like Maryland, Indiana, Pitt, Virginia, Temple and others have been in touch. We don’t foresee the Terps making a potent push here, though the 6-0, 185-pounder could impress following a strong camp outing.
At the moment, the nearby schools like RU, BC and Syracuse are on his mind, though Gray is still wide open in the process. He’ll explore various locales this spring and summer, and we expect he’ll pick up a few more scholarships during the evaluation period, giving him even more options to explore.
Gene Coleman, WR, Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.): Coleman has two offers from Rutgers and Syracuse, but has had communication with numerous Division I programs, including Maryland and area recruiter Keith Dudzinski. It’s unlikely he’ll pull a Terps offer unless he comes to camp, but he’s someone to keep in mind moving forward, especially if other receiver targets elude Maryland.
The Feb. 21 trip will be the 5-11, 180-pouder’s first time in College Park.
Lawrence Gardner, OLB, North Burlington (Burlington, N.J.): Gardner claims one offer from Temple and has just entered onto the recruiting radar. He may not be a priority prospect for Maryland, but he could generate more interest with a strong summer camp showing.
Sal Mauro, DE, Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.): Mauro does not have any offers yet, although several Northeast programs are showing interest. He’ll likely have to camp at Maryland to draw a harder Terps look.
Thomas Lopez, OT, Middletown South (Middletown, N.J.): Lopez is offerless at the moment, but BC, Pitt, Maryland, Rutgers and Uconn are interested. The Scarlet Knights might be the first to pull the trigger. Lopez will probably have to attend a one-day in College Park to generate more UMD attention.
Emmanuel Appiah, S, Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.): Not much is known about Appiah at this time, other than he’s claiming one offer from N.C. State. Apparently a few regional schools like Rutgers, Temple, Syracuse and others are monitoring him too. We’re not sure if the Terps make a move here unless he shows out at camp and provides strong senior film.
Jadin Ash-Dawson, DT, Canada Prep (St. Catharines, Ontario): Well, he’s not Neville Gallimore, the last recruit Chad Wilt pursued from Canada. Ash-Dawson is an undersized (5-11, 300 pounds) plugger, who is looking for his first offer. The Terps have shown some interest, so he’s worth keeping track of, but we’re not sure Wilt and Co. will take a flyer unless other targets fall off.
Andre Mintz, DE, Imhotep: Naseir Upshur’s teammate will be joining him at UMD Feb. 21. Mintz holds one offer from Uconn and has interest from Temple and several FCS programs. We’re not sure the Terps will recruit him that heavily.
Solomon Manning, OLB, Colonia (N.J.): Manning holds one offer from Pitt, but has several major programs interested, including Maryland. Manning is wide open in his recruitment at this stage and will be visiting and camping at multiple places. We don't see the Terps and Keith Dudzinski making a push unless others fall by the wayside.
Kwadir Brown, CB, DePaul Catholic (Wayne, N.J.): Brown’s a smallish cornerback whose recruitment has yet to start in earnest. He may not be a main priority for Maryland at this time.
Savohn Hunt, DT, St. John’s (Washington, D.C.): An under the radar DMV defensive tackle who lacks high Division I offers to this point. The Terps know about him, but they may not push unless other pluggers they’ve targeted head elsewhere.
WR Simms Visits College Park, Gets Offer
Two local receivers were supposed to make their way over to College Park before the Feb. 21 junior day, but four-star Tino Ellis (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.) didn’t attend due to the snowstorm Feb. 16. Ellis, a frequent UMD visitor who was just on campus for the Terps-Indiana basketball game Feb. 11, has rescheduled his personal Maryland trip for Feb. 24 instead.
The second wideout did make it in, however. Sherwood’s (Sandy Spring, Md.) Marcus Simms is a bit lesser known than Ellis, but could be just as important of a recruit for UMD, which offered him while on campus. Simms is a 6-2, 180-pounder with good size, deceptive speed, soft hands and solid body control. He has early offers from Maryland, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Toledo and Eastern Michigan, with schools such as Rutgers, N.C. State and even Wisconsin in contact.
Simms, who transferred from DeMatha after his freshman year, has had a developing rapport with area recruiter Chad Wilt since October, and the latter has been urging the Sherwood receiver to visit campus.
Which Simms did, along with his parents, Feb. 19. The family had the opportunity to chat up Wilt, receivers’ coach Keenan McCardell, Edsall and other staff members. They toured the campus, learned about the academics and met a few current Terps as well.
Following the trek through College Park, Simms said he thoroughly enjoyed himself -- to the point where he called Maryland the "team to beat." Simms grew up a Terps fans and had wanted to attend the nearby university even before the whole DMV-to-UMD concept materialized. He’s fond of the staff, the academic emphasis, likes the school itself and knows two Terps pledges already from his DeMatha days: Lorenzo Harrison and Darryl Turner.
Simms will take a look at his other suitors, but he's Maryland's to lose at this point.
Next up, Simms is scheduled to be at Penn State Feb. 28, WVU March 15, followed by Rutgers, Pitt and possibly Toledo. He would like to have his college chosen by the summer. (ARTICLE).
Two Significant Feb. 28 Visitors Chime In
I caught up with a pair of out-of-town offered recruits who will be visiting Maryland for its second junior day, Feb. 28, as well: receiver Eric Kumah (Forest Park/Woodbridge, Va.) and guard Eric Boselli (Episcopal/Jacksonville, Fla.).
After doing an entire breakdown of Maryland’s offensive line situation last week, I spoke to yet another prime target this week in Boselli. The 6-4, 310-pounder, who is the son of former All-Pro Tony Boselli, has held a Terps offer for months -- before his recruitment reached new heights. Because of that, and due to his longstanding relationship with area recruiter Keenan McCardell, Boselli is keeping Maryland firmly in play.
Boselli has met McCardell a few times, and has frequent contact with him via Twitter, while he’s spoken to head coach Randy Edsall on a few occasions as well. Moreover, Tony Boselli knows both McCardell and Edsall well since their paths coincided in Jacksonville during the mid-1990s.
While Tony Boselli isn’t pushing his son to any one school, it’s obvious the Episcopal guard’s father thinks highly of the Terps’ program.
Andrew Boselli and his father have been attempting to visit College Park for the first time since the fall, and it looks like they’ll finally be able to do so Feb. 28. Andrew Boselli said he’s heard “great things” about Maryland’s campus and coaches, and he’s looking forward to seeing the school and meeting the staff first-hand.
But it should be noted that Boselli just landed his first SEC verbal from LSU and seems to have an eye for national suitors. He’s not looking for any offers in particular, but it’s obvious if Florida State, Georgia, Florida and the like come calling he’ll give each a hard look.
Boselli will take his first offseason visit to Duke Feb. 21, followed by Maryland, FSU, LSU and Missouri. All five are considered primary contenders for the time being.
Boselli would optimally like to have his college chosen by the summer. (ARTICLE).
As for Kumah, his offer list now consists of UMD, Wake Forest, Navy, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Temple, Tennessee and ODU. The 6-3, 200 pounder has visited the Hokies numerous times, and has also ventured out to see the Nittany Lions, Tigers, Wolfpack, Mountaineers, Wahoos and Terps.
Kumah initially took in College Park for a summer camp last year and then returned Jan. 17 for the Maryland-Michigan State basketball game. He’s had nothing but positive impressions of the school and the staff, noting how he had a rapport with former area recruiter Lyndon Johnson and is eager to meet the new NoVa Terps recruiter, Keenan McCardell.
But Kumah also admitted he has a clear No. 1 right now. He said Va Tech is out in front, citing the staff’s stability, the school’s engineering program and the surrounding area.
Kumah should be announcing a top five leaderboard by April, but the Hokies are probably the team to beat. He will be announcing his future destination by the summer. (ARTICLE).
Stewart Chimes In On Offer
The Terps must be looking to add several receivers to its 2016 crop, because they’ve offered about 10 of them in the last week alone. Most were of the national variety and have their sites set on some of the glitz and glamour programs, but Paramus Catholic (Paramus, N.J.) wideout Donald Stewart has his eyes currently glued to UMD.
The 6-4, 185-pounder said area recruiter Keith Dudzinski has been in touch more than any other college assistant, which Stewart certainly appreciated. On top of that, Stewart thought highly of how Dudzinski has made sure to touch on family and academics during their conversations, not putting all the emphasis on football.
Speaking of academics, Maryland’s strong education, coupled with the football players’ graduation rates under Randy Edsall, has Stewart’s attention. The Jersey prospect’s primary focus is earning a degree, and he knows he’d get a good one in College Park.
Stewart will visit UMD for the first time March 8, and said he’s “very excited” to do so.
But while the Terps are in the ballgame now, Stewart will check out his other suitors as well. Rutgers, Syracuse, Wake Forest, Illinois, Boston College and Temple have all offered. Virginia Tech, meanwhile, could be on the verge after his visit to Blacksburg, Va.
Stewart plans to see SU March 1, Maryland March 8, Wake March 15 and BC March 22. Then, during the summer months, he would like to release a firm top five favorites list before selecting a school in August. (ARTICLE).
Three New Tight End Offers
Naseir Upshur (Imhotep/Philadelphia, Pa.) is the clear No. 1 target at tight end, but he’s also the top priority for the likes of Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State, Arizona State, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Penn State and so on and so forth. Thus, the Terps’ staff took the prudent approach late last week and extended verbals to at least three more tight ends.
I touched on both Jay Rose (Southington, Conn.) and Noah Turner (Mt. Carmel Catholic/Mundelein, Ill.) in the last Shell, but wasn’t able to interview both until after its release. Here’s what you need to know:
Rose is a 6-3, 230 pounder who actually plays quarterback for Southington. In fact, he suggested a couple programs, including Duke, Pittsburgh and Boston College, could give him a look as a signal caller. But based on what Rose has told us, and what our Northeast analysts are saying, he probably isn’t a Big Ten gunslinger. So, I wouldn’t look for the Terps to pursue him at that position, even if their quarterback situation changes. (Rose said for the moment head coach Randy Edsall likes him as an “athlete,” though he acknowledged he’d probably wind up a tight end should he choose UMD.)
Rose has never been to College Park before, but sounded especially eager to trek down this spring. He’s also had a developing rapport with area recruiter Keith Dudzinski, the two exchanging frequent messages via Twitter and text. Rose doesn’t know too much about the program yet, but insisted he’d be doing plenty of research this winter/spring.
While he was thrilled with his most recent offer, however, Rose does not have any favorites. So before announcing leaders, he will check out each of his early offerees: Maryland, Boston College, Uconn, N.C. State and West Virginia. His first visit this offseason comes Feb. 21 at BC; he has nothing else set in stone following that trip.
Expect Rose to make a later summer college decision. (ARTICLE).
Turner, meanwhile, is another Midwest Chad Wilt recruit the Terps will attempt to bring East. Wilt did well to jump on Turner early, as the tight end only holds offers from a couple mid- to lower-tier Big Ten programs (Illinois, Indiana), as well as most of the MAC, but figures to see his verbal list expand during the evaluation period.
Unlike Rose, Turner is primarily a tight end at Carmel Catholic. In fact, the 6-3, 240-pounder said Edsall likes his versatility, flashing the ability to line up as an in-line blocker, an H-Back, a fullback and a pass-catching end.
Rose mentioned that he’s had frequent contact with Wilt, the latter trekking through Carmel twice last year, while the two exchange every-other-day messages via Twitter. The tight end also said Maryland is an attractive option considering it’s in the Big Ten, a solid academic school and is in the process of upgrading its facilities.
Rose is planning to visit College Park for the first time in late March.
The program to watch out for, though, is Michigan State. Rose practically admitted an MSU scholarship would be a game changer, so if the Spartans ante up (it’s a possibility; their coaches have been in close contact with Rose), he might not see the need to trek East.
Nearby Indiana (March 7 visit) and Illinois (March 13 visit) will also be given prime consideration. (ARTICLE).
The Terps also recently offered Jacob Mathis from Berkeley Prep in Tampa, Fla., this week. I touched on the 6-5, 220-pounder four-star in the “New Offers Out” section below.
Feb. 28 Visitors and More News & Notes
Koby Quansah, LB, Kingswood-Oxford (West Hartford, Conn.): I updated Quansah’s status last week, letting Terps fans know the inside backer planned to see College Park this spring. He’s had frequent communication with UMD area recruiter Keith Dudzinski and continues to praise the school’s academics, Big Ten affiliation and the like.
At the time of my interview, Quansah held offers from UMD, BC, Uconn, Duke, Umass and Northwestern, but his recruitment reached a new level in the last few days.
After picking up his first SEC verbal from Vanderbilt, Quansah landed an offer from Michigan the following day, prompting the No. 1 player in Connecticut to immediately schedule a visit to Ann Arbor, Mich., Feb. 24. Two days after that, Quansah pulled in yet another major Big Ten verbal, this time from Wisconsin, another school he'd like to see first-hand.
Now, these two offers don't mean Quansah is definitely a goner, but the worry for Terps fans is the Wolverines' and Badgers' scholarships might start a windfall of power player looks. Will Quansah still give Maryland the same attention if Michigan State, Ohio State and the like come calling?
We’ll see if the Terps can stay in the game until Quansah is ready to announce his destination this summer or fall.
Sulaiman Kamara, DT, Hermitage (Richmond, Va.): The Terps will be hosting an emerging defensive line recruit from Virginia for their second junior day, Feb. 28. The 6-2, 275-pound Kamara lacks a Maryland offer to this point, though that could change following the trek north.
Kamara has been in touch with area recruiter Chad Wilt and has a growing interest in the program. Currently, though, he seems to have his eye on some of his southern suitors, namely Duke, UNC and Wake Forest. Penn State and UVA have also offered, while he’s looking for verbals from the likes of Clemson, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida State.
Needless to say, Kamara doesn’t figure to be an easy pull, even if the Terps do pursue in earnest.
Isaiah Wright, CB/WR, Kingswood-Oxford (West Hartford, Conn.): The teammate of top Terps target Koby Quansah, Wright is also on Maryland’s radar, though he lacks an offer. Area recruiter Keith Dudzinski has maintained contact and has visited Kingswood-Oxford to talk to his coaches about him, however. Wright plans to visit UMD for the first time Feb. 28, and could conceivably draw more Terps interest -- or even pull a scholarship – after doing so.
Wright already holds verbals from BC, Uconn, Umass, Rutgers and Syracuse. The local school, RU, is firmly in play after his visit there, and Wright will be taking in Boston College Feb. 21. An Ohio State trip is also in the works for April.
Tyler Cole, S, Windsor (Conn.): Cole is a good-looking safety prospect at 6-2, 193-pounds, though he doesn’t have any offers yet. Terps area recruiter Keith Dudzinski has communicated with him, however, and Cole is trying to check out College Park this spring. He’s a recruit to keep on the radar moving forward, though we don’t see him as a primary Maryland target at this time.
Robert Washington, RB, Southlake Christian (Huntersville, N.C.): The 40-plus offer running back’s most recent verbal came from Alabama. Washington was naturally elated with the scholarship, and now has the Crimson Tide as one of his leaders. North Carolina, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Clemson, Michigan, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, TCU, Wisconsin and others are also in contention.
The Terps are in there as well, but unless Maryland can pull in Washington’s close friend, Dwayne Haskins, in addition to securing a second campus visit from the Southlake product, UMD is probably on the outside looking in.
Washington still wants to have his college chosen by late March.
Greg Ross, CB, Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.): Ross is one of the top DMV corners in the 2016 class, and his offer list is beginning to bear that out. I wrote about the Potomac defensive back when he received his first major verbal from Virginia Tech several months ago, and on Feb. 18 he added his second from Big Ten power Wisconsin. Other schools throughout the ACC and Big Ten figure to ante up as well.
Ross has been in touch with Terps area recruiter Mike Locksley, but it looks like the Potomac corner will have to show out in camp to pick up a UMD scholarship. He has an affinity for the local university, however, so should Locksley and Co. pounce, they could make inroads.
Ross will be at N.C. State’s junior day Feb. 21, but has no firm plans after that.
New Offers Out
The Terps extended a slew of new 2016 wideout offers in the last week, including receiver Marcus Simms (Sherwood/Sandy Spring, Md.), Donald Stewart (Paramus Catholic/Paramus, N.J.), receiver Binjumen Victor (Coconut Creek/Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), receiver Nate Craig-Myers (Tampa Catholic/Tampa, Fla.), receiver Aaron Mathews (Clairton, Pa.), receiver Jeremy Smith (Fort Bend Marshall/Missouri City, Texas), receiver Eli Stove (Niceville, Fla.), receiver Kofi Boateng (Lamar/Arlington, Texas), receiver Justin Layne (Benedictine/Cleveland, Ohio) and receiver Devin Duvernay (Sachse, Texas).
Elite tight end Jacob Mathis (Berkley Prep/Tampa, Fla.) was also offered.
Two offensive line prospects were also extended verbals: Thomas Schaffer (Lake Forest Academy/Lake Forest, Ill.) and Luke Fortner (Sylvania Northview/Sylvania, Ohio).
I addressed the Paramus product Stewart in a section above, as well as the Sherwood product Simms.
The 6-4, 170-pound Victor is a four-star recruit with more than 20 verbals. The in-state schools, plus those throughout the SEC, are considered the favorites.
Craig-Myers, meanwhile, has already committed to Auburn. This five-star burner has more than 40 scholarships and picked the Eagles over numerous bluebloods.
The Florida wideout Stove has about 30 offers and counting. Much of the SEC and the other southern powers are already on him. Stove is keeping an open mind, but it won’t be easy to lure him out of the Sunshine State.
Layne, a 6-3, 180-pounder, has the Big Ten bigwigs all over him. The Ohio native has been pegged for Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan or Penn State.
The four-star Duvernay (5-11, 185) claims scholarships from pretty much every glamour program in the country. He could be Texas’ or Texas A&M’s to lose.
Boateng, another Texas native, figures to see his recruitment explode in the near future. All the Texas programs are monitoring him closely, and Texas Tech has already anted up. If UT, TCU or TAMU offer, his recruitment could quickly end.
And a third Lone Star state product, Jeremy Smith, has just seen his recruiting begin to take off. He now holds offers from Oklahoma, Michigan State, SMU, Houston and Maryland. Of that group, Smith seems particularly intrigued by the Sooners. Schools throughout the SEC and Big 12 are showing interest as well.
The Pennsylvania product Mathews was one of the least heralded (relatively speaking) of the new offerees, though that should change in short order. Mathews has Pitt, Minnesota, WVU and Temple on his offer list, in addition to UMD, but Michigan, PSU, Ohio State, Wisconsin and others could be coming in soon. The in-state programs Pitt and PSU are the early leaders.
The tight end Mathis, meanwhile, has about 25 offers to his name, including almost all of the Sunshine State programs. Florida and Miami have his eye early, while he’s pining for an offer from Stanford. Ohio State is also in the game.
Moving over to the offensive line, Thomas Schaffer holds offers from California, Clemson, Maryland, Illinois, Iowa, Miami of Ohio, Oregon, Rutgers, Stanford, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin and others. The high-academic schools such as Vandy and Duke hold his eye. He's considered a longshot for UMD.
The second linemen the Terps offered was Sylvania Northview (Sylvania, Ohio) tackle Luke Fortner. Kentucky, Cincinnati and a few MAC schools have already offered, but UMD is firmly in play. Area recruiter Greg Studrawa has been in touch, and Fortner is contemplating a College Park visit. He's a name to know moving forward, for sure.
TTDave's Inside The Shell
TerrapinTimes Top Stories
TTDave's Inside The ShellWelcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland-football recruiting roundup.
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