Cosby (Midlothian, Va.) athlete Joe Hunt wasn’t able to make Maryland’s spring game April 16, but he and his mother had a chance to trek up to College Park, Md., for the first time two days later. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound hybrid linebacker/H-back landed his initial offer from UMD-area recruiter Mike London Feb. 26, and Hunt has been eager to visit since then.
“I loved the Maryland visit. It was amazing,” said Hunt, who now holds verbals from UMD, Army, Navy, ECU and various FCS programs. “The coaches really made me feel at home and welcomed me with open arms. And my mom, she loved it too. She was blown away. So I’d say right now Maryland is definitely a top option for me. It’s definitely a place I could see myself at.”
Spring practice is over, so Hunt wasn’t able to see the Terps in action. However, he received a full campus tour, spoke to several coaches, learned about the academics and viewed the $150 million facility upgrade video.
“The campus was incredible, the student-life there is amazing, and the future practice fields look incredible too,” Hunt said. “I was fascinated by the whole deal.
They talked about the academics too, and they’re fabulous there. I want to get into engineering, and they showed us the engineering school and how they’re adding onto that. It looks really nice.
“And then I met a few current players too, and I was asking them questions. They said they love it there, and their enthusiasm about the program just boosted Maryland up even more in my eyes.”
Of the Maryland coaches, the Cosby product said he primarily spoke to London, along with tight ends coach Pete Lembo and Director of Recruiting Marcus Berry. Hunt said head coach D.J. Durkin had meetings all day and couldn’t sit down with him, “but he’s going to reach out to me later this week.”
“My mom and I talked to Coach London for an hour, and I felt like I’ve known him for a long time,” Hunt said. “We had a great conversation about football, and my mom and him talked about life and things like that. It left a big impression on both of us.”
Hunt also said that he’d had consistent contact with London prior to their in-person meeting April 18. The Virginia native estimated he and UMD’s defensive line coach exchange messages a few times each week.
“My relationship with Coach London is awesome. He’s a great guy, he’s fun to talk to and he gives you the straight up truth,” Hunt said. “Coach London was saying how they like me because I can play multiple positions for them on both offense and defense. He said on defense they like me as a rover linebacker but because I’m still growing they could definitely see me as maybe a defensive end or inside linebacker in the future. And on offense, they like me as an H-back or bigger receiver kind of guy.
“So I was very excited to hear that, and it shows me they really looked into me and talked about the possibilities for me. I know they’re serious about me.”
Previously, Hunt hinted he could be committing to Maryland in short order. And while he does hold UMD in high regard, he does want to wait a bit before ending his recruitment.
“I am really excited about Maryland, but my brother, he went through the same deal as a quarterback in high school. He advised me to wait until the beginning of next year or after my senior season to commit, just because he said there’s so much that can happen in recruiting,” Hunt said. “But at the same time, I realize teams do fill up spots, so I could commit during the summer. I have to see.”
Next up, Hunt said he’ll be checking out Navy and ECU, along with Wake Forest, which hasn’t offered but is showing interest. He’s already been through UMD, JMU, NC State and Richmond.