The Maryland staff has already pulled the first two DMV transplants who are finishing their high school careers at IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) in Cam Spence and Josh Kaindoh. And now they’re going for the clean sweep, attempting to bring in the third four-star stud.
Linebacker Jordan Anthony's interest in UMD has steadily risen during the last few months, from lukewarm before head coach D.J. Durkin assumed control of the program; to warm after speaking to the new staff; to top eight after visiting College Park, Md., during spring break; to surefire top five following the commitments of his two teammates.
Anthony admitted he didn’t envision himself at Maryland prior to the latest developments, but now there’s a very good chance he ends of donning a Pride uniform.
“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.”
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound four-star said Spence had already been in his ear for the last month or so, but now he has Kaindoh pumping Maryland too.
“Like every day,” laughed Anthony. “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 has established a rapport with linebackers’ coach Matt Barnes, UMD-area recruiter Chris Beatty and Durkin himself. He said Barnes and Beatty are on him “all the time,” while he exchanges messages with Durkin “every once in awhile.”
“I talk to Coach Barnes and Coach Beatty as much as I can, just keeping a relationship with them. They’re great people, and very easy to talk to. Same with Coach Durkin, he’s definitely great,” Anthony said. “We talk about the plans they have there and what they have in store for me. One thing that was pretty cool is how [Durkin] said I could maybe play both ways there – linebacker and running back. I saw how Myles Jack did it, so that’s something I would definitely like to try (laughs).
“But, as a linebacker, I know Coach Barnes, he can really help me develop. When I was up there [in March] he showed me how he’d use me and how I could [succeed] there. I definitely liked what he was saying and think he’s a great coach. And Coach Beatty, it’s just cool with us; we can talk about anything. I think he’s coming down to see me work out [May 10].”
The former Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) backer said what truly opened his eyes to Maryland, however, was his March 28 spring-break trip. That’s when he and his father had a long sitdown with Durkin and learned about the inner-workings of new-look UMD.
“I felt a really good vibe there – different than before,” Anthony said. “Coach Durkin was saying how I need to stay home with the rest of the [DMV] guys, build my legacy there, how my family is there, and how I would have a chance to represent my hometown. It’s something that really stayed with me and I’ll be thinking about through the process.”
Anthony said the Terps will certainly be among his top five suitors throughout, but there are other programs he’s considering. After taking in UMD during spring break, he visited Penn State and Michigan, two programs firmly on the brain.
“I definitely liked Penn State. I keep in contact with the coaches and have a great relationship with them,” said Anthony, who mentioned coaches from Oklahoma, Alabama, MSU, PSU and OSU have been through IMG this spring, while staffers from UMD; Michigan; and Clemson will be in coming up. “And Michigan is definitely in my top five after I visited there. One thing that’s big for me is my major, business finance, and they’re a top school for that. And then last year they beat an SEC team in a bowl game, so that was big, and also the coaching staff has big plans for me. So Michigan is a very attractive option.”
A few more attractive options, per Anthony, include Clemson, South Carolina, Auburn, Oklahoma, LSU and Ohio State, among others. Anthony hasn’t released a formal top-10 leaderboard yet – he will later this spring – but it’s likely all of the aforementioned program will be included.
“I’ve been to Clemson a bunch, and I was there for their game against Florida State last year. They’re definitely still there and very high for me,” Anthony said. “I want to get to Oklahoma, and I know that’s an official visit I’ll be taking. I definitely like what I’ve heard from Oklahoma.
“Then I’m trying to get to South Carolina, Auburn and possibly LSU this summer. I’m going to Auburn with my team, actually, but I’d like to get there with my parents too so they can see the campus.”
Anthony plans to take all five official visits during the fall and into the winter. He does not intend to commit before January.
“I’d like to commit at one of the big games, the Under Armour or Army games, but I haven’t been invited yet,” Anthony said. “But that’s sort of what I’d like to do. I’m going to go through the process.”