Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) has sent more than a couple recruits Maryland’s way the last few years, and now there’s another prospect trending in the 2017 class. Linebacker Ayinde Eley has been in College Park, Md., twice in the last month and is feeling the vibe at UMD.
“I really like Maryland right now. They’re one of my tops, definitely,” said Eley, who holds offers from the likes of UMD, Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa, UNC, PSU, Rutgers, Indiana, South Carolina, Syracuse, Temple, Va Tech, Wisconsin, WVU, Nebraska and more. “I loved the scrimmage and got to see the defense in action. They looked real good and real fluid. I liked it and how it was real fast-tempo. It’s a great system, and I feel like I’d fit well there. Maryland is right there for me in the race. I can see myself as a Terp, definitely.”
Eley said he watched linebackers coach Matt Barnes and the various UMD defenders March 26. He liked Barnes' and defensive coordinator Scott Shafer’s intensity and how their defense flew to the football.
“It’s a great defense they have going on there,” Eley said. “Great style, great system.
“But just talking to those guys afterwards, I really enjoyed that. I talked to Coach Barnes, Coach [Mike] London and Coach [D.J.] Durkin. It wasn’t anything big, but it was just chill and getting to know each other. They’re great guys there at Maryland.”
The Good Counsel product has actually been in touch with UMD-area recruiter Chris Beatty more than any other staffer. The two have a strong rapport and maintain every-other-day contact.
“Coach Beatty is great. We actually have a connection through my dad, because my dad used to coach in the CFL and Coach Beatty was one of his receivers,” Eley said. “ So we kind of connected over that, and now we have a great relationship. He’s a great guy. And Coach Barnes, I’m in touch with him too and he’s one of my favorite college coaches. I mean, he’s just great to talk to, and he wants me to fly around and make plays for him. I tell him that’s my style, and he tells me then [Maryland] is my fit (laughs).
“And Coach Durkin, just his energy. I mean, the way he’s rebuilding the program and wants all the locals to stay in-state – it’s great. I like him and the whole staff.”
Eley admitted he holds the Terps in high regard, but he also said he’s still “shopping around” and “seeing what’s out there.” He said programs like UNC, Rutgers, Va Tech, MSU, OSU and Kentucky all have his eye following visits to each.
“It’s funny, it’s like I like every school I’ve seen so far,” Eley said. “I don’t have any leaders, but all the schools I’ve been to I’ve liked. I like Maryland, North Carolina, I like Ohio State, Michigan State, Kentucky, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, West Virginia… they’re all great. I have to sit down with my parents and weight out the pros and cons of each. Because right now I like them all.”
The Olney native also mentioned that he’d like to procure offers from a few West Coast programs.
“But I’m not hoping for any offer in particular,” Eley said. “Whoever wants to offer me I’ll take a look at.”
Up next, Eley and teammate Josh Paschal are heading to Florida to see UF and FSU. The Good Counsel prospect has no other planned trips after that.
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“I’m thinking after a few more trips I can make my [college] decision in the summer, but I don’t know for sure,” Eley said. “Sometimes I want to get it over right now, and other times I want to wait and take my time. I definitely will say that Maryland, Va Tech, WVU, UNC and Kentucky, those have popped out for me right now. But we’ll see what happens.”