Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup.
New Upperclassmen Offers
Tyree Henry, WR/TE, Stephen Decatur (Berlin, Md.): The Maryland coaches’ only DMV “offer” this week went to the receiver Henry, a 6-foot-5, 220-pounder who, up until May 18, had nary a college look. (We later learned the offer wasn’t quite on the table yet, but it’s close).
“I’m just blessed. This was my very first scholarship offer,” said Henry, who has recovered from a knee injury that limited him last season. “It’s tremendous to think the school right in my backyard thought enough to offer me. It meant a lot, and I liked the offer a lot. Without a doubt Maryland is at the top right now. This is the offer I wanted. I don’t know when I’m going to commit, but this was the offer it wanted.”
Henry had been in consistent contact with UMD-area recruiter Matt Barnes, who informed the wideout of said verbal. Terps’ defensive line coach Mike London was also involved, speaking to Henry’s mother about Maryland.
Henry dubbed his relationship with Barnes “great,” although he praised more than just the UMD linebackers’ coach.
“I love the whole coaching staff,” Henry said. “I’ve been up there two or three times now, and I liked how friendly and welcoming everyone was, and how the coaches were not just all about football. Like Coach [D.J.] Durkin, Coach Barnes, Coach [Chris] Beatty, Coach [Walt] Bell, Coach [Mike] London, they care about you as a person. Then I also like the academic support there and how they help student-athletes there.
“The campus was really nice too, and all the facilities were great. It’s a great atmosphere there. I could see myself there.”
Henry went on to say he liked the idea of DMV-to-UMD and staying close to home for college. He mentioned he’d love for his mother, whom Henry is very close to, to be able to attend his home games.
The Decatur product, however, is not ready to commit just yet (and he can’t since the offer has not been officially presented). He said he’d like to take some summer visits and see what suitors emerge later this offseason and during the fall (coaches from Syracuse, UConn, Pitt and UVA are interested). Henry suggested he could end his recruitment towards the end of his senior season, after his film’s been evaluated.
At the moment, though, the Terps appear to be in the driver’s seat. That is, if the staff hands him a committable offer and is willing to accept Henry’s commitment.
Remember, there are still a number of tantalizing receiver/tight end options on Durkin’s board, so it remains to be seen how much of a priority Henry really is. Plus, the Terps will have to gauge the receiver’s transcripts to make sure those check out as well.
Note: There’s a chance Henry transfers to St. Frances (Baltimore, Md.) for his senior season.
You can read more about Henry HERE.
Trey Creamer, WR/RB, Cartersville (Ga.): Terps’ offensive coordinator Walt Bell has been making the rounds in Georgia, and after stopping by Cartersville May 17 he offered the versatile athlete Creamer. The three-star is actually listed as a cornerback on recruiting sites, but he said three of his most prominent suitors now want him as a receiver or running back, which Creamer prefers.
“Coach Bell came by my school, and then later I called him and he told me I had the offer. I was really excited to get it after talking to him,” said Creamer, who also holds offers from Louisville, Wake Forest, WVU, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Southern Miss, ODU, Colorado State, Georgia Southern, Charlotte and more. “[Bell] was saying how the Maryland coaches wanted me as an athlete, and I could play different roles there, which was exciting for me. He said they loved the way I played and loved how I was just a playmaker on tape. So that made me feel wanted; I could actually see myself at Maryland.”
Creamer and his family are in the process of scheduling a summer tour through the north. College Park, Md., figures to be one of their landing spots, Creamer saying he “definitely” wanted to check out UMD firsthand. The other two schools he’s seeking to see are Purdue and Minnesota, whose coaches are pushing in earnest.
The vibe, though, is Creamer’s going to end up somewhere in the South. The Cartersville prospect may be open at this stage, but he acknowledged he’d like his relatives to watch him play on a regular basis. Thus, he’s pining for offers from Duke, Clemson, Georgia and others of that ilk.
Creamer has trekked through Durham, N.C., and believes the Blue Devils’ staff could be close to extending that coveted scholarship. Wake Forest, which Creamer’s seen before, is a prime player too. Suitors such as Louisville, West Virginia and Southern Miss are also in mind and could be in line for summer visits.
In other words, the receiver’s just beginning to gauge his latest offerees. Until he takes a few more trips and his recruiting profile is fully realized, we can’t make a call on where the Georgian’s headed.
Creamer’s listed “cool” on the hot board for now, mainly because the Maryland offer did seem to pique his interest and he wants to see College Park.
Note: After we interviewed Creamer he released a top-nine list May 19 that consisted of: Maryland, Wake, Purdue, Minnesota, Georgia Southern, Cincinnati, WVU, Colorado State and Tulane.
You can read more about Creamer HERE..
Jeremiah Hall, TE/H-Back, Zebulon Vance (Charlotte, N.C.): The Terps’ staff is intent on adding a second tight end to its 2017 class, and after missing on Travis Koontz (Boardman/Youngstown, Ohio), who committed to Bowling Green, they turned their attention to the three-star Hall. UMD-area recruiter Walt Bell trekked through Zebulon Vance in mid-May, and then let Hall know of his Maryland offer May 17.
“That’s a Big Ten school, and it was my first Big Ten offer. So that was big for me, having the opportunity to play in that competitive conference,” said Hall, who would play an H-back role in the Terps’ offense. “Coach Bell came to my practice, and he’s the offensive coordinator at Maryland. So that was big that the guy who calls the plays and sets the offense came to see me and said he wanted me in his system. I only had a chance to shake his hand, but I look forward to getting to know him better now that I have the offer.”
Hall also plans on visiting College Park for the first time this summer. He admitted he had limited knowledge of Maryland, but the school’s Big Ten affiliation and Bell’s initial pitch struck a chord.
Bell and Co. will have competition for the Carolina product, however. Hall also holds offers from Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Oklahoma, Northwestern, Wake Forest, NC State, ECU, Colorado State, Appalachian State, Navy, Charlotte, Buffalo and more. Plus, he’s on the radar of numerous ACC, Big Ten and even a couple SEC programs. Of his current suitors, though, Hall said Oklahoma; Northwestern; Wake Forest; Maryland; and Colorado State had his attention.
He’s been through Winston Salem, N.C., once before and is seeking a return this summer. Wake’s academics, close proximity to home and the coaching staff’s overtures have the Deacons sitting pretty. But Hall also wants to see Norman, Okla., Evanston, Ill., and College Park, in addition to any other major offerees that may crop up.
It’s those potential offerees that are leaving us somewhat skeptical here. Hall is intent on racking up scholarships and then taking official visits, so his current “favorites” list is bound to change later this offseason. Thus, we’re listing Hall “cool” on the hot board, but could elevate him if he sees Maryland and leaves talking up the Terps.
You can read more about Hall HERE.
Noah Curtis, DE/LB, American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.): Curtis is another “BUCK” on Maryland’s board, the three-star landing a Terps’ offer May 18. UMD-area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and defensive coordinator Andy Buh both watched Curtis work out and then informed him of said offer following team drills.
“I’d say when Maryland came in, that’s one that caught my eye,” said Curtis, who also holds offers from Arkansas, NC State, Pitt, Minnesota, Southern Miss, WVU, Western Kentucky, USF, Marshall, UNC, Iowa State, Kentucky, FAU and more. “It was just an exciting offer to get. It was my first Big Ten offer and that’s a great conference. Maryland plays a lot of tough teams, so that’s a great opportunity for me. Also, I train with their cornerback, Will Likely, and I’m hitting him up now about the Terps. There’s a lot of guys down here in South Florida who have been talking about Maryland recently, so it’s a school that’s definitely very interesting to me.”
Curtis, though, admitted he didn’t know much about Maryland other than the Big Ten/Will Likely connection. However, he, along with his teammates, should be stopping by College Park as part of an American Heritage tour, giving the Terps’ staff a puncher’s chance.
Of course, Curtis and Co. will be hitting a multitude of campuses before reaching UMD. Florida State, Notre Dame NC State, UNC, Alabama, Tennessee, Pitt and possibly others are all on the list. Curtis already counts the Wolfpack, Wildcats, Tar Heels and Panthers among his early standouts, so trips to each will undoubtedly increase his intrigue in all four. Arkansas, another recent offeree, is in play too.
Furthermore, Curtis has procured interest from Alabama, Michigan, Miami and FSU. If any of those schools’ coaches come calling, they’d shoot up Curtis’ unstated leaderboard. (Notre Dame is his dream school, but the Irish staff isn’t likely to comply by presenting a scholarship).
For the time being, Curtis is fairly open as he gauges his most recent offers and begins taking trips. But, after the summer tour, he said he should be ready to select his future destination. Curtis does not want his recruitment to drag into training camp, so he’s targeting a July announcement date.
Based on Curtis’ comments, we’re not projecting him to Maryland, but perhaps Abdul-Rahim, Buh and Co. can turn the tide when the Floridian visits. We’ve listed Curtis “cool” on the hot board for now.
You can read more about Curtis HERE.
George Ellis III, DT, American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.): After UMD-area recruiter Chris Beatty, defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and defensive coordinator Andy Buh stopped by American Heritage May 17, they extended an offer to the three-star Ellis, a 6-2, 290-pounder with a handful of midlevel FBS scholarships.
Ellis said he sought to venture up to College Park this summer, noting it was a school he “definitely” wanted to learn more about. Which was somewhat surprising considering he’d just started talking to the Maryland staff and had only begun researching the program.
“I’ve just always liked them and I think it’s a great school,” Ellis said. “What stands out to me is the defense and how they’re energetic on the field; run to the ball; and are hyped. I just always liked watching them and I want to get up there and meet the coaches. Also, they offered my cousin [teammate James Houston, a four-star linebacker] too, so we might check them out together. It’s a school I can’t wait to learn more about.”
Currently, however, Ellis seems to have his eyes focused elsewhere. Like Madison, Wisc.
Ellis suggested, at this juncture, Wisconsin is the leader in the clubhouse. The Badgers’ staff may not be ready to accept his commitment, but they could take him if it means it’ll help Wisconsin’s coaches land their top priority -- James Houston (he’s a Badgers’ lean). If not, well, it opens the door for Ellis’ other suitors to pounce.
Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, USF, UCF, NC State, Southern Miss and Maryland all have offers out, with more about to come in. Of those, Ellis has Vandy in mind following a visit, along with Mississippi State; UMD; and USF.
Maybe, if the Badgers back off and Ellis doesn’t land the Florida offers he covets (Miami, FSU, UF), Beatty and Co. can gain some traction.
You can read more about Ellis HERE.
Alec Jackson, DT, Jefferson Davis (Montgomery, Ala.): Maryland’s Alabama-area recruiter, Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, informed the three-star Jackson of his Terps’ offer May13. It was the defensive tackle’s 29th offer to date, joining South Carolina; Alabama; Auburn; Florida; LSU; Miami; UNC; Texas; USC; Kentucky; Illinois; Mississippi State; Mizzou; Nebraska; Tennessee; NC State and more.
Before Abdul-Rahim anted up, Jackson released an initial leaderboard that consisted of Bama, Auburn, UF, LSU, Miami, South Carolina, UNC, USC and Texas. Of those, the in-state stalwarts, the Tide and Eagles, are ringing true, along with the Trojans.
Needless to say, Jackson is not going on the hot board unless he visits College Park.
Jordan Wright, DE, Dillard (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.): The Terps’ staff hasn’t been shy about extending defensive line offers, and one of the latest went to the Florida prospect Wright May 16.
The 6-4, 220-pounder tends to waver back and forth, listing an array of standouts/leaders depending on the day of the week. Perhaps, then, Maryland defensive line coach Mike London, defensive coordinator Andy Buh, UMD-defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and area recruiter Chris Beatty -- who informed Wright of the Terps’ offer after trekking through Dillard -- can make some hay here. Wright didn’t have much to say about UMD post verbal, but if Beatty stays on him and some of the three-star’s more prominent suitors begin filling spots, maybe the edge rusher could consider visiting College Park.
Until then, though, it’s probably not worth following Wright’s recruitment all that closely. In-state Miami, where his teammate, Jonathan Ford (discussed below) is committed, has a bead -- especially after Wright’s May 13 foray through Coral Gables, Fla. Mississippi State, meanwhile, was a one-time leader, and the Bulldogs remain somewhere near the forefront of Wright’s favorites list.
Michigan and Kentucky are both high on Wright’s leaderboard too, the recruit considering trips to Ann Arbor, Mich., and Lexington, Kent., this offseason. And Alabama would become a player if the Tide push in earnest (the staff does have an offer out, but it’s not committable).
Some other programs Wright’s claiming scholarships from include Arkansas, Cal, Baylor, Syracuse, UNC, Oklahoma, Louisville, Indiana, Colorado, Pitt, Tennessee, USC, Rutgers, UCF and more.
Wright will not be listed on the hot board until he stops by UMD.
Stephon Zayas, DE, Dillard (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.): Of Dillard’s three standout 2017 defensive linemen, Zayas is the least heralded. But, he’s also the most obtainable for the Terps’ staff. The 6-6, 210-pounder landed his Maryland verbal courtesy of UMD-area recruiter Chris Beatty and defensive coordinator Andy Buh May 16, and it represented his first Big Ten offer to date.
“It was an exciting offer,” Zayas said of Maryland. “It’s a Big Ten school and it’s one of the bigger offers I have.”
Zayas is taking the recruiting process slowly as he begins to generate more interest during the evaluation period, but Maryland is one of the programs he’d like to see this summer. In the meantime, Zayas will be developing a relationship with Beatty, Buh and defensive line coach Mike London -- who has also been in contact via Twitter -- while familiarizing himself with the program in general.
Coaches from Louisville, Pitt, NC State, Iowa State, Colorado, FIU and UCF have also offered the Dillard edge rusher. Of those, Pittsburgh and Louisville caught his eye at first blush.
Zayas is listed “cool” on the hot board for now, but we’ll increase his temperature if he does visit College Park.
Jonathan Ford, DE, Dillard (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.): At the same time UMD-area recruiter Chris Beatty handed Jordan Wright and Stephon Zayas offers, the Miami pledge Ford added one as well.
But, per our Florida colleagues, there’s not much opportunity for Beatty and defensive line coach Mike London to sway the three-star end. We were told Ford is “all about the Hurricanes” and probably won’t consider any other suitors. That includes powerhouse offerees like Florida State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC and programs throughout the SEC.
“Ford’s going to Miami,” my colleague told me earlier this week, “unless something strange happens.”
Jacob Lichtenstein, DE, Cypress Bay (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.): Maryland-area recruiter Chris Beatty became the 35th coach to offer the defensive end Lichtenstein May 19. Afterwards, Lichtenstein said he liked the look and could consider visiting Maryland down the line.
But realize Lichtenstein says that about most of his offers. And, fact is, the 6-5, 240-pounder was already fairly far along in the process before May 19, releasing an initial standout list that consisted of Kentucky; Cal; Nebraska; and Pitt. Lichtenstein visited Kentucky about three times this offseason, and the Wildcats do seem to have the inside track heading into summer.
But Alabama’s staff just offered recently and is working into the mix, along with new suitors Va Tech and USC. The recent string of scholarships, especially those from the SEC, could very well alter the Cypress Bay product’s leaderboard.
Lichtenstein has not been placed on the hot board.
Colin Anderson, LB, Brooks School (Killen, Ala.): The Alabama backer Anderson posted his Maryland offer May 14, although he admitted he secured it back in April but forgot to list the verbal. Not that Anderson wanted that to seem like a slight. He said he has interest in the Terps and has been in contact with UMD-area recruiter Anthony Tucker.
“And I was actually at Iowa when [the Hawkeyes] played Maryland, and I got a little familiar with Maryland from that and they actually looked pretty good," Anderson said. "I liked the way they played and they kind of caught my eye. I'm interested in learning more about them."
But when asked if he’d be visiting College Park this summer, Anderson said he “wasn’t sure,” which typically means “probably not.” He has 20 offers and counting, and the Brooks School prospect is leaning towards programs closer to home.
So far, Vanderbilt, Cal and Wake Forest have his attention, with the Commodores leading the pack. Anderson had a excellent initial trip to Vandy and should be returning this summer. He also will be getting out to Berkley, Calif., Iowa and Tennessee, with others in mind.
If all goes according to plan, Anderson will be selecting a college by June or July. With that in mind, it seems unlikely he’ll make it to College Park before popping.
Anderson has not been listed on the hot board.
You can read more about Anderson HERE.
Olakunle Fatukasi, OLB, Grand Street (Brooklyn, N.Y.): Maryland’s New York-area recruiter, Pete Lembo, was in Brooklyn this week and offered Fatukasi May 19. It was Fatukasi’s second Big Ten offer after Rutgers and represented arguably his most significant suitor to date. Fatukasi previously picked up verbals from BC, Rutgers, Syracuse, UConn, Western Michigan and Army.
“The Maryland offer was really great. I was really proud that I got it,” Fatukasi said. “I still want to get to know more and check into them, but it looks like a good school and a real good program. It looks like a school on the rise, and they play in the Big Ten, which is great.”
Considering that, one could surmise Lembo and Co. would be in a strong spot, at least initially. But Fatukasi could be someone who prefers to stay in the Northeast, closer to his family. He’s been to Rutgers three times, for example, and the Scarlet Knights have left a distinct impression. Fatukasi has readily taken to head coach Chris Ash and his staff, who have bee building a relationship with the New York backer for several months.
Boston College, which Fatukasi has visited, and Syracuse are on the brain too, namely due to their proximity to Brooklyn. On top of that, the Queens native suggested he was willing to wait for some of the nation’s foremost programs to ante up (he’s camping at Georgina in hopes of drawing SEC looks).
But that’s not to say Fatukasi won’t give the Terps their due. Although he’s high on RU, the Grand Street prospect insists he’s open to all suitors and is willing to explore his growing list of options. He said he’d like to check out College Park to see what head coach D.J. Durkin’s program had to offer. Off the bat, Fatukasi said Maryland’s Big Ten affiliation had his attention, while he’s taken to Lembo as well (“he’s a great guy,” Fatukasi said).
But even if Fatukasi does come around to UMD following a visit, is he a “take” at this point? Our feeling is, with so many prime targets on Durkin’s board, Fatukasi may be further down the list.
For now, we’re listing Fatukasi “cool” on the hot board.
You can read more about Fatukasi HERE.
Shanon Reid, ILB/S, Dunbar (Ft. Myers, Fla.): The Terps’ coaches offered the four star safety/linebacker Reid May 13, with UMD-area recruiter Chris Beatty, assistant Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and defensive coordinator Andy Buh doing the honors.
Reid has about 20 offers, and is bound to secure more, but he does have interest in checking College Park out. The Dunbar product said he, along with his teammates, will be taking a long tour this summer, with a planned stop at UMD. Given that, and coupled with Beatty’s prowess on the trail, we could see the Terps remaining involved with Reid.
But Reid has a hometown Miami offer too, and it sounds like the Canes are resonating. He's eager to check out Coral Gables and meet the new staff. WVU, Michigan, Rutgers, Louisville, FSU (no offer yet), Ohio State (no offer yet) and potentially a couple others are also in mind and in line for visits. Reid’s been through Tallahassee, Fla., once and is hoping the Noles' staff antes up.
For now, we'll list Reid "cool" on the hot board.
James Houston, OLB, American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.): Turns out the Maryland staff is attempting to pull off the same package deal as Wisconsin. We discussed James Houston’s cousin and teammate, lineman George Ellis, above, and how the Badgers were trying to lure the linebacker by taking the defensive tackle too. But Ellis isn’t as high on the Wisconsin coaches’ board as Houston is, so the Badgers may try to coax Houston to Madison without his cousin in tow.
If that plan backfires, there’s a possibility Houston could begin looking elsewhere. Perhaps, at a program where the coaches will readily accept both he and Ellis -- a program like Maryland.
Sure, it’s a somewhat farfetched scenario, but if the Badgers deliberate on Ellis, it could give Terps’ assistant Chris Beatty, who offered Houston May 18, a small window to make a move.
But that window will only be open a crack. Because if Houston doesn’t end up at Wisconsin, staffers from Clemson; Florida; Florida State; Miami; South Carolina; Auburn; LSU; Michigan State; Mississippi State; Michigan; UNC; Arkansas; and more are prepared to pounce. Clemson, UF, FSU and Miami already have Johnson’s eye and pose the greatest threat to the Badgers for Houston -- even though none of them have offered George Ellis.
Houston has not been added to the hot board.
De’Andre Wilder, OLB, Miami Carol City (Opa Locka, Fla.): The four-star Wilder secured an offer from Maryland’s Chris Beatty May 19, his 27th to date. But while Wilder appreciated the look, he may have his sights set elsewhere.
The 6-2, 200-pounder is favoring hometown Miami, but if Wilder doesn’t pop to the Canes, Florida is primed to reel him in. Our Florida analysts believe he won’t make it our of the Sunshine State.
The out-of-state programs that could potentially gain Wilder’s ear include Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame or maybe MSU.
Wilder has not been added to the hot board.
Keontae Jones, S, Colerain (Cincinnati, Ohio): Maryland’s Dave Borbely hit Ohio recently and made the Terps the latest offer for the safety Jones May 18. The three-star was thrilled with the verbal, noting UMD’s Big Ten affiliation and academics. He said he might be able to trek east this summer for a firsthand look at College Park.
But Jones also hinted he might want to stay in the Midwest for college. After all, Jones’ brother signed with Iowa State, the Cyclones’ coaches have hosted the Colerain product several time, and the safety wants to return. Indiana, another university Jones has seen, should be the recipient of a second visit as well. Wisconsin, Iowa and recent offeree Virginia Tech are firmly on the brain too, Jones suggesting he’d like to see each. Of the above institutions, the Badgers and Hokies could have the most pull with the three-star.
Another candidate that could emerge is Michigan State. It’s no secret Jones wants a Spartans offer; he’s visited East Lansing, Mich., and is willing to camp in order to cull out the scholarship.
We’ve listed Jones “cool” on the hot board, but he was a tentative addition. We’re somewhat skeptical he actually follows through with a College Park trip.
Randall Haynie, CB, Cardinal Gibbons (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.): The Terps’ coaches are trying to tap into Cardinal Gibbons once again. They landed the Daniels brothers last year, are after safety Daniel Wright this year, and now they’ve identified Wright’s fellow defensive back, Randall Haynie.
The three-star had a number of options prior to UMD area-recruiter Chris Beatty’s verbal May 17, but Haynie said the look resonated. That’s because three Maryland assistants -- count ‘em, three -- stopped by Gibbons May 16-17 to watch Haynie work out.
“It was kind of crazy with how the Maryland offer came about. First, Coach [Chris] Beatty came to watch me workout [May 16], and then a day later Coach Aazaar [Abdul-Rahim] and Coach [Mike] London came through,” said Haynie, who holds offers from UMD, Duke, Michigan, Vanderbilt, Rutgers, WVU, Wisconsin, Arkansas, BC, Purdue, USF, UCF, Kentucky and more. “No other school has done that, so it meant a lot to me that they’re showing that much interest. It shows how badly they want me there and how excited they are about me. And that just got me more excited about them, and it definitely made me pay attention. Maryland is definitely a school I’ll be looking at.”
Abdul-Rahim’s, Beatty’s and London’s showing isn’t the only reason the Terps have Haynie’s attention. Elisha and Elijah Daniels have been hyping UMD since they committed to Maryland.
“I’ve been talking to those two a lot, and they will definitely have an influence on me,” Haynie said. “I’m very close with them, I’ve been talking to them, and they say Maryland is a great school, Coach [D.J.] Durkin is great coach. and he looks our for you. They told me about the facilities, they showed me pictures of the upgrades, they told me about the campus, and they said it’s a good academic school. So it’s definitely a school I’m interested in.”
Haynie wasn’t finished talking up the Terps. He said he watched Maryland in his younger years because of the Under Armour uniforms, and has since taken notice of Terps’ greats Will Likely and Stefon Diggs.
Add it all up, and Haynie’s pining to see College Park in late summer or during the fall.
Not to be a buzz kill Terps’ fans, but, when pressed, Haynie admitted he had a few other programs that may sit ahead of UMD for the time being. He specifically pointed to Michigan and Wisconsin -- two schools whose coaches have made deep inroads -- as standouts, in addition to Duke, which fields one of Haynie’s former teammates. Plus, Haynie said he’d love a Miami scholarship since he grew up a Hurricanes fan, the corner hinting UM could rise to the top of the totem poll should an offer materialize.
The Gibbons defensive back, who has already trekked though Miami, Florida and UCF, is set to see Michigan June 17; Vanderbilt June 24; and then Duke later in June. He’s also in the process of finalizing a date for a Madison foray. Then, Haynie will begin scheduling officials during the fall, with his college announcement coming sometime in December.
While he seems to have a clear plan, Haynie’s recruitment will inevitably twist and turn in the months ahead. We do believe the Terps are going to have a shot here, and probably reside among his foremost five contenders. That’s enough to label Haynie “warm” on the hot board.
You can read what Haynie had to say HERE.
Michael Nesbitt, CB, Boyd Anderson (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.): The three-star Nesbitt added his 22nd offer from Maryland-area recruiter Chris Beatty May 19. There is a chance the Terps’ staff can gain Nesbitt’s ear in time, but maybe only if some of his other prominent suitors fall off.
Truth be told, Nesbitt’s already favoring South Carolina, whose staff has been pushing for the 6-0, 185-pounder. Nesbitt’s visiting Columbia, S.C., this summer, and it wouldn’t shock if he ended up popping.
Florida State is right in the thick of things too, provided the hometown school is willing to accept Nesbitt. If not, West Virginia and Arkansas also reside atop the leaderboard -- and both of those programs’ coaches would take the Boyd Anderson product.
Cal, Auburn, Kentucky, USF, Rutgers, Louisville, Pitt and a few more are in contention as well.
Nesbitt won’t be added to the hot board unless he stops by College Park.
New Underclassmen Offers
Jarren Williams, QB, Central Gwinnett (Lawrenceville, Ga.) (2018): Maryland offensive coordinator Walt Bell has slowly but surely added 2018 quarterback targets to his board. Earlier during the year, Bell offered DeJuan Ellis (O’Connell/Arlington, Va.), Allan Walters (Paramus Catholic/Paramus, N.J.) and Artur Sitkowski (Old Bridge/Matawan, N.J.), and May 18 he gave a verbal to Jarren Williams. Bell checked out a Central Gwinnett workout, and after watching the 6-3, 200-pound Williams throw, the coach deemed the multi-talented signal caller offer worthy.
Williams, naturally, was ecstatic about the look and said he’s looking forward to attending a Maryland camp in June. He said he “definitely” wanted to show out in front of the staff, see the campus and learn more about head coach D.J. Durkin’s program.
“I don’t know a lot about Maryland … but I know Coach [Andy] Buh, because I was talking to him when he was at Kentucky. He’s a great guy, and I was thrilled when he got a job over at Maryland. I’m excited to be back in touch with him again,” said Williams, noting his one Terps’ connection. “[Also,] I really like diverse offenses that can take advantages of all my abilities. I’d describe myself as a pocket passer who can run when he has to. I can sit under center, drop back in shotgun and throw on the run. So I’m looking for offenses that fit my style.”
The Terps seemingly fit the bill, but so do a number of other programs. Indeed, Williams is open to any suitor and system at this stage, the Georgian seeking to see as many campuses as possible. He’s not sure what schools he’ll be trekking to this summer, but some of his other offers are from Florida State; WVU; Kentucky; Louisville; USF; Colorado; BC; and Colorado State. Williams has been to Tallahassee, Fla., Gainesville, Fla., Louisville, Kent., and Lexington so far.
Williams, who mentioned he’d “love” to have scholarships from Ohio State and Oregon, will undoubtedly add a number of power-five offerees this summer and during the fall. But it sounds like Bell and Co. will have a chance to leave an impression. Let’s see if Williams follows through with that intended summer College Park trip.
You can read more about Williams HERE.
Dyami Brown, WR, West Mecklenburg (Charlotte, N.C.) (2018): The sophomore athlete Brown was someone UMD-area recruiter Walt Bell identified during his jaunt through the Carolinas recently, the offensive coordinator extending the offer May 16. Bell wasn’t the only one intrigued by the 6-2, 180-pound Brown, however. The emerging star had already begun to generate serious interest on the trail, with coaches from North Carolina; South Carolina; Tennessee; Va Tech; Wake Forest; Louisville; and Duke all joining the fray this spring.
The Carolina programs, UNC and USC, have the inside track initially, and our colleagues believe Brown’s going to wind up a Heel; Gamecock; or at some SEC stalwart. But there’s a ways to go, and Brown’s situation will ebb and flow, ebb and flow throughout this year and next.
Braylen Ingraham, DE, Dillard (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) (2019): Turns out Maryland’s Chris Beatty and Andy Buh didn’t stop at just Dillard’s three 2017 defensive linemen (discussed above). They also extended a verbal to the freshman Ingraham, who flashed plenty of potential during his first high school season. The 6-3, 230-pounder is already a physical specimen and figures to develop into one of the most sought-after linemen in the 2019 class.
During his first evaluation period, Ingraham has attracted offers from the likes of FAU; Iowa State; Temple; Wisconsin; and UMD. More are bound to pour in the rest of May and into the summer months.
Beatty and Buh did well to jump on Ingraham before he blows up, but, regardless, the freshman end will be a difficult pull for the Terps’ staff.
Brenton Cox, DE, Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.) (2018): Maryland represented the fifth offer for the sophomore Cox, who previously claimed scholarships from North Carolina; Southern Miss; ECU; and Middle Tennessee State. The Miller Grove product said he’d heard from UMD Georgia-area recruiter Mike London, who checked out a Miller Grove workout and later let Cox know of the recruit’s Maryland offer.
Cox expressed cursory interest, noting UMD’s Big Ten affiliation and Under Armour connections. He didn’t know much beyond the basics, though.
We’ll see what London can do here, but realize the Georgia native is going to procure 20-plus scholarships before it’s all said and done. He’s wide open at this stage, although it’s clear the ACC and SEC are on the brain.
Matthew Jones, DT, Erasmus Hall (Brooklyn, N.Y.) (2018): The Brooklyn native Jones is already a touted recruit and will be one of the nation’s premier defensive linemen by this time next year. Before UMD-area recruiter Pete Lembo cast Maryland’s name into the net, Jones had already snagged verbals from Alabama; OSU; Clemson; Miami; Nebraska; Georgia; Penn State; South Carolina; Syracuse; BC; Rutgers; and more.
The Tide and Buckeyes have Jones’ attention early, and the sophomore stud has been forecast to one of those two programs. In all likelihood, Jones will be visiting both Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Columbus, Ohio, this summer, in addition to other Big Ten and SEC bigwigs.
Nik Bonitto, DE, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) (2018): This sophomore from a Florida powerhouse picked up offer No. 20 from UMD-area recruiter Chris Beatty and defensive coordinator Andy Buh May 17. Bonitto previously had verbals from Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan, Florida, MSU, Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, WVU, Syracuse, UCF, Rutgers and Illinois.
At this juncture, Bonitto is favoring the Sunshine State schools: UF, Miami and FSU (when the Noles’ staff inevitably antes up). Others such as Alabama, LSU, Ohio State and Michigan have a chance to work into the game, but Bonitto’s not going to be an easy lure out of Florida.
But let’s see if Beatty, Buh and defensive line coach Mike London, who will be in touch via Twitter, can coax out a visit. With the Terps’ siege on the Sunshine State, you never know what can happen, or which recruits will listen.
Jason Munoz, DE, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) (2019): This is the lone Florida underclassman the Maryland staff offered May 17 that didn’t already have 15 verbals. Don’t misunderstand: Munoz is going to have 30-plus scholarships by the time he’s a junior or senior, but right now he’s “under the radar.” And we use that term very loosely.
The 6-4, 220-pound freshman added his first verbal from Kentucky May 13, and four days later UMD coaches Chris Beatty and Andy Buh handed Munoz his second offer. We’ll have to see how Munoz’s recruitment develops the next few seasons, but perhaps the early Maryland look will resonate down the road.
K.J. Henry, DE, West Forsyth (Clemmons, N.C.) (2018): Henry is one of the country’s crème de crème, a potential five-star and maybe a top-20 recruit in the 2018 class. The Maryland staff, with area recruiter Walt Bell acting as informer, approved an offer for Henry May 18, the 6-6, 220-pounder’s 24th to date.
The Carolina native already had verbals from Clemson, UNC, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Indiana, Georgia, Nebraska, Tennessee, Va Tech, South Carolina, NC State, Pitt, WVU, Wisconsin, Wake, Southern Miss, Duke, Mississippi State, Louisville and more.
Nearby Clemson and hometown North Carolina are standing out at this juncture, but Henry’s situation will go in many different directions the next two years. Maybe Bell, defensive line coach Mike London and assistant Al Seamonson, who has had contact via Twitter, can gain Henry’s eye in time. More than likely, though, the West Forsyth prospect is going to end up in the ACC or SEC.
Darrell Shelton, OLB, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) (2018): The sophomore Shelton’s Maryland offer came in May 17 courtesy of UMD-area recruiter Chris Beatty and defensive coordinator Andy Buh. The Terps’ staff viewed an Aquinas workout, the budding star Shelton catching their eye.
Not much is known about Shelton’s situation at this stage, but it doesn’t take an expert prognosticator to figure out where this recruitment’s headed. Shelton claims verbals from Florida State, Michigan State, Louisville, Kentucky, NC State, Syracuse and more. He should be landing more SEC , Big Ten and ACC offers in the months ahead, with the country’s powers about to join the fray.
Beatty has plenty of ties in Florida, but it’ll be a tough row to hoe. First thing’s first: Convincing Shelton to trek north for a College Park visit.
Daniel Carter, OLB, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) (2019): Maryland became the 11th offer for the freshman stud Carter, an outside linebacker/running back with previous looks from Georgia; Kentucky; Mississippi State; NC State; Michigan; Ohio State; Tennessee; South Carolina; and Northern Illinois. During their Florida onslaught, UMD-area recruiter Chris Beatty and defensive coordinator Andy Buh watched Carter in action and later gave him a Terps’ verbal.
Carter will have his pick of schools by the time he’s a senior. Given that, the Maryland triumvirate did well to leave an early impression.
Anthony Solomon, OLB, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) (2019): Welcome to the world of “big boy recruiting.” The freshman Solomon has played one season of high school football, but he has around 20 verbals to date. Terps’ coaches Chris Beatty and Andy Buh approved an offer for the 6-0, 190-pounder May 17, attempting to give UMD a puncher’s chance.
We’ll never doubt Beatty’s prowess, but the chances of Solomon keeping Maryland in mind the next three years aren’t great. Fact is, the freshman already has schools like Alabama, FSU, Florida, Miami, LSU, Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State in hot pursuit. Most analysts believe he’ll lean towards the SEC elites, namely the Tide.
Al Blades Jr., CB, University School (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) (2018): The offer binge continued for Maryland’s area recruiter Chris Beatty and defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim May 17, the assistants extending a verbal to the sophomore Blades. But Abdul-Rahim and Beatty have their work cut out for them with this future four-star.
Before May 17, the aptly named Blades held offers from Bama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Miami, South Carolina, WVU, USF, UCF and others. The hometown Hurricanes have a bead after Blades visited Coral Gables in April (Miami is Blades’ father’s alma mater), but staff’s from FSU; Notre Dame; and the rest of the SEC are pushing hard too.
Our Florida colleagues have projected the University corner to a southern power.
Benny Sapp Jr., CB, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) (2018): UMD-secondary coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, area recruiter Chris Beatty and defensive coordinator Andy Buh offered the sophomore Sapp Jr. May 17. It was the 22nd offer to date for the son of former NFLer Benny Sapp Sr. and the cousin of ex-Pro Bowler Warren Sapp.
All the nation’s bigwigs are on the 2018 recruit, some of the notable ones being Florida; Alabama; Clemson; Florida State; Michigan; MSU; Miami; Georgia; Ohio State; Oklahoma; South Carolina; Tennessee; WVU; Louisville; and others. It’s too soon to make a call here, but Clemson, Ohio State and the SEC mainstays are the initial leaders.
That said, we’ll see how many of those programs stay after the injured Aquinas corner. Sapp tore his ACL last year and recently tore it a second time this spring. Even so, the Maryland coaches opted to offer Sapp, which meant something to the Aquinas corner. Maybe, just maybe, that gesture will stay with Sapp as he begins exploring more colleges this summer and next. (Remember, that’s how the Terps were able to reel in Antwaine Richardson).
Patrick Surtain Jr., CB, American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.) (2018): If the name “Surtain” rings a bell, it should. Surtain Jr. is the son of the former All Pro from the Bayou, Patrick Surtain Sr. Considering the Sutrains are Louisiana residents, many believe LSU has the inside track. But the five-star sophomore, who has about 30 offers in tow, is also keen on Miami; Florida State; Alabama; Florida; and maybe Clemson. Surtain Jr. has seen each of the aforementioned schools.
Maryland assistants Chris Beatty, Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and Andy Buh forayed through American Heritage May 17, with the former coach officially handing Surtain Jr. his Terps’ offer. If Abdul-Rahim and Buh can somehow convince Surtain to visit College Park, that would be a victory in and of itself.
Tyson Campbell, CB, American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.) (2018): Patrick Surtain’s fellow corner, the sophomore Campbell, has an offer list equally impressive to the five-star. Now, Campbell may only have about 15 verbals compared to 30 for Surtain Jr., but some of them include Alabama; Florida; LSU; Miami; Clemson; Oklahoma; Georgia; UNC; and Michigan.
Campbell has visited LSU, Clemson, Florida and Alabama, among others, and has each under prime consideration. There’s a possibility he joins Surtain at LSU (if that’s indeed where Surtain winds up), but it’s too soon to project. In all likelihood, though, Campbell will end up at an SEC university or maybe Miami.
Terps’ coaches Chris Beatty, Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and Andy Buh tossed Maryland’s name into the hat May 17, but we don’t envision them prying Campbell out of the South.
Miguel Edwards, CB, Coconut Creek (Pompano Beach, Fla.) (2018): Maryland assistant Chris Beatty kept trucking May 18, stopping by Coconut Creek and offering the stud sophomore Edwards. But before Beatty anted up, coaches from Alabama; Miami; Louisville; Kentucky; NC State; Syracuse; Indiana; Temple; UCF; and WVU had thrown their names into the hat.
One could assume Edwards would be inclined towards a program of Alabama’s ilk, but the 6-0, 160-pounder is willing to check out a variety of suitors. Which means the Terps could be the recipient of a visit, so long as Beatty and UMD defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim’s words hit home.
For now, Edwards is projected to an SEC or Florida program.
News On Top Terps Targets
Cameron Sullivan-Brown, WR/CB, St. Vincent Pallotti (Laurel, Md.): Maryland’s staff has been able to convince six DMV recruits to join head coach D.J. Durkin’s program, but the Terps are running second for a few other local targets -- including Cameron Sullivan-Brown.
After stopping by Pallotti earlier this week, I reaffirmed my suspicion that Penn State led Maryland for the 6-1, 170-pounder.
When inquiring into 1) which schools jumped into his head and 2) what campuses he wanted to see this summer, PSU was first out of Sullivan-Brown’s mouth on both occasions. He lauded his initial trip to State College, Pa., praised the atmosphere surrounding the program and couldn’t say enough about head coach James Franklin and Co.
“I just fell in love with the PSU coaches,” Sullivan-Brown said.
But UMD-defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and receivers’ coach Chris Beatty aren’t simply conceding Sullivan-Brown to the Nittany Lions. The two have been after the three-star in earnest, trekking through Pallotti and maintaining consistent contact.
“I still love Maryland. I talk to Coach Aazaar and Coach Beatty a lot, and I have a great relationship with all the coaches up there,” said Sullivan-Brown, who was last in College Park in February. “They’re still at the top for me.
“And I want to be with my [local friends] for four years, I want to win with them, and I want to win championships. And I know the guys from this area, if they [go to Maryland] we can get that done. I talk to Kasim [Hill], Ayinde [Eley] and they’re trying to get me to commit [to Maryland], most definitely.”
Maybe more importantly for Terps’ purposes, Sullivan-Brown said he didn’t care whether he played receiver or cornerback at the next level. Recall, Durkin offered Sullivan-Brown as an “athlete,” which we surmised could hurt the UMD staff’s chances at landing the DMV recruit, who we were told wanted to be a wideout and only a wideout. But the Pallotti product dismissed the notion, insisting he’d line up at whatever spot led to immediate playing time. (Whether he was telling the truth or giving me the company line is up for debate).
There is a third school in the running for Sullivan-Brown, though the sense is Duke sits behind Penn State and Maryland. That said, the Laurel native noted he had a standout visit to Durham, loved the academics and said his father favored the Blue Devils too. Sullivan-Brown said he “definitely” wants to return to Duke this summer, so it wouldn’t be a total shock if the Blue Devils emerged as a true darkhorse candidate.
Sullivan-Brown also said WVU and Syracuse were in mind, but we don’t envision him at either of those two programs.
Look for the three-star to make an August college decision, after his upcoming round of trips. For now, our tealeaves read “Nittany Lions,” but the race isn’t over by any means.
You can hear what Sullivan-Brown had to say HERE.
M.J. Jarrell, WR, Timber Creek (Orlando, Fla.): The Terps only have a couple receiver slots left in the 2017 class, but we’re not so sure Jarrell will be securing his spot anytime soon. Jarrell came close to committing during a College Park campus visit April 16, calling Maryland his clear leader following the stay. He loved the atmosphere surrounding head coach D.J. Durkin’s program, offensive coordinator Walt Bell’s spread, and the personality of receivers’ coach Chris Beatty, who doubles as Jarrell’s recruiter.
Jarrell, who has remained in close communication with Beatty, said after his trip it might only be a matter of when, not if, he’d be popping to UMD. But then the evaluation period set it, and Jarrell’s stock rose exponentially.
The Orlando native began procuring offers from schools like South Carolina, Pitt, Syracuse, Va Tech, Duke and others, causing the Timber Creek product to do some reevaluating. Jarrell’s keeping Maryland in mind, but the Blue Devils and Hokies are right there as well following treks to Durham and Blacksburg. Meanwhile, Jarrell’s eager to see his first SEC suitor, South Carolina, later this spring.
And as the offers roll in, Jarrell’s more inclined to deliberate, visiting as many suitors as possible this offseason. Jarrell still might commit later during the summer, but he admitted his recruitment could drag into the fall so he can take officials.
For now, we’re leaving Jarrell “warm” on the hot board. He could very well come back around to the Terps, but we can’t forecast him to College Park at this stage.
Gabe Houy, OT, Upper St. Clair (Pittsburgh, Pa.): Houy continues to be one of Maryland’s most viable offensive tackle targets, the Pittsburgh product reiterating his Terps’ intrigue earlier this week. The 6-6, 260-pound three-star was thought to be trending away from Maryland, but he told me UMD was in the thick of things after offensive line coach Dave Borbely’s recent overtures.
Houy said Borbely, Maryland’s Pittsburgh-area recruiter, stopped by Upper St. Clair recently, while the two regularly exchange messages via social media. The Keystone State recruit characterized his and Borbely’s relationship as “really good,” the tackle also mentioning he “loves” the way the veteran assistant coaches.
Houy, as we wrote last month, visited College Park and lauded the intensity of the practice; the coaches’ overall demeanors; the campus; the pending facility upgrades; and the renovated dorms.
“And now I’m definitely looking to get back,” Houy said. “I’m not sure of all the schools I’ll be visiting this summer, but Maryland is going to be one of them.”
But we’ll see if that intended return is enough to trump some of Houy’s other contenders. Hometown Pitt is still the team to beat with the Panthers’ coaches letting Houy know he’s a priority. Houy has been to Pittsburgh more times than he can remember and will probably be back again shortly.
Louisville, whose staff offered last month, resides near the top of Houy’s leaderboard too. The tackle has visited UL once before and could check the Cardinals out a second time. (West Virginia was on Houy’s mind at one time, but the Mountaineers’ staff hasn’t offered yet.)
Andrew Stueber, OT, Darien (Conn.): Stueber remains on the hot board, mainly because UMD-area recruiter Pete Lembo and offensive line coach Dave Borbely have stayed on the three-star tackle. Lembo has been through Darien and is in daily communication with the 6-6, 305-pounder. Furthermore, Stueber enjoyed an early-spring trip to College Park, the Connecticut native talking up Borbely’s coaching methods and resume.
But realize that Stueber is a “love every school” recruit. When probed, however, it didn’t sound like Maryland’s going to be a prime contender when it’s all said and done.
An academic-oriented prospect, Stueber has Duke trending following a trip to Durham and the staff’s potent push since then. North Carolina is a prominent suitor as well, with Stueber eager to trek through Chapel Hill, N.C., again this summer. He’s also considering Penn State, which he visited in April and could see a second time down the line.
Additionally, Stueber readily admitted he’s hoping staffs from Michigan, Stanford, Notre Dame, UCLA and USC and Northwestern eventually ante up. All of the above schools’ coaches have shown interest, and some could offer in time.
“This summer I want to get down to North Carolina again, I would like to possibly get out to Northwestern, and then I want to hit some schools I haven’t talked to as much such as Notre Dame; Stanford; UCLA; and USC,” Stueber said. “I’m definitely trying to get my name out to those schools on the West Coast since I’m interested in them.”
Stueber, who would like to have his college destination decided by the summer, made no mention of a Maryland return. But, if the three-star holds off on committing, and if he doesn’t receive some of his coveted scholarship, perhaps Lembo’s and Borbely’s persistent efforts will pay off.
Christopher Whittaker, DL, Chaminade-Madonna Prep (Hollywood, Fla.): The Terps have had an offer out to Whittaker since early March, and Maryland remains a school the 6-4, 250-pounder would like to see. Defensive coordinator Andy Buh and defensive line coach Mike London have stayed in touch, Whittaker listing the Maryland staff as one of his most ardent pursuers.
For that reason, we’re keeping Whittaker on the hot board. But, quite honestly, the three-star has not commented on UMD all that much, other than to note the staff’s pitch. Whittaker has been more inclined to discuss his recent SEC suitor, South Carolina, which he’s eager to see in short order. Kentucky also has Whittaker’s attention, in addition to ACC programs like UNC; NC State; and Syracuse.
His recruitment remains in its infancy, though, so he’s open to any programs whose staff shows him some love. Which is why we’re tracking Whittaker until he publically eliminates UMD.
Brailyn Franklin, OLB, Battlefield (Haymarket, Va.): Sometimes recruits like Franklin (read: non-national names) can be coaxed into an earlier-than-anticipated pop, so I checked in with him this week to gauge where he stood. The three-star linebacker/safety/receiver said not much has changed since the evaluation period began, Franklin keeping Maryland and Va Tech atop the totem poll, with a summer college announcement in mind.
“Nothing has changed whatsoever; it’s still Virginia Tech and Maryland,” said Franklin, who also holds offers from Kansas, Cincinnati, Marshall, ODU, Syracuse and Temple. “Both of those schools are still pushing for me, and I could see myself at either one. I know some people have said I’m probably going to Tech, but honestly it’s even between those two. I really like both those schools and can’t really separate them right now.”
Franklin has been in Blacksburg four times and has a terrific rapport with the Hokies’ staff. Defensive coordinator Bud Foster has been in regular communication, and Tech-area recruiter Charley Wiles trekked through Battlefield to assure Franklin’s interest level. Not to mention the Battlefield product is comfortable on campus, loves Foster’s defense and believes in head coach Justin Fuente.
But the Terps are right there too, with area recruiter Chris Beatty and defensive line coach Mike London all over the Texas native.
“Coach Beatty actually just came through the school, and it was cool to see him. He’s a real cool coach and we talk at least once a week,” Franklin said. “And Coach London, I spoke to him and we had a good conversation about life in general and my interest level in Maryland. It was a really good talk. He actually asked me the same thing Coach Wiles did, and I told [London], ‘Yes, I’m very interested in Maryland.’”
Franklin and his father visited College Park for a spring practice back in March. The three-star left extoling the staff’s energy, the attacking-style defense, the campus and the upcoming facility upgrades. Franklin plans to come back for a second look at Maryland later during the spring or summer.
There’s a possibility Franklin takes in a few other schools, but he’s not sure which ones right now. The feeling is, unless a major Texas program or some national elite tosses out an offer, it’s coming down to the Terps and Hokies.
Our gut? Va Tech probably holds a slight edge. But let’s see if Franklin does make it back to College Park and then determine what he’s thinking after that.
You can read more about Franklin HERE.
Terrell Jana, CB, Woodberry Forest (Woodberry, Va.): Jana told us a month or so ago UVA led Maryland for his services, and evidently little has changed other than the inclusion of Yale as the third rung.
The Canadian native has been in Charlottesville, Va., five times this offseason, has a deep rapport with the staff and loves what the school’s about from a social; athletic; and academic standpoint. To boot, his teammate, quarterback Lindell Stone, is already committed and pumping up the ‘Hoos.
“[UVA is] pretty far out in front,” said Jana, who Virginia’s staff wants at receiver.
But Jana is willing to give UMD’s staff a chance to win him over. He said he and his parents would be flying in from Western Canada sometime in June or July for a look at College Park.
“I really want to see what Maryland is all about. I’ve had the offer for months now, and Coach [Mike] London and Coach Aazaar [Abdul-Rahim] are always in touch,” Jana said. “They literally talk to me like three or more times a week. Coach London, he’s been through my school and I’ve met him before, but I want to meet Coach Rahim in person and the rest of the staff too. And I want to take my parents up there so they can see what Maryland is all about.
“Both Coach London and Coach Rahim are great, great guys. I really like them and enjoy talking to them. They’re great recruiters and from what I can tell, great coaches.”
It should be noted, however, the Jana family will be checking out Yale and UVA as well. The feeling here is that sixth Virginia trip could be the charm; it wouldn’t shock if Jana popped to the ‘Hoos while on campus.
Jana might trip to UNC, Va Tech and Washington too if those staffs opt to offer, but it probably won’t make a difference either way. The corner/receiver is the Cavaliers’ to lose -- unless the Maryland staff can put on the hard sell if/when Jana visit UMD.
You can read more about Jana HERE.
Carriere On Board
Carlos Carriere (Alpharetta, Ga.) became the Terps' second Georgia receiver commit in a week May 14, joining fellow wideout Sean Nelson (Langston Hughes/Fairburn, Ga.). The 6-5, 165-pounder had been all about Maryland ever since he visited College Park in early April, so his commitment came as no surprise. Carriere, who also had offers from Illinois, Southern Miss and some lower Division I programs, said the UMD staff and offensive coordinator Walt Bell's offense were the two primary factors that pushed the Terps over the top.
"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.”
Since Carriere plays in a spread at Alpharetta, he believes he'll seamlessly transition into Bell's scheme. Moreover, Carriere is anxious to catch passes from quarterback Kasim Hill (St. John's/Washington, D.C.) and line up with Nelson too.
The Georgian also praised Maryland's campus, pending facility upgrades and renovated player dorms. The school's academic reputation and location near Washington, D.C., and Baltimore resonated as well, Carriere noting the post-grad opportunities UMD provides.
Unlike Nelson, who hinted he could visit other schools, Carriere said he has not entertained that thought. He said a return to College Park in June would be his lone trip.
As far as his game is concerned, Carriere's a long, rail-thin receiver with big hands and a wide catch-radius. He uses his height to his advantage, showing the ability to sky above cornerbacks and come down with balls overtop the coverage. Carriere high-points the ball and has strong enough hands to hang on throughout the catch. And despite his lithe frame, Carriere doesn't shy away from contact and is physical in the air.
Carriere is a natural pass catcher, runs decent routes and has some sneaky quickness to him. He’s a long strider who can glide by flat-footed corners who underestimate his speed.
To improve, Carriere mainly has to add bulk and muscle to stick at the Big Ten level. He's going to have problems defeating jams and going against physical corners at his current weight. Also, Carriere has to become more explosive, especially with his get-off. Otherwise, he won’t create much separation or rack up a ton of yards after the catch.
Carriere isn't a downfield burner, either, projecting as more of a possession receiver than someone who's going to take the top off the defense. Furthermore, Carriere needs to refine his footwork and overall mechanics, while he could stand to tighten up his patterns.
Off The Board
Joshua Palmer, WR, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.): The three-star Palmer has seen his offer list steadily expand since UMD receivers’ coach Chris Beatty anted up in late January. At the time, Maryland represented one of Palmer’s more significant offers, and he, along with teammates Mike Harley and Cody Bowes, sought to see College Park during the offseason.
But I checked in with Palmer earlier this week, and he no longer listed UMD as a school he wanted to visit. He told me coaches from Syracuse, Pitt, Purdue and NC State were pushing the hardest for him, and he’d be trekking through each of those four this summer.
In addition, a Notre Dame coach stopped by Aquinas during the evaluation period, the Irish increasing their interest. If UND’s staff offers, Palmer would undoubtedly check out South Bend, Ind. Michigan, meanwhile, remains a prime player should the Wolverines’ staff accept Palmer’s commitment. (Remember, he’s from Canada and UM would represent a homecoming of sorts for him).
Others that could potentially receive looks include Nebraska, Louisville, Illinois, Pitt and Temple.
Tyler Knight, OT, Northside Christian (St. Petersburg, Fla.): There was some sense the Terps’ staff might actively pursue the Indiana pledge Knight, who has been committed to the Hoosiers since last November. But there’s been little to no movement from the Maryland coaches, and we haven’t heard of a UMD staffer trekking through Northside Christian to watch Knight work out.
Moreover, Knight seems fairly content with his commitment, not inclined to search around. Maybe if a couple Florida/southern powers come calling he’ll change his thinking, but, either way, there’s not much mutual interest between Knight and Maryland.
Olalere Oladipo, DE, Huntley (Ill.): We updated the Chicago edge rusher last week, the three-star letting on he still had interest in checking out Maryland. Oladipo had heard from UMD assistant Al Seamonson, who had developed a rapport with the edge rusher when the coach was at Illinois, but apparently the Terps aren’t one of the programs pushing in earnest, per the recruit.
At the Nike Opening Chicago, Oladipo spoke to a Scout reporter, and said the staffs in closest contact were Illinois’, Indiana’s and Syracuse’s. The Illini are probably the leader in the clubhouse what with Oladipo readily taking to head coach Lovie Smith and the program he’s building. Indiana is likely running second after a couple trips to Bloomington, Ind., while Oladipo has yet to check out Cuse.
At this stage, with Oladipo set on a summer college decision, he’s probably going to end up in Champaign, Ill., or another Midwest program (Michigan State has an offer out, but it’s unclear if it’s committable). We do not anticipate him foraying through Maryland.
J.R. Pace, S, Woodward Academy (Atlanta, Ga.): In a rather unsurprising development, the Georgia safety Pace popped to stated No. 1 Northwestern May 15. The school’s academics, post-graduation opportunities and an April visit to the Chicago area sold Pace on the Wildcats. He also had BC, Duke and Vanderbilt under firm consideration.
Pace landed a Maryland offer May 5, and he did say he was looking forward to speaking to the staff and possibly scheduling a summer visit. The Woodward product mentioned he’d heard plenty about UMD from his good friend, Sean Nelson, who had just committed to the Terps. But apparently Nelson couldn’t convince Pace to join him in College Park.