Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup.
The Randy Edsall Situation
We addressed this some last week, but it’s worth delving deeper as speculation swirls surrounding Maryland’s headman’s job status. If Randy Edsall is let go following the Ohio State game Oct. 10, here’s our take on how it would impact the Terps’ 2016 recruiting class.
Dwayne Haskins, QB, Bullis (Potomac, Md.): Haskins is the most important recruit in this class and the bulwark behind the DMV-to-UMD movement. Needless to say, if he opts out, many of the other local commits could as well (plus those targets who are seriously considering Maryland). Haskins has said time and again he’s firmly committed to Maryland, despite some of its more embarrassing losses. He hasn’t commented specifically on Edsall of late, but the Bullis quarterback is a savvy, in-tune recruit who is well aware there could be changes at Maryland soon.
Previously, Haskins told us he could consider reopening his recruitment if Edsall were fired (harken back to the infamous question I asked Haskins the day he committed). Although Edsall wasn’t the primary reason the Bullis four-star chose UMD, the Terps’ headman developed a father-son-like relationship with Haskins. Given that, it’s certainly possible Haskins at least begins to listen to outside pitches. He’ll probably field intriguing phone calls from programs such as Alabama; Florida; Virginia Tech; Oklahoma; and more. And as we’ve often said, we’re always leery when Nick Saban (and others like him) are on the prowl.
On the other hand, there’s a strong possibility Haskins remains entrenched in College Park, Md., provided recruiter Mike Locksley stays and the Terps bring in a viable head coach. Locksley was just as important in this recruitment as Edsall, so if UMD’s current offensive coordinator is around he should be able to convince Haskins to stick as well. On top of that, Haskins did tweet that he's "committed to the state" and "[Maryland] needs us."
Chances Of Sticking Around: Very Good
LoLo Harrison, RB, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.): Harrison hasn’t wavered for a second on his Maryland pledge. He’s fully on-board with DMV-to-UMD and has been one of the program’s primary promoters. More than likely he’ll remain committed -- if Mike Locksley is around. Of course, if Haskins reopens his recruitment, and Harrison in turn begins receiving phone calls from outside pursuers, you never know what could happen.
Chances Of Sticking Around: Very Good
Tino Ellis, WR, DeMatha: Ellis’ situation is similar to Harrison’s. If Haskins and Locksley are at Maryland, the DeMatha wideout will probably remain firm in his pledge. You can be sure, however, that Virginia Tech’s staff will immediately put in a call if Edsall is indeed released. How Ellis reacts is up for debate (Tech finished a close second for his services back in July).
Chances Of Sticking Around: Very Good
D.J. Turner, WR, DeMatha: Turner isn’t going anywhere, barring a 180. Not only is he all-Maryland, but it’s his only FBS offer to date. He doesn’t figure to procure more Division I interest, either, after suffering a season-ending torn ACL. The only way Turner departs is if the entire DMV movement falls apart, Mike Locksley leaves, and another Division I school takes a late flyer on him.
Chances Of Sticking Around: Excellent (close to 100 percent)
Evan Fairs, WR, Foster (Richmond, Texas): If Edsall is no longer around, Fairs will likely take a wait-and-see approach and monitor 1) who the next headman is and 2) if area recruiter Keenan McCardell remains on staff. In reality, though, Fairs’ status depends almost entirely on McCardell’s. If McCardell leaves, Fairs may stay committed since he doesn’t have many bigwigs banging down his door. But there’s also a possibility he opts to flip to a hometown school like Houston, SMU or the like.
Chances Of Sticking Around: Average/Good
Michael Clark, OT, Downingtown East (Exton, Pa.): This is one of the more difficult calls to make. One of the main reasons Clark chose Maryland was because of Edsall and his emphasis on academics. He also has a strong relationship with UMD-area recruiter John Dunn, so the latter’s status would weigh into Clark’s decision as well. That said, Clark knows he has a prime opportunity to achieve his educational and athletic goals at Maryland, regardless of the staff. It’s also a bonus that College Park is only a couple hours from home, another major reason the Downingtown product committed in the first place. Clark could be one of those pledges who wavers initially before reaffirming his original commitment.
Chances Of Sticking Around: Good/Very Good
Terek Zingale, OT, Nordonia (Macedonia, Ohio): Zingale hasn’t suggested he’s rethinking his recruitment at all, texting in a couple times he’s 100 percent committed to Maryland. But Zingale’s position is likely tied to that of area recruiter and O-Line coach Greg Studrawa’s. If Studrawa stays, Zingale may very well sign with UMD. If not, well, it’s up in the air what he’ll decide. Other Big Ten programs like Illinois, Purdue and Indiana will inevitably pursue and could convince Zingale to stick in the Midwest.
Chances Of Sticking Around: Good
Brian Plummer, OT, South Carroll (Sykesville, Md.): Plummer readily took to Edsall during the recruiting process, but fact is UMD is the tackle’s lone FBS offer. Plus Plummer is a recruit who wants to represent his home state, receive a Maryland education and play close to home. We don’t see Plummer waffling, no matter what happens with the rest of the staff.
Chances Of Sticking Around: Excellent
Alex Hall, OT, Louisville (Ohio): Hall has a puncher's chance of having his greyshirt lifted, which means he’d remain part of the 2016 class. If so, he likely won’t have a better option than Maryland. Some MAC schools could come sniffing around, which could make the situation interesting, however, and Hall did take a liking to Edsall as well. Hall could be someone who looks around, but we'll have to see what other suitors emerge first.
Chances Of Sticking Around: Good
Joey Fisher, DT, Clear Spring (Md.): Fisher has one offer from Maryland and hasn’t had serious contact with coaches from other Division I schools. Barring unforeseen circumstances, he’ll be in College Park next year.
Chances Of Sticking Around: Excellent
KeAndre Jones, LB, Good Counsel (Olney, Md.): Like the rest of Maryland’s core DMV commits, Jones hasn’t thought twice about his pledge, despite rumors to the contrary. Time and again he’s told multiple reporters, “I’m a Terp, I’m a Terp.” And as long as UMD-recruiter Mike Locksley is in tow, we think Jones keeps his word. (Remember, he committed before the DMV movement began in earnest, citing his mother’s desire for him to play close to home). Of course, you never know what’ll happen if Urban Meyer, who pursued Jones in earnest this summer, comes calling. Jones rebuffed Ohio State (and similar programs like Michigan State) once before; will he do so again?
Chances Of Sticking Around: Very Good
Mike Viti, S, Camp Hill (Pa.): Viti wants to play Big Ten ball, and Maryland is his only B1G offer (and, really, his only significant Division I offer), so that alone could be enough to keep him around. Viti did like Edsall (and area recruiter Greg Studrawa) quite a bit, however, so if the headman departs it may give the Camp Hill recruit pause. But we think UMD’s academics, need for safeties and conference affiliation convince Viti to stay with his initial pledge.
Chances Of Sticking Around: Very Good
Silas Kelly, S, South Carroll: Kelly is in the same boat as his teammate, Brian Plummer.
Chances Of Sticking Around: Excellent
Devin Butler, S, Douglass (Upper Marlboro, Md.): I’ve written before there’s been some smoke surrounding Butler. He hasn’t been quite as convincing as some of the other Maryland locals in regards to his commitment. Butler has said other schools such as North Carolina and Toledo are “coming at me,” but “isn’t paying them any mind.” Well, could he pay them some mind if Edsall leaves? Ultimately, we think Butler will stick with Maryland since it’s his best option (we don’t believe the UNC offer is committable) and Locksley is on board, but it wouldn’t totally shock us if he opened things up.
Chances Of Sticking Around: Good
Parnell Motley, CB, Woodson (Washington, D.C.): Motley’s a tough read, because the only way to gauge his status is through his coaches (he doesn’t answer his phone). We’re led to believe the D.C. corner is firmly committed to Maryland and isn’t about to reconsider, regardless of what happens with the current headman. Now, if Mike Locksley isn’t around and DMV-to-UMD loses steam, that’s a whole other matter. For now, though, Motley’s projected to wind up in College Park. (We don’t see a coterie of suitors lining up for Motley’s services in the wake of an Edsall departure, either. Many of Motley’s “offers” weren’t committable anyway).
Chances Of Sticking Around: Very Good
Tyrone Hill, CB, Don Bosco (Ramsey, N.J.): Hill committed to Maryland because of his rapport with UMD-area recruiter Keith Dudzinski. Plus it was a chance to play in the Big Ten and the school offered standout academics. Hill probably won’t waver if Edsall alone is released, but if Dudzinski goes too, the cornerback could very well reopen his recruitment. Now, Hill probably wouldn’t drop UMD for, say, Boston College or UConn, but what if Pitt comes calling? As a rule, we’re always leery of Garden State prospects; Hill is someone to monitor closely the next few months.
Chances Of Sticking Around: Good/Average
Travon Stott, CB, Good Counsel: See D.J. Turner above. Stott suffered a season-ending injury and isn’t likely to procure any other FBS scholarships. He’s a Terp through and through.
Chances Of Sticking Around: Excellent (almost 100 percent)
Other 2016 Targets
Besides the above commitments, some other targets the Terps are pursuing are Rahshaun Smith (IMG Academy/Bradenton, Fla.), Abdul Adams (Hillside/Durham, N.C.), Adewale Omotosho (Plano East/Plano, Texas), Terrance Davis (DeMatha), Grayson Stover (Hudson, Fla.), Terrell Hall (St. John’s/Washington, D.C.), Ellison Jordan (Gilman/Baltimore, Md.), Keith Simms (Landon/Bethesda, Md.), Khalil Ladler (IMG Academy) and Aaron Mathews (Clairton, Pa.).
In all likelihood, Edsall’s positions will not affect most of these prospects’ situations, although it may cause a few to take a more deliberate approach. Briefly, here’s how we see things playing out:
-- The four-star defensive end Shaq Smith will likely be a Terp if Director of Player Personnel Cory Robinson and Mike Locksley are on Maryland’s staff, and Haskins stays committed. Smith is officially visiting Maryland Dec. 4 and could pop later that month.
-- Adams is a firm Michigan State pledge, but could flip to UMD this winter if Locksley keeps pursuing, the hometown movement moves along, and the running back’s academic situation works out.
-- Davis has Maryland among his top five suitors and will keep the Terps there provided DMV-to-UMD is humming and Locksley is around. The DeMatha guard may opt for Michigan (the favorite), Georgia or Alabama anyway, but Maryland won’t have a shot at all if the Movement dwindles and Locksley is out.
-- Stover, who appreciated Edsall’s emphasis on academics, may consider Vanderbilt or Illinois if UMD’s head coach is gone. He is probably the one Maryland target who would be most effected by an Edsall departure. But the Terps could still be in position to land Stover thanks to area recruiter Mike Locksley’s overtures and the school’s educational opportunities. For now, Stover is on track to officially visit Maryland Nov. 7, so we’ll see what he decides after that.
-- Terrell Hall isn’t favoring the Terps anyway (Alabama is the frontrunner, followed by others in the SEC), and Edsall’s status won’t change his thinking -- positively or negatively. If Hall begins to seriously look at Maryland, it will be because of Locksley and Dwayne Haskins.
-- Ellison Jordan’s status almost mirrors that of Hall’s. The Gilman recruit is all about Penn State right now, but remains in contact with Maryland recruiter Mike Locksley and other local UMD pledges. If he flips to Maryland, it’ll be thanks to DMV-to-UMD; Locksley’s pitch; and the school’s journalism program.
-- Omotosho is a Texas receiver who is considering taking an official visit to Maryland, but isn’t projected to wind up in College Park. If he does start trending towards the Terps, however, tip your cap to UMD-area recruiter Keenan McCardell. Omotosho has not had any contact with Randy Edsall.
-- Keith Simms’, Khalil Ladler’s and Aaron Mathews’ situations are discussed in the “Various Recruiting Notes” section below.
Reports From Roosevelt
After their game was rained out Oct. 3, Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.) played host to Bladensburg (Md.) Oct. 5 in an after-school matinee. I was able to make it down to Greenbelt in order to scout class of 2017 defensive end Lawtez Rogers, who the Terps have been after since the spring. I also took note of Raiders’ class of 2018 safety Raymond Boone, whom the Roosevelt coaches project as a future Division I recruit.
The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Rogers certainly passes the eyeball test, possessing the length and size to hang at the FBS level. He also has a quick get-off, solid burst and plenty of athleticism, all of which aid him in rushing the passer. Moreover, Rogers moves well in space, proving he can pursue laterally.
There’s a ways to go in Rogers’ development, however. The tools are there to have an impact in college, but the fundamental flaws are evident.
Rogers’ footwork, hand placement, leverage and overall strength all need honing. He needs to learn how to maintain his lane, get “skinny” in the holes and pursue without getting caught in the trash. Plus Rogers must develop a more consistent motor, learn how to finish plays, pick up more point-of-attack power, make sure he gains extension to disengage, and become a sounder tackler.
With a year in the weight room, and another offseason spent working out the kinks, perhaps Rogers’ inherent talent will become more evident. Time will tell how.
As for Boone, he’s in the same boat as Rogers. He runs well, shows solid range and has above-average speed. But he is raw fundamentally and tends to suffer mental lapses. The good news for Boone is he’s only a sophomore and will have two full years to improve. He’s one to keep an eye on down the road, for sure.
We’ve updated Rogers’ status several times, but I did speak to him briefly at Roosevelt. He told me he has been hearing from several more schools (Alabama, Va Tech, UVA, Nebraska, Iowa, Rutgers and others), but Maryland is still his lone offer. He said the Scarlet Knights might be the next closest to anteing up.
Currently, Rogers remains high on the hometown school, calling the Terps his leader “for now.” He keeps talking up DMV-to-UMD and his overall comfort level in College Park. Rogers has visited the local program (the only place he’s seen so far) numerous times, most recently for the Maryland-Richmond game, and has been effusive in his praise.
Rogers went on to describe his rapport with the Terps’ staff, mentioning that he’s had consistent contact with UMD defensive line coach Chad Wilt, in addition to area recruiter Mike Locksley. The Roosevelt product said it’s “very important” both of those staffers reside in College Park since he has a “great relationship” with them and “they’re really good with kids.”
We’ll have a better idea exactly where Rogers stands this offseason, after he forays through more campuses, but Maryland is probably the team to beat. As long as there aren’t too many changes around town (read: Locksley and Wilt remain in place), we’re inclined to forecast the Greenbelt native to Maryland (at least initially).
You can read more about Rogers, as well as see his interview, HERE.
Although the noon start time precluded many recruits from attending the Maryland-Michigan game Oct. 3, there were still a fair amount of prospects in Byrd Stadium. Now, the more cynical among us would point out the less recruits saw of the Terps’ 28-0 loss the better, but the result itself isn’t the be-all-end-all. Just having the kids on campus and exposing them to the staff and stadium atmosphere could prove positive, regardless of the final score. (We’re not naïve here. It’s obviously a major plus if the home team puts on a show, and a downer if they lay a dud).
Some of the more prominent prospects spotted at the game included: junior linebacker Tyshon Fogg (Calvert Hall/Towson, Md.), junior defensive end Jordan Williams (Cox/Virginia Beach, Va.), junior linebacker Avery Roberts (Concord/Wilmington, Del.), junior defensive tackle Eric Crosby (Ocean Lakes/Virginia Beach, Va.), junior receiver Tahj Capehart (Ocean Lakes), junior defensive end Yetur Matos (Chancellor/Fredericksburg, Va.), junior quarterback Jason Brown (Chancellor), junior receiver E.J. Jenkins (Chancellor), sophomore defensive tackle Taron Vincent (Gilman/Baltimore, Md.) and sophomore guard Ja’mion Franklin (Gilman). Senior defensive tackle Jamari Logan (Booker T. Washington/Norfolk, Va.) also attended, but he does not hold a UMD offer yet like most of the above recruits.
Of all the players in Byrd, we were most interested in hearing from the defensive end Jordan Williams, who was last in College Park for the Big Show June 27 and was the most likely underclassman visitor to give UMD real consideration. The Virginia Beach product earned his first offer from Maryland following said Big Show and has been talking up the Terps ever since. The 6-4, 245-pounder has maintained consistent contact with UMD defensive line coach Chad Wilt, while he’s offered up high praise for the campus; defensive scheme (5-technique edge rusher in a 4-3); and the staff in general.
Williams returned to UMD Oct. 3, and despite the 28-0 loss, had compliments for Maryland’s defense; Gossett Team House; and the coaches. The Cox defensive end said he spent a good amount of time chatting with Wilt and checking out the football facility.
“I really like Maryland and what they’re about,” Williams said. “They’re one of the tops for me, for sure. I really like it there. I liked being there [Oct. 3], and we’ll probably be back for another home game, hopefully the Penn State game.”
Williams is also in touch with several other Big Ten and ACC programs, so we’ll have to see how his recruiting profile looks before forecasting him to Maryland. But Wilt has done well here, and we believe Williams’ words are genuine. As long as Wilt sticks around, we like the Terps’ position early.
You can read more about Williams HERE.
The four-star linebacker Fogg, meanwhile, was back in College Park for the first time since the summer. The 6-2, 215-pounder said he had the opportunity to reconnect with his former trainer, Maryland Director of Player Personnel Cory Robinson, as well as defensive coordinator/area recruiter Keith Dudzinski. Not surprisingly, Fogg didn’t have much to say about the game, but he did enjoy the fans and interacting with other recruits during the 28-0 defeat.
At this point, Fogg is saying all the right things about Maryland, noting his relationship with Robinson and how he likes being in College Park. But we don’t get the sense the Terps are atop his leaderboard right now. Fogg has numerous attractive options to consider, including Stanford; Michigan State; North Carolina; Pitt and others. Meanwhile, programs such as Ohio State and Penn State could ante up in time, and, if so, would promptly vault up his favorites list. Plus Fogg is originally from New Jersey, which is why he’s giving Rutgers a long look.
Another linebacker, the four-star Avery Roberts, tripped to Maryland for the second time this fall. He was previously at the UMD-Richmond bout, noting how much he enjoyed the game-day atmosphere and coaching staff.
This time around, the 6-1, 215-pounder saw more of the campus and had a chance to delve deeper into the Maryland program in general. Roberts praised College Park itself, talked up the facilities and upcoming upgrades, and once again lauded the staff. He’s been in close contact with UMD-area recruiter Keenan McCardell and defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski, who both have left an impression on the Delaware star.
But don’t get too excited yet, Terps’ fans. Roberts has 20-plus offers in tow and may be favoring Penn State, a school he’s seen several times. Nebraska, another program he’s checked out, also has his ear. Meanwhile, Roberts will undoubtedly give suitors like Stanford, Oregon, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Clemson, Va Tech and others plenty of consideration, perhaps gracing each with an offseason visit.
With the Chancellor kids, there were actually more than a half-dozen of them who made their way up from Fredericksburg, Va., although the most notable were Matos, Brown and Jenkins. All three are the responsibility of UMD-area recruiter Chad Wilt, who has put in plenty of work at Chancellor.
Matos, who was last at UMD for the June 27 Big Show, has talked up UMD in the past. But he’s probably the least likely Chancellor prospect to wind up a Terp given his previous interviews. Penn State, a school Matos has tripped to on more than one occasion, may be out in front, with Clemson firmly in play too. UNC, Va Tech, WVU, Duke and UVA are also on the brain.
Brown, meanwhile, does not have a Maryland offer yet, but could receive one in time. He too was at the Big Show, leaving quite an impression on the staff, and he’s reportedly made even more progress during his junior campaign.
The under-the-radar quarterback has now visited College Park twice this fall and seems to be taking to the Terps. Brown loves the atmosphere surrounding the program, the school’s academic reputation, the offensive scheme and Wilt himself. If UMD were to offer (it could happen if 2017 quarterback targets like Jack Coan, Lindell Stone, etc. fall by the wayside), Maryland could very well be in solid position for the 6-2, 205-pounder.
Brown’s No. 1 receiver, E.J. Jenkins, joined him in College Park. The 6-5, 200-pounder doesn’t hold any offers yet, but has been hearing from UMD; UVA; Duke; NC State; Wake Forest and more. It wouldn’t surprise us if the Terps became one of his first verbals later this fall.
We didn’t touch base with Jenkins following his initial visit to Maryland, but will reach out if the offer materializes.
Also making their way north from Virginia were the four-star defensive tackle Eric Crosby and three-star receiver Tahj Capehart. The Ocean Lakes teammates are primetime 757 recruits with scholarships galore. Crosby has Bama, FSU, Clemson, Ole Miss, UNC, Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Va Tech and Florida in play, while Capehart has Arizona State; Miami; UNC, OSU; Tennessee; Texas Tech; Wisconsin; and Va Tech in mind.
It’s a credit to UMD-area recruiter Chad Wilt that both Crosby and Capehart checked out College Park, but we’re led to believe their foray was merely “part of the rounds.” Each prospect has taken in several different locales this fall, including UNC; Va Tech; Tennessee; and now Maryland, with more to come.
Even so, it’s never a negative when such high-profile guys check out your school. Maybe, if circumstances break right in the future, Wilt can continue plugging away, convincing them to give Maryland a closer look. We’ll be interested to see whether Capehart or Crosby return to UMD for a junior day.
As for the sophomores in Byrd, we detailed Taron Vincent’s and Ja’mion Franklin’s situations in the last Shell.
Of the duo, Franklin is the most likely to give Maryland serious consideration. The emerging guard is tight with the staff and recruiter Mike Locksley, truly enjoys being in College Park, and doesn’t want to venture too far from his Eastern Shore home. Franklin has been in Byrd before, but Oct. 3 was the first major FBS matchup he’d witnessed. While the Terps didn’t put forth their best effort, Franklin enjoyed the fans; meeting the coaches; and bantering back and forth with other recruit attendees. Expect the Gilman guard to be back at Maryland later this fall, perhaps for a junior day.
Franklin’s teammate, Vincent, has been at Maryland on more than a couple occasions himself. The son of former All-Pro Troy Vincent, the Gilman plugger had a chance to chat with Locksley and Maryland commits like Dwayne Haskins Oct. 3. Vincent likes the idea of the hometown movement and what he’s heard from those inside the Terps’ program, but he won’t be an easy pull.
Alabama, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Texas, Wisconsin, UCLA and others have all offered. We could easily envision Vincent becoming starry eyed after he visits a few of his more significant suitors (Bama, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Ohio State already hold appeal).
With the senior defensive tackle Logan, he’s practically begging for a Maryland scholarship. Logan has been sending direct messages to UMD-area recruiter Chad Wilt, letting him know how much he wants to be in College Park. The burly road grader went so far as to say he might just commit on the spot should the offer be presented.
“The atmosphere was wild, the love from the coaches and fans, it was great. The fans there were like, ‘Join Maryland, join Maryland.’ It was really cool to hear that. Even though Maryland lost it was still a lot of fun. I loved it there,” Logan said. “Honestly, if they offered, I’d probably commit. I talked to my family about it and a few other people, and I think that’s what I’d do.”
Logan said he and Wilt have a “strong” relationship, and Maryland’s defensive line coach is intrigued by his game. But that might be a little lip service on Wilt’s part. Logan has some question marks surrounding him, namely his size (he’s 340 pounds) and athleticism. Not to mention he’s been given to hyperbole in the past.
Normally we wouldn’t give much credence to a recruit like Logan, but fact is Maryland needs defensive linemen in the wake of the Jeff Pooler (Dunbar/Dayton, Ohio) decommitment. Considering that, it wouldn’t totally shock us if the Terps took a flyer on Logan. Which is why we’re writing about him here and will continue to monitor his recruitment.
Right now, Logan has a couple mid-Division I offers and said he’s hearing from Big Ten and ACC programs. You can read more about him HERE.
Various Recruiting Notes
Keith Simms, LB, Landon (Bethesda, Md.): The Terps’ No. 1 linebacker target is taking his first official visit to Oregon Oct. 10, and it should be his only trip other than Maryland Dec. 4. Simms said he’s excited to see Eugene, Ore., experience the West Coast vibe, check out Nike Country, and interact with the Ducks’ staff.
But, as we’ve said time and again, the chances of him attending college there are slim. Simms just doesn’t seem like someone who will attend school 3,000 miles from home.
Now, we’ve long predicted a Simms-to-Maryland pop, and currently that’s the direction things are heading. We’ll have to gauge Simms’ thoughts if Maryland has a coaching change (his coach and parents may suggest he check out Duke or UNC if Randy Edsall is let go), but even if that occurs, we believe UMD would remain in a strong spot. Simms is tied in deep with DMV-to-UMD, speaks often to current Terps’ pledges like Dwayne Haskins and D.J. Turner, and loves the school’s academics.
One scenario that could throw Simms off, however, is if his Maryland recruiter, Chad Wilt, left the program and the hometown movement crumbles. But, at this point, we don’t see that happening.
Look for Simms to end his recruitment in either late October or early November, well in advance of his UMD official.
Jordan Anthony, LB, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) (2017): Scout’s Florida analyst, Corey Bender, stopped by IMG to talk to the former Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) standout Anthony last week. The four-star backer told him that four schools in particular were “showing love:” Oklahoma, Clemson, Virginia Tech and Maryland. Which was rather interesting since Anthony hadn’t discussed Tech or OU before. (Curiously, he didn’t mention Penn State, a school previously at the forefront of Anthony’s mind). But the Sooners have been making a push since offering in early August, while Hokies’ assistant Cornell Brown has upped the pursuit of late as well. Anthony could visit both campuses later during the offseason.
Maryland and Clemson, however, have been longtime standouts. Anthony visited CU last year and ate up the vibe in Death Valley, to say nothing of the staff and how closely they’ve been in contact.
The Terps, though, continue to resonate for the local backer. Anthony won’t be able to make a UMD game this fall, but he’s been in College Park several times, including last summer. Anthony always enjoys his time at Maryland, noting the coaching staff’s overtures; the atmosphere surrounding the program; and the other DMV recruits who routinely join him on such UMD trips. He also has consistent communication with both Maryland recruiter Mike Locksley and his former teammates back home, one of whom is UMD pledge KeAndre Jones.
Anthony’s developed into a national name, and the fact he’s no longer in Maryland’s backyard is making life even more difficult for Locksley and Co., but we think the Terps will have a legitimate shot with him. Look for Anthony to return to Maryland during winter break, allowing the staff another opportunity to make its pitch.
Elijah Conliffe, DE, Hampton (Va.) (2017): The four-star junior Conliffe was supposed to at the Maryland-Michigan game Oct. 3, but rescheduled for the UMD-Indiana game Nov. 21. If he follows through with the trip, it will (finally) be his first time in College Park after reneging on two previously intended visits.
Conliffe, who added his Terps’ verbal back in the summer, has a budding rapport with UMD-area recruiter Chad Wilt and wants to experience Maryland firsthand. He knows he’d have an opportunity to contribute at UMD, and believes he’d fit well into the 4-3 scheme too.
But Conliffe has a growing profile that’s about to reach national status. Georgia, UNC, UVA, NC State, Wake and Cincinnati have offered initially, while Big Ten; ACC; and Big 12 bigwigs are in touch. We’ll give Maryland more of a shot at landing on Conliffe’s favorites list if he actually treks through College Park more than once.
Khalil Ladler, CB, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.): Ladler, who was supposed to officially visit College Park later this fall, ended up popping to Virginia Tech Oct. 4. The four-star senior corner took his initial official to Blacksburg, Va., last weekend and didn’t feel the need to embark on more trips.
Ladler raved about Hokies’ head coach Frank Beamer and recruiter Torrian Gray, appreciating how both stood by him even after he tore his ACL. The Georgia native also readily took to the fans and atmosphere at Tech, despite the dreary weather and the team’s loss to Pittsburgh.
Maryland-area recruiter Mike Locksley had made some inroads, visiting IMG Academy a couple times and then re-initiating contact just recently. But Tech had been recruiting Ladler for more than a year, dating back to his days in Georgia. Obviously, the staff’s persistent efforts paid off (it helped the Hokies’ cause that some of Ladler’s more significant suitors like LSU, Georgia and Florida dropped off following his ACL injury).
The Terps need another 2016 cornerback, however, and they will inevitably continue recruiting Ladler. We expect Locksley to keep on the Florida corner, perhaps securing the aforementioned official later this season.
In addition, we’ll keep hitting the wire in search of more cornerbacks that may crop up. Aaron Mathews (Clairton, Pa.) remains in play, but we’re told he’s favoring Pittsburgh over Maryland. The Clairton product does want to officially visit College Park, though, so we’ll see if that comes to fruition and gauge UMD’s chances afterwards.
New Offers Out
Taurus Carroll, CB, Fork Union (Norfolk, Va.) (2017): The Terps became the first major suitor for the junior Carroll, a former Hylton High (Dale City, Va.) star who transferred to Fork Union before the season and reclassed to 2017. After UMD head coach Randy Edsall extended the verbal, Carroll offered up lavish praise for the nearby program.
The 6-0, 160-pounder mentioned how he has family in and around College Park, has been on campus eight times, and even knows former Terps’ great Dexter McDougal. On top of that, Carroll counts Dwayne Haskins and D.J. Turner as 7-on-7 teammates, both UMD pledges constantly talking up Maryland.
“I know everyone around [Maryland] wants to go there now, and it’s kind of like the place to be and go. The DMV movement, they’re all about that. Maryland is picking up big time in the area,” Carroll said.
Of course, we’d like to see what other offers Carroll procures before predicting a UMD pop. He said NC State, Va Tech and Wake were in touch, and there’s bound to be others as well. Even so, Maryland is in a solid spot early on (provided the offer remains in place if the Terps have a coaching change).
You can read more about Carroll HERE.