Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup.
The Scholarship Breakdown
It’s early, but it is becoming clearer how Maryland’s class of 2016 scholarships will be divvied out. Here’s what we’ve been able to glean as far as how many recruits head coach D.J. Durkin will accept at each position (commits are included in the total and recruits are listed in order of perceived priority):
QBs: 1 (Kasim Hill)
RBs: 1-2 (Anthony McFarland, Tayon Fleet-Davis, Javon Leake, Damon Williams, Jon Lovett, Deon Jackson, Malik Davis)
WRs: 4 (Tahj Capehart, Noah Igbinoghene, Justin Marshall, Corey Reed, Sean Nelson, Josh Palmer, M.J. Jarrell, Carlos Carriere, Cam Sullivan-Brown, Hezekiah Grimsley, Sean Savoy, Jayden Comma, Jahmin Muse, Brayden Brown)
TEs: 1 (Andrew Park)
OLs: 3 (Jordan McNair, Carter Warren, Cody Bowes, Marcus Minor, Andrew Stueber, Mekhi Becton, Gabe Houy, Johnny Jordan, Connor Robbins, Tyler Knight)
DLs: 5-6 (Cam Spence, Josh Kaindoh, Chase Young, Josh Paschal, Tyree Johnson, Vic Dimukeje, Lawtez Rogers, Robert Porcher, Olalere Oladipo, Chris Whittaker, Curtis Harper)
LBs: 3 (Ayinde Eley, Jordan Anthony, Nate Proctor, Tyshon Fogg, Louis Acceus, Marcus Bowman, Brailyn Franklin, Keirston Johnson, Dorian Etheridge, Keisean Wilson)
Ss: 0-1 (Daniel Wright, Marquis Waters, George Hunter)
CBs: 4 (Fofie Bazzie, Deon Jones, Tariq Castro-Fields, Chris Ingram, Terrell Jana, Antwan Collier)
Notes On Maryland Receiver Targets
Sean Nelson, WR, Langston Hughes (Fairburn, Ga.): Maryland receivers’ coach Chris Beatty has certainly left an impression on Georgia wideouts. Of the handful the Terps have offered, almost all of them have spoken highly of UMD -- and now two have actually visited College Park, Md. Nelson, who added his Terps’ offer back in February, finally made in north April 23.
Afterwards, the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder said he had a clear No. 1.
“I’m feeling real good about Maryland right now. I’m not going to lie, I’m getting real good vibes from Maryland,” Nelson said.. “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 saved his most effusive praise for the staff, namely Beatty, graduate assistant Brawley Evans, offensive coordinator Walt Bell and headman D.J. Durkin. In general, he called the coaches “real cool” and “so welcoming,” while individually Nelson pointed to Beatty’s resume for producing receivers and Bell’s up-tempo spread.
The Langston Hughes product said he bonded well with the current Terps too, finding College Park to “have a real family feel” to it. Nelson spoke highly of the upcoming facility upgrades, the campus and the upgraded player dorms as well (yes, he liked having his own bathroom). He also made sure to mention UMD’s strong academic programs, as education is an important factor for the Georgian.
“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.”
We’re encouraged by Nelson’s comments, but keep in mind he’s not ready to pop yet. The receiver wants to check out Morgantown, W.Va., and Louisville, Kent., first, so we’ll have to see where he stands after that before projecting him to Maryland. Even so, we have him listed “hot” on the hot board.
Expect Nelson to announce his future destination sometime this summer.
You can read more about Nelson HERE.
Carlos Carriere, WR, Alpharetta (Ga.): The 6-5, 170-pound Carriere is starting to feel the pressure, moving up an intended late-summer college decision date to after spring ball -- if not sooner. Carriere told me he’s been in consistent contact with UMD’s Chris Beatty since the recruit’s April 5 campus visit, letting on the Terps’ receivers’ coach is ardently pursuing. The Alpharetta product once again reiterated that Maryland is his No. 1 suitor, well out in front of Kent State; Navy; Eastern Kentucky; Jacksonville State and others of the ilk.
Carriere would like to give himself a few more power-five options with a solid evaluation-period showing, but he knows he already has one strong suitor in tow. And the sense is Carriere does not want said suitor to fall by the wayside if he waits too long to pop.
“I like Maryland a whole lot,” said Carriere, who previously lauded UMD’s spread offense; the offensive coaches’ plans for him; the campus; upgraded player dorms/facilities; and the school’s academics. “They’re showing more interest and pushing for me more than any other school that’s on me. They’re really pushing hard. I like them a lot right now.”
Needless to say, Carriere is on commitment watch the rest of this spring.
Tahj Capehart, WR, Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, Va.): The Terps are going to make the four-star Capehart’s top eight favorites list, which will be released this summer. At the Nike Opening Charlotte, Capehart told Scout’s Michael Clark UMD, Va Tech and UNC would “definitely” make the cut, and others such as Alabama; Tennessee; PSU; WVU; Georgia; and maybe South Carolina should be in play too.
Capehart has visited College Park twice this offseason, first for a sitdown with the coaches and then for a spring practice. He likes offensive coordinator Walt Bell’s spread system, the overall energy emanating from the staff and the fact UMD isn’t too far from Virginia Beach. Moreover, the wideout has a longstanding relationship with Terps’ area recruiter Chris Beatty, who Capehart feels could readily develop him.
“Coach Beatty has been to a lot of schools, but he’s been recruiting me for a longtime now,” Capehart told Clark in Charlotte. “He gave me my first offer. I like him.”
It was somewhat telling, however, that Capehart opted not to discuss his return trip to UMD with Clark. Instead, he focused on recent visits to Penn State and Alabama, and then talked up his third foray through Va Tech April 23. Plus, Capehart just landed a Notre Dame offer and now has Irish eyes.
Capehart will be checking out UGA, WVU, UND and South Carolina coming up, but has nothing scheduled after that.
The feeling is the hometown Hokies continue to trend with head coach Justin Fuente’s high-powered scheme grabbing Capehart’s attention. The receiver has a close-knit bond with many Va Tech coaches and believes he could thrive in Blacksburg, Va.
North Carolina, another program Capehart’s taken in, should be among the receiver’s foremost contenders too following a trek through Chapel Hill. Alabama is right there as well, although the Tide coaches covet Capehart as a defensive back. Notre Dame, West Virginia and Georgia, meanwhile, could work up the list after the four-star sees South Bend, Ind., Morgantown and Athens, Ga.
Look for Capehart to finalize his recruitment sometime during the fall, if not sooner. He’s currently listed “cool” on the hot board.
M.J. Jarrell, WR, Timber Creek (Orlando, Fla.): Goes to show you how volatile recruiting can be. Two weeks after calling Maryland his surefire No. 1 and coming close to popping while in College Park, Jarrell’s backed off just a bit.
The three-star visited Duke and Va Tech seven days after taking in UMD, and now he has the Hokies even with, or slightly behind, Maryland in the pecking order. He loved Tech coach Justin Fuente’s spread offense and the atmosphere in Blacksburg.
On top of that, Jarrell recently landed his first SEC verbal from South Carolina, promptly declaring the Gamecocks a standout. Jarrell, who has relatives in the Columbia, S.C., area, intends to visit USC in short order.
Now that the SEC floodgates have opened, expect a few more southern elites to become involved, further delaying Jarrell’s imminent college decision. Jarrell said post-Maryland trip he’d consider committing later during the spring, but now it sounds like it’ll be a late-summer or fall college announcement, allowing the receiver time to gauge his new suitors.
We’re still cautiously optimistic about the Terps’ chances with Jarrell given the Timber Creek product’s ardent praise for receivers’ coach Chris Beatty, the UMD staff in general, the pending facility upgrades, the school’s academics and College Park itself. But recent developments triggered a downgrade from “hot” to “warm” on the hot board.
Notes On Maryland Tackle Targets
Carter Warren, OT, Passaic (Paterson, N.J.): The 6-5, 310-pound Warren actually visited Maryland April 16 for the spring game, but we didn’t feel it was necessary to touch base with him. The North Jersey native had the Big Ten elites and hometown Rutgers at the forefront of his mind, and word was the Terps were probably sitting no higher than fifth or sixth on his favorites list.
But turns out that College Park trip did pique Warren’s interest enough where he does have Maryland in play. Warren, who has been in regular contact with Terps’ offensive line coach Dave Borbely, has taken to the UMD staff’s overall demeanor; knows he can contribute early; and loves the coming facility upgrades and the fact UMD is relatively close to home. He’s even considering a return jaunt later this spring/summer, this time with his family.
“I had a great time hanging out with Coach [D.J.] Durkin and Coach Borbs [Dave Borbely]. The game was great too. I loved the atmosphere [in Maryland Stadium] and how the offense and defense were going at it,” Warren said. “I can tell [Borbely] is a great coach and knows what he’s doing. I really like him and the way he coaches. He was telling me how much he needs me down there.
“But, really, what stood out overall [about Maryland] was just the love there and the family atmosphere. The coaches there are great and show great support, and the fans do as well. I was really feeling the love from the fans…. And my godfamily lives there, and I’m very close to them. I’m very interested in [the Terps].”
That’s enough for us to place Warren back on the hot board, but we’re still not convinced he winds up in College Park.
The Jersey tackle has been through Piscataway, N.J., on several occasions and probably has head coach Chris Ash’s program in the poll position. Warren loves what Ash is doing at RU, and has keen interest in sticking around town and playing near his family.
Penn State, Pitt and Va Tech, three more schools Warren has visited, have the recruit’s eye too. Of those, the Nittany Lions and Panthers are firmly on the radar. (Yes, PSU’s staff will accept Warren even though the Nittany Lions have three O-line commits).
Moreover, Michigan and Tennessee both have offers out, and Warren’s eager to check out Ann Arbor, Mich., and Rocky Top this spring. Also, the Passaic product is bound to secure even more suitors, the tackle admitting he’s open to all programs who enter the fray.
Warren, who will be releasing a top-10 leaderboard in June, originally wanted to wait until January to commit. But, at this juncture, he’s suggesting that date could be pushed up. He knows schools like Penn State won’t have open spots for much longer, and the tackle doesn’t want to miss the boat.
We’ll see what Warren’s thinking after his Maryland return, but for now we’re listing him “cool” on the hot board.
You can read more about Warren HERE.
Gabe Houy, OT, Upper St. Clair (Pittsburgh, Pa.): When Houy visited Maryland in early April, he called the Terps one of his foremost two contenders, alongside hometown Pitt. The Pittsburgh product said he had a great time connecting with the UMD staff, liked the competitiveness of coach Dave Borbely’s offensive line, and said the campus; dorms; and pending facility upgrades all grabbed his attention.
But about a month later, Houy’s changed his tune some. After visiting West Virginia, he’s now seeking a Mountaineers’ offer and said they’d definitely be one of his favorite schools -- ahead of UMD. Houy also has Pitt and Louisville sitting pretty, with the Panthers likely the leader in the clubhouse. Houy, remember, grew up a Pitt fan, and word is it won’t be easy drawing him away from home.
We’ll see if Borbely, who Houy said he has a solid rapport with, can get the Terps back in the game. But for now we’re listing him “cool” on the hot board.
Andrew Stueber, OT, Darien (Conn.): We briefly broached Stueber’s name last week, and ultimately decided to include him on the hot board in case he does visit College Park. Stueber has been in touch with UMD offensive line coach Dave Borbely and is aware how much he’s needed with Maryland’s dearth of tackles. Also, academics are a top priority for Stueber, and UMD’s educational benefits have his mind somewhat on the Terps too.
But it’s telling that Stueber has reneged on several opportunities to see College Park this offseason. Instead, he’s journeyed through locales like Penn State, UNC, Duke, Rutgers and Boston College, among others.
The sense right now is PSU and Duke (no offer yet) are leading the likes of North Carolina, BC, Vanderbilt and Maryland. But note that Stueber is blowing up on the trail and could have 20-plus offers by the time spring’s out. If the Big Ten stalwarts become involved, they could easily sway Stueber away from the Dukes of the world.
But let’s see if Stueber makes it down to Maryland. If so, Borbely and Co. could gain some inroads here.
Mekhi Becton, OT, Highland Springs (Va.): Becton is closing in on 20 offers, but the Terps still reside among his main suitors. Scout’s Dan Callahan, who covers North Carolina, stopped by Highland Springs last week, and Becton told him UMD was firmly in the mix, along with UNC; UVA; Michigan State; Pitt; and Wake Forest.
But we’re not so sure the Terps are that high on Becton’s favorites’ list. It was revealing that Becton commented on his five other contenders, but did not tell Callahan why he had Maryland in his top six.
Sure, Becton told me after his late-March College Park trip he enjoyed the campus and loved both UMD-area recruiter Mike London and offensive line coach Dave Borbely. But, even so, it didn’t sound as if the visit truly hit home.
His tone changed when asked about a few other schools like UNC, MSU and Pitt.
After seeing UMD, Becton visited North Carolina during his spring break, securing the offer while in Chapel Hill, N.C. With that coveted verbal in tow, Becton, who loved UNC’s coaches and environment, could be favoring the Heels. Michigan State might leapfrog UNC in the pecking order, however, once Becton treks through East Lansing, Mich., later this summer. The tackle offered up effusive praise when the Spartans were broached. Meanwhile, Becton spoke highly of Pitt’s program and its sports-medicine major.
The feeling here is those three schools probably lead UMD, UVA and Wake for now. But Becton’s not choosing a college destination until after he embarks on several official visits, so the situation could change. Plus, he said he wants to see each of his six standouts again, so a chance remains the Terps can work up the leaderboard following Becton’s College Park return.
Currently, we’re listing the tackle “cool” on the hot board.
Note: Becton will be visiting Baylor this summer, and evidently the Bears’ coaches are showing significant interest. If the staff antes up, it would surely shake up the Highland Spring’s product’s leaderboard.
Johnny Jordan, OC, Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.): In the last couple Shells we’ve mentioned the Maryland staff may not be pushing for Jordan’s pop, and that remains true. Fact is, the Terps’ current roster is filled with interior linemen, with Derwin Gray the only real tackle in the program. So, the staff’s main focus in the 2017 class is adding a few longer O-linemen, who can step in and fill an immediate need.
A guard or center, at this point, is probably viewed as a luxury addition. That’s not to say Jordan won’t be a “take” down the road, but for now he may not be a top priority.
In the meantime, Jordan could begin favoring the likes of UVA, Syracuse, Pitt and Louisville, all of which have anted up. The Hoos and Orange currently reside alongside the Terps atop Jordan’s unofficial leaderboard, and the vibe is he could end up in Charlottesville, Va., or New York if the center opts to pop this summer. But if Jordan decides to hold off on committing until after his senior season, which is a possibility, maybe the Maryland staff will up the pursuit.
We’re keeping Jordan “warm” on the hot board, because the Gonzaga prospect does have real interest in the hometown school.
More Recruiting Notes
Javon Leake, RB, Page (Greensboro, N.C.): We opted not to include Leake on the hot board after his Maryland offer materialized in February, but this North Carolina back told our colleagues the Terps were a true player. Apparently Leake’s stayed in contact with UMD-area recruiter Pete Lembo and wants to visit College Park at some point this summer. Leake then said Maryland resided among his top four suitors, along with South Carolina; North Carolina; and Tennessee.
The problem is those two Carolina schools.
The Gamecocks are trending after Leake’s multiple campus visits, the back talking up the staff and USC’s offense. That said, South Carolina is probably a hair below the Tar Heels on the totem poll. Despite already having a four-star runner on board, UNC’s staff is primed to land Leake, who loves the hometown look. The Page product has been in Chapel Hill on several occasions this offseason and should be back in the near future.
But let’s see if Leake actually checks out College Park. You never know what can happen during campus visits, and the Terps’ coaches have made the Carolina runner a priority.
Nathan Proctor, LB, Lackey (Indian Head, Md.): We’ve sensed some ambivalence on Proctor’s part in regards to Maryland, but after speaking to a few of the linebacker’s connects, the tide could be turning. Proctor prefers to downplay the college recruiting process and isn’t given to overstatement, which explains the perceived hometown slights. In fact, he’s more likely to understate his interest, per our contacts.
So, after checking in with Proctor’s party this week, it seems like his most recent Maryland visit (April 16 for the spring game) has the four-star’s mind on the Terps. Proctor is comfortable around the staff, likes the idea of DMV-to-UMD, and doesn’t want to venture too far from home for college. Maryland’s attacking defense and linebackers’ coach Matt Barnes’ plans for Proctor have the Lackey prospect’s attention too.
But before getting too excited, realize Proctor is fairly open to his other suitors. He’ll be returning to Penn State, which the Southern Maryland native has under prime consideration, this summer, while he’s looking to check out some SEC schools (Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Ole Miss) and Notre Dame as well. Virginia Tech is also in the running following Proctor’s March foray through Blacksburg.
Also note the backer is in no rush to end his recruitment, so the programs he’s talking up now could very well change down the line. He’ll see numerous college campuses this summer, fall and winter before selecting a destination in January or February.
Devon Hunter, S, Indian River (Chesapeake, Va.): Scout’s Michael Clark caught up with the five-star Hunter at the Nike Opening Charlotte, and it sounds like the Terps are still kicking around in the safety’s brain. When Clark asked Hunter what programs were pushing for him in earnest, Maryland was about the seventh school out of the recruit’s mouth -- which is better than not being mentioned at all.
But that’s not enough to earn Hunter a spot back on the hot board. Fact is, UMD -- despite Maryland-area recruiter Chris Beatty’s and defensive backs coaches Aazaar Abdul-Rahim’s best efforts -- is probably deep on the Indian River product’s upcoming leaderboard, anywhere between seventh to 11th in the running. Hunter did trek through College Park and reportedly enjoyed his stay, but his post-visit interview with Clark rang of lip service. When pressed on which schools he sought to revisit, Hunter neglected to bring up UMD and instead focused on the nation’s elites.
The Virginia native said the three schools he “definitely” would be officially visiting were Va Tech, Clemson and Florida. He also broached Alabama, Auburn, UNC, Michigan, Michigan State, FSU, Georgia and Ohio State as programs of interest and in line for potential trips.
Hunter should be finalizing his recruitment next December.
Daniel Wright, S, Cardinal Gibbons (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.): If the Terps’ head coach D.J. Durkin are going to take a safety in the 2017 class (they don’t necessarily need to after adding three in 2016), it would be someone like Wright, a nationally-touted four-star who could step in and make an immediate impact. The teammate of 2016 UMD signees Elisha and Elijah Daniels, Wright was supposed to join the brothers at Maryland’s spring game April 16.
The 6-1, 185-pounder was unable to attend, but would like to at least give College Park a look during the summer. Not only has Wright heard plenty about UMD from his teammates-turned-Terps, but he has a rapport with Durkin (who initiated contact with the Daniels brothers last year) and defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, who stays in regular contact. The Terps even stopped by Cardinal Gibbons this week to reinforce their interest in the Scout 150 recruit.
But while Wright’s expressed some interest in Maryland, he’s not projected to follow in the Danielses footsteps at this time. Florida State, a program he’s been to on numerous occasions, is the far-and-away favorite, while Florida, where Wright’s brother played, is right there too. Recent visits to Miami have the safety’s mind of the Hurricanes, and the Gibbons product should be checking out LSU; Bama; Clemson; USC; Ohio State; and Notre Dame this summer.
We’ve listed Wright on the hot board, but, at this point, don’t envision the Terps jumping FSU; Miami; Clemson; or the safety’s SEC suitors.
Tariq Castro-Fields, CB, Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.): Castro-Fields’ rise up the national ranks was anticipated, and his options continue to grow and grow. After landing a coveted Va Tech offer last week, Castro-Fields added another Big Ten bigwig to his resume in Michigan State April 27. The Hokies and Spartans join UMD, PSU, WVU, UNC, Pitt, Rutgers and others in the running for the soon-to-be four-star corner.
We’ve surmised in previous Shells this is likely a Terps-Nittany Lions battle, Castro-Fields hinting at such a development when last we spoke with him at the Nike Opening D.C. But the recent string of offers has the Riverdale product pumping the breaks a bit, willing to wait out the process and venture through some of his newer suitors.
Castro-Fields should be seeing UNC in the coming weeks, and trips to East Lansing and Blacksburg are in the works. Plus, the Upper Marlboro native wants to return to Penn State and Maryland later in the spring/summer.
The vibe is the Terps and Nittany Lions remain atop Castro-Fields’ unstated favorites’ list, but the Heels, Spartans and Hokies are probably right there as well. It’s unlikely Castro-Fields decides on a college until he can size up the latter three, so we’re expecting a late-summer commitment at the earliest. As he gains offers, however, it becomes more and more likely Castro-Fields elects to embark on several official visits during the fall.
New Offers Out
DeMarcus Gregory, WR, James Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) (2018): Maryland offensive coordinator Walt Bell was in the Carolina area this week and extended an offer to this rising-star sophomore April 28. Gregory only had offers from Wake Forest and NC State thus far, so it was a prudent approach for UMD to become involved early. The 6-3, 195-pounder figures to blow up on the trail and has interest from programs throughout the ACC and SEC.
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“I knew Coach Bell liked me, and I knew he thought I could fit well in his offense,” Gregory said. “He was saying before how I was a long, strong receiver and would fit in really well at Maryland. So when he offered I was so excited. It sounds like a great offense he has up there.”
Hometown Clemson, which Gregory has visited a couple times, is on the Duncan native’s radar and could be an early favorite when the Tigers’ staff inevitably antes up. Others on Gregory’s mind include Florida State, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee and programs of that ilk.
We’ll see what kind of inroads UMD receivers’ coach Chris Beatty and Bell can gain here, but Gregory won’t be easy to coax out of the South.
You can read more about Gregory HERE.
Khalid Jones, LB, James Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) (2018): At the same time DeMarcus Gregory pulled a UMD offer, his teammate, Jones added one as well. The sophomore linebacker previously held verbals from Tennessee and Duke. Like Gregory, Jones will have numerous ACC and SEC schools coming after him before it’s all said and done. South Carolina, Clemson, FSU, Florida, Georgia, NC State, Kentucky and more are all showing interest.
In-state USC and Clemson have Jones’ eye at this stage, and both the Gamecocks and Tigers will likely extend offers in due time. But, realize that one side of Jones' family resides in Baltimore, Md., and he's already been through College Park before. He has an affinity for the area and is comfortable on campus. Moreover, he said location isn't a factor for him at all and he's willing to explore any and all suitors.
"I'm definitely getting back to Maryland in the summer," Jones said. "I liked it there when i was there last summer for a camp, and I'm getting back. That's definitely one school I'm looking at."
You can read more about Jones HERE.
Dax Hollifield, LB, Shelby (N.C.) (2018): Yet another offer handed out by Maryland offensive coordinator Walt Bell during his trek through the Carolinas April 29. The sophomore linebacker Hollifield is already a nationally-rated recruit with offers from programs such as Clemson, Duke, North Carolina, Va Tech, Wake Forest, NC State and now UMD. Hometown UNC, which has hosted Hollifield more than once, has an initial bead, but Clemson and Tech are right there as well.
Needless to say, Hollifield is projected to schools in the South.
Chris Ingram, CB, Mooresville Senior (Mooresville, N.C.): Maryland offensive coordinator Walt Bell was in North Carolina this week, and while in town he extended an offer to this three-star NC State pledge. Ingram committed to the Pack almost one year ago, but since then he’s procured scholarships from the likes of Clemson, Duke, UNC and now Maryland.
The 6-0, 175-pounder just started hearing from Bell, whom he spoke to on the phone April 26.
“That was an interesting offer for me,” Ingram said. “I didn’t meet Coach Bell, but I know he was here and talked to my coach about me. My coach told me to give him a call, so I did, and [Bell] said the coaches watched my film and liked what they saw. He said he knew I was committed to State, but wanted to offer me anyway.
“He didn’t want to pressure me into decommitting or anything like that, but he thought my talent would be a great fit at Maryland. [Bell] wanted me to know that if anything changed with my situation at State, he wanted me to keep Maryland in mind.
“I was definitely honored by the offer. I will keep [the Terps] in mind. I mean, you never really know what can happen.”
But Ingram will be tough to lure Ingram out of the South. If the corner flips, the feeling is he’ll wind up at UNC or maybe Clemson if the Tigers’ staff will take him. The Mooresville product even admitted if he did look eventually look around, he’d be more inclined towards the Heels, the team he grew up watching, or the ACC power CU.
That said, there’s enough buzz around Maryland for us to keep tracking Ingram’s status. We’ll list Ingram “cool” on the hot board, with a chance to escalate if he does follow through with a UMD trip.
You can read more about Ingram HERE.
Transfer Coming In For Official
Maryland’s thinnest unit heading into the 2016 campaign appears to be its defensive backfield, so it’s no surprise a couple immediately-eligible safety transfers have been mentioned in conjunction with UMD. One of them, Duke’s Evrett Edwards, is set to officially visit College Park April 29-30.
The 5-11, 190-pound Edwards is a Woodbridge, Va., native who spent three seasons in Durham, N.C., playing a total of 12 games after an initial redshirt campaign. Edwards has already embarked on officials to Troy, Iowa State and Utah State, and UMD will be his final stop before choosing his next college. The Blue Devils’ defensive back, who can play safety or corner, said all four of his suitors will sit on an even plane until he finishes his visits this weekend in College Park.
Of course, being from northern Virginia, Edwards has seen Maryland before -- and he returned to UMD for a brief unofficial during Duke’s March spring break.
“I thought it was definitely a place I could play. I like their style, their defense and I know they need DBs,” said Edwards, who will graduate in May and has two years of eligibility remaining. “And I live 45 minutes south, so it’s close to home. And Maryland is a Big Ten school, and that’s a great opportunity and a great conference.”
Furthermore, Edwards knows both Terps’ receivers coach Chris Beatty and defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim. Beatty recruited Edwards when the coach was at Wisconsin, while the corner trained with Abdul-Rahim when the latter headed Friendship Collegiate (Washington, D.C.).
“Coach Beatty and Coach Aazaar are two guys I’m familiar with,” Edwards said. “It was good to talk to Coach Beatty again, because I haven’t seen him in a good while. And same with Coach Aazaar. He was saying how they need DBs there and how I could make an impact there.”
Edwards had similar compliments for Iowa State, Utah State and Troy (of those, he seemed to be favoring the Cyclones), but the Terps have the benefit of last dibs. Plus, UMD represents an opportunity for him to play near his family and potentially start at a Big Ten program.
Edwards did his best not to tip his hand, but it seems like Maryland’s staff is in position to land the Virginia native. Either way, a resolution should be reached in early May, shortly after Edwards’ College Park foray.
You can read more about Edwards HERE.
Off The Board
Jamal Brooks, LB, Bessemer City (Bessemer, Ala.): We included the three-star Brooks on the hot board after he landed a Maryland offer last month and expressed initial interest in the program. But Brooks has not ventured out to College Park and probably won’t be doing so with his offer list now comprising of power-five programs close to home. Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Louisville have all anted up, and the SEC could come calling later this offseason.
A high-academic recruit, seems to be favoring Vandy early. He could wind up an a southern power before it’s all said and done, but, either way, we don’t envision him at Maryland.
Rell Coley, CB, Highland Springs (Va.): In last week’s Shell, we noted Coley probably wasn’t a “take” for Maryland’s staff. Remember, Coley returned from his initial College Park jaunt less than enthused, admitting he didn’t speak to the staff and UMD-area recruiter Mike London hadn’t had consistent contact.
Then this week, we learned a little more about Coley’s situation, opting to remove him from the hot board altogether. There are a few issues here, other than Coley’s game, that are likely preventing the Terps’ coaches from pursuing.