Local power Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) has at least two 2017 recruits the Maryland staff is pursuing in three-star end Josh Paschal and three-star linebacker Ayinde Eley. Both prospects returned to College Park, Md., Feb. 13 for “DMV Day,” giving them direct exposure to the Terps’ new regime.
The 6-foot-5, 205-pound Eley, who added a Maryland offer Feb. 3, chimed in:
“I really liked the visit; I was really impressed with it,” said Eley, who claims offers from Penn State, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, MSU, Nebraska, UNC, Ohio State, Rutgers, South Carolina, Syracuse, Va Tech, Wisconsin, WVU and Temple. “Sitting down with Coach [D.J.] Durkin and Coach [Matt] Barnes, they were very impressive. Just their energy, it really stood out. They really believe in what they’re telling everybody, that Maryland is going to compete for championships – and I believe it too. I can tell they are going to put 100 percent effort into building up Maryland, and I know they expect 100 percent from their players too. I loved what they were saying.”
The backer Eley commented that he had “instant connections” with both Barnes and Durkin. Eley, who met Durkin briefly when the coach trekked through Good Counsel back in January, firmly believes in the direction Durkin’s taking the program. Meanwhile, he appreciates Barnes’ style and mentality.
“Coach Barnes, he likes downhill, aggressive linebackers who can also run. That’s what he stressed throughout – sideline-to-sideline guys who can hit,” Eley said. “He said that’s what you’ve got to do to play for him, and we had an instant connection over that. That’s how I play; I like how [Barnes] coaches and his style.
“With Coach Durkin, it was the same thing. It was just an instant relationship and connection. He’s a defensive guy and I’m a defensive player, so that probably had something to do with it. I think he’s a great coach who is going to push us to reach our maximum potential. And that’s what I like; that’s what I want. I want to be pushed.”
The Good Counsel product has been to Maryland on several occasions, including for games and forays through College Park. He previously told us he gets “more and more comfortable” each time he’s on campus.
“Maryland’s just a great place to be. It’s a chance to stay home, be part of the hometown movement, and play in front of family and friends,” Eley said. “The new facilities they’re building are great; they look amazing. I can’t wait until they’re ready.
“And the new weight room looks good too. I like the strength coach [Rick Court]; I can tell he’s ready to work, put in the time, and get guys ready for the next level.”
Although Eley’s taken numerous trips prior to this winter (Kentucky, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Maryland), the Feb. 13 jaunt was the backer’s first this offseason. Coming up, he’s trying to hit North Carolina Feb. 20, Penn State Feb. 27, followed by his third foray through Morgantown, W.Va. (Speculation suggests Eley likes the Mountaineers early, although the PSU offer Feb. 15 grabbed his attention too). The Good Counsel backer is also trying to visit Clemson with his teammate Paschal.
“Everyone is still pretty even for me. I don’t want to say any leaders yet,” Eley said. “I’m just taking my time with this process and gathering all the information I need. I don’t have any decision timelines or anything like that. I probably won’t be deciding on a school until next winter, so there’s a lot of time for me to see schools and see what these places are about. I’ll take all the time I need.”