Ikey Obiagu (Greenforest McCalep Christian/Decatur, Ga.) has emerged as the No. 1 big-man priority in Maryland’s 2017 class, and Sept. 2-3 the four-star had a chance to officially visit College Park, Md. The 7-foot, 230-pounder, who unofficially visited UMD twice during the spring and the summer, called his latest foray a “great experience.”
“I had a really good time. The whole team was there this time, and I got a chance to go out with the players and talk to all the coaches,” said Obiagu, who landed his UMD offer back in May. “It was really cool spending time with all of them and playing pick-up games with them. Before when I was there, I didn’t get to meet the head coach [Mark Turgeon] because he was out, and only like one or two players were there. This time was a better experience, because everyone was there.”
Naturally, Obiagu spent plenty of time meeting with Turgeon and recruiter Dustin Clark. The Nigerian big man said he and Clark are “really close,” while he’s getting to know Turgeon on a more personal level as well.
“I really like how Coach Turgeon has developed big men like Alex Len and Diamond Stone,” said Obiagu, who knows one of the Terps’ football players, fellow countryman Nnamdi Egbuaba, very well. “He has a really good history with getting bigs ready to play at the next level, and that stood out to me. He said Maryland would be the best place for me to develop as a big man and to prepare me for the next level.
“And Coach Clark, he’s one of the coaches I have the best relationships with. I really like how he’s gotten to know me and has stayed in touch with me.”
Maryland big man Damonte Dodd served as Obiagu’s host, although the recruit said he actively bonded with most of the team. The four-star said he fit in right away and felt like he was already part of the program.
“They were all really cool and funny… they’re fun to be around,” Obiagu said. “They said it’s a cool program and the coaches there are going to help me get better as a player and person. Everybody I talked to seemed to really like it there. That meant something to me.”
Obiagu was also impressed with strength coach Kyle Tarp, who has a stellar reputation for getting high school players ready for major college basketball.
“He really knows what he’s doing,” Obiagu said. “He knows how to get your body ready.”
In addition to handing with the current Terps and hearing from the staff, Obiagu had a chance to see the campus and check out UMD’s opening football game against Howard.
“That was really awesome. I really liked the school and the football game,” Obiagu said. “Seeing all the fans was really cool.”
So, where do the Terps stand after two unofficials and one official to College Park?
“It’s hard to say, because I haven’t seen all the schools I want to yet, but I do like them a lot,” Obiagu said. “I had always planned to take all five of my officials before committing, so I didn’t really think about it [during the UMD trip]. I have to see what I think of the rest of the schools.”
Obiagu has now taken two officials, with his first being to Georgia Tech right before he saw Maryland. He said he had a “really good time” at the nearby school.
“I got along with the coaches and I know some of the players on the team. I’m pretty familiar [with Ga Tech],” Obiagu said. “The new staff is really, really good. I really like them.”
Next up, the Georgia resident would like to see Florida State and Baylor. He should be taking an unofficial to FSU Sept. 10 and then will return for an official down the road. He’s tentatively scheduled to check out Baylor officially either Sept. 17 or Sept. 24.
Obiagu is unsure what school, if any, will receive a fifth visit.
“Right now it’s looking like I won’t decide [on a school] until the spring. I’m going to take my time,” Obiagu said. “But the most important thing for me is finding a school with good coaches, having a good relationship with the team and being able to have an impact right away. And to find a place where the coaches really develop their bigs -- that’s a key thing for me.”