UMD Entrenched For Jordan After Two-Day Stay

After a month-and-a-half hiatus, Maryland’s No. 1 defensive line target returned to College Park, Md., April 10-11 for an overnight stay. Gilman (Baltimore, Md.) defensive tackle Ellison Jordan has long held UMD in high regard, and his most recent foray only helped solidify those feelings.

After a month-and-a-half hiatus, Maryland’s No. 1 defensive line target returned to College Park, Md., April 10-11 for an overnight stay. Gilman (Baltimore, Md.) defensive tackle Ellison Jordan has long held UMD in high regard, and his most recent foray only helped solidify those feelings.

“It was a real cool time. I’d never stayed overnight at a college before, so it was kind of like an official visit experience for me,” said the 6-foot-1, 270-pound Jordan, who holds offers from UMD, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina, NC State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and West Virginia, among others. “I can’t really say anything changed, because I already liked Maryland a lot, but it was another great time there. My family was with me too, and both my mom and dad had a very good experience.”

Jordan, who was last at UMD for the Feb. 24 Terps-Wisconsin basketball game, said he arrived in College Park the afternoon of April 10 in order to learn more about the journalism program. The Gilman product wants to be a sports broadcaster and is well aware UMD’s journalism school has produced its share of noted writers, TV personalities and the like.

“I really, really was impressed with the communications program; that was just so cool and so much fun,” Jordan said. “I can’t even remember all of it I learned so much. That [the journalism school] is one of the main reasons I’m really high on Maryland, so it was great to check all that out and talk to some professors. My parents took a lot of notes on it too, and they were impressed.

“And one thing I really liked is, I was talking to two academic advisors, and they were saying how much academic support there is there. So what Maryland does is they practice in the morning, go to class, and then there’s a full two hours of study hall. So not only are the academics really strong there, but the coaches take care of you and make sure you get your work done. That really stood out to me and my parents too.”

After taking in the journalism school, the Bowie, Md., native caught up with a couple Maryland staff members, along with his “hosts” for the evening. Jordan said he spent much of his time with current Terps Nnamdi Egbuaba and Brandon Ross, in addition to class of 2015 UMD signee Adam McLean, who also spent the night.

“It was a real good time with those guys; they were really cool,” Jordan said. “Nnamdi and Brandon were saying how Maryland is a great school and how they really have enjoyed it there. They said the coaches are great and really take care of you.

“But I spent most of my time with Adam. We were together like the entire time. He told some things about the recruiting process that really opened my eyes. [McLean] was saying how there’s a big difference between coaches who tell you what you want to hear and coaches who tell you what you need. He said the coaches at Maryland, they really tell you what you need to hear. So that’s something I really listened to and appreciated. What Adam was saying, it was real.”

During his two-day stay, Jordan was able to chat with many of those Maryland coaches. At various times throughout, the defensive tackle spoke to head coach Randy Edsall, recruiter Mike Locksley, defensive line coach Chad Wilt, defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski and recruiting coordinator John Dunn. Jordan has known practically the entire UMD staff for two years now, calling them “great guys and really down to earth.”

“The best thing about the Maryland coaches is how honest they are. I have a great relationship with them and I always appreciate the advice they give me and the conversations we have. I know my parents really like the coaches there a lot too,” Jordan said. “But Coach Edsall, Coach Locks, they were just saying how important it is for me to stay home and be close to my family. And Coach Wilt, we sat down and watched some film, and he was saying how I’d fit right into the defense there. We play a 4-3 at Gilman, so I’d slide right in at defensive tackle [at Maryland].”

Jordan went on to comment on the weight room and player dorms, as well as the facility upgrades, which will be ready in spring 2017. He said he “can’t wait” to see the new indoor fields, mentioning that “Maryland is in a really good place with their facilities.”

As for the spring game itself, Jordan lauded the defense, receiver Marcus Leak and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. Jordan said he loved how Wilt worked with the line and how the players “got after it.”

“Yannick was killing it out there, he caught my eye the most,” Jordan said. “But I thought the defense as a whole played really well. The safeties were hitting and making plays, and that one receiver, No. 82 [Leak], he was really impressive.”

During the game, Jordan spent plenty of time with another top Terps’ target, quarterback Dwayne Haskins (Bullis/Potomac, Md.). Jordan said the two didn’t talk too much about recruiting, but “I know Dwayne really likes Maryland.”

“We were kind of just chilling, catching up,” Jordan said. “But Dwayne, he said Maryland is a great school and how if us guys in the DMV all went there we could make things happen. So, yeah, that’s something we’re all thinking about.”

Now that he’s been in College Park on close to double-digit occasions during the last couple years, Jordan said he’s seen everything he needs to at UMD. He said the Terps are firmly entrenched on the brain, and will remain so up until Jordan’s intended college decision date in August.

“I know what Maryland is about, I know what they stand for,” Jordan said. “I’m definitely considering them and always will.”

Next on the agenda is a return trip to Penn State April 18, followed by another visit to Virginia Tech April 25, which is Jordan’s birthday. Then in the summer, Jordan would like to see Michigan State, with possible returns to UNC, Pittsburgh and Rutgers also in the works.

“I wish I could see every school, but there’s just too many and I have my family to think about,” said Jordan, who has trekked to UMD, WVU, Rutgers, PSU, UNC, Va Tech and ODU this offseason. “But I definitely want to get back to Penn State since they’ve been on me pretty intense, and I really like it up there. And Virginia Tech, they really caught my eye when I was down there, and I want to visit them again too.”

Jordan May not have an official favorites list yet, but it is clear the Terps, Nittany Lions and Hokies have his full attention.

“The main schools are probably Va Tech, Maryland and PSU. I would say those coaches have had the most contact with me and are pushing the hardest,” Jordan said. “But, I mean, I still have to look at some of these other schools. I really do want to see Michigan State since that was my first offer, and I’m interested in North Carolina, Rutgers and Pittsburgh too. So we’ll see, I’m still thinking some things over.”

By May, Jordan said he should have a firm top 10 leaderboard prepared. He’ll then do plenty of homework on each of the 10 before narrowing down his list by the summer.

“And I’d like to have my decision made before the season, that’s the goal,” Jordan said. “I know stuff happens, and it could be pushed until after the season, but I really would like to have my mind made up before my senior year.”

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