Maryland played host to more than 25 recruits for its Feb. 21 junior day, and one of the main offerees in attendance was St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) safety Aaron Hansford. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder had previously been in College Park, Md., for a game and a camp, but this was his first in-depth look at the school.
“It was a really good visit. I learned new things about Maryland that I didn’t know about before,” said Hansford, who holds offers from UMD, Duke, Illinois, Pittsburgh, Toledo and ODU. “My favorite part was touring the facilities, but I learned a lot about the program. Like, the academic support was big. They [the coaches] talked a lot about academics and had a whole session about that. It was good to know about how you can go to summer school, getting extra credits, and how I can graduate in 3.5 years and go for my masters. So in that sense it was very informative.
“Then I toured the facilities, and went more in-depth on what goes on there and what it’s like at Maryland. I saw where the freshmen football players stay and the off-campus housing, and that was really cool. Also, the coaches were great too.”
Hansford said he spent most of his time chatting up area recruiter Mike Locksley and head coach Randy Edsall. Receivers’ coach Keenan McCardell served as a tour guide of sorts, and Hansford enjoyed talking to him as well.
The St. John’s safety has a developing rapport with Locksley and said he’s one of his favorite college coaches to talk to, while Hansford is close with Edsall as well.
“I talked Coach Locksley and Coach Edsall mainly, and they were both great. They’re funny guys and I really like them,” Hansford said. “Coach Locksley was actually talking about me coming back [Feb. 24] for the basketball game against Wisconsin. He said most of the guys they offered will be there, so I’ll be going to that. Then we were talking about how I felt about Maryland, and my personal school life and the transition to a new offensive coordinator at St. John’s. It was cool, down to earth stuff. Me and Coach Locksley know each other well.
“And Coach Edsall, it was a mix of everything. He was telling me all kinds of stuff, like my position, learning how to play safety since I’m a little new to it. He was giving me tips on what to do in certain coverages during the DB meeting. Then he was talking about my athletic ability, how I’d fit into the scheme and things like that. We talked about some really cool stuff.”
Like most recruits, Hansford ate up the Under Armour gear. He said he tried on jerseys, helmets and other equipment, snapping as many photos as possible.
“I liked the locker room and seeing the equipment there. I really liked it,” Hansford said. “My school is an Under Armour school, obviously, with Kevin Plank going there, but we don’t have anything close to what Maryland has. It’s upgraded in a major way (laughs).
“And the food was pretty good too. They made some really good food for us, and I ate like three or four hamburgers.”
Hansford said he also spoke to several other recruits in attendance, namely four-star quarterback Dwayne Haskins (Bullis/Potomac, Md.), a prime Terps target. The St. John’s product didn’t want to put words in Haskins’ mouth, but he allowed that the triggerman enjoyed his stay.
“I know Dwayne had a really, really good time,” Hansford said. “I know he really liked Maryland. But I don’t want to speak for him.”
Next up for Hansford is that Feb. 24 Terps-Wisconsin basketball game. Then on Feb. 28 he’ll be heading to Penn State for its junior day.
“Right now I’m in the process of taking visits and seeing what’s all out there. I don’t have an order for my schools, but I’m highly considering Maryland of course,” said Hansford, who is hearing from PSU, Kentucky, Boston College, Indiana, Wisconsin and others. “I really like it there. I’m keeping my options open because it’s still kind of early and I have to talk things over with my family, but I do like Maryland. I like that it’s the hometown school and a lot of guys I know around here are thinking about going there.”
Hansford doesn’t have a set decision date, but acknowledged he’d likely select his school this summer.
Hansford Raves About UMD Junior Day
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