TTDave's Inside The Shell

Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup.

Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup.

Defensive Line Notes

Rahshaun Smith, DE, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.): The four-star Smith, a Baltimore native, took his second official visit to LSU Oct. 16-18 and came away raving about the Tigers. He told our Scout analysts the Baton Rouge, La., trip left a distinct impression, from the fan atmosphere; to head coach Les Miles and Co.; to the atmosphere surrounding the SEC stalwart. It only helped LSU’s chances that Smith witnessed a thrilling 35-28 victory against Florida, a primetime game where the Tigers’ faithful were downright delirious throughout.

Of the two officials Smith has taken thus far, it’s clear LSU has trumped Oregon in the pecking order. In fact, the Tigers may be knocking on the door to the top spot, posing somewhat of a threat to presumed No. 1, Maryland.

But don’t panic yet, Terps’ aficionados. Maryland’s interim head coach Mike Locksley stopped by IMG during the bye week and reportedly still has Smith’s ear. We’re told UMD should be able to weather the LSU storm, provided Locksley and Director of Player Personnel Cory Robinson (Smith’s longtime trainer) remain in College Park, Md. In the meantime, Smith will undoubtedly continue weighing his options until he’s positive those two are firmly entrenched.

Next up for Smith are official visits to Auburn Nov. 13, Maryland Dec. 4 and Clemson Dec. 11. There’s a chance Smith could give Locksley his word during the College Park official, though the defensive end may not make it public unless he is ensured of UMD’s direction.

Ellison Jordan, DT, Gilman (Baltimore, Md.): Last week, I wrote the defensive tackle Jordan was coming back around to the hometown school, our Gilman sources letting us know the four-star promptly took note of Mike Locksley’s ascension to head coach. This week, we’re hearing even more rumblings about a potential flip.

Both Locksley and UMD defensive line coach Chad Wilt stopped by Gilman during the bye, Jordan readily taking to their pitch. Moreover, Jordan has had consistent contact with Maryland quarterback pledge Dwayne Haskins (Bullis/Potomac, Md.), who has been delivering pro-Terps’ overtures via Twitter and in person.

The fireplug tackle has not wavered on his Penn State commitment publically, but there’s definitely some smoke here. So much so that we could envision Jordan quietly reopening his recruitment during the offseason and embarking on a College Park official visit, in addition to an intended trek through Happy Valley. If Locksley and Co. can get the four-star on campus Dec. 4 -- when Rahshaun Smith, Haskins and the other UMD pledges are set to be at Maryland -- well, let’s say Jordan’s hot-board temperature would elevate fairly quickly.  Stay tuned.

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Christian Colon, DT, Independence (Charlotte, N.C.): The four-star defensive tackle Colon reopened his recruitment after being committed to Penn State for months. UMD-area recruiter Chad Wilt, who made a strong push for Colon back in the summer but was ultimately unsuccessful in securing a campus visit, has stayed on him and now it looks like his persistent efforts may pay off. Colon wants to officially visit College Park and should be doing so following his senior season. He'll also be checking out Pitt, UCLA and Miami, with no stated leaders. Colon will select his school sometime in January.

At this time, we're not sure how the Terps stack up against the other three contenders, but it sounds like Maryland has a real chance here. We'll continue to dig into the situation.

Jeff Pooler, DT, Dunbar (Dayton, Ohio): Last week we wrote the Terps probably wouldn't reinitiate contact with the erstwhile pledge Pooler after he decommitted from Maryland Sept. 28. Although Pooler told us he was keeping UMD in mind, we figured the staff, with interim head coach Mike Locksley at the helm, would look elsewhere rather than deal with this mercurial recruit. But evidently Pooler has reached out to Locksley and personally pleaded his case. Now, the vibe is the new headman may give the Ohio tackle a second chance, mainly because the Terps need interior linemen with Ellison Jordan no guarantee to flip.

Pooler is in the process of setting up his second trek through College Park (he visited once during the summer), and it's conceivable he'll be at the Wisconsin-UMD game Nov. 7 or the Indiana-Maryland bout Nov. 21. If the trip does come to fruition, and Pooler's been fully vetted by Locksley and Co., the Terps would probably have more than a puncher's chance at bringing him back in.

Fact is, Pooler's other main suitors, West Virginia and Louisville, may be "cooling" on him. Pooler practically begged for a Mountaineers' scholarship in the first place, and while head coach Dana Holgorsen finally relented, we're not so sure he extended an immediately "committable" offer. (We've heard the Ohio prospect tried to commit to WVU during his Morgantown, W.Va., visit in early October, but was told to wait.) The Cardinals, meanwhile, seem to have ceased recruiting Pooler in earnest.

Which means the defensive tackle could be running out of power-five options (he did claim offers from Navy and Army this week). For what it's worth, Pooler wants to return to Morgantown officially in November, before heading to UMD and maybe another locale or two.

Maybe Pooler will be able to convince the Mountaineers' coaches to accept his pledge during his second go-around. If not, well, perhaps Locksley will scoop him back up. 

Chinedu Udeogu, DT, Georgetown Prep (North Bethesda, Md.): We brought up this local defensive lineman during August camp, when he visited College Park at the behest of area-recruiter Chad Wilt. Udeogu didn’t (and still does not) hold a Terps’ offer, but he decided to give the nearby school a look since he had yet to trek over to campus. At the time, Udeogu expressed some interest, noting how he liked the campus; how the team practiced; and the various facilities. But he remained lukewarm about Maryland since the Terps hadn’t extended a scholarship.

Almost three months later, Udeogu is back on the radar, with Wilt trudging through Georgetown Prep during Maryland’s bye week. Per the lineman, he and Wilt have stayed in touch via social media since the summer, UMD’s defensive line coach hinting at a possible offer.

Apparently Udeogu’s interest was piqued enough where he took another trip to College Park Oct. 3 for the Michigan game. He lauded the atmosphere inside Byrd Stadium, the coaching staff, and said he had a good time interacting with the other recruits. Udeogu isn’t “all about” the hometown movement like some locals (after all, he’s only lived in Maryland for three years), but UMD is on his radar.

And it would potentially be his best option before all is said and done. While Udeogu claims offers from Cal, Rutgers, Pitt and numerous Ivies, we’re not so sure he can commit to any of his power-five suitors.

But we’re not projecting Udeogu to nab a Maryland offer just yet. In fact, there’s a greater chance the Little Hoyas’ lineman doesn’t pull one in. Interim head coach Mike Locksley may only extend the scholarship if the Terps fail to flip Ellison Jordan, choose not to pursue Jeff Pooler and something goes awry with Rahshaun Smith. It’s worth keeping Udeogu’s name in mind just in case, however.

Terrell Hall, DE, St. John’s (Washington, D.C.): See “Carroll, St. John’s Reports” below.

Other Top 2016 Targets

Trevon Diggs, WR, Avalon (Gaithersburg, Md.): So the games begin again for the Maryland legacy recruit Diggs. It was four months ago when the Avalon two-way star was preparing to announce his college decision on July 4, with some sources suggesting he was Alabama bound and others hinting at a Terps pop.

Of course, the 6-foot, 188-pounder opted against the early pledge two days prior to his intended announcement, choosing to push his commitment back for the second time (he originally said he would be choosing a school in the spring, although he never set a firm date). Since then, Diggs has stayed steadfast on a winter decision, maybe at the Under Armour All-American game or on Signing Day. The four-star told Scout’s Brian Dohn as much earlier this week, saying he “was nowhere close” to ending his recruitment.

That may end up being true . . . or not.

Per our multiple Diggs sources, we’ve heard the Gaithersburg native could be ready to pop sooner rather than later. We’ve been told now that Maryland interim head coach Mike Locksley has offered Diggs as a receiver -- as opposed to cornerback, which ex-headman Randy Edsall insisted on, resulting in an irked recruit  -- he is trending back towards his older brother Stefon’s alma mater. Diggs will be in attendance for the UMD-PSU game Oct. 24 (he'll be with Dwayne Haskins), and in the next coupld weeks he and his family, according to our sources, should be visiting College Park, with a potential announcement date set shortly thereafter.

Of course, that’s a direct contradiction to what Diggs told Brian Dohn. The Avalon prospect said he had an LSU official visit coming up Nov. 14, and wanted to fly out to UCLA as well. After that, Diggs insisted he’d be taking three more officials, with Alabama (no longer the surefire favorite); Clemson; Maryland; and West Virginia all on the radar.

When asked specifically about the Terps, Diggs said the recent coaching change and the hometown movement wouldn’t necessarily play into his decision. Diggs contended he was more concerned about “what the school offered him” than who was at the helm or who would be in his class.

Is Diggs playing coy, attempting to dramatize the situation a la DeMatha’s (Hyattsville, Md.) Tino Ellis (he hyped up Va Tech before choosing Maryland)? That’s what we’re hearing, at least, although it’s important to note even if Diggs does pick Maryland soon he and his family will be monitoring the coaching situation closely. Basically, his signing with UMD hinges on Locksley’s presence in College Park.

Grayson Stover, OT, Hudson (Fla.): We weren’t so sure the Florida tackle Stover would be keeping Maryland No. 1 following Randy Edsall’s departure, but he let us know Oct. 16 the Terps continued to ride the pole position. On top of that, Stover hinted he was on track to commit shortly after his College Park official Nov. 7.

UMD’s interim head coach, Mike Locksley, stopped by Hudson for Stover’s game last week, and evidently any reservations Stover had about the Terps’ program were ironed out. The Sunshine State two-star visited Maryland once before, so he already knew about the school and was privy to its strong academics, the primary reason he had the Terps atop his list. Stover wasn’t sure what direction the football program was heading post-Edsall, however, until conversing with Locksley directly. Now, he has a pretty clear idea what to expect if he does indeed choose UMD.

If all stays kosher (read: Locksley stays in place), Stover should be signing with Maryland in December, enrolling in time for the spring semester.

Granted, Stover did just trek through Bloomington, Ind., for his Indiana official visit. But while he talked up the Hoosiers and their staff, saying IU “might even be No. 1 right now,” we don’t envision him winding up at Indiana. Vanderbilt, which Stover officially visited in September, is still in play what with the Commodores’ academic reputation, but they’re probably sitting no higher than second on the totem poll.

It’s possible either of that latter duo could jump Maryland if Stover doesn’t connect with the Terps’ new headman. But, barring that, we’ll keep projecting him to College Park. He’s been sitting “hot” on the hot board for a reason; let’s see if the predicted pop materializes later this fall.

Nate Craig-Myers, WR, Tampa Catholic (Tampa, Fla.): In the last Shell, we noted how the Terps offered this five-star Florida wideout when Mike Locksley stopped off at Tampa Catholic during the bye week. We also wrote how Locksley had plenty of connections at the powerhouse high school, and perhaps he could work UMD into the game for Craig-Myers, despite the late scholarship.

Well, chalk another one up to Locksley's recruiting prowess. Soon after Locksley left, Craig-Myers said he wanted to visit Maryland this offseason, presumably for an official visit. 

That's a victory in and of itself, much like last season when Locksley convinced five-star defensive end Byron Cowart to fly north. But, like with Cowart, we don't envision Craig-Myers actually playing his college ball in College Park. In-state Florida has long had his ear, and with UF rebounding in a major way this season, the Gators have the inside track. Florida State is right on the Gators' heels, however, with Ohio State possibly running third. North Carolina, which Craig-Myers officially visited, remains an option, as does Auburn.

We'll see if Locksley can work some magic here, but we're not inclined to place Craig-Myers on the hot board just yet.

Patrice Rene, CB, Episcopal (Alexandria, Va.): If the Terps fail to flip Khalil Ladler (IMG Academy) from Virginia Tech, or his academic situation doesn’t work out, the Maryland staff may turn their attention to the four-star Rene. Recall, the Terps had been pursuing Rene since his sophomore year, hosting him at least four times for camps and games. Rene had a relationship with former UMD assistant Lyndon Johnson, and later with new Terps’ Northern Virginia-area recruiter Keenan McCardell, but as his profile expanded the cornerback grew less and less infatuated with College Park.

A Canadian native, Rene sought to play his college ball close to home, so northern schools such as Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State held prime appeal. He ultimately opted for Rutgers, however, due to his relationship with head coach Kyle Flood and his staff.

But now Flood’s job is in jeopardy, and Rene may be on the verge of opening up his recruitment. If so, he figures to have more than a couple eager suitors, including the Terps. Maryland’s interim head coach, Mike Locksley, just initiated contact with the Episcopal four-star, and McCardell may have reengaged him as well.

We’ll see what kind of traction the Terps can gain here, but for now we’ll list Rene as “cool” on the hot board. Currently, he is not projected to wind up in College Park.

St. John’s, Carroll Reports

Before heading over to Maryland Madness Oct. 17, I stopped by Carroll (Washington, D.C.) for the Lions’ afternoon game against St. John’s (Washington, D.C.). Mainly, I wanted to scout and interview four-star Cadets’ defensive end Terrell Hall and four-star class of 2017 Carroll corner Deon Jones. I wasn’t planning on paying too much mind to the Lions’ four-star guard, Richard Merritt, who never seemed to have more than cursory Maryland interest, but apparently there are still some signs of life there (for Terps’ purposes).

(For the record, neither St. John’s safety Aaron Hansford nor Carroll tackle Jauan Williams played Oct. 17, the former missing the game with an injury and the latter for undisclosed reasons. The Terps have pretty much given up the ghost on Hansford; Williams hasn’t been on their radar since last year).

As far as their respective games are concerned, both Hall and Jones lived up to their hype. They should be considered “must gets” for Maryland interim coach Mike Locksley, or whoever is in charge of the program.

The edge rusher Hall is pretty much the total package in terms of his ability to rush the passer, set the edge, make plays in space, corral backs in the gaps and even drop  into coverage. The 6-5.5, 250-pounder’s initial burst, athleticism, overall quickness and power, combined with an ideal physical frame (pole-length arms, strong hands, stout base), project favorably to the FBS’s top levels. Naturally, there are fundamental flaws to iron out -- Hall sometimes lets blockers get into his body, while his feet can get crossed pursuing laterally -- but he has the makings of an immediate contributor in college. In fact, Hall reminds of Yannick Ngakoue when he was starring for Friendship Collegiate (Washington, D.C.).

With the junior Jones, believe it or not, he exceeded expectations. I’ve scouted more than a few touted underclassmen this year (see: Good Counsel’s Josh Paschal, Gilman’s Kasim Hill, Roosevelt’s Lawtez Rogers, Bullis’ Damani Neal and more) and hadn’t been overly impressed, keeping in mind they have another full year to improve/develop. So I figured Jones would be in the same boat, flashing upside potential but showing some significant lapses too.

Well, Jones pretty much owned his side of the field, no matter who lined up across from him. He took away St. John’s smaller, quicker receivers and their bigger possession wideouts as well.

While the rest of Carroll’s secondary sat in off-coverage, the 6-0, 175-pound Jones was up in receivers’ faces, actively jamming and challenging them at the line. He rode their inside hip, hawked them down the field and seamlessly transitioned when wideouts broke off their patterns.

Jones also displayed loose hips, terrific short-area quicks and plenty of in-the-air savvy. He has the speed to recover, the burst to undercut and the IQ/awareness to anticipate. On top of that, Jones tackled well, unafraid to take down backs out on the edge. He does have to maintain consistency with his mechanics, but it’s obvious why the Carroll corner has more than 25 offers to date.

With Jones’ teammate, Merritt, I didn’t scout him as closely since I was mainly keying in on Terrell Hall. But from what I could tell, Merritt’s probably not as proficient as his national rating would suggest.

The 6-5, 325-pounder didn’t seem to be overly athletic or nimble, which could be an issue for college teams seeking guards who can pull and/or push to the second level. Merritt also allowed a few pressures in pass pro, Hall beating him off the ball on a couple occasions. Moreover, the Carroll guard had issues getting his hands inside his man’s pads and neutralizing at the point of attack.

That said, Merritt seemed to have a solid get-off and did a decent job drive blocking. He looked to have a potent thrust, mostly maintained leverage and occasionally pushed the defender back. He may not be the No. 1 prospect in D.C. as some have suggested, but Merritt does have potential given his size and power.

Recruiting Notes

After interviewing all three of the aforementioned recruits, Merritt actually had the most surprising comments. Even when his Maryland-area recruiter, Mike Locksley, was named interim head coach we figured Merritt was already too far from UMD’s grasp. It’s no secret Merritt has been starry eyed, focusing on the likes of Alabama; Michigan; Florida State; Florida; USC; Ohio State; and the like. But as the process has moved along, Merritt’s found the interest hasn’t always been mutual.

Thus, some of those bigwigs have fallen off in a major way, meaning Merritt’s opening up to alternatives. Now, he’s looking to officially visit Virginia Tech, Arizona and UCLA, with two to-be-determined trips. Florida and Florida State are still on Merritt’s mind too (he loved visits to both during the summer), but we’ll see if either Sunshine State stalwart will take him.

As for Maryland, the Carroll guard is at least considering his hometown school, mostly because Locksley’s at the helm. Merritt admitted Locksley’s ascension placed the Terps in a more favorable light, as the two have known each other since the recruit’s youth-league days (Locksley recruited Merritt’s older brother, Jamal Merritt, to New Mexico). The D.C. native also said Locksley’s remained in communication with him and has been urging him to visit College Park.

Merritt hasn’t been to Maryland since the summer, but it’s at least possible he’ll officially visit later this year. If so, you never know what can happen, especially if he’s on campus with the other DMV-to-UMD commits Dec. 4.

Either way, look for Merritt to finalize his college decision around Signing Day.

You can see the Merritt interview, HERE.

The defensive end Hall, meanwhile, has the Terps in play too, but, like Merritt, he’s staying “cool” on the hot board. The four-star had naught but praise for Locksley, DMV-to-UMD and Maryland’s direction, but we didn’t get the sense the Terps resided among his foremost contenders. Hall acknowledged he had SEC on the brain, Alabama and Florida (he officially visited there) holding firm atop the leaderboard. He mentioned Florida State, TAMU, Tennessee and Ole Miss as other possibilities, initially leaving out Maryland.

When I broached the local program, Hall did smile, and even laughed a little, probably a result of the constant pro-Terps’ banter he’s heard of late. And, indeed, Hall spoke to the hometown movement and Locksley’s recent overtures. The St. John’s end noted Locksley’s foray through his school and how Dwayne Haskins has been on him constantly about joining a “rising power” in Maryland. Hall even said UMD was in contention for one of his final four official visits.

But whenever I conduct these interviews I typically get a “vibe,” and right now Hall’s vibe suggests SEC. We’ll see if Locksley can turn things around moving into the winter months.

You can read more about Hall, and see the interview, HERE.

Last but not least, the cornerback Jones. Of the three recruits interviewed Oct. 17, Jones was most effusive in his Maryland praise. He lit up when I mentioned Locksley, and said he firmly believes in the Movement. He said Locksley’s been on him hard, trekking through Carroll Oct. 15 to make his pitch, while Haskins has been “hitting me up all the time” about UMD. Jones, who took in one Maryland game this year, said he wants to return for another.

But Clemson, Jones’ very first suitor, remains a prime suitor, along with Virginia Tech and Florida State (he’s visited all three schools). Others throughout the Big Ten, ACC and SEC are bound to enter the fray as well.

Jones’ recruitment will inevitably ebb and flow, but if Locksley’s on board and DMV-to-UMD continues, we do believe the Terps will reside among the Carroll corner’s top three suitors throughout.

You can read more about Jones, and see the interview, HERE.

Funk On Board

As anticipated, Damascus (Md.) running back Jake Funk acted quickly on his Maryland offer, committing to interim head coach Mike Locksley just three days after landing said verbal. Funk cited the opportunity to represent his home state, the chance to play in front of family and friends, and the prospect of competing in the Big Ten as the primary reasons he chose the Terps. The hometown movement, Funk’s relationship with area recruiter Chad Wilt and UMD’s academics also played a role. Not to mention Maryland was Funk’s most significant offer to date, as his Wisconsin verbal was no longer committable. 

Funk hasn’t been in College Park in two years, but he’ll be touring the campus and meeting the rest of the staff Oct. 25, the day after the UMD-Penn State bout.

The Damascus running back’s pledge is significant on several levels. As we’ve written numerous times, there’s been an underlying saltiness between Maryland and Damascus of late, the Terps failing to actively pursue some of the Hornets’ other touted recruits (Zack Bradshaw, Brandon Phelps, etc.).  Although UMD-area recruiter Chad Wilt regularly trekked through the Montgomery County stalwart, the sense was Damascus wouldn’t be sending any of their upper-tier talents Randy Edsall’s way, even if the former Terps’ headman did want them (see: Jalen Christian in last year’s class).

But as soon as Mike Locksley assumed the head gig, he worked to mend whatever disconnect there may have been. He immediately signed off on a Funk offer and told the running back he valued his versatility, toughness, football acumen and more. Less than 72 hours later, Funk was a Terp and -- voila -- the Damascus program seems to be appeased.

Now, will Funk become a major contributor in College Park? It’s possible, given his power, underlying athleticism and quickness. Funk’s not the fastest back around, nor does he possess many make-you-miss moves, but he runs with good vision; balance; and toughness. Plus he can catch the ball out of the backfield and get downhill in a hurry.

At the very least the 5-11, 205-pounder will be a serviceable complementary back to fellow ’16 running back pledge LoLo Harrison (DeMatha). He could be an effective fullback/short-yardage back, or perhaps even a solid return man given his vision; penchant for anticipating holes; and agility. There’s also a possibility Funk could shift to linebacker if running back doesn’t work out, his nastiness and physicality seemingly playing well on defense.

You can read more about Funk HERE and HERE.

New Offers Out

Cameron Sullivan-Brown, WR, Pallotti (Laurel, Md.) (2017): As anticipated, the Terps offered this rising-star local Oct. 19, a few days after interim head coach Mike Locksley checked out a Pallotti practice. Sullivan-Brown couldn’t have been more thrilled, saying he was “super excited” about the verbal. The 6-1, 175-pounder talked up DMV-to-UMD, Locksley’s current position as headman, his budding rapport with said head coach, and the direction the Terps are heading. Sullivan-Brown last visited College Park for the USF affair, lauding the facilities and staff, and is set to see another Maryland game Oct. 24 against Penn State.

I love DMV-to-UMD. The local players staying home, it definitely sounds good,” Sullivan-Brown said. “Most definitely it means something to me. I want to win when I go to college, and I already know what the athletes around here can do. So if I have them as teammates [in college], I know I’ll be in a good spot.”

Given the above, Sullivan-Brown could be the Terps’ to lose -- if Locksley sticks around.

Regardless, the Pallotti product will be giving the recruiting process its due diligence, checking out several other schools the next few weeks. He’ll be at Temple Oct. 31, Boston College Nov. 7 and NC State Nov. 28, with more coming during the offseason. Sullivan-Brown has also been hearing from numerous potential suitors, who could jump in the game shortly.

You can read more about Sullivan-Brown HERE.

Penn State-Maryland Visitors

There won't be loads of recruits in M&T Bank Stadium for the Maryland-Penn State game Oct. 24, but here are a few "bigger" names we've heard who will be in the stands (excluding the various Terps' pledges).

Trevon Diggs, WR, Avalon: See above.

Jordan McNair, OL, McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.) (2017): One of the DMV's elite 2017 recruits, McNair has the Terps under heavy consideration. Penn State and Ohio State are also on McNair's mind, but UMD is in solid position for this local, who has been in College Park multiple times and has a strong relationship with the Maryland staff.

Derrek Pitts, S, South Charleston (Charleston, W.Va.) (2017): Pitts knows UMD Director of Player Personnel Cory Robinson and has been eager to check out a Maryland game. He's a four-star, though, with loads of suitors. In-state WVU has his eye early, while Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Va Tech and more are in play too.

Taurus Carroll, CB, Fork Union (Fredericksburg, Va.) (2017): Maryland is Carroll's lone FBS offer, and he's from the DMV corridor. Carroll holds UMD in high regard and said it's easily his No. 1 suitor for the moment. We'll see how his profile develops, but for now the Terps are in a good spot for this Virginia athlete.

Yetur Matos, DE, Chancellor (Fredericksburg, Va.) (2017): This will be the four-star Matos' second time on campus this fall -- if he can make it (Matos said he might not be able to attend but would make the effort). The 6-5, 235-pounder, who earned his UMD offer at the June 27 Big Show, has been forecast to Penn State, UNC, Clemson or another southern school, but it's intriguing he might be taking in another Maryland game. Matos has a developing relationship with UMD-area recruiter Chad Wilt, who checked out Chancellor during the bye week, so perhaps the Terps can make some inroads here moving forward.

Daniel Horne, OL, Hylton (Woodbridge, Va.) (2017): Horne doesn't have any offers yet, but numerous programs are monitoring him, including Maryland. Terps' area recruiter Chad Wilt has been through Hylton and extended an invite to the game. A UMD offer could materialize if Horne continues to progress and shows out in camp during the offseason.

Devin Darrington, RB, John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.) (2017): An underrated junior running back from a rising John Carroll program, Darrington is someone on Division I radars. He's undersized (5-8), but has blazing speed and could project as a slot/return man in college. Darrington will likely be someone the Terps monitor in camp.

Brayden Brown, ATH, Fort Hill (Cumberland, Md.) (2017): Brown could be the next recruit Maryland looks at out of Fort Hill. This 6-2 versatile athlete doesn't hold any offers yet, although Terps' area recruiter Chad Wilt has been taking a close look at him. We could envision Brown earning an offer a la Ty Johnson during a Maryland camp in the summer. He does not hold any offers for now.

Mylique McGriff, RB, McDonogh (2017): McGriff will join his teammate Jordan McNair at the game. This running back is about 6-1, 190 pounds and looks the part, though he may be more of a MAC or FCS type. The Terps will monitor him, but we're not sure at this time whether they'll pursue in earnest.

Adrian Collins, QB/WR, Falls Church (Va.) (2017): A jack-of-all-trades athlete, Collins plays quarterback for Falls Church but could be a receiver, safety or corner in college. Apparently the Terps like his athleticism and will be keeping tabs this spring during the evaluation period. Keep his name in mind.

Off The Board

We kept DMV linebacker Ali’I Niumatalolo (Broadneck, Md.) on the hot board in case KeAndre Jones (Good Counsel/Olney, Md.) decommitted or Keith Simms (Landon/Bethesda, Md.) elected to head elsewhere for college. The Terps remained interested as Niumatalolo’s UMD-area recruiter, John Dunn, had maintained dialogue, even after the Broadneck backer failed to land a Terps’ offer at the June 27 Big Show. In turn, Niumatalolo held out hope the hometown school would eventually show the love.

But the Annapolis native and son of Navy’s head coach decided he couldn’t let his other options slip away while waiting on Maryland. Thus, Niumatalolo committed to Boise State Oct. 20, in effect ending his recruitment.

We do not believe the Terps will reengage him at this juncture. He has been removed from the hot board.


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