Several players and coaches from Episcopal Academy (Arlington, Va.) made their way to College Park, Md., March 28, including two of Maryland’s primary class of 2016 targets: defensive end Joseph Goff and cornerback Patrice Rene.
Rene, a four-star recruit, had been on campus a couple times before, but it was the first opportunity for the 6-foot-6, 260-pound Goff to see the school.
“We were there for the morning scrimmage, and then we had a chance to eat lunch, see a few facilities and talk to the coaches,” said Goff, who holds offers from UMD, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Boston College, Army, Air Force, Navy and Old Dominion, among others. “Patrice liked it there, but he already kind of knew what Maryland was about since he’d been there before, but for me, my first impression was really good. I enjoyed myself.”
Goff, a Massachusetts native, didn’t point to any one particular aspect of the trip that stood out, although he did like the way the Terps “got after it” during the scrimmage. He called the coaches and players “really intense” all the way around, on both defense and offense.
“It was just really impressive what they were doing out there, just how on-point the coaches were and how the players listened to instructions and got after it,” Goff said. “I just took it all in and enjoyed the experience. It was kind of cold out there, but it was still fun (laughs).”
After the practice, Goff said he and the other recruits ate lunch in the Student Union. Goff noted how the Maryland students “all seemed like they were in a good mood,” and he felt comfortable among them. He also liked the look of the school and the facilities he saw.
“I thought it was a really, really nice campus,” said Goff, who mentioned he didn’t have a chance to see the indoor facility/tunnel plans. “I saw the new housing for the players, and I thought that was really cool, and the weight room was really nice too.”
Of course, Goff and Co. interacted with the staff as well. The edge rusher said he spoke to area recruiter Keenan McCardell, defensive line coach Chad Wilt and head coach Randy Edsall.
“Coach McCardell has been in touch, and we have a good relationship, but it was good to meet him in person,” Goff said. “We talked a little bit, and he was saying how he’ll be down at Episcopal this spring.
“Coach Wilt, we talked for awhile, and he was saying how if I committed there I could meet with him on a weekly basis just to learn the defense and get acclimated to it before I start. I thought that was really cool; I’d never heard that from a [college] coach before.
“Then me and Patrice, we met with [Edsall] at the end. He was a very nice guy and said he doesn’t want to rush us into anything. He said to do what we need to do, and if we do choose Maryland he wants us to be 100 percent on board. So I respected that about him, and I think [Edsall] is an upstanding guy.”
Following the trip, Goff said the Terps were probably among his top four suitors, along with Navy, Va Tech and Vanderbilt.
“I’d say Navy is probably my leader right now,” said Goff, whose brother is currently a rugby player at West Point. “I took a visit there, saw a practice, and was just blown away by the staff and the benefits I can have for the rest of my life. Going into [the military], it’s something I’ve thought a lot about and something I’m really considering doing.
“But I also like Virginia Tech and Vanderbilt a good amount; they’re both really good academic schools. Maryland is in there too, like in the top four.”
Goff has now seen UMD, Va Tech and Boston College, and will check out Wake Forest and North Carolina in early April. He plans to take several more visits in the summer before selecting his college destination sometime in August.
“I’m thinking I’ll probably commit late summer,” Goff said. “That way I can get things over with before my senior season.”
Goff Visits UMD For The First Time
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