Maryland hosted a number of intriguing recruits for its first junior day Feb. 21, but the clear headliner was four-star Bullis (Potomac, Md.) quarterback Dwayne Haskins. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound local product is the Terps’ No. 1 priority in the 2016 class and has the hometown school under firm consideration.
“[The junior day] went really well, really well,” said Haskins, who holds offers from UMD, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Oklahoma, Florida State, Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Michigan State, Ohio State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wake Forest and others. “It was great all around, but just building a relationship with the coaches, that stood out. I talked to Coach [Keenan] McCardell, Coach [Randy] Edsall and Coach [Mike] Locksley, and Coach [Chad] Wilt too. All of them were great to catch up with.”
Haskins said Edsall gave the entire group a presentation during the visit, and apparently it hit home with the four-star gunslinger. The Bullis quarterback said he’s “very close” with UMD’s headman and appreciates his message to him and other recruits.
“Coach Edsall was saying how interested they are in me, where they are as a program, where Maryland stands right now and where it wants to be in the future,” Haskins said. “He was talking about the brand at Maryland, and how you can build your brand there. He was saying how you can intern at places right around there, go to the NFL from there, and get a great job after college if you don’t [play professionally]. [Edsall] said Maryland is just a great university to be apart of, aside from football. But then he was saying how he wants to win a Big Ten championship and a national championship and how some people in this room can help them get there.
“It was a great speech and it meant a lot. Just in general I like the coaching staff and find them very genuine.”
Besides Edsall, Haskins spent plenty of time talking to quarterbacks coach Mike Locksley and his area recruiter, Wilt.
“I have a great relationship with both of those guys,” Haskins said. “We had some really good things to talk about. I haven’t talked to Coach Wilt for a minute, so we sat down and caught up. I like him a lot, and he’s always good to talk to. Because he’s the defensive line coach, we really don’t talk about football or strategy, it’s mainly just about personal stuff. We have a more friendship-based relationship, and it’s good.
“And Coach Locksley, he calls me ‘The Franchise’ actually (laughs). We’re always in touch and talk about everything. He definitely wants me there, and says he needs me. He’s really cool too.”
Naturally, the entire staff continued to harp on the DMV Movement that has taken hold in the area. Haskins knows the mantra backwards and forwards, and is well aware he could spark a potential windfall of commitments should he choose UMD.
“I understand where [the coaches are] coming from when they talk about keeping kids home. A lot of different cities and states have kids stay home and are successful because of it,” Haskins said. “So it’s something I am thinking about, and Maryland is definitely up there for me. I understand if guys stay home around here, we can do something special. So it’s something I’m definitely thinking about and is definitely real. Not everyone wants to stay home, but it’s something I pay attention to, what [other local recruits] are saying about Maryland, and what we can do if everyone [stays local].”
Haskins spoke to a number of those DMV recruits Feb. 21. He said he spent a good amount of time talking to Keith Simms (Landon/Bethesda, Md.), Abdul Adams (Wilson/Washington, D.C.) and Robbie Robinson (Hermitage, Va.), as well as recruits from Bergen Catholic (Bergen, N.J.) and teammate Zack Hawkins (Bullis).
“Everyone had a great time despite the weather,” Haskins said. “It was a good time. And I was with my dad, too, and he had a good time. Maryland is one of his favorite schools. He likes it a lot. He likes the fact that it’s nearby, the academics, and the coaches.”
The Bullis product will actually be back in College Park, Md., Feb. 24 for the Terps-Wisconsin basketball game. He said the UMD coaches were trying to get as many offered prospects as possible back for that primetime game.
“[The coaches] wanted to get me around some of the other kids they offered and guys who committed like D.J. [Turner] and Lorenzo [Harrison],” Haskins said. “So I’m going up there [Feb. 24] with Zack [Hawkins]. It should be fun.”
Haskins doesn’t have a visit scheduled for Feb. 28, but in March and April he’ll be hitting Auburn, Alabama, LSU and Oklahoma. Then he plans to trek West so he can take in UCLA and Arizona State. Return visits to Notre Dame, Penn State, Texas and Rutgers are also in the works.
“I don’t really have any leaders right now,” Haskins said. “There’s a lot of schools in the mix, and I have to take more visits first before saying something [about a leader]. I’m in touch with a lot of coaches from a lot of different schools.”
Haskins said he wants to have his college selected, however, by mid- to late-April. He said if we waits much longer, most programs will have filled up their quarterback slots and he won’t be able to commit to a school of his choosing, even if he wanted to.
“I’m just doing my best to enjoy the process,” Haskins said. “I’m putting together some dates and trying to plan all this out. But I know it’s important for the quarterback to commit and get the class started. I know I can’t wait too long [to decide], because I know spots will be taken up, and I also want to be someone who leads my class.”
Haskins is coming off a season where he threw for 1,963 yards and 22 touchdowns against four interceptions.
Haskins Talks Up UMD Following Visit
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