Hudson (Fla.) offensive tackle Grayson Stover had been planning to officially visit College Park, Md., for months now, the 6-foot-6, 295-pounder eager to check out his oft-stated No. 1 suitor for the second time. But with Maryland’s head coaching situation tenuous in the wake of ex-headman Randy Edsall’s departure Oct. 11, Stover has elected to hold off -- at least for now.
“I actually cancelled my visit, and now maybe I’ll go after they name a new head coach,” said Stover, who is also considering Indiana and Vanderbilt. “That way I can meet whoever the head coach is, meet the new staff and see if they still want me. With new staffs, you never know what recruits they want, so I have to make sure they want me. But I’m probably thinking in December I’ll get back up there to meet the new staff and all that. I’m still interested in Maryland, definitely.”
Stover said he had a lengthy conversation with UMD’s interim head coach Mike Locksley Nov. 3. According to the Hudson product, both he and his recruiter Locksley came to an understanding afterwards.
“I just talked to Coach Locksley and he was disappointed I wasn’t going to be coming up. He wanted to get me up there around the guys and to meet everyone. But he also understood why I’m holding off,” Stover said. “We get along great; I talk to him pretty much every week, and he just visited my school a couple weeks ago. He’s definitely a great guy, a genuine guy. I love talking to him and hopefully he’s there [in the future].”
The Florida tackle’s latter statement was in reference to Locksley’s trek down to Hudson Oct. 15-16. The interim headman stopped by Stover’s school to chat with the coaches and watch a workout, and the next day he saw the recruit in action.
“Coach Locksley coming down definitely meant a lot; it showed [Maryland is] still heavily interested in me,” Stover said. “I don’t think Coach Locksley even went anywhere else when he came down [to Florida]. It was good to see that.”
Stover admitted Locksley’s presence in College Park would weigh into his college decision. But it wouldn’t be the only factor he’d be looking at when evaluating Maryland.
“If [Locksley] was there, it would be nice to have someone I know, but it’s not all about Coach Locksley being there… I’d have to see who they brought in as offensive line coach too,” Stover said. “Right now, I know Coach [Greg] Studrawa; I met him in the summer and we talk on Twitter. So I’d have to see if the new coach kept [Studrawa] on staff, and if not, I would definitely have to meet the new O-line coach and see what he was like.”
The Hudson product went on to say it’s “kind of hard to tell” exactly where UMD stands in the pecking order in terms of favorite schools. He backed off calling any program an outright No. 1 with so much still to be determined at Maryland and his other prime suitors.
“Without a head coach, I can’t really say where Maryland stands,” said Stover, who last visited UMD during the summer. “But it’s Big Ten football, I like the area, and it’s very nice people up there. I got along with all the coaches, and they all seemed legit when I visited. I also liked how I could potentially play as a freshman there. Then I do like the criminal justice program too; that’s in the back of my mind as well.”
Stover confirmed the three main schools he’s looking at are Maryland, Indiana and Vanderbilt. Illinois is also somewhat in play, with Stover not completely ruling out a Champaign, Ill., official down the road.
“Those are my top three,” Stover said of the Terps, Hoosiers and Commodores. “I think Indiana is probably No. 1 right now, but it’s hard to put them in order yet. It can change. I might still take a visit to Illinois, but they don’t have a head coach either so I’m not sure about them yet. I’m definitely looking to get back to Maryland, though.”
Regardless of which program he selects, Stover was supposed to be an early enrollee. But even that’s tenuous at this time.
“It depends on who needs me early and things like that. Indiana, they only have two spots available for guys coming in early, and they told me they’re bringing in a quarterback and maybe another transfer [for early commitments],” said Stover, who expects to end his recruitment at some point in December. “With Maryland, I’m not sure yet if they can take me early; I have to see about them. And Vanderbilt, I know I can’t enroll early. So I have to see how it plays out.”