The dead recruiting period ended Jan. 13, and college coaches throughout the country hit the trail in earnest starting early in the morning Jan. 14. Maryland’s staff, prioritizing its local targets, mainly stayed in the DMV, although offensive coordinator Walt Bell did hop on a flight en route to Alabama.
With the status of UMD quarterback pledge Dwayne Haskins (Bullis/Potomac, Md.) tenuous, Bell and the Terps have made Clay-Chalkville (Pinson, Ala.) dual-threat Tyrrell Pigrome a priority of sorts until the four-star Under Armour All-American decides on his ultimate destination (the Ohio State staff was in to see Haskins Jan. 14).
“This was my second time meeting Coach Bell, and it was a really good meeting,” said the 5-foot-11, 180-pound Pigrome, who holds offers from UMD, Tulane, Va Tech, Appalachian State and, most recently, Rutgers. “We had a great talk, and we talked about the quarterback position at Maryland, what they have going on there, a little about the head coach [D.J. Durkin], and just how I’d fit in.
“[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.”
Pigrome said he has known Bell for upwards of a year now, the Maryland coordinator extending an offer when the coach was at Arkansas State last year. Bell offered Pigrome at Maryland Jan. 10.
“Coach Bell is a really good guy, and I love his energy. It was good meeting him again; I really like him a lot and he seems genuine,” Pigrome said. “He’s real easy to talk to. Like we were talking some about how the school is at Maryland, how it’s close to D.C. and Baltimore, and how the campus is. It all sounded really good to me, and I believe I could do well learning [under Bell]. I think I’d fit real well into his system and he could help get the best out of me.”
Pigrome is well aware that Haskins remains committed to UMD. During his previous conversation with Bell, Jan. 10, the Maryland assistant did not mention the four-star gunslinger, but this time he answered Pigrome’s questions about him.
“Coach Bell said he and [Haskins] haven’t really talked in awhile,” Pigrome said. “He was saying he thinks [Haskins] is going to go to Ohio State or somewhere else. He said I’m his guy.
“And that made me feel good about myself. I mean, I have to see what Haskins ends up doing, because he is still committed, but it made me feel good.”
Pigrome is set to officially visit Maryland Jan. 29, so he said there’s plenty of time to monitor Haskins’ recruitment. But the Alabama product said even if Haskins remains, he still intends to embark on his UMD OV.
“Me and Coach Bell really didn’t talk about what would happen if Haskins stayed around, but I think I’d still want to go check out the school even if [Haskins] is there,” Pigrome said. “But I’m not sure about that yet. I’d probably end up at Virginia Tech or Rutgers [if Haskins remained].”
Indeed, Va Tech and RU, in addition to Tulane, are on the Clay-Chalkville product as well. Pigrome is set to officially visit Tulane, whose coaches also visited the high school Jan. 14, on Jan. 15, followed by Tech Jan. 22. Meanwhile, Pigrome said he’d consider trekking to RU for a midweek official since the Scarlet Knights’ offer just came in Jan. 13.
“I don’t want to put one school ahead of another yet,” said Pigrome, who knew the Va Tech staff well when it was at Memphis. “Tulane, Maryland, Virginia Tech were there already, and Rutgers just came in. Everyone is on an even plane.”
Pigrome is coming off a senior season where he passed for 3,000 yards, rushed for 1,300 and scored 62 touchdowns. He completed 68 percent of his passes and tossed just five picks.
He will likely announce his final destination on Signing Day or shortly after his final official.