Maryland’s intent on adding a third running back in its 2016 class, and another possible candidate emerged Jan. 7. UMD receivers’ coach Chris Beatty reached out to Osceola (Kissimmee, Fla.) three-star runner Laderrien Wilson in the wake of the 5-foot-10, 210-pounder’s UVA decommitment.
Wilson promptly scheduled a College Park, Md., official visit for Jan. 15.
“Coach Beatty, he just got to Maryland, but he was recruiting me when he was at Syracuse and UVA,” said Wilson, who claimed offers from schools such as UVA, Cincinnati, Duke, Syracuse, Louisville, Georgia Tech, FIU, FAU, Iowa State, USF, Purdue, Miami and others. “I’ve been talking to him since he was at UVA, I guess for a year now. He’s a real good guy, we talk a lot about football, and he always tells me how much he’d like to coach me.
“So now I want to go up to Maryland and check them out. Coach Beatty was telling me a lot of good things.”
Wilson went on to detail what exactly those good things are. He admitted Beatty didn’t delve deep into Maryland’s inner workings, but said enough to pique the running back’s interest.
“Coach Beatty said he thought my style would be a great fit at Maryland, and how they really need running backs,” Wilson said. “He said I’d have a chance to play early there. Then he was saying how the running backs with Maryland’s new offensive coordinator [Walt Bell] all rush for over 1,000 yards and do real well. So I’m really interested in going up there to meet the running backs coach, the offensive coordinator, the head coach and the rest of them.”
Beyond the offense and his relationship with Beatty, Wilson said he didn’t know much about Maryland other than its conference and the Under Armour affiliation.
“But that’s why I’m going up there,” Wilson said. “I want to learn more. I want to research them. I know they have all the Under Armour gear up there, and I know they play in a great conference in the Big Ten. But the campus, the environment, the academics, the facilities, how the students are, what the school’s about – I don’t know any of that. I have to get up there.”
Besides UMD, Wilson said he’s considering trips to Syracuse, Louisville or Georgia Tech. That said, he’s unsure whether or not he’ll actually embark on any other officials outside of UMD.
“I mean, if the Maryland visit goes well, I could just commit then,” Wilson said. “I could do it like [Jan. 17] before I leave. But we have to see. I might take one more official [after Maryland], but I don’t know yet.”
As for Virginia, Wilson said he wasn’t sure he fit with new coach Bronco Mendenhall. He hinted that Mendenhall may want to bring in “his guys.” Thus, Wilson opted to renege on his pledge and doesn’t foresee himself winding up in Charlottesville, Va.
Wilson is coming off a season where he rushed for 2,100 yards and 29 touchdowns. He said he runs a 4.6-second 40-yard dash.