One of Maryland’s top linebacker targets made his way to College Park, Md., March 20 for his first meeting with the new UMD regime. Lloyd C. Bird (Chesterfield, Va.) MIKE Rayshard Ashby, who added a Terps’ offer in February, said he, along with his parents; younger brother; and two teammates; had a standout stay overall.
“That was my second time at Maryland, but my first time with the new coaches, and, I mean, it’s just a real exciting time there now,” said Ashby, who holds verbals from UMD, Va Tech, ECU, Marshall, WVU and JMU. “It just looks like they’re going in the right direction and everything they’re doing there just seems right. I like Maryland a lot right now. They’re right there at the top for me, along with Va Tech.”
Since the Maryland football players weren’t back from spring break yet, Ashby and Co. didn’t have a chance to view a practice. However, the 5-foot-11, 215-pounder did spend a good deal of time with the staff, while the family received a thorough campus tour.
“The coaches at Maryland were showing the love,” Ashby said. “I was with Coach [Matt] Barnes a lot, and I really like him. We’ve been in touch for awhile now since he’s the one who recruits me. He’s a great person and a great coach from what I can tell.
“Then I talked to Coach [Scott] Shafer, Coach [Mike] London, the Director of Recruiting Marcus Berry and Coach [D.J.] Durkin too. Coach Durkin, he was talking about the program in general, and was just excited for me to be there and thinks I could have a bright future there. And Coach Shafer was just saying how he liked the way I played. Same with Coach Berry and Coach London, they all were very welcoming and showed great hospitality.”
But Ashby said he spent the majority of his stay reconnecting with Barnes. The recruit and UMD’s linebackers’ coach have been in frequent communication ever since the latter extended the offer.
“Coach Barnes was telling me specifically how he plans to use me, what he thinks of me, and just the opportunity I have there at Maryland. He thinks I can be a great inside linebacker, move all around the box and just make plays up and down the line,” said Ashby, who also mentioned he met strength coach Rick Court, dubbing him ‘a real cool guy.’ “In Maryland’s scheme, they attack and fly around to the football, and that’s my style. I feel like I’d fit in well there.”
The Lloyd C. Bird product went on to praise the campus, upcoming facility upgrades and the player dorms. He’d previously taken in a game last fall, but didn’t have an opportunity to see the school grounds until March 20.
“I got a great idea of how everything works at Maryland and how the campus is set up. I thought it was beautiful and I really liked how it’s close to D.C.,” Ashby said. “I thought the dorms were amazing; they’re like mini condos for real. And the facility upgrades, they’re going to be real nice. They’re state-of-the-art and going to put Maryland on the map.”
Ashby said his parents were thoroughly impressed as well. He mentioned both his mother and father “could definitely see me going” to Maryland, while they “really liked the hospitality” the coaches showed too.
“We’re just really excited about Maryland,” Ashby said. “We’re looking forward to what they’re going to do with that program. I’m definitely getting back for a spring practice so I can see the coaches in action.”
The Terps, though, will have to contend with Tech for Ashby’s services. The Virginia product has seen the hometown Hokies on more than one occasion, offering up high compliments for Justin Fuente’s program.
Meanwhile, Marshall is in the mix too, Ashby looking forward to a trek through the West Virginia school sometime in April. The linebacker will also be returning to Blacksburg, Va., later in March, and Maryland next month.
Ashby had previously been to WVU, Rutgers and Pitt, in addition to UMD and Va Tech.
“Maryland and Tech are at the top, and then Marshall will probably be right there too depending on what I think after I visit,” Ashby said. “There could still be other schools that could get involved, but right now it’s those three I’m looking at. I’m thinking I’m going to decide [on a school] sometime this summer, and it’s probably going to be one of those [UMD, Va Tech or Marshall].”