Maryland assistant Pete Lembo trekked through the Northeast during the latter stages of the spring evaluation period, and on May 27 he approved an offer for Bloomfield (Conn.) linebacker Dillon Harris. The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder, who projects as an outside linebacker, said he was thrilled with the look and has the Terps trending in a major way.
“That was big time, really big time. The Maryland offer just really excited me to be honest,” said Harris, who recently added offers from Rutgers and Syracuse as well. “It made me really humble too that I got it. It made me want to stay focused and keep grinding. But Maryland, that’s my school right now. They’re my top.”
After Lembo extended the verbal, coaches from Rutgers and Cuse followed suit. Harris expressed some interest in both, but said he was more apt to look at Maryland than the Scarlet Knights or Orange.
“Rutgers and Syracuse are both good schools. I might see what they’re about and check them out,” Harris said. “But I just really liked the Maryland offer. Just from the research I’ve done, Maryland just seems like a great school to be at. I’m defintley getting down there for a visit soon.”
Harris had not been in contact with Lembo prior to the look. But the initial impression the coach made evidently resonated.
“Coach Lembo seems like a great coach and I really like his personality,” Harris said. “We were talking on the phone after he offered me and he just seemed like a great guy. He loved my size, speed and versatility and thinks I’d be a great fit at Maryland. And I told him I think Maryland would be a good fit too. I’m excited to see the school.”
The Bloomfield product has actually been near College Park, Md., before. However, he’s never visited the campus.
“I just know it’s a great area right outside of D.C.,” Harris said. “And I recently looked them up to find out more information and it just sounds great. The Big Ten is a huge conference; I’d love to play in the Big Ten. And they have a great business school and that’s what I’m looking to major in.
“And the defense, I was talking with my coach about their defense, and that’s the type of defense we run here in high school. Actually, that’s what stood out to Coach Lembo. We ran like five linebackers and I was the MIKE and made all the calls. But then I played some outside linebacker and strong safety too. So we were multiple just like Maryland. I think I’d be an outside backer [at UMD], but the scheme is pretty similar to what I’m used to.”
In addition to Maryland, Harris said he’d like see Rutgers and maybe Syracuse. He was at SU last year and is considering a return during the summer. Harris previously trekked through UMass, UConn and PSU as well.
“Right now, Maryland is the main school I want to see,” said Harris, who believes Temple and Boston College will ante up next. “They’re the top school right now. But I am hoping I get a Florida State offer since their coaches have been in contact, and Tennessee has been in contact too, so that would be a great offer to have.”
Harris, who would like to have his college selected by August, is coming off a season where he racked up 164 tackles; 30 tackles for loss; four breakups and three forced fumbles.