Langston Hughes (Fairburn, Ga.) receiver Sean Nelson finally made it to College Park, Md., more than two months after landing the offer, and afterwards the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder said he was “in love.” Nelson arrived at Maryland April 23 around 10 a.m. and stayed on campus until April 24.
“I’m feeling real good about Maryland right now. I’m not going to lie, I’m getting real good vibes from Maryland,” said Nelson in the midst of his trip. “Just the coaches here, the campus, the facilities, the offense, the academics… I’m not going to lie, I love it here. I’m in love with this school. They’re the leader right now.”
Nelson, who visited UMD with his coach, counted his interactions with the Terps’ staff as the highlight of his foray north. He said he mainly spoke to graduate assistant Brawley Evans, area-recruiter Chris Beatty, offensive coordinator Walt Bell and head coach D.J. Durkin.
“I loved the coaching staff, loved them. They’re so welcoming,” Nelson said. “The whole time I was kicking it with Coach Brawley and Coach Beatty. When we got there around 10 a.m., Coach Brawley met us and took us all around campus. He was great, just a great guy. I really bonded with him. Coach Durkin, the same way. He’s just a real cool dude and just has a great personality.
“And Coach Beatty, he’s always on me. He’s so cool and just a great guy overall. We always have different conversations about football, the offense and how he can help me develop. I have a great relationship with him and I feel like I could really excel under him. He’s produced so many great receivers who have made it to the league.”
Naturally, Nelson learned plenty about Bell’s up-tempo spread offense. The Langston Hughes product said Bell actually runs a similar system to his offense in high school.
“Coach Bell runs a great system, and I feel like I fit it perfectly,” Nelson said. “It’s just like my high school offense where there’s three, four wides and you get down the field. It’s an awesome system, and I know in the past Coach Bell has been very successful with it.
“And just talking to Coach Bell, he’s truthful. He’s not going to feed me lies about playing time and things like that. I like that about him. He’s a great offensive coordinator and a cool guy.”
Like most other first-time visitors, Nelson was able to view the renovated player dorms, see the video of the $150 million facility upgrades and learn about the academics. The Georgia receiver said he was in awe of all three, in addition to the various Under Armour gear he tried on.
“Just going around campus, I could tell it was a great place. I loved it. The campus tour was awesome with how big it is, how beautiful it is, and just going around with Coach Brawley,” Nelson said. “Also, I saw the model dorms and they’re real nice. You get your own bathrooms and all that – you don’t see that at a lot of other places.
“And then I saw the video of the indoor fields and all, and those are going to be real nice. I mean, real nice. If I go there, those are going to be great. They’re really investing in facilities there, and it shows that Maryland is going to be up and coming. The future is very bright.”
Nelson said he spoke to an academic advisor as well.
“The academics were great. They took me to the classrooms and the advisor, she broke down the majors and the education there,” Nelson said. “We spent a good 45 minutes going over academics there, and it was very impressive what they have to offer. And just learning about their graduating classes and what they do for student-athletes there, Maryland’s a great situation.”
Nelson said he’s looking forward to “chilling” with the players April 23, although he’s already interacted with several current Terps. He said each of them talked up the new UMD staff and the vibe in College Park.
“I met a few players, we chopped it up, and everything they’ve said is great,” Nelson said. “They said they love the new coaches and the environment here. I can’t wait to hang with them [April 23].
“Also, I’m a hoops guy too. I kind of want to see [Xfinity Center] because I know Maryland’s a big basketball school (laughs).”
Afterwards, Nelson called Maryland his leader, ahead of programs such as Louisville, Illinois, Arizona, WVU, Toledo, Troy and others. He’s not ready to commit just yet, however.
“Maryland is my top, no doubt,” Nelson said. “But I also really like WVU and Louisville, so there are a couple schools still in there. But Maryland is the big one. “
So far, Nelson has been to Georgia, Tennessee, Troy and UMD. He’s unsure where he’s headed next, but figures to check out WVU, Louisville and maybe Arizona coming up.
“I think in the summer I’ll be ready to decide on a college. I can’t give an exact time, but I’m thinking the summer,” Nelson said. “I just want to make sure I get a great feel and the school I’m going to is definitely the right fit.”