The last St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) edge rusher Maryland’s staff pursued, senior Terrell Hall, has seemingly slipped away to Alabama, but now the Terps’ coaches will try their hands at the next Cadets’ defensive end. On Jan. 28, 6-foot-3, 220-pound weak-side end Tyree Johnson added his fourth offer from UMD, which joins Rutgers; Temple; and Va Tech.
“The Maryland offer was definitely one I was looking for,” Johnson said. “It’s my hometown school and it’s always big when the hometown school wants you. It’ll have a big impact on me, for sure.”
Johnson, who was off school due to the blizzard Jonas, said he received a direct message on Twitter earlier in the day from Terps’ defensive line coach Mike London. The St. John’s junior then promptly called London, who informed of said scholarship.
“Coach London was talking about how he likes my pass rushing moves, how I come off the edge, my physicality and my athleticism. He thinks I’d be a great fit at Maryland,” Johnson said. “That was really nice to hear coming from him. I’d heard about his reputation, and I know he’s a very good defensive coach. I look forward to building a relationship with him. I’ve only met him one time to shake his hand, so I really don’t know him too well yet, but he’s a pretty good coach.”
The D.C. product should have the opportunity to meet London, and the rest of the UMD staff for that matter, this February when he treks through College Park, Md., for a junior day. Johnson has never toured UMD or attended a game before, so he’s eager to see the school.
“I was there when we [St. John’s] had a playoff game there, but that’s about it,” Johnson said. “I haven’t see the school in-depth or know too much about them yet. So I definitely want to learn more things about Maryland going forward.”
He may not know much about the school, but he’s familiar with at least two staff members other than London. Johnson said the Terps’ new Director of Recruiting, Marcus Berry, spoke to him when the former Friendly High (Ft. Washington, Md.) coach was at Rutgers. Meanwhile, defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim once tried to bring Johnson to Friendship Collegiate Academy (Washington, D.C.) when the UMD assistant coached at the high school level.
“I have a pretty good relationship and like both those guys,” Johnson said. “Coach Berry, I remember him taking me all around at Rutgers, and I really connected with him. He’s a really good man. And Coach Aazaar is just a real cool dude. When I was in eighth grade I was going to go to FCA, but then [Abdul-Rahim] left for Alabama.”
So far, Johnson has trekked through Rutgers, Temple and Penn State. He wants to return to RU and Temple this winter, in addition to forays through UMD; UNC; Alabama and others.
Why Alabama? Well, it’s a school his senior teammate and good friend, Terrell Hall, is particularly taken to.
“I really want a Bama offer,” laughed Johnson. “Terrell and me, we’re like brothers; real close. I most definitely want to see Alabama. And Terrell has told me some about some other schools he’s visited, so I’ll probably think about seeing those too.”
Johnson is coming off a season where he recorded 43 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and 10 sacks in eight games. He lined up at both end and outside linebacker, while he carried the ball a few times on offense too.
“Depending on the scheme, I’ll play either linebacker or defensive end in college,” Johnson said. “It really doesn’t matter to me, as long as I’m on the field and getting after the quarterback.”