The Terps have made safety Derrek Pitts (South Charleston/Charleston, W.Va.) a priority in the 2017 class, and Oct. 24 the four-star junior finally had a chance to take in his first Maryland game. Although the UMD-Penn State showdown took place in Baltimore, Md., Pitts still had the opportunity to see the team in action; interact with other Terps’ commits; and take in the M&T Bank Stadium atmosphere. Then, a day later, Pitts trekked down to College Park, Md., in order to meet with the Maryland coaches and foray through campus for the second time.
“The game was a great experience, even though Maryland lost [31-30],” said Pitts, who holds offers from West Virginia, UMD, Auburn, Clemson, Nebraska, Louisville, NC State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Va Tech, among others. “Honestly, losses don’t even bother me right now, because I know Maryland is rebuilding and they’re on track to take the next step next year. I talked to a few of the other guys there like Dwayne Haskins (Bullis/Potomac, Md.) and he was telling me about Maryland. He's going to be a big part of the future there.
“But overall it was an exciting game, and it was a great game to watch. I didn’t think they would fill the stadium, because I know Ravens stadium has a lot more seats than in College Park. But the place was packed and it was a great atmosphere.”
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Pitts said he paid close attention to Maryland’s secondary during the game. He lauded cornerback Will Likely and how the safeties played as well.
“It’s a good scheme, a good defense,” Pitts said. “I know I could come in there and contribute early, so that’s always a good thing. I like how Maryland’s defense plays. I could see myself there.”
Less than 24 hours later, after staying the night in a Baltimore hotel, Pitts and his family traveled 45 minutes down I-95 South to College Park. Pitts was last at UMD back during the summer, before the staff offered him in August.
“I’d already seen the campus and learned about the facilities and new facilities they’re building, so I basically just wanted to meet the coaches again,” Pitt said. “I talked to like everyone there and they were all saying how they were happy I got to see the game. They were happy I stopped by to catch up. I like the staff that’s there now; they’re great guys.”
Pitts' main point of contact at UMD is Director of Player Personnel Cory Robinson. The West Virginia safety said he texts Robinson, his former trainer with Next Level Nation, “every week or so.”
“Coach Robinson is someone I’ve known for a long time, but we’re getting to know each other more and more now,” Pitts said. “I try to touch base with him as often as I can. He’s a great guy, real cool. Him being [at Maryland] definitely helps them.”
Pitts is familiarizing himself more with interim head coach Mike Locksley as well. He said he’d spoken to Locksley before when he was the offensive coordinator, but Oct. 24 their chat was a bit more extensive.
“Coach Locksley is a good coach and hopefully he stays the head coach now,” Pitts said. “Just like Coach Robinson, he’s real, real cool. I like him a lot and I think he’ll do well at Maryland.”
Following his second stay in College Park, Pitt said Maryland is firmly on the brain, but he’s “keeping all his options open.” Pitts wouldn’t declare early standouts or leaders, even shooting down the rumor he’s West Virginia’s to lose.
“But Maryland is a good school and it would be a good option for me,” Pitts said. “I used to live in Owings Mills in Baltimore County, so it would be like going back home. I left there when I was six, but I still like it up there and like the Maryland area. But right now I’m just going through the process.”
Pitts does not have any more visits planned, but will take several this offseason. He’s already seen Notre Dame, Maryland, West Virginia (multiple times), Va Tech and Ohio State.-->