One of Maryland’s longtime recruit targets, Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) defensive end Joshua Paschal, finally had a chance to interact with the new Terps’ regime Feb. 13. The 6-foot-4, 255-pound three-star had taken somewhat of a liking to the hometown school before, but he said “DMV Day” opened his eyes even more.
“I’ve always liked Maryland and I had a connection to the old staff, but this visit boosted things up,” said Paschal, who holds verbals from Ohio State, Kentucky, Iowa, UMD, Va Tech, WVU, Clemson, UVA, Nebraska, Rutgers and Tennessee. “I definitely like the message at Maryland now with the new staff. This was my first time meeting them all, and the intensity is what really hit me. They have this mindset where they’re going win, and they’re going to win not just one national title, but many national titles. They’re very confident and just so intense.
“Also, I really like the experience on the staff with three former head coaches being there. It’s pretty obvious Maryland has things moving in the right direction.”
Paschal; said it wasn’t just the coaches’ confidence that struck him, however. It was how head coach D.J. Durkin and Co. planned on accomplishing their goals.
“It starts with all the recruits in the area – the DMV,” Paschal said. “The message was if we [locals] stay home, we’ll be like Miami was in the 1980s. Miami recruited all Florida guys and built a national power with guys who wanted to stay home and play hard for their hometown school. And the feeling is we could put Maryland on the map if we [local recruits] stay home instead of going to other places.”
And what was the consensus among those in attendance?
“It opened my eyes, and I think it opened everyone else’s too,” Paschal said. “We all thought it was a really good message, and everyone seemed to like the coaches and the vibe there at Maryland. Everyone sort of like the sound of how Maryland could be like Miami in the ‘80s.”
In addition to Durkin’s pitch, Paschal readily took to his area recruiter and position coach, Mike London. Paschal had seen London at Good Counsel before, while the edge rusher had a chance to meet the coach in person last year at a UVA camp.
“Coach London is very intense, very detailed and just a very good coach,” Paschal said. “Like the different drills he was showing up and how he explained things, you can tell he’s a great coach. I like him a lot.”
Paschal lauded Rick Court, UMD’s new strength coach, too. He said Court’s experience and resume at Mississippi State resonated with many of the recruits Feb. 13.
“The new strength coach was big for me,” Paschal said. “He’s going to get you strong, build you up, and get you ready for the next level. That’s one of my goals, so that was big.”
The Good Counsel product made sure to mention the facility renovations and Maryland’s academic reputation too. Paschal said both factors would play a role in his decision.
“I saw the models of the new Cole Field House and the indoor fields, and that’s really big. They will put Maryland at the same level as some of the other major programs out there,” Paschal said. “And Coach Durkin, one thing he was saying is that he’s going to make sure his players get their degrees, and that really stood out to me. He said if his son were playing college football, he’d make sure he was going to school with a great degree, and he wants the same for us.”
After the trip, Paschal, who wants to major in sports medicine, said the Terps do have his eye. But he’s far from finished with the recruiting process. He’ll be at Clemson March 5, while he’s thinking about trips to Florida and Florida State.
Paschal was supposed to visit Alabama Feb. 27, but was unable to attend the Tide’s junior day due to a family affair.
“I’d say right now Clemson has jumped out some, just how they communicate with players. I was there once before briefly, and I liked it, but I want to get back,” said Paschal, who insisted he has no firm leaderboard. “Then Maryland has jumped out after my last visit there, and I like Kentucky and Ohio State too. My teammate, KeAndre [Jones] is going to Ohio State, so [the Buckeyes] stand out too.”