The Terps played host to a potential defensive end target Aug. 14 when local edge rusher Chinedu Udeogu (Georgetown Prep/North Bethesda, Md.) made his way to College Park, Md., for the first time. The 6-foot-5, 245-pounder, who was joined by his assistant coach and two teammates, had a chance to take in a morning practice and chat with most of the staff.
“I really liked it up there. I had to leave a little early so I didn’t get to see much of the campus, but it was a good practice,” said Udeogu, who holds offers from Cal, Rutgers, Pitt, ECU, Yale and others. “It was a really good atmosphere. It was really competitive and they were looking pretty good too. And the coaches I spoke to were all very nice and glad to have me there. It was a good time. I like the program there.”
Udeogu said he spent most of the time honing in on the defensive line. He liked Maryland’s scheme, how the coaches worked with the players and the practice’s structure.
“I was watching the D-line for the most part. They were getting after it and I liked the defense. They play a 4-3 there, and that’s what I play in high school,” Udeogu said. “I think I’d fit in well there as a 4-3 end. It’s a good system, and I really liked how aggressive and energetic the players and coaches were. Everyone really got into it; it was good to see.”
During the practice Udeogu was approached by defensive line coach Chad Wilt, head coach Randy Edsall and several other coaches. Wilt doubles as Udeogu’s recruiter, and the two are in the process of developing a rapport.
“Coach Wilt was the main one talking to me. He was saying to make sure I paid attention to the tempo of the practice and what the linemen were doing so I could take some stuff back and help my high school team and help my team improve,” Udeogu said. “We were talking about the learning experience mostly, and then he was asking a few questions about me. We’re just starting to get to know each other, but he’s a cool guy. I like him and hope to get to know him more.
“The head coach said a few things to me too, just asking me how I was doing and saying he was glad I came out.”
Since Udeogu didn’t get to tour the school he would like to return to College Park at some point, although it’s unlikely to be this summer. He said he wants to attend a game this fall, but is unsure which one he’ll be able to make.
“Maryland’s a really good school and it looks like a good place to be, so I’d like to come back,” Udeogu said. “It’s a great academic school, so that’s one big thing that stands out about them.”
A native of Chicago, Udeogu actually left Illinois for his native Nigeria when he was four years old. He returned to the United States just three years ago for high school.
But even though Udeogu isn’t a Marylander per se, he does have plenty of state pride.
“Maryland is where I live now and it would be great to have the opportunity to represent where I live at the next level,” Udeogu said. “My family could come to my games, and there are a lot of guys I’ve played against and know that are going there. So an offer from Maryland would definitely be big. I would definitely look at them closely and they’d be one of my leaders.”
Udeogu isn’t sure said verbal will actually materialize, however. He said he and Wilt have only started talking recently, the recruit not positive how the Terps feel about him.
“We’re talking, they’re recruiting me, but I really don’t know if they’re going to be offer,” Udeogu said. “It would be nice if they did, but I just don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. We’ll see what happens.”
If the Terps don’t ante up soon, Udeogu could very well wind up elsewhere. He said he wants to have his destination chosen by early September so he can concentrate fully on his senior season.
“There’s a good chance it’s going to be in September. I want to get this done as early as I can without rushing,” Udeogu said. “But if I have to push it back and feel I need more time, I will. But most likely early September is when I’ll decide.”
Udeogu just visited California Aug. 12, raving about the Bears. Rutgers is another program at the forefront of his mind, with ECU, Pitt and possibly Yale also in play.
“I don’t really have any leaders yet, but I do like Rutgers a good bit. Rutgers is definitely up there,” Udeogu said. “They’ve been talking to me longer than anyone and I really liked my visit there.. And the Cal visit was great too; I loved it. The atmosphere and coaches were great, and it’s great academics. They’re like the No. 1 school in the country and I have a brother out there too. So I like Cal a lot too.”
Udeogu might take one last summer trip to Pitt during the last week of August. Beyond that, however, he has no other visit plans leading up to his proposed decision day.
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