Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football recruiting roundup.
High School Games To Tune Into
The high school season gets underway in early September, and with the Maryland staff honing in on the DMV, there’s plenty of recruits for Terps’ fans to watch this fall. Here are some of the key matchups to pay attention to locally:
St. John’s (Washington, D.C.)
Recruits of Note: QB Kasim Hill, DL Cam Spence, DL Tyree Johnson, OL Calvin Ashley, DL Cam Goode (2018), RB Keilan Robinson (2019), LB Shane Lee (2019)
9/3 vs. American Heritage (Delray Beach, Fla.), 2 p.m.
9/30 @ DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.), 7 p.m.
11/5 vs. Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), 3 p.m.
DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.)
Recruits of Note: DL Chase Young, OG Marcus Minor, DB Judson Tallandier (2018), DL Austin Fontaine (2018), DL Evan Gregory (2018), DE John Morgan (2018), WR Naim Muhammad (2018), WR Demarcco Hellams (2019)
9/16 @ McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.), 7 p.m.
9/30 vs. St. John’s, 7 p.m.
10/15 @ Gonzaga, 2 p.m.
11/4 @ Good Counsel (Olney, Md.), 7 p.m.
Good Counsel (Olney, Md.)
Recruits of Note: DL Josh Paschal, LB Ayinde Eley, DE Tyler Baylor (2018), DB Tremayn Stott (2018)
9/17 @ Gilman (Baltimore, Md.), 1 p.m.
9/30 @ Bishop Sullivan (Virginia Beach, Va.), 2 p.m.
10/22 @ Gonzaga, 2 p.m.
11/4 vs. DeMatha, 7 p.m.
Recruits of Note: OL Johnny Jordan
10/15 vs. DeMatha, 2 p.m.
10/22 vs. Good Counsel, 2 p.m.
11/5 vs. St. John’s, 3 p.m.
McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.)
Recruits of Note: OL Jordan McNair, DL P.J. Mustipher (2018)
9/16 vs. DeMatha, 7 p.m.
9/24 vs. Canada Prep (St. Catharines, Ontario), 7 p.m.
10/28 vs. Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.), 7 p.m.
11/12 @ Gilman, 1 p.m.
Gilman (Baltimore, Md.)
Recruits of Note: TE Thomas Booker
9/17 vs. Good Counsel, 1 p.m.
10/1 @ Mount St. Joe’s, 2:30 p.m.
10/7 vs. St. Frances (Baltimore, Md.), 4 p.m.
11/12 vs. McDonogh, 1 p.m.
Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.)
Recruits of Note: CB Tariq Castro-Fields, DB Mike Jeter (2018), DL Ben Amadi (2018), DB Daymon Williams (2018)
9/3 @ Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.), 2 p.m.
9/16 vs. Calvert Hall (Towson, Md.), 7 p.m.
10/7 vs. Bullis (Potomac, Md.), 7 p.m.
10/14 @ Spalding (Severn, Md.), 7 p.m.
11/4 vs. Pallotti (Laurel, Md.), 7 p.m.
St. Frances (Baltimore, Md.)
Recruits of Note: DL B’ahmad Miller, WR Randy Fields (2018), WR Tyree Henry (2018)
9/2 vs. Paramus (N.J.),7 p.m.
9/23 vs. Bishop Sullivan, 7 p.m.
10/7 @ Gilman, 4 p.m.
10/28 vs. Spalding, 7 p.m.
11/5 @ Mount St. Joe’s, 2 p.m.
Eleanor Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.)
Recruits of Note: DL Lawtez Rogers, DB Ray Boone (2018)
9/3 vs. Riverdale Baptist, 2 p.m.
10/8 vs. Bowie (Md.), 2 p.m.
10/14 @ Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.), 7 p.m.
10/29 @ Suitland (Forestville, Md.), 2 p.m.
Boys’ Latin (Baltimore, Md.)
Recruits of Note: DL Vic Dimukeje, LS Brock Sassler
9/2 @ Loyola (Towson, Md.), 4:30 p.m.
10/7 @ John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.), 7 p.m.
10/21 vs. Pallotti, 4:15 p.m.
11/4 vs. St. Paul’s (Brooklandville, Md.), 2:30 p.m.
Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.)
Recruits of Note: DB Deon Jones, RB Tayon Fleet-Davis
9/3 vs. Oxon Hill (Md.), 2 p.m.
9/16 @ Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.), 7 p.m.
10/22 @ Douglass (Upper Marlboro, Md.), 2 p.m.
Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.)
Recruits of Note: WR A.J. Lytton (2018), ATH Isaiah Hazel (2019)
9/16 vs. Potomac, 7 p.m.
10/14 vs. Roosevelt, 7 p.m.
11/5 @ Suitland, 2:30 p.m.
Douglass (Upper Marlboro, Md.)
Recruits of Note: LB Marcus Bowman
9/3 vs. Wise, 2 p.m.
9/10 vs. Riverdale, 2 p.m.
10/22 vs. Potomac, 2 p.m.
Oxon Hill (Md.)
Recruits of Note: WR Daniel George (2018)
9/3 @ Potomac, 2 p.m.
9/24 @ Suitland, 2 p.m.
10/22 @ Roosevelt, 2 p.m.
Lackey (Indian Head, Md.)
Recruits of Note: LB Nate Proctor
9/9 @ North Point (Waldorf, Md.), 7 p.m.
9/30 @ Patuxent (Lusby, Md.), 7 p.m.
10/7 vs. Westlake (Waldorf, Md.), 7 p.m.
Northern (Owings, Md.)
Recruits of Note: OL Jaelyn Duncan (2018)
9/9 vs. Patuxent, 7 p.m.
10/7 @ Huntingtown (Md.), 7 p.m.
10/14 @ Chopticon (Morganza, Md.), 6 p.m.
11/4 vs. North Point, 7 p.m.
North Point (Waldorf, Md.)
Recruits of Note: OL Rasheed Walker (2018)
9/9 vs. Lackey, 7 p.m.
9/23 vs. Westlake, 6:30 p.m.
10/7 vs. Chopticon, 6 p.m.
Top 10 Matchups Featuring Local Teams (For UMD Purposes)
9/16 DeMatha @ McDonough, 7 p.m.: It’s a tossup between DeMatha, McDonogh and Good Counsel for the No. 1 team in the preseason polls. This matchup is as good as it gets this year, the top WCAC power versus the top MIAA A-Conference power. The game features double-digit Division I recruits, including senior Terps’ targets like Marcus Minor; OSU commit Chase Young; the injured Anthony McFarland; and UMD commit Jordan McNair. The Chase Young-Jordan McNair showdown is worth the price of admission.
9/30 St. John’s @ DeMatha, 7 p.m.: This WCAC showdown is a who’s who of elite local talents. There is no other DMV matchup this year that will have more Division I recruits on the field at the same time. We’re eager to see how the likes of St. John’s D-line standouts Tyree Johnson, Cam Spence and Cam Goode fare against Marcus Minor and the DeMatha O-line. Maryland quarterback pledge Kasim Hell will have a stiff test against the DeMatha defense too.
11/4 DeMatha @ Good Counsel, 7 p.m.: Another game pitting two of the foremost three teams in Maryland against one another. Again, the key matchup is up front, where GC’s Josh Paschal will be up against DeMatha’s Marcus Minor. Additionally, watch for how well UMD commit Ayinde Eley fares against the Stags’ potent rushing attack.
11/5 St. John’s @ Gonzaga, 3 p.m.: Gonzaga also hosts DeMatha and Good Counsel this year, but we’re looking forward to the Eagles’ showdown against the Cadets. We’ll get to see how well UMD center pledge Johnny Jordan does against his future teammate, defensive tackle Cam Spence.
10/7 St. Frances @ Gilman, 4 p.m.: So many layers to this game, most notably the “homecoming” of the former Gilman staff, who all left the North Baltimore school for the East Baltimore program. Beyond that, there will be a number of young stars to watch, headlined by 2018 St. Frances receiver Randy Fields and 2018 Gilman tight end Thomas Booker.
9/3 Riverdale Baptist @ Roosevelt, 2 p.m.: Alright, so we’re always skeptical about private-public matchups, but this is an intriguing game for Terps’ purposes nonetheless. Riverdale features not only senior corner Tariq Castro-Fields, but also several up-and-comers on UMD’s radar. Same goes for Roosevelt, which has senior defensive end Lawtez Rogers and 2018 safety Ray Boone, whom Maryland assistant Aazaar Abdul-Rahim is tracking.
9/16 Potomac @ Wise, 7 p.m.: Class 4A Wise should win this affair fairly handily, but Potomac does have a pair of UMD pledges in corner Deon Jones and running back Tayon Fleet-Davis. There’s no better game on Potomac’s schedule to gauge Jones’ and Fleet-Davis’ abilities than this one. Additionally, watch out for Wise’s A.J. Lytton, one of the elite local 2018 talents.
9/2 Boys’ Latin @ Loyola, 4:15 p.m.: Boys’ Latin, an MIAA B-Conference team, plays one game a year against an A-Conference squad. This year, they’ll be taking on Loyola in Week 1, and although the Dons are hardly a power, they’re well coached and deep. They could represent Lakers’ defensive lineman and UMD target Vic Dimukeje’s toughest test. Watch to see how BL snapper and Terps’ walk-on pledge Brock Sassler does as well.
10/22 Potomac @ Douglass, 2 p.m.: Three senior Division I recruits to watch in this game, including the previously mentioned Deon Jones and Tayon Fleet-Davis, along with Douglass linebacker Marcus Bowman, who remains on UMD’s radar. Potomac has a few underclassmen who could soon emerge too.
9/9 Lackey @ North Point, 7 p.m.: Lackey four-star linebacker Nate Proctor is still in play for the Terps, while North Point has 2018 UMD offeree Rasheed Walker. North Point is typically the class of the SMAC, so this could be the best game to judge Proctor’s talent.
Note: We’re also looking forward to St. John’s versus Florida power American Heritage Sept. 3 and McDonogh versus Canada Prep Sept. 24. American Heritage has numerous high-end prospects, including Terps’ senior defensive tackle target George Ellis, and Canada Prep has a UMD offeree as well in senior tight end Blake Williams.
Some out-of-state games of note include St. John’s versus Central Catholic in Pittsburgh, Pa.; St. John’s versus IMG Academy Sept. 17 in Bradenton, Fla.; St. Frances versus IMG in Bradenton; Gilman versus Bishop Sullivan (Virginia Beach, Va.) Sept. 10 in Virginia Beach; and Good Counsel versus Bishop Sullivan Sept. 30 in Virginia Beach.
Notes Part II: The above list has games that feature prominent Maryland recruits or targets. Therefore, annual grudge matches like Linganore-Urbana, Northwest-Quince Orchard and Quince Orchard-Damascus were left off because those squads don’t possess surefire Terps’ prospects at the moment.
Notes From St. John’s (Washington, D.C.)
I stopped by St. John’s this week and was able to touch base with defensive end Tyree Johnson, offensive tackle Calvin Ashley, defensive tackle Cam Goode (2018), linebacker Shane Lee (2019) and running back Keilan Robinson (2019).
-- The three-star Tyree Johnson is set to commit Aug. 26, and the overwhelming feeling is he’ll be choosing Texas A&M over Maryland, Tennessee, Rutgers and Va Tech. Johnson even hinted during the interview the Aggies were in a “good spot” for his services, an evident smile on his face. He has a former teammate in College Station, Texas, in Aaron Hansford, said the staff has prioritized him, and likes that it’s an SEC school.
But Johnson, who is pledging now to ensure his spot doesn’t get snapped up, also insisted he’ll be embarking on multiple officials following his announcement. Which means UMD, Tennessee and potentially others will remain in play all the way until the winter.
As we’ve suggested previously, the feeling here is Johnson could very well flip his pledge down the line. We expect Maryland-area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and defensive line coach Mike London, in addition to teammates-turned-Terps Cam Spence and Kasim Hill, to stay on Johnson throughout the process, harping on the stay-home movement. The St. John’s end acknowledged he still has much love for UMD and what the school’s about.
Johnson will be moved to “cool” on the hot board in the meantime, but we’ll be closely monitoring his situation in the months ahead.
You can see the interview with Johnson HERE.
Note: We do believe the UMD staff would accept Johnson’s commitment down the line, even if they have two more defensive ends committed. Head coach D.J. Durkin isn’t going to turn down a St. John’s recruit who wants in.
-- The five-star offensive tackle Calvin Ashley reiterated his status as “all Auburn.” The Florida native, who transferred to St. John’s during the offseason, said he’s in everyday communication with the AU staff and is eager to return for a game this fall.
Ashley admitted, however, that he could consider taking a couple other officials during the season, specifically pointing to Florida and Maryland. The five-star said both the Gators’ and Terps’ staffs are pushing for him and have his ear somewhat.
Ashley has been in College Park twice this offseason, most recently for the July 30 cookout. He mentioned he’s getting to know the staff and believes the Terps have “a nice thing going on over there.” Ashley also enjoyed being around the other recruits, likes the coaches’ demeanors, and noted how he has two current St. John’s teammates heading to UMD.
But don’t expect Ashley’s situation to change anytime soon. From the sound of things, he’s going to stick with the Eagles unless he’s blown away by another suitor or starts feeling the hometown tug from the Gators.
You can see the interview with Ashley HERE.
-- The 2018 defensive tackle Cam Goode claimed a couple regional offers from programs like Pitt, Rutgers and Syracuse, though it remains to be seen which of those verbals will be committable.
The 6-0, 290-pounder has been hearing from the Terps’ staff as well, though he doesn’t have an offer yet. It’s clear he wants one, however. Goode has been in College Park multiple times and said he “loves” the coaches and the environment. He’s keen on DMV-to-UMD and joining other locals at the hometown school.
But, again, Goode probably has to show out on the field this year to draw a serious Terps’ look from Mike London and Aazaar Abdul-Rahim. Those two assistants will continue to recruit Goode regardless, but it remains to be seen if they’ll prioritize him with so many other rising defensive tackles on the radar.
You can see the interview with Goode HERE.
-- The 2019 linebacker Shane Lee will have his pick of schools in the next couple years. Already, programs like UMD, Michigan, Nebraska, UNC, Pitt, Rutgers and Temple have offers out, and he’ll undoubtedly double that total after his sophomore film is evaluated.
The Terps, though, are in a good spot early. Lee has readily taken to the staff and has been on campus several times this offseason. There’s a ways to go in Lee’s recruitment, but he’s someone UMD aficionados need to monitor closely the next couple years.
You can see the interview with Lee HERE.
-- I wasn’t able to conduct a full interview with Keilan Robinson, who pulled his first offer from Maryland in mid-August. But he told me briefly he was honored by the look and even more thrilled it came from the hometown school. The 5-9 speedster has been on campus before and has plenty of initial interest in the program.
Robinson figures to have multiple options to consider moving forward, but he’s another local stud who will be mentioned prominently in Terps’ circles in seasons ahead.
Note: Maryland quarterback pledge Kasim Hill is 100-percent Terps. He’s doing his best to recruit other DMV recruits, including his own teammates, to College Park.
UMD defensive tackle commit Cam Spence will be officially visiting Penn State Oct. 1. While there’s always some concern when pledges choose to check out other schools, we’re not worried about Spence’s status at this point. Spence, like Hill, seems to be all about the hometown movement and urging other locals to stick with UMD.
Notes From St. Frances (Baltimore, Md.)
With the former Gilman staff in place at SFA, I wanted to check out the East Baltimore school to see who all the young up-and-coming prospects were who transferred in. There will be more, but the main names to pay attention to are 2018 receiver Randy Fields, 2018 receiver Tyree Henry, 2018 corner/receiver Terrell Smith, 2018 guard Ben Amadi and 2019 tackle Darrian Dalcourt. In addition, monitor senior defensive tackle B’ahmad Miller.
-- Before delving into the underclassmen crop, take note of the 6-2, 240-pound B’ahmad Miller, an Eastern Christian (Elkton, Md.) transfer. When Miller claimed a Maryland offer back in June, we deemed it uncommittable, but it turns out the local plugger is higher on the Terps’ board than originally believed. He’s assuredly not option No. 1 with several other interior defensive linemen in play, but Miller might be a “take” down the line if the Maryland staff can fit him in.
Miller, who caught the UMD coaches’ eye during a June camp, said he’s in touch with not only UMD defensive line coach Mike London, but he’s spoken to headman D.J. Durkin too. Typically, when Durkin takes an interest in recruits, they’re of primary interest.
And the feelings are reciprocal.
“It’s a great school, and I love them up there. They keep it real with me and it’s just great people,” Miller said of Maryland. “The Maryland coaches are telling me to come be part of the family. They really like me, and Coach London tells me he wants me up there.”
In all likelihood, Miller will be visiting College Park sometime in early September. It’s unclear if Durkin and Co. will accept his pledge at that time, but it’s something to watch for just in case the coach is inclined to let the local in.
If Miller’s not someone in the Terps’ plans at the moment, he’ll probably opt for Temple, which he visited in the spring. Of the offers the Pennsylvania native has claimed, it seems like the Owls’ is the most legitimate.
Miller listed verbals from Pitt, Illinois, Buffalo and Marshall as well, but we’re not sure which of those are really on the table. Regardless, it sounds like Miller’s going to focus on either hometown UMD or Temple.
You can read more about Miller HERE.
-- Of the above underclassmen, the receiver Randy Fields is the one to hone in on. The 6-3, 185-pound former Eastern Christian prospect projects as a high Division-I wideout and has interest from Maryland, Rutgers, Va Tech, Syracuse and others.
Fields personally said he was seeking offers from UMD, Va Tech and Penn State, talking up each program’s vibe; offense; and coaching staff. He’s visited all three before and said he loved their respective campuses.
In regards to the Terps specifically, Fields smiled when asked about the new coaching staff. He hasn’t had contact with area recruiter Mike London and Co. yet, but he easily connected with head coach D.J. Durkin and receivers’ coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim during a camp.
Expect Fields, along with his teammates, to be regulars at UMD for games and visits moving forward. He should earn his Terps’ offer soon enough.
You can see the interview with Fields HERE.
-- The next prospect of note is Tyree Henry, a 6-4, 220-pounder who actually claimed a UMD verbal courtesy of area recruiter Matt Barnes when he was at Stephen Decatur (Berlin, Md.). At the time, Henry was in the 2017 class, but he opted to reclassify to 2018 and transfer to SFA to gain more exposure.
It’s questionable whether Henry holds a firm Terps’ offer now (he says he does), but he’ll easily earn it with a strong season and offseason. He’s a big, athletic specimen who could very well be a tight end or a linebacker at the next level.
Currently, programs such as Va Tech, UMD, WVU and more are keeping track of Henry (he claims offers from all three). If the UMD staff pushes, they could probably position themselves well for Henry, as the local product likes the hometown school a good deal. He’s been in College Park a couple times and seems to have taken to the staff.
But Henry said he’s high on Va Tech after a visit too, and he wants to see who pursues him after this season. He’s the type of recruit who, if he stays on track, could have double-digit verbals in a few months.
We sense he could be an “ebb and flow” type of prospect.
You can read more about Henry HERE.
-- The corner/receiver Terrell Smith is on the smaller side at 5-10, 166 pounds, but he can fly. The St. John’s transfer is currently the fastest athlete on the team, running the 40-yard dash in the 4.4-4.5-second range.
Smith doesn’t have any college looks yet, but could gain regional attention with a strong junior campaign. He’s someone on Maryland’s radar, but not a surefire offer candidate just yet.
-- The guard Ben Amadi stands 6-2, 278 pounds and looks to have decent athleticism. Like Terrell Smith, the recruiting attention hasn’t begun yet, but he figures to receive Division I looks from guard-needy programs.
We’re not sure the Terps’ staff will pursue in earnest (remember, D.J. Durkin prefers longer linemen), but keep Amadi’s name in mind down the line.
Amadi can also play defensive tackle, so it will be interesting to see if any schools pursue him at that spot as opposed to guard.
-- Last but not least, there’s the 2019 offensive tackle Darrian Dalcourt, a Gilman transfer. Dalcourt was the most imposing linemen on the field, a 6-6, 280-plus pound well-built sophomore. He projects as a double-digit offer tackle, who should have his pick of Big Ten and ACC programs before it’s all said and done.
Provided Dalcourt continues progressing this season, he’ll have Maryland and others on him before the winter.
More News On Top Targets
Jayden Comma, WR, Roswell (Ga.): The three-star receiver Comma is back on the radar after he let on last week he remained in contact with UMD-area recruiter Walt Bell and would be officially visiting College Park, Md., Oct. 1.
Comma has been itching to see UMD ever since landing a Terps’ offer way back in February. But he never made it up, and after the Terps’ staff secured a trio of receiver commits, we were skeptical Comma would even be a “take” for headman D.J. Durkin.
The latter is no longer questionable with some other Maryland targets going by the wayside, and now the 6-2, 207-pounder is intent on checking UMD out. He’s taken a liking to Bell, likes the offensive coordinator’s spread system and is keen on the school’s academic reputation.
But before Comma gets to College Park, he’ll be officially visiting West Virginia and Louisville in September. He previously dubbed the Cardinals a “leader,” but the feeling is the Mountaineers now have his eye. In fact, our Scout colleagues who cover WVU believe Comma’s Morgantown, W.Va., bound.
With that in mind, we’re listing Comma “cool” on the hot board for now. But if he does follow through with that College Park official, his temperature could quickly escalate.
Trey Creamer, WR, Cartersville (Ga.): Yet another receiver/athlete re-entering onto the hot board. The three-star Creamer, who has offers for corner, running back and receiver, has stayed in touch with UMD area recruiter Walt Bell since the spring and is now planning to officially visit College Park Oct. 15.
Creamer likes how he could play different roles in UMD’s offense, has taken to Bell personally and appreciates how the staff has “stayed on me.” The Cartersville product wasn’t able to make it to College Park this offseason, but he’s excited to see the school firsthand during the fall.
“[Bell and I] don’t communicate as much, but I’ll be getting in contact and reaching out and seeing how they feel about me,” Creamer said. “Maryland is a school I’m very interested in, and I know they need another receiver.
“It’s a good school academically, they play in the Big Ten, they’re Under Armour, and I feel like they’re up and coming. I’m excited to get up there.”
The "don't communicate as much" comment gives us some concern. Which is why we're somewhat skeptical here.
If Maryland isn't truly a player, then Creamer is still looking hard at Michigan State, Tulane, Minnesota and WVU. He might be embarking on an official to Morgantown, W.Va., Sept. 3, has Tulane schedule for Sept. 10, could be trekking to Minnesota Sept. 17, and has East Lansing, Mich., set up for Sept. 24. MSU could be his landing spot based on the interview, Creamer calling the Spartans "everything." But we're not positive he's a "take" for MSU either. (Tulane, MSU and WVU want Creamer as a cornerback).
If Creamer is overstating his Big Ten interest, then Tulane of Georgia Southern might be options.
For now we’re listing Creamer “cool” on the hot board. But, as with Jayden Comma, the Terps could gain major steam if he does make it to Maryland Oct. 15 and the staff truly wants him.
You can read more about Creamer HERE.
Marcus Minor, OG, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.): We had a feeling the four-star guard Minor might end his recruitment early than anticipated. Fact is, the 6-4, 285-pounder has a mentality along the lines of UMD center pledge Johnny Jordan (Gonzaga/Washington, D.C.), meaning he’s less interested in recruiting and more about helping his team and improving his game. Thus, it was no surprise when we learned Aug. 18 Minor would be selecting his future destination Aug. 28 at 4:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet.
That’s fine, but Shell readers and Terps’ fans already know the deal here. Minor’s going to follow in the footsteps of last year’s four-star guard teammate, Terrance Davis, and announce for Maryland. Publicly, it’s down to UMD and Miami, with Auburn running third, but the tealeaves all read Terps here.
Despite muting his praise and refusing to make any overt statements, Minor’s hometown affinity is clear. He’s been in College Park five or six times this offseason; has a great rapport with head coach D.J. Durkin, UMD-area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and line coach Dave Borbely; likes the fact his family can easily attend his games; and, most importantly, loves the renowned journalism program. If that weren’t enough, his family is on board with Maryland too, extoling the coaching staff and the academics.
“It’s a strong relationship with the Maryland staff. We can just talk to each other like normal, and I like that about them. Some coaches try to sell you [on their program] or keep pushing you, but it’s just cool with the Maryland coaches, and my parents like them too,” Minor said before. “And whoever has a good journalism program will always give that school a boost. If it has good connections and I have a good chance of getting a nice job, that will always be a plus for me.”
Minor honestly didn’t care that some of his former teammates and many other DMV recruits are heading to Maryland, the DeMatha four-star stating time and again he’s not a follower. But ultimately it’s not going to matter; UMD was the best fit for him regardless of who else is in College Park.
Now, realize that Minor did have a good Miami visit earlier in the summer, and the coaches left quite an impression. But unless Minor does a 180, we don’t see him winding up in Coral Gables. By 4:30 p.m. Aug. 28 he should be a Terp.
Tyran Hunt, OT, Southampton (Courtland, Va.): It’s coming down the home stretch for the three-star tackle Hunt, who is set to announce his college decision in mid-September. Hunt will embark on one official to Syracuse Sept. 9 -- the only school on his leaderboard he has yet to check out -- and then select a school right after that.
Earlier this week, the 6-6, 275-pounder told Scout’s Michael Clark he had seven programs in the running: Va Tech, UVA, UMD, Syracuse, Wake Forest, NC State and UNC. But, really, it’s a three or four-team race between the Hokies, Wahoos, Terps and Orange.
Now, as we’ve intimated in past Shells, Va Tech has been the frontrunner for awhile. Hunt practically said so in previous interviews, lauding the staff’s efforts on the trail; his comfort level on campus; and the school’s engineering program. Virginia, meanwhile, was thought to be running second or third given the coaches’ consistent overtures and the renowned academics.
But in the Clark interview, Hunt dropped this little hint that could bode well for UMD.
“Maryland is standing out. They have really opened my eyes. They have so much to offer me as a student-athlete,” said Hunt, who visited College Park for the July 30 cookout. "It's an amazing school and I love everything about the campus."
After reading the above, I checked around with a couple colleagues to gauge their reaction. The feeling is the Hokies remain in a solid spot, but they’re leery of UMD-area recruiter Mike London on the trail. London, along with offensive line coach Dave Borbely, have left a distinct impression and could turn the tide here.
Note: Of the two tackles the Terps are best positioned for, the staff likely prefers Tyran Hunt to Carter Warren (Passaic County/Wayne, N.J.).
Louis Acceus, BUCK, St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.): Scout’s Brian Dohn stopped by Montvale earlier this week and touched base with the three-star Acceus. But, truthfully, Acceus didn’t say much different than what he’s intimated the last few months. He’s looking at a number of options, including Rutgers, Maryland, North Carolina, NC State, Boston College and Va Tech. Acceus intends to officially visit several of the above schools before selecting one sometime after his senior season.
That’s all well and good, but the sense is Acceus would be committed by now if his foremost offerees were ardently pursuing. Fact is, while Acceus is a solid player, he’s not the top option for UMD, UNC or maybe even RU.
Remember, back in April, following his first trip to College Park, Acceus dubbed Maryland his No. 1 suitor. He praised the campus, the pending facility upgrades and position coach Matt Barnes, Acceus naming the coach his “favorite recruiter.”
Acceus reiterated those comments in the Dohn interview:
"We really connect and we see eye-to-eye," Acceus said of he and Barnes. "He's really laid back and down to earth. He's really young, too, so we relate. I like the location. It's not too far from home, and it's not too close. They have a lot to offer with academics. I want to major in business. I want to start my own business in the future."
That’s all well and good, but the Terps’ staff isn’t quite ready to accept his commitment. Head coach D.J. Durkin is not going to push for a pop unless Maryland’s main BUCK options -- Jordan Anthony (IMG Academy/Bradenton, Fla.), Nate Proctor (Lackey/Indian Head, Md.) -- fall by the wayside. Anthony and Proctor, though, are nowhere near deciding on a college. Which means Acceus could commit to a program that has him prioritized in the meantime.
Our gut is Acceus may wind up at hometown RU, mainly because we can’t see head coach Chris Ash turning down an in-state prospect.
Kenny Bennett, CB, Simon Gratz (Philadelphia, Pa.): There isn’t much new to report on Bennett from last week, except he did set his college announcement date for Nov. 9. His intention is to officially visit Temple, Pitt and Maryland in September and October before concluding his recruitment shortly thereafter.
We’re not so sure he makes it all the way until Nov. 9, however. The sense is, if the Terps’ staff truly covets Bennett’s services -- and we have every reason to believe they do -- he might not make it out of College Park without popping. UMD defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and area recruiter Matt Barnes have stayed on top of the Philly product and seem to have his ear. Plus, Bennett loved his previous stay at Maryland for the Friday Night Freak Show, talking up the coaches as a whole; the pending facility upgrades; the academic support and more.
Bennett could opt for Temple, however, if head coach D.J. Durkin doesn’t press for a commitment. The Simon Gratz prospect does have genuine interest in the hometown Owls, so it wouldn’t be a total shock if we went in that direction if he senses the Temple coaches want him more than his other two frontrunners.
Pitt, meanwhile, is not thought to be a major threat at this time, unless Bennett’s blown away on a Panthers’ official.