Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin offered three current Minnesota pledges Dec. 19, all from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. After extending scholarships to a pair of three-star defensive backs, Elijah and Elisha Daniels (Cardinal Gibbons), Durkin went right after the Gophers’ four-star receiver commit too. Dredrick Snelson (Flanagan/Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), who knows the Daniels brothers well, is now in the process of setting a January official visit date with his two Gibbons friends, likely the weekend of Jan. 22.
“I was excited when I got the offer. It’s a program I’ll look into, and I can’t wait to learn more about Maryland,” said the 6-foot, 198-pound Snelson, who at one time held offers from Alabama, Auburn, FSU, Louisville, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, UNC, WVU, Va Tech and UCF, in addition to Minnesota and Maryland. “I’m going to be officially visiting in January, and I’ll learn more about the program then. It’s a good school; a good opportunity.”
Snelson, who committed to the Gophers back in August, said he’d actually spoken to Durkin prior to Dec. 19. While Michigan -- Durkin’s former employer before taking the Maryland job in early December -- didn’t offer Snelson, the receiver said the Wolverines’ ex-defensive coordinator had been in touch.
“When Coach Durkin was at Michigan he talked to me a little and liked me then,” Snelson said. “Then [Dec. 19] he was telling me that now that he’s made the change to Maryland and is in charge of the program, he’d love for me to be part of his team. He thinks I can do big things there, be a playmaker, and just make things happen with the ball in my hands. So he really wants me to come up and see the school, and that’s what I plan to do.”
Snelson readily took to Durkin during their conversation. The wideout called Durkin a “really cool coach.”
“He has so much energy, and you can tell he loves the game,” Snelson said. “He’s a really good guy. He’s the type of coach players want to play for.
“And what he was telling me all sounded really good. It sounds like a great program that’s in really good hands. I know Maryland is in the Big Ten, they have sick uniforms and it’s a great school. I know they didn’t have a great year last year, but it’s a whole new staff now, and they’re turning things around.”
As far as Minnesota is concerned, Snelson dubbed himself a “soft” commit. He said he is looking around at his other suitors, with Maryland; Florida State; Miami; Virginia Tech; and UCF in play. Snelson said he’d definitely be taking officials to UCF, Miami and UMD, but wasn’t sure about Tech or FSU yet. He officially visited Minnesota Oct. 31, his only OV thus far.
“I’m pretty open to all the schools coming after me now; they’re all kind of equal,” Snelson said. “For me, [location] really doesn’t matter for me. I wouldn’t mind staying home at a school like Miami, but I don’t mind going farther away either. So I’m just listening to what these schools have to say right now."
Of course, the Daniels brothers are making their own recruiting pitch. Elijah and Elisha Daniels have made it known they want Snelson to attend college with them, either at Minnesota or some other locale like Maryland.
“That is pretty important to me; they are my good friends,” Snelson said. “We obviously are all committed to Minnesota now, and after we got the Maryland offer we all talked about it and decided to go on the official together. We’re also looking to go to UCF together for a visit too. But in the end we have to do what’s best for us. And if we all end up at the same school, that would be great.”
Snelson is coming off a season where he recorded 39 catches for 655 yards, nine touchdowns and four rushing touchdowns. He helped lead Flanagan to a class 8A state championship.