The Terps’ staff has another local running back they’re targeting, an offer going out Feb. 16 to a bruiser at a school in Maryland’s backyard. Potomac’s (Oxon Hill, Md.) Tayon Fleet-Davis added his eighth verbal and sixth FBS scholarship from the hometown school, and the 6-foot, 215-pounder couldn’t have been more thrilled.
“Man, I’ve been working so hard and waiting such a long time for this one. This is the one I was waiting for – the hometown look,” said Davis, who also holds offers from Iowa, WVU, Rutgers, NC State, Toledo and Youngstown State. “Some people were saying this should have happened a long time ago, but I’m just grateful it finally happened, and I’m blessed to have it.
“What happened was my coach, Ron Crump, he was just at my house [Feb. 16] and we were talking about the types of schools I wanted to visit coming up. And then he looked down at his phone and he got a text from a Maryland coach. And when [Crump] was walking out the door he kind of smiled and was like, ‘You’ve got an offer from Maryland.’ So I was real excited.”
Fleet-Davis was unaware which coach texted Crump, but the Potomac back’s been in touch with three UMD assistants. In fact, he was able to meet most of the staff in person Feb. 13 for “DMV Day,” Maryland’s first major junior visitation date.
“I know Coach Aazaar [Abdul-Rahim], who recruits my area, Coach [Anthony] Tucker and Coach [Matt] Barnes. They all are in touch with me,” Fleet-Davis said. “When I was just up there, Coach Tucker was saying how I’m the type of running back he wants and he’d love to work with me. And Coach Barnes, he said don’t be surprised if he snatches me up one day and makes me a linebacker (laughs). And Coach Aazaar, he’s just a cool guy. I’ve known about him for a long time now, since he was the coach at Friendship [Collegiate Academy in Washington, D.C.]. Coach Aazaar is someone I can really relate to.”
Fleet-Davis wasn’t finished talking up the Terps’ coaches. Previously, the running back had been in touch with ex-UMD-area recruiter Mike Locksley, while he knew most of the previous Maryland regime from his multiple visits to College Park, Md.
Fleet-Davis took a liking to Locksley, but he admitted he wasn’t so sure about the rest of the staff.
“This new staff at Maryland, I really like them,” Fleet-Davis said. “Coach [D.J.] Durkin, he brings more energy to the table, and so do all the coaches there now. It’s a young staff, and I can relate to them better. They’re all cool, man.”
As for the DMV Day itself, Fleet-Davis said it opened his eyes to the hometown school.
Of course, he always had an affinity for Maryland -- for two reasons: 1) It was an opportunity to play in front of family and friends. 2) His former teammate, now-Terps’ defensive tackle Keiron Howard, couldn’t say enough about UMD whenever he returned to Potomac.
“But now I’m thinking even more about Maryland,” Fleet-Davis said. “When I was up there [Feb. 13], it was just so cool and I enjoyed myself. I saw the new facility plans, and they’re definitely hot, definitely nice.
“And I was talking to Coach Durkin about his plans, and I really like those a lot too. You know, I saw that 30-for-30 ESPN thing on Miami, and how everyone from Florida went there back in the day and turned [the Hurricanes] into a winner. And that’s what Coach Durkin is trying to do at Maryland. It’s definitely a great thought.”
Fleet-Davis, though, isn’t about to end his recruitment too soon. He called the recruiting process a “long journey,” filled with twists and turns.
“I’m deifnitely going to be considering Maryland, but I’m not rushing into anything,” Fleet-Davis said. “I’m going to weigh my options and see what’s out there. I’d say obviously Maryland, Iowa, NC State and West Virginia are a little higher for me, but I’m keeping an open mind.”
The Oxon Hill native has already taken visits to UMD, NC State, Rutgers and WVU. He offered up plenty of praise for each, and intends to return to WVU in short order. Syracuse is also in line for a trip, along with potential forays through Iowa; Rutgers; and Temple.
“NC State was nice; I liked the environment and staff. They treated me like family down there. They showed me around, gave me a nice tour ,and it was a cool vibe down there,” said Fleet-Davis, who has now been in Raleigh, N.C., on three occasions. “I went to Rutgers before too, but I didn’t get a chance to tour there or anything yet. I have to see them more in-depth. And I went to WVU recently, and that was real, real nice. I really enjoyed myself on that tour, and I want to go back.”
Fleet-Davis has no timetable for making his college decision. He also said there’s not any one particular offer he’s looking for.
“Man, I just play football and let my coach tell me who wants me,” said Fleet-Davis, who runs a 4.6-second 40-yard dash and rushed for 780 yards and seven touchdowns in an injury-shortened campaign (high-ankle sprain). “I’m just going with the flow, for real.”