Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin has said time and again the Terps’ two main recruiting areas would be the DMV and Florida, but it turns out Georgia might be just as important as the former two hotbeds. UMD already has double-digit offers out in the Peach State, with the most recent coming March 2 to an intriguing, yet under-the-radar, receiver from Alpharetta High (Ga.).
Carlos Carriere is a 6-foot-5, 175-pounder with nary a college look until he heard from Terps’ offensive coordinator Walt Bell and receivers’ coach Chris Beatty before school March 2.
“I was definitely surprised, really surprised,” said Carriere, who minutes after pulling the Maryland offer landed his second from Elon. “I hadn’t really been talking to Maryland, but then Coach Bell followed my on Twitter and direct messaged me to say, ‘What’s up?’ After that, Coach Beatty messaged me too. They both said they liked my size, thought I could be a big-time player and then offered me. Coach Beatty was asking me a couple things and was saying how he’d love to coach me.
“It was really exciting, and really humbling. I told me parents as soon as it happened, and they were very excited as well and just told me to keep working hard. This is something I’ve been working for for a long time, since I was little – to get the opportunity to play major college football.”
Indeed, the fact Maryland became the first program to recognize Carriere as an FBS-level talent resonated with the wideout. The Alpharetta product said no matter how many offers he garners in the future, the Terps would remain on his mind.
“It meant a lot that they believed in me first. Some other schools were looking at me, but Maryland was the first to take a chance on me,” Carriere said. “They thought enough of my game to offer me, and because of that I think they’re going to always be one of my top schools.”
After doing some initial research, Carriere was even more intrigued. He liked the sound of Bell’s up-tempo spread and Beatty’s penchant for producing receivers.
“That’s big for me – guys like Tavon Austin, Percy Harvin, [Beatty] helped those guys develop into great receivers,” Carriere said. “For a receiver, that’s real great.”
As far as the program itself is concerned, Carriere knew the basics. He’s aware of the Under Armour connection, the Big Ten affiliation and has seen the Terps on television a couple times.
“The uniforms are real nice and they play in a great conference. It’s a great opportunity for me to show what I can do against top competition,” Carriere said. “And I know they have a good basketball team too. I also play basketball, so I’ve seen the Terps’ basketball team a lot on TV.”
The Georgia native will likely visit College Park, Md., for the first time in April. He said he’d like to tag along with his good friend, Milton (Alpharetta, Ga.) High corner Troy Simon, who also holds a Maryland offer.
“I told Troy about the Maryland offer, and he was excited for me. We’re real close and have been since middle school,” Carriere said. “Today, we play for the same 7-on-7 team, YPO, and we work out together too. I’m sure I will go up to Maryland with him, probably in April or May.”
So far, the only campuses Carriere has been on are Wake Forest’s and UNC’s. Both schools have shown interest but have yet to ante up.
“I definitely liked both those schools. They were very nice,” Carriere said. “I really would like to get a UNC offer.”
Carriere, though, said there’s not one scholarship in particular he’s seeking. He said he’s humbled and blessed for every opportunity he’s given and will give each suitor their due.
“I’m keeping everything open right now,” said Carriere, who is unsure if he wants to commit before or after his senior season. “I’m just starting the process, and haven’t really even thought about any other visits besides Maryland.”
Carriere is coming off a season where he recorded 42 catches for 600 yards and nine touchdowns.