Dorian Etheridge (Capital/Charleston, W.Va.) finally made it to Maryland April 16 after several fits and starts. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound outside linebacker had been pining to see College Park, Md., ever since he landed an offer from UMD linebackers’ coach Matt Barnes Feb. 18.
“I really, really enjoyed it at Maryland. I’m just glad I finally got here to see one of my top schools,” said Etheridge, who holds offers from the likes of WVU, Va Tech, Louisville, Pitt, Marshall and others. “I’m still down here actually [April 16], and it’s just great. I finally met Coach Barnes and saw the Terps in action. I had a great time.”
The three-star arrived from his Charleston home right around the start of the Terps’ scrimmage at 12:30 p.m. He said he honed in on Barnes and the defense in general.
“Coach Barnes is like a big ball of energy. I love the way he coaches, and I love how the linebackers responded to him,” Etheridge said. “It was great energy overall, and the defense at Maryland just flies around. It’s really fast and they love to attack; that’s my style of play. I could fit right in there.”
Etheridge had a chance to speak to Barnes personally post-scrimmage. The two have had consistent contact since the backer landed the offer in February.
“Coach Barnes, we talk on the phone all the time and have a great relationship with him. He’s a young guy and just a great person to talk to,” said Etheridge, who mentioned he was unable to speak to head coach D.J. Durkin. “But it was great to finally meet him in person. He was just pumped that I was down there, and I was excited too. It was awesome to sit down and talk with him and just go over some things.”
Since Etheridge arrived late and left a tad early, he didn’t have a chance to tour the campus. That said, he recalled taking in the school during his younger years, when he used to live in Northern Virginia and attend Terps’ games growing up.
“I hadn’t been to Maryland since I was like 10 when I moved, but I remember going to games there and what it was like there,” Etheridge said. “I still have a lot of family in the area and a lot of connections to the school. It was good to get back, and it’s good to be back at the school I grew up watching. I liked it a lot here.”
So, where does Maryland stand after Etheridge’s first trek through College Park in six-plus years?
“Maryland’s a good school. This was my first time here and first time seeing them in action, and I’m still evaluating where they are,” said Etheridge, who is unsure if he’ll make it back to UMD. “I will say that Va Tech and Pitt are my top two right now, with West Virginia a close third. But I do like Maryland and I still have to get down to Louisville. So things can be shaken up a bit.”
The Capital product said he will be returning to Tech April 19, while he’s set to see Louisville later in April. He’s unsure if he’ll embark on any other trips after that.
“I don’t want to say I have firm leaders right now, because I do have to evaluate things, but like Va Tech, Pitt and then WVU, Maryland and Louisville are the ones I’m thinking about,” Etheridge said. “I’m going to be making my [college] decision before the season starts, maybe early summer.”