The Maryland staff has been scrounging around for a small forward/wing to add to its 2016 class, several names cropping up and then falling by the wayside. One new name to monitor, though, is Westerville-South (Westerville, Ohio) senior Andre Wesson, a 6-foot-6, 190-pound grinder who plays with a chip on his shoulder.
A three-star recruit, Wesson holds mid-major offers from Richmond; Toledo; Akron; Illinois State; St. Louis and George Mason, but has received high-major interest of late. Coaches from Ohio State, Minnesota, West Virginia and, most recently, Maryland have been through Westerville-South.
“I think I’ve been having a good senior season, and I’m starting to get some higher looks because of it,” said Wesson, who’s averaging 19 points and close to double-digit rebounds this year. “Our team in general only has one loss so far, and personally I’m shooting the ball a lot better. I wasn’t shooting well earlier in the season, but I’ve been getting better. And I’m playing very well defensively; that’s what I’m known for, really.”
The Terps, of course, are looking for a rugged, defensive-minded baller. Whether they consider Wesson a true high-major talent remains to be seen, but apparently the staff is intrigued.
“One of the Maryland coaches, Coach [Dustin] Clark, he actually came to our practice a couple weeks ago,” Wesson said. “He said he had heard good things about me from several people he trusted and wanted to check me out. He said I’m versatile on offense and defense, and he likes that I’m a winner. [Clark] said he’s going to try to come to one of my games when Maryland plays at Ohio State [Jan. 31]. So we’ll see what he thinks after that.”
Wesson said he actually knew a bit about the Maryland program from watching them on TV growing up. He said he’d “defintiely” welcome an offer from one of the nation’s top programs.
“I really like Maryland. I used to watch them all the time,” Wesson said. “I like their style and how they’re one of the top teams out there right now. One of the big recruits from out here, Diamond Stone, he goes there now, so that’s pretty cool.
“I’d definitely visit out there if they offered.”
Ohio State, meanwhile, has actually already secured a commitment from Wesson’s younger brother, 2017 power forward/center Kaleb Wesson. The prospects of playing alongside his sibling holds plenty of appeal to Andre Wesson.
“That would be a big factor for me, if I could keep playing with my brother. I’ve been playing with him forever,” Andre Wesson said. “Ohio State has an extra scholarship now, because their No. 1 target went to Arizona. So now they’re showing me some interest. We’ll see if they offer.
“But I’ve definitely been up there before and liked it. It’s real nice facilities at Ohio State.”
Of the programs that have actually offered Wesson, though, Richmond seems to have caught his eye. He’s officially visiting the Spiders Feb. 6.
“They’re recruiting me harder than anyone else of late,” Wesson said. “That will be a big trip for me.”
Wesson has already taken officials to Akron, Illinois State and George Mason. Of those, he said the coaches from Akron and Illinois State have remained in touch, the recruit considering both programs.
Wesson will have one official visit remaining after taking in Richmond Feb. 6.
“I don’t have a specific school in mind to see on the last official,” said Wesson, who suits up for the All Ohio Red AAU squad. “I’ll look at who offers me, see which one could possibly be the best fit, and then go from there.”
While Wesson is intrigued by his mid-major looks, the goal is to secure a top-level offer.
“I mean, every kid’s dream is to play at the highest level,” Wesson said. “But I have no problem playing in the Atlantic 10, which is where Richmond plays. It’s a good level.”