School let out in early June for three-star Canadian receiver Joshua Palmer (St. Thomas Aquinas/Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), and on his way back to Ontario, he stopped off at three of his foremost college suitors. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Palmer checked out Pittsburgh June 12, Maryland June 13 and finished up at Syracuse June 14 before returning home.
Palmer proceeded to comment on each of his three trips.
Pittsburgh: "Pitt was nice. I was able to see the facilities they share with the [Pittsburgh] Steelers and that probably stood out to me the most. I liked working with [receivers’ coach Kevin Sherman] at the camp and he’s a really cool guy and a great coach.
“I also like [head coach Pat] Narduzzi and he’s like a father figure to a lot of his players. Pitt has a lot to offer me. They’re definitely on my radar.”
Syracuse: "The facilities and the indoor field stood out to me at Syracuse. Also, they have really good educational support there, which is important. The coaching staff were very friendly and fun to be around too, and I really liked Coach [Dino] Babers and his offense. It’s a really good system and I think I could do well there."
As for Maryland, the Aquinas product offered up perhaps his most ardent praise.
“Maryland was really, really nice. I really enjoyed it there on campus and being around the coaches,” Palmer said. “I liked the facility project they’re working on and will be finished in a year and a half. It looks like they’re going to have great indoor fields, and the tunnel was impressive too. I also really liked the campus and the area around [College Park, Md.].”
Palmer has held a Terps’ verbal since late January, when receivers’ coach Chris Beatty anted up. The two have been in close communication since then, while Palmer has also spoken to offensive coordinator Walt Bell and head coach D.J. Durkin.
“In general, the coaches at Maryland were very nice and straightforward, which I liked,” Palmer said. “But my relationship with them was really good before I even visited, especially with Coach Beatty. He’s a great coach and his resume speaks for itself.
“I had a chance to meet Coach Durkin [June 13] too, and I like him a lot. He has a great message and he’s getting a lot of great recruits. Unfortunately, Coach Bell wasn’t there [June 13], but I really like him too.”
Speaking of Bell, Palmer believes he could potentially thrive in UMD’s spread system. He sees an opportunity to put up big numbers and steadily develop under Beatty’s watch.
Moreover, spoke highly of Maryland’s academics, academic support and the benefits of its location near Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.
“The main thing for me is finding a place with great academics and great athletics,” Palmer said. “It’s a great environment for both at Maryland, and the other schools I saw.”
Palmer holds around 20 offers to date, but he said six in particular are standing out: UMD, Pitt, Cuse, Louisville, NC State and Nebraska. Michigan would be firmly involved as well (and maybe even the leader), but the Wolverines are not thought to be pushing for Palmer at this juncture.
The Aquinas receiver has yet to see the Wolfpack, Cardinals or Huskers, and is unsure whether or not he’ll be able to check out Raleigh, N.C., Louisville or Lincoln, Neb., this summer. (He was at Michigan last year, the only school he’d visited before his recent three trips).
“I hope to make my college decision before my senior season,” Palmer said. “I might take official visits if I need to see more, but I’m hoping to get it done this summer.”