TTDave's Inside The Shell

Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup.

Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup.

The Quarterback Situation

The Maryland staff isn’t sitting on its hands as rumors swirl regarding quarterback commit Dwayne Haskins’ (Bullis/Potomac, Md.) status. The four-star local and former DMV-to-UMD pied piper has been vetting and visiting other programs, leaving the Terps with little choice but to pursue backup options. Maryland offensive coordinator Walt Bell took the step of offering two more 2016 quarterbacks last week -- with others percolating on his radar.

Haskins, meanwhile, is taking a hard look at Ohio State, his previously-stated “dream school.” The Bullis product officially visited Columbus, Ohio, back in December, and though Haskins wasn’t a “take” for head coach Urban Meyer at the time, the Buckeyes’ headman once again covets the four-star. (OSU failed to secure its top quarterback target, leaving Haskins as priority No. 1). Meyer even headed down to Bullis Jan. 14 to make an in-person proposition to the four-star signal caller.

Besides OSU, LSU is involved, Haskins embarking on an official to Baton Rouge, La., Jan. 22. Even though Les Miles has multiple quarterbacks in his program, that doesn't seem to concern the Haskinses.

Right now he tealeaves seemingly read OSU, or maybe LSU, but credit the Maryland staff for not giving up its pursuit. Head coach D.J. Durkin, Walt Bell, and recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim were supposed to meet Haskins and his family Jan. 15 to make their pitch. It’s even possible, if the sitdown goes well, Haskins elects to officially visit College Park, Md.

So, Bell’s Jan. 10 offers are not an indication the coaches have moved on from the gunslinger, as some have surmised, but rather insurance in case the four-star opts out.

But while we wait to see how the Haskins situation plays out, let’s explore Maryland’s two new offerees, along with some other possible candidates who have cropped up:

Tyrrell Pigrome (Clay-Chalkville/Pinson, Ala.): Maryland offensive coordinator Walt Bell dipped back into his Arkansas State connections and offered this Alabama dual-threat Jan. 10. Pigrome only stands 5-feet-11, 180-pounds, but he’s got a rocket; can make most throws; and breaks ankles in the open field. So infatuated with Pigrome is Bell that he flew out to Alabama as soon as the dead period ended, checking in with the Clay-Chalkville prospect before Dwayne Haskins.

“This was my second time meeting Coach Bell, and it was a really good meeting,” said Pigrome, who also received in-person overtures from South Florida, Memphis and Tulane Jan. 14. “[Bell] was saying how the offense they’re running, it’s the same kind of spread he ran at Arkansas State. Then he was saying how they have two redshirt seniors on the roster, but that’s really it, so there’s a great chance I could start for four years there. Either I could win the job next year outright, or I could redshirt and grab the job after that. So that sounded really good to me.

“Coach Bell said he and [Haskins] haven’t really talked in awhile,” Pigrome continued. “He was saying he thinks [Haskins] is going to go to Ohio State or somewhere else. He said I’m his guy."

Pigrome said his prior relationship with Bell, the coach’s up-tempo spread, and Maryland’s potential need for a quarterback all immediately caught his attention. After speaking to the UMD offensive coordinator, Pigrome promptly scheduled a Jan. 29 College Park official and declared the Terps a frontrunner. He said there’s a “possibility” he could commit on campus, although more than likely he’d wait until Signing Day to announce his future destination.

“Coach Bell runs that up-tempo spread, and that’s what I do. That’s my style,” said Pigrome, who knew little about UMD other than the basics. “Coach Bell let me know [the Terps] have a couple quarterbacks on the roster, but that I could come in and compete for time right away. If not, he said I could redshirt next year and then compete for time the year after. He said I was his main guy, and he wanted me out there. That kind of opened my eyes a bit (laughs).”

But before penciling Pigrome in, monitor what happens with Virginia Tech. The Alabama product has been acquainted with the Tech staff since head coach Justin Fuente and Co. were at Memphis. Plus, the Hokies’ offensive system is also conducive to Pigrome’s style.

The quarterback’s eager to check out Blacksburg, Va., Jan. 22, and the vibe is that trip could be a game-changer. We wouldn’t be shocked if the Hokies’ staff pushed for a pop before he left campus. (Interestingly enough, the Va Tech staff did not venture out to Alabama this week like Maryland’s did, so maybe the Hokies won’t push as hard as the Terps).

Pigrome is scheduled to see Tulane Jan. 15 too, but the Green Wave are not thought to be serious contenders. He is also considering a mid-week trip to Rutgers, which just offered Jan. 13. The Scarlet Knights wouldn't become a player unless Tech and UMD fell off.

Our thoughts on the matter? Well, Bell's words could very well just be a recruiter trying to sell his program. Pigrome is definitely a backup option in case Haskins opts for OSU.

At the same time, it does sound like Bell hasn't received the most positive vibes from the Haskins party, so his comments to Pigrome could very well be genuine. We will know for sure soon enough.

You can read more about Pigrome HERE and HERE.

Devon Modster, QB, (Tesoro/Las Flores, Calif.): This four-star dual-threat was all set to enroll in Tucson, Ariz., but in December Arizona added a second junior-college signal caller to this year’s class. Modster saw the writing on the wall and ended up decommitting right before the New Year.

Problem is, many of his suitors had filled their quarterback spots, leaving Modster in limbo, so to speak. But a couple signal-caller needy programs took note of Modster’s availability and extended a lifeline. First to offer were Syracuse and Oklahoma State, followed by Maryland Jan. 10. UCLA, a previous suitor, is also in play, with Modster’s officially visiting there Jan. 15.

Of those, the Bruins may have the inside track. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise if he ended up popping to UCLA during his upcoming Los Angeles, Calif., jaunt. (There is some question whether or not the UCLA staff truly wants Modster, however).

If not, Modster may officially visit Oklahoma State later in January, and those close to the program believe the four-star has the Cowboys first or second in the running. Oklahoma State isn’t too far from Modster’s California home, which appeals to the dual-threat, plus Modster would seem to fit well in the Cowboys’ up-tempo offense.

Note, however, that Oklahoma State’s coaches are also recruiting quarterback Keondre Wudtee (Bossier City/Parkway, La.), who is visiting the Cowboys Jan. 15. If Wudtee -- who has trips to TCU and LA Tech scheduled -- pops before Modster, well, the latter’s out of luck (and vice versa).

The Orange, meanwhile, are attempting to cull out an official visit, but Modster may not be receptive. Apparently he isn’t especially keen on playing his college ball cross-country.

Maryland would seem to be in the same boat as Syracuse with College Park being 3,000 miles from Las Flores. But UMD offensive coordinator Walt Bell is attempting to at least get Modster on campus Jan. 22 or Jan. 29. The two have spoken a few times since Jan. 10, and Modster has taken a liking to Bell.

“He seems like a great coach and I like his energy,” Modster said. “He said I could play early there, maybe start as a freshman. He runs a spread [offense] too, and that’s what I ran at my high school.”

If Bell is successful in securing an official, maybe the Terps’ staff can convince the West Coast recruit to bring his talents East. (That is, assuming Dwayne Haskins isn’t around). But, admittedly, Modster didn’t seem overly receptive to the idea when touching base with him. The four-star may be leaning towards UCLA (if the Bruins want him) or maybe Oklahoma State.

Anthony Russo, QB, Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.): Russo decommitted from Rutgers Jan. 11, mainly because he didn’t fit new coach Chris Ash’s spread offense. A pro-style quarterback, Russo is seeking a system where he can sit under center and make his reads from the pocket.

Which made it rather curious that Russo promptly reached out to Maryland offensive coordinator Walt Bell Jan. 11. Bell doesn’t run a spread quite like Ash’s, but it’s far from a strict pro-style look. Either way, we’re not sure Bell and the Terps would be interested to begin with. Per our Rutgers contacts, Russo probably belongs at a school like Temple, which he officially visited in December, or maybe a MAC program.

UVA could also be a potential suitor if headman Bronco Mendenhall showed interest. There have been rumors that LSU’s staff could bring Russo in, but we’re told that’s a bit premature.

Chase Fourcade, QB, Rummel (Metairie, La.): Fourcade didn’t earn a Maryland offer yet, but he is on offensive coordinator Walt Bell’s radar. The 6-0, 180-pounder -- who resembles current UMD gunslinger Perry Hills -- had an offer from Bell when the coach was at Arkansas State,  and the two reinitiated contact earlier this week. That said, Fourcade’s probably just insurance in case the Terps’ top quarterback options fall by the wayside.

Currently, the pro-style signal caller is committed to Nicholls State, and holds offers from McNeese State, Arkansas State and a couple other Division I-AA programs. He said he’d have interest in checking out College Park should Bell pursue, but we’re not sure the UMD offensive coordinator will reciprocate.

Ramar Williams, QB, McNamara (Forestville, Md.): A popular DMV dual-threat who earned all-WCAC honors, Williams would seem to fit Maryland offensive coordinator Walt Bell’s offense to a “T.” The 6-1, 170-pounder has a fairly strong arm, hits receivers in stride and can make plays on the run.

But thus far Williams hasn’t heard much from Maryland, although that could change if the Terps strike out on Devon Modster and Tyrrell Pigrome (not to mention Dwayne Haskins). The local signal caller holds the hometown school in high regard, so Bell could probably secure Williams if he pushes.

Barring the latter, Williams seems inclined towards Air Force and Army, two military institutions with offers out.

Donovan Williams, QB, Hylton (Woodbridge, Va.): Donovan Williams is in the same boat as Ramar Williams. He’s a nearby dual-threat with plenty of Maryland affinity, but hasn’t had contact with the Terps’ staff as of yet.

The 6-3, 205-pounder has been committed to Connecticut since June, but we’re told he’d “jump at the chance” to play for Maryland. It doesn’t sound like it’s going to happen at this rate, however.

Which isn’t entirely surprising. Although Williams has the measurables and the playmaking ability, he wasn’t overly effective at Hylton last year, and his arm strength is questionable.

Weekend Official Visitors

The dead recruiting period ended Jan. 14, meaning official visits resume this weekend. So far, the Terps have three recruits set to be in College Park for a 48-hour stay:

Terrell Hall, DE, St. John’s (Washington, D.C.): The four-star local edge rusher has been trending towards the hometown school ever since the Terps hired Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, who trekked through St. John’s in early December. Hall and Abdul-Rahim knew each other when the assistant trained D.C.-area recruits and coached at Friendship Collegiate Academy (Washington, D.C.) two years ago. That relationship continued when Abdul-Rahim left for Alabama, the assistant actively recruiting Hall to the Tide.

Now, Abdul-Rahim wants Hall in College Park, and it’s clear the defensive end is listening. The St. John’s product, who the UMD staff went to see Jan. 14, set his Maryland official visit for Jan. 15, presumably vaulting them onto Hall’s short-list.

Hall has met and had regular communication with UMD head coach D.J. Durkin, the headman’s energy and defensive mindset resonating. Moreover, defensive line coach Mike London, who also knew Hall prior to the coach’s arrival in College Park, has made inroads as well.

Further aiding the UMD staff’s chances with Hall: He’s aware he would have a chance to earn immediate playing time, shine in front of friends and family, and line up alongside his DMV friends heading to Maryland. But don’t get too excited yet, Terps’ fans.

Florida State, which Hall officially visited Dec. 11, continues to resonate and may be second in the pecking order for the time being. Meanwhile, Hall has two officials coming up after he sees College Park, first to Alabama Jan. 22 and then to Ole Miss Jan. 29. The Tide have long been considered a frontrunner, Alabama’s tradition; defensive player development; and head coach Nick Saban’s overtures holding weight. The Rebels, backed by an aggressive staff, could make some noise since they’ll have the benefit of leaving the final impression.

Right now, the feeling is Bama may be the Terps’ major roadblock -- if Saban truly wants the D.C. product. There have been rumblings Saban isn’t quite as high on Hall as the edge rusher is on Bama. If Hall gets a “lukewarm” reception in Tuscaloosa, Ala., perhaps it will allow Durkin and Co. a chance to pounce.

Note: Scout’s national analyst, Brian Dohn, predicted Hall would commit to Maryland. He believes Bama may not take Hall, and suggested D.J. Durkin’s inroads will pay off.

Aaron Thompson, DT, Dillard (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.): Apparently Maryland defensive-line coach Mike London extended an offer to this defensive tackle shortly after the ex-UVA headman took the Terps’ gig. London sought Thompson’s services in Charlottesville, Va., and with UMD in need of defensive linemen, it made sense to keep recruiting Thompson in College Park.

Thompson doesn’t speak to the media much, but he told Scout’s Corey Bender earlier this week he was down to three suitors: Maryland, Tennessee and South Carolina. The borderline four-star will be trekking to UMD Jan. 15, UT the weekend after and USC Jan. 29 before selecting his destination.

The 6-3, 255-pounder said all three programs are on an even plane, but we’re inclined to believe the Gamecocks hold the edge. Thompson’s known headman Will Muschamp since the coach was at Florida, and their developed rapport holds water. Indeed, Thompson has a familiarity with most of the South Carolina staff and the defensive scheme, so that final official to Columbia, S.C., could seal him in.

As for the Vols, their staff tossed out a late offer Jan. 10. But evidently it was enough for Thompson to cancel his intended FIU official in favor of Knoxville, Tenn. The Sunshine State tackle didn’t know too much about UT, but the SEC allure is drawing him.

With the Terps, Mike London will undoubtedly be selling early playing time; Maryland’s star-studded defensive staff; and UMD’s business school (Thompson said he wanted to attend a university with a strong business program). But we won’t know exactly where Thompson stands with Maryland until after his upcoming official.

Laderrian Wilson, RB, Osceola (Kissimmee, Fla.): Of the College Park visitors this weekend, Wilson is most likely to pop.

The three-star running back and former UVA pledge has had a longstanding relationship with Maryland assistant Chris Beatty, who went after Wilson at Virginia and later Syracuse. Naturally, when Wilson announced right after the New Year he didn’t quite see eye-to-eye with Cavaliers’ coach Bronco Mendenhall, Beatty jumped on the back yet again. And after an initial conversation, Wilson instantly scheduled a Jan. 15 College Park official, suggesting he could commit before leaving campus. Wilson wasn’t interested in Maryland previously, but the fact UMD needs a running back, coupled with the Beatty connection, have him thinking turtles.

The Virginia native does not have any other officials scheduled after Jan. 15, although Syracuse; Georgia Tech; and Louisville are on his radar. But provided UMD head coach D.J. Durkin will accept the runner’s pledge -- remember, the Terps have also offered running back Tyrek Tisdale from Oak Ridge High in Orlando, Fla., who is supposed to be in College Park Jan. 29  -- Wilson could be a Terp by Jan. 17.

Stay tuned.

Tavante Beckett, OLB, Indian River (Chesapeake, Va.): This three-star Va Tech pledge was settled with his decision and ready to take his lone official to Blacksburg, Va., Jan. 22, but then one of UMD’s Virginia recruiter’s shook things up. Chris Beatty trekked through Indian River Jan. 14 and convinced Beckett to check out College Park Jan. 15 before the prospect ended his recruitment altogether.

Beckett, who has had a relationship with Beatty for more than a year, readily agreed. Beatty evidently told the Indian River product all about Maryland’s defensive staff, headed by head coach D.J. Durkin; the team’s need for another outside linebacker; and the other incoming recruits. On top of that, Beckett’s teammates, linebacker Jaquan Yulee and 2017 safety Devon Hunter, had already agreed to visit College Park unofficially, so the three-star decided it couldn’t hurt to join them.

Indications are, once Beckett arrives on campus, the Terps’ staff has a very good shot at pulling off the flip later in January. But the Hokies aren’t going to go down quietly. Beckett still intends to take his Jan. 29 Blacksburg jaunt, giving headman Justin Fuente and defensive coordinator Bud Foster an opportunity to seal him in. Foster has known Beckett just as long as Beatty, and, fact is, the backer’s been committed to Va Tech since last July.

Rutgers is in the picure too, headman Chris Ash making a strong push. Beckett will officially visit Piscataway, N.J., Jan. 22.

It’s a tough call to make, but this looks to be a Terps-Hokies -- and maybe RU -- battle, with Tech perhaps holding a slight edge. (Tech is also actively recruiting Jaquan Yulee, another prime UMD target discussed in a section below.)

Let’s see how it plays out.

Defensive Back Recruiting Notes

Elijah & Elisha Daniels, CB/S, Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.): Last week, it was Minnesota pledge Dredrick Snelson (Flanagan/Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) who took one step closer to a Maryland flip by cancelling his Wisconsin official visit and letting on he’d only be trekking to UCF Jan. 15 and College Park Jan. 22. This week, Snelson’s good friends, the brothers Daniels, one-upped him by reneging on their Minnesota commitment altogether. (They said the Gophers’ new staff hadn’t had much contact with them). By doing so, the twins have basically taken the Gophers out of the picture, leaving Maryland and UCF as contenders for now. Note that Syracuse’s staff has made a late charge, the Orange coaches visiting the twins Jan. 14 in an attempt to grab a Jan. 29 official visit. But the brothers haven’t decided whether or not to follow through with a New York trip.

We’ll see what transpires with Cuse, but heading into the weekend we know the corner Elijah Daniels and the safety Elisha Daniels will be joining Snelson on both the Orlando, Fla., and College Park officials. And since the Terps are presumably a more attractive option than the Knights, logic suggests the path has been cleared for the Terps to scoop the Danielses up shortly after their Jan. 22 trip concludes. Snelson, meanwhile, could very well follow suit.

The Daniels brothers have both had regular communication with UMD head coach D.J. Durkin and defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim. They believe in the direction Durkin’s taking the program, like the headman’s defensive reputation, and realize they’ll have early playing-time opportunities. On top of that, the Danielses have watched Terps’ star cornerback (and fellow Floridian) Will Likely since his high school days, the All Big-Ten performer serving as a role model of sorts.

Given the above, the Terps might just have three ex-Gophers pledges in tow by month’s end.

J.J. Givens, S/CB, Atlee (Mechanicsville, Va.): The three-star Givens told Scout’s Mike Clark exactly what he confirmed to us last week -- with an added caveat or two. In last week’s Shell, we reported Givens would be visiting Miami Jan. 15 and Maryland Jan. 29 before making his college decision shortly after his College Park foray. Now, it sounds like the safety/corner will also be heading to N.C. State Jan. 22 and then selecting his school Feb. 1, right before Signing Day.

What’s the significance of the Wolfpack foray?

Well, there really isn’t any. Givens is not projected to wind up in Raleigh, N.C., barring something unforeseen.

The Mechanicsville native is down to Maryland, Miami, NC State and Arizona State, with the Terps and Hurricanes out in front. The school formerly known as “The U” does have some cache here, mainly because Givens likes the area and watched the Hurricanes growing up. He’s had consistent contact with the Miami staff the last few weeks too, although the Canes did enter the fray late in the game.

Maryland’s coaches, on the other hand, have been on Givens since last spring, when the previous staff anted up. Givens even visited College Park twice for a spring practice and another unofficial, lauding the facilities; campus; and the College Park area.

He’s since established a rapport with multiple new Maryland staffers, from head coach D.J. Durkin; to defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim; to receivers’ coach Chris Beatty; to defensive coordinator Scott Shafer; to defensive line coach Mike London. The Terps’ coaches believe in “cross recruiting,” and their all-out efforts, which included an early-morning in-person trek through Atlee High Jan. 14, have left quite an impression.

The belief on this end is that final Jan. 29 College Park official could very well seal the deal. We’ll continue listing the Atlee product “hot” on the hot board and projecting a Maryland pop Feb. 1.

Armunz Mathews, CB, North Florida Christian (Tallahassee, Fla.): Mathews had been pledged to USF since his sophomore year, but it was only a matter of time before he decommitted. When I spoke to him in early January, after he received his Maryland offer, Mathews admitted “things were complicated” with the Bulls. A week-and-a-half after that, the three-star cancelled his Jan. 15 USF official and replaced it with Louisville, his latest suitor. Now, Mathews is down to the Cardinals, Terps and maybe South Carolina or California (if either antes up).

Mathews confirmed he will be officially visiting Maryland Jan. 22, the Terps trending for the Florida defensive back. The Tallahassee native has been in contact with UMD recruiter Chris Beatty, who pursued Mathews when the coach was at UVA and Syracuse.

“Coach Beatty is an awesome recruiter and a great guy. I love talking to him,” Mathews said before. “I know Maryland is rebuilding and building up under Coach [D.J.] Durkin, and that’s something that’s very attractive to me. I want to be part of a program that’s on the come-up, going against great competition in a conference like the Big Ten and just proving people wrong. I want to be part of a program on the rise, and it sounds like Maryland’s on the rise.”

The only reason we haven’t moved Mathews to “hot” on the hot board is because he’s seeking offers from Cal and/or USC. The corner called the Gamecocks and Bears “dream schools,” and if he visits either one Jan. 29, Mathews could probably be swayed (provided scholarships are presented).

Our gut? Neither Cal nor South Carolina will offer, Mathews will renege on that final official visit, and then he will pop to Maryland.

But this is recruiting, so we’ll be careful not to count our chickens quite yet.

Sir Patrick Scott, CB, Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.): Terps’ head coach D.J. Durkin isn’t going to swipe recruits from his mentor, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, but if said recruit hits the open market, well, that’s a different story.

Three-star cornerback Sir Patrick Scott did just that Jan. 13, announcing his decommitment from the Wolverines right before the dead period ended. Shortly after news broke, Durkin, who was Scott’s recruiter at UM, hopped right in and offered the corner a scholarship. Not 24 hours later, Durkin headed down to Riverdale Baptist to meet Scott and make his pitch -- this time for Maryland rather than Michigan.

Scott isn’t granting formal interviews at this time, but, per his coaches, the Terps are trending in a major way. Durkin was one of the primary reasons the corner picked Michigan in the first place, so the coach’s presence in College Park holds major weight.

Granted, Scott told me previously he’d rather leave the DMV than attend college so close to home, but Durkin could be a game-changer. The headman may very well be able to convince Scott the early playing-time opportunities, the renowned defensive staff, and said staff’s player-development prowess outweighs any other reservations.

Look for Scott to set up a Maryland official visit shortly, with a commitment possibly materializing around Signing Day.

Other programs attempting to enter the Scott race include West Virginia and Penn State. Both were schools Scott considered before popping to Michigan, so it’s possible he’ll check out PSU and/or WVU too.

We’re hesitant to forecast Scott to Maryland without speaking to the corner personally, but signs are pointing in the Terps’ direction.

Stay tuned.

Damon Hayes, CB, Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.): The local cornerback Hayes, who we wrote about a month or so ago, fell off the radar after he failed to procure a Maryland offer. But the Rutgers’ pledge has remained in regular communication with UMD recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, the assistant making sure Hayes is keeping the hometown school in mind.

Hayes isn’t a Maryland “priority” right now, but Abdul-Rahim could extend a late offer should head coach D.J. Durkin fail to land his foremost secondary targets. Remember, the Terps can take upwards of five defensive backs in this class, and it’s plausible one or two we’re currently projecting to UMD falls through the cracks. (The offerees and most realistic options are Elijah Daniels, Elisha Daniels, J.J. Givens, Sir Patrick Scott, Armunz Mathews and K.J. Sails).

If so, the belief is Maryland could flip Hayes right before Signing Day. The Wise cornerback wants in at College Park, gushing over the Terps during our December interview with him. He loves the idea of representing his home state, lining up alongside other DMV recruits and playing in front of family and friends.

In the meantime, though, Hayes will officially visit Boston College Jan. 15; Wake Forest Jan. 22; and Rutgers Jan. 29. If no UMD offer materializes, Hayes will probably stick with his RU commitment.

Various Defensive Recruiting Notes

Keith Simms, LB, Landon (Bethesda, Md.): In this space last week we informed readers the four-star linebacker Simms continued to ponder official visits to UNC, Maryland and Ole Miss, but hadn’t set any in stone. A few days later, Simms scheduled his first OV to Chapel Hill, N.C., Jan. 15, and still intends to foray through one or two other locales.

Simms implied a College Park trip was percolating about, but he’s told others that may not be the case. The four-star may be trending away from Maryland, even though he previously praised head coach D.J. Durkin; the coach’s scheme; and the direction the headman’s taking the program. Simms does hold the hometown school in high regard, but it seems the absence of his former Terps’ recruiter, Chad Wilt, gave him more than a little pause.

Durkin and Co. will continue to battle for Simms’ attention, evidenced by the fact UMD coaches stopped by Landon Jan. 14. But the latest word is the Bethesda native will wind up elsewhere.

The Tar Heels have been towards the top of Simms’ totem poll for a couple months now, the linebacker talking up head coach Larry Fedora; the coaches’ consistent pursuit; the progress the program’s made; and the campus vibe (he visited UNC twice during the summer). At one time, Simms was so high on UNC we even forecasted him to Chapel Hill in November, the Tar Heels leapfrogging several other contenders. Now, there is a chance this upcoming official could vault North Carolina back ahead of Virginia Tech, the current No. 1.

Realize, however, that Virginia Tech is in prime position what with defensive coordinator Bud Foster’s overtures. Furthermore, Simms loved his pre-dead period Blacksburg, Va., official, the jaunt rocketing the Hokies up the leaderboard.

Ole Miss, meanwhile, is the darkhorse candidate. Simms hasn’t said much about the Rebels, their offer coming late, but the SEC affiliation has piqued the linebacker’s interest. The Rebels’ staff is aggressive too, so if they get him on campus they might be able to make some noise.

California and Michigan State are newcomers that have entered the race, but Simms doesn’t figure to wind up at either barring a late change of heart.

Jaquan Yulee, LB, Indian River (Chesapeake, Va.): The four-star Alabama decommit Yulee expressed some interest in Maryland last week when UMD defensive coordinator Scott Shafer, defensive line coach Mike London and receivers’ coach Chris Beatty had all initiated contact in hopes of procuring an official visit.

Turns out they succeeded. … Sort of.

On Jan. 16, Yulee and his teammates Tavante Beckett and Devon Hunter will head to College Park, giving the Terps a glimmer of hope with the former recruit. We’ll attempt to procure more information following the trip,  but, per our national analysts, they don’t expect Yulee to sign with Maryland.

Earlier this week, Yulee told Scout’s Brian Dohn the main schools involved in his recruitment were Bama, Florida State, Florida, Va Tech MSU, Auburn and maybe Michigan. Then a day later, Scout’s Michael Clark spoke to Yulee and reported that Bama, Va Tech, WVU, UCLA, Ole Miss and Florida were the main players. Neither made mention of Maryland.

The feeling right now is Yulee could be headed back to Bama before it’s all said and done. But we’ll see if Beatty and London, who have had contact with Yulee for more than two years and trekked through Indian River Jan. 14, can make something of this last-gasp effort.

Also realize that Yulee may delay his college decision until after Signing Day. So if the Terps can land, say, Tavante Beckett, maybe they can coax out an official from Yulee in February and convince him to join the program too.

Amir Watts, DT, Phillips Academy (Chicago, Ill.): Maryland defensive coordinator Scott Shafer recruited Watts when the assistant was at Syracuse, and with the Terps in need of D-linemen, the coach reached out again Jan. 11.

Watts said his most recent scholarship held some appeal due to his previous rapport with Shafer and the opportunity for early playing time. He’s reportedly considering venturing out to College Park for a January official, although it’s a tenuous proposition.

Watts already has three visits set up for Indiana Jan. 15, Pitt Jan. 22 and Iowa State Jan. 29, and he’s hesitant to cancel. The IU trip is pretty much set in stone, the Panthers’ coaches have been after Watts for months, and the Cyclones’ staff left enough of an impression that the defensive tackle reneged on a Nebraska official in favor of Ames, Ia.

Given that, we’ll list Watts as “cool” on the hot board for the time being. We’ll elevate his temperature if Shafer can cull out a visit, but, more than likely, Watts is going to sign with Pitt or maybe Iowa State.

Various Offensive Recruiting Notes

Javon Kinlaw, OT, Goose Creek (S.C.): This 6-7, 290-pound UMD target set up his College Park official visit for Jan. 22, joining numerous other prospects on campus that weekend. Kinlaw, though, is committed to South Carolina and has told several reporters his intention is to remain a Gamecock. But we do believe the Terps have more than a puncher’s chance to change his mind.

Kinlaw, who lived in Washington, D.C., for three years, has a deep rapport with UMD defensive backs’ coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, who coached the two-way lineman for a year at Friendship Collegiate Academy. During a previous Terrapin Times interview, the four-star explained how Abdul-Rahim served as a father figure, someone who helped the Kinlaw family “when things weren’t going so well for us.” “As long as Coach Rahim is [at Maryland], then that’s a school I want to take a look at,” Kinlaw said before. “And it’s because there are very few people that you can truly trust out there, and I know Coach Rahim is one of the few. I know he’ll lead me in the right direction.”

The Terps’ staff may want to secure a Kinlaw pop before he leaves campus Jan. 24, however. While Kinlaw hasn’t set up any other officials, he’s supposed to head back to South Carolina -- with Jan. 29 as the presumed target date. (He has no trips scheduled for Jan. 15). And if Gamecocks’ head coach Will Muschamp, whom Kinlaw said he’s on board with, gets final dibs, the tackle could very well wind up sticking in Columbia, S.C.

Jauan Williams, OT, Carroll (Washington, D.C.): The Maryland staff is making a potent push for the four-star All-American Williams, and the coaches have a shot to secure an official visit right before Signing Day. UMD assistant Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, the point-man in this recruitment, has been through Carroll to see Williams, while head coach D.J. Durkin has made overtures as well. On top of that, Williams’ teammate, Richard Merritt, has been pushing the Terps ever since the four-star guard popped to Maryland Dec. 15.

At the very least, Williams will meet with the Maryland staff later this month, maybe for a midweek sitdown. We’re not sure the tackle will wind up signing in College Park, but he is warming up to the idea of attending the hometown school.

For the moment, though, Florida State, which Williams officially visited Dec. 11, is considered the frontrunner. The four-star seemed infatuated with the Noles during Under Armour week, the staff’s player development; the Tallahassee vibe; and the program itself all ringing true.

Some other schools in play include Auburn, which is tentatively scheduled to host Williams Jan. 22, LSU and TAMU. Williams was supposed to visit Florida Jan. 15, but he has opted against it.

Realize the Carroll product tends to change his mind every other day, so, by the time you read this, his favorites list and intended officials could be completely different. We probably won’t know what Williams is truly thinking until Signing Day, which is when he’ll be announcing his college destination.

Note: We’ve heard Williams’ academic situation has improved, and he’s on track to qualify. If not, though, expect whichever staff that secures the tackle’s services to place him in a junior college of their liking (for Maryland, that would be Iowa Western in Council Bluffs, Ia.).

Grayson Stover, OT, Hudson (Fla.): There hasn’t been an overwhelming amount of movement with the two-star tackle Stover. We are aware he’s had communication with Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin and is mulling an official visit to College Park, but the only trip he’s set in stone thus far is USF Jan. 15. Neither the Maryland trip, nor a possible Illinois OV, are guaranteed to occur.

Truth be told, Stover’s fairly high on Indiana, which he officially visited back in October. Stover loved his stay in Bloomington, Ind., while the Hoosiers’ staff has maintained regular contact, making the Hudson product aware he’s a main priority.

Vanderbilt is also somewhat involved, but the staff may no longer be pushing. Iowa State, meanwhile, sits on the outer fringes.

As the situation currently stand, it sounds like Stover will either opt for IU or maybe stick with hometown USF if the Bulls impress during his upcoming official. But we’ll monitor the situation in case the Terps make a charge, hosting Stover Jan. 22 or Jan. 29.

Brian Plummer, OT, South Carroll (Sykesville, Md.): In the wake of UMD head coach D.J. Durkin’s latest class-cutting moves, which included the departures of two more Randy Edsall pledges, I checked in with Plummer to ensure he still had a place at Maryland.

In all honesty, we didn’t expect him to. But, alas, Plummer informed me he’d been in touch with the UMD staff via Twitter and would be taking his College Park official visit either Jan. 22 or Jan. 29. The South Carroll product said he was aware of the rash of “decommitments,” but didn’t believe he’d be next.

We’ll see if that’s true as January moves along, but for the moment is sounds like Plummer’s safe to sign with Maryland.

Tino Ellis, WR, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.): Besides Brian Plummer, Tino Ellis is the lone pre-D.J. Durkin Terps’ commit who has yet to embark on his Maryland official visit. Earlier this week, though, Ellis said he’d be heading to College Park Jan. 22, reaffirming his status as a UMD pledge.

The DeMatha wideout has said time and again he wouldn’t be entertaining other suitors, including primetime candidate Virginia Tech, and he reiterated that statement once again this week. The four-star All-American told me he’s ready to sign with Maryland and get his college career started.

Jake Funk, RB, Damascus (Md.): More good news for Terps’ aficionados. The Maryland running back commit Funk announced via Twitter Jan. 13 he would be graduating Damascus and enrolling at Maryland for the spring semester.  Not only will the three-star back be able to participate in spring ball, giving him a leg up on his fellow 2016 classmates, but Funk’s signature frees up a another scholarship for UMD head coach D.J. Durkin.

The flexibility allows the Terps to add an extra receiver or defensive back to this class. Maryland has numerous corners/safeties and wideouts with significant UMD interest, but, given the scholarship situation, Durkin can’t possibly take them all. Or, maybe the Maryland staff will be able to add an extra tackle or defensive line prospect -- if enough viable prospects are on their board.

Class Of 2017 Recruiting Notes

Chase Young, DE, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.): Scout’s Sam Hellman stopped by DeMatha last week and conducted a rather telling interview with the four-star Chase Young. Without prompting, Young mentioned Maryland before any other school when asked which schools had been “coming at him the hardest.” The elite edge rusher said UMD head coach D.J. Durkin, defensive line coach Mike London and defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim had established an immediate connection, Young taking a liking to each.

Young, who knew Durkin and London at their previous employers (Michigan and UVA, respectively), said the Terps are on the rise and moving in the right direction. He’s also taken note of his four Stags’ teammates heading to Maryland next year: Tino Ellis, D.J. Turner, LoLo Harrison and Terrance Davis.

The four-star should be in College Park several times the next few months, and we do expect him to keep the hometown school firmly in play throughout his recruitment.

A couple other schools Young mentioned were Arizona State (his teammate Robbie Robinson is committed there), Penn State (his teammate Shane Simmons is heading there), Florida State, Ohio State and Tennessee. Young will probably place Georgia and Alabama, two programs he’d mentioned previously, back under consideration once he establishes connections with the Tide’s and Bulldogs’ new D.C.-area recruiters.

Marcus Minor, OG, DeMatha: We weren’t sure the three-star Minor held a Maryland offer after the Terps’ coaching change, but apparently he does. When Scout’s Sam Hellman interviewed him, Minor said he’d had communication with new UMD coach D.J. Durkin and liked the new staff. Minor, who has always been high on the hometown school, said the Terps are on the up-and-up and the coaches are “making a lot of good moves.” Maryland’s strong journalism program also appeals, Minor seeking a career in broadcasting.

Two other programs the DeMatha guard broached were UNC and Va Tech, two universities he’ll be visiting for junior days. Both the Tar Heels and Hokies have offered, and their assistants have routinely reached out to Minor.

At this time, Minor’s keeping an open mind about the recruiting process, but we’re inclined to believe he’s the Terps’ to lose if Durkin pushes.

Nate Proctor, OLB, Lackey (Indian Head, Md.): I noted Proctor’s new Maryland offer last week, and earlier this week I touched base with the four-star local. Proctor, who had 16 verbals prior to the Terps’, acknowledged he was miffed at his lack of a hometown look. Former UMD headman Randy Edsall and area recruiter Mike Locksley certainly knew about Proctor, but the Lackey product’s academic profile precluded Edsall from anteing up.

Apparently the new Maryland staff isn’t as concerned. Terps’ defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim gave Proctor the verbal Jan. 7, letting the outside linebacker know, “they’re handling things differently than the old staff,” according to the recruit. Proctor proceeded to compliment Abdul-Rahim and UMD defensive line coach Mike London -- it was the first time the four-star had spoken to the Terps’ assistants -- as well as the program itself. The Southern Maryland native talked up the idea of playing for the hometown school, the “name” DMV recruits heading to College Park, the campus itself and the facility upgrades.

Proctor hasn’t been to Maryland since last February, but he’ll be returning for a junior day this winter.

Currently, the Lackey prospect is wide open in his recruitment, listing no early leaders. He did attend games at North Carolina and Penn State last year, Proctor speaking highly of both, while he’s also been to Georgia; Miami; Temple; and Virginia Tech.

Moving forward, Proctor would like to visit as many suitors as possible this offseason (his list includes UMD, Kentucky, Penn State, Indiana, Miami, UNC, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Rutgers, Temple, Virginia Tech, among others). If he sees enough, he said he’d likely have his college destination determined before his senior season.

You can read more about Proctor HERE

Trajan Bandy, CB, Columbus (Miami, Fla.): The Terps’ staff offered Bandy Jan. 10, his 15th verbal to date.

Now, these are the types of offers I barely acknowledge when the former Maryland staff handed them out. A four-star corner from Florida with SEC offers? Not a chance he even visits College Park.

Those days are over.

The 5-9, 180-pound Bandy has known Maryland defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim for more than two years, the coach connecting with the recruit at Alabama back in 2013. Bandy, who also holds an offer from the Tide, said he’s been in touch with Abdul-Rahim ever since.

“I’ve known Coach Rahim for a couple years now, and we have a terrific relationship,” Bandy said. “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.”

Thanks to that rapport, Bandy’s set to visit College Park this summer. He said UMD is “definitely” a school he wanted to see and learn more about.

His words didn’t ring of lip service, either; Bandy already knew more about Maryland than most recruits from the Sunshine State. Bandy said he’d watched his share of Terps’ games, taking a particular interest in former Maryland great Stefon Diggs. The various Under Armour uniforms caught his attention too, Bandy going the extra mile by listing the specific color combinations he preferred.

The Terps aren’t the only team on Bandy’s mind, however. Clemson, which he’s visited already, could be the early leader in the clubhouse. Oklahoma is also on the brain, while Bandy listed Tennessee; Bama; Auburn; South Carolina; and Michigan as some other programs he’d like to check out.

You can read more about Bandy HERE

Taylor Powell, QB, Fayetteville (Ark.): Powell’s very first scholarship offer came courtesy of Walt Bell and Arkansas State. So, naturally, Bell, now the offensive coordinator at Maryland, reentered the mix for the junior gunslinger Jan. 11.

It was a smart move on Bell’s part, because while Powell only holds two power-five conference offers from Wake Forest and UMD, he’s on the radar of programs throughout the Big 12 and SEC. Hometown Arkansas is bound to ante up, and Oklahoma State; Oklahoma; Notre Dame; Illinois; and Iowa State, among others, are interested.

It remains to be seen whether or not Bell can eventually pry Powell out of the Mountain West, but he does have Powell’s ear initially. The 6-2, 180-pounder said he was “really excited” to hear from the Terps’ offensive coordinator, because the two “go way back.” Powell went on to describe how he connected with Bell at the assistant’s former employer and already knew he’d fit well into the UMD offense.

Powell, who wants to major in premed, was also impressed with the resources around College Park; the new facility upgrades; and what he’s heard about the staff in general. Moreover, Powell mentioned the distance between Fayetteville and College Park wouldn’t hinder him, because his main concerns are finding the right fit and getting a great education -- not where a college is located.

When Coach Bell got to Maryland in December I got really interested [in the Terps] and decided to look into them,” Powell said. “It’s a really, really impressive school as far as what they offer academically. And I know it’s a new staff, and they look to be moving the program in the right direction. It’s a Big Ten school, they’re Under Armour [affiliated] and there’s a lot of resources there. I kind of fell in love with [Maryland], so I’m excited to visit there this spring or summer.”

Powell’s tune could change once the Big 12 and SEC come calling, but, if he visits College Park, the Terps should stay in the game thanks to Bell’s early inroads.

You can read more about Powell HERE.

Devon Hunter, S, Indian River (Chesapeake, Va.): In a rather eye-opening last-second decision, this five-star 2017 safety said he would be joining his teammates, 2016 four-star Jaquan Yulee and three-star Tavante Beckett, in College Park Jan. 15 for an unofficial. Hunter will take the opportunity to meet the Maryland staff and see what the Terps -- one of more than 25 programs to offer him -- are all about.

Hunter, of course, already has an established relationship with UMD Virginia-area recruiters Chris Beatty and Mike London from when the pair were coaching at UVA. Beatty identified Hunter during his freshman year and has been in contact since then.

That bond should pay dividends down the road, but it would obviously help Maryland’s chances if the coaches can first land Yulee. The two elite talents are already talking “package deal,” for what it’s worth at this stage.

Needless to say, it’s going to take one colossal effort for Beatty and Co.’s to pull this off. Hunter has his eyes glued to the SEC, with national champion Alabama -- a school he visited a couple months back -- counted as a frontrunner. Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, South Carolina and in-state Va Tech are on the five-star’s mind too.

But the Terps are taking Step One this weekend: Hosting Hunter, along with Yulee, for the first time.

Off The Board

Several Maryland targets and/or potential targets came off the hot board this week:

-- A day after defensive end Terrell Lucas (Miramar/Hollywood, Fla.) committed to Duke Dec. 13, he landed an offer from Maryland and said he’d be officially visiting College Park Jan. 22. Lucas liked what he’d heard from head coach D.J. Durkin and assistant Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, the two pitching early playing time and a lack of D-line depth. Plus, Lucas knew Durkin from when the coach was at Michigan, the Wolverines giving him an an offer last spring (it’s no longer committable).

But, earlier this week, Lucas said he’d no longer be entertaining Maryland Jan. 22 or Tennessee, his other proposed official, Jan. 15. The three-star end said he’d spoken to the Duke staff and wouldn’t be reneging on his original pledge.

-- D.J. Durkin continued to whittle down Maryland’s 2016 class this week, opting to part ways with defensive end Joey Fisher (Clear Spring, Md.). We thought Durkin might keep Fisher around since the Terps had no other defensive lineman committed, but evidently not. A two-star edge rusher who lacked other Division I offers, Fisher will probably have to try his talents at the FCS level.

-- Three-star offensive tackle Michael Clark (Downingtown East/Exton, Pa.) was another Maryland pledge we believed Durkin would keep in tow. Of all the linemen originally committed to ex-headman Randy Edsall, Clark showed the most upside.

But Clark let on he’d only heard from the new UMD staff twice since early December, the coaches failing to return his direct messages and texts. Clark concluded he probably wasn’t in the staff’s plans, so he decommitted and began contacting other potential suitors. He’s attempting to hook on with Pittsburgh, while Rutgers and Syracuse have shown interest.

-- Another offensive tackle we surmised D.J. Durkin would retain was Nordonia (Macedonia, Ohio) recruit Terek Zingale. Technically, Zingale is still committed to UMD, but he acknowledged “the staff hasn’t really been communicating with me. I’m waiting for them to get in touch with me.”

In other words, the writing’s on the wall. Zingale could announce his decommitment soon and begin searching for another home. Perhaps a MAC program will take a chance on him; otherwise, Zingale might be bound for the FCS. (It’s also possible the UMD coaches will appease Zingale and begin recruiting him again.).

-- The Terps kicked the tires on DeMatha guard and Rutgers pledge Elijah Johnson before the dead period began, but head coach D.J. Durkin never offered. We kept Johnson on the hot board just in case, but when Scout’s Sam Hellman interviewed the guard this week, the DeMatha product said he was firmly on board with RU headman Chris Ash’s program.

-- And when cornerback/safety K.J. Gray (St. Peter’s Prep/Jersey City, N.J.) decommitted from Boston College in mid-December, he mentioned Maryland as a program he’d consider officially visiting. But Gray didn’t hold a Terps’ offer at the time, and he still lacks one today.

Simply put, UMD’s staff isn’t interested. More than likely, Gray’s going to end up at hometown Rutgers, or possibly Syracuse; Iowa; or UConn.

The Marcus Berry Influence

A somewhat under-the-radar hire initially, Marcus Berry will be Maryland’s new Director of Recruiting, a desk position that allows him to delve into his D.C. ties. A District native who coached at Friendly (Fort Washington, Md.) for 11 years, leading the Patriots to multiple state titles, Berry has even deeper DMV connections than UMD assistant Aazaar Abdul-Rahim.

Berry left Friendly in 2008, before I had accepted a recruiting-analyst job, so I never had a chance to connect with him. But whenever I journeyed through Prince George’s County, Berry’s name inevitably cropped up -- for both his coaching accomplishments and his relationships throughout the corridor. In some ways, Berry was like the mayor of D.C., someone everybody seemed to know and revere.

Since 2009, Berry’s held administrative positions at UNC, Illinois and most recently Rutgers, but his DMV relationships remain intact. He knows high school coaches at local programs such as DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.), Carroll (Washington, D.C.), St. John’s (Washington, D.C.), Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.), Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.), Flowers (Springdale, Md.), Oxon Hill (Md.), Woodson (Washington, D.C.), Wilson (Washington, D.C.), Dunbar (Washington, D.C.) and more. 

His presence on Maryland’s staff, coupled with Abdul-Rahim’s, should give the Terps even more of a local recruiting boost. It’s feasible the UMD coaches will grab a stranglehold on the DMV, positioning themselves for many of the elite 2017 and 2018 talents.

“This is a game-changing hire,” said Scout analyst Brian Dohn. “It’s a huge move for Maryland and will have major repercussions.”

Look for the Terps to be heavily involved with the 2017 crème de crème, including Cam Spence (St. John’s or DeMatha after he transfers from IMG Academy), Anthony McFarland (DeMatha); Chase Young (DeMatha); Deon Jones (Carroll/Washington, D.C.); Nathan Proctor (Lackey); and Marcus Minor (DeMatha). Top 2018 targets such as Daniel George (Oxon Hill) and Austin Fontaine (DeMatha) should also be in play provided both Berry and Abdul-Rahim are still on staff.

The Dave Borbely Influence

After West Virginia swooped in and snagged Joe Wickline from Maryland’s grasp, headman D.J. Durkin turned to veteran Dave Borbely to fill UMD’s offensive-line coach opening. The 56-year-old Hammond, Ind., native has been coaching in college since 1981, serving as an O-line coach for the last 28 years. Borbely’s first stint coordinating a line came at Rice in 1986, and since then he’s had stops at Temple; Stanford; Notre Dame; Colorado; Virginia; Louisville; and Colorado State-Pueblo. He returned to UVA last year, spending one season under former Cavaliers’ coach Mike London.

“He’s been around the block a few times, that’s for sure,” said UVA’s Scout analyst, Jacquie Franciulli. “But he’s had a ton of success wherever he’s gone, and his reputation is the linemen he coaches do improve. When he takes over, [fans] can expect results -- and he definitely expects results out of his linemen.”

Franciulli described Borbely as a stereotypical offensive line coach, who takes a hard-nosed, no-nonsense approach. He doesn’t kid around or say much, possessing a rather grizzled demeanor.

“The thing about Borbely is he doesn’t care what you did in the past. Every year is a fresh start with him, so you constantly have to prove yourself,” Franciulli said. “He doesn’t care who you are or what name is on the back of your jersey. UVA had a right tackle, Eric Smith, who started for two years before Borbely got to Virginia, and Borbely put him with the third-stringers in spring ball. He made [Smith] work harder than he ever had, and Smith responded and played his best ball last year.”

Although Borbely spent just one season in Charlottesville, Va., Franciulli said the line, and as an extension the running game, saw vast improvements. She mentioned that Borbely worked “very well” with running backs coach Chris Beatty, who just happens to be on Maryland’s staff now too.

As far as his recruiting is concerned, Borbely has ties all over the country. At UVA, he mined Northern Virginia, Richmond and West Virginia, while in the past he’s been through Colorado; Ohio; Michigan; Indiana; Illinois; California; and even the Northeast.

“Mainly, Borbely searched the country for offensive linemen, and he had a pretty good reputation with the kids he recruited,” said Franciulli, who mentioned that four-star tackle Josh Ball (Stafford/Fredericksburg, Va.) had UVA under prime consideration due to Borbely’s presence. “Even those kids who didn’t choose UVA at least considered [the Wahoos] because of Borbely. His resume and experience stood out, and his approach definitely appealed to offensive linemen.”

 Borbely’s recruiting pitch is typically straightforward, Franciulli dubbing it “brutally honest.” She said the coach will tell prospects exactly where they stood with him, where they resided on the recruiting board and what they’d have to do to potentially earn a scholarship.

“His style isn’t going to appeal to every kid, but offensive linemen usually love it,” Franciulli said. “He’s been very successful recruiting the position he coaches.”

At Maryland, expect Borbely to have a similar role to the one he held at Virginia. He’ll likely be asked to traverse the country in search of linemen, in addition to assuming a territory in Maryland and perhaps Northern Virginia.

The Final Push

The dead recruiting period ended Jan. 14, and the Maryland coaches hit the DMV in earnest. Head coach D.J. Durkin’s main priority is locking down the locals, so they’ll be in the nearby schools before venturing out to see some of the Terps’ Florida targets (that will occur next week).

Right before the coaches returned to College Park to host the first batch of official visitors, here’s where UMD staffers were spotted:

Maryland Schools

Bullis (2016 Dwayne Haskins, 2017 Damani Neal)

DeMatha (2016 LoLo Harrison, 2016 Tino Ellis, 2016 Terrance Davis, 2016 D.J. Turner, 2017 Anthony McFarland, 2017 Chase Young, 2017 Marcus Minor, 2018 Austin Fontaine)

Good Counsel (2016 KeAndre Jones, 2016 Travon Stott, 2017 Josh Pascal)

Landon (2016 Keith Simms)

Damascus (2016 Jake Funk)

Avalon (2016 Trevon Diggs)

Gilman (2016 Ellison Jordan, 2017 Kasim Hill)

Riverdale Baptist (2016 Sir Patrick Scott)

District Of Columbia

Carroll (2016 Richard Merritt, 2016 Jauan Williams, 2017 Deon Jones)

St. John’s (2016 Terrell Hall, 2016 Aaron Hansford)

Virginia Schools

Atlee (2016 J.J. Givens)

Indian River (2016 Tavante Beckett, 2016 Jaquan Yulee, 2017 Devon Hunter)

Chancellor (2017 Yetur Matos)

Stafford (2016 Josh Ball)

Riverbend (2016 Zach Adams, 2017 TyJauan Garbutt)

Ocean Lakes (2017 Tahj Capehart, 2017 Khalan Labron, 2017 Eric Crosby)

Cox (2017 Jordan Williams)

Episcopal (2016 Patrice Rene, 2017 Lujii Vlain, 2017 Jonathan Sutherland)

Note: As mentioned in a section above, UMD offensive coordinator Walt Bell did travel out to Alabama to see quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome Jan. 14 before checking in with Haskins Jan. 15.


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