When Maryland defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim was at Alabama the last two years, he readily connected with an up-and-coming cornerback who tripped out to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for a summer camp. Then-freshman Trajan Bandy (Columbus/Miami, Fla.) said even though he was just an undersized first-year, the former Bama assistant treated him like a five-star stud.
“I’ve known Coach Rahim for a couple years now, and we have a terrific relationship,” said Bandy, a 5-foot-9, 180-pound class of 2017 corner who just added a Maryland offer to his ever-expanding list Jan. 9. “He’s like a brother to me, to be honest. When we talk, it’s like I’m talking to my brother or friend. It’s like I don’t have to be all formal with him like you do with a lot of coaches. We can talk just normal, and we talk about anything from football to my family to life. He’s one of the coolest coaches I know, to be honest. I feel real comfortable with him, just communicating back and forth.”
Alabama and Abdul-Rahim actually had an offer out to Bandy since last year, and Jan. 9 the new Maryland assistant made sure the Florida corner had one from the Terps. Bandy, whose early-verbal list also includes Clemson; Tennessee; Louisville; Michigan; Oklahoma, Nebraska; Auburn; South Carolina; NC State; Syracuse; Temple; FIU; FAU; USF and more, called his latest scholarship, “a great one to have.”
“I was real excited about Maryland, because I know Coach Rahim is there now,” Bandy said. “It was a big offer for me. Coach Rahim said he watched my film, he liked my game and he said I played like a dog last year. He said he wanted me at Alabama, and now he wants me at Maryland. That was great to hear from him.”
Bandy has never visited College Park, Md., but plans to check out the campus this summer. He said he’s watched several Terps’ games on TV the last few years, taking particular note of ex-UMD great Stefon Diggs.
“It’s a school I definitely want to see. I’m definitely getting up there,” Bandy said. “It’s a school that I liked anyway, even before Coach Rahim got there. I first took notice of them when Stefon Diggs got there, and I loved watching him play. He kind of put Maryland on the map for a lot of people.
“Then they had the coolest uniforms with the Under Armour. I loved the different combinations -- the red and black, the all-white, the black and yellow.”
Besides Maryland, Bandy said he’d like to check out Tennessee, Oklahoma, Auburn, Michigan, South Carolina, Syracuse and Clemson this offseason. He’s already been to Alabama, Tennessee and Clemson, calling the latter “definitely a school I liked a lot.”
“I’m just enjoying the process and taking this all in, so I don’t have any definite leaders or anything yet,” Bandy said. “But Oklahoma, they kind of caught my eye this year with how they played, so I definitely want to get out there. And Clemson, they’re like the No. 1 team in the country, and I definitely want to get back there for another visit. Tennessee, I was out there for a camp my freshman year, and I liked it there too.”
Bandy is coming off a junior season where he recorded 45 tackles and eight interceptions.
“Teams really didn’t even throw my way this year, and I still had eight interceptions,” Bandy said. “I was lockdown this year.”