The Terps had visitors trekking through College Park, Md., all weekend, capped off March 6 when a pair of prime targets from the Garden State ventured down I-295. Three-star offensive tackle Robert Martin and three-star outside linebacker Louis Acceus from St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.) both took in UMD for the first time.
“I thought it was amazing at Maryland. It was just a great experience,” said Acceus, who holds offers from Maryland, BC, Indiana, Miami, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Rutgers, Pit, Temple and WVU. “The coaching staff there is awesome; I loved them. The campus, the facilities, the academics. It was all great there.”
The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder said he had a chance to chat with most of the defensive staff, although he, along with his older brother, spent the majority of their stay with linebackers coach Matt Barnes and head coach D.J. Durkin.
“Coach Durkin is real with you, and he’s very nice and friendly,” Acceus said. “He has a lot of energy too and I like him a lot. He wants me to come back for a spring practice and the spring game, and I told him I definitely wanted to. I really liked talking to him, and so did my brother.
“And Coach Barnes, he had his film up on my computer and was just all fired up about me. We were going over some things, some drills, and I think he’s a great, young coach. He got me very excited to play there and learn from him.”
Acceus has known Barnes for about two months now. The Maryland linebackers’ coach stopped by St. Joseph Regional back in January, shortly after Acceus landed his UMD offer, and the two have been in touch regularly since then.
“Me and coach Barnes talk online like every other day,” Acceus said. “I can hit him up whenever I want, and we just talk like normal. We’re building a brother-like relationship, and I think he’s really cool. My brother likes [Barnes] a lot too, and they’re actually getting pretty close.”
Although Acceus talked up the Maryland staff, he said his favorite part of the March 6 stay was learning about the educational aspects of the school. He wasn’t aware heading in that UMD had such a strong academic reputation.
“It was surprising to be honest,” Acceus said. “And one thing Coach Durkin was saying that really stood out was how Maryland guarantees your scholarships there for four years. So even if you left for the NFL after three years, you could come back there down the line and the scholarship would still be there for you to finish your degree. That’s something I haven’t heard from other schools before.”
The Jersey backer went on to talk up the new facility upgrades, the locker room and Under Armour.
“The locker room was real nice, and we saw the video of the facilities they’re building. They look amazing, and I’m real excited about them,” Acceus said. “I loved trying on the Under Armour jerseys too. I tried on the red ones, my favorite color. It was sweet, they had my number, 2, all ready for me (laughs).”
Acceus said his older brother had just as good of a time in College Park. The St. Joseph Regional prospect confides in his sibling, who counts as a father figure of sorts.
“My brother didn’t want to leave Maryland, honestly,” Acceus said. “He loved everything about it.”
So, with a growing offer list and the nation’s powers already anteing up, where does Maryland sit right now?
“Maryland is definitely up there,” Acceus said. “They’re probably No. 1 right now.”
That may be so, but Acceus said he has no intentions of committing too soon. He said he’d like to take official visits and hold off on pledging until after his senior season.
So far, the only schools Acceus has taken in are UMD, Rutgers and Boston College, the latter two trips coming in February. Of those, he said the Maryland visit and the BC jaunt hit home. Acceus does like hometown Rutgers, but admitted he might prefer to look outside the Garden State for college.
Acceus is unsure where he’ll be visiting next, but said he’d like to hit Miami, NC state and Michigan State.
“I’m just setting up my March schedule with my brother,” said Acceus, who is hearing from South Carolina, UNC and Penn State, the latter an offer the linebacker is hoping for. “I still have a lot of places to see before deciding anything.”