The last star Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) linebacker Maryland pursued ended up committing to the Terps . . . only to back out and flip his commitment to Ohio State before Signing Day 2016. But on the same day KeAndre Jones inked his Buckeyes’ Letter of Intent, the Terps’ staff extended an offer to his underclassmen teammate, emerging talent Ayinde Eley.
The UMD coaches are obviously hoping their fortunes will turn out differently this time around.
“It was a great honor to get an offer from the hometown school, and a great program like Maryland,” said the 6-foot-5, 205-pound Eley. “It was an honor and a blessing, and Maryland is a great school. I’m definitely going to consider them throughout the process.”
The UMD coaches may have been a little late to the game – Eley already held offers from the likes of Michigan State, Ohio State, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Va Tech, UNC, WVU, Iowa, Nebraska and Kentucky – but that didn’t seem to faze Eley. He said he realized Maryland has a new staff and hadn’t had a chance to evaluate him until just recently.
“I didn’t have an offer from the old staff, but I’m glad the new staff is looking at me. I haven’t met them all yet, but the ones I have met seem like good people,” Eley said. “I’ve met Coach [D.J.] Durkin briefly, and I liked him, but I have to get to know him more. I’d like to build relationships with all the coaches there.”
Eley has been in College Park, Md., on numerous occasions already. He’s taken in games, played in high school playoff games at Maryland Stadium, and trekked through campus.
“I’ve been up there a couple times, and I like the campus and the feel of the school,” said Eley, mentioned that he’s heard some about Maryland from former-teammate-turned-Terp Jesse Aniebonam. “Every time I go up there I get a better feel for it. I like it up at Maryland, and I like the idea of staying home.”
But it’s still very early in the recruiting process for the Good Counsel backer. He said there’s not one offer he has – no, not even Ohio State where Jones is heading – that has caught his eye initially. Eley mentioned that he’s only been to a couple schools like WVU, Kentucky, Va Tech and Maryland and can’t make any definitive statements until he ventures out more.
“If I could, I’d go to every school that’s offered me,” Eley said. “I honestly don’t know where I want to visit yet. I’ve got to sit down and think about all that. I haven’t scheduled any junior days or anything yet.”