The Maryland staff is quite familiar with Central Catholic HS. Two current Terps, Anthony Nixon and Perry Hills, graduated from the Pittsburgh, Pa., school, while Maryland pursued class of 2015 safety Johnny Petrishen in earnest last year.
Now, Randy Edsall and area recruiter Greg Studrawa are after another Central Catholic product.
“I just got off the phone with Coach Stud from Maryland, and he told me he wanted to offer me,” said Rashad Wheeler, a 6-foot-3, 270-pound end/defensive tackle with offers from UMD, Pittsburgh, Boston College, Temple, Virginia, Wake Forest and others. “I was pretty excited. [Studrawa] said he watched my film with the head coach [Edsall], and they both really liked it. Then he just asked me to come down for a spring practice and was telling me what Maryland was like.”
And Wheeler plans to do just that this March. He hasn’t set a date yet, but he’ll likely hit College Park, Md., for a tour and a practice with his family.
“I’ll be down there, definitely,” Wheeler said. “Coach Stud is sending me some dates, but sometime in March, maybe April, I’ll get down there. I’ve never been to Maryland before, so I’ll get a chance to see what it’s like and see what the coaches are like. The only time I’ve been anywhere near there is when I went to Baltimore.”
During their phone conversation, Wheeler said Studrawa gave him some basic insight into the program. He mainly touched on academics and the Under Armour affiliation, according to the Pittsburgh product.
“[Studrawa] said it’s one of the top schools academically in the Big Ten and he said the person who owns Under Armour went to Maryland,” Wheeler said. “I already knew they had good academics, but I had no idea [Kevin Plank] went there. I knew they were big-time into Under Armour, but I didn’t know the guy who invented it went to school there. That’s pretty cool.”
Although Studrawa trekked through Central Catholic a couple times last year to recruit Petrishen, Wheeler didn’t have a chance to meet him. Nor had he spoken to him prior to Feb. 26.
“But he seems like a really cool coach and someone I’d like to build a relationship with,” said Wheeler, who mentioned that he took note of UMD’s win against Penn State last season. “I look forward to meeting him when I get down there.”
Besides the basics, Wheeler doesn’t know much about the Terps yet. He did say, however, that the school would seem to fit him since it’s in the Big Ten and the program puts an emphasis on education.
“But I have to go down there and see it first,” Wheeler said. “I’ll know more where I stand [with Maryland] after I visit.”
Maryland and Studrawa have just started to make in-roads, but coaches from Pittsburgh, Wake and BC have been after Wheeler for awhile now. The Central Catholic prospect admitted that trio currently has his attention, although there’s still plenty of time for his recruitment to ebb and flow.
“Pitt is in my backyard and I’ve been there a bunch. The coaches there are great,” Wheeler said. “Wake is a really nice school from what I’ve heard, and BC’s staff really stands out.”
Penn State could very well enter the mix in short order, too. Wheeler is set to visit State College, Pa., Feb. 28 and suggested an offer could materialize this spring.
He has also been in touch with Michigan State, Northwestern, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin coaches.
“I’d say Penn State is going to offer next, but I’m not sure when,” said Wheeler, who has taken visits to PSU, Pitt, Michigan State and Va Tech. “But if they offered, I’d take them under consideration definitely. I’ve visited a few times and I like the campus a lot. Penn State would be a top school along with Pitt, BC, Wake and Maryland.”
Wheeler didn’t know his stats from last season, but he said he performed well. He lined up mainly as a 5-technique, although he has the versatility to move inside too.
“I did a pretty good job stopping the run and getting to the quarterback,” Wheeler said. “But I have to work on my agility and speed in the open field more – that’s mainly what I’m concentrating on now.”
Terps Offer Has Wheeler's Attention
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