The Maryland staff has a slew of offers out in the 2017 class, but they haven’t ignored the sophomores by any means. The Terps have already identified and begun pursuing 2018 talents, and the coaches’ first in-state sophomore verbal went out to a rising star from powerhouse Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.). A.J. Lytton, a 5-foot-11.5, 170-pound jack-of-all trades, picked up his fifth overall offer from the hometown school Feb. 18.
“I’m thankful I have an offer from the hometown school. I was real excited about it,” said Lytton, who also claims verbals from Wisconsin, Penn State, Syracuse and Boston College. “I think the coaches there now are doing a good job recruiting kids in Maryland and getting the local kids to go to Maryland. I know they’re trying to keep a lot of players from around here home with the whole DMV-to-UMD thing. That’s a major key, and it can show the whole country what the DMV kids can do if we all come together at one school.”
Lytton has initiated contact with his Terps’-area recruiter and potential position coach, Aazaar Abdul-Rahim. Abdul-Rahim has trekked through Wise at least twice since he was hired, and he’s spoken to Lytton personally via Twitter.
“I’m going to be calling Coach Aazaar soon to get the scoop, but I know he likes my game; my athleticism; my speed and what I bring to the table as an all-around football player,” Lytton said. “I know he had a lot of interest in me and thought I could help the Maryland program. I don’t really know him too too well yet, but he’s a cool dude and I’m looking forward to getting to know him more.”
Despite residing only a half-hour or so from campus, the Wise product has never been in College Park, Md., before. He’s watched the Terps on TV before, but has yet to take in a game or tour the campus.
“But I’m looking forward to getting up there now. I’ll probably be up sometime this winter or spring,” Lytton said. “It’s not too far from home, so I should be able to get over there.
“I am interested in staying home for college, and I like DMV-to-UMD, but I have to look more into [Maryland]. I can’t say for sure right now, because I haven’t researched them a whole lot.”
Lytton’s first college visit could come Feb. 27 at Penn State. He’s unsure if he’ll have a ride to State College, Pa., but wants to get his first look at one of his initial offers.
“Most of my visits are going to come in the summer, though,” said Lytton, who is receiving interest from Clemson, Boston College, NC State, Michigan State, Virginia Tech and more. “I think I’m doing a big summer tour, so I’ll be able to get out to some of the schools that have offered me.”
If he’s fortunate enough to make it down, Lytton would like to check out Tallahassee, Fla.
“Florida State is like my dream school. Just the DBs and receivers they’ve produced there, and the program itself, that’s my dream school,” Lytton said. “And I like USC a whole lot too.”
Why USC? Well, it just happens to be the home of Lytton’s “idol” of sorts.
“Adoree Jackson, that’s my guy,” Lytton said. “That’s my playing style – I can make plays on both sides of the ball, and I run track too. I can play wherever a coach ask for real, for real. Just put me out there and I’ll make plays.”
Lytton is coming off a season where he recorded 72 tackles, three interceptions and scored eight touchdowns on offense. He helped lead Wise to a class 4A state title.
“I’m fast, physical, I can go up and get the ball on offense, and I can play-press man on defense,” Lytton said. “But speed is the main key for me. I ran a legit 4.4 40 [yard dash]. But I’m still working on things like ball skills and just all-around technique. I still have a lot I can improve on.”