Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, our weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup.
Feb. 28 Visitors
Maryland’s second junior day didn’t bring out as many headliners as the Feb. 21 one, or the Feb. 24 DMV influx. That said, there were a few intriguing names who visited College Park, Md., including some prime Terps targets in both the 2016 and 2017 classes.
Class Of 2016 Visitors
Eric Kumah, WR, Forest Park (Woodbridge, Va.): Kumah has now been at Maryland three times, including twice in the last couple months. This 6-3, 200-pounder has the Terps squarely on his mind and figures to have them among his top five suitors when he releases his favorites list shortly.
Kumah is establishing a rapport with UMD area recruiter and receivers’ coach Keenan McCardell, the two spending practically the entire trip together Feb. 28. Not only does Kumah like McCardell personally, but he respects his resume and believes he can help develop his game. Moreover, the Forest Park product is impressed with UMD’s new facility plans and how the Terps are fairly close to his family in Woodbridge, Va.
Expect Kumah to return to Maryland for a fourth time this March or April for a spring practice, giving him yet another inside look at head coach Randy Edsall’s program.
But the Terps have some stiff competition for Kumah’s services. He also holds notable verbals from Virginia Tech, Northwestern, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Tennessee, N.C. State and Boston College, with West Virginia about to ante up.
Tech is Kumah’s oft-stated No. 1, while he also seems to have his eye on UVA, Kentucky and WVU (should it offer). Kumah has seen Va Tech numerous times, and it is by far and away the program to beat, while he’s also taken in N.C. State, WVU, UVA, Clemson and Penn State. He’ll be in Lexington, Kent., March 7 and will return to WVU March 15.
Look for Kumah to make a late summer college decision. (ARTICLE).
Sulaiman Kamara, DE, Hermitage (Va.): Given Kamara’s offer list, relationship with area recruiter Chad Wilt and Maryland’s need for defensive linemen, we figured this 6-1, 290-pounder would walk away from his first College Park visit with a scholarship. It didn’t happen Feb. 28, although Kamara could very well become a target down the road.
If the Terps wait to make a run, however, it could be too late as Kamara’s profile is steadily growing. Duke, North Carolina, Penn State, Virginia, Wake Forest and Marshall have already thrown their names into the hat, and Michigan State, Va Tech and N.C. State could be next. UNC and PSU seem to be on his mind early, and if MSU extends the scholarship, Kamara’s recruitment might end immediately.
But Kamara insists he’s not picking a school until after his senior season, so if he stands behind that statement, there’s time for his recruitment to ebb and flow.
As for Maryland, Kamara did have an entertaining stay Feb. 28. He spent most of his time with Wilt, calling the Terps’ defensive line coach “the man,” lauding his enthusiasm and personality. Kamara went on to say that he could see himself contributing in Maryland’s 4-3 defense. The Hermitage recruit talked up the new facilities, campus and the rest of the staff (namely defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski) as well.
Kamara could very well return to College Park for a second visit this March or April, and if so, we’d be surprised if the Terps didn’t finally offer him.
He’ll be in State College, Pa., March 28 for the second time, and has already taken in the likes of Duke, UNC, Va Tech, UVA, Michigan State, Wake Forest, N.C. State and UMD. (ARTICLE).
Brad Hawkins, WR, Camden (N.J.): Hawkins was arguably the most high-profile recruit on campus, a four-star with more than 20 offers to date. Feb. 28 was his first trip to College Park, and he told our Jersey analyst he learned plenty from Randy Edsall and Co.
Hawkins has been in touch with UMD area recruiter Keith Dudzinski, and the two do have a bond. But even more intriguing for Hawkins was meeting Terps’ assistant Keenan McCardell, the Camden product noting the receivers coach’s NFL experience. Hawkins knows UMD has produced the likes of Torrey Smith and Stefon Diggs, and he believes McCardell can help him reach that level.
But don’t get too excited yet, Terps fans. We’re not projecting Hawkins to wind up in College Park, especially considering the high praise he’s offered up for South Carolina, Michigan, Notre Dame, Florida and hometown Rutgers. More than likely, he’s going to choose a national glamour program.
Ron Johnson, DE, Camden (N.J.): Hawkins’ teammate, four-star defensive end Ron Johnson, joined him in College Park Feb. 28. Johnson too had a good time on campus, mentioning his chat with area recruiter Keith Dudzinski and defensive line coach Chad Wilt. Johnson was also impressed by UMD’s new facility plans and the campus in general.
But Johnson, for whatever reason, doesn’t hold a Maryland offer yet, and at this point the Terps are well behind the eight-ball if they do pursue. Ohio State and Penn State are both hot on his trail, while Notre Dame just became a prime player. Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, Michigan State and others of that ilk are also on Johnson’s mind.
It would be an upset if Johnson didn’t end up at OSU or PSU.
Kolton Huber, WR, St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.): The 6-1, 192-pound Huber has one offer from Syracuse to this point, but he’s been in touch with numerous others like Miami, Missouri, BC, Uconn, Rutgers and Maryland. The Cuse are considered the favorites since the staff has been on him for some time, though Huber is keeping his options open this early in the process.
Naturally, Huber enjoyed his first stay in College Park Feb. 28, and would immediately place the Terps among his top two suitors should they ante up. He already knew area recruiter Keith Dudzinski, who has trekked through St. Peter’s Prep several times, and liked talking to receivers’ coach Keenan McCardell on campus. The facility upgrades, Under Armour connection and strong academics also caught the Jersey prospect’s eye.
But we’re not sure Maryland’s staff will actively pursue Huber unless he shines at a one-day and their other targets fall by the wayside. With wideouts like Tino Ellis (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.), Marcus Simms (Sherwood/Sandy Spring, Md.), Donald Stewart (Paramus Catholic/Paramus, N.J.) and Eric Kumah firmly on UMD’s radar, Huber can’t be considered a priority at this time.
Demian Thomas, RB, Camden (N.J.): Thomas joined his two high-profile teammates, Brad Hawkins and Ron Johnson, on the trip down to Maryland Feb. 28. He has a good looking frame at 6-0, 200 pounds, but has only one offer from Delaware State at this time. He does not project as someone who the Terps will go after unless he shines at a one-day camp.
John Kinney, OLB, Hermitage (Va.): Kinney took in College Park along with his teammate, Sulaiman Kamara. Like the aforementioned Thomas, Kinney has solid measurables at 6-2, 195 pounds, but he’s flown under the recruiting radar at thus far. Maybe he’ll become one of those “camp guys” the Terps identify and offer in June, but for now we’re not inclined to place him on the hot board.
Class Of 2017 Visitors
There were several sophomores in attendance Feb. 28, but the three main ones to know are:
Jordan McNair, OT, McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.): This local lineman has had a Terps offer since he was a freshman, and has much love for the hometown school. Maryland and area recruiter Keith Dudzinski have an outstanding relationship with McDonogh and its recruits, and it’s safe to say the Terps have the inside track on McNair initially.
The 6-4, 275-pound guard/tackle has already been in College Park multiple times for games and personal visits, and former Eagles-turned-Terps Josh Woods, Ellis McKennie and Roman Braglio have hyped UMD whenever they return to Owings Mills.
The Feb. 28 visit, though, allowed McNair to delve even deeper into the program. The indoor facility and underground tunnel certainly caught his eye, while McNair enjoyed reconnecting with Dudzinski and defensive line coach Chad Wilt as well.
McNair’s recruitment is just taking off, however, and he now claims Ohio State and Penn State verbals. The rest of the Big Ten and ACC figures to come calling soon enough.
We’ll see if the Terps, buoyed by the “hometown movement” and the McDonogh pipeline, can keep McNair focused on Maryland rather than the bigwigs.
Joshua Kaindoh, DE, Mt. Carmel (Essex, Md.): It’s not often a national recruit from Baltimore ends up at a private school other than Gilman (Baltimore, Md.), Calvert Hall (Towson, Md.), St. Frances (Baltimore, Md.) or even Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.) or Spalding (Annapolis, Md.). But somehow Josh Kaindoh slipped through to tiny Mt. Carmel in East Baltimore.
Of course, that hasn’t kept college recruiters from taking notice.
Before landing an offer from Maryland Feb. 27, Kaindoh pulled in Ohio State, Penn State and even Alabama verbals. And you can bet more are bound to materialize in the not-too-distant future.
But Kaindoh hasn’t had a chance to see any of the latter institutions yet. He has taken in UMD, however, and likes what’s going on at the hometown school.
Kaindoh, who was joined by a couple Mt. Carmel teammates, complimented the Terps’ staff; facilities; Under Armour affiliation; and the atmosphere inside the Xfinity Center for the UMD-Michigan hoops game. Kaindoh said he had a long, personal conversation with Maryland area recruiter John Dunn, learning what Randy Edsall’s program is about now and what it could be in the future.
“I think Maryland, with what Coach [Randy] Edsall is doing there, is going to do big things in the very near future,” Kaindoh said.
Kaindoh was also made aware of the “hometown movement,” although he admitted he’s unsure how to take “DMV-to-UMD” at the moment. The Mt. Carmel prospect said since he’s still a sophomore, and his recruitment has just barely begun, he couldn’t really give any definitive answers in regards to leaders or standouts.
The only other campus he’s been on is West Virginia’s, so Kaindoh will undoubtedly trek to numerous others these next two years. That said, expect him to return to College Park this spring/summer and for games during the fall as the Terps’ staff attempts to gain position. (ARTICLE).
Nathan Proctor, OLB, Lackey (Indian Head, Md.): Proctor is yet another rising star sophomore who claims a couple offers from the nation’s elite. So far Georgia, Illinois, Miami, Pitt, Toledo and Buffalo have anted up, while Maryland, N.C. State, Michigan State, Ohio State, South Carolina and others are monitoring him closely.
The Terps are currently still evaluating Proctor, but it wouldn’t shock to see an offer materialize at some point this offseason. Area recruiter Mike Locksley already knew about Proctor prior to the junior day, and we expect Maryland’s offensive coordinator to be trekking through Lackey again this spring.
As for the Feb. 28 visit itself, Proctor liked what he saw in College Park, namely the Under Armour gear. He said he tried on several jerseys, posting numerous pictures on social media. The program’s emphasis on education also rang true, while the new facility plans held his attention. He enjoyed chatting with Locksley, defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski and linebackers coach Lyndon Johnson as well.
But Proctor doesn’t plan to name any frontrunners until next summer at the earliest. He has many visits to take and offers to gather, and the way this is trending, Proctor could become another difficult Terps pull out of Southern Maryland a la Juwann Briscoe.
Tech Trending For Tino?
There’s still time for the Terps to turn this one around, especially if top quarterback target Dwayne Haskins (Bullis/Potomac, Md.) jumps on the Pride bandwagon, but currently it seems like DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) four-star receiver Tino Ellis is favoring Virginia Tech.
Ellis admitted as much recently in several interviews, including one with myself, tabbing the Hokies as his No. 1 “just a little bit.” Which, in recruiting parlance, means Tech is the clear No. 1.
Ellis was last in Blacksburg, Va., at the beginning of February along with his mother, father and uncle, calling it a “real family atmosphere” there. He said the entire Ellis clan loved the school and program, namely the academics and the staff, led by longtime headman Frank Beamer.
Moreover, Ellis’ former teammate, Cam Phillips (a fellow Baltimore native), played host and took the Ellises around campus. Ellis considers Phillips to be a best friend, and apparently the Tech wideout did his best hard sell on the DeMatha wideout.
That said, Ellis was back at Maryland following his Tech trip, and that left a distinct impression too (I detailed his visit two Shells ago). Both Terps area recruiter Mike Locksley and head coach Randy Edsall have done their best with Ellis, as have his teammates and UMD commits D.J. Turner and Lorenzo Harrison.
Ellis is also all about the DMV-to-UMD movement. He has said multiple times previously how much it would mean to represent his home state and play close to his family.
We’ll know by late July whether or not Ellis’ comments about Maryland ring hollow. For now, though, we’ve dropped his hot board reading from “hot” to “warm” with Tech holding the edge at the moment.
Tide Trending For Trevon?
Another top Terps target, Avalon (Gaithersburg, Md.) cornerback Trevon Diggs, took in Alabama Feb. 28, and left declaring the Tide as the “team to beat.”
Diggs couldn’t say enough about head coach Nick Saban and Co., lauding their work ethic and how hard they push their players. He went on to talk up Bama’s facilities, dorms, fanbase and unmatched tradition.
Now, Diggs isn’t ready to pop until maybe late summer, but this recent development has to be disconcerting for UMD aficionados. The younger brother of former Terps receiver Stefon Diggs has been forecast for College Park -- so long as his good friend, Dwayne Haskins, is on board. But even if the latter development comes to fruition -- which it still should -- Bama may be hard to top.
There’s little more Maryland area recruiter Mike Locksley and Co. can do at this point. Diggs was just in College Park for a junior day and the Feb. 24 hoops game, and he knows the Terps inside and out. He’s been sold and resold on Randy Edsall’s program, is keen on the hometown movement, and is aware he’d have an opportunity to shine right away at UMD.
But Nick Saban’s pull is potent, and he has convinced many a DMV recruit to trek to Tuscaloosa, Ala. We’ll see if the same holds true with Trevon Diggs.
Before the Avalon corner decides on a school, though, he’ll be venturing to Florida, Auburn, LSU North Carolina, Arizona and possibly others. He’ll probably be back at Maryland for a spring practice as well.
We’ll know by the summer whether or not Diggs intends to stick around for college, or try his talents in the SEC.
Other Notable Locals Trek To ‘Bama, PSU
Trevon Diggs wasn’t the only DMV recruit to take in Alabama Feb. 28. Joining him were the two big Carroll (Washington, D.C.) linemen, Jauan Williams and Richard Merritt, and Gilman (Baltimore, Md.) two-way tackle Devery Hamilton.
Meanwhile, Hamilton’s teammate, defensive tackle Ellison Jordan, took in Penn State, as did Sherwood (Sandy Spring, Md.) receiver Marcus Simms and St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) safety Aaron Hansford. Needless to say, all are prime Maryland targets.
Williams and Merritt actually saw both Bama and Auburn Feb. 28-29, and both had high remarks for the two SEC powers. Not surprisingly, the left tackle Williams and right tackle Merritt called the Tide and Eagles two of their foremost suitors, extolling the tradition, facilities and coaching staffs at each.
But, really, it’s way too soon to start forecasting their destinations. Williams won’t be announcing his college decision until next Signing Day, and Merritt will probably opt to do the same. These two are starry-eyed for now, and likely will remain so throughout much of the recruiting process.
That said, each has offered up plenty of hometown praise, and we do think area recruiter Mike Locksley has done well here. Neither Williams nor Merritt are true DMV-to-UMD recruits per se (in other words, they won’t be influenced by a Dwayne Haskins or area recruits’ decisions), but they have a clear affinity for Maryland.
The Carroll linemen have been in College Park numerous times and will be back this spring/summer. They both figure to keep the Terps in play through next winter.
Whether Williams or Merritt ultimately pop to UMD is anyone’s guess, but we’re not about to write them off by any means.
The Gilman prospect Hamilton joined the local crew in Tuscaloosa and expressed similar sentiments to Williams and Merritt. The staff, stadium, locker room, tradition and the like all had the tackle/end raving about the Tide. But unlike the D.C. products, Hamilton doesn’t hold an Alabama offer and probably isn’t a priority for Saban.
Hamilton does, however, hold committable scholarships from UMD, Michigan, Michigan State, South Carolina, UVA, Stanford, Penn State, Clemson and possibly Ohio State and LSU.
The Baltimore product does like the Terps and has new Gilman recruiter Mike Locksley in his ear. He’s visited College Park several times, complimenting the school’s academics and coaching staff.
But Stanford, MSU and MU are lurking, all three firmly on Hamilton’s brain as well. Hamilton will trek to Palo Alto, Calif., Ann Arbor, Mich., and East Lansing, Mich., this spring/summer, and we’ll have a better idea what he’s thinking following those trips.
As for Ellison Jordan, his mantra is pretty much the same with every passing trip. Frequent Shell readers know it by now: He loves the school, he loves the staff, he loves the facilities, he loves the academics. But he’s not committing until after his senior season and has no leaders, so don’t try and cull a clear answer out of him.
Apply the above to his most recent visit, and you have his feeling about PSU in a nutshell. James Franklin and assistant Sean Spencer both resonated with the Gilman recruit, while the facilities, educational opportunities and the like all caught his eye. He also said the Nittany Lions would almost certainly be on his upcoming top 10 list, just like the other locales he’s seen recently.
But regardless of what he says or where he visits, we still like Maryland’s position with Jordan. It just might take awhile to get him onboard.
Look for Jordan to see Rutgers (March 7), Michigan State, BC, Kentucky and Wake Forest coming up. He should also be returning to College Park and State College at some point, while another visit to Virginia Tech is also in the cards.
With the St. John’s safety Hansford, he doesn’t have a Penn State verbal yet, but he could conceivably add one if the Nittany Lions miss on a few other targets. Offer or not, the rising D.C. star thoroughly enjoyed himself in Happy Valley, predictably speaking highly of the staff, football facilities, academics and the like.
Regardless, we still believe the Terps have the inside track for Hansford. Yes, Wisconsin is now on his mind, while Duke and Pitt are in play, but the vibe is he’s bought into the DMV-to-UMD movement. Look for Hansford to return to College Park for the third time this offseason later this March or in April
And then there’s Marcus Simms, who almost committed to Maryland while on campus Feb. 24. Simms is probably the Terps’ to lose, but before he ends his recruitment, he wants to check out a few more schools.
Penn State, which hasn’t offered yet, was first up Feb. 28. Simms reportedly had a good time in State College and suggested a Nittany Lions scholarship could crop up, but we’re not sure one will.
Next up, he’s heading to Rutgers March 7 and WVU March 14. Both the Scarlet Knights and Mountaineers have offered, and will undoubtedly try to secure a pop, but, again, we don’t see it happening.
Simms continues to talk up UMD and #MarylandPride, leading us to believe he’ll be a Terp by mid- to late-March.
The Good Counsel Pipeline
Apparently Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) has more in its 2016 crop besides star linebacker KeAndre Jones, a Terps pledge. Six-foot, 170-pound cornerback Travon Stott, who missed half of last season with a torn labrum, pulled his first major offer from Maryland March 5, and was genuinely thrilled about it.
So thrilled, in fact, that he considered committing to Randy Edsall while he was on the phone with him.
“I told Coach Edsall I felt great about the offer,” Stott said. “I mean, who wouldn’t want to be part of the stay-home movement right now? And this being my first offer? And now my parents can see me play since it’s only 30 minutes away? Man, Maryland is definitely up there for me. ... [Committing] was pretty tempting, I’m not going to lie.I told Coach Edsall the offer meant a lot and I was thinking about it."
Stott refrained from doing so, but the Terps have his undivided attention at the moment. His teammate, Jones, who Stott considers to be a best friend, had already been talking up Maryland; plus Stott has enjoyed himself during his multiple visits to College Park. He was most recently on campus Feb. 24 for the UMD-Wisconsin basketball game, and couldn't say enough about area recruiter Mike Locksley; the rest of the staff; the facility upgrades; and the current Maryland players.
Expect Stott to delay his decision just a bit so he can visit a few other locales and see what offers he can draw during the spring evaluation period, but it may only be a matter of time before he pops. Expect a late spring or summer decision. (ARTICLE).
And Stott wasn't the only Good Counsel recruit to land a Maryland offer recently.
I touched on these two last week in this space, but wanted to offer a little more insight into sophomore defensive end Joshua Paschal (6-1, 230) and sophomore inside linebacker Jordan Anthony (6-1, 210). Both went in-depth on their Maryland verbals and Feb. 21 trip to UMD, each lionizing the local university.
True, the pair hold plenty of early verbals and figure to see their recruitments expand exponentially over the next two years, but Maryland is in a solid initial position. They both spoke highly of Terps area recruiter Mike Locksley and his constant presence at Good Counsel, while UMD’s facility upgrades caught their eye as well.
Plus each has taken notice of the hometown movement. Anthony, in particular, said the two were listening to other local recruits’ back-and-forth banter Feb. 21, and it had him and Paschal excited about UMD’s potential.
Both 2017 prospects have attended Maryland games, and been in College Park for camps, so they’ve developed a familiarity with the school. They said they’re comfortable on campus and look forward to returning this summer and fall for more personal one-on-one time with the staff.
But perhaps the most significant factor working in the Terps’ favor is Keandre Jones’ commitment to Maryland. Although Jones hasn’t hyped the Terps via social media the way an Adam McLean (Quince Orchard/Gaithersburg, Md.) or a D.J. Turner (DeMatha) have, he’s done his part in selling UMD to his teammates. Both Paschal and Anthony said Jones is someone they look up to and want to follow, noting how his Terps pop certainly meant something to them.
But, again, it’s way too soon to predict where Paschal and Anthony will end up.
Paschal has additional offers from Ohio State, Clemson and Kentucky and will be tripping to each this summer. Anthony, meanwhile, has verbals from Kentucky, Clemson and Iowa, and should be checking out those institutions at some point as well. (PASCHAL ARTICLE). … (ANTHONY ARTICLE).
Another Feb. 24 Visitor
I forgot to mention him in last week’s Shell, but apparently the DMV recruits and Naseir Upshur (Imhotep/Philadelphia, Pa.) weren’t the only ones who attended the Terps-Wisconsin basketball game Feb. 24. Rising star offensive tackle Michael Clark (Downingtown East/Exton, Pa.) picked up a Maryland offer Feb. 23 and opted to trek to College Park the next night.
The 6-7, 280-pounder hadn’t had contact with UMD’s staff prior to receiving the verbal, but after Terps area recruiter John Dunn clued him in, Clark immediately decided to drive down.
And Clark was glad he did, because both he and his father had a pleasant experience meeting the coaches and taking in the UMD-Wisconsin hoops game.
Clark praised Dunn, offensive line coach Greg Studrawa and head coach Randy Edsall, in addition to the campus and the atmosphere inside Xfinity Center. The program’s academics, namely the business school, held his attention as well. Clark went on to say he wants to learn more about Maryland and should be returning at some point.
At the same time, Clark has other attractive suitors to consider. South Carolina, Wake Forest, Rutgers and West Virginia have offered, and he’ll be checking out the Scarlet Knights (March 7), Mountaineers and Gamecocks in the coming months. North Carolina and Ohio State are two more potentially attractive suitors, and Clark will camp at each as he attempts to cull out offers.
Penn State, meanwhile, could be anteing up too following his standout trip to Happy Valley Feb. 28. If the offer materializes, Clark might just pop to the hometown Nittany Lions, a team he grew up watching and rooting for.
Clark does not plan to commit until after his senior season, however. He wants to see what other scholarships he can pull this fall, and then possibly take a couple official visits. In other words, there’s plenty of time for this recruitment to ebb and flow. (ARTICLE).
Terps All Over D-Linemen
The Terps didn’t even wait for the weekend to begin identifying more defensive line targets. In addition to the locals the staff is pursuing, Maryland now has offers out to: end/outside linebacker Julian Okwara (Andrey Kell/Charlotte, N.C.), end Malik Barrow (IMG Academy/Bradenton, Fla.), end Tomon Fox (Collins Hills/Suwanee, Ga.), end Levi Onwuzurike (Allen, Texas), end Brian Burns (American Heritage/Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), end Daniel Joseph (Lake Forest Academy/Lake Forest, Ill.), end Brandon Bowen (Byron Nelson/Trophy Club, Texas) and tackle/end Joe Goff (Episcopal/Alexandria, Va.).
Of the above, Maryland is probably best positioned for Goff, a nearby recruit who is set to visit College Park this spring. The 6-5, 265-pounder, a high-academic, high-character recruit who just completed a service trip to the Dominican Republic, said UMD’s educational opportunities immediately made Maryland an attractive option. He mentioned both Randy Edsall’s emphasis on education and the internships available in nearby Washington, D.C., as two main reasons he’d be looking into UMD.
Moreover, both Northern Virginia area recruiter Keenan McCardell and Terps defensive line coach Chad Wilt have been on him, while he likes the fact College Park is close to home and in the Big Ten.
But the Terps will be competing against other renowned academic universities for Goff’s services. Goff admitted both Boston College and Virginia Tech have caught his eye at this stage, and Vanderbilt is in the thick of things as well. The Episcopal recruit has seen Tech before and praised the school’s coaches and academics, while BC, which he’s visiting March 12, was dubbed a “dream school” of sorts.
Goff figures to make his college decision sometime this spring or summer. (ARTICLE).
Goff won’t be an easy “get,” but the other prospects the Terps offered will be even more challenging.
The Lone Star State recruit Bowen has in-state Texas, SMU, Texas Tech, TCU and Baylor after him, while Oklahoma, Ole Miss and Arkansas are involved as well. It’ll be an upset if he leaves the Southwest.
Fellow Texan Levi Onwuzurike has a similar offer list and projects to wind up at a Baylor, a Texas Tech or the like. Stanford, Duke and Michigan, which have all anted up, are possibilities as well.
The Illinois product Joseph resides at a familiar Chad Wilt stomping ground, Lake Forest Academy (remember, Wilt recruited Wes Annan from there last year). Joseph is an even more high-profile recruit than Annan was, however, and holds offers from Stanford, Michigan State, Iowa, Duke, Rutgers, Syracuse, Illinois, Kentucky and others. More bigwigs will get involved soon enough.
In the Sunshine State, the Terps just landed punter Nick Rubinowicz out of American Heritage, but his teammate, Brian Burns, is a bit more of a known name. Miami, Florida State, Florida, Auburn, South Carolina, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Clemson, Georgia and others are already on him. In all likelihood, Burns won’t make it out of Florida.
Staying in Florida, Maryland is attempting to tap into national power IMG Academy. But so is every other program in the continental U.S., which will make Malik Barrow a long shot at best. Ohio State, Michigan State, Miami, PSU, UNC, UCLA and others are heavily involved, with the Buckeyes the leader in the clubhouse.
From Lyndon Johnson’s new recruiting area, Georgia, the Terps are after Tomon Fox, who has a scholarship list approaching 20. Miami, Tennessee, Missouri, UNC, Penn State, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Georgia Tech, UCLA and others are all over him. The Vols, Hurricanes and Tigers are on his mind, as is in-state Georgia Tech. And if Georgia pulls through, Fox could very well end up there.
Last but not least, there’s the North Carolina recruit Okwara, who is Notre Dame’s to lose. Okwara has his pick of schools throughout the SEC, Big Ten and ACC, but UND’s academics; tradition; and the fact his older brother plays for the Irish may convince him to head to South Bend, Ind.
More News & Notes
Robert Washington, RB, Southlake Christian (Huntersville, N.C.): The four-star running back is quite the interview. A well-spoken, knowledgeable recruit, Washington seems to have his head on straight when it comes to football, academics and recruiting. But it’s still extremely difficult to pinpoint his recruitment, because he tends to spin different yarns to various reporters all around the country.
That said, it’s clear North Carolina, Syracuse, TCU and probably Notre Dame will be among his foremost suitors. After that, though, it’s anyone’s guess.
Some of the programs being bandied about include Alabama, Southern California, Michigan, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Ole Miss, Maryland, UCLA, LSU, Nebraska and others. Of the latter programs, the smart money is on Washington checking out Bama, USC, Tennessee and possibly Michigan.
But we recently heard from a source close to Washington that he will indeed be visiting Maryland as well. Apparently April 3 is the date, with Washington being joined by the likes of Trevon Diggs and Dwayne Haskins.
If said trip comes to fruition, it could mean the Terps will make Washington’s top six suitors, which he plans to release in soon after April 1. And if his good friend Haskins commits soon after, that will surely improve UMD’s chances with the North Carolina runner.
But even if all of the above happens, will Maryland really pull off the upset and bring Washington in?
Well, let’s just say we’re not ready to elevate him above “cold” on the hot board. More than likely Washington will end up at in-state North Carolina or perhaps Notre Dame (if the Irish take him), Bama, USC or TCU.
But, you never know -- stranger things have happened.
Josh Ball, OT, Stafford (Fredericksburg, Va.): One of Maryland’s foremost offensive tackle targets has made the rounds the last few weeks, taking in N.C. State Feb. 21 and most recently Penn State Feb. 28. He has now seen UMD, UVA, WVU, Va Tech, NC State and PSU this winter and has no future visits planned.
Publically, Ball continues to maintain he has no standouts, but if you read between the lines, his recruitment is starting to shape up. His trek to Happy Valley resonated for sure, and the Nittany Lions will likely be among his top three suitors when he releases a leaderboard this spring. West Virginia will definitely be on the short list as well, while UMD, Va Tech and UVA are squarely on the radar.
Ball last visited College Park Jan. 17, which was his fourth or fifth time on campus, and he could return again for a spring practice. He has an affinity for area recruiter Greg Studrawa, likes that UMD isn’t far from home and has readily taken to Randy Edsall’s academics-first message.
But although Maryland is on the mind, we believe the Terps are probably running behind the Nittany Lions and Mountaineers for Ball’s services. Studrawa and Co. do have a shot to pull this off if the Stafford tackle makes it back to College Park, but it’s going to be a rough battle.
Terrance Davis, OL, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.): Scout's Brian Dohn caught up with Davis this week, and, for all intents and purposes, there's not too much new to report. Davis is still wide open and talking up all his pursuers, while he doesn't want to commit until Dec. 22, which is his nephew's birthday.
Davis picked up a pair of offers from Arkansas and UCLA recently, adding those two name programs to the likes of Alabama, Georgia, FSU, UMD, Michigan, WVU, Tennessee, Penn State, South Carolina and others. He's attempting to visit both the Razorbacks and Bruins this summer, while he'll be checking out Ohio State and 'Bama's spring game too.
Davis hasn't done much traveling this winter, though he was at UMD and PSU in February. State College seems to hold prime appeal what with head coach James Franklin's overtures, and it's likely Davis will keep the Nittany Lions among his favorites all the way through next winter.
The Terps will remain right there for him as well. Davis continues to comment on the hometown movement and how he'd like to play with his teammates, LoLo Harrison (Davis' cousin) and D.J. Turner, in college. His deep rapport with area recruiter Mike Locksley, meanwhile, has been well-documented. Expect Davis to visit College Park again this spring for a practice or the spring games.
Anthony Long, DT, Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, Pa.): Maryland has had an offer out to Long for quite some time now, but the 6-3, 292-pounder has been rather quiet, so we haven’t been able to gauge his true interest. Earlier this week, however, one of our fellow Scout reporters caught up with him for an update.
Long now seems to have verbals from the likes of Pitt, WVU, Purdue, UMD, Georgia Tech and BC, to name a few, with schools such as Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State showing interest. He’s already visited Pitt and BC, and said he “definitely” wants to return to Pitt and take in MSU this spring.
From the sound of things, the in-state Panthers are probably the leader, although Long may be holding out for a couple of the Big Ten power players. Either way, it doesn’t sound like he has too much interest in Maryland.
Aaron Mathews, WR, Clairton (Pa.): I mentioned Mathews a few weeks ago when Maryland extended an offer, but he’s been difficult to get on the phone. That said, the quarterback-turned-receiver did just tweet out recently that Maryland, Pitt, Boston College and WVU were his top four suitors. Following said tweet, one of our analysts was able to contact Mathews for a few thoughts.
Apparently he is looking forward to visiting College Park for the first time this spring, and will likely do so later in March. Moreover, Mathews has been in touch with UMD area recruiter Greg Studrawa and believes he’d have an opportunity to play right away at Maryland. He likes how the Terps are in the Big Ten, have produced a few NFL receivers and currently have a former Pro Bowler coaching the wideouts.
But while Mathews may be intrigued by UMD, prognosticators suggest Pitt and WVU are the two clear standouts, with the Panthers holding a decided edge. Mathews has visited the nearby program several times and will return again this offseason.
He’s also pining for a Penn State offer, and if the Nittany Lions choose to extend one, Mathews could end up in Happy Valley.
We’ll monitor the situation moving forward and see what Mathews is thinking following his College Park trip.
Dropped From The Hot Board
-- Terps fans were hoping The Movement would convince him otherwise, but fact is local defensive end Terrell Hall (St. John’s/Washington, D.C.) has had Ohio State out in front for months. The elite edge rusher visited Columbus, Ohio, twice, including once with his mother, and it was clear as day head coach Urban Meyer and Co. had their ear.
Hall said the “family-like bond” he formed with Meyer and Buckeyes’ area recruiter Larry Johnson rang true, while the opportunity to contribute early during his career appealed as well.
That said, we thought perhaps the Terps had gained some inroads after Hall visited College Park for its Feb. 21 junior day and then returned Feb. 24 for the Maryland-Wisconsin hoops game, giving him a chance to hang around UMD pledges like D.J. Turner (DeMatha), Lorenzo Harrison (DeMatha) and KeAndre Jones (Good Counsel/Olney, Md.). Apparently, though, it just wasn’t enough.
Hall had much respect for Terps area recruiter Mike Locksley and head coach Randy Edsall, and he’s still well aware of DMV-to-UMD, but OSU just held more cache for him. Moving on.
-- Besides Hall, we also chose to drop Central Catholic (Pittsburgh, Pa.) safety Damar Hamlin from the board. This four-star defensive back is a prime Terps target, but he doesn’t appear to be giving UMD a hard look.
Scout’s Brian Dohn caught up with him last week, and Hamlin pretty much said he’s focused on Penn State, Clemson, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, West Virginia and Pittsburgh. PSU and OSU are considered the teams to beat, although Hamlin won’t decide his destination until next winter.
-- Episcopal Academy (Jacksonville, Fla.) offensive guard Andrew Boselli also had to be axed after he reneged on an intended Maryland visit Feb. 28 in favor of Florida State. Boselli told me he’s still going to visit College Park at some point, but even if he and his father do trek north, the three-star seems bound for an SEC elite.
Boselli was absolutely effusive in his praise for the Seminoles, noting the tradition; campus; and coaching staff. He immediately took to Seminoles offensive line coach Rick Trickett, Boselli mentioning how he loved the assistant’s style and approach.
Boselli will also be looking at LSU, Georgia (no offer yet), Miami, Missouri, Duke and others, but it’s obvious FSU has his attention.
-- Another offensive lineman had to be taken off the board too. The Terps just recently offered Sylvania Northview High (Sylvania, Ohio) tackle Luke Fortner, who said he wanted to visit College Park this spring or summer. But that’s not likely to happen now. Fortner popped to stated favorite Kentucky March 4, citing the comfort level he felt on campus and the fact the Wildcats “seem to be going up every year.”
When I spoke to Fortner, he admitted Kentucky and Illinois were the programs to beat, but we thought he’d at least hold out on committing until he saw a few other suitors. The Terps, for instance, had his attention thanks to their Big Ten affiliation; academics; and area recruiter Greg Studrawa’s overture.
But apparently Fortner had seen enough in Lexington to convince him to end his recruitment earlier than expected.
-- And I finally had to concede that outside linebacker Cameron Brown (Bullis/Potomac, Md.) probably does not belong on the hot board. The Terps have yet to jump on this 20-plus offer local, and even if they do throw their hat in the ring now, it’s more than likely too late.
Brown has several visits lined up this winter/spring, and then plans to announce his college decision by the summer. He was just at UVA Feb. 28 and is heading to Pitt March 14, Notre Dame March 21, UNC March 26, NC State March 27 and Wake Forest March 28. Alabama is another school he’s attempting to see at some point.
He made no mention of checking out nearby Maryland.
Brown hasn’t declared any leaders, but UND, Penn State, UNC and Michigan State seem to be on his mind.
TTDave's Inside The Shell
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