Maryland hosted around a dozen elite local recruits Feb. 24, and though none of them committed to the Terps while on campus, one in particular came agonizingly close. Sherwood (Sandy Spring, Md.) wideout Marcus Simms, who picked up a UMD offer Feb. 19 while on campus, was back in town a week later for the Terps-Wisconsin basketball game and came away raving about the hometown school.
“It was a great, great time and a lot of fun,” said the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Simms, who has offers from UMD, Boston College, Rutgers, West Virginia, Buffalo, Toledo, Pittsburgh and others. “It was just a really cool experience there, just watching the game, talking to the coaches and talking to the other recruits. Maryland is really feeling like home right now, even though it is home already (laughs). I love it up there.”
Apparently Simms was ready to end his recruitment right then and there. But he refrained from doing so after speaking to head coach Randy Edsall.
“It crossed my mind a couple times, but Coach Edsall said once I commit I couldn’t go on any other visits. So I think I’m going to wait until after I see a couple more places, and then make my decision,” said Simms, who mentioned that other UMD targets like Aaron Hansford (St. John's/Washington, D.C.), Terrell Hall (St. John's), Keith Simms (Landon/Bethesda, Md.), Naseir Upshur (Imhotep/Philadelphia, Pa.) and Trevon Diggs (Avalon/Gaithersburg, Md.) were there as well. “So once I’m done with these visits in like late March I’ll make my choice.
“Maryland is definitely my No. 1, though. I mean, [the Terps] play great competition, I know a lot of guys going there, and I just like what they’re doing there. I want to help put Maryland on the map.”
Simms had plenty of positive comments about UMD, but one of the most intriguing bits of information he divulged was his conversations with some of the other recruits in attendance. Simms said he spoke extensively to top Terps targets Dwayne Haskins (Bullis/Potomac, Md.) and Ellison Jordan (Gilman/Baltimore, Md.), in addition to Maryland commits Darryl Turner (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.), Lorenzo Harrison (DeMatha) and Keandre Jones (Good Counsel/Olney, Md.).
“I knew a lot of guys there, and two of them, D.J. [Turner] and LoLo [Harrison], I played with before when I was at DeMatha,” said Simms, who transferred to Sherwood after his sophomore year. “And Ellison, I’ve known him since the sixth grade, and I’ve known Dwayne for awhile now too. But, like, all those guys, I think they’re on-board with the whole ‘hometown movement.’ I think it’s going to get pretty scary with all these local guys going to Maryland.
“Dwayne, Ellison, maybe Keith Simms -- and of course D.J., Lolo and Keandre are already committed – and a couple other guys too like Tino [Ellis] and some others. They’re all liking Maryland a whole lot.”
In fact, according to Simms, Haskins was talking up UMD so much the Sherwood wideout thought the four-star quarterback was getting ready to pull the trigger.
“Dwayne Haskins wanted me to commit right then. From what he was saying, I think he’s definitely coming to Maryland. He wants me there with him,” Simms said. “And Ellison, you can’t really tell what he’s actually thinking, but I know he loves UMD too. [Jordan and I] always wanted to play together in college, so we were talking about that. But we’ll see what happens with him, but Dwayne, I think he’s in.”
Besides chatting with the other recruits, Simms said he connected once again with area recruiter Chad Wilt and receivers’ coach Keenan McCardell. He also said Edsall gave the entire group a rather eye-opening presentation, which hit home with Simms.
“Coach Wilt and Coach McCardell were great. They’re awesome to talk to,” Simms said. “They were talking to me about other visits, life, football, and then my girlfriend was with me and they were even talking to her a little bit.
“And Coach Edsall, he was telling us to stay home, put Maryland on the map, and put out for your hometown. What he was saying was really exciting, and all of us [recruits] were talking about it. It was great.”
Simms said the staff also showed the group a video that detailed the new indoor facility and other campus upgrades. The Sherwood product called it “really nice” and “really exciting.”
Almost as exciting as the hoops game that night.
Simms and Co. witnessed a thrilling 59-53 UMD upset of Wisconsin, which ended with the Terps’ students storming the Xfinity Center floor.
“I was too tired to run onto the floor,” Simms said, laughing. “But it was crazy. It was a crazy good game. The students were great and they were electrifying. It was real nice, and it showed you Maryland can get behind their teams. It was a lot of fun.”
Next up for Simms is a visit to Penn State Feb. 28, followed by Rutgers March 12 and WVU March 18. He should be announcing his college destination shortly thereafter.
“The end of March or maybe by the end of the spring I’ll be ready [to decide],” Simms said. “I just want to see a few more places since Maryland is the only school I’ve been to.”
Simms Raves About UMD Visit, Talks 'Movement'
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