Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup.
As The Dwayne Haskins (Bullis/Potomac, Md.) Wheel Continues To Turn
I think I’m going to make this a weekly staple at the top of each Shell since the four-star Bullis gunslinger seems to be a lightning rod for Terps fans.
We let you know in last week’s space Haskins was visiting Notre Dame March 21, Duke March 24 and Florida March 28, while he plans to see Maryland (April 3), Arizona State, Arizona, Michigan, Oklahoma, Bama, LSU and UCLA coming up. Another Ohio State trip is also in the works, possibly for the Buckeyes’ spring game. (Should Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) four-star quarterback Jarrett Gurantano ultimately opt for Tennessee or Rutgers over OSU it would open the door for head coach Urban Meyer to pursue Haskins with a greater sense of urgency.)
All of which means Haskins’ intended decision date may move from April until late spring or possibly even the summer.
The fear here, for UMD aficionados at least, is while Haskins banters around, more local recruits might start looking elsewhere too. Sherwood (Sandy Spring, Md.) receiver Marcus Simms already slipped away to West Virginia (we’ll see if that actually holds) after declaring the Terps the “team to beat,” and others like Tino Ellis (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.), Trevon Diggs (Avalon/Gaithersburg, Md.), Terrance Davis (DeMatha), Keith Simms (Landon/Bethesda, Md.), Jauan Williams (Carroll/Washington, D.C.), Richard Merritt (Carroll) and Devery Hamilton (Gilman/Baltimore, Md.) seem to be starry-eyed (or, in Ellis’ case, Hokie-eyed) at the moment.
The Terps’ coaches, including head coach Randy Edsall, have let Haskins know the importance of his commitment, but apparently the Bullis product is content to take his time nonetheless. We still believe Maryland is in position for him, though it’s becoming increasingly clear the signal caller is at least listening to other programs’ pitches.
Notre Dame certainly left an impression after Haskins watched head coach Brian Kelly and new offensive coordinator Mike Sanford at a practice. Haskins believes he could fit well into UND’s pro-style offense, while he also took to Kelly and Co.’s message (“He told me to take my time and make sure I make the right decision and make sure I go through the process right,” Haskins said.)
After the trip, Haskins, who does not have a definitive favorites list, said Notre Dame would be “toward the top” of his upcoming top-five. Yes, the Irish did just bring in elite triggerman Brandon Wimbush in last year’s class, but that doesn’t seem to be scaring the Bullis product away.
A few days after taking in South Bend, Ind., the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder trekked down to Durham, N.C., to see the Blue Devils. We don’t project Duke to be a major player in Haskins’ recruitment, but head coach Dave Cutcliffe and offensive coordinator Kurt Roper could potentially make things interesting.
Roper’s pro-style, vertical attack fits Haskins to a “T,” so from that standpoint Duke would seem like a great fit. Moreover, the progress Cutcliffe has made since taking over the program (three straight bowl games, ACC championship in 2013) has the quarterback’s attention as well.
Next, we’ll find out what Haskins is thinking about the Gators and new coach Jim McElwain following his initial visit to Gainesville, Fla., March 28.
My advice: Don’t get too caught up in the ebb and flow of these Haskins visits. Remember, the Bullis quarterback knows how to play “the game,” and what he suggests publically isn’t always what’s on his mind.
Terps fans just have to hope Haskins reveals his true intentions before the rest of the DMV starts looking around too, too much.
Noah Burks, LB, Carmel (Ind.): Maryland linebacker target Noah Burks was part of a large contingent of recruits who took in Notre Dame’s junior day March 21. But while Burks certainly enjoyed his South Bend stay, calling the visit “awesome,” while lauding head coach Brian Kelly (it should be noted Burks’ uncle actually played for Kelly), we don’t project the Carmel product to snag an Irish offer.
Next up, Burks plans to see Maryland in mid-to-late-April following his spring break. He originally wanted to check out College Park March 28 or April 4, but had to renege on the intended trips since he’ll be away.
Even so, Burks remains in close contact with UMD area recruiter Chad Wilt and is excited to meet the rest of the staff for the first time. So much so that Burks could very well pop during his trek East.
During a conversation with him earlier this week, the Indiana backer hinted that Maryland is his No. 1 suitor given his affinity for Wilt; UMD’s conference affiliation; and the program’s overall direction. If Burks enjoys his stay enough, he could end his recruitment while in College Park, although that’s not set in stone.
Of course, Burks has already seen Illinois, Indiana and Purdue, and has the former two firmly in play since he’s visited both the Illini and Hoosiers multiple times. Michigan, meanwhile, a school the linebacker grew up watching, remains a favorite should it ante up.
Koby Quansah, LB, Kingswood-Oxford (West Hartford, Conn.): I wrote about Quansah’s first visit to Maryland in this space a couple weeks ago, but since then he’s taken in Florida Atlantic, Duke and North Carolina, while he’s set to see Penn State (no offer yet) March 28.
As expected, Quansah was just as excited about the Blue Devils and Tar Heels as he was the Terps. Duke’s academics and the program’s steady progress have his attention, in particular. In fact, it sounds like the Blue Devils are making a harder push for Quansah than the UNC coaches.
We’re not so sure Penn State will take a flyer on Quansah, but we’ll know more following his weekend visit to State College, Pa.
The programs to watch out for, though, are the ones near Quansah’s Connecticut home. Although he said location isn’t a huge factor for him, the vibe is Quansah wants his mother to be able to easily see his games.
Thus, Michigan, which has offered, holds prime appeal, as do longtime suitors Boston College and Rutgers. A telling sign: Quansah’s mother has joined him on trips to BC and RU, and the two will likely take in Ann Arbor, Mich., as well. She did not take the trip down to College Park.
Keith Simms, LB, Landon (Bethesda, Md.): The local linebacker Simms visited North Carolina and Duke earlier this week, and is set to see Stanford and California the weekend of April 5.
The latter two schools, of course, are the ones to pay attention to. If Simms doesn’t pop to the Cardinal or Bears while on campus, or shortly thereafter, then perhaps the Terps can catapult right back into the thick of things.
In fact, Simms is expected in College Park before he leaves for Palo Alto, Calif., which will give area recruiter Chad Wilt and head coach Randy Edsall another opportunity to make their pitch. It will also allow Simms to watch defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski and the UMD backers in action.
We do know Simms and his parents still think highly of the hometown school, so if the Landon prospect does hold off on a Stanford pledge, he moves back to “warm” (and potentially “hot”) on the hot board.
As for the Heels and Devils, Simms said he thoroughly enjoyed himself in both Durham, N.C.., and Chapel Hill, N.C., talking up the staffs and the schools themselves. Duke would be an interesting option considering Simms is a high-academic recruit, but we don’t project the Landon product to wind up a Blue Devil -- or Tar Heel for that matter -- unless some other options fall through.
Elias Reynolds, LB, Poly Prep (Brooklyn, N.Y.): Reynolds, who the Terps just recently offered, visited his hometown school, Syracuse, last week and left the New York program raving. The coaches, practice, facility upgrades and the SU defensive scheme all caught his eye. Reynolds already had the Cuse on his mind after the staff offered, but now it’s safe to say he has the Orange near the top of his leaderboard.
But Maryland will have its shot at swaying the New York product in April, when he treks to College Park for the first time. Reynolds wasn’t sure whether or not he actually wanted to visit UMD during a previous conversation with him, but apparently area recruiter Keith Dudzinski has him convinced. The two have remained in touch via Twitter, with Reynolds steadily growing his rapport with Maryland’s defensive coordinator.
Around the same time Reynolds sees Maryland, he’ll also be checking out Umass. He has no other planned visits after that, but figures to take several more this summer (he previously saw UConn, Wake Forest and Rutgers).
At this time, we’re inclined to believe the Scarlet Knights and Orange have the edge in Reynolds’ recruitment, but he does not plan to select a college until after taking official visits this fall/winter. There is plenty of time for his recruitment to ebb and flow.
Ali’i Niumatalolo, LB, Broadneck (Annapolis, Md.): I hadn’t spoken to the son of Navy’s head coach for a minute, so I checked in earlier this week to see where he stood with the Terps. Niumatalolo, who added his first FBS verbal from UConn in mid-March, said he still maintains regular communication with the Maryland staff, although now he’s exchanging messages with area recruiter John Dunn instead of defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski. Either way, Niumatalolo seems to get along with UMD just fine, and remains highly interested in the program given its academics; Big Ten affiliation; and location near his family.
But the Broadneck backer said the Terps, like most programs, want to see how well he defends in space at a camp this summer before extending an offer. Niumatalolo admitted he played exclusively near the line, so some staffs are leery he’ll be able to run and/or defend the flats.
That said, Niumatalolo has shown enough to garner plenty of interest from schools around the country. In addition to UConn, he’s in touch with assistants from UMD, Utah, Utah State, Boise State, ECU, Wake Forest, Boston College and even a few SEC schools like Bama, LSU and Ole Miss.
Niumatalolo will be trekking to UConn March 28, and a day later he’ll be at Boston College. In early April he’ll see Boise (April 4), followed by Maryland (sometime between April 5-10), Utah (April 11) and Utah State (April 12). He hinted that Boise, Utah and Utah State would be offering following trips to each.
Then, during the summer, Niumatalolo would like to attend camps at UMD, LSU, Ole Miss, Bama, BC, Wake and others. His goal is to earn an SEC scholarship, though that might be a longshot at this point.
If no major offer comes to fruition, expect Niumatalolo to attend one of the schools out West, with Utah (he’s been there three times) holding the edge.
Niumatalolo has no clear timetable for selecting his college destination, although he suggested he might wait until after his season so college staffs can evaluate his senior film. (ARTICLE)
Tight End News
Noah Turner (Carmel Catholic/Mundelein, Ill.): This foremost Maryland tight end target visited College Park for the first time along with his father March 23. A well-spoken recruit, Turner is typically effusive in his praise, but he was particularly so after the UMD trip.
The 6-3, 240-pounder, who is being recruited as an H-back, couldn’t say enough about area recruiter Chad Wilt; tight ends coach John Dunn; and Randy Edsall. Turner said he and Wilt have a tight, personal connection that extends beyond football. The two exchange messages routinely, Wilt taking the added step of visiting Carmel Catholic three times in the last year.
The Illinois prospect also met Dunn for the first time March 23 and liked how the coach envisioned him in Maryland’s offense (a do-it-all tight end who can fit at a variety of positions). Moreover, Turner took to Edsall and his confidence about the Terps’ program in general.
“[Edsall] just had a real positive outlook about here Maryland is now and where it will be. That confidence, it was awesome, and I think you’ll see it translate to the field,” Turner said.
The facility upgrades, the team practice and the campus itself also caught Turner’s eye, as well as his father’s.
After taking in UMD, the two trekked down to N.C. State and North Carolina to see what the Wolfpack and Tar Heels were about. Turner enjoyed both Raleigh, N.C., and Chapel Hill, reeling in offers from both while on campus. We’re inclined to believe the Tar Heels are now a prime player in Turner’s recruitment, while it’s conceivable the Pack could make a run as well.
But Turner does not intend to choose his college destination until mid-fall or later, and he currently has no stated leaders. That said, he is hoping both Michigan and Michigan State, two intriguing programs he plans to camp at, will eventually offer. (ARTICLE).
Naseir Upshur, TE, Imhotep (Philadelphia, Pa.): The Terps figure to have several recruits on campus March 28, and the headliner is the four-star Philly tight end Upshur. The visit will be Upshur’s seventh time on campus in the last couple years, and his first since the Maryland-Wisconsin basketball game Feb. 24.
Upshur, the teammate of UMD signee D.J. Moore, continues to maintain regular contact with area recruiter John Dunn. Dunn has stressed the Terps’ need for a playmaking tight end, and how Upshur could possibly be a difference maker right away in College Park. On top of that, Moore has been talking up the UMD program, while Upshur also likes how Maryland is just a short drive from his home.
The March 28 trip will be Upshur’s first Maryland practice experience, so he’ll be able to see his potential role in the offense and how the coaches interact with the players. It’s the next step towards the Imhotep prospect placing the Terps firmly among his upper-tier suitors, right alongside Michigan, Miami, Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, South Carolina, Michigan State and others of that ilk.
Naturally, it would only help Maryland’s chances if Upshur’s friend, Dwayne Haskins (Bullis/Potomac, Md.), committed to the Terps as well.
Following his UMD trip, look for Upshur to see the Gamecocks (April 11), Wolverines, Spartans, Buckeyes, Tide and Eagles later this spring/summer.
As we’ve mentioned numerous times in this space, there’s a long, long way to go in this recruitment. Upshur doesn’t want to make his college decision until after he takes official visits, possibly as late as Signing Day. It’s quite possible the programs he’s talking up now will no longer be in play by the time next fall/winter roles around.
Jay Rose, TE, Southington (Conn.): The Terps offered Rose, a two-way athlete who also has looks as a quarterback, back in mid-February. A month-and-a-half later, this 6-3, 230-pounder will be trekking to College Park for the first time, likely April 11 for UMD’s spring game.
Rose, who has offers from WVU, UMD, UConn, N.C. State and Boston College, said he’s had consistent online conversations with Terps' area recruiter Keith Dudzinski and has high interest in the program. Maryland’s academics, Big Ten affiliation, and the relationship he has with Maryland’s defensive coordinator are three of the main reasons he’ll be giving UMD a close look this spring.
Before he makes it to College Park, though, Rose will take his first offseason visit to Pittsburgh April 2. Evidently the Panthers’ staff has been communicating with him as well, and Rose could pick up a Pitt verbal while on campus.
Other schools Rose is looking to see include BC, WVU, N.C. State, UConn, Penn State and Duke. The Devils and Eagles, along with the Panthers, have suggested Rose could possibly play quarterback for them, though most programs envision him as a tight end.
Rose would like to have his college selected before his senior season, but that will depend on how much his profile expands this spring. If he secures a number of offers, he could delay his decision until after he’s able to take more visits.
Offensive Line News
Michael Clark, OL, Downingtown East (Exton, Pa.): The Terps offered Clark Feb. 23, and since then he’s been on campus twice in a month, first for the Feb. 24 UMD-Wisconsin hoops game and once again March 25 for a spring practice. Although he has offers from South Carolina, WVU, Rutgers, Syracuse and Wake Forest, it’s clear Maryland has his attention at this point.
Clark, who visited UMD with his mother, extolled the school; the staff; the facility upgrades; the academics; the coach-player interactions; and the direction of the program in general.
He said Randy Edsall left a distinct impression with his pitch, Clark explaining how the headman wanted/needed the Downingtown lineman in the program; how UMD would set him up academically, socially and athletically; and how Maryland would be an ideal fit for his skill-set.
Moreover, Clark enjoyed talking to both area recruiter John Dunn and O-line coach Greg Studrawa, the two imparting how much the Pennsylvania product could excel in College Park. Clark said watching Studrawa in action hit home since the Terps’ assistant reminded him of his own coach at Downingtown.
Clark went on to laud the facility upgrades, Maryland’s academic reputation and the internship/job opportunities the school provides.
Afterwards, Clark was so pumped about UMD he said he’d “definitely” be returning for a third visit this summer.
But while the Terps are in a great position, Clark did stop short of calling them a leader. He still wants to visit the likes of WVU, South Carolina, Wake Forest and others, while he’s hoping Penn State offers following a summer camp.
Also, Clark does not plan to choose a school until after his senior year, so there’s time for this recruitment to ebb and flow.
We’ll see if Maryland can maintain its ground as the process moves along. (ARTICLE).
Josh Ball, OL, Stafford (Fredericksburg, Va.): We updated Ball’s status last week, and this week Scout’s Mike Clark caught up with the four-star tackle for another interview. And, as we hinted at previously, it seems like Ball is steadily slipping from the Terps’ grasp.
Ball just told Clark that, for the moment, Penn State, N.C. State and Virginia were the three schools standing out in his recruitment. Which isn’t a surprise considering he was just in Happy Valley and Charlottesville, Va., for visits, with both staffs leaving favorable impressions. Ball also mentioned how the N.C. State coaches were recruiting him harder than any other program, the Wolfpack’s overtures clearly resonating with the Stafford product.
Ball went on to say that he’s looking to return to PSU, State, WVU, Illinois and Iowa this spring/summer, with no mention of Maryland.
UMD area recruiter Greg Studrawa did well here, and Ball visited College Park four times in the last half year or so, but it just doesn’t seem to be hitting home. Perhaps the Terps can secure another visit before the fall, but even if they do, we’re not projecting Ball to end up at UMD.
Eddy Fish, OL, Lawrence Academy (Groton, Mass.): This 6-6, 290-pound Massachusetts lineman visited College Park for the first time March 25 and heaped praise on Randy Edsall’s program. Fish, who has been in contact with Terps’ area recruiter Keith Dudzinski for a couple months now, said Maryland’s academics; staff; facility upgrades; system; and program in general all stood out to him. He immediately connected with both Dudzinski and line coach Greg Studrawa, enjoyed watching the team practice, and readily took to College Park and its surrounding areas.
“I could definitely see myself living and playing here for four years,” Fish said.
Unfortunately for Fish, he lacks a Maryland offer -- and has just one so far from Temple. He said the Terps, along with most other potential suitors, want to see how well he performs in camp this summer before extending the firm scholarship.
But Fish isn’t daunted. He knows he’ll have to work for his looks, and given his affinity with UMD, we do indeed expect him to participate in a June one-day. And should the offer subsequently materialize, Fish would likely place the Terps either at or near the top of his personal favorites list.
Other schools involved in his recruitment include Rutgers, Syracuse, Boston College and UConn. He has visited RU, SU, BC, UConn, UMD, Temple and Villanova, and is scheduled to be at Wake Forest, Duke and possibly UVA coming up in April.
If the “right” offer materializes following a visit or camp, Fish could very well commit on the spot. But he’s also content to select his college destination after his senior year to gauge what programs think of his film. (ARTICLE).
Terrance Davis, OL, DeMatha: This four-star guard hasn’t taken too many visits recently, but he’ll resume his busy schedule this coming weekend when he takes in Maryland March 28. Then, during his spring break, Davis plans to be at Michigan and Ohio State, the former for its spring game April 4. And in the summer, Davis will hit the likes of UCLA, Georgia, Bama and Tennessee.
Right now, the main players for Davis’ services seem to be Maryland, Michigan, Penn State, Georgia, Tennessee and possibly Alabama (if the Tide truly want him). But Davis does not have any intentions of committing before his senior season ends, so it’s too soon to start prognosticating.
That said, Davis has a budding rapport with the Wolverines’ staff, head coach Jim Harbaugh seemingly making him a priority. The Buckeyes, meanwhile, have not offered yet, but Urban Meyer may pursue as well if/when Davis makes it to campus. Georgia, Tennessee, Bama and UCLA, meanwhile, have long been listed in conjuncture with the DeMatha product.
Even so, the Terps have positioned themselves well for the Stags’ lineman. Davis may be seeing stars for the moment, but we know area recruiter Mike Locksley, along with teammates D.J. Turner and Lorenzo Harrison (Davis’ cousin), are pushing the hometown movement.
His return trip to UMD March 28 is yet another chance for Locksley, line coach Greg Studrawa and Randy Edsall to show Davis what’s possible if the DMV recruits stick to the local school.
Unlike some of Davis’ teammates and other nearby recruits, he hasn’t been to Maryland since the fall, so there’s plenty for him to catch up on. He’ll be able to see the new facility video, weight-room upgrades, have sit-downs with Studrawa and Edsall, and the like.
We’ll see what Davis is thinking following the trip.
Brandon Ford, OL, Upper St. Clair (Pittsburgh, Pa.): We hinted in last week’s Shell that Brandon Ford might pop to Pitt when he returned to campus March 22, and that’s exactly what happened. The three-star tackle and Terps target had been favoring his hometown school for a good while now, so all it took was one more meeting with new head coach Pat Narduzzi to seal the deal. Ford said Pitt’s location near his home played a major role, while mentioning Narduzzi and Co. have the program ready to take off.
Ford, who had been messaging with UMD area recruiter Greg Studrawa, had intended to visit College Park for the first time in late March or early April, but that trip will no longer be coming to fruition. He is considered a strong Pitt pledge and should be signing with the Panthers in February.
Receiver/Defensive Back News
Travon Stott, CB, Good Counsel (Olney, Md.): Stott has gone relatively quiet since raving about his Terps visit and subsequent offer in March. But I caught up with the local cornerback this week, and Stott said he’ll be visiting Toledo with his teammate, Izon Pulley, March 28, followed by Maryland again either April 3 or a day shortly thereafter (possibly the spring game April 11).
Stott, whose lone offer remains UMD, may or may not add a scholarship from Toledo, but, really, it probably won’t make much of a difference. He told me he wants to take his parents to College Park so they can see the school, and hinted a commitment could come while he’s on campus (D.J. Turner style).
Should Randy Edsall accept his pledge, Stott could very well be the next Terps popper in the next couple weeks.
It’s possible Stott may hold off until he takes in a few other campuses, but it’s clear Maryland is the team to beat (especially since it’s his only offer).
Tyler Tupa, WR/S, Brecksville-Broadview Hts. (Broadview Heights, Ohio): The son of former NFL punter Tom Tupa, Tyler Tupa has started to emerge as a receiver/safety target in talent-rich Ohio. So far he has offers from Kent State, Bowling Green and Ohio, but said UMD, Purdue, Iowa, Pitt, Minnesota and Illinois have been in touch.
Of those, the 6-1, 195-pounder mentioned the Terps and Boilermakers as the two programs making the strongest push for him to visit their respective schools. Tupa has had online conversations with Maryland receivers’ coach Keenan McCardell, the latter letting the Broadview Heights know an offer could materialize should he perform well at a one-day camp.
And it sounds like Tupa will indeed be making his way East this summer, visiting and performing at camps at Maryland, Purdue and Pitt. We’re not positive an offer will actually materialize, but Tupa is a name to keep in mind heading into the summer months.
Tony Butler, CB, St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio): Butler committed to Pittsburgh March 21, but that didn’t stop the Terps from offering. Maryland area recruiter Greg Studrawa had been in contact with Butler for some time, and the Terps finally pulled the trigger March 25.
Considering he’s off the board to Pittsburgh, it’s probably too little too late for UMD purposes, although there’s a chance Butler could re-open his recruitment down the road. Butler originally wanted to wait out the process until after his senior season, but he made an in-the-moment decision while at Pitt March 21.
Sometimes, when on-the-spot, unexpected pops occur, recruits tend to rethink matters when other suitors being to emerge or make their pitches. In fact, Butler is still planning to visit Ohio State March 28, an indication he’s probably not 100 percent on board with Pitt.
Butler also has offers from Arizona State, Boston College, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse and UMD, among others, and there’s little doubt many of those programs’ staffs will continue to pursue the talented Butler.
For now, though, it seems like Butler is content with the Panthers, citing new head coach Pat Narduzzi’s overtures. He called Pittsburgh “perfect” and believes in the direction of the program.
We’ll see if it holds up until February.
Brenton Nelson, CB, DeMatha: I mentioned Nelson, who transferred to DeMatha from a school in Orlando, Fla., in the last Shell, and this week I was able to touch base with the multi-offer talent. Nelson (5-10, 170) currently holds offers from Kentucky, Wisconsin, UVA, FAU, USF, Louisville and Marshall, while Penn State and Michigan State are showing plenty of interest.
Nelson arrived at DeMatha right after the New Year, so Terps area recruiter Mike Locksley has undoubtedly caught wind of him by now. But Nelson, who didn’t attend any of Maryland’s February junior days, said he hasn’t heard anything from the UMD staff yet.
Perhaps that will change once the spring evaluation period roles around and Locksley and Co. get a better look at him.
Nelson can’t be considered a true DMV-to-UMD recruit since he’s been living in Florida all his life, but he did sound receptive to the idea of at least checking out Maryland. He’s heard about the program from both D.J. Turner and LoLo Harrison, and said he wouldn’t mind coming up for a visit at some point.
For the moment, though, Nelson is focused on what he does have in tow. Kentucky is by far and away his No. 1 suitor following a visit to Lexington, Kent., while he’s hoping Michigan State and Penn State pull through as well. If the Nittany Lions ante up, they could vault to the top of his leaderboard. (ARTICLE).
Trevon Diggs, CB, Avalon (Gaithersburg, Md.): The four-star corner/receiver was just at Penn State yet again March 21, and on April 2 he’s expected to return to his stated No. 1 suitor, Alabama. For the time being, it seems like both the Nittany Lions and Tide have started to separate themselves, though we’ll see if that remains true as the offseason moves along.
Diggs, recall, was supposed to be in College Park April 3, but that’s no longer happening. He’s still in close contact with his Maryland recruiter, Mike Locksley, and was just on campus back in February, but the vibe is the Terps may be losing ground -- unless this DMV-to-UMD movement gets a serious shot in the arm from a certain quarterback recruit.
Some have surmised Stefon Diggs’ younger brother may even pop to the Tide while in Tuscaloosa, Ala., April 2, which makes sense since Nick Saban’s offer won’t be on the table for long. But that’s just speculation at this point, and Diggs hasn’t indicated a commitment is imminent.
So, barring a hard sell from Saban and Co., Diggs still should be able to attend Maryland’s spring game April 11. If he's indeed in College Park, Locksley and the staff could once again work back into Diggs’ graces, reemphasizing the benefits of staying home and representing the hometown school.
But, again, it would only help matters if Dwayne Haskins opted for Maryland. Both Haskins and Diggs reconfirmed their intentions to attend school together this week, so the sooner the quarterback decides (provided he does choose the Terps), the better off Maryland will be with the Avalon corner.
Kobay White & Joe Joe Headen, Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, Pa.): Several Bishop McDevitt players are expected to be on campus this spring, including underrated cornerback Joe Joe Headen and receiver Kobay White, who the Terps have had an offer out to for a couple months now. White has had some contact with UMD area recruiter John Dunn, but we haven’t heard too much about his Maryland interest yet. Headen, who has FCS offers, has also been in contact with Dunn and should be in College Park shortly.
We do know White just visited West Virginia and Pittsburgh, both of which have offered. According to our guys in Pennsylvania, the in-state Panthers may have the edge at this time.
White’s other suitors include UConn, BC, Rutgers, Temple, Va Tech, Illinois and Wake Forest, while numerous power programs throughout the Big Ten (PSU, OSU, MSU) are intrigued as well. In fact, White plans to be at Michigan State April 25 and could very well add a coveted Spartans verbal while in East Lansing, Mich.
We’ll try to learn more about White’s status, as well as Headen's, later this spring.
More News & Notes
Anthony Long, DT, Bishop McDevitt: The teammate of Kobay White, Long could be in College Park at some point as well. Long actually visited Maryland last year, and in the months since then he picked up a Terps offer.
But, like White, Long has been fairly mum about his recruitment. The only information we’ve been able to glean is that he’s maintained contact with the Terps and is at least interested in checking out the school again.
Long also holds offers from BC, UConn, Georgia Tech, WVU, Wake, Purdue, Pitt and others. He was recently at West Virginia’s junior day, should be visiting Pitt in early April and plans to be at Michigan State’s spring game April 25 as well.
By June, Long should have a list of his top five suitors, and the vibe is Pitt and WVU will definitely make the cut.
Tyliek Raynor, RB, Imhotep: Raynor will be joining his teammate, tight end Naseir Upshur, in College Park March 28, his first time on campus since the fall. Maryland area recruiter John Dunn recently initiated contact with Raynor after a lull, the Imhotep back previously saying he hadn’t heard from the Terps in awhile.
But the fact Raynor is visiting March 28 suggests UMD might be willing to turn up the heat, especially with elite running back Robert Washington’s (Southlake Christian/Huntersville, N.C.) situation tenuous. The Terps may have realized they have a much better chance of landing the under-the-radar but talented Raynor than the four-star Washington, who seems to have his sights set on the country’s elites.
So, if Randy Edsall and Co. do pursue Raynor in earnest, it’s likely the speedy back would be receptive. Recall, he was excited when Maryland offered right after the New Year, and has expressed plenty of interest in playing with his teammate, UMD signee D.J. Moore.
Raynor has heard a lot about Maryland from Moore himself, while he’s seen enough first-hand to know he’d be comfortable in College Park. The March 28 visit will give him yet another look at the school, but, more importantly, a chance to reconnect with the staff and learn exactly where he stands with them.
If Raynor gets a solid vibe, it’s likely he’ll place the Terps among his top two or three suitors. If not? Well, he might just end up at Temple, his stated No. 1.
Other players in Raynor’s recruitment include UConn, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse and West Virginia, in addition to the Owls and Terps. He’ll be trekking to a number of campuses this spring and summer, so we’ll know more about his situation later this offseason.
Abdul Adams, RB, Woodson (Washington, D.C.): This 20-plus offer DMV running back claimed a Maryland offer March 26, though we'll have to dig into it to find out how legitimate it is. If the scholarship is firmly on the table, though, the Terps would be in a solid spot for the Woodrow Wilson transfer. Adams has visited College Park several times, including the Feb. 24 Maryland-Wisconsin hoops game, and is highly intrigued by The Movement. He's also well aware the Terps need running backs and how he could have an early impact on the program.
Adams isn't ready to pop to the hometown school just yet, however. Michigan State, which he's visiting in April, is at the forefront of his mind, and those who cover the Spartans believe he could be an MSU lean. Rutgers, Georgia, Oklahoma, Iowa, Pitt, WVU and Kentucky are also involved.
The D.C. back could make his college decision at any time, though he's suggested in the past he'd like to wait until after his senior season.
TTDave's Inside The Shell
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