The Maryland staff had several of its foremost recruit targets in for a visit June 21, including a three-star cornerback with high interest in the program. Cardinal Gibbons (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) defensive back Randall Haynie had been eager to visit College Park, Md., ever since a trio of Terps' coaches stopped by his high school in mid-May and extended an offer May 17.
“Maryland was pretty cool. I really enjoyed it,” said Haynie, who claims offers from schools like UMD, Duke, BC, Michigan, Iowa, Rutgers, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Syracuse, UCF, Southern Miss, Vandy, USF and others. “It was a beautiful campus, the stadium was big, they’re getting new indoor facilities which look really cool -- I saw a great virtual tour of those up on the big screen -- and the coaches were great.
“I saw the varsity dorms, and those are pretty nice too. And I like how it’s close to D.C.; it’s cool to be able to go right into the city and hang out down there. So all around, it was a great time.”
Haynie arrived in College Park late June 20 and then spent the entire day at UMD June 21, first touring the school, then learning about the academics and finally participating in the Terps’ camp. Haynie also had a chance to chat with several coaches, although his exit meeting with head coach D.J. Durkin is set for June 22, right before the Gibbons corner leaves Maryland.
“Coach [Chris] Beatty is my recruiting coach and Coach [Aazaar Abdul] Rahim is my position coach, and I got a chance to talk to both of them,” Haynie said. “They’ve been making their pitch, and they definitely want me there. They’ve been telling me they need corners and they want me on board for sure (laughs). I have a great relationship with both those guys.
“And at the camp, I wanted to participate in that to get a feel for how Coach Rahim coaches. Most [offered] guys don’t want to do that work at the camps, but I wanted to. Coach Aazaar is a great coach, and he taught me the skills and the techniques they use at Maryland. It’s different from what we do at Gibbons, but I got it down pat. Like, at the line, Coach Aazaar teaches you to stay square and move side to side instead of immediately turning and heading back. So it was different, but effective. He did a great job teaching and explaining it.”
The 6-foot, 165-pounder didn’t have an extensive talk with Durkin June 21, but Haynie did get a sense for the head man’s demeanor during the camp. Haynie also spoke to Durkin briefly outside his office.
“I definitely feel like Coach Durkin is a great coach. He’s a defensive guy with a defensive background, which is great,” Haynie said. “He was watching me and the other DBs work, and he was giving us some instruction. He’s very intense, and I like that about him.”
In addition to the coach interactions, Haynie said he spoke to Terps’ cornerback Will Likely. Haynie already knew all about Maryland’s All Big-Ten defensive back since Likely starred at Belle Glade, which is just south of Gibbons.
Additionally, Haynie’s been chatting up his teammates-turned-Terps Elijah and Elisha Daniels.
“Meeting Will Likely was pretty cool. I’d watched him on TV, so to get to meet him and him being from my area, that was really cool,” Haynie. “I’ve also been talking to the twins [the Danielses], who signed with Maryland. They went to [Gibbons] and they say they love it there at Maryland. They told me the coaches really want the best for you, and I could tell that was true just from being at the camp.”
If that weren’t enough, Haynie also talked up Maryland’s academics. Haynie is an honors student at Gibbons and counts his education as a primary factor in his recruitment.
“They did a whole academic presentation, which was impressive,” Haynie said. “It’s beneficial that Maryland is so close to D.C., because there are a lot of job opportunities.”
So, now that Haynie’s seen College Park, where does he stand? Is it possible he could commit before leaving campus June 22?
“It could be possible,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it’s completely possible, because I still have to talk to my parents and there’s a couple more schools I have to get to. I was looking forward to committing in like mid-July so I can evaluate all my options and talk to my parents about all the schools I’ve seen.”
Haynie will be at Vanderbilt June 24 and at Duke after the Fourth of July holiday. He previously trekked though Michigan June 17 and Boston College June 19-20.
“Michigan and BC were both great,” Haynie said. “Michigan is really big and the Big House was really cool. It was cool to work in there at the camp and with the coaches. I really liked the coaches at Michigan.
“And BC was also great. Boston is a great city, and we went to Fenway Park, which was a lot of fun. The coaches were great too, and the academics were top of the line.”
The Floridian ended by saying he would be choosing from one of the aforementioned schools: UMD, Michigan, BC, Vandy and Duke. He said none of the quintet currently leads, and he won’t have an idea how they stack up until his tour is complete.