Fort Hill (Cumberland, Md.) athlete Brayden Brown doesn’t hold a hometown offer yet, but he has been on Maryland’s radar for well over a year. First, it was then-UMD-area recruiter Chad Wilt who identified the under-the-radar 6-foot-2, 182-pounder. And most recently, under the D.J. Durkin regime, it’s been new Western Maryland recruiter Dave Borbely who’s maintained close contact.
“Maryland was interested in me before, and now they’re interested in me again. Coach [Walt] Bell said they like my game as a slot receiver and just need to see me catch the ball in camp,” said Brown, who holds offers from Army and Albany. “And Coach Borbely came up to Fort Hill a little while back, and we usually stay in touch a few times each week on Twitter. He’s trying to come back up to see me this spring.”
Although Brown’s maintained contact with Borbely, he’d yet to visit College Park, Md., since Durkin assumed control. The Fort Hill product had previously trekked to UMD about four times prior, developing a relationship with ex-head coach Randy Edsall and Co.
“I really like the new staff though. They’re really great,” Brown said after his April 2 visit. “We watched practice, and the coaches are electrifying. They keep the intensity high and keep things moving. I liked how fast-paced everything was and also how the offense worked too.”
After the practice, Brown said he sat down with Bell for about 20 minutes. Per the Fort Hill product, Bell explained that the staff liked Brown’s potential a good deal given his size; speed; and athleticism. However, since Brown didn’t catch much last year, Bell wanted to evaluate him further before extending the offer.
“I mainly ran the ball last year, and there’s not much film of me catching, so that’s why Coach Bell wants to see me either at a 7-on-7 or for one of their camps,” Brown said. “But Coach Bell believes I could help the offense and be a great fit there. He seems like a great coach and has a lot of energy.”
Following the meeting, Brown, along with his mother, toured College Park; saw the facility-upgrade video; and viewed the renovated dorms.
“It was all very nice. The new dorms look great and the facilities are going to be awesome,” Brown said. “I’ve been there before, so I’m comfortable down there, but I like the upgrades. It’s all really nice.”
In addition, Brown learned about Maryland’s kinesiology program. An academic-oriented recruit, he was impressed by what UMD had to offer in that field.
“Maryland has the No. 6 kinesiology program in the country, so that was pretty big,” Brown said. “And it stood out to my mom a lot too. I know she really liked that.”
Brown’s Maryland affinity extends beyond what he found out April 2, however. Most of his family are Terps’ fans, while he’s heard plenty about the program from his former teammate, Ty Johnson, who is now a sophomore running back in College Park.
“Oh yeah, Ty being there is big,” Brown said. “We used to work out every day and got really close. We’ve always said it would be really cool to play college ball together. So hopefully we can make that happen; we’ll see.
“But Ty, he loves it there. He says he likes the new coaches a lot and how they mean business. He said they want to get Maryland on the winning track.”
If that Terps’ offer does eventually come to fruition, Brown hinted he could take the same tact as his former teammate. Recall, when Ty Johnson landed a hometown verbal following a summer one-day camp, he ended up committing just hours later.
“Yeah, Maryland would probably be the No. 1 option for me,” laughed Brown. “It would definitely be No. 1 for my family since they’ve always followed Maryland and would love for me to stay close by.”
Besides UMD, Brown has also visited Syracuse and West Virginia. He’s trying to see NC State and Penn State this summer, while a return to College Park is in the works too.
Brown said most programs want him on the offensive side of the ball, although Army’s recruiting him as an athlete and Albany as a safety.
“The Army offer is something I’ve talked a little bit about with my mom,” Brown said. “But I’m kind of waiting for the FBS schools [to offer]. We’ll see what happens.”
Brown is coming off a season where he rushed for 1,100 yards and totaled 2,100 all-purpose yards.