The Terps played host to one of their primary defensive end targets March 6, St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) Tyree Johnson heading back to College Park, Md., for the third time in three weeks. He was previously at Maryland’s “DMV Day” Feb. 13 and for a March 3 meeting, both of which he counted as a standout stays, and Johnson had another productive visit March 6.
“I love being up at Maryland, and it was a great time up there. I just came up by myself this time. I was there before with my parents, but this time it was just me,” said Johnson, who claims offers from UMD, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Illinois, UNC, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Va Tech, Syracuse, Rutgers, Pitt, BC and others. “I love the energy the coaches bring there; I like their intensity a lot. And Maryland just feels like home. It’s a great feel up there and I’m really liking Maryland right now.
“And when I was there [March 4], it was great too. I had a chance to go to the basketball game and I loved the energy in the building and the fans. I had a lot of fun that day, just hanging out with Coach [Mike] London and the other coaches.”
Johnson said his visit was fairly similar to past trips to UMD. He was able to meet the staff, take in the facilities and go over position drills.
But evidently it hasn’t gotten old for the St. John’s recruit.
“Coach Durkin is a great guy to talk to. This time he was mainly stressing staying home and how important it is,” Johnson said. “And I agree with him. If everybody from the DMV stays home, hey, anything can happen. Maryland could be a national championship contender.
“Then I talked to Coach London, Coach Aazaar [Abdul-Rahim] and Coach [Scott] Shafer, and they’re great too. They just bring a lot of passion to the table. Coach Rahim, he’s my are recruiter and we have a great relationship. He’s always cool. And Coach London, we were going over some drills and hand position things, and that was cool too because I can use that in my game.”
The St. John’s product enjoyed the facility tour too. He’d already seen the $150 million facility upgrades, but this time he had a chance to take in the player dorms.
“Those are real, real nice,” Johnson said. “I can tell they treat their players right at Maryland. It’s great facilities at Maryland.”
Johnson went on to say that he knows several current Terps, who have hyped UMD to him.
“I know a lot of guys there like Jermaine Carter, a few of the Friendship [Washington, D.C.] guys and Damian Prince,” Johnson said. ‘They all say they love the new coaches at Maryland and how it’s a great program right now. And I think they’re right; Maryland’s a great place.”
Johnson said his parents are high on the Terps too. They had a chance to meet Durkin and Co. Feb. 13 and then again March 3.
“My parents also like the intensity of the coaches and what they’re about,” Johnson said. “They like a lot of the same things I do about Maryland.”
After three trips in three weeks, Johnson reiterated his hometown affinity. He said despite his growing offer list, the Terps are sitting pretty.
“Maryland is pretty high for me. I definitely like it there and I’m definitely getting back for a spring practice,” Johnson said. “But I do have to take this one step at a time and make sure I’m comfortable with my choice.”
Indeed, Johnson has numerous trips coming up, although he’s not sure exactly when and where he’s going. He said he’d like to see all the schools that have offered him, although acknowledged that’s probably not going to happen.
“But I definitely want to see Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Rutgers, Tennessee and Syracuse,” said Johnson, who previously took in Wake, PSU, Temple and Pitt. “Those coaches are in touch a lot and want me to visit, so I’ll figure out how to get those places.”
As of now, Johnson’s claiming no leaders. He said there’s a possibility he could make a summer college decision, although admitted he might have to push it to next winter if he feels the need to take official visits.
“Mainly I’m looking for a school with great coaches who put you into position to succeed,” Johnson said. “And then a great team that works hard, great intensity, and a program that can win a championship. I want to see the field early too.”
“Oh yes,” Johnson said. “Definitely.”