Chesapeake (Va.) Indian River middle linebacker Jaquan Yulee elected not to officially visit Maryland Jan. 15-17, but he did trek through College Park, Md., for an unofficial Jan. 16. Afterwards, the four-star Alabama decommit has the Terps among his foremost suitors and should be officially visiting at some point.
“I loved Maryland, loved it,” said Yulee, who reneged on his Bama pledge Jan. 7. “It’s a really good school, they keep it real up there, and it’s a great place to be. I loved how the coaches kept it real and told me how everything would be. They didn’t sugarcoat anything, and I appreciated that. It was all straight up. They want me there, they said I could play early, and they said I’m their main guy. It was a lot of love at Maryland.
“All I’ve got to say is the vibe there, it was real. Everyone is on the same page and has a clear vision. The vibe there, it’s tremendous.”
The 6-foot, 252-pound Yulee said he spoke to almost every UMD coach, specifically mentioning Mike London, Chris Beatty and headman D.J. Durkin. He’s known Beatty and London for well over a year now, the two staffers pursuing the four-star backer at their former employer, UVA.
“Coach London and Coach Beatty are really cool guys from the 757,” Yulee said. “I have a great relationship with them, and Coach Beatty was just down at my school to see me. They’re awesome guys, and now they’re trying to build something special at Maryland. And Coach Durkin, he’s really cool too. He told me I have a great chance to start there right away, but we weren’t just talking about football. [Durkin] was real with me; he was talking about my education and said I need to stay on track and get the job done in the classroom. I told him I was on it.”
Yulee, who spent the majority of his eight-hour stay with five-star 2017 teammate Devon Hunter, said his favorite part of the College Park foray was checking out the Under Armour gear. He mentioned how he always took note of Maryland’s uniforms on college football Saturdays and was eager to try on a jersey.
“The uniforms were awesome – my favorite part,” laughed Yulee. “I loved all the different colors. The all-white ones are my favorites, but the one I tried on was the all-red. They had my number, No. 2, all ready for me. It was tight.”
While on campus, Yulee had a chance to tour the school, take in a sold-out Maryland hoops game and check out the athletic facilities. He said UMD’s in-construction indoor fields “are going to be awesome,” while he called the campus “terrific, beautiful.”
“And the basketball game was crazy,” Yulee said. “They have great fans there, and they’re crazy. It’s an electric fanbase there. Hopefully they get behind the football team like that (laughs).”
After leaving College Park, Yulee said he’d be returning for an official visit, although it might not be until after Signing Day. He said he’s content to take his time with the process, see where other recruits land and then go from there.
“I definitely want to officially visit Maryland. That’s a school I definitely want to get back to,” Yulee said. “I’ll also probably officially visit Alabama and probably Virginia Tech too. But I don’t have any officials set up yet. I’m mainly focused on getting my grades straight and not focusing as much on schools; my father is handling all of that. But I’ll definitely be taking some officials here coming up.”
Right now, Yulee said there’s a real possibility he winds up in College Park. Prior to his jaunt through College Park he was unsure about the program, but his mind has changed.
“I’d say Maryland moved up to the No. 2 spot, right behind Alabama,” Yulee said. “Alabama, the only reason I decommitted from there was because I wanted to make sure I made the right choice. But it felt like home when I was there, the coaches are great, and they just won a national championship. But Maryland is great too. They’re right there for me.”
Yulee is coming off a senior season where he recorded 125 tackles, 12 sacks, three interceptions and two touchdown returns.
Note: Yulee also commented on his teammates who visited College Park with him, Devon Hunter and Tavante Beckett. Hunter is a five-star 2017 recruit, while Beckett is a 2016 outside linebacker who was on his Maryland official visit:
“I saw Tavante, but didn’t really get to talk to him. I can’t speak for him,” Yulee said. “But I was with Devon the whole time and he loved everything about Maryland. It’s one of the top schools for him.”