Maryland played host to numerous local recruits March 26, but a few of the Terps’ out-of-state targets made their way to College Park, Md., for the team scrimmage as well. That includes two-way Bridgeton (N.J.) standout Markquese Bell, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound four-star who can play safety, corner, running back and receiver.
“That was my first time down at Maryland, and it was great,” said Bell, who holds offers from UMD, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, UNC, BC, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Penn State, Rutgers, Temple, Va Tech, Wake and Wisconsin. “I got to see the intensity down there, and it was just a great experience. I was watching both sides of the ball because I’m trying to play both sides in college, and I loved how the defense flew all around and how fast-paced the offense was. It was just intense all-around and I loved it.”
Following the scrimmage, Bell said he spoke to his UMD-area recruiter, Anthony Tucker, in addition to head coach D.J. Durkin and various position coaches like Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and Chris Beatty.
“Coach Tucker is a great guy and I like him a lot. We stay in touch and keep each other in the loop,” Bell said. “And Coach Durkin, he’s a cool person too. He was talking to me about how they’re building the program back up to where it should be, and how they want to win championships there. He said they need guys like me to help them get there. I was honored to hear that. It sounded great.”
Bell also toured College Park, went into Washington, D.C., and saw the facility-renovations video.
“The campus was really nice, just all the different sections and how big it was,” Bell said. “The environment there is great too, and I love the city-feel and how D.C. is so close. It’s pretty amazing. Then we saw the player dorms, and I’ve never seen anything like those before. They were awesome. And the virtual tour of the new upgrades, when those are done they're going to be a sight to see.”
After his initial foray through Maryland, Bell said the Terps “are in a great spot” for him. In fact, he said he’s excited to return to UMD April 2 when his 7-on-7 team treks down to College Park.
“Maryland is in my top 10. They're there for me, along with Rutgers, Michigan, Virginia Tech, UNC, Georgia, Florida, Penn State and Wisconsin. I liked Maryland, but I’m taking everything in right now,” Bell said. “I’ve been talking to coaches from Michigan, Florida, Georgia, UNC, Rutgers and Maryland the most, and all of them have been pushing for me. So those are some of the main ones for me.
“And Clemson too. They haven’t offered yet, but they’re interested. That would be a big [offer] for me.”
Besides UMD, Bell has visited Rutgers, Temple, NC State and Florida. Other than a return to College Park, he has no other trips set in stone. Bell does want to see Michigan, UNC and Georgia at some point this summer, however.
“I was going to decide [on a college] after I take some trips this summer, but now I’m thinking after my senior year,” Bell said. “I think I’m going to need more time to thing things through and take officials.”