Woodberry Forest (Woodberry, Va.) cornerback Terrell Jana has held a Maryland offer since February, but he had yet to visit College Park, Md., despite it being just a couple hours from his high school.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Canadian native wasn’t deliberating for lack of interest, however.
Quite the contrary.
Jana has long been intrigued by Maryland, which represented his very first power-five offer, but his parents, who reside in British Columbia, were unable to fly 3,000 miles east to take their son around to various college campuses. But with Woodberry on summer break, the Janas elected to head over from the left coast and begin checking out some of the three-star’s main college options.
So, finally, Jana and Co. arrived in College Park June 15, giving the two-way star his first look at Maryland.
“Maryland was great,” said Jana, who holds offers from UMD, Virginia, Nevada, Old Dominion, Rice, Ohio and Yale. “The staff was very welcoming, and it was just a great first visit. Me and my parents all really enjoyed it, from the coaches to the campus to the academic aspects. Maryland’s a great school and a great program on the rise.”
Jana has had relatively regular contact with UMD-area recruiter Mike London and defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim since the offer materialized in February. London, for his part, has been through Woodberry, checked out a workout and let Jana know the Terps coveted his services.
On June 15, Jana reconnected with London on a more personal level, although he was unable to meet Abdul-Rahim since the latter was not on campus. Jana did have a chance to chat with head coach D.J. Durkin, however.
“It was great meeting most of the staff for the first time and some for the second. I didn’t get to meet Coach Rahim, since he had to leave due to an emergency, so meeting him in person will help, but I definitely liked the rest of the staff,” said Jana, who has actually known London since the coach was at UVA. “It was great to put a face to the people I have been talking to. They’re all very friendly, personable people and easy to talk to. Their message to me is they definitely want me there and they think I can step in and help them. They believe Maryland would be a great fit for me academically and athletically.”
But while Jana enjoyed speaking to the staff, he said the coming $150-plus million facility upgrades grabbed his attention.
“The highlight was most likely seeing the construction of the new facilities. Those look really, really nice,” Jana said. “We saw a virtual tour of the layout, and they look awesome. They’re doing some very exciting things at Maryland. Also, the player dorms and the campus itself really stood out and were also a highlight. I heard a great deal about them and seeing them was crazy. Just really nice dorms for the team, even the freshmen.”
The academics at Maryland caught Jana’s eye too. He’s an honors student and counts his education as a primary factor in his recruitment.
“The academics are very interesting; the school has a rich history. Not just the classes, but the support that they get from tutors and organizers is very helpful,” Jana said. “Maryland us set up for success in and out of the classroom.
“Maryland is also in a great location near D.C. I didn't have a chance to explore more if the city but the campus was really nice. And having so many students around, it feels like a city in itself, which is very cool.”
Jana’s parents had plenty to like about Maryland too. The Woodberry corner said they spoke highly of the staff, its message and its emphasis on academics.
“It was their first recruiting trip, so I think it was a great experience for them,” Jana said. “Being recruited and offered is something I have been working to for a long time, so being there and seeing the concrete evidence of how far I came made them proud. They were very impressed with Maryland.”
So, where do the Terps stand for Jana after his first foray through College Park?
“This visit definitely solidified their spot in my top schools,” Jana said. “I like this school a lot, along with UVA.”
Speaking of Virginia, next up Jana’s parents will get their first glimpse of Charlottesville, Va., which has long been the frontrunner for the three-star’s services. Since UVA is so close to Woodberry, Jana has been able to visit himself five times prior. He’s come close to committing to UVA in the past, but opted against it since his family had yet to see the school.
“UVA is like home; they make me feel at home whenever I’m up there,” said Jana, who the Wahoos are recruiting as a receiver. “It’s like being welcomed into a big family there and I just feel very comfortable there. And my teammate [quarterback Lindell Stone] is going there, so that’s a good thing too. But I want my parents to meet the coaches and see what it’s like there.”
Jana said he has consistent contact with the Virginia staff, but it remains to be seen if head coach Bronco Mendenhall would accept a commitment at this stage. The Hoos are thought to be taking just one more receiver in this class and have several options on their board.
In addition to another trip to UVA June 17, Jana will check out NC State June 19. He’ll also be camping at Duke June 18th in hopes of landing a Blue Devils’ offer.
“Depending on how my next visits go I may commit this summer,” Jana said. “I would like to be committed before the season starts so it is not a distraction away from my team.”