The Maryland staff has now hosted pretty much all of its legitimate running back targets. On June 22, Page (Greensboro, N.C.) three-star Javon Leake made his way to College Park, Md., for the first time, and after his day-long stay he said the Terps were “definitely” a prime contender.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder has seemingly been favoring hometown North Carolina, and while Leake wouldn’t say Maryland had pulled even with UNC, he admitted the Terps had made things interesting.
“Maryland is definitely higher on my list,” said Leake, who claims offers from UNC, Tennessee, South Carolina, East Carolina, NC State, Louisville, Nebraska, Va Tech and others. “I definitely had a great time there and enjoyed being around the coaches. I had the same reaction to everything I saw at Maryland: ‘Wow.’”
While Leake certainly enjoyed meeting area recruiter Pete Lembo, offensive coordinator Walt Bell, running backs coach Anthony Tucker, head coach D.J. Durkin and various other staffers, he said the highlight of his stay was checking out UMD’s various aesthetics. He pointed to the campus, the player dorms and the impending facility upgrades.
“The dorm room for the football players really caught my eye. And once the facilities are done, they’re going to be wonderful. Everything I saw was, ‘Wow,’” Leake said. “I liked the campus and the area too. It was all really nice there. I enjoyed it.”
But it’s the coaches who convinced Leake to visit in the first place. A coterie of UMD assistants have been on the three-star Carolina native, letting him know he was a priority for them. Lembo and Bell have both been through Page before, while Tucker, Durkin, and even Marcus Berry and Brawley Evans have had some sort of contact with Leake.
“I have a great relationship with the coaches at Maryland. They’re always on me, and they’ve been trying to get me up there for awhile now,” Leake said. “Their message was they want me to go to a school that I can really see myself at, and to do what’s best for me. They weren’t pressuring me or anything like that. They’re straightforward and good guys.”
Leake went on to comment on Bell’s spread offense. He said it would be a great fit, noting how Bell knows how to take advantage of his backs.
“The offense centers around running backs, actually,” Leake said. “I love it.”
The Page product said College Park was the last locale he wanted to see. He’s previously trekked through Chapel Hill, N.C., multiple times, including twice in June, along with several trips to South Carolina; Tennessee; and NC State.
Of those, UNC is obviously trending, but UT and USC are thought to be a prime contenders as well.
“I’m hoping to make a [college] decision by the end of the summer,” Leake said. “I’ve seen all the schools I’ve wanted to see.”