Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup.
Defensive Recruiting Notes
Vic Dimukeje, DL, Boys’ Latin (Baltimore, Md.): And we’re still waiting.
The Terps continue to trend for Dimukeje, the Boys’ Latin product reiterating UMD’s position atop his leaderboard earlier this week. But the local defensive tackle loves the recruiting process, and we get the sense he doesn’t want to end it too quickly.
Dimukeje has been hearing from Penn State and believes he’s nearing an offer. He’s been in State College, Pa., twice this offseason and could return once more in hopes of landing the verbal. The Boys’ Latin 3-technique also wants to see WVU again, as well as recent offeree Pittsburgh for the first time. UVA, meanwhile, is somewhat in mind after the Wahoos’ staff anted up in mid-April.
But, all that being said, Dimukeje is probably Maryland’s to lose. The DMV recruit is all about the stay-home movement and the new regime in College Park, Md. UMD-area recruiter Mike London, who has been through Boys’ Latin twice during the evaluation period, has a tight rapport with Dimukeje and has been pushing for a pop. Moreover, Dimukeje likes the idea of playing in front of family and friends, the pending facility upgrades/dorm renovations and the school’s academics.
Penn State could potentially throw a wrench into things should the Nittany Lions’ staff offer (we’re not so sure they will), but we’ll continue forecasting Dimukeje to Maryland until we hear otherwise.
Tyree Johnson, DE, St. John’s (Washington, D.C.): The edge rusher Johnson hinted he was close to committing a couple weeks ago, but he’s since backed off that stance. Johnson now wants to take a few more visits before maybe popping sometime later during the summer. He also laid out the possibility of taking official visits, delaying his college decision until the fall.
For the time being, Johnson is planning return trips to TAMU and Tennessee after initial forays through College Station, Texas, and Knoxville, Tenn., left the edge rusher impressed. Va Tech, Miami and Ole Miss are on the radar too and could be the recipients of visits down the line.
Johnson should also be back at Maryland, and, of course, the Terps remain a frontrunner. The St. John’s edge rusher has taken notice of the DMV movement with the Terps’ recent additions of Josh Kaindoh (IMG Academy/Bradenton, Fla.), Cam Spence (IMG Academy) and teammate Kasim Hill (St. John’s). Furthermore, Johnson’s in close communication with UMD-area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, who trekked through St. John’s recently, and defensive line coach Mike London, among others. He knows he’s a priority for the staff and appreciates the coaches’ persistent efforts.
Johnson is well aware Maryland’s defensive-line spots could fill with Kaindoh and Spence on board, but he also knows the Terps need multiple 5-techniques. The sense is he’s not worried about his scholarship falling by the wayside just yet.
Our take? While Johnson may be dialing things back, we’re leaving him “hot” on the hot board for a reason. That said, it wouldn’t be totally shocking if the Vols and Aggies drew even with Maryland, especially considering Johnson’s intention to see both again.
Lawtez Rogers, DL, Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.): Since speaking to Rogers at the Nike Opening D.C., he’s landed two more FBS offers from Louisville and Wake Forest, with growing interest from many more throughout the ACC and Big Ten.
One such program that should be anteing up soon is Rutgers, which Rogers took in April 30. It was just the second university the edge rusher has seen, with hometown Maryland being the only other. The Roosevelt end enjoyed his stay in Piscataway, N.J., offering up compliments for the campus and head coach Chris Ash’s program.
Rogers isn’t sure where he’s headed next, but with his stock on the rise and numerous universities to check out, the DMV product is taking a deliberate approach. He wants to see what offers might materialize the rest of this spring before hitting the trail in earnest this summer.
In addition to seeing some out-of-state locales, Figure that Rogers will be back in College Park at too. Even though he’s fascinated with his expanding offer list, the Terps, his very first suitor, are likely in the driver’s seat. Rogers has raved about the Maryland staff -- in particular area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim -- the UMD defensive scheme, and the vibe change surrounding the program. He’s keen on DMV-to-UMD, knows several current Terps and wants his mother to see his games at the next level.
It’s conceivable Rogers will take official visits, but the feeling is he’ll be coaxed into an early pop when spots begin filling. We have him listed “hot” on the hot board.
Olalere Oladipo, DE, Huntley (Ill.): It’s unclear how hard the Maryland coaches will push for Oladipo with the Terps positioned for several DMV defensive linemen, but evidently the Illinois end remains interested in seeing College Park. Oladipo has a few East Coast Big Ten offers from UMD, Syracuse and Penn State and intends to venture through all three during a summer road trip.
Oladipo, who picked up a Maryland offer April 8, has been in contact with Maryland assistant Al Seamonson. Seamonson recruited the edge rusher when the coach was at Illinois, and that connection has Oladipo contemplating UMD.
But in-state Illinois seems to have the early edge, with head coach Lovie Smith’s staff winning Oladipo over. The Huntley product has been through Champaign, Ill., a couple times this offseason and may be leaning towards staying home for college. Nearby Indiana, another program Oladipo’s checked out more than once, has his attention too. Realize, however, that Oladipo pulled a Michigan State offer May 5, and that could very well be a game-changer for him.
With Oladipo perhaps favoring Midwest schools, let’s see if he actually makes it east this summer. For now, we have him listed “cool” on the hot board.
Jordan Anthony, LB, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.): The Terps’ coaches will attempt to make it three-for-three with IMG Academy recruits who are originally from the DMV. UMD headman D.J. Durkin and Co. have pulled Cam Spence and Josh Kaindoh, and now they have four-star linebacker Jordan Anthony's eye.
Following Kaindoh's commitment April 30, the former Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) product said he had turtles on the brain.
“They’re definitely doing something special at Maryland,” said Anthony, who holds offers from UMD, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Mississippi State, NC State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, UNC, Pitt, Rutgers, South Carolina, Va Tech, Tennessee and Syracuse. “They’re building that [hometown] movement over there and really getting guys to buy in. And I’m part of the local guys they want in the program, and [staying home] is definitely something I’m thinking a lot about. Things have changed at Maryland.
“And every single day Cam and Josh are just on me, saying we can make history at Maryland, and we can do it in front of the home fans. Like I said, definitely something special going on, and I am thinking about it.”
Anthony said he’s in constant contact with UMD-area recruiter Chris Beatty and linebackers’ coach Matt Barnes. He also exchanges messages with Durkin whenever he can.
The four-star has related well to each Maryland staffer, talking up their personalities and energy. Anthony said the coaches have created a different vibe in College Park, the backer pointing to the eye-opening experience he had over spring break March 28. Moreover, Anthony believes Barnes can help him develop and expand his game. (Anthony also said Durkin will give him a shot to play running back too, though more than likely the recruit’s going to line up exclusively on defense).
Anthony now has the Terps entrenched among his foremost five suitors, but he wouldn’t say whether or not they sat No. 1. Fact is, there are too many other coaches in his ear for the recruit to declare a clear leader.
Clemson (a longtime contender), Oklahoma (surefire official visit), Michigan (surefire official visit), Penn State, Auburn, South Carolina, LSU and Ohio State are all in mind and will likely reside on Anthony’s upcoming top-10 favorites list. Of the above, Anthony seems particularly intrigued by CU, Oklahoma, Michigan, Penn State and maybe Auburn and South Carolina.
But Maryland is right in the thick of things too -- and should be throughout the process. Just don’t expect Anthony to end his recruitment and pop to UMD early a la Kaindoh and Spence. The ex-Falcons’ stud figures to embark on all five official visits before choosing a school in January.
You can read more about Anthony HERE.
Daniel Wright, S, Cardinal Gibbons (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.): Last week in this space, we mentioned it was going to be difficult for Maryland, or any program, to lure the safety Wright away from Florida State. And this week, we’re even more sure of it. Scout’s Corey Bender caught the four-star on camera earlier, and Wright reiterated the Noles were the team to beat. The safety heaped hyperbole on the FSU staff, the atmosphere in Tallahassee, Fla., and the school’s winning tradition. Wright’s been to campus on several occasions and figures to be back again this spring/summer.
The other programs Wright mentioned in contention for his services included LSU (he grew up in the Bayou and noted the campus atmosphere), Clemson (the coaches are pushing hard and Wright pointed to the family feel around the program) and Alabama (winning tradition).
Wright didn’t broach the Terps until Bender specifically asked about them, which tells you something about where UMD stands in this recruitment. Granted, Wright said he’s heard “lots of good things” from teammates-turned-Terps Elisha and Elijah Daniels and the Maryland staff, but didn’t offer much more than that. He said he still wanted to visit College Park this offseason, although, based on the interview’s tone, we’re skeptical such a trip will materialize.
We’ll leave Wright on the hot board in case UMD defensive back’s coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim can make a run. We’re just not banking on that happening at this stage, however.
Tariq Castro-Fields, CB, Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.): There's not a whole lot to update with Castro-Fields after doing so last week, although he did land a Wisconsin offer May 3. Our colleagues who cover the Badgers caught up with the Riverdale corner after his offer, and the article was rather encouraging for Maryland purposes -- if you read between the lines.
Obviously, BadgerNation.com's Bobby Kunz was going to write from a Wisconsin perspective, but he mentioned in the article that Castro-Fields called UMD his "top school." That's significant, because the corner knew he was talking to a Badgers' reporter and still labeled UMD his No. 1.
Now, Castro-Fields didn't seem like he was ready to pop to UMD anytime soon, but this latest development suggests the Terps may be leading Penn State (the presumed No. 2) in the pecking order. So, as long as Maryland-area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and Co. stay on the Upper Marlboro native, Castro-Fields could very well wind up a Terp down the line.
Before doing so, however, the borderline four-star will be giving all his suitors a close look. Wisconsin, UNC, PSU, Michigan State, Va Tech, Pitt, WVU, Syracuse and Rutgers are all in the running. Look for Castro-Fields to check out the Hokies, Heels, Mountaineers and Badgers this summer, in addition to return trips to State College; College Park; and East Lansing, Mich.
Offensive Recruiting Notes
Jon Lovett, RB, Cherokee (Marlton, N.J.): The Terps, along with many of Lovett’s other suitors, seem to be losing some steam with the Jersey back. Truth be told, hometown Rutgers is resonating in a major way, with Lovett returning to Piscataway, N.J., yet again last week. The burly runner loves what head coach Chris Ash is doing with the Scarlet Knights and has a close rapport with the staff. He’s comfortable on campus, likes that RU is nearby and is familiar with numerous current Scarlet Knights/incoming recruits.
Now, Lovett did just land his seventh offer from Syracuse and should be venturing north to New York for a looksee at the Orange. While the Cuse aren’t currently among his main four suitors -- Rutgers, Maryland, BC and Temple comprise the current leaderboard -- it’s likely SU will enter the picture once he visits. The Orange seemingly fit the criteria Lovett’s searching for in a school (close to home, up-tempo offense, solid academics). Also, Lovett has been hearing from a pair of Pennsylvania programs, PSU and Pitt, and should be trekking through both in hopes of procuring those verbals.
Meanwhile, the running back has reneged on a couple return trips to Maryland and hasn’t indicated he’ll be back anytime soon. Sure, it’s possible UMD-area recruiter Matt Barnes can regain Lovett’s ear, which is why the Garden State back is on the hot board, but it sounds like he’s Rutgers’ to lose unless a program like Penn State comes calling (doubtful).
Jayden Comma, WR, Roswell (Ga.): The Terps’ staff has targeted a number of Georgia receivers, including two who have visited College Park in Carlos Carriere (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Sean Nelson (Langston Hughes/Fairburn, Ga.). Now, the Maryland staff is set to host a third, provided Jayden Comma follows through with an intended summer trip.
UMD receivers’ coach Chris Beatty and offensive coordinator Walt Bell, have maintained communication with the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Comma since February, and their efforts have seemingly paid off.
“Maryland is really interested in me, and I want to get up there to see what it’s like. They were my first big offer, and the coaches there are in touch like every day,” Comma said. “Actually, Coach [Chris] Beatty, he’s going to be down here [at Roswell] May 10 to see me work out, and he talks to my online like every day. I really like Coach Beatty and Coach [Walt] Bell as well. They’re just good people and I love how personal they are.”
Comma, who is also intrigued by the Terps’ spread offense, does have a couple other Big Ten and FBS offers on the table, but mentioned the Maryland coaches are pushing hardest for his services. That said, the Georgia prospect allowed he’s hoping a few interested ACC or SEC programs eventually ante up.
Per Comma, coaches from Louisville, Mizzou, Miami, Florida, Auburn and Tennessee have all been through Roswell and could extend verbals later this spring/summer. If so, Comma hinted he’d be inclined to stay in the South rather than head north for college.
“I don’t mind playing far from home, but it is kind of important to think of my mother and my family too,” Comma said. “I don’t want them to have to travel too far to see me play.”
Either way, Comma said he should have a top-five leaderboard that consists of ACC, SEC and Big Ten schools by early summer. Then, ideally, he’d like to have his college decision made before the fall.
Our gut? Well, it’s encouraging that Comma does want to see Maryland, but it sounds like his heart’s in the South. Unless those coveted ACC or SEC suitors never materialize, he figures to wind up at a school closer to Georgia.
You can read more about Comma HERE.
Cameron Sullivan-Brown, WR, Pallotti (Laurel, Md.): The DMV wideout/corner Sullivan-Brown now has a third school in contention, in addition to Maryland and Penn State. The three-star has been hearing from both the Duke staff and Blue Devils’ commit Damani Neal (Bullis/Potomac, Md.), and now he’s eager to check out Durham, N.C., this summer. Sullivan-Brown is intrigued by the school’s academic reputation and the coaches’ desire to recruit him at his preferred receiver position.
But while the Blue Devils are making things interesting, Maryland and Penn State continue to resonate, the two Big Ten programs seemingly battling for the top spot.
Sullivan-Brown talked up his initial Happy Valley trip in early April, lauding the coaching staff; atmosphere surrounding the program; and the Nittany Lions’ need for immediate-impact receivers. He’s looking to return for a second look at PSU in the next couple months.
As for the Terps, Sullivan-Brown likes being close to his family; representing his home state at the next level; and the idea of DMV-to-UMD. The Pallotti product has connected with the UMD staff, has a rapport with receivers’ coach Chris Beatty and area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, and loves the various changes in College Park, Md.
The only question is, Will the Maryland coaches let him play wideout? They’ve offered him as an athlete, but might view Sullivan-Brown as a cornerback long-term. If Sullivan-Brown senses that’s the case, he could begin to favor Penn State, Duke or others over the local university.
Either way, look for Sullivan-Brown to choose his future destination during the summer.
Justin Marshall, WR, Salem (Conyers, Ga.): The Terps remain on the brain for the four-star Marshall, but they’re hanging by a thread. Marshall has Louisville out in front after two Cardinals’ trips, and an April 30 trek through South Carolina has the Georgian’s mind on the Gamecocks too. Plus, North Carolina and Tennessee are right there for Marshall, the Salem product seeking to see the Heels and Vols this offseason.
Now, Marshall has not ruled Maryland out; he’s still considering a College Park trip. The recruit has been in contact with UMD receivers’ coach Chris Beatty, and the two have formed a bond. Marshall’s also intrigued by the Maryland offense, and said he grew up a huge Stefon Diggs fan.
That’s all well and good, but we’re not sure it’s enough to trump Marshall’s southern suitors. Like many recruits in ACC/SEC country, Marshall’s preference may be to remain in the South.
We’ll leave the wideout on the hot board just in case Marshall ventures north, but he could be removed at any time. Particularly if Maryland is not included on the wideout’s re-released top-10 leaderboard, which is due out May 6.
New Offers Out
Devin Leary, QB, Timber Creek (Sicklerville, N.J.) (2018): Just like in the 2017 class, the Terps’ coaches are leaving themselves no shortage of quarterback options in 2018. UMD offensive coordinator Walt Bell has now extended four verbals to sophomore gunslingers, with the latest going to Garden State dual-threat Devin Leary. The 6-2, 175-pounder previously held just one offer from Temple, so UMD represented his most significant to date.
“It’s so exciting that they recognized my talents and are giving me a chance to play at the Big Ten level,” Leary said. “Maryland is a really nice school academically and football-wise. And I’ve actually watched some videos of Coach Bell’s offense at Arkansas State, and what he does with his quarterbacks at. I like how he uses the quarterbacks in the system, takes advantage of their strengths, and makes them comfortable. [The offense] seems like a great fit for me.”
Leary visited College Park back in eighth grade, when he attended a one-day camp. He talked up the football facilities, the campus and the atmosphere, mentioning how he’s excited to return for another camp this summer. Leary said he’ll be throwing in front of Bell, head coach D.J. Durkin and the rest of the staff.
But Maryland isn’t the only program Leary will be trekking through. Nor will it be the lone verbal the dual-threat secures the rest of this offseason.
Leary said staffers from Northwestern, UNC, South Carolina, Wake, NC State, Syracuse, Penn State, Notre Dame, Oregon, Purdue, Iowa and Kentucky have all had some form of contact. The Jersey prospect surmised North Carolina’s and Northwestern’s coaches would be next to ante up.
If the Heels’ staff does follow through, UNC could be the initial frontrunner. Leary admitted North Carolina was a dream school of sorts, the quarterback noting it would be a “great fi.”
Leary will be visiting Chapel Hill, N.C., this summer. Additionally, he’ll foray to South Carolina, Wake, NC State, Temple, PSU, Notre Dame and maybe more.
Needless to say, it’s early in the process, so even though Leary loves his Terps’ look now, Bell and Co. are going to have some stiff competition moving forward.
You can read more about Leary HERE.
Warren Thompson, WR, Armwood (Seffner, Fla.) (2018): Thompson added to his steadily expanding offer list May 5 when the Terps followed through with an offer, UMD receivers' coach Chris Beatty doing the honors. It was the sophomore Thompson's 11th offer to date, joining Tennessee, Florida, Miami, UNC, Louisville, USF, Pitt, PSU, Rutgers and Southern Miss.
Thompson has been to Miami multiple times and trekked through UF as well, giving both programs an initial edge. Word is he's going to be difficult to pull out of the Sunshine State, unless a major SEC program comes calling. In all likelihood, however, this will be a Canes, Gators and maybe Seminoles battle.
Travis Koontz, TE, Boardman (Ohio): The three-star Koontz was all set to commit to Bowling Green over Cincinnati later this month, but when Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin extended an offer May 4, it changed the tight end’s thinking. Durkin actually went to Boardman to watch Koontz work out in late April, the headman’s personal touch resonating with the Ohio product. On top of that, Maryland is Koontz first Big Ten offer, and since the 6-5, 235-pounder has grown up in B1G country, it represents an opportunity to play in the conference he’s watched all his life.
Koontz told Scout’s Bill Greene he’s in the process of planning an initial College Park trip, likely for later during the summer.
"Getting my first Big Ten is great and I'm excited to have it come from Maryland," Koontz told Greene. "This is a big offer to me and I'm very interested in them. "I don't know a lot about Maryland, but I'm looking forward to finding out more about them. I definitely plan on taking a visit there to meet the coaches and see their campus."
The fact Durkin himself gave Koontz the verbal means the Terps are serious about bringing the tight end in. Remember, Maryland was only supposed to sign one tight end this class in Andrew Park (Lake Braddock/Burke, Va.), but the Terps’ lack of depth at that spot necessitated a second. Turns out Koontz is their guy, and, provided he makes it College Park, we think Durkin has a good shot at landing him.
Maryland does figure to have some competition, however. Michigan State, Kentucky, Penn State and Purdue have all been through Boardman to evaluate Koontz, and some of those programs are bound to offer in time. If so, we expect Koontz to entertain them and perhaps set up campus visits.
But, at first blush, we like the Terps’ position with the Boardman recruit. We have him listed “warm” on the hot board.
Thomas Booker, TE/DE, Gilman (Baltimore, Md.) (2018): Turns out not every Gilman star will be leaving the Baltimore school this offseason. Emerging two-way athlete Thomas Booker is sticking with the Greyhounds, keeping the program relevant for FBS college coaches. The 6-4, 260-pounder snagged his first two offers from Michigan and Maryland April 29, and he was thrilled about each.
Booker, who the Wolverines’ staff wants at tight end, heard about the UM verbal via former Gilman coach Biff Poggi, who is now in an administrative role in Ann Arbor, Mich. Booker called it an “honor” to land his first offer from a prestigious Big Ten university, and he’s eager to visit Michigan as soon as possible.
The tight end/defensive end was equally excited about the Terps, with defensive line coach Mike London extending the verbal.
“I always look at Maryland, because it’s in my backyard and I know a lot of people going there,” said Booker, who noted the Terps’ staff hasn’t specified whether they want him at tight end or defensive end. “I love the basketball and football programs there, and it’s a great school from an athletic and academic standpoint. To get a Maryland offer just two hours after Michigan, it was exciting for me.
“I like that Maryland is close to home and close to my support network. It’s always a plus to have your family close by.”
Booker had particularly ardent praise for London, noting the UMD-area recruiter’s personable approach during their 10-minute conversation. The Gilman product hasn’t met London, or the rest of the staff, yet, but is looking forward to doing so in the next couple of weeks.
The recruiting process is just beginning, however, and Booker will have his pick of schools by this time next year (Wisconsin and Pitt anted up in early May). But expect the Terps to be involved with the Gilman product the next two years. Booker should be in College Park multiple times for games and visits as the coaches attempt to gain inroads.
You can read more about Booker HERE.
Toryque Bateman, OT, Gadsden City (Gadsden, Ala.): The Terps’ coaches offered this borderline four-star tackle April 30, but they’re probably a little late to the game. Bateman already held verbals from schools like Tennessee, Michigan, Miami, Mississippi State Kentucky, Louisville, Mizzou and Wisconsin well before UMD’s Dave Borbely anted up.
Bateman has visited Tennessee and is high on the Vols at this juncture. He’s also taken a liking to Michigan, Miami and Mississippi State, the tackle scheduling visits to each.
But Bateman would ideally love to land a hometown Alabama offer, and the Tide staff has been in touch. If that scholarship’s presented, look for Bateman to snap it up.
D.J. Johnson, DE, Luther Burbank (Sacramento, Calif.): The Maryland staff has been attempting to establish a foothold in California, with a number of offers going out to left-coast recruits. Some of them are even considering a trek east to College Park.
It’s unlikely Johnson will be one of them, however. Fact is, Maryland defensive line coach Mike London was the 42nd assistant to extend a scholarship May 1, the Terps preceded by programs throughout the Big 12; Pac-12; SEC; and Big Ten.
The four-star Johnson has hometown USC in the thick of things after visiting the Trojans a couple times this offseason. Alabama, Oklahoma, Oregon, UCLA, Georgia and a couple others are on the Sacramento native’s mind as well, although Ole Miss, whose coaches are pursuing in earnest, may have the lead for the edge rusher’s services.
Johnson is not going on the hot board unless he visits College Park down the line.
Gerry Vaughn, OLB, Tucker (Ga.) (2018): The sophomore Vaughn actually pulled his Maryland offer back in April, but he didn’t report it until May 2. Which seemed kind of odd on this end considering the Terps represented his very first verbal of any variety.
“Well, I did post something about it on Instagram,” laughed the 6-0, 205-pound Vaughn. “But, yeah, back in April a couple Maryland coaches came through and told my coaches [at Tucker] that I had the offer from them. I was honored to receive it, but I really don’t know too much about Maryland yet, other then they’re Under Armour and play in the Big Ten.
“Their coaches really haven’t been in contact with me yet either, but I do have interest in going up there. I’d like to see the school; I’m just waiting to see if they reach out to me.”
Regardless of the contact level, it was probably prudent for the Terps’ staff to enter the fray early. Vaughn said coaches from throughout the ACC and SEC are either in touch via social media or have stopped by Tucker High during the evaluation period. The sophomore expects Mississippi State and Clemson to be offering in due time, along with a host of other programs.
“I haven’t taken any visits yet, but I’m going to see who all comes in [this spring],” said Vaughn, who grew up a UGA fan but noted the Bulldogs aren’t necessarily his favorite school now. “Then I’ll start getting out this summer. There’s a lot of schools I want to see.”
J.R. Pace, S, Woodward Academy (College Park, Ga.): UMD's Georgia recruiter, Mike London, is heading to the Peach State next week, but before doing so he extended an offer to this three-star safety. Pace had several Big Ten and ACC suitors before graduate assistant Brawley Evans informed Pace of said offer, but it does seem like the recruit will at least entertain the Terps. The 6-1, 195-pounder said Maryland's business school, need for defensive backs and conference affiliation all stood out to him at first glance.
But Pace is favoring Northwestern, and also has Duke, Vandy and BC firmly in play. An education-first recruit, the opportunities presented at each of those renowned universities are ringing true.
Pace had an overnight visit at Duke and came away extolling the program, from the coaches to the players to the academics. But he called Northwestern the early standout after trekking through Chicago and learning about the post-graduate opportunities. Vandy and BC stood out too, though those program are likely third and fourth in the pecking order.
But let's see if Pace makes it to College Park for a summer visit. If so, perhaps head coach D.J. Durkin and the relentless Maryland staff can gain the Woodward Academy prospect's ear, pitching early playing time and a variety of majors.
Our gut? Pace winds up at Northwestern or maybe Duke before it's all said and done. He's probably inclined to stay in the south (NU being the exception), even though he insisted location was not a primary factor for him.
You can read more about Pace HERE.
Tre Shaw, CB, Cedar Grove (Ellenwood, Ga.): The four-star Shaw landed an offer from UMD defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim May 2, and though we don’t doubt the assistant’s prowess on the trail, he has a tough row to hoe. The 6-0, 180-pound Shaw not only had 20-plus offers prior to the Terps’ verbal, but he already released a top-10 leaderboard. That favorites’ list consisted of schools like Clemson, UNC, Auburn, Michigan, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, LSU and NC State, all of which have scholarships out or should be offering in the near future.
Shaw visited the Gamecocks in late April and has USC near the top of the totem poll, while Florida is on the mind too. Auburn, however, could be the leader in the clubhouse following Shaw’s trek through War Eagle country. But if coaches from CU or LSU ante up, well, that could change the four-star’s thinking entirely.
Shaw won’t be placed on the hot board unless we hear some definitive Maryland interest.
Brendan Radley-Hiles, CB, Calabasas (Calif.) (2018): This rising-star California corner pulled his 15th offer from Maryland May 4. Prior to the Terps' verbal, he had looks from Notre Dame, UCLA, Arizona, Nebraska, Florida, Michigan, MSU, UNC, Ohio State, Penn State and more.
Radley-Hiles took particular note of his early-May Irish offer, and it seems like UND is trending at this stage of the game. But the West Coast programs and some Big Ten mainstays like Ohio State and Michigan, in addition to Nebraska, have the corner's ear too.
Basically, unless Maryland has a standout 2016 campaign, coupled with one heck of a recruiting effort, Radley-Hiles probably isn't attending college on the East Coast. Regardless, this represents yet another attempt for the Terps' staff to establish a foothold in Cali.
Kaindoh Makes It Official
Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin landed another Scout.com four-star recruit April 30 as edge rusher Josh Kaindoh made his much-anticipated commitment to his hometown school. The Baltimore, Md., native chose the Terps over Notre Dame, which finished a close second for his services.
Although Kaindoh didn’t grant an interview April 30, we were told his relationship with the new UMD staff, coupled with a desire to return home for college, pushed Maryland out front. Kaindoh visited College Park at least three times during the spring and came away impressed with the changes Durkin’s instilling, the coaches’ overall energy, and the attacking-style defense. He readily took to defensive line coach Mike London, who Kaindoh believes can readily develop his game, as well as Terps’-area recruiter Chris Beatty. Plus, Kaindoh knows he can step right in and contribute soon after arriving in College Park. (It helps that he’s an early enrollee, which will give him a leg up on his fellow freshmen).
The fact Kaindoh’s teammate and close friend, Cam Spence, and many other touted DMV recruits are heading to Maryland aided the Terps’ chances at landing the four-star too. And don’t underestimate UMD’s academic reputation considering Kaindoh eventually wants to pursue a medical career.
So, with Kaindoh on board, we do expect other talented prospects from the DMV and Florida to take note -- just like when Spence committed to Maryland. The Terps’ recruiting momentum, especially in the DMV, was rolling even before Kaindoh committed, but his addition should keep it humming in earnest.
True, it doesn’t sound like the edge rusher’s pop is going to convince Vic Dimukeje or Tyree Johnson to simply drop their other suitors in favor of UMD, but the Maryland staff is certainly well positioned for those two and other defensive line recruits. Josh Paschal (Good Counsel/Olney, Md.), Lawtez Rogers (Roosevelt/Greenbelt, Md.), Chase Young (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.) and Curtis Harper (McKeesport, Pa.) all have turtles on the brain. And, as more and more elite locals jump on the Maryland bandwagon, the better positioned UMD’s staff will be for the likes of Anthony McFarland (DeMatha), Cam Sullivan-Brown, Marcus Minor (DeMatha), Nathan Proctor (Lackey/Indian Head, Md.), Marcus Bowman (Douglass/Upper Marlboro, Md.), Deon Jones (Potomac/Oxon Hill, Md.) and Tariq Castro-Fields (Riverdale Baptist/Upper Marlboro, Md.). Not to mention the third rung in that DMV-to-IMG triumvirate, four-star linebacker Jordan Anthony (discussed above), who is seriously considering joining Spence and Kaindoh in College Park.
As far as Kaindoh’s game is concerned, he projects as a Day One contributor at Maryland. He’s about 6-5, 240 pounds and should add 20-plus pounds during the next year or so, giving him an ideal 5-technique frame.
Kaindoh possesses long arms and violent hands, which he uses to actively disengage and keep tackles out of his body. He also has a rapid-fire first step, terrific fluidity and tremendous athleticism. The latter allows Kaindoh to employ a variety of rush moves, showing the ability to deke outside before cutting inside or looping around backside and then bee-lining in.
Furthermore, Kaindoh gets downhill in a hurry and can explode into the backfield. He’s also nimble enough to drop back and defend in space, meaning he could potentially play some 3-4 outside linebacker.
To improve, Kaindoh mainly has to gain strength to hang on a college D-line. He could always stand to shore up his footwork, hand placement and become even more powerful at the point of attack as well.
Note: Although Kaindoh is a “hard” pledge, we do not expect coaches from Notre Dame or Ohio State to cease recruiting the defensive end. And although his high school coach suggested otherwise, often prospects of Kaindoh’s caliber who commit early do end up embarking on a few official visits -- even if they have no intention of decommitting from their original college choice.