The Maryland staff is certainly giving itself plenty of BUCK linebacker options. The staff has one such hybrid backer committed in the 2017 class in Ayinde Eley (Good Counsel/Olney, Md.), and has offers out to numerous others.
The most recent potential target just emerged on the radar June 7, when Smithfield (Va.) outside linebacker/safety/receiver Chris Pierce heard from his head coach that Maryland was highly interested in offering. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound three-star said his coach had been in touch with UMD-area recruiter Mike London.
“The interest from Maryland really surprised me, because I hadn’t really heard much from Coach London,” said Pierce, who claims verbals from UVA, BC, Temple, UCF, Wake Forest, ODU and Yale. “I attended a camp at Maryland last year and had some contact with the old staff, but there hasn’t been a whole lot of communication with the new staff. But I’m very grateful and honored, and I’ll definitely be calling Coach London to learn more. I’m not sure of the interaction [London] had with my coach, but evidently [London] really likes my versatility and athleticism.”
Pierce said Maryland is a school he’s “always” had interest in. Since he grew up less than four hours from College Park, Md., he said he was exposed to the Terps growing up.
“I watched Maryland on TV, and my older brother always liked Maryland, so I kind of knew them from that. We always paid attention to the Under Armour uniforms,” Pierce said. “Then when I was up there last year, I thought it was a beautiful campus and a great school. It’s just a great college town and a place I could see myself at. I like that it’s not far from home and that it’s in the Big Ten.
“Also, the educational side really stands out. I want to major in sports medicine and Maryland has a great program for that.”
The Smithfield athlete said he’d “definitely” be returning to Maryland sometime during the summer. He said he wants to meet head coach D.J. Durkin and Co. and find out more about his program.
Of course, Pierce has other schools on his radar too, namely those who have been on him for several months. He isn’t claiming leaders per se, but it’s clear hometown UVA has his eye.
“Virginia is definitely there for me,” said Pierce, an honors student who is placing plenty of emphasis on his education. “I was up there for a visit and I loved it. The staff there is amazing and it’s a real family atmosphere and great academics. There’s nothing bad I can say about that school.”
Pierce offered up high praise for Wake Forest after a trek through Winston Salem, N.C. , too.
Next up, he has planned June visits to Temple, Yale and Virginia Tech, the latter of which hasn’t offered yet but whose coaches have expressed some interest. Pierce hasn’t discussed a College Park foray yet, but figures to stop by after seeing the Owls, Bulldogs and Hokies.
“And we’ll see what other schools decide to offer,” Pierce said. “There’s plenty of offers I’d like to have, but I don’t want to list those right now.”
Interestingly enough, Pierce said many of his offers are for defense, even though his favored position is receiver. He said he sees himself as a wideout first and foremost, but isn’t opposed to defense at all.
“Honestly, it’s whatever gets me on the field and allows me to contribute,” Pierce said. “I love receiver, but I’m fine playing linebacker or safety.”
The Smithfield athlete also said he’d like to wait until after his senior year before committing. He wants to see what offers he can procure once his film is evaluated.