The Maryland staff has given itself a variety of linebacker options, and one of the more intriguing recruits the Terps offered recently went out to a Queens, N.Y., native. Olakunle Fatukasi (Grand Street/Brooklyn, N.Y.) landed his seventh offer from UMD May 19 and said it’s a school of interest.
“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. I’m probably going to get down there for a visit.”
Fatukasi said he’d been in touch with Maryland-area recruiter Pete Lembo prior to the offer. The backer said the two had been exchanging messages on Twitter before the Terps’ assistant ventured up to Brooklyn for a Grand Street workout.
“Coach Lembo came to my school and shook my hand, then afterwards I heard that he’d offered me,” Fatukasi said. “I was real honored by it. I’ve enjoyed talking to him on Twitter, and I think he’s a great guy. He said he likes how hard I hit, how I move, and how fast I am to the ball. It was great to hear that.”
Fatukasi, though, is still in the research phase in regards to UMD. He said he couldn’t comment much more on the school until he visits.
He had more to say about Rutgers, however, a school he’s been to three time.
“Rutgers, I really liked them and I like that it’s close to home,” said Fatukasi, who counts offers from RU, UMD, BC, UConn, Syracuse, Army and Western Michigan. “The coaches are great and I feel comfortable on campus.”
Fatukasi has also seen BC, PSU and UConn. He said he wants to see plenty of campuses this summer, but isn’t sure which ones he’ll be getting to.
“All I know is I’m going to Georgia for a camp, but that’s it right now,” Fatukasi said. “I’m hoping to get some SEC offers, so maybe I’ll catch [the Bulldogs’] eye while I’m down there. But other than [UGA], I’m not sure where I want to go yet.”
The Grand Street prospect mentioned that while he likes being close to home, it’s not the be all, end all for him. He said if he “finds the right fit” at a program farther away from New York, he won’t hesitate to jump at it.
“I don’t mind going away, seeing new things,” Fatukasi said. “It’s all about what school gives me the best opportunity and fits me academically and athletically.”
Fatukasi said he has no definitive leaders at this stage, despite the frequent RU trips. He said he wants to see what offers he can procure and take numerous visits before declaring any standouts.
“But I’m still trying to decide [on a college] before my senior season, or right after the beginning of the season,” Fatukasi said. “I want to get the recruiting process over with before the fall.”