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
Maryland’s lone quarterback target was back on campus April 3, giving the Terps’ coaches another chance to solidify their standing with the nearby triggerman. Haskins, who toured the campus and sat down with head coach Randy Edsall and Co. once again, really didn’t have much new to say about UMD, merely reiterating his prior feelings about the school.
You know the reasons he’s “hot” on the hot board by now: Face of the program; chance to start early during his career; ignite a DMV-to-UMD movement; build his brand; turn Maryland into a Big Ten title contender; play close to home; comfortable on campus; strong relationship with quarterbacks coach Mike Locksley and area recruiter Chad Wilt; and so on and so forth.
Indeed, the Terps have plenty to sell, and Haskins is not only listening, he’s practically told other recruits he’s coming to College Park, Md.
After taking in Maryland for the umpteenth time April 3, Haskins returned home to New Jersey April 4, visiting Rutgers while in town. RU is another top contender for the Bullis product’s services, and we do think Haskins holds the Scarlet Knights in high regard.
Head coach Kyle Flood and Co. have done well recruiting him, and the fact many family members and friends (including a couple Rutgers commits and current players) remain in Jersey certainly helps RU’s chances.
But, no, we don’t believe the Scarlet Knights are a threat to UMD, regardless of whether or not Garden State native and fellow four-star gunslinger Jarrett Guarantano (Bergen Catholic/Oradell, N.J.) selects RU or not. (Guarantano, who visited Ohio State again April 7-8, is expected to decide between Tennessee, OSU and Rutgers next week).
We haven’t budged from our stance on Haskins: We still think he’s College Park bound before it’s all said and done. It’s just getting to that “said and done” part that’s become a chore.
Before Haskins ends his recruitment, he still wants to check out Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Penn State and Notre Dame again. Which means he may not announce his destination until June, well after he originally intended.
Stott On Board
We broke down Travon Stott’s (Good Counsel/Olney, Md.) commitment to Maryland in last week’s Shell, before he actually popped, but on April 4 the local corner made the pledge official. Stott, who has basically been on board with Randy Edsall’s program since pulling an offer March 5, now becomes another local “recruiter,” who should lend a hand to the DMV-to-UMD movement.
He might not have the influence of a Dwayne Haskins or even a KeAndre Jones, but having Stott in the fold will probably help Maryland’s pursuit of elite class of 2017 Good Counsel talents like Jordan Anthony, Joshua Paschal and Mohamed Ibrahim. The Terps have offered both the inside backer Anthony and the athlete Paschal, while the running back Ibrahim is on their radar.
I’ve spoken to most of Good Counsel’s up-and-coming prospects, and all of them, including Anthony and Paschal, have an affinity for UMD. And it’s not just because Terps’ recruiter Mike Locksley has made initial inroads.
Maryland has an established pipeline to the Olney school, and when Good Counsel alums-turned-Terps like Wes Brown, Stefon Diggs, Zach Dancel and Jesse Aniebonam return to their high school alma mater hyping UMD, in addition to consistent overtures from new Maryland pledges Jones and Stott, that Terps brand will continue to build.
It’s true, Stott isn’t a four-star talent like Jones is, and some may wonder why Randy Edsall and Co. took a flyer on the previously-offerless corner. But if having Stott in the fold helps UMD net Paschal and Anthony down the road, well, recruiting the under-the-radar corner was clearly worth it.
And don’t misunderstand -- Stott isn’t some slouch. He’s 6-0, 175-pounds and has experience in both press and man coverage. Stott looks to have good instincts and a nose for the ball; flashes a fast first step; and won’t back down from receivers either. There’s plenty he has to refine (stiff hips, mirroring routes, tracking deep, transitioning on and off receivers), but after a couple years at UMD, Stott could become a solid contributor. (ARTICLE).
Defensive Back News
Greg Ross, CB, Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.): The local defensive back and Terps target returned to Maryland April 8 for a visit with his coach, Ron Crump, and 2015 UMD signee Keiron Howard. Ross has had the hometown school sitting pretty ever since landing an offer March 12, and we’re inclined to believe he’ll be on board with Randy Edsall’s program in the near future, barring a snag.
Although the rain and cold made for a somewhat uncomfortable experience, Ross did enjoy taking in the April 8 spring practice and chatting up the staff.
The Oxon Hill native has a deep rapport with area recruiter Mike Locksley (Locksley also knows Ross' uncle well too), and the two spoke once again while on campus. Ross also had a chance to meet defensive backs coach Darnell Perkins, who explained his potential role at Maryland, and Randy Edsall, the latter reiterating the cornerback’s importance to the program.
Not only is Ross heeding the headman's comments, but Howard is pushing UMD on him in a major way, while other DMV talents (LoLo Harrison, D.J. Turner) are on him as well. Moreover, Ross believes in Maryland’s direction and is keen on the idea of showing out for his hometown school. He’s also very close to his immediate family, especially his mother, and UMD offers an opportunity for her to see every Byrd Stadium bout.
Ross has explored his other suitors, taking in the likes of UNC, Clemson, NC State, ODU and Virginia Tech, and he does seem to be giving the Tar Heels and Hokies plenty of consideration. But we ultimately feel the local pull will be too much for Ross to turn down.
Expect the Potomac defensive back to choose a university in short order, perhaps as soon as next week, when Ross and his family could be returning to campus. (ARTICLE).
Trevon Diggs, CB, Avalon (Gaithersburg, Md.): Diggs took his second jaunt to Alabama this offseason April 2, but he left Tuscaloosa, Ala., without committing. Word is he thoroughly enjoyed himself once again, but is not ready to pull the trigger just yet.
Which leads us to believe Diggs may not be Tide bound after all. How many midlevel (non five-star) recruits take two trips to Bama and leave without popping? I’d venture to guess not many, suggesting the tealeaves may be pointing in another direction for the Avalon corner.
Look for Diggs to continue his extensive college tour this spring/summer, but Maryland could very well be trending once again. Diggs will reportedly be at UMD’s spring game April 11, his first time in College Park since a February junior day.
The Avalon product has maintained contact with Terps’ assistant Mike Locksley and area recruiter Chad Wilt, and evidently both still have Diggs’ ear. Again, the Maryland legacy will go through the process, but we’re sensing Stefon Diggs’ younger brother could be UMD’s to lose.
Trevon Diggs might just be waiting for his good friend, Dwayne Haskins, to make a move (read: commit to Maryland) before ending his recruitment shortly thereafter.
Aaron Hansford, S, St. John’s (Washington, D.C.): We were able to touch base with the local safety/outside linebacker Hansford this week, and the 6-2, 210-pounder’s profile continues to grow and grow. After adding an Ohio State offer, followed by a Columbus, Ohio, visit April 4, Hansford picked up another significant verbal from Penn State this week (Kentucky offered as well). His offer list now extends into the double digits, with OSU, PSU, Wisconsin, Va Tech, Maryland, UNC, Iowa, Illinois, Pitt and Duke leading the charge.
As I’ve hinted in the last couple Shells, the more attention Hansford receives, the less focused he seems to be on the hometown school, Maryland. The Buckeyes are prohibitive favorites at this point, with Hansford raving about assistants Larry Johnson and Luke Fickell, along with the atmosphere surrounding the defending national champs. It only helps OSU’s chances that Hansford’s teammate, Ohio State pledge Terrell Hall, is in the safety’s ear about joining him in Columbus.
That may be the case, but this battle isn’t over yet. We originally thought Hansford might pop while at OSU, but evidently he wants to take official visits before selecting a school. Moreover, Hansford isn’t publically claiming any leaders, insisting he’ll give all comers a shot to convince him.
Now, we haven’t heard about Hansford returning to College Park anytime soon (he’s not scheduled to be at the spring game), but it wouldn’t surprise us at all if area recruiter Mike Locksley made a charge. The Terps’ offensive coordinator will undoubtedly trek through St. John’s during the evaluation period, so perhaps UMD can work its way back into the game.
Khaleke Hudson, S/RB, McKeesport (Pa.): As far as we know, Hudson is still due in College Park for the spring game April 11. This 5-11, 200-pound four-star is in touch with UMD area recruiter Greg Studrawa and will at least give the school a look.
Hudson hasn’t responded to media inquiries recently, so it’s difficult to gauge what he’s thinking, but last we heard he liked Penn State a good amount. In fact, those who cover PSU have been forecasting him to Happy Valley for months now. Hudson was back in State College March 28, and the feeling is it’s only a matter of time before he pops to PSU.
Pitt is another prime player, along with Michigan State, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
But perhaps the Terps can vault into contention following the April 11 excursion. We’ll attempt to reach out and gather more information following his stay.
J.J. Givens, CB, Atlee (Mechanicsville, Va.): The Virginia corner Givens visited Maryland March 9 and subsequently landed an offer, which, at the time, prompted him to place UMD among his foremost suitors. Givens raved about the coaching staff and its academic-oriented message and straightforward approach. He lauded the facility upgrades, Big Ten affiliation, campus and Under Armour connection as well.
But we got the sense the nationally-rated Givens was merely giving the politically correct answers and wouldn't actually be considering UMD. During the last month or so, we confirmed those feelings, the Atlee product barely mentioning Maryland to other reporters. For the moment, he has an unofficial "top three" that consists of Arizona State, Wake Forest and Michigan State, and said others such as Duke, Louisville, N.C. State, Michigan and Penn State were also on the brain.
Givens just trekked through Tobacco Road, taking in the Blue Devils, Wolfpack and Deacons, and next up he plans to see Louisville. In the summer, he'll hit PSU, Michigan, MSU and ASU, giving no indication he'd be returning to Maryland.
We have removed Givens from the hot board.
Noah Burks, ILB, Carmel (Ind.): We caught up with the Indiana linebacker and prime Terps target this week, and he reiterated that Maryland remains his No. 1 suitor. Turner, who holds offers from Illinois, Indiana, UMD and schools throughout the MAC, said he has a terrific relationship with area recruiter Chad Wilt. He is also communicating consistently with defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski and head coach Randy Edsall.
In general, Burks couldn’t stop talking up the UMD staff, speaking to their honesty, how “real” they were with him, and their straightforward approach.
“The Maryland staff is terrific. I love the coaches there, and, honestly, that’s the main reason they’re my top school right now,” Burks said. “The relationship with Coach Wilt was always good -- he came out to my school last year and has been talking to me since -- but it’s just built up even more. He’s just a really laid back, normal guy, and I love that about him. With some coaches, it’s all about football and it’s all about selling. But with Coach Wilt, it’s like normal conversations. We have a lot of fun when we talk.
“Then I’ve been talking to Coach Dud and Coach Edsall too, and it’s the same thing. It’s just normal. They’re not pressuring me at all. You know how some coaches will pressure you into making a decision or find out what you think? Well, it’s not like that with Maryland, and in a way it kind of relaxed me (laughs). It’s weird, but it’s also awesome. It’s a lot of fun.”
Burks went on to say Maryland’s academics, Big Ten affiliation and the overall direction of the program have caught his eye too.
Burks was supposed to visit College Park for the first time April 11, or perhaps the week after, but he’s since pushed the date back until May 29. Based on his comments, though, we do expect him to follow through with that trip.
Given the above, Maryland looks to be in great shape for Burks’ services. But the Terps may still have to fend off some potential bigwigs, depending on which programs choose to pursue in earnest.
Burks grew up a Michigan fan and is pining for a Wolverines offer, although he’s not positive one will actually materialize -- even if he does follow through with a one-day camp (he’s unsure if he’ll head to Ann Arbor this summer or not).
A second suitor that could potentially leapfrog UMD is Notre Dame, which Burks visited March 21 and left raving about. Burks has remained in contact with the Fighting Irish’s staff, but needs to shine at a one-day to secure the scholarship (he’s unsure if he’ll perform at that camp either).
Tennessee has had contact with Burks as well, although the Volunteers have been mum about a potential offer. The ‘backer is currently debating whether he wants to check out UT this spring or not.
And yet another mitigating factor that could make this recruitment complicated (from a UMD standpoint) is that Burks doesn’t want to commit until taking all five officials. He said choosing a college is a “real big decision,” and he owed it to himself to take a deliberate approach.
Of course, plenty of recruits say that before committing six months early. And Burks did admit if he has a standout experience in College Park in late May he could very well end the process before he intends.
Stay tuned. (ARTICLE).
Keith Simms, OLB, Landon (Bethesda, Md.): Simms returned to the East Coast after a swing through California last weekend, and, for the time being, the local linebacker remains a “free agent.” We thought the Landon product might commit to his stated dream school, Stanford, while on campus April 4, but he hasn’t given head coach David Shaw his word just yet.
So, does that mean the Terps have a chance to reassert themselves with Simms?
Personally, I wouldn’t bank on it, even though Simms still has plenty of love for the hometown school; is cognizant of the DMV-to-UMD movement; and has a rapport with area recruiter Chad Wilt. True, Simms is supposed to be back in College Park for the spring game April 11, but unless the visit somehow blows him away, it’s going to be tough to top the Cardinal.
The Stanford staff rolled out the red carpet for Simms and his family April 4, leaving the Landon product in awe. The campus, the surrounding area, the current Cardinal players, the coach-recruit interactions, and, of course, the academics, all hit home with the Simmses.
A clear indicator Simms is set on Stanford: Following his Palo Alto, Calif., outing, he suggested he’d be moving up his decision date from late summer to this spring, perhaps as soon as mid-April. Simms is undoubtedly discussing the situation with his parents as you read this. Don’t be shocked if he pops before you’re finished the Shell.
Elias Reynolds, OLB, Poly Prep (Brooklyn, N.Y.): This Terps offeree was at Syracuse a couple weeks back, prior to visiting Rutgers last weekend. Both the Orange and Scarlet Knights have anted up, and Reynolds has now seen each program multiple times.
Following these recent developments, the vibe is Reynolds will ultimately opt for either RU or SU, with Boston College (no offer yet) another possibility. But the good news for Maryland is Reynolds isn’t publically claiming any leaders, and still intends to give the Terps a look. Following a trip to UMass this week, look for Reynolds to hit BC and UMD in mid- to late-April.
The open-minded Reynolds remains in communication with Terps’ defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski, who has harped on Maryland’s academic reputation (Reynolds is an honors student who places emphasis on education), while letting the linebacker know how well he’d fit into UMD’s scheme (he’d slide right into a pass-rushing outside linebacker role). Reynolds is apparently listening to Dudzinski’s pitch, which has him wanting to check out the school firsthand.
So, if the New York prospect does indeed visit College Park, we’ll give the Terps better odds to pull Reynolds in.
But even if he does trek through, the backer doesn’t intend to end his recruitment before his senior season. Which means there’s plenty of time for his situation to ebb and flow, ebb and flow.
Tymar Sutton, OLB, McKeesport (Pa.): The teammate of Khaleke Hudson, who we discussed above, will be joining the safety recruit at Maryland April 11. An under-the-radar talent, the 6-0, 210-pound Sutton holds a West Virginia offer, in addition to those from several lower-level programs like Buffalo, Army and Miami of Ohio.
But the outside backer has been in touch with Terps’ area recruiter Greg Studrawa, who has apparently let the Pennsylvania product know the staff is intrigued. We’re not certain an offer will crop up April 11, but perhaps Sutton is someone who earns a scholarship during the evaluation period or following a summer camp.
Sutton would be highly interested in UMD if it made a run, but for now, though, he seems smitten with WVU. West Virginia jumped on Sutton before any other major program, and the McKeesport prospect had plenty of praise for the Mountaineers’ program after visiting.
Sutton said he wants to wait until after his senior season before committing, but we’ll see if that holds up if he gets caught in a numbers crunch.
Receiver/Tight End News
Tino Ellis, WR, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.): The Terps’ No. 1 receiver target reneged on yet another intended College Park visit April 8, but he had a good reason. Ellis said he had to study for and take a test that day, precluding him from venturing over to UMD for the first time since Feb. 24.
The DeMatha standout then said he’d spoken to both area recruiter Mike Locksley and head coach Randy Edsall, alerting them he wouldn’t be in attendance April 8, but planned to return the next morning, April 9.
Ellis finally did follow through with the latter visit, mentioning how it was great to be back at Maryland again. He said he thoroughly enjoyed meeting up with Locksley, receivers’ coach Keenan McCardell and Edsall.
Ellis also noted how he’s still in consistent communication with the UMD staff, their overarching message (be part of the stay-home movement, etc.) still resonating with him. Indeed, the Stags’ star remains a prime DMV-to-UMD candidate, his teammates-turned-Terps-pledges LoLo Harrison and D.J. Turner on him constantly about the Terps.
The DeMatha product didn’t stay long April 9, but it was enough to reassure him the Terps should – and would continue to be – one of his foremost contenders.
Now, it’s true, Ellis is publically placing UMD, Rutgers, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky and Miami (no offer yet) on an even plane, saying all eight are under prime consideration. And, yes, Ellis has thoroughly enjoyed visits to Piscataway, N.J., Blacksburg, Va., and Morgantown, W.Va.. And, true, Ellis would like to trek to Chapel Hill, N.C., and possibly Lexington, Kent., and Miami at some point this summer.
But know this: Every time we speak to Ellis and those close to him, we’re reassured Maryland is the program to beat.
Here’s something for Terps’ fans to take away from my most recent conversation with the DeMatha prospect. When asked about his intended July 31 college decision date and where he planned to announce, Ellis responded by saying:
“I still want to announce on July 31, and I thought about [where I want to announce] some more, and I think I want to do it at R.J. Bentley’s now. I think that would be pretty cool.”
When informed Terps fans would probably riot if Ellis didn’t choose UMD while inside the popular College Park restaurant and Maryland hangout, the receiver said, “Yeah, I know, I thought about that (laughs).”
Good stuff, if you’re a Terps aficionado. (ARTICLE).
Aaron Mathews, WR, Clairton (Pa.): Back in early March, Mathews claimed a top four favorites list of Pittsburgh, Boston College, WVU and Maryland. Since then, however, the 6-5, 175-pounder has gone silent.
We did break through to confirm he will be in College Park April 11 for the spring game, however, which is obviously a positive sign for UMD. It’s also clear that area recruiter John Dunn has maintained regular contact with Mathews and continues to track him in earnest.
Our Pennsylvania guys have suggested in-state Pitt may lead for Mathews’ services, but that could be speculation. He did just visit the Panthers March 21, however, and previously held the nearby school in high regard.
Mathews has also seen Penn State and WVU, with plans to take in Boston College at some point this offseason as well.
We’ll try to find out where Mathews stands following this weekend.
Jalen Elliott, S/WR, Lloyd C. Bird (Chesterfield, Va.): One of the more intriguing prospects who visited College Park last weekend was this 6-1, 180-pound two-way star. Elliott, who plays quarterback at Lloyd C. Bird, projects to either side of the ball in college, and said pretty much every program recruiting him envisions him at receiver or safety.
Elliott doesn’t have a Maryland offer yet, but the staff is keeping close tabs and could ante up this spring. Meanwhile, schools such as Georgia, N.C. State, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and more have offered, and numerous others throughout the Big Ten and ACC are in touch.
If the Terps do choose to pursue, we think they’d have a decent enough shot at pulling Elliott out of Virginia. Elliott, who plays basketball as well, said he practically grew up in Maryland’s backyard, with much of his family living in Upper Marlboro, Md. Furthermore, he used to attend AAU tournaments and camps at the Comcast/Xfinity Center, taking in College Park multiple times.
April 4 was Elliott’s first visit for football purposes, but he already had a built-in affinity for the school. On top of that, Elliott has taken to Terps’ area recruiter Chad Wilt, along with UMD receivers’ coach Keenan McCardell, both of whom he spoke to extensively while on campus. He also talked up the team, the facility upgrades, the Under Armour connection and more.
Of course, we’ll have to see how Elliott’s profile develops this spring and summer before making any predictions. Virginia Tech, which he’s set to see for a fourth time April 7, is a primary contender, as is N.C. State. Georgia was a huge offer for him, and North Carolina would immediately become a favorite should it enter the fray.
Look for Elliott to select his college destination before his senior season. (ARTICLE).
Eric Kumah, WR, Forest Park (Woodbridge, Va.): We discussed the Terps offeree Kumah in the last Shell, and there’s more news to report after he released his top 10 leaderboard and intended college decision date. Kumah, who plans to announce his future destination June 19, listed Va Tech, Tennessee, Illinois, UMD, UVA, Pitt, Kentucky, NC State, Indiana and JMU as his foremost suitors. Of those, we can probably surmise the Hokies, Volunteers, Wolfpack, Wahoos, Wildcats and Terps are in his top five or six.
So, does Maryland have a shot? Sure, it’s certainly possible Kumah winds up in College Park. After all, he’s been on campus four times and continues to have regular conversations with UMD area recruiter Keenan McCardell.
But, at the same time, the Terps are probably sitting behind Va Tech, Tennessee and maybe Kentucky in this race. The Hokies have long been considered the favorites, and it would be a minor upset if another staff pried Kumah away from head coach Bud Foster.
Taylor Edwards, TE, Alexis I DuPont (Wilmington, Del.): This 6-3, 220-pounder visited Maryland April 8, leaving campus believing an offer could crop up this spring. Edwards, who holds ODU and UMass verbals, said both area recruiter Lyndon Johnson and tight ends coach John Dunn suggested the staff liked his game and thought he could bring a pass-catching element to UMD’s tight end core.
We’re skeptical a verbal will materialize anytime too soon, but perhaps if Edwards performs at a one-day camp head coach Randy Edsall and Co. will take a closer look.
Offer or no offer, Edwards certainly likes Maryland and enjoyed his stay on campus April 8. He spoke highly of the facilities, upgrades, campus, and coaches, along with the spring practice itself. Edwards was particularly taken by the staff’s intensity and how well the players responded to it.
Afterwards, the DuPont product said he could easily see himself fitting in at UMD and would promptly place the Terps at or near the top of his leaderboard should they offer.
For the moment, though, ODU has his eye since that staff has been on him forever. Edwards is also hoping Pittsburgh and Boston College, two other programs that have maintained contact, pull through at some point.
Edwards would like to send out senior film before selecting his college destination, but a decision could come much sooner if the “right offer” comes to fruition. (ARTICLE).
Terek Zingale, OL, Nordonia (Macedonia, Ohio): The Terps offered this 6-6, 295-pounder April 6, and Zingale immediately scheduled a visit to College Park for Maryland’s spring game April 11. The Ohio tackle had been in touch with UMD line coach Greg Studrawa and head coach Randy Edsall, the former letting him know the offer was on the table.
Zingale called the verbal “a great honor” and then praised the school’s academics and tradition. He went on to say he’s eager to see Maryland for the first time and meet the coaches in person.
Although Zingale mentioned he would like to attend college “within driving distance” of home, we believe UMD fits the bill. The fact he set up an impromptu visit just minutes after snagging the offer suggests Zingale’s Terps interest is genuine.
Now, the Ohio lineman also mentioned he wanted to see his other suitors such as Illinois, Toledo and Ohio, in addition to several potential offerees, later this offseason, but he could be Maryland’s to lose. Zingale seemed so eager to trek to College Park, it wouldn’t shock us if he ended up committing while on campus.
But there’s also the possibility Zingale holds off on a premature pop. He is, after all, an impressive looking specimen and a probable “blowup candidate” given his size and athleticism.
We’ll see if Studrawa and Co. can close the deal April 11. Stay tuned. (ARTICLE).
Ellison Jordan, DT, Gilman (Baltimore, Md.): After taking all of January off from recruiting trips, in favor of track and football workouts, this four-star plugger will resume visiting colleges April 9-10, which is when he returns to College Park. The 6-1, 260-pounder will be back on campus for the first time since the Feb. 24 Maryland-Wisconsin basketball game, and on this occasion he plans to stay overnight.
Jordan -- who wants to be a sports broadcaster, expressing plenty of interest in UMD’s renowned communications program -- said he’ll arrive on campus with his parents April 9, allowing the family to get an in-depth look at the journalism school. The Gilman product wants to speak to several academic advisors and professors to see exactly what the degree entails and how he can balance it with his football schedule.
After that, Jordan will stay overnight with some current Terps players so he can experience the student-athlete lifestyle firsthand. He said he’s already quite familiar with the campus and the team itself, but wants to get a taste of what it’s like to live there.
The next day, Jordan is looking forward to catching up with the coaches and taking in the spring game. He’s had consistent exchanges with his Maryland recruiter, Mike Locksley, and is eager to chat up UMD’s offensive coordinator, along with Randy Edsall, defensive line coach Chad Wilt and the rest of the staff.
Undoubtedly, Jordan will leave Maryland gushing about the Terps, just as he’s done during his previous forays though College Park. Just don’t expect him to pop anytime soon.
Jordan still plans to follow through with numerous summer excursions (Michigan State, WVU, Kentucky, Rutgers, Wake Forest, PSU, Va Tech) before taking several officials this fall/winter. He said he feels no pressure to commit early and is content to wait until after the fall season before selecting a school.
Either way, Jordan’s upcoming trip April 9-10 is a promising development for the Terps, who we’ve projected to land the Gilman fireplug since the initial 2016 hot board release.
Terrance Davis, OG, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.): There were plenty of juicy nuggets delivered by the local guard recruit this week. Just 10 days after visiting College Park for the first time since last fall, Davis was back at UMD again April 7. The DeMatha prospect already held the Terps in high regard, and his most recent outing only helped solidify Davis’ feelings.
Head coach Randy Edsall continued his overtures with the academic-oriented-build-your-brand-represent-your-hometown-school message, while line coach Greg Studrawa’s pitch resonated as well. Area recruiter Mike Locksley, meanwhile, has known Davis for years and has already has developed a trust with the recruit and his family.
We’ve hashed and rehashed where Davis stands with the Terps (he’s a true DMV-to-UMD recruit; his cousin and teammate, Maryland pledge Lolo Harrison, is in his ear; he loves Locksley; he’s comfortable on campus, etc.), so there’s no need to delve into the fine details once again. Just know the Terps will remain firmly in the running all the way until Davis selects his college.
Another suitor who figures to be right there for Davis is Michigan. The DeMatha guard was just in Ann Arbor, Mich., for the first time April 3, head coach Jim Harbaugh winning over both Davis and his mother. The Stags’ standout talked up the family atmosphere surrounding the program, and intends to return for the MU-OSU showdown later this fall. Davis went as far as to say he’d be taking an official visit to Michigan as well.
Next up for Davis is a trip to Ohio State April 16, followed by Alabama, Georgia, UCLA, Florida, Florida State and Tennessee this summer. Then, after his senior season, Davis would like to take all five official visits before announcing his college decision next winter.
The Terps remain in very good shape for the DeMatha prospect, but it’s just going to take some time to reel him in.
Rashad Wheeler, DT, Central Catholic (Pittsburgh, Pa.): Well, things sounded fairly promising following Wheeler’s April 4 visit to College Park. The 6-3, 265-pounder was at Maryland for the first time last weekend and enjoyed his stay so much he said he’d “definitely” be returning.
On top of that, Wheeler placed the Terps right up there with Pitt among his top suitors, lauding the campus; coaches (Greg Studrawa, Chad Wilt, Randy Edsall); and facilities. He already had a strong rapport with Studrawa, and said he liked the way Wilt coached the defensive line as well.
But that was all before Wheeler landed a coveted Penn State scholarship a couple days later. Wheeler visited State College, Pa., immediately after College Park and left campus extoling the hometown Nittany Lions.
“I really love Penn State. Every time I go I like it more; I could see myself being there,” Wheeler told Scout’s Brian Dohn.
Wheeler still plans to follow through with intended trips to Wake Forest, Va Tech, Boston College and West Virginia this offseason, as well as a potential return to UMD, but we’re less confident in the Terps’ chances now that PSU is in the game.
We’ll see where this recruitment leads in the coming months (Wheeler doesn’t want to choose his school until after his senior year). (STORY).
Chandler Reeves, OL, Eagle’s Landing Christian (McDonough, Ga.): Reeves was supposed to visit Maryland April 11, but he’s since pushed back the intended trip to April 24. The 6-6, 255-pounder has held a Terps verbal -- his very first scholarship offer -- for a couple months now, and has been eager to see the campus since then, leading us to believe he will trek north at some point.
Reeves, who has a relationship with area recruiter Lyndon Johnson, said the fact UMD’s staff jumped on him before any other program holds weight . Meanwhile, the school’s academics, internship opportunities and need for tackles intrigue him as well.
But while Reeves is giving the Terps their due, he’s since added a few more offers. Syracuse, California and Army have all come through, while Georgia Tech is on the verge.
Reeves is actually visiting Cal this week, taking advantage of time off during spring break. And as recruitniks know, sometimes when East Coast prospects journey all the way out West, they do so with the intention of committing.
We’ll see if that’s the case with Reeves.
If the Georgia prospect remains on the market, though, look for him to take in Syracuse and Army next week before making his way to College Park.
Sulaiman Kamara, DT, Hermitage (Richmond, Va.): Recall, this 6-2, 285-pound defensive tackle visited Maryland for a junior day back in February, hinting an offer could be materializing in short order. Said offer still could crop up during the spring evaluation period, but a month-and-a-half after the initial visit, and the Terps remain in a holding pattern.
Kamara said he’s in touch with Maryland area recruiter Chad Wilt, but unless UMD makes a push, this Hermitage plugger will likely focus his attention elsewhere.
Kamara was just in Winston Salem, N.C., for a visit and said the Demon Deacons, which have offered, were “recruiting me the hardest.” He also holds appealing verbals from Duke and North Carolina, both of which have caught his eye. (The Virginia tackle said Penn State has his attention as well, but we’re not so sure the Nittany Lions have a committable offer out to him.)
Look for Kamara to drag out his recruiting process into the winter months, so maybe the Terps can make up ground later in the game. But even if Wilt and Co. do make a run, it might be difficult to beat out the Carolina programs at this point.
Nik Urban, OG, South High (Willoughby, Ohio): Maryland offered Urban back in February, and the 6-4, 280-pounder expressed interest in trekking to College Park at some point this spring/summer, following wrestling season. Well, wrestling has ended and the Ohio guard has started to schedule a few trips.
First up, Urban will check out Duke, a stated favorite, April 11. Urban has been high on the Blue Devils since the staff offered him all the way back in December, and given the school's academic reputation and emerging football program, they could be the team to beat.
After taking in Durham, N.C., Urban will be at another top contender, Illinois, for its spring game April 18. Urban has a terrific rapport with the Illini coaches and likes the fact it's not too far from his Ohio home. He's also been on campus multiple times already.
Provided Urban doesn't commit to Duke or Illinois these next couple weeks, the South High product said he would be visiting College Park in May or June. Urban has an ongoing relationship with UMD area recruiter Greg Studrawa, the O-line coach letting him know Maryland's academics, internship opportunities and football program would fit him well.
If Urban does make it to College Park, we think the Terps will be among his top three to five contenders. Let's see what transpires during the next couple months, before Urban chooses his future destination in July.
New Offers Out
Terek Zingale, OL, Nordonia (Macedonia, Ohio): See above.
Brian Burns, DE, American Heritage (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.): The Terps offered yet another recruit out of Nick Rubinowicz’s school, American Heritage. This elite defensive end, though, already had 18 verbals prior to UMD’s, with the Sunshine State powers all over him.
Florida and Miami are on the brain at this point, while South Carolina, Clemson and Auburn are firmly in the mix. FSU would become an instant leader should the Seminoles ante up.
We are not inclined to place Burns on the hot board.
David Adams, LB, Central Catholic (Pittsburgh, Pa.): This class of 2017 linebacker visited Maryland along with his teammates April 4. He is one of Central Catholic’s emerging recruits and already holds verbals from the likes of Penn State, Pitt, WVU, Temple and now UMD.
Adams reportedly enjoyed his stay in College Park, but he’s claiming no standouts or leaders at this stage of his recruitment. With PSU and Pitt on him, though, he figures to be a difficult pull for the Terps and area recruiter Greg Studrawa.
Joshua Lugg, OT, North Allegheny (Wexford, Pa.): Another class of 2017 Western Pennsylvania recruit Maryland offered. Lugg, like Adams, is a surefire blowup candidate who claims initial offers from Pitt, Tennessee, WVU, UMD and others. Nearby Pitt has his attention for the moment, as do the in-state Nittany Lions.
Chris Brown, S, Alief Elsik (Houston, Texas): Brown holds offers from Duke, Kansas, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Missouri and Houston, with schools throughout Texas and the Big 12 monitoring him. He was just in Michigan with his teammate, five-star receiver Dontavious Jackson, and seems to like the Spartans and Wolverines early. The in-state schools also hold appeal.
Paddy Fisher, LB, Katy (Texas): The Terps are one of the more significant offers for Fisher, so we'll see if they can gain some traction with this academic-oriented recruit. Fisher was just at Northwestern, a primary suitor, and has the Wildcats under consideration. He also holds offers from Baylor, BC, Kansas, Houston, Colorado State and Louisiana Tech and is hearing from several other southern schools.
We'll attempt to reach out to see if Fisher could potentially trek to UMD.
Jaylon Jones, CB, Allen (Texas): Jones is one of the top 25 cornerback recruits in the country with close to 20 offers on his resume. Arizona State, Auburn, Michigan, Miami, Nebraska, Missouri, Duke, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Pitt, Ole Miss, Texas Tech, TAMU, TCU, USC and now Maryland are all after him. He's wide open in his recruitment for now, but, needless to say, it's not going to be an easy pull for UMD.
Grant Holloway, WR, Grassfield (Chesapeake, Va.): Holloway added the Terps to an offer list that includes Tennessee, UVA, Va Tech, Clemson, Penn State, UNC, East Carolina and others. This 6-2, 180-pounder has visited the in-state programs several times and has been forecast to the Hokies, with the Wahoos also firmly in play.
Andrew Pryts, S, Hickory (Hermitage, Pa.): Pryts is one of the foremost recruits in Pennsylvania, holding offers from all the bigwigs. Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State, Michigan, Bama, Stanford, Wisconsin and others are all after him. PSU might be in the pole position for now, but OSU is in play as well.
Kenney Lyke, S, Fremd (Palatine, Ill.): Lyke claims offers from Michigan Stae, Baylor, Iowa, Illinois, Penn State, Rutgers, Pitt, Miami of Ohio and now Maryland. Wisconsin, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Nebraska and others are all keeping close tabs. The Spartans are considered the early leader, but if OSU antes up he might be a Buckeye.
Lyke did tell Scout's Beth Long that he was interested in checking out Maryland this summer, but we'll see if that trip comes to fruition before placing him on the hot board.
David Reese, LB, Farmington (Mich.): Reese committed to Michigan April 4 and is firmly on-board with his in-state school. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Indiana, Louisville, Pitt and programs throughout the MAC.
TTDave's Inside The Shell
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