TTDave's Inside The Shell

Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup.

Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup.

News On Terps Targets

Devin Darrington, RB, John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.): The Terps’ staff will likely take one running back pledge in 2017, with a second spot reserved for elite local Anthony McFarland (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.) when the four-star is ready to choose a college next winter. UMD head coach D.J. Durkin has offered numerous touted talents and has hosted a few of his foremost targets in the DMV’s Tayon Fleet-Davis (Potomac/Oxon Hill, Md.), Georgia’s Deon Jackson (Pace Academy/Atlanta, Ga.) and Jersey’s Jon Lovett (Cherokee/Marlton, N.J.). But another nearby runner has begun to rise up the ranks and could procure a Terps’ offer in time.

The 5-foot-9, 200-pound Darrington has added offers from Vandy, Indiana, Pitt and Rutgers this spring, and has just begun to establish contact with the Maryland staff. The John Carroll product said he’s met UMD running backs coach Anthony Tucker and defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, while those two and area recruiter Mike London recently began following him on Twitter.

It’s conceivable, if Durkin senses he won’t hit on the highest-rated runners on his board, the Terps’ headman extends Darrington a committable scholarship. In the meantime, it wouldn’t shock if the staff gave Darrington a “placeholder” verbal to keep UMD in the game.

“It would be cool if Maryland offered, but I’d have to meet the coaches on a visit, talk to the head coach and just get a feel for the program there now,” Darrington said. “I knew the old staff, but I don’t really know the new guys yet. So I’d have to do my research, just like with every other school.

“But, I have been up there before for games and things. It’s a great school, a great environment, great people and a great campus. I’ve always enjoyed myself when I’ve been up there for camps and games. It’s a school I would definitely look at.”

While Darrington waits on the Terps, he’ll be checking out Vanderbilt, Pitt, Indiana and any other programs that choose to ante up. He’s already seen one of his offerees, Rutgers, Darrington talking up the campus and coaching staff.

Of his FBS suitors, the Commodores would seem to be a solid fit considering Vandy’s academic reputation and SEC affiliation. Darrington isn’t ready to declare leaders, but Vanderbilt could gain the pole position following a trip to Nashville, Tenn.

At this stage, the DMV back is content to evaluate his options, embark on a few visits and then schedule some officials. He said he’ll be taking a deliberate approach, refusing to rush into a sooner-than-expected college decision.

Now, we could easily see Darrington popping during the summer once teams begin filling running back slots. But, if he does hold off as intended, it may work in Maryland’s favor. Perhaps, if the Terps are still in need of a runner come fall, the staff will turn its attention to the John Carroll recruit.

You can read more about Darrington HERE.

Deon Jackson, RB, Pace Academy (Atlanta, Ga.): We’ve been keeping close tabs on the Georgia back Jackson, especially after he visited Maryland in mid-April. But it’s always good to get a national perspective since recruits tend to give different stories to non-program affiliated reporters.

Scout’s Georgia analyst, Chad Simmons, caught Jackson on camera last week, and the Pace Academy recruit basically reiterated what he’d told me earlier. Granted, Jackson wasn’t as effusive in his UMD praise this time around, but he maintained Maryland was a primary contender for his services. The three-star said the programs pursuing him the hardest were Louisville, WVU, UMD, Wisconsin and Oregon State. Jackson mentioned he felt each of those schools’ coaches were genuinely interested and “make me feel like a priority.”

The Georgian went on to say he enjoyed his College Park, Md., stay, but had to see his other suitors before naming standouts. Jackson noted it was “very important” he check out Louisville and WVU, in particular, in addition to a possible trek through Madison, Wisc.

There’s a chance other schools could become involved, but Jackson seems inclined to stick with the previously-mentioned programs that have prioritized him.

If the three-star is able to see all the campuses he wants, he should be ending his recruitment later during the summer. If not, look for Jackson to drag his recruitment out (provided he’s not coaxed into committing earlier when spots begin to fill).

For our part, we believe the Terps could be positioned for Jackson should UMD-area recruiter Mike London and running backs coach Anthony Tucker push in earnest. Remember, there are several highly-rated backs on the Terps’ board, and since head coach D.J. Durkin may only be taking one or two runners this year, he might not be ready to accept Jackson’s pledge. That could change, however, if the likes of Javon Leake (Page/Greensboro, N.C.), Tayon Fleet-Davis (Potomac/Oxon Hill, Md.), Jon Lovett (Cherokee/Marlton, N.J.), Damon Williams (Gadsden City/Gadsden, Ala.), C.J. Holmes (Cheshire Academy/Cheshire, Conn.) or Malik Davis (Jesuit/Tampa, Fla.) opt for elsewhere.

Marcus Minor, OL, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.): The offensive tackle Minor continues to add offers, and this week Tennessee, Purdue and Florida pulled through, bringing his total close to 25. Of that trio, the UF verbal is resonating, with the four-star considering a potential trek though Gainesville, Fla. Moreover, Minor’s teammate, Chase Young, has Florida under prime consideration and has undoubtedly filled the big lineman in on the program.

But Florida represents just another program the Terps’ staff will have to fend off for Minor’s services. Penn State, Auburn, Miami and Va Tech, all of which Minor has seen, are firmly on the radar too. Then, this summer, he wants to check out Texas A&M since the Aggies’ coaches are pushing for Minor to visit. Tennessee is another possible summer destination, along with the proposed UF trip.

Naturally, Minor will be returning to College Park as well. He’s remained in close communication with UMD-area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and other Terps’ staffers, hears from his fellow DMV-recruits-turned-Terps almost daily, and believes in the direction Maryland is heading. 

But while Minor’s keeping the hometown school at or near the top of his leaderboard, we’re not sure he’ll be popping anytime soon. The DeMatha recruit suggested he could take official visits if his offer list keeps growing and he still has lingering questions following summer trips. At the same time, it’s entirely possible Minor finds the right fit athletically, socially and academically by August, the four-star opting to end his recruitment before his senior season. If so, we like the Terps’ chances with the DMV lineman. 

Vic Dimukeje, DL, Boys’ Latin (Baltimore, Md.): After updating Dimukeje’s status last week, I decided to stop by Boys’ Latin May 10 to see if I could glean exactly where he stood with Maryland and in the recruiting process.

The Boys’ Latin product reiterated his strong interest in the hometown school, noting his rapport with defensive line coach Mike London and the rest of the coaches. He spoke highly of headman D.J. Durkin’s program, the school’s academics, and noted his overall comfort level on campus after multiple trips to College Park. The Baltimore resident then said Maryland’s current DMV commits, namely end Josh Kaindoh (IMG Academy/Bradenton, Fla.) and tackle Cam Spence (IMG Academy), have been urging Dimukeje to join them on the Terps’ D-line.

Dimukeje even mentioned his mother liked UMD a good amount, mainly because of the school’s educational opportunities.

All of which sounds encouraging, although we’re a bit leery of some of the lineman’s other suitors. Dimukeje admitted he wasn’t as close to committing to Maryland as originally believed a few weeks back, the Boys’ Latin prospect seeking to trek through a few more locales this offseason.

Two campuses he figures to see are Duke’s and Wake Forest’s, mainly because the Dimukeje family is originally from the Carolina area. Plus, the academic reputations at those universities, in particular at Duke, have both the defensive lineman’s and his mother’s attention.

Rutgers and Temple are on Dimukeje’s mind too after initial trips to each, while Michigan (no offer) and Penn State (no offer, but he’s been in Happy Valley once before) could get looks as well since staffs from both schools’ staffs have shown increased interest. On top of that, Dimukeje landed new verbals from Indiana and Purdue earlier this week. He’s unlikely to attend either of those universities, but Dimukeje is thinking about visiting Bloomington, Ind., and West Lafayette, Ind., since both the Boilermakers and Hoosiers sent coaches out to see him.

Dimukeje acknowledged he could end his recruitment at any time, however, so it’s unclear how many of these schools he’ll realistically get to. Based on the Boys’ Latin product’s tone, it didn’t sound like he’d be dragging his recruitment into the fall, Dimukeje mentioning he didn’t need to take official visits.

The feeling here is when Dimukeje sits down with his mother to hash through his multitude of suitors, Maryland and Duke will emerge as the two frontrunners. Between the pair, the Terps may hold the hometown edge, but this is a closer call than one might surmise. UMD fans may have to sweat out Dimukeje’s intended foray through Durham, N.C., before they can count him in Maryland’s 2017 class.

That is, unless London, who has been pressing for a pop, can coax out a commitment beforehand. Which we believe is entirely possible.

You can hear what Dimukeje had to say HERE.

Tyree Johnson, DL, St. John’s (Washington, D.C.): After stopping by Boys’ Latin, I headed down to D.C. for an interview with Johnson May 12. The three-star St. John’s recruit is yet another defensive lineman Maryland’s coaches are hot on the trail of.

After the interview, I got the sense the Terps remain the team to beat for the local edge rusher. Johnson refused to admit it outright, but he dropped hint after hint UMD was in the driver’s seat.

The St. John’s end extolled Maryland-area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, defensive line coach Mike London and the vibe surrounding head coach D.J. Durkin’s program. He discussed his inherent comfort level on campus, said he “loves” being in College Park, and enjoys hanging with the other DMV recruits and UMD commits. On top of that, Johnson said the hometown movement is “real” and noted how Terps’ pledges like Josh Kaindoh, Cam Spence and teammate Kasim Hill are after him in earnest. And, much like Vic Dimukeje, Johnson said his parents are all about Maryland too.

But the local end acknowledged he’s enjoying the recruiting process and doesn’t want it to end quite yet. He continues to talk up Tennessee and TAMU, two schools he’s been to before and wants to see again. The Vols and Aggies are considered the primary threats to Maryland in this race.

Besides UT and Texas A&M, Johnson would like to check out North Carolina, first and foremost, then possibly Miami; Ole Miss; Va Tech; and Syracuse. Following those trips, Johnson said he’d either release a new leaderboard or end his recruitment entirely. If it’s the latter, Johnson let it be known he still intended to take official visits. We’ll see if that’s the case later this summer, but it doesn’t sound like the 5-technique is in any rush to pop.

Our gut? Well, who knows what’ll be on Johnson’s mind in the next few months, but we’re going to leave him “hot” on the hot board. We’ll continue forecasting him to UMD.

Note: Johnson mentioned the Maryland staff is recruiting him at the hybrid “BUCK” position, with an opportunity to play 5-technique or drop back into coverage depending on the package.

You can read more about Johnson HERE.

George Hunter, S, Atlantic (Delray Beach, Fla.): We intimated earlier the Maryland staff might not be as high on Hunter as the recruit was on the Terps, and, after Scout’s Corey Bender interviewed the Atlantic product, we’re more sure of it.

Recall, after our first two chats with Hunter, he told us UMD was his surefire No. 1, letting on it was only a matter of time before he committed. In fact, the Florida native even had a decision date set for late May, following Atlantic’s spring game.

But the Delray Beach native backed off that statement in the Bender conversation. Hunter continued to call the Terps his top suitor, but he also listed Kansas State as a primary contender, in addition to Toledo.

Which suggests to us Hunter may be realizing he’s not a “take” for the Terps at this point.

“Two of my teammates, Antwaine Richardson and Dion Goldbourne, are going to Maryland, and Antwaine said that’s where it’s at,” Hunter told Bender. “[Richardson] said he loves it up there. So even without me seeing [Maryland], I think it’s a real good school for me. I’m going to take an official visit there, but I’m not sure if I’m going to commit or not.”

The latter statement is a fairly clear indication Hunter’s taken the hint. That said, we do anticipate UMD defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim maintaining communication with Hunter, keeping the relationship humming in case the Terps need a safety down the line.

In the meantime, look for Hunter to sit in a holding pattern, or perhaps check out the likes of Manhattan, Kans., Toledo, Ohio, or any other programs that may extend an offer.

He’s been moved to “cool” on the hot board until further notice.

Marquis Waters, S, Atlantic (Delray Beach, Fla.): There are some questions surrounding Waters’ teammate, George Hunter, but there’s no doubt the Maryland staff would accept a pledge from this Atlantic safety. The three-star Waters has about 20 offers in tow, but the Terps are in the hunt, among the 6-1, 190-pounder’s five main suitors.

Waters has been in close contact with UMD defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, who trekked through Atlantic recently. The Florida safety said he and Abdul-Rahim are “tight” and they have a “great relationship.” Plus, Waters has heard about UMD from teammates-turned-Terps Dion Goldbourne and Antwaine Richardson.

Waters would like to visit Maryland for the first time sometime this summer, but, if not then, it’s possible he embarks on a College Park official.

The other four standouts on Waters’ current leaderboard are Kentucky, Duke, NC State and Wake Forest. Of those, the Blue Devils are resonating thanks to their academic reputation and the coaching staff’s potent push.

That’s fine, but it’s important to note Waters tends to change his mind quite often, depending on the day of the week; what reporter he’s speaking to; and which college coaches he’s been in touch with recently.

For example, about a month ago Waters had Va Tech trending, followed by UCF and maybe a few others. Then, a couple weeks back, he told our Duke colleagues he had a top five that consisted of Nebraska, WVU, Wisconsin, UCF and the Devils. Now, as of May 12, five of those programs (UCF, WVU, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Va Tech) are no longer on his re-released favorites list.

So while we are somewhat optimistic about UMD’s position right now -- the Terps may be sitting No. 2 behind Duke -- we’re hesitant to list him anywhere above “warm” on the hot board. Maryland fans should probably hold their collective enthusiasm until Waters follows through with a College Park trip.

New Offers Out

C.J. Holmes, RB, Cheshire Academy (Cheshire, Conn.): The Terps became the latest offer for the four-star athlete Holmes May 9, but they might be too late to gain much traction here. In early May, Holmes proclaimed Tennessee, Penn State and Syracuse his initial three standouts after visits to each. The Vols hit home thanks to their SEC affiliation and the coaching staff’s overtures; the Nittany Lions were right there after the staff welcomed him in during a spring visit; and the Orange resided on the list due to head coach Dino Babers’ background and up-tempo offense.

But Michigan just offered Holmes May 9, and now it seems like the Wolverines are firmly in play. Furthermore, Holmes has interest from Notre Dame and Stanford, the runner hoping both of those high-academic, football-renowned programs eventually come through.

Thus, the thinking is Holmes will back off his stated top three and begin considering his latest round of offerees/potential suitors. Which means there’s some potential for the Terps’ coaches to work into the mix.

Indeed, the Cheshire Academy back has interest in seeing College Park later this summer. But Holmes is not going on the hot board unless UMD-area recruiter Pete Lembo can convince him to follow through with said visit.

Jamal Currie-Elliott, RB, Hillside (Durham, N.C.) (2018): The sophomore Elliott pulled a Maryland offer when UMD-area recruiter Pete Lembo trekked through Durham May 9. It was Elliott’s 12th verbal to date, with some of the other standouts including Tennessee; South Carolina; Duke; Ole Miss; BC; WVU and Wake.

Of those, the Vols are currently standing out following Elliott’s mid-April visit to Rocky Top. Nearby USC has his ear too, while Ole Miss’ recent offer also grabbed the runner’s attention. On top of that, the Hillside product is gaining steam throughout the SEC and ACC, Elliott bound to land scholarships from the nation’s elites before it’s all said and done.

Needless to say, Lembo and running backs coach Anthony Tucker have their work cut out for them. Currie-Elliott did say he was excited about his first Big Ten verbal and wanted to visit College Park, giving Maryland a puncher’s chance in the future. But we’ll see what he’s thinking as his offer list keeps expanding.

Osiris St. Brown, WR, Mater Dei (Anaheim, Calif.): With the way the Maryland staff is recruiting, and the pull certain assistants have in various parts of the country, we’re hesitant to write the Terps off for any prospect. But if there is a 2017 talent we can say with just a smidgeon of a doubt is not coming to College Park, it’s the receiver St. Brown.

Not only is St. Brown from California -- which puts UMD at a disadvantage right of the bat -- and not only is he one of the most-coveted receivers in West, but he’s the younger brother of Notre Dame wideout Equanimeous St. Brown. Pretty much every analyst out there believes Osiris St. Brown will follow in his sibling’s footsteps, winding up in South Bend, Ind., before it’s all said and done. (Interestingly enough, there’s a third St. Brown brother, four-star sophomore Amon-Ra St. Brown, who has also been pegged to UND).

About the only way St. Brown doesn’t commit to Notre Dame, per our colleagues, is if Stanford swoops in and steals him.

The Anaheim native is not going on the hot board.

Tre Turner, WR, Northwest Guilford (Greensboro, N.C.) (2018): Maryland assistant Pete Lembo dipped into his Carolina roots to offer the primetime athlete Turner May 9. The 6-3, 175-pound four-star sophomore is going to be a difficult pull, however, especially with the southern elites already on him. Before Lembo anted up, Turner had procured offers from UNC; FSU; Tennessee; South Carolina; Wisconsin; WVU; Va Tech; UVA; Wake; NC State; Louisville; and Duke.

Turner recently checked out the Hokies and has Tech in mind, but hometown UNC is in the thick of things as well. Plus, he’ll be taking a close look at his SEC suitors once they inevitably come through.

Lembo left a solid first impression, however, so maybe Turner will stop by Maryland during a northern swing down the road.

Desmond Holmes, OT, Cardinal O’Hara (Springfield, Pa.): The Terps became the second power-five offer, and first of the Big Ten variety, for the emerging offensive lineman Holmes. The 6-5, 300-pounder is projected as a guard by some programs, but, with Maryland in need of tackles, the UMD staff wants Holmes to hold down their O-line’s perimeter. 

“One thing that stood out was how Maryland needs offensive tackles. I know they don’t have many there right now, so it would be a great opportunity for me,” Holmes said May 9, the day he landed the Terps’ verbal. “And another thing that really stood out to me was how they really help the student-athletes there. Like, Coach [Anthony] Tucker was saying how they give you all you need to succeed on and off the field.

“It’s a great program at Maryland, and they play in a great conference in the Big Ten I definitely want to get down there for a visit this summer. I like how it’s right down the road, just a couple hours from where I live.”

Beyond what he mentioned in the above statement, Holmes didn’t know much more about Maryland. He’s in the research phase and is just getting to know UMD-area recruiter Anthony Tucker.

Same goes for Holmes’ first power-five offeree, Syracuse, which also came in May 9. The O’Hara recruit, who the Orange coaches offered as a guard, had similar compliments for SU, but is in the process of learning more. He said he has to visit New York before making any definitive statements.

Fact is, Holmes’ recruiting process is only in its infant stages. The only school he’s seen so far this offseason is nearby Temple, whose coaches offered May 9 as well. Even before the Owls’ staff extended the verbal, Holmes sounded most enthused about TU, perhaps because he’s been in Philadelphia, Pa., so often.

But before declaring Temple a standout, the Springfield native would like to foray through UMD; SU; and Pitt (staff interested), in addition to any other suitors that may materialize. Holmes is content to take his time, evaluate each school’s position with him, determine how he’d fit at all respective offerees, and then begin forming some sort of leaderboard. He does not plan on choosing a future destination until later during the fall.

Given that, we’re leaving Holmes “cool” on the hot board. But we’ll increase the temperature if he visits College Park and returns home raving.

You can read more about Holmes HERE.

Judge Culpepper, TE, Plant (Tampa, Fla.) (2018): One of the nation’s top sophomore tight ends, Culpepper (no relation to Dante … not even close) snagged his 26th offer from Maryland May 11. The 6-4, 240-pounder previously claimed verbals from Alabama, Duke, Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, Georgia Tech, Cincinnati, ECU, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi State, Michigan State, Louisville, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Pitt, Purdue, Syracuse, Tennessee, USC, Wake, USF and more.

In-state Florida, which the tight end has visited on several occasions, has the inside track for the time being, but Culpepper’s recruitment is going to ebb and flow for the next two years. Bama, LSU and the rest of the SEC figure to make a hard charge at the soon-to-be four/five-star recruit.

Cordavien Suggs, OT, Fletcher (Neptune Beach, Fla.): The three-star Suggs’ profile has steadily grown since the evaluation period began, and Maryland became the 6-7, 270-pounder’s 27th offer to date May 9. Following the UMD verbal, Suggs called the Terps a potential contender since they represented just his second Big Ten look (after Rutgers).

But we’re not so sure Suggs is hot-board worthy just yet. Back in April, he named a top-five favorites list that consisted of Mississippi State (the early frontrunner due to multiple connections at the school); South Carolina; Memphis; Tennessee; and FAU, all of which have anted up. Since then, however, Suggs landed a coveted UNC verbal, and now the Tar Heels are in the conversation too. Furthermore, Suggs is on the radar of more than a couple renowned SEC programs, and should they become involved (Georgia is one offer he wants), it would alter the Fletcher tackle’s thinking.

Suggs is just beginning to establish a bond with the UMD staff, so let’s see what kind of ground recruiter Anthony Tucker and offensive line coach Dave Borbely and Co. can make up here.

Jonathan King, DT, Tampa Bay Tech (Tampa, Fla.) (2018): The Terps approved an offer for this touted 2018 3-technique May 12. King, though, has been forecast to one of the Sunshine State mainstays. Florida, which he’s visited a few times, has the inside track early on, but Miami is right there as well and Florida State will be once the Noles’ coaches ante up. 

Some of the other programs with offers out include Iowa State, Louisville, Penn State, Kentucky, NC State, USF and Rutgers. Many of the nation’s crème de crème will be entering the fray shortly.

Jabreel Stephens, DE, Jefferson (Tampa, Fla.): The three-star Stephens had several significant offers in tow, but Maryland represented his first of the B1G variety May 12. The 6-3, 230-pound hybrid was ecstatic about his most recent suitor, UMD.

That said, he has offers galore coming in, with Arizona; Cal; Kentucky; Iowa State; Cincy; Louisville; Temple; USC; USF; and more after him. We do believe he’ll give Maryland a look, but it’s unclear just how interested he is. He wants to see if some big-name offerees ante up before declaring any frontrunners.

Also, Stephens hasn’t seen any schools outside of Florida, so he doesn’t have any definitive opinions on his out-of-state contenders.

We’ll have to see if he visits College Park this summer. But he does seem intrigued enough to include him on the hot board.

Davonne Bowen, OLB, Woodmont (Piedmont, S.C.): Apparently the Maryland staff doesn’t rest on Mother’s Day. UMD assistant Mike London extended an offer to the emerging hybrid linebacker Bowen May 8, Maryland representing the 6-2, 220-pounder’s most significant verbal to date. He previously had looks from Army, Marshall, Appalachian State, Georgia Southern, Nevada and others of that ilk.

“My mind was just blown. I had been talking to a couple Big Ten schools, but nothing serious – I didn’t think any of them would actually offer,” Bowen said. “So it was a blessing for me, and it was even better because it came on Mother’s Day.

“Even without seeing Maryland and really knowing what the school is about, the offer shoots them way up there. They’re a top choice for me, definitely. It’s the biggest school on me, and they play in a great conference like the Big Ten. I’ll be getting up there with my parents this summer, hopefully. We’re really looking forward to it.”

The Woodmont product said he and London had a productive conversation, which mainly centered on Bowen’s potential role in College Park. Per the recruit, the UMD staff views him as a “BUCK” linebacker who can rush the passer on certain downs and drop back in passing situations. Bowen called it a “great fit,” since that’s how he personally sees himself fitting at the next level.

The South Carolina native went on to say he’s familiar with the program in general from having watched the Terps on TV. The Big Ten affiliation and the Under Armour connections caught his eye too.

But while Bowen’s initial comments sound encouraging for Maryland purposes, let’s see how his profile develops before forecasting him to College Park. If a couple major southern programs pounce, they could easily sway the linebacker.

While Bowen insisted location was not a primary factor for him, noting the seven-hour drive from Piedmont to UMD wouldn’t be a big deal, he also acknowledged he’d love a hometown South Carolina offer. He’s been through Columbia, S.C., once this offseason and will be returning again in hopes of culling out the scholarship. Wake Forest is another potential player, with Bowen eager to see Winston Salem, N.C., after the Deacons’ staff upped its interest level.

For now, though, it seems like Bowen and his parents are inclined to visit Maryland and take a close look at the Terps. Which is why we’ve listed him “warm” on the hot board, cautiously optimistic about the UMD’s staffs chances.

That is, provided the Maryland coaches continue to push. Remember, there are several touted outside backers’ on the Terps’ board -- IMG Academy’s Jordan Anthony headlines the list -- so the staff may have others prioritized ahead of Bowen.

You can read more about Bowen HERE.

Tyler Taylor, ILB, Lanier (Buford, Ga.): The Georgia linebacker Taylor pulled his 21st offer from Maryland courtesy of defensive coordinator Andy Buh May 9. Buh had actually tracked Taylor when the coach was at Kentucky, and now the pair are renewing the relationship in College Park.

That’s all well and good, but Buh has loads of competition for the four-star backer. Schools like Alabama, Auburn, Penn State, Oklahoma, MSU, Georgia, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas and Mizzou have all offered Taylor, and some have already begun ringing true. A couple weeks back, Taylor told Scout’s Chad Simmons OU, Bama, AU, UGA and UT would “definitely” make the prospect’s upcoming favorites list. Of those, the Sooners have Taylor’s eye, although the SEC suitors figure to be involved throughout too.

The backer has been to Auburn, UGA, Kentucky, Tennessee and Clemson, and coming up he’s trying to hit Alabama and Oklahoma. The Lanier recruit isn’t going on the hot board unless he visits College Park as well.

Micah Awordiran, LB, Marist (Chicago, Ill.): Maryland assistant Al Seamonson, formerly of Illinois, is quite familiar with the Chicago area. On May 10, he let the area’s No. 1 linebacker, Awordiran, know he had a Terps’ offer.

Awordiran had a rapport with Seamonson prior to the coach’s arrival at UMD, so the two already knew one another. The Marist product also heard from Terps’ linebackers’ coach Matt Barnes, who has just begun contacting Awordiran.

But we’re not so sure the backer makes it out of the Midwest. Illinois and head coach Lovie Smith have Awordiran’s ear, the Illini staff hosting him a couple times this offseason. Indiana and Iowa State have been all over the Chicago native as well, with Awordiran trekking to both campuses. Moreover, the three-star saw his stock rise even further when Mizzou, his first SEC suitor, came through in mid-April.

It’s possible Awordiran checks out College Park this summer what with the Seamonson connection, but the sense is he’s going to wind up at Illinois -- if a major SEC suitor doesn’t steal him away. The Marist recruit isn’t going on the hot board unless he begins showing genuine interest in Maryland.

Colin Anderson, OLB, Brooks (Killen, Ala.): Terps' assistants Anthony Tucker and Matt Barnes are after this Alabama linebacker as of May 12. Anderson had 15 or so offer prior to UMD, but the Maryland pitch had him intrigued to an extent. 

But Virginia seems to have Anderson's ear early, with the Bama native taking a liking to headman Bronco Mendenhall. Va Tech is in there as well after Anderson had a standout trek through Blacksburg, Va.

But academic institutions like Wake, Vandy and Cal are firmly in play and have a punchers' chance at convincing the Killen product to visit. Anderson is an education-first recruit and may pass up renowned football schools in favor of a place like Wake or Vanderbilt. 

Are the Terps too late to pitch their academic and athletic advantages? We'll see later this offseason. Anderson has not been included on the hot board as of yet.

Myles Sims, S, Westlake (Atlanta, Ga.) (2018): Sims is the latest “surge scholarship” sensation the Terps are involved with. In the span of about six hours May 10, Myles “Spider” Sims landed, in succession, offers from Clemson; Michigan; Louisville; and Maryland.

Previously, Sims had pulled verbals from South Carolina, Auburn and Kentucky. The rest of the SEC will probably join the fray sooner or later as well.

Sims is only a sophomore, but our Georgia analysts have him pegged as an SEC/national recruit. Needless to say, UMD-area recruiter Mike London and defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim have some work to do.

Tayvion Land, CB, Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, Va.) (2019): It’s always worth taking note of an Ocean Lakes prospect as long as assistant Chris Beatty’s on the Maryland staff. Beatty, a Virginia Beach native, has plenty of pull at the 757 powerhouse, which should keep the Terps in contention for many of its elite talents.

Tayvion Land may only be a freshman, but the 5-8, 160-pounder projects as the next “big thing” at Ocean Lakes. By this time next year he’ll have double-digit offers, and, in due time, he should have his pick of schools.

But Beatty got wind of Land early, becoming the first college coach to ante up. That initial impression should keep the Terps in the game moving forward.

Now, it will be interesting to see what kind of bond the UMD receivers’ coach can form with Land the next three years.

Jonathan Gipson, CB, Mill Creek (Hoschton, Ga.)(2018): The Terps did well do identify this sophomore corner early in the game. He had one offer from WVU prior to UMD-area recruiter Mike London's offer, but the Terps represented the first verbal of the Bg Ten variety.

Gipson will procure many more suitors moving forward, with the SEC; Big 12; ACC; and Big 10 interested. But the Maryland coaches have a shot here. They are in the game and could convince Gipson to visit CP as soon as next year.

Nelson On Board

It came a bit earlier than anticipated, but the receiver Sean Nelson (Langston Hughes/Fairburn, Ga.) committed to his stated No. 1, Maryland, May 7. Nelson, who had an overnight stay at UMD April 23-24, originally wanted to check out suitors like WVU and Louisville, as well as see if SEC schools such as Tennessee and Georgia anted up, before popping. But evidently Chris Beatty had him sold, Nelson suggesting his UMD-area recruiter, more than any other coach, convinced him College Park should be the receiver's future home.

“Coach Beatty is a great coach and he has a great history of developing receivers like Tavon Austin, Percy Harvin, guys like that. I believe he can really help my game and I can learn a lot from him,” Nelson said. “He’s such a cool guy too, and he was always contacting me. We talked about, like, everything. I really could see myself doing well under him.”

In addition to Beatty, offensive coordinator Walt Bell's offense hit home. Nelson said he loves Bell’s up-tempo spread and believes he can put up big numbers in the scheme. The wideout also talked up head coach D.J. Durkin and graduate assistant Brawley Evans, noting their respective personalities.

The Langston Hughes product then praised the current Terps, mentioning how the players spoke glowingly about the UMD staff and made Nelson feel at home during his campus stay. Nelson went on to laud the campus, the pending facility upgrades, the renovated player dorms and the school's academics. He called New Cole "awesome," said the dorms were "the best" he's seen and noted the support shown to the student-athletes.

"Just the vibe at Maryland when I was up there, from the coaches to the facilities to the players to the campus to the academics – I fell in love with the school," Nelson said. "I just felt real good about Maryland and what they have going on there, and I’m excited to be on board.”

The only question is, Will Nelson be on board come February? He admitted if the SEC came calling he could entertain their coaches’ overtures. Nelson also hinted he might visit other locales down the line, which raised a few eyebrows. But, for now, he's firmly committed and ready for a College Park return this summer.

As far as Nelson's game is concerned, the 6-2, 180 pounder is a fairly long wideout with decent speed, a wide catch radius, and an above-average vertical. He doesn't shy away from contact, high-pointing the ball and attacking it in the air.

The Georgian can defeat the jam, get into his pattern, and make a play in traffic or overtop the coverage. He's a long strider, deceptively quick and showing the ability to glide past an unsuspecting corner. Nelson's heady too, knowing when to break off his pattern and improvise.

To improve, Nelson mainly needs to work on his route running. He's not the smoothest or most natural runner out there, so he has to become more precise, especially with his initial get-off -- he doesn't eat up the cushion and has average short-area quickness -- and footwork.

Additionally, Nelson has to keep honing his hands; he can make the circus catch but sometimes will drop an easy one. He's not a take-the-top-off guy either, projecting more as an intermediate/possession type then a downfield burner. Finally, Nelson has to keep gaining strength and building up his thin frame.

Realize, though, that if Nelson doesn't shore up his fundamentals, he could eventually be moved to safety of corner, two other positions he plays at Langston Hughes.

You can read more about Nelson HERE, and hear what he had to say HERE and HERE.

Off The Board

Travis Koontz, TE, Boardman (Youngstown, Ohio): Well, so much for the tight end Koontz. Less than a week after landing a Maryland offer courtesy of head coach D.J. Durkin, the Boardman product ended up popping to Bowling Green.

Scout’s Bill Greene called it a “shocking development,” especially after Koontz called the UMD scholarship a potential game-changer earlier in May. The Ohio native said he was excited to receive his first Big Ten verbal and was looking forward to visiting College Park and learning more about the program.

Some five days later, however, Koontz reversed field, committing to his previously-stated leader. The tight end picked BGSU over UMD, Iowa State and Cincinnati.

"I committed to Bowling Green now because I don't think any other school can offer what they have," Koontz told Greene. "I trust their coaching staff. I know this staff is going to do great things at Bowling Green, and I want to be a part of it," he added. "It's just the perfect fit for me." 

We do think the Terps’ staff will continue searching for a second 2017 tight end, despite the latest development with Koontz. Expect another target or two to materialize later during the spring or summer.

Mekhi Becton, OT, Highland Springs (Va.): The Terps were trending down for the steadily-rising Becton, and after his latest round of interviews, we opted to remove him from the hot board altogether. Per Scout’s Jason Stamm, Virginia is probably the frontrunner, followed closely by Virginia Tech. Becton has been through both Charlottesville, Va., and Blacksburg, Va., multiple times and could be trending towards an in-state program.

Also in play are two Pennsylvania programs, Pitt and Penn State, the latter staff anteing up May 6. (Southern Cal’s coaches offered May 10, but we can’t see Becton on the West Coast.) The Nittany Lions’ involvement could throw a wrench into UVA’s or Va Tech’s plans, but, regardless, it doesn’t sound like he’ll be heading to College Park.

We haven’t been able to catch up with Anderson yet, however, so we’ll monitor where he is later in the game. If he shows some UMD interest, we’ll include him on the hot board.

Tyler Taylor, ILB, Lanier (Buford, Ga.): The Georgia linebacker Taylor pulled his 21st offer from Maryland courtesy of defensive coordinator Andy Buh May 9. Buh had actually tracked Taylor when the coach was at Kentucky, and now the pair are renewing the relationship in College Park.

That’s all well and good, but Buh has loads of competition for the four-star backer. Schools like Alabama, Auburn, Penn State, Oklahoma, MSU, Georgia, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas and Mizzou have all offered Taylor, and some have already begun ringing true. A couple weeks back, Taylor told Scout’s Chad Simmons OU, Bama, AU, UGA and UT would “definitely” make the prospect’s upcoming favorites list. Of those, the Sooners have Taylor’s eye, although the SEC suitors figure to be involved throughout too.

The backer has been to Auburn, UGA, Kentucky, Tennessee and Clemson, and coming up he’s trying to hit Alabama and Oklahoma. The Lanier recruit isn’t going on the hot board unless he visits College Park as well.

Micah Awordiran, LB, Marist (Chicago, Ill.): Maryland assistant Al Seamonson, formerly of Illinois, is quite familiar with the Chicago area. On May 10, he let the area’s No. 1 linebacker, Awordiran, know he had a Terps’ offer.

Awordiran had a rapport with Seamonson prior to the coach’s arrival at UMD, so the two already knew one another. The Marist product also heard from Terps’ linebackers’ coach Matt Barnes, who has just begun contacting Awordiran.

But we’re not so sure the backer makes it out of the Midwest. Illinois and head coach Lovie Smith have Awordiran’s ear, the Illini staff hosting him a couple times this offseason. Indiana and Iowa State have been all over the Chicago native as well, with Awordiran trekking to both campuses. Moreover, the three-star saw his stock rise even further when Mizzou, his first SEC suitor, came through in mid-April.

It’s possible Awordiran checks out College Park this summer what with the Seamonson connection, but the sense is he’s going to wind up at Illinois -- if a major SEC suitor doesn’t steal him away. The Marist recruit isn’t going on the hot board unless he begins showing genuine interest in Maryland.

Myles Sims, S, Westlake (Atlanta, Ga.) (2018): Sims is the latest “surge scholarship” sensation the Terps are involved with. In the span of about six hours May 10, Myles “Spider” Sims landed, in succession, offers from Clemson; Michigan; Louisville; and Maryland.

Previously, Sims had pulled verbals from South Carolina, Auburn and Kentucky. The rest of the SEC will probably join the fray sooner or later as well.

Sims is only a sophomore, but our Georgia analysts have him pegged as an SEC/national recruit. Needless to say, UMD-area recruiter Mike London and defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim have some work to do.

Tayvion Land, CB, Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, Va.) (2019): It’s always worth taking note of an Ocean Lakes prospect as long as assistant Chris Beatty’s on the Maryland staff. Beatty, a Virginia Beach native, has plenty of pull at the 757 powerhouse, which should keep the Terps in contention for many of its elite talents.

Tayvion Land may only be a freshman, but the 5-8, 160-pounder projects as the next “big thing” at Ocean Lakes. By this time next year he’ll have double-digit offers, and, in due time, he should have his pick of schools.

But Beatty got wind of Land early, becoming the first college coach to ante up. That initial impression should keep the Terps in the game moving forward.

Now, it will be interesting to see what kind of bond the UMD receivers’ coach can form with Land the next three years.

Jonathan Gibson, CB, Mill Creek (Hoschton, Ga.) (2018): Maryland-area recruiter Mike London gave the emerging corner Gibson his second offer May 12, joining WVU. Naturally, the Georgia sophomore was ecstatic, talking up Under Armour the Big Ten and the like.

But Gibson is a pure blowup candidate, and should snag offers from schools throughout the ACC, SEC, Big 12 and Big 10. It was a savvy move for UMD-area recruiter Mike London to jump on Gibson early, but we’ll see how far he gets next year.

Nelson On Board

It came a bit earlier than anticipated, but the receiver Sean Nelson (Langston Hughes/Fairburn, Ga.) committed to his stated No. 1, Maryland, May 7. Nelson, who had an overnight stay at UMD April 23-24, originally wanted to check out suitors like WVU and Louisville, as well as see if SEC schools such as Tennessee and Georgia anted up, before popping. But evidently Chris Beatty had him sold, Nelson suggesting his UMD-area recruiter, more than any other coach, convinced him College Park should be the receiver's future home.

“Coach Beatty is a great coach and he has a great history of developing receivers like Tavon Austin, Percy Harvin, guys like that. I believe he can really help my game and I can learn a lot from him,” Nelson said. “He’s such a cool guy too, and he was always contacting me. We talked about, like, everything. I really could see myself doing well under him.”

In addition to Beatty, offensive coordinator Walt Bell's offense hit home. Nelson said he loves Bell’s up-tempo spread and believes he can put up big numbers in the scheme. The wideout also talked up head coach D.J. Durkin and graduate assistant Brawley Evans, noting their respective personalities.

The Langston Hughes product then praised the current Terps, mentioning how the players spoke glowingly about the UMD staff and made Nelson feel at home during his campus stay. Nelson went on to laud the campus, the pending facility upgrades, the renovated player dorms and the school's academics. He called New Cole "awesome," said the dorms were "the best" he's seen and noted the support shown to the student-athletes.

"Just the vibe at Maryland when I was up there, from the coaches to the facilities to the players to the campus to the academics – I fell in love with the school," Nelson said. "I just felt real good about Maryland and what they have going on there, and I’m excited to be on board.”

The only question is, Will Nelson be on board come February? He admitted if the SEC came calling he could entertain their coaches’ overtures. Nelson also hinted he might visit other locales down the line, which raised a few eyebrows. But, for now, he's firmly committed and ready for a College Park return this summer.

As far as Nelson's game is concerned, the 6-2, 180 pounder is a fairly long wideout with decent speed, a wide catch radius, and an above-average vertical. He doesn't shy away from contact, high-pointing the ball and attacking it in the air.

The Georgian can defeat the jam, get into his pattern, and make a play in traffic or overtop the coverage. He's a long strider, deceptively quick and showing the ability to glide past an unsuspecting corner. Nelson's heady too, knowing when to break off his pattern and improvise.

To improve, Nelson mainly needs to work on his route running. He's not the smoothest or most natural runner out there, so he has to become more precise, especially with his initial get-off -- he doesn't eat up the cushion and has average short-area quickness -- and footwork.

Additionally, Nelson has to keep honing his hands; he can make the circus catch but sometimes will drop an easy one. He's not a take-the-top-off guy either, projecting more as an intermediate/possession type then a downfield burner. Finally, Nelson has to keep gaining strength and building up his thin frame.

Realize, though, that if Nelson doesn't shore up his fundamentals, he could eventually be moved to safety of corner, two other positions he plays at Langston Hughes.

You can read more about Nelson HERE, and hear what he had to say HERE and HERE.

Off The Board

Travis Koontz, TE, Boardman (Youngstown, Ohio): Well, so much for the tight end Koontz. Less than a week after landing a Maryland offer courtesy of head coach D.J. Durkin, the Boardman product ended up popping to Bowling Green.

Scout’s Bill Greene called it a “shocking development,” especially after Koontz called the UMD scholarship a potential game-changer earlier in May. The Ohio native said he was excited to receive his first Big Ten verbal and was looking forward to visiting College Park and learning more about the program.

Some five days later, however, Koontz reversed field, committing to his previously-stated leader. The tight end picked BGSU over UMD, Iowa State and Cincinnati.

"I committed to Bowling Green now because I don't think any other school can offer what they have," Koontz told Greene. "I trust their coaching staff. I know this staff is going to do great things at Bowling Green, and I want to be a part of it," he added. "It's just the perfect fit for me." 

We do think the Terps’ staff will continue searching for a second 2017 tight end, despite the latest development with Koontz. Expect another target or two to materialize later during the spring or summer.

Mekhi Becton, OT, Highland Springs (Va.): The Terps were trending down for the steadily-rising Becton, and after his latest round of interviews, we opted to remove him from the hot board altogether. Per Scout’s Jason Stamm, Virginia is probably the frontrunner, followed closely by Virginia Tech. Becton has been through both Charlottesville, Va., and Blacksburg, Va., multiple times and could be trending towards an in-state program.

Also in play are two Pennsylvania programs, Pitt and Penn State, the latter staff anteing up May 6. (Southern Cal’s coaches offered May 10, but we can’t see Becton on the West Coast.) The Nittany Lions’ involvement could throw a wrench into UVA’s or Va Tech’s plans, but, regardless, it doesn’t sound like he’ll be heading to College Park.

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