A number of Floridians have made their way to College Park, Md., this spring and summer, and the latest Sunshine State visitor to visit Maryland was North Florida Christian (Tallahassee, Fla.) BUCK Michael Scott. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid received a Terps’ offer May 23 courtesy of UMD-area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, who watched Scott during the evaluation period, and a month later the three-star had a chance to check out one of his foremost suitors June 21.
“I had a great time at Maryland. At first I was just going up there to visit, but then I ended up participating in the camp as well,” said Scott, who holds offers from UMD, Cal, Syracuse, Purdue, Syracuse, ECU, Louisville, Cincinnati, Illinois, Iowa State, Georgia Tech, Memphis, Southern Miss, Northwestern, USF, UCF, Temple, Utah and more. “I really enjoyed working with Coach [Mike] London at the camp, and the coaches in general. Then the campus was very nice, I like the facilities they’re building there, and of course the uniforms are always cool (laughs).
“Honestly, though, I just think Maryland is getting better in general. I think the program is on the rise with this new staff. It’s all positives at Maryland.”
Scott said the camp-portion of his June 21 stay was abbreviated somewhat. There was a thunderstorm in Maryland, forcing the coaches to call the session a couple hours early.
“But I still had a good time working with Coach London,” Scott said. “He’s a good guy in general and has great knowledge of the game. It was a good experience, and I got some good reps in. I did some hand placement drill and one-on-ones, and Coach London was instructing me how to make my steps; how to cut inside instead of taking a wider angle; and how to be more efficient. It was really good and I learned a good bit.”
After the camp, Scott said he spoke to London and head coach D.J. Durkin at length. The North Florida Christian product also had a chance to reconnect with his UMD-area recruiter, Abdul-Rahim, who Scott has gotten to know over the last month.
“Coach London and Coach Durkin said they loved my film and they liked what I did at the camp. They wished they had more time with me, but they said I did well,” Scott said. “They also said they liked my character and believed I could help the program. They want to keep in contact, and they said they’re going to keep recruiting me hard. I told them I appreciated that and I liked Maryland a good deal.
“Then I spoke to Coach Rahim for a little bit, and he was just asking how I was doing. With him, it’s not really about football; it’s about building a relationship. Right now we have a decent relationship. We’re still getting to know one another, but it’s growing.”
Many of Scott’s suitors want him at outside linebacker, while others believe he can add weight and morph into a full-time 5-technique. But the Terps are recruiting Scott for both spots -- Durkin’s signature “BUCK” position.
“They explained the position to me, and I love the idea,” Scott said. “For someone with my versatility and skill-set, it’s the best fit for me. They like how I can play D-end and am athletic enough to play linebacker, so they’d be able to take full advantage of what I bring to the table.”
In addition to the camp and coach meetings, Scott received a campus tour and was able to explore the surrounding area. He spoke highly of New Cole Field House, the campus grounds and the various renovations.
“And I also liked the academic presentation. Academics, and what a school can offer me outside of football, is very important, and Maryland can offer me a lot,” Scott said. “I like how it’s next to D.C. and not far from Baltimore, so there are a lot of opportunities there for internships and jobs.”
After the visit, Scott admitted the Terps were a school at the forefront of his mind. However, he didn’t come close to committing, nor is he even positive the staff would accept his pledge at this juncture.
“Honestly, I couldn’t tell you,” Scott said. “I didn’t really ask that question, because I’m not ready to commit anyway. There’s still a lot I have to think about.”
Indeed there is. Maryland was one of the final stops on Scott’s exhaustive college tour, which included stays at Louisville; Illinois; Cincinnati; Purdue; Memphis; Western Kentucky; and Middle Tennessee. Before those trips, Scott saw USF, UCF, FSU, Utah, Louisiana Lafayette and Southern Miss during the spring.
“They were all good visits, but I really liked Cincinnati, Illinois, Louisville, Memphis, Purdue and Maryland,” Scott said. “Louisville was really nice; I liked that one a lot.
“But a lot of schools have good things to offer, but the main things I’m looking for are, Who’s showing me the most love? Who cares about me most as a person? Can I see myself living there? And what school gives me the best opportunities outside of football?”
Scott went on to say he’d be weighing each of the latter criteria and what programs fits the bill during the next month or so. Then, come late July or August, he should be ready to select his future destination.
“I’m not going to announce a leaderboard or anything like that,” said Scott, who has one other trip to Tulane coming up, but nothing else scheduled after that. “When I’m ready, I’ll just commit. It could be anytime this summer.”