The Terps played host to more than 20 of the DMV’s top junior recruits Feb. 13, head coach D.J. Durkin and Co. making positive initial inroads with the area’s elites. One of their primary targets, who is particularly high on Maryland, is Riverdale Baptist’s (Upper Marlboro, Md.) Tariq Castro-Fields, who was back in College Park, Md., for the second time this offseason.
“I loved it up at Maryland. This was my second time there and the coaches said the same things, but I liked it way better this time,” said the 6-foot-2, 180-pound cornerback Castro-Fields. “I really got to spend some quality time with the coaches, and just the whole DMV vibe; staying home; just bonding with everyone – it was great. It was real good. No one committed or anything, but the Maryland vibe was definitely real.”
Castro-Fields said his favorite part of the trip was spending time with Maryland defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim. The Riverdale corner has formed a bond with Abdul-Rahim during the last couple months, the coach trekking through Riverdale and staying in touch via Twitter.
“Just going over technique stuff with Coach Aazaar, that was my favorite part. He’s very detailed and listening to him talk and describe things, you can tell how good of a coach he is,” Castro-Fields said. “He was saying how I’m a long, lengthy corner who can press and run, and that’s what he needs in the program. He was telling me exactly how I’d fit in and going over things in detail.”
Castro-Fields spoke to Durkin one-on-one too. He said the headman’s energy and belief in the direction Maryland’s heading are clearly evident.
“Coach Durkin, when you hear him talk, you can just tell he’s going to put Maryland on the map,” Castro-Fields said. “He was saying how he really wants me there, and how if I go there I could potentially play early. He’s a great guy and I like him a lot.”
The Upper Marlboro native also had a chance to try on the Under Armour jerseys, check out the weight room, view the new facility plans and take in the UMD-Wisconsin hoops game.
“The new facilities are going to be really amazing. We should be able to use them for three years, the guys in my class,” Castro-Fields said. “And the fans at the basketball game, they’re were live. It was a live environment. The fans really show their support and are in-tune. They were great.”
After the visit, Castro-Fields said he’d be returning to Maryland yet again for the spring game April 16.
He had been contemplating ending his recruitment early and committing to the hometown school, but he’s pumping the breaks just a bit.
“I’m very high on Maryland, but I want to go through the process a little bit,” Castro-Fields said. “I’ve got a few more offers on the table, and it’s early. I’m not ready to commit yet.”
Next up, Castro-Fields is heading to Penn State for the second time in late February. He’s unsure where he’s heading after that, but could check out some of his most recent suitors like Marshall; Rutgers; Pitt; Toledo; and Syracuse.
“There’s a lot of schools coming at me now. I can’t even tell you who’s going to offer next,” Castro-Fields said. “But I do like Maryland a lot. There’s some special things going on there with the DMV movement and guys wanting to stay home. A lot of the recruits [Feb. 13] were talking about it.”