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
One of these days we’re going to have an entire Shell without mentioning the Bullis quarterback. Just don’t expect it to be anytime soon…
After visiting Notre Dame March 21 and Duke March 24, the four-star concluded his March trips with a trek down to Gainesville, Fla., March 27. Joined once again by his Perfect Performance teammates, Haskins said the Gators “really stood out” following his stay on campus. He spoke highly of head coach Jim McElwain, the Florida offense, the school itself and the direction the program is heading under the new headman.
So, does that mean UF is now a prime player for Haskins?
Maybe not, though it wouldn't shock us if he gave the Gainesville school a longer look.
But Notre Dame, another school Haskins talked up recently, may get an even closer look. The Irish are right in the thick of things for the DMV triggerman, and it wouldn’t shock us if Haskins returned to South Bend, Ind., for a third time later this spring.
Haskins also wants to see Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Oklahoma in the coming weeks, while he’d like to take another look at Maryland (April 3), Rutgers (April 24 visit) and Penn State too.
Of the above, Haskins seems to be primarily focused on Maryland, Alabama, LSU and Notre Dame, with the Tide and Terps perhaps holding an edge over the other two. Bama, of course, also has the attention of Haskins’ good friend, Trevon Diggs (Avalon/Gaithersburg, Md.), who is currently visiting Tuscaloosa, Ala., for a second time.
Remember, Haskins and Diggs are supposedly a package deal, so if the latter pops to head coach Nick Saban, might that be an indication the quarterback could be rolling with the Tide too?
Well, that could be a logical guess for some, but we still think Maryland has the edge in this recruitment. A good indicator? I continue to hear from various recruits who have told me, “Dwayne sounds like he’s coming to Maryland.”
We’ll see what Haskins has to say about the Terps when he finishes his College Park, Md., visit this weekend, although there’s a very good chance he’ll be talking all about head coach Randy Edsall; recruiter Mike Locksley; and the hometown movement once again.
Either way, some Terps fans probably just hope he would stop dragging his feet and make some sort of decision. Haskins is now suggesting he could wait all the way until June before ending his recruitment.
Clark On Board
You have to give Terps’ Eastern Pennsylvania area recruiter John Dunn credit for this one. Downingtown East (Exton, Pa.) offensive tackle Michael Clark had committable offers from South Carolina, Rutgers, West Virginia and Wake Forest, with schools such as Penn State, UVA, Pittsburgh and others of that ilk monitoring closely. But thanks to Dunn’s – and the rest of the staff’s – persistence, Maryland closed on Clark March 27 before the spring evaluation period took off.
It’s likely the Terps will have to keep battling for Clark, as his 6-foot-7, 280-pound frame, coupled with his quickness, suggest he’ll receive more than his share of significant Big Ten and ACC attention. But after a few extensive conversations with the Downingtown East product, we’re led to believe he’s firmly on board with Randy Edsall’s program.
By the time Clark added his UMD verbal Feb. 23, he already had the Gamecocks, Deacons and Mountaineers in tow, but the Terps offer intrigued him enough that he and his father immediately scheduled a visit. Less than 24 hours later, the Clarks were in Xfinity Center for the Terps-Wisconsin basketball game, allowing the big offensive tackle a chance to meet line coach Greg Studrawa, Edsall and Dunn in person, while getting a taste for the Maryland fans.
Following the trip, Clark still maintained he had no leaders and wanted to wait until after his senior season before committing. That said, he was clearly impressed by what UMD had to offer. Then, with Dunn in his ear (or Twitter account) on a routine basis, his tune steadily changed during the next month.
Clark returned to College Park March 25, this time with his mother, and once again left raving. The authenticity of the coaches, the high academic standards, the close proximity to his home, UMD’s need for offensive tackles, and the facility upgrades all hit home in a major way -- especially the coaches.
“The one thing Coach Dunn preaches all the time is, ‘Go where you’re wanted,’” Clark said. “And [March 25] he said, ‘Well, Mike, you’re really wanted here.’ And I did really feel that [March 25]. All the coaches kept telling me how much I fit in, and they seemed really genuine. Like, just talking to Coach Dunn and asking him some questions about Maryland, it just sounds like a great fit.”
So, really, there wasn’t much more to think about after that. Clark went back to Pennsylvania to talk the situation over with his family and coaches, ultimately opting to end his recruitment eight months early.
It’s a significant “get” for UMD considering the program is lacking in the tackle department and needs someone with Clark’s length; agility; and footwork to lock down Big Ten defensive ends. He still must develop his pass blocking technique and learn how to play with better leverage, but there are obvious tools to work with. After a year of bulking up, learning from Studrawa and working on his pass pro, Clark could be a stalwart up front.
Clark’s coach, Mike Matta, suggested his big lineman has the frame to play at 330 pounds. Combine that with natural athleticism and an inherent mean streak, and he seems like a natural fit at right tackle.
(COACH SPEAK ARTICLE).
Plummer On Board
About a week after Clark joined the fray, Brian Plummer (South Carroll/Sykesville, Md.) committed to Maryland as well. In fact, he informed me well in advance of his April 2 pledge he intended to return to UMD and commit to Randy Edsall in person (Plummer talked to the headman on the phone instead, but you get the picture).
Which hardly came as a surprise.
Following Plummer’s March 28 College Park visit and subsequent offer, this lifelong Terps fan and legacy recruit has been downright effusive in his praise.
First and foremost, Plummer was absolutely struck when Randy Edsall offered him a scholarship -- to the point where the 6-foot-7, 305-pounder considered popping on the spot.
“I don’t think you can have a better college visit then if you walk away with an offer,” Plummer said. “It was just great, incredible. To be offered by the school I’ve been watching since I was 10, watching them go from the ACC to the Big Ten, watching them go from Coach [Ralph] Friedgen to Coach [Randy] Edsall – it was awesome.”
While on campus, Plummer couldn’t say enough about how genuine and forthcoming the staff was, namely Edsall, O-line coach Greg Studrawa and area recruiter John Dunn.
Plummer extolled Studrawa’s energy during the March 28 scrimmage, and had several meaningful exchanges following the workout. He noted how Studrawa got down to business on the field, but knew how to relate to his players outside the white lines.
The Sykesville native also appreciated Edsall for the coach’s comments about his character, work ethic and ability, and how persistent the headman was in reaching out to him. Plummer explained how Edsall stayed on him following the March 28 visit, while also calling South Carroll’s athletic director to check in.
Dunn, meanwhile, also kept in touch with Plummer, who described his area recruiter as “really easy to talk to.”
The new facility plans, the renovated player dorms, the Under Armour connection, the business program and the campus all resonated with Plummer too.
On top of that, Plummer’s friend from back home, E.J. Donahue, who was also on campus March 28, vouched for the school. Plummer said he questioned the Linganore (Fredrick, Md.) lineman all about UMD, Donahue delivering naught but positive comments.
Add in the fact Plummer had no other offers and didn’t intend to take anymore college visits, and it was only a matter of time before he became a Terp.
Compared to Michael Clark, though, Plummer may be more of a project. He is a basketball player, which typically translates to nimble footwork and athleticism, but he has some technical areas to shore up.
Plummer tends to play high, his steps can become mangled and he can be a bit methodical coming out of his stance. He also needs to develop more point-of-attack power, learn how to readjust/shift his weight and continue honing his steps in pass protection. His conditioning and strength also needs some work, particularly when drive blocking.
That said, Plummer is 6-7, 300 pounds, his hand placement is decent, and he’s only been playing football for three years. So perhaps after working with Maryland’s staff he can develop into a solid tackle recruit in a couple years.
(COACH SPEAK ARTICLE).
More Offensive Line News
Terrance Davis, OG, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.): This prime Terps target hadn’t been in College Park since last October, but he found time to watch Maryland’s scrimmage March 28. The 6-4, 310-pound Davis said it was “good to reconnect with the coaches” since he hadn’t spoken to UMD’s staff, aside from recruiter Mike Locksley, for several months.
Davis said head coach Randy Edsall once again played up the hometown movement, letting him know he could help the Terps win a Big Ten title, while line coach Greg Studrawa impressed the DeMatha product with his resume.
Davis, who had teammate, cousin and Maryland pledge LoLo Harrison with him (“[Harrison] is never going to stop recruiting me,” Davis said.), noted that UMD’s new facilities caught his eye, along with the improved play of the offensive line under Studrawa.
“Coach Stud is a great coach, and he’s definitely someone I could see myself playing for,” Davis said.
Following the short trip, Davis said Maryland was “definitely still one of my top schools.” And we’re inclined to believe the Terps will indeed remain at or near the forefront of his mind as this process moves along.
Just don’t expect Davis to end his recruitment soon. He doesn’t intend to announce his college decision until after the 2015 season, following official visits.
In the meantime, he’ll be taking some unofficials. Davis was at Michigan April 3, and after that he’s trekking to Ohio State April 16. In the summer, he wants to check out UCLA, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, FSU, Arkansas and Tennessee. (ARTICLE).
Richard Merritt, OG, Archbishop Carroll (Washington, D.C.): The four-star Merritt was back at Maryland for the first time since November, when he took in the UMD-Michigan State football game. He returned to campus March 28 for a Terps scrimmage, lauding line coach Greg Studrawa and the direction UMD is heading.
Merritt said he liked the way Studrawa coached up his unit, the coach’s intensity and teaching methods resonating. The D.C. product -- who called area recruiter Mike Locksley “my man” -- also talked up the facility upgrades, noting that “they’re really trying to do something here at Maryland.”
After the visit, Merritt said he’d like to return to Maryland again this offseason. He went on to mention how the Terps will almost assuredly be among the schools on his upcoming top 10 leaderboard, which includes the likes of Florida State, Florida, Miami, Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn and Virginia Tech.
But there’s a long way to go in this recruitment. Although Merritt, who is currently in Florida checking out FSU, could opt to end the process this summer, the smart money is on him waiting until the Under Armour All-American Game or Signing Day.
In other words, there’s plenty of time for ebb and flow, ebb and flow. (ARTICLE).
Mackenzie Nworah, OG, Manvel (Texas): Maryland’s Lone Star State recruiter, Keenan McCardell, certainly puts work in in his hometown state. He had numerous Texas prospects considering the Terps in last year’s class, and now McCardell has the ear of this emerging guard who we reported on last month.
Nworah, who claims verbals from Arizona State, Colorado, Boston College, Illinois, Purdue, Texas Tech, Missouri and Maryland, said he’s had regular online conversations with McCardell. Apparently, those talks have Nworah convinced he needs to check out College Park, which he plans to do in May. The 6-3, 305-pounder also said UMD’s academics (he wants to be a physical therapist and knows Maryland has a strong program in that field) have him intrigued.
We’ll see if the Terps can make deeper inroads following Nworah’s intended visit, but it’s not going to be easy. Manvel is one of the most heavily-recruited high schools in Texas, and odds are the Texas product will have 20-plus offers before it’s all said and done.
If McCardell and Co. can convince him to take his talents 1,500 miles East (for the record, Nworah said location isn’t a major factor for him), it’ll be a major coup for Maryland.
Cam Spence, OT, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.): We pretty much wrote this class of 2017 offensive tackle off when circumstances forced his departure from Gilman (Baltimore, Md.) last year. But during his spring break, Spence returned home and took the opportunity to visit Maryland March 30.
Evidently the 6-3, 285-pounder remains in communication with recruiter Mike Locksley, who has Spence at least keeping the Terps under consideration. Spence’s UMD offer is legitimate, and the chance to play in front of his family makes College Park an intriguing option for him.
Of course, it’s way too soon to project an eventual Terps pop. Spence also holds offers from Penn State, Kentucky and N.C. State, with Michigan, Alabama, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Miami, Ohio State, Georgia and others sniffing around. He was just at PSU March 28 and loved his trip to State College, Pa., and is in the midst of an OSU visit as well.
Moving forward, though, it’s worth keeping Spence in mind. We’ll know more about his situation during the next recruiting cycle.
C.J. Thorpe, OT, Central Catholic (Pittsburgh, Pa.): The Terps are after another Central Catholic recruit, extending an offer to this four-star class of 2017 tackle March 31. The 6-foot-5, 300-pounder currently holds verbals from the likes of Penn State, Pitt, Temple, WVU, Tennessee and now UMD.
Given Central Catholic’s relatively close proximity to Maryland, we wouldn’t be shocked if Thorpe visits at some point, maybe as soon as April 4 when his teammate, Terps defensive end target Rashad Wheeler, is in town.
But it’s going to take one mighty effort to pry Thorpe away from the country’s elites, namely in-state PSU. The Nittany Lions are considered the heavy early favorites, as Thorpe already has a built-in affinity for State College and has visited several times.
Defensive Back News
Travon Stott, CB, Good Counsel (Olney, Md.): This local Terps offeree should be back in College Park April 4, and there’s a better-than-average chance he’ll be committing before the day is done. I spoke to Stott earlier this week, and it sure sounds like he’s ready to join the Movement.
Stott will be in town with his mother and younger brother, allowing the entire family to gain perspective on UMD and meet the whole staff. The Good Counsel corner said his mother has never really seen Maryland in-depth, and before Stott pops, he wants her to learn about the program.
Stott personally said he’s keeping up with his recruiter, Mike Locksley, and has spoken numerous times to head coach Randy Edsall too. Stott has also been talking to the likes of D.J. Turner (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.) and LoLo Harrison (DeMatha), along with his teammate, Keandre Jones, Maryland pledges all.
The Terps’ facility upgrades, the fact it’s a Big Ten school, and his general affinity for Maryland growing up are three more reasons Stott’s pop is all but imminent. Not to mention UMD remains his only FBS offer, with only modest attention from other programs.
So, what does Stott bring to the table?
He might not be the next Will Likely, but there are tools to build on here. Stott’s about 6-0, 175 pounds and played both press and man coverage last year.
Stott, who missed half the season with an injury, flashed solid ball skills, sound instincts, and good physicality at the line. He was also able to get a fairly good jump on the ball, doing well reading, reacting and undercutting routes.
That said, Stott’s hips had some stiffness, his transitions needed to be more fluid, and he had to do a better job mirroring routes, especially downfield. Stott's steps also became garbled on occasion, while he had a tendency to be caught flatfooted too. And while his tackling was OK, Stott could stand to become a better open-field defender out on the edge.
Tyrone Hill, CB, Don Bosco (Ramsay, N.J.): Maryland’s most recent cornerback offer went out to this Garden State recruit, who is just beginning to emerge on recruiting radars. He previously held verbals from ODU, Navy, Army and Air Force, so, naturally, the Terps offer caught his eye.
Hill, who visited Maryland for a February junior day, said he’s planning to return for the Terps’ spring game April 11. He’s been in touch with area recruiter Keith Dudzinski and defensive backs coach Darnell Perkins and likes the fact UMD competes in the Big Ten; has solid academics; and is only a couple hours from home.
Hill also talked up Maryland’s facilities and campus, which he saw first-hand back in February.
But while UMD may stand out a bit for now, Hill may be waiting for other suitors to emerge. He said Rutgers, Pittsburgh and even Penn State have had some form of contact, while he figures to gain more interest as the offseason moves along.
Hill has visited College Park, RU and PSU, and will be taking in ODU, UMD and Army this April. He’ll then put more trips on the docket once the summer hits.
Hill ideally would like to wait until after his senior season before committing, but a scholarship crunch could force him to move up his decision date. (ARTICLE).
Patrice Rene, CB, Episcopal (Alexandria, Va.): One of Maryland’s main cornerback targets was back in College Park March 28, giving him a chance to reunite with the coaches and tour the campus once again. Rene was last at UMD for the Terps-MSU game in November, so he hadn’t really had an opportunity to meet his new area recruiter, Keenan McCardell, in person. The Episcopal product said he connected well with UMD’s receivers’ coach, the two developing a solid rapport they’re planning on continuing into the spring/summer months.
Rene also said defensive backs coach Darnell Perkins and Randy Edsall left distinct impressions, the former for describing UMD’s defensive scheme and the latter for imparting how much the Terps need the four-star corner in the program.
In addition to the staff, Rene once again lauded the campus, while mentioning how well the Terps’ secondary performed during the March 28 scrimmage.
Although the Canadian native had a good time at Maryland, it’s not believed the Terps are among his main suitors. Ohio State and Penn State continue to stand out, and Rene will be trekking to UNC, Wake, Duke and Rutgers coming up.
Look for Rene to choose his college destination later this summer.
Aaron Hansford, S, St. John’s (Washington, D.C.): Hansford has gone relatively mum recently, but he did just add an Ohio State offer and visited Columbus, Ohio, March 28. Our Buckeyes guys let us know that OSU pledge Terrell Hall, Hansford’s teammate, was at Ohio State as well, the four-star defensive end urging the safety to commit while on campus.
Hansford didn’t pop yet, but we’re led to believe the Buckeyes are now the team to beat. The St. John’s product evidently had a great time, head coach Urban Meyer and area recruiter Larry Johnson leaving favorable impressions. The fact Hall is heading to Columbus too only helps matters, not to mention the fact OSU is the defending national champion.
Besides Ohio State, other programs in play include Pitt, Wisconsin, Va Tech, UNC, Duke, Illinois and potentially Penn State.
Hansford was last in College Park Feb. 24, and he maintains contact with area recruiter Mike Locksley, but the St. John’s prospect seems to be fading from UMD’s grasp.
Joe Joe Headen, CB, Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, Pa.): Headen’s teammates, Terps offerees Kobay White and Anthony Long, didn’t join him in College Park March 28, but the up-and-coming cornerback certainly enjoyed his stay. Headen, who was with the rest of the PrimeXample Defensive Back training group, said the new facility plans; Under Armour gear; campus; and scrimmage all caught his eye. He enjoyed watching fellow PrimeXample participants Sean Davis, Milan Collins and D’Andre Payne in action, while he talked up the Maryland staff as well.
After the visit, Headen said he could “definitely see myself” at Maryland and is considering returning to campus later this summer. Problem is, Headen doesn’t have a UMD verbal yet, although he’s had conversations with area recruiter John Dunn and defensive backs coach Darnell Perkins, who offered the McDevitt product when the new secondary staffer was at Old Dominion.
If nothing else, Headen’s is a name worth monitoring during camp season. He currently holds offers from ODU and several FCS programs, while Rutgers (visited April 1), Wake Forest (late April visit), Pitt, WVU and others are in contact. (ARTICLE).
Lamont Wade, CB, Clairton (Pa.): Wade is a four-star class of 2017 recruit with close to 10 offers to date. The Terps haven’t anted up yet, but are expected to once he visits College Park for the spring game April 11.
But even if they do offer, Wade’s going to be a difficult pull out of the Keystone State. Penn State and Ohio State, both of which have extended scholarships, have Wade’s ear early following visits to Happy Valley and Columbus. In-state Pittsburgh, another school Wade has seen, is also in play.
Jacob Morgenstern, LB, St. Luke’s (New Canaan, Conn.): This academically-oriented recruit picked up a Terps verbal March 31, and promptly gave UMD its props. He said not only does Maryland have a terrific education, but it’s in the Big Ten and has a great football brand as well, making it an attractive option.
Morgenstern has never been in College Park before -- his busy schedule has precluded him from venturing out much this offseason – but he’s attempting to make the trek down from Connecticut this summer, perhaps for a camp. The St. Luke’s prospect has also had regular communication with area recruiter Keith Dudzinski, the recruit taking a liking to the Terps’ defensive coordinator.
But there are plenty of suitors vying for Morgenstern’s services, including Boston College, Vanderbilt, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Clemson, Wisconsin, Mississippi State and others. Duke, Stanford and academic-programs of that ilk could also enter the mix.
For the moment, Morgenstern holds BC in high regard since he’s visited Chestnut Hill, Mass., a couple times and has a relationship with the staff. Vandy and Duke (no offer yet) also have his attention and may sit above the rest of his suitors (other than BC).
Morgenstern plans to visit UMD, Syracuse, Uconn, Vanderbilt, Duke and Wisconsin in the coming moths, along with a return trip to Boston College. He would like to wait until after his senior season before committing, but realizes he may fall into a numbers crunch, “forcing” him to pop this summer. (ARTICLE).
Koby Quansah, LB, Kingswood Oxford (West Hartford, Conn.): Quansah returned from his southern swing, which included stops at Maryland, North Carolina and Duke, before venturing north to Boston College March 28. The four-star linebacker and his mother had been to Chestnut Hill a couple times prior, so it was yet another opportunity to tour the school and meet up with the coaches.
The consensus? Both were thoroughly impressed, and it’s likely Quansah will have the Eagles among his leaders by the time he makes his college decision later this fall.
Next up for Quansah are trips to Michigan, Stanford (no offer yet) and Duke, and it’s believed each of those three are “standouts” for the Kingswood Oxford product. As we mentioned in the last Shell, the vibe is the Wolverines and Eagles hold Quansah’s attention, while a Cardinal scholarship could change his thinking.
Maryland area recruiter Keith Dudzinski did well with Quansah, and the College Park visit certainly resonated, but we’ve been told Quansah is more inclined to attend a school closer to home.
Keandre Jones, LB, Good Counsel (Olney, Md.): Jones, a Maryland pledge, was supposed to visit Ohio State last weekend with his friend, Buckeyes commit Terrell Hall. But Jones reneged on the intended trip, opting to stay home and workout with his teammates instead.
Obviously that’s good news for Terps purposes, as Jones wasn’t exposed to the glitz and glamour of Urban Meyer’s program (and Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan program for that matter). At this point, we’re inclined to believe Jones remains firmly on board with Randy Edsall and Co.
Running Back News
Abdul Adams, RB, Woodson (Washington, D.C.): I mentioned in last week’s Shell that Adams claimed a Maryland offer, and I was able to ask him about it earlier this week. After probing him, though, I got the sense it’s not a committable verbal since Adams said area recruiter Mike Locksley was the one who informed him of said offer. As we know, only Randy Edsall can extend firm scholarships, so I’m led to believe the Terps still have to review Adams’ transcripts before pursuing in earnest.
That said, Adams has taken to the hometown school. He likes the idea of The Movement, has visited campus several times, and has a rapport with Locksley. Given that, I do think if the Terps made a potent push they’d be in a strong spot for the local running back.
But Adams, who publically claims no favorite suitors, also has Michigan State in his personal crosshairs, hinting the Spartans could lead for his services. He’s visiting East Lansing, Mich., April 25, and it wouldn’t shock us if he committed while on campus (provided his MSU offer is legitimate).
Other programs involved with Adams include Georgia, Kentucky, WVU and Iowa, all of which he intends to visit at some point. He would like to make his college decision later this summer. (ARTICLE).
Robert Washington, RB, Southlake Christian (Huntersville, N.C.): The four-star running back Washington was supposed to join Dwayne Haskins in College Park April 3, but his father let us know a return trip would not be occurring. The only visit currently on Washington’s docket is Alabama, though it’s possible he could also make it down to Florida later this month before announcing his destination April 25 (that date might be pushed back in order to accommodate more trips).
Another knock against Maryland: Washington just announced the last of his six leaders, and the Terps missed the cut. The shortlist included Bama, Michigan, North Carolina, Syracuse and TCU, and on April 2 he revealed Florida as the sixth program he'd be considering.
The Terps made a run at Washington, and the elite runner always spoke highly of the school, but it doesn’t look like it will be enough to convince him to join Randy Edsall’s program.
The vibe is hometown UNC may have a leg up, with Bama and Florida lurking, ready to pounce.
Tyliek Raynor, RB, Imhotep (Philadelphia, Pa.): The Imhotep running back, along with his teammate, four-star tight end Naseir Upshur, were supposed to be in College Park March 27, but the duo ended up cancelling the trip due to weather concerns. Each then rescheduled their visit for March 30, when several other Imhotep players trekked down to campus, but both Raynor and Upshur were no-shows once again.
It’s a perplexing development considering both Raynor and Upshur have UMD offers and have previously offered up positive comments. Raynor, in particular, seemed reinvigorated about the Terps when area recruiter John Dunn reached out to him recently.
But, for whatever reason, neither multi-offer talent opted to join their teammates in College Park, perhaps signaling their interest isn’t as genuine as they let on.
Raynor has offers from Temple, ODU, Purdue, Umass, Buffalo, Syracuse, WVU, Rutgers and UMD, and currently has the Owls out in front. Temple is in his backyard, and he’s visited the campus more times than he can remember.
We figured Maryland would be able to vault the Owls, but only if the Terps’ coaches made a push.
Maybe, though, i’s just not meant to be. Unless Raynor changes his tune later this offseason, he might wind up staying in Philadelphia instead of attending college in College Park.
As for Upshur, he has more than 30 offers to date and seems to be honing in on Miami, South Carolina, Alabama, Arizona State, Ohio State, Michigan State, Auburn and possibly Michigan.
Maryland is probably among his top 10 to 15 suitors, but it has ground to make up. Needless to say, Upshur reneging on his intended College Park visits certainly doesn’t help matters.
Receiver/Tight End News
Tino Ellis, WR, DeMatha: Ellis hasn't seen any college campuses in about a month, but the primetime DeMatha receiver will resume his visit schedule April 4, when he returns to Piscataway, N.J., for yet another look at Rutgers. The Baltimore, Md., native has sung the Scarlet Knights' praises in the past, and the fact he's heading back to RU could indicate the Jersey school is indeed a player here.
But unless head coach Kyle Flood and Co. absolutely blow Ellis away (not totally out of the question. Heck, WVU got Marcus Simms on board), RU will probably remain third or fourth for the receiver's services.
The two frontrunners? Well, for the time being it's still a Maryland-Virginia Tech battle. Following Ellis' trip to Piscataway, look for him to re-visit Blacksburg, Va., and College Park before making his final decision in late July. The vibe is the Hokies still hold a slight edge, but it's razor thin.
Ellis remains in close contact with UMD area recruiter Mike Locksley, and another trek to campus could very well put Maryland back in the pole position. It would only help UMD's chances if Dwayne Haskins chooses the Terps this spring.
West Virginia and Wake Forest are also kicking around in this recruitment, but the Mountaineers and Deacons may be trailing the Terps, Hokies and possibly the Scarlet Knights. We'll know more later this spring, after Ellis sees a few more schools.
Eric Kumah, WR, Forest Park (Woodbridge, Va.): Kumah, recall, has visited Maryland about four times in the last year or so. He's routinely spoken well of the staff, the academics, the campus and the fact College Park is practically in his backyard.
Even so, we never sensed Kumah was as high on UMD as his comments and actions suggested. There was always some little caveat that led us to believe he had his attention focused on locales other than Maryland.
Now, though, it's becoming quite clear the Terps are fading fast for the Forest Park prospect. Kumah just took a trip to Tennessee March 28 and has the Volunteers under serious consideration. Meanwhile, he's in the process of setting up yet another visit to Virginia Tech, his longstanding favorite.
Kumah doesn't have a definite decision date in mind, but it wouldn't shock us at all if he popped to the Hokies at some point this spring or summer. Va Tech has been trending for Kumah for months now, and it's probably only a matter of time before he joins Bud Foster's program.
Donald Stewart, WR, Paramus Catholic (Paramus, N.J.): It’s been a month-and-a-half since Stewart reeled in a Terps offer, and since then he’s reneged on two intended College Park trips and has yet to schedule another. Stewart still exchanges messages with UMD area recruiter Keith Dudzinski, but his overall interest in Maryland has waned considerably since Feb. 19.
Stewart was just at Syracuse with his entire family March 29, and he couldn’t say enough about the Orange. The coaching staff, the chance for early playing time, the scheme, the school itself, and the facilities all held his attention throughout. Stewart’s family ate up the trip as well, and afterwards he called the Cuse one of his definite favorites.
Stewart also has an affinity for hometown Rutgers and Wake Forest, which are among his other offers, while he’s pining for scholarships from Stanford and California. The Paramus prospect will visit the Cardinal and the Bears later this month, as well as the Demon Deacons.
Look for him to make a summer college decision.
Noah Turner, TE, Carmel Catholic (Mundelein, Ind.): Turner has completed his East Coast swing, visiting the likes of Maryland, N.C. State and UNC, adding offers from the Wolfpack; Tar Heels; and Wake Forest in the process. Those are in addition to previous verbals from UMD, Illinois, Indiana and schools throughout the MAC.
Initially, following his Maryland scholarship and subsequent visit, Turner seemed smitten with UMD, to the point where he came close to naming the Terps his leader. But after picking up three offers in less than two weeks, he’s starting to rethink his situation.
Now, instead of declaring leaders and choosing his college destination at some point this summer, which he originally intended, Turner wants to wait out the process. He’s seen his stock rise considerably and believes programs such as Michigan, Michigan State, Arkansas, Arizona State, Nebraska, Ohio State and the like may eventually come calling following camps/senior film evaluation.
Turner, who has no other scheduled visits, could change his mind in the months ahead, but currently he’s content to hold off on a pop until late fall.
The Terps remain in a solid spot given Turner’s relationship with area recruiter Chad Wilt and his experience in College Park, but the question is, For how long? Can Maryland reel Turner in even as he’s being wooed by the Big Ten’s top dogs?
We’ll find out down the road.
Zach Farrar, WR, Carroll (Southlake, Texas): Maryland’s Texas recruiter, Keenan McCardell, has exchanged Tweets with this ready-to-explode receiver talent, and the Terps are reportedly close to extending an offer. In my brief conversation with Farrar, he said all the right things about UMD and its program, noting his relationship with McCardell and how the school is in the Big Ten. But, fact is, he’s going to be tough to pry out of Texas.
Farrar doesn’t have an extensive offer list yet, but his recruitment has begun to pick up in earnest. SMU just anted up, and Farrar has already offered up plenty of Mustangs praise. Iowa, Purdue, Texas State, North Texas, LA Tech, Toledo have also come through, while Baylor, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, UCLA and more are in touch.
We’ll place Farrar on the hot board if he actually follows through with a College Park trip.
More News & Notes
Augie DeBiase, QB, Homeschooled (Jacksonville, Fla.): Maryland offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Locksley invited DeBiase up to campus March 31, which was a surprise for sure. After all, wasn’t UMD focused solely on Dwayne Haskins? And, if not, does this visit signal the Maryland staff isn’t quite as confident about landing Haskins? Or, does it mean the Terps might possibly take two quarterbacks in the 2016 class?
Well, you know our position on Haskins by now (we still like UMD’s chances), but the latter question can’t be answered just yet. DeBiase himself said he’s unsure whether Maryland wants to bring in one or two quarterbacks this year, Locksley remaining mum on the matter.
Either way, DeBiase and his father did have a standout initial visit to College Park. The Florida gunslinger (6-1, 220) said the campus immediately caught his eye, while he lauded Locksley; the offense; the facility upgrades; and the school’s academics as well.
In fact, DeBiase went on and on about the benefits of the new indoor fields and how he’d love the opportunity to use them. Moreover, UMD’s just-created entrepreneurship major held his attention, DeBiase noting how “no other college has anything like that. That’s something I’m really interested in.”
Before leaving College Park, DeBiase had a long sit-down with Locksley. The triggerman said UMD’s offensive coordinator would be coming to Florida to watch him throw in May, DeBiase suggesting an offer could materialize if he performs well. And if the verbal is indeed presented, expect the Sunshine State product to seriously consider Maryland.
Not that he doesn’t have other options. Both Indiana (visiting later this spring) and Virginia Tech have committable offers out to DeBiase, while he’s been hearing more and more from Auburn, which he’ll be trekking to shortly. Coaches from Florida (visiting April 11), Mississippi State (visited March 30), Oklahoma, Oklahoma State (visiting later this spring) and others have also been in touch.
If all goes according to plan, DeBiase will have his college decision made later this summer. (ARTICLE).
Joseph Goff, DE, Episcopal Academy (Alexandria, Va.): This top Terps defensive line target was at Maryland for the first time March 28, joining teammate Patrice Rene. The 6-6, 260-pound Goff said it was a “really good” initial impression, and afterwards he placed the Terps among his top four suitors, along with Navy, Virginia Tech and Vanderbilt.
Goff had a good time watching UMD practice, touring the player dorms and weight room, and chatting up the staff. He called the scrimmage March 28 “intense,” said the facilities were “really nice,” and connected with area recruiter Keenan McCardell; defensive line coach Chad Wilt; and Randy Edsall.
Goff said he’s looking forward to continuing his relationship with McCardell, while he believes Wilt would help him develop rapidly in Maryland’s 4-3 scheme. Moreover, Goff appreciated how Edsall didn’t pressure or force UMD on him.
But while Goff enjoyed his stay, he seems to have the Terps running fourth behind Navy, Tech and Vandy. He currently has the Midshipmen atop his leaderboard given his desire to be in the military, although the Hokies and Commodores are probably a close second and third in the race.
Next up, Goff will visit Wake Forest and UNC in April. He plans to select his college later this summer, likely in August. (ARTICLE).
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