The Maryland staff hasn’t been as focused in the Midwest this year, with most of the Terps’ offers concentrated on the East Coast, but they are pursuing a few select central-time zone targets. On April 8, defensive end Olalere Oladipo (Huntley, Ill.) added his 15th verbal from UMD, courtesy of a new Maryland defensive assistant and defensive line coach Mike London.
“The reason behind the Maryland offer is I had known one of their linebackers coaches, and he was recruiting me at another school. But then he told me he was at Maryland now and wanted to keep recruiting me. So he kind of put me on to Maryland, and that’s how the offer came about,” said Oladipo, who also claims verbals from Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Penn State, Miami of Ohio, Toledo, NIU, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, New Mexico, BGSU, Buffalo and Illinois State. “I had a good relationship with [the coach] before, so it was exciting to hear from him now that he’s at Maryland.
“And after I spoke to him, I talked to Coach [Mike] London, the defensive line coach. He just said he wanted to talk to me more, start building a relationship and try to get me down at Maryland.”
Which Oladipo and his mother would like to do at some point. However, Oladipo’s unsure when said College Park, Md., trip might be.
“I’m not too sure when I’ll be able to get out, but I do want to. For the schools I have to fly out to, we have to make sure the money is right and things like that,” Oladipo said. “So places like Maryland, I have to sit down with my family and talk it all out to see if we can get there.”
The 6-foot-4, 235-pounder said he’s in the research phase in regards to Maryland as a whole, but there are a few factors working in the Terps’ favor. In particular, UMD’s academic reputation.
“Maryland is definitely a school that jumps out, because it’s one of the best schools out there and I know I’d get a great education there,” Oladipo said. “Also, I know they’re Big Ten and big with Under Armour, which is cool. But other than that, the only thing I really know is that my aunt lives out there. I’ve never been out to visit her, though.”
Although Oladipo said the Terps have caught his eye some, he insists he had no true favorite suitors. He said each program that’s offered has “a positive that I really like,” and thus Oladipo didn’t want to place one school over another at this juncture.
“Most of the schools that have offered are in touch with me a couple times each week. Schools like Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, they’re all in touch,” Oladipo said. “Like two, three times each week I hear from most places that have offered me.”
So far, Oladipo has visited NIU, Illinois, Indiana, Central Michigan, Purdue, Miami of Ohio, Toledo, Northwestern (no offer yet) and Iowa State (no offer yet). The Illinois native and his mother are returning to IU April 16 and then Champaign, Ill., April 23.
“Mainly when I go to these schools I want to see what the relationship is like between the coaches and the players,” Oladipo said. “Having a bond with the coaches and players is big for me, because I’m going to be at a college for four, five years and I want to like the people I’m around.”
Oladipo also mentioned location won’t play a major role in his decision. He said he’s not inclined to stay in the Midwest if he finds a fit elsewhere.
“Staying home isn’t a huge deal for me. If I choose to go to the East Coast, I’m pretty sure my mom would understand that,” Oladipo said.
Right now, Oladipo’s targeting early summer for his college decision. He said he probably won’t need to take official visits as he’s been able to see most programs pursuing him. Oladipo did mention he’d like to take at least one east-coast swing when school lets out so he can check out Maryland and Penn State before ending his recruitment.