Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland-football recruiting roundup.
Checking Out Quince Orchard (North Potomac, Md.), Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.)
I was able to check out three high schools last week, starting with the Quince Orchard-Clarksburg matchup Sept. 23, and followed by Potomac-Fairmont Heights the afternoon of Sept. 24. I also stopped by McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.) for its game against Canada Prep (St. Catharines, Ontario) Sept. 24, but the prospect I was there to see, tight end Blake Williams (discussed in Oct. 1 Visitors section), was out with a knee injury.
Even so, I was still able to interview Williams beforehand, while I finally got a look at Terps’ cornerback pledge Fofie Bazzie after he missed the season’s first two games due to suspension and then scouted Maryland running back commit Tayon Fleet-Davis the next day. (Potomac corner and Terps’ commit Deon Jones is out for the season with a torn ACL, but I interviewed him as well).
-- The cornerback/safety Fofie Bazzie should begin his college career as a boundary corner, but he could eventually transition to safety due to speed concerns. Either way, at 6-feet-1, 185-pounds, he gives Maryland another lengthy defender in the secondary. Bazzie’s physicality, athleticism, ball skills and instincts should allow him to make some sort of contribution at UMD, although it’s questionable how far up the depth chart he’ll ascend. It’s possible he could assume a larger role during the latter stages of his career, but for now we project him as a depth piece.
Strengths: Toughness, tackling ability, flexibility, instincts, ball skills, short-area quickness, closing angles
Areas of Improvement: Footwork, hand placement, speed, backpedal, burst, closing speed, frame
Before the game, Bazzie reiterated he’s all about the Terps and eager to start his career in College Park, Md., this January. Bazzie said he speaks regularly to UMD-area recruiter Chris Beatty and the rest of the staff. In fact, he noted how Beatty and head coach D.J. Durkin were in to see him before his game Sept. 23. The Quince Orchard product insists the Terps’ coaches are sticking by him and want him in their secondary, despite the mistake leading to his two-game suspension.
Bazzie also said he’s actively recruiting Tariq Castro-Fields (Riverdale Baptist/Upper Marlboro, Md.) and Harrison Hand (Cherry Hill-West/Cherry Hill, N.J.) to College Park.
You can read more about Bazzie HERE.
-- The running back Tayon Fleet-Davis has steadily progressed during his career at Potomac. The 6-0, 211-pounder has become more of a multi-dimensional threat, who could eventually carve out a significant role in the Terps’ backfield. That said, he projects as more of a short-yardage back as it’s clear Fleet-Davis does his best work grinding between the tackles. He’s a sturdy, rugged, one-cut runner who should be valuable near the goal line, although he could be a weapon catching passes out of the backfield too.
Strengths: Power, toughness, athleticism, anticipation, vision, balance, hands, quickness to the hole, footwork, awareness
Areas of Improvement: Breakaway speed, cutback ability, acceleration, blocking technique
After the game, Fleet-Davis said he’s 100-percent committed to Maryland and wouldn’t be visiting any other schools. He’s in constant contact with UMD-area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and running backs coach Anthony Tucker. Moreover, Fleet-Davis said he’s doing his best to lure other DMV recruits to College Park, including fellow runner Anthony McFarland (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.).
You can read more about Fleet-Davis HERE.
-- The cornerback Deon Jones previously said he’d consider taking an official or two just for the experience, but a torn ACL has pretty much ruled that out. The four-star is now content to take one trip to College Park before enrolling in January. Jones, like Fleet-Davis, has steady communication with Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and is excited to begin the next stage of his career.
Jones also said he’s healing quickly and should be able to run in just a couple months. He expects to be 100 percent by February.
You can read more about Jones HERE.
Oct. 1 Weekend Visitors
The Maryland staff will have its first significant visitor weekend of the fall Oct. 1 when the Terps take on Purdue for homecoming. There are a number of key targets expected to attend, although some of them may renege due to weather concerns.
Jayden Comma, WR, Roswell (Ga.): After confirming the Georgia receiver Comma was indeed a “take” for the UMD staff, I shifted him to “hot” on the hot board and expect him to commit to Maryland later in October. There’s a chance the 6-2, 207-pounder could pop on his upcoming College Park official visit Oct. 1, but he indicated he wanted to return home and perhaps announce his intentions in early November.
Comma told me he’s “very excited” about the jaunt and can’t wait to see the school firsthand. He’s heard plenty about UMD from Terps’ area recruiter Walt Bell and receivers’ coach Chris Beatty, who both stopped by Roswell High during Maryland’s bye week. The three-star picked up the communication with the coaching duo a month or so ago, and has heard consistently from them since.
If that weren’t enough, Comma’s had fellow Georgians and UMD receiver commits Sean Nelson (Langston Hughes/Fairburn, Ga.) and Carlos Carriere (Alpharetta, Ga.) in his ear. The trio are all familiar with one another, and both Carriere and Nelson want Comma to become the third Peach State wideout to matriculate to College Park.
Comma’s only other major suitor is Minnesota, as West Virginia has fallen off. The Roswell prospect may check out the Gophers later in October, but he's not expected to land in Minneapolis, Minn., unless the UMD staff backs away.
Barring a snag, Comma should be the next commitment in Maryland’s 2017 class. Look for him to publicly state his destination at the beginning of November.
Quantino Allen, WR, Glades Central (Belle Glade, Fla.): The second receiver who will be officially visiting Maryland Oct. 1 is the Oregon State pledge Allen. The 6-0, 202-pounder has been interested in the Terps ever since UMD-area recruiter Chris Beatty offered him back in July. Allen noted the presence of former Glades Central star Will Likely on Maryland’s roster, while he’s personally established a solid relationship with Beatty.
Now, we’re led to believe Jayden Comma (discussed above) is the No. 1 priority over Allen at this juncture. But the Florida product is still a “take” for the Terps since the staff is looking to add as many skill players as possible; they may accept as many as 5-6 wideouts this class. The UMD coaches may look to flip an elite 2017 wideout first, but, if not, Allen could be their guy (alongside of Comma).
Besides UMD, Allen is looking to officially visit Illinois, in addition to Oregon State. He could end up sticking with the Beavers, but the Terps might be hard to turn down if Maryland needs another wideout late in the recruiting process.
Blake Williams, TE, Canada Prep (St. Catharines, Ontario): The Oklahoma native Williams hasn’t played a down this year due to a knee injury, but he still was on the sidelines at his team’s game at McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.) Sept. 24. That allowed yours truly to trek over to the Owings Mills school and interview the 6-4, 230-pound tight end, who Maryland’s staff offered back in June.
During the eight-minute-plus chat, Williams detailed his medical situation -- he missed the last two seasons at Mustang High (Okla.) due to a rare condition -- and his recruitment, but spent the majority of the conversation talking up the Terps. The Canada Prep product visited College Park for the first time earlier in the day Sept. 24, and he came away raving about the campus; offensive coordinator Walt Bell; the Terps’ offense; and more.
Williams has been in touch with Bell for several months, but the tight end said it was a completely different experience interacting with the coach in person. The recruit left UMD feeling like Bell had his best interests in mind and truly wanted him in the program. Williams believes he could thrive in Bell’s tight-end friendly system as well.
Moreover, Williams enjoyed meeting strength coach Rick Court, in addition to a couple players and trainers. He then went on to describe how much he liked College Park and how well the environment fit him.
Now, Williams is looking to return to UMD Oct. 1 in order to gauge the game-day experience. He said the Terps have opened his eyes and are currently the team to beat.
Could a commitment be coming after Williams’ second College Park trip?
Maybe not that soon, but it certainly sounds like Maryland has the inside track.
The only other program Williams is currently considering is Rutgers, although it’s unclear how serious he is about the Scarlet Knights. Also, since he hasn’t produced any film in two-plus years, it’s doubtful another major suitor will pull the trigger.
Which means Williams could eventually be Maryland bound provided head coach D.J. Durkin is ready to accept his commitment.
You can read more about Williams HERE.
Kurt Rafdal, TE, Carmel (Ind.): Talk about a blast from the past. Rafdal pulled a Maryland offer from UMD tight ends coach Pete Lembo way back in February, but his name hadn’t really surfaced in Terps’ circles since then. But apparently Lembo, who actually recruited Rafdal when the coach was at Ball State, has done enough to convince the 6-7, 230-pounder to visit College Park.
Indeed, Rafdal will be coming to Maryland for an unofficial Oct. 1 for his first look at the program. Rafdal said he’s intrigued by offensive coordinator Walt Bell’s offense and appreciates how Lembo has stayed on him for months.
But unless the trip blows Rafdal out of the water, we’re not expecting him to wind up at UMD.
Rafdal was just at Auburn for his first official Sept. 3 and came away extolling the Tigers, who represent his lone SEC offer. It’s thought AU now sits as high as second on the tight end’s leaderboard.
The favorite, though, figures to be in-state Indiana. Rafdal’s been in Bloomington, Ind., on numerous occasions, and the staff has made him a top priority. The three-star is feeling the hometown pull too, so it might only be a matter of time before Rafdal’s a Hoosier.
But let’s see what he’s thinking after the College Park trip. Perhaps, down the road, Rafdal will want to return for an official (if UMD still needs another tight end).
Travis Koontz, TE, Boardman (Youngstown, Ohio): Koontz told us last week he wanted to see Maryland as soon as possible, and it turns out that’ll be Oct. 1. The Ohio tight end, who decommitted from Bowling Green in mid-September, will take an unofficial to College Park to check out the stadium atmosphere and to meet the staff firsthand.
The 6-5, 235-pound Koontz has been in touch with UMD assistant Pete Lembo, who has left an impression on the Youngstown native. Koontz knows the Terps need another tight end, and the prospects of playing in the Big Ten have his attention.
But the Youngstown native is probably not the main priority for the Terps’ coaches with Blake Williams (discussed above), Kurt Rafdal (discussed above) and Charles Reeves (Steubenville, Ohio) all in play. Now, Rafdal and Reeves are probably headed elsewhere, but Williams is favoring Maryland. So, Koontz’ UMD offer might become committable if Williams decides to go in a different direction.
If the Terps aren’t an option for Koontz, he could opt for Toledo; re-up with Bowling Green; or wait to see what other suitors emerge down the line. (Indiana could be an option if the Hoosiers’ staff doesn’t land Rafdal).
Jacob Bolton, OT, Blessed Trinity (Roswell, Ga.): After landing what he called his most significant offer from Maryland Sept. 19, the offensive tackle Bolton decided to move up his College Park visit date from Oct. 12 to Oct. 1. The 6-5, 300-pounder was originally supposed to officially visit Iowa State, his only other major FBS suitor, Oct. 1, but elected to reschedule. Instead, he’ll check out the Terps’ Big Ten home opener in order to gauge the fan atmosphere; how the coaches work with the players; the campus; and the academics.
The sudden change initially gave us some pause, and we were immediately inclined to put Bolton on “pop watch.” But the recruit insists he’ll wait to commit until after his senior season. (Remember, Bolton missed his junior year with an injury and said he wants to see what offers he can procure with a full campaign under his belt).
Bolton isn’t looking for a particular offer per se, but it’s possible scholarships from UNC, Ole Miss and Georgia, whose coaches have all been in touch, could eventually materialize.
That said, it wouldn’t shock if Bolton did decide to end his recruitment Oct. 1 or shortly thereafter. Fact is, Bolton has been eager to see Maryland since UMD-area recruiter Walt Bell made his pitch in mid-September. The Big Ten affiliation immediately grabbed his attention, but he also took to Bell personally and believes the Terps are on the come-up.
B’Ahmad Miller, DE, St. Frances (Baltimore, Md.): We questioned whether or not the local defensive end Miller would be a “take” for the Maryland staff, but apparently, if he wants in, the Terps might just accept him.
And Miller could very well want in.
The Eastern Christian (Elkton, Md.) transfer’s lone power-five offer is from Maryland, and Miller has repeatedly spoken highly of the Terps. He loves defensive line coach Mike London and headman D.J. Durkin, who stopped by St. Frances recently. Miller is keen on the idea of playing near his Delaware home and joining some of his friends in College Park as well. He’s been on campus multiple times and likes the atmosphere surrounding the program too.
The only other program Miller is really looking at is Temple, but Maryland clearly holds the edge over the Owls.
Could he commit Oct. 1?
Well, we’re not positive the coaches will actually push for a pledge with several other defensive line targets still on the board. And Miller has said he’d like to take an official or two before deciding on a school. So, we’re not putting him on “pop watch” just yet, but note that he has been shifted to “hot” on the hot board.
Lawtez Rogers, DE, Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.): Provided the weather holds up and he can make it, Rogers is supposed to be back in College Park Oct. 1. The three-star local hasn't been able to see any schools since early summer, and he'll be in town again to check out his most potent suitor in action. We've detailed Rogers' situation time and again, and it's clear at this point the Terps lead for his services.
So, why hasn't he committed yet?
We're not sure.
He doesn't have any other major committable offers, nor has he procured interest from more FBS programs. The Maryland staff would surely accept his commitment, so he isn't being told to "wait." It's just a matter of him coming around and deciding UMD is indeed the right fit.
Of course, it could reach the point where there's no longer room for Rogers if a couple other targeted defensive linemen pop ahead of him. But, for the time being, he's a surefire "take" and we continue to project him to UMD.
Kenny Bennett, CB, Simon Gratz (Philadelphia, Pa.): Bennett is scheduled to officially visit College Park Oct. 22, but he’ll be in town for an unofficial Oct. 1. Which is yet another positive sign for Maryland purposes.
The 6-2, 195-pound Philly corner is retaining high interest in UMD and likely has the Terps atop his private leaderboard. Bennett has a close bond with Maryland secondary coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, who has let the three-star know how badly Maryland needs corners, and is keen on the program’s overall direction. Both Bennett and his father thoroughly enjoyed their last stay in College Park -- after which the corner dubbed UMD the frontrunner -- and have been seeking to return since the summer.
Bennett isn’t expected to commit Oct. 1, but he could very well end his recruitment Oct. 22 after his official.
The Simon Gratz three-star might take a gander at Temple and Pitt in the meantime, but it’s becoming more and more obvious he has turtles on the brain. Witness: Both Pitt and Temple had home games Oct. 1, but Bennett chose to see Maryland instead.
Brayden Brown, CB, Fort Hill (Cumberland, Md.): Brown failed to land a Maryland offer during the summer, so we removed him from the hot board. But with the Terps in need of cornerbacks (the staff is looking to take five or six in 2017), it sounds like the staff is willing to reexamine the Forth Hill athlete.
Even without the coveted scholarship, Brown has maintained contact with Terps’ assistants Matt Barnes and Aazaar Abdul-Rahim. He has been on campus before, likes the vibe surrounding headman D.J. Durkin’s program and would relish the opportunity to play for his hometown school. Plus, former teammate-turned-Terp Ty Johnson has delivered his share of positive remarks whenever he returns to Fort Hill.
True, Brown’s currently committed to Coastal Carolina, but if the Terps’ staff elects to ante up, the Western Maryland prospect could easily flip.
Let’s see if an offer eventually materializes.
Christian Greaves, CB, Einstein (Kensington, Md.): Greaves is probably less likely than Brayden Brown (discussed above) to secure a Maryland offer since he doesn’t have the ideal height the UMD coaches are seeking. But, the dynamic local is back on the staff’s radar and someone they’re monitoring closely.
At the moment, the DMV receiver/corner holds a handful of Division I-AA offers, but has been seeking a Terps’ look for more than a year. The 5-11 Einstein prospect has attended camps at UMD the last couple summers, catching the eye of former area-recruiter Chad Wilt and now UMD assistant Aazaar Abdul-Rahim.
If the latter defensive backs coach jumps on Greaves in earnest, the recruit would assuredly commit. But the Terps’ staff can afford to wait on Greaves in order to gauge the status of their other targets. If the likes of Tariq Castro-Fields (Riverdale Baptist/Upper Marlboro, Md.) and Kenny Bennett (discussed above) don’t work out, however, maybe Greaves will pull that local offer.
Note: The above are some of the notable senior visitors who will be checking out Maryland. But there will also be a number of underclassmen in attendance as well, including:
Keilan Robinson, RB, St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) (2019): Offered RB … High initial interest in UMD.
Evan Gregory, OG, DeMatha (2018): Offered OG… Has UMD atop his list, ahead of WVU, Syracuse.
John Morgan, OLB, DeMatha (2018): Offered LB… Has UMD firmly in play, but is high on PSU, Va Tech and Syracuse too.
Shane Lee, LB, St. John’s (2019): Offered LB… Has his pick of schools, but Terps will always be at or near top of the leaderboard.
Caleb Deveaux, LB, Marvin Ridge (Waxhaw, N.C.) (2018): Holds Pitt offer…. UMD interested and vice versa.
Isheem Young, S, Imhotep (Philadelphia, Pa.) (2018): Elite four-star with his pick of schools. … Has OSU, FS, Bama on him… Has been to Maryland at least twice.
Daesean Winston, CB, Spalding (Severn, Md.) (2018): Emerging DMV CB with good length and speed. … Terps are interested, but not offer yet.
Notes Part II: Joining Jayden Comma and Quantino Allen on a College Park official visit Oct. 1 will be Terps’ defensive end commit Josh Kaindoh (IMG Academy/Bradenton, Fla.). The Baltimore native has been hearing from other programs such as Florida and Miami, but he is all in with Maryland and on track to enroll in January.
More Recruiting News
Jalen Browder, WR, East Pauding (Dallas, Ga.): Browder was a name that cropped up way back in February, when UMD receivers’ coach Chris Beatty handed the 6-3, 185-pounder just his third offer. At the time, Browder lauded the Maryland look, calling it his biggest offer yet and suggesting he would be visiting College Park during the summer. On top of that, the three-star immediately connected with Beatty and knew of the coach’s reputation for developing wideouts.
But, in the months since then, Browder’s offer list expanded and he seemed inclined towards his southern suitors like Ole Miss; Mizzou; and Louisville. Those programs have either filled up their receiver slots or have others prioritized, however, leaving Browder to explore his remaining options.
Of which Maryland is the main one.
Thus, Browder -- who has remained in touch with Beatty, as well as offensive coordinator Walt Bell, who recently stopped by East Pauding -- said he will be officially visiting College Park Oct. 22. He said that’s the only trip he has scheduled, and he isn’t inclined to set any others “until the time comes.”
Browder, though, might find himself out of luck with the Terps too. If Jayden Comma and Quantino Allen (discussed above) pop to Maryland before Browder’s visit, numbers could get tight. But if the Terps aren't able to land those two before Oct. 22, Browder could claim a spot. The Maryland coaches are willing to accept 5-6 receiver pledges this phase, so Browder might very well be a "take" when decision time comes around.
For now, we're listing Browder “warm” on the hot board.
Carter Warren, OT, Passaic Tech (Wayne, N.J.): The Jersey tackle Warren is closing in on his college decision and could have his mind made up sometime in October. The finalists, we’re led to believe, are Pittsburgh; Rutgers; and Maryland. (Va Tech and UNC are technically listed in conjunction with Warren, but we’re told neither staff has him prioritized).Warren has visited each of the aforementioned programs and has stayed in contact with the respective staffs.
The Passaic product likes the coaches’ overall demeanors and the environment at Pitt; the hometown vibe and the number of Jersey recruits who have opted for Rutgers; and the Terps’ need for tackles and his relationship with UMD-area recruiter Anthony Tucker and offensive line coach Dave Borbely.
At this stage, Pitt may have the inside track. Of the schools still after the four-star – many dropped off for various issues, including transcripts – the Panthers’ staff may covet Warren’s services the most.
But it certainly wouldn’t shock if Warren chose RU or Maryland. He’s staying tight-lipped for the moment, so we’ll see what he decides in a few weeks.
In the meantime, look for Warren to finalize a couple official visits.
Josh Paschal, DE, Good Counsel (Olney, Md.): The local four-star Paschal isn’t scheduled to attend the Terps’ Oct. 1 game, but we’re hearing increasing pro-UMD buzz.
The Maryland staff has made Paschal priority No. 1 among their remaining defensive line targets, and are pushing in a major way. Head coach D.J. Durkin, area recruiter Chris Beatty, defensive line coach Mike London and others have been on the four-star, trekking through Good Counsel; attending Paschal’s games; and touching base via social media.
Their persistent approach seems to be paying off too. Paschal doesn’t reveal much publicly, we’re led to believe he’s heeding the coaches’ works and trending towards UMD.
Just don’t expect Paschal to drop his other contenders and pop to Maryland. Notre Dame is still a legitimate threat and could very well land Paschal if the Irish coaches keep pursuing. Paschal ate up his first South Bend, Ind., stay and will be returning for an official in the next couple months.
Oklahoma, meanwhile, was the recipient of a Paschal official Sept. 10. The Good Counsel recruit connected with the staff and the players, extoling the program as a whole and its defensive player development. But the Sooners may be sitting third in the pecking order, behind UND and UMD.
Kentucky has also been mentioned in conjunction with Paschal, but he’s not going to wind up in Lexington, Kent.
Look for Paschal to choose between either Notre Dame or Maryland next January or February.
Jordan Anthony, OLB/BUCK, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.): Our Scout colleagues caught up with Anthony earlier this week, and basically the four-star’s situation remains status quo. Anthony’s main contenders are Michigan, Maryland, Oklahoma and maybe Penn State, and he’s expected to officially visit each of the quartet.
As we’ve suggested previously, the Wolverines may have the edge for now. Michigan headman Jim Harbaugh has Anthony’s ear, and the Big House left him thoroughly impressed during his last trek through Ann Arbor, Mich. The former Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) star will be returning to UM officially Oct. 1, and thus far that’s the only trip he has planned.
But the latter may actually work in Maryland’s favor -- to an extent. Anthony isn’t committing until January or February, meaning his Ann Arbor foray will no longer be fresh in his mind. True, that doesn’t always amount to much, but perhaps it will give the Terps a slight leg up since he’ll be checking out College Park much closer to decision day.
Indeed, Maryland remains a true threat here with the coaches in constant communication. UMD-area recruiter Chris Beatty has been through IMG Academy a couple times already this fall, making it known how much the Terps need Anthony. Moreover, Anthony is hearing from his DMV friends-turned-Terps on a routine basis, including his teammate, Josh Kaindoh. Plus, the four-star, who extolled his summer visit to Maryland, does like the idea of returning home and playing for head coach D.J. Durkin.
Oklahoma has had Anthony’s eye too, though the Sooners are probably just behind Michigan and Maryland in the pecking order. That could change after a Storrs, Okla., official, however.
Penn State, for its part, may be fading from consideration -- even though Anthony talks the Nittany Lions up on a routine basis. We’re led to believe PSU is running fourth for Anthony’s services.
Either way, our gut is Michigan is going to be tough to top. But there’s plenty of time for this recruitment to ebb and flow.
Nate Proctor, OLB/BUCK, Lackey (Indian Head, Md.): Typically, updates on the tight-lipped Nate Proctor are few and far between. But Shell readers are granted a rare second write-up in as many weeks.
I personally caught up with one of Proctor’s coaches earlier this week, while Scout’s Brian Dohn spoke to Proctor himself. After the two of us conversed and exchanged notes, it sounds like the main players here will be Virginia Tech, Maryland and maybe Penn State.
Pitt was thought to be in the running, but I was told the Panthers aren’t nearly as high on Proctor’s leaderboard as previously surmised. Meanwhile, Proctor personally broaches schools like Tennessee and UCLA, but we’re not so sure they’re realistic possibilities.
So, if the read is correct, this could come down to Virginia Tech and UMD for the Lackey backer’s services, with the Nittany Lions lingering. Proctor has been to both Blacksburg, Va., and College Park on more than one occasion, giving each positive remarks.
But the feeling is Proctor’s relationship with Hokies’ defensive coordinator Bud Foster and the latter’s defensive reputation may give Tech the edge. Despite his close-to-the-vest mentality, Proctor does tend to mention Va Tech more often than some other schools. Look for the Lackey backer to finalize his Blacksburg official for shortly after the backer’s senior season ends.
The Terps are going to get a chance to win him over, however. Proctor has a rapport with UMD-area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and linebackers’ coach Matt Barnes, and both have done their share to win the prospect over. Now, Proctor has always opted for understatement when discussing his hometown interest, but, from what we’ve gathered, he likes the Terps more than he’s let on.
Penn State is in the picture too, although the Nittany Lions may be dropping off. There are increasing grumblings in State College, Pa., and recruits are becoming wary.
Of course, since Proctor is such a difficult read, his situation could easily change in the next couple weeks. But, for the time being, it looks like Hokies, Terps and a few others looking to work up the favorites list.
Proctor won’t be announcing his future destination until around Signing Day.
Markquese Bell, S/OLB, Bridgeton (N.J.): Scout’s Brian Dohn attended Bell’s game last week and caught up with him afterwards. The four-star wasn’t particularly enlightening, however, basically reiterating what he’s said in recent interviews.
Bell will be taking his first official to Michigan Oct. 1, Florida Oct. 8, Maryland Oct. 22, Clemson Nov. 12 and Ohio State Nov. 26. Rutgers, the hometown school, is in the mix as well, but Bell doesn’t feel the need to officially visit since he’s been in Piscataway, N.J., so many times.
The sense remains that final trip to Columbus, Ohio, could prove pivotal since the Buckeyes will get last dibs, but Clemson and Michigan are right there too.
The Terps, for their part, may not sit atop the leaderboard, but Bell is going to give them a fair shot. Bell noted how he appreciated UMD defensive coordinator Andy Buh’s presence at his game, while also pointing to his strong rapport with defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and area recruiter Anthony Tucker. Bell called the Maryland coaches “cool” and said he’s excited to see College Park for a second time Oct. 22.
Again, Bell isn’t forecast to UMD, but let’s see what he’s thinking after his official. Perhaps if the likes of Michigan’s and Ohio State’s coaches back off some the Terps’ coaches’ ardent pursuit will pay off.
Jahmin Muse, S/OLB, Elizabeth (N.J.): The Terps’ staff originally offered Muse as a receiver/athlete, but now it sounds like they prefer him on defense. Either way, UMD-area recruiter Matt Barnes has stayed in regular communication with Muse and has the 6-2, 195-pound versatile threat’s mind on Maryland.
The Elizabeth product, who counts the Terps as one of his four leaders, should be visiting College Park for the first time Nov. 12. It’s possible that trip could vault UMD to the head of the pack, ahead of Temple; Iowa; and Boston College.
That’s all well and good, but Muse might not even take that Maryland visit if he’s not a priority for the coaches. Right now, he’s likely a backup option at both receiver and safety.
Thus, Temple could be a better fit for the Jersey native. Muse just took his Owls’ official Sept. 24 and lauded the staff; the players; and the atmosphere on campus. He likes that Temple isn’t far from home and how there are so many familiar faces at the Philly school.
Besides Temple and UMD, Muse wants to officially visit Iowa coming up later this month and BC sometime in November. Then, he’ll select his future destination shortly after that final jaunt.
Muse is currently sitting “cool” on the hot board, but if we sense the UMD coaches begin pushing in earnest, the situation could escalate. Our gut, however, is Muse will opt for Temple.
New Offers Out
Blake Corum, RB, Pallotti (Laurel, Md.) (2020): Pallotti features several talented underclassmen, headlined by the freshman Corum, who has burst onto the scene during his first high school season. After three games, the 5-9, 180-pounder landed offers from Rutgers, UNC, South Carolina, Temple and Toledo. Maryland came in shortly thereafter, with UMD-area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim extending the verbal Sept. 27.
Expect Corum to reach double-digit verbals by the time the season ends, and have his pick of schools in the next couple years. It goes without saying it’s way too soon to begin speculating about his recruitment, although it’s a solid bet the hometown Terps will be in play throughout. Corum should be receiving regular invites to College Park from here on out.
Coziah Izzard, DE, Pallotti (Laurel, Md.) (2020): At the same time UMD-area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim offered Blake Corum, he handed a verbal to Izzard as well. The freshman Pallotti lineman already stands 6-3, 208 pounds and projects as a stud defensive-end recruit down the line.
The Terps were the very first program to identify Izzard, and the hometown school should be at the forefront of the local product’s mind the next three years. But Izzard will undoubtedly have a number of options moving forward, with all the Big Ten; ACC; and SEC stalwarts entering the fray.
Khalid Martin, S, East Forsyth (Kernersville, N.C.) (2019): Terps’ Carolina recruiter Walt Bell extended an offer to this rising star Sept. 26. The 2019 recruit Martin is quickly raising his stock with a strong sophomore campaign.
Before UMD entered the picture, Martin had procured verbals from Penn State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Wake Forest and Southern Miss. He’s bound to land many more in the coming months, with nearby North Carolina certain to ante up and SEC programs trickling in too.
Let’s see if he eventually makes it to College Park for a visit.
Off The Board
Olakunle Fatukasi, ILB, Grand Street High (Brooklyn, N.Y.): We weren’t feeling Fatukasi to Maryland anyway, but this week we confirmed he’s totally off the radar. The Rutgers pledge is content to stick with the Scarlet Knights and isn’t planning on embarking on any other official visits.
Fatukasi, recall, took an impromptu College Park trip with his parents back in the summer, and at the time we heard the family enjoyed themselves. But it turns out that was a an overstatement. The visit evidently didn’t resonate all that much, and Fatukasi never really considered reneging on his RU pledge.