Maryland’s spring break is finished and although the football players aren’t back in College Park, Md., yet, the staff is on campus and ready to work. On March 19, they hosted three elite local recruits, including defensive end Chase Young (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.), quarterback Kasim Hill (St. John’s/Washington, D.C.) and offensive tackle Jordan McNair (McDonogh/Owings Mills, Md.).
The 6-foot-5, 285-pound McNair, a borderline five-star recruit, hadn’t met UMD’s new staff prior to March 19. This was his first opportunity to sit down with head coach D.J. Durkin, line coach Dave Borbely and the rest of the coaches.
“I like the new staff. It’s a lot of new energy going through there, and it’s just a different vibe then before,” said McNair, who holds offers from UMD, Ohio State, Penn State, Ole Miss, Auburn, Duke, Illinois, Rutgers, BC, Miami, Michigan, MSU, UNC, Tennessee, Va Tech, WVU and Wisconsin. “I really like those guys. I like how everyone thinks the same way, and how everyone is on the same page. They all have an idea about how to build a winner at Maryland. It’s like, ‘Why go somewhere else when everything you need is right up the road, and you can accomplish your goals right here?’ So that was something that stayed with me.’”
McNair, along with his family, arrived around 10:30 a.m. March 19. The McDonogh product said he first viewed a video of the new facility upgrades before meeting the academic advisors. After that, he went through position meetings and met head coach D.J. Durkin. McNair and his parents also toured the campus again, the four-star noting how much he liked the renovated player dorms and weight room.
“The presentation they did of the New Cole, it was real nice. The new fields, and with the tunnel they’re putting in, that’s going to be real nice. That was very impressive,” McNair said. “And when we saw the campus, I saw the new player dorms, and they’re better than my room (laughs). I love what they’re doing there with the upgrades.
“Then the academics, I knew it some from before, but it was a lot more in-depth this time. I learned more about the internships and the majors there. I want to major in kinesiology and they have a real good program there. I like how Maryland is near D.C., so there are a ton of opportunities for internships and other things there. It’s just a really good situation. Then the campus, I mean, I’ve toured it before, but I just like how everything is right there for you. It’s a cool place to be.”
The Owings Mills native went on to talk up the staff. He offered up the utmost praise for Dave Borbely and Durkin, two coaches he’s taken a liking to after developing a rapport with former UMD staffers Keith Dudzinski, Greg Studrawa and Mike Locksley.
“I really like the new guys,” McNair said. “Coach Borbely, I really like that guy. I know what he’s done at UVA and in the past, and he’s a great coach. I feel like I can learn a lot from him. He puts a lot of work in with his guys and really develops them. He was straight with me and told me what I did well and what I need to work on. I really appreciated that. Coach [Rick] Court, he's awesome too. He gets after it and can really develop guys.
“And Coach Durkin, I like him too. He’s really enthusiastic about what he does, and he really believes in it. I love his energy. I feel like I could play for someone like him.”
McNair said his parents readily took to Durkin and Co. as well. The McDonogh tackle mentioned his folks “would love” for him to stick around town for college.
“And I’ll be back there again,” he said. “I don’t know exactly when, but I’ll be there for a practice for sure. Maryland is very high for me right now. I really like them right now.”
But so are a couple other programs. McNair said Ohio State, Penn State and Auburn are among his foremost contenders, along with the hometown school. He’s visited OSU and PSU previously and plans to return to each sometime this offseason, while McNair’s planning out an initial trip to AU.
“All of those schools are up there for me,” McNair said. “Maryland, Penn State, Ohio State, Auburn, those are the ones sticking out to me right now.”
The DMV recruit said he’d like to select one of the quartet this summer. He has August as a target date, although it could be sooner.
“I was going to wait things out, but I think I can decide by the summer,” McNair said. “I have a pretty good idea of the schools I’m looking at, so I just have to take a couple more visits and then I should be straight. But we’ll see. Right now I’m taking things in.”