The Terps have been making a concerted effort to recruit New Jersey of late, and Feb. 12 the staff handed out yet another offer to a Garden State prospect. Wide receiver/tight end Evidence Njoku (Cedar Grove, N.J.) landed his first FBS verbal from Maryland and his second overall (ODU came in first).
“I was extremely excited to get Maryland,” said the 6-foot-4, 200-pound Njoku. “Maryland is a beautiful state in general, and it’s close to home, it’s a good spot for my family to see me play, and it sounds like a great program. It was really exciting for me to get my first Big Ten offer too. That’s a great conference and one I’d love to play in.”
Njoku doesn’t know a whole lot about UMD yet, although he has seen them on TV before; is privy to the Under Armour connection; and is aware it has a new staff looking to make noise in the Big Ten. The Cedar Grove product said he spoke to both Maryland receivers’ coach Chris Beatty and offensive coordinator Walt Bell, who briefly gave him the lowdown.
“Coach Beatty and Coach Bell straight out loved my tape. They loved my explosiveness, how I run and how I catch the ball. I feel like they both are great coaches and I could learn a lot from them,” Njoku said. “Coach Bell was the one who actually offered me. He messaged me on Twitter, and said he’d seen my film loved my game. I’m calling him later to find out more. And Coach Beatty, he’s my guy. He’s a really nice guy and I feel like he’s the kind of coach I could get to know on a personal level. I look forward to getting to know them both.”
Njoku does have another connection to Maryland . . . in a way. His older brother, David, who is currently a tight end at Miami, was semi-recruited by Terps’ then-area recruiter Keith Dudzinski a couple years ago. David Njoku wasn’t exactly offered by Maryland, but Evidence Njoku remembers Dudzinski and his brother talking about the school.
“To be honest, it was my freshman year, but I do remember that he was excited about Maryland and thought it was a good school,” Njoku said. “I remember him saying it was a great school. But, you know, he tells me to be grateful for each offer I get and every scholarship is a blessing. I know he wants me down at Miami obviously, though (laughs).”
The Jersey product said he wants to visit College Park for the first time in the next couple months. He pointed to the April 16 spring game as the target date, although he might make a spring practice if that day doesn’t work out.
“I’m really excited about meeting Coach Beatty, Coach Bell and the rest of the staff,” Njoku said. “Maryland is definitely a school I want to get to.”
But so are a bunch of other locales. Njoku may only hold one power-five offer for now, but he’s about to add a slew of others. Rutgers, Tennessee Penn State, Pitt, BC, Arizona, USC, UCLA, UVA, Miami and more have been in touch. The Vols should be offering in short order (“their coaches are really excited about me,” Njoku said) and the Scarlet Knights should be anteing up when the recruit treks through Piscataway, N.J., Feb. 13.
“I’m almost positive I’ll land the Rutgers offer. I’ll be there for the junior day, and the coaches talk to me every day. It’s highly likely I’ll get that offer,” Njoku said. “Rutgers is definitely one of the top five I’m interested in right now. Just the coach’s energy and the vibe there, I like it. I think the visit will open my eyes more.”
Njoku is coming off a campaign where he racked up close to 600 receivers yards and 11 touchdowns. He also had two inceptions on defense.
“My college looks are all for wide receive or flex tight end,” Njoku said. “Most coaches are saying I have the same body type as by brother, so they think I’ll grow into a tight end. Either way, I’m fine with it. I’ll play wherever they want me.”