The Terps are looking to add another receiver to their 2016 class, and just before the dead recruiting period set in Dec. 14, Maryland extended an offer to under-the-radar wideout Xavier Lane (Carver/Montgomery, Ala.). Maryland hasn’t traditionally recruited in Alabama, but new Terps’ defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim spent the last two season’s on the Tide’s staff, exposing him to some of the area’s foremost high schools.
Thus, after evaluating his senior tape and showing it to UMD head coach D.J. Durkin, the Terps chose to move on an offer.
“I’d say maybe a few days ago Coach Aazaar got in touch with me on Twitter and we’ve mainly been talking there. He hadn’t really been saying a whole lot, just some introductory things, so when I heard about the offer I was really surprised,” said Lane, who previously held scholarships from Alabama State, Georgia Southern, Troy and Western Kentucky. “It was a big offer for me. It’s my first major offer. I called up Coach Aazaar and he told me he’d love to have me up there, and I told him I definitely would be giving [Maryland] a look.”
The 6-foot-4, 195-pound Lane admittedly didn’t know too much about the UMD program. Growing up in SEC country, he rarely got a glimpse of East Coast schools, aside from a few SportsCenter highlights.
“I do know all about the Under Armour uniforms though,” laughed Lane. “They have some really sweet jerseys; I was doing some Google image searches of those. And I know it gets real cold up there too (laughs).
“But I was also looking up their roster and just familiarizing myself with the program in general. I think it’s pretty cool they’re in the Big Ten and play teams like Ohio State and Michigan State. It looks like a great opportunity for me.”
Lane is in the process of finalizing an official visit to College Park, Md. He’s currently set to see Western Kentucky Jan. 22, Toledo Jan. 30 and Troy Jan. 15, which means there’s just one open weekend left on his schedule (in February, right before Signing Day). Lane wasn’t sure if he’d want to use that final weekend for an official, but said he’d consider cancelling one of his other intended trips in order to trek through UMD.
“I have to think about it and talk it over with my family,” said Lane, who has mainly seen local programs and hasn’t ventured far outside his home state . “I do want to get up to Maryland, and I just have to see when is a good time in January to get up there.”
The Alabama wideout said Maryland's is the only power-five conference staff that’s been in contact with him. He said he was somewhat surprised no other major suitors have emerged, but “I’m blessed to have the offers I do have.”
Lane, who also stars on the basketball court but is only being recruited for football, is coming off a 40-catch, 795-yard, 13-touchdown season. He said he was hoping to play basketball in college growing up, but it became evident football was his calling once he reached high school.
Which makes sense: Lane’s bloodlines run deep in the gridiron game. His father, Terrance Simmons, played two season in the NFL for the Panthers and Redskins.
“My dad made it to the League, and that’s my goal too,” Lane said. “No matter if I go to a big school or a small school, I’m going to work to reach my goal. My dad did it out of a small school [Alabama State], so I’ll take that path if I have to.”