After Carlos Carriere (Alpharetta, Ga.) and his mother ventured up to College Park, Md., April 5, the long, lanky receiver promptly called the University of Maryland his No. 1 suitor. He had a few other attractive options, with Southern Miss and Illinois representing his other power-five suitors, but that trek through UMD basically had the 6-foot-5, 170-pounder sold.
It took him a little more than a month to finally come to that conclusion, but Carriere did eventually commit to Maryland May 14, becoming ninth pledge in the Terps’ 2017 class. Carriere joins fellow Georgian, receiver Sean Nelson (Langston Hughes/Fairburn, Ga.), who committed to UMD May 7.
“I’ve been high on Maryland ever since I got an offer from them [March 2],” said Carriere, who chose the Terps over the likes of Southern Miss, Illinois, Navy, Eastern Kentucky, Tulane, Jacksonville State and more. “I love the coaches there and how they treated me, I love the offense and I really like the community up there. I’m just excited to be part of the program, and I told Coach Durkin [May 13] I was ready to get on board. He’s excited to have me and believes I can do big things at Maryland.”
It was Durkin, along with his assistants, who convinced Carriere to continue his career in College Park. All throughout his visit April 5, and then in conversations before and after, Carriere kept using the word “energetic” when discussing the Maryland staff. Carriere had been in close contact with area recruiter Chris Beatty and offensive coordinator Walt Bell, who recently stopped by Alpharetta High to watch the 6-5 wideout in action.
“Coach Durkin, just how excited he was about the program and the future of Maryland, that really stood out to me. He was just really hyped about Maryland, and me and my mom just really liked him,” Carriere said. “And Coach Beatty and Coach Bell, I had a great relationship with them and they’ve been pushing hard for me for awhile now. They were always on me, just staying in touch on Twitter, text and coming to see me. They’re easy to get along with, they’re great to talk to, and they have a lot of energy. I’ve just really enjoyed meeting them and getting to know them, and I can’t wait to play for them. They both seem like great coaches.
“Coach Beatty has developed a lot of great receivers, so his resume speaks for itself. I feel like I’ll do really well under him. And Coach Bell’s offenses have always done well; it’s an exciting system.”
Speaking of the system, Carriere believes he’ll thrive in Bell’s up-tempo spread. Carriere said he’s part of a similar offense at Alpharetta, predicated on short, quick passes and the occasional deep ball.
“When I was up there [at Maryland], they [the coaches] showed me exactly how I could help them and said they needed big, dynamic receivers like me and needed more height. I felt like they had a clear plan for me, which I really liked,” Carriere said. “I feel like they run a great offense that I could really do well in. It’s an awesome system.”
He’ll be joining Nelson in said system. Carriere and the Langston Hughes receiver live about an hour apart, and though they don’t compete against one another, they do know each other.
"I'd been talking to [Carriere]. He knows where home is -- right there in College Park," Nelson said. "He knows we can build something great there."
“It’s pretty cool that [Nelson] is going to Maryland too,” Carriere said. “It’s cool that two guys from Georgia are going to Maryland. Hopefully we can do big things up there.”
Additionally, Carriere said he was thoroughly impressed with the various aesthetics at Maryland. He loved the upgraded player dorms, the coming facility upgrades and the campus itself.
“It was all very, very impressive,” Carriere said. “The new facilities are going to be some of the best in the country, if not the best. The dorms are really great too, Maryland’s campus is beautiful. It’s a great place to go to school and a very nice looking school.”
Of more importance to Carriere, as well as his mother, was the school’s academic reputation and its location near Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. The Alpharetta product wants to take advantage of the internship opportunities those two locales present.
“My mom really liked the academics and the support they give you there. It’s a great school and there’s a lot of different majors to choose from,” Carriere said. “And with Under Armour and the internships you can get there, and the job opportunities after college, that’s a big thing too. It’s a great situation at Maryland.”
Add it all up, and it was only a matter of time before the three-star committed. Now, Carriere did want to see if he could attract a few more options during the current spring evaluation period. He ended up procuring interest from a few programs in the ACC, SEC and Big Ten and he visited the likes of Vanderbilt and Tennessee, but only the Illini offer materialized.
“But I would have went with Maryland anyway,” Carriere said. “I just love the program and really believe I can do well there. It’s a great opportunity for me and I’m excited to be a Terp. I’m 100 percent committed.”