The Maryland hoops staff played host to two significant recruit targets Sept. 30-Oct. 2, including local four-star guard Darryl Morsell (Mount St. Joseph/Baltimore, Md.), who was back in College Park, Md., for an official visit. The 6-foot-4, 190-pounder had previously trekked through Notre Dame and Villanova for officials, and the hometown school represented the third stop on his fall tour.
“It was a great visit. I had a good time with the coaches, the team, everybody. It was up there, like a nine or 10 out of 10,” said Morsell, who has been on campus numerous times since pulling the hometown offer back during the spring. “Definitely, I like Maryland, as I always have, because it’s my hometown school and I grew up watching them. They definitely have piqued my interest.”
Morsell didn’t have a single player-host per se; rather, he spent his 48-hour stay with pretty much the entire Maryland team. The local guard played pick-up ball, ate dinner with and hung out with the likes of Melo Trimble, Jared Nickens, Dion Wiley and others.
“I was with the team a lot,” said Morsell, who talked up dinner in D.C. at Capital Grille. “I already knew basically the whole team from playing pick-up with them, but when we went out to dinner it was Melo [Trimble] and Jared Nickens. They love it there…and the whole team wants me to come there. They want me to commit and sign at this very second.”
The players may have been pushing for a commitment, but Morsell said the Maryland coaches weren’t necessarily urging him to end his recruitment while on campus. Morsell respected how head coach Mark Turgeon, area recruiter Bino Ranson and the rest of the staff treated the situation.
“They really want me to come there, but they don’t want to rush me; they want me to take my time,” said Morsell, who was accompanied by his parents, who both have enjoyed previous treks through College Park and have taken to the coaches as well. “The coaches are good dudes. And I got to know the assistants better this weekend. I knew Coach Bino, but I got to know the rest too, and that was good. They’re good dudes.”
Morsell went on to specifically detail his conversation with Turgeon. He said the headman has been harping on keeping the local targets in-state, and the message didn’t change during the official.
“It’s the same pitch from Coach Turgeon, just reiterating [the pitch] and making sure I know I’m wanted there,” Morsell said. “Coach Turgeon really tries to recruit the area and values his local kids. [Also,] I like how [Turgeon] uses the guards. The system is good for how I play.”
Speaking of guard play, Morsell said the highlight of the trip was playing pick-up with the team “since I just love playing basketball (laughs).” But the four-star also thoroughly enjoyed taking in the Maryland football game against Purdue, which the Terps won 50-7.
“Going to the football game and seeing all the fans and the whole environment, and seeing how the Maryland fans support their teams. That was good,” Morsell said. “The fans were saying my name and stuff like that. It was nice. It was a good atmosphere.”
Afterwards, Morsell chose not to commit, unlike his fellow official visitor, Bruno Fernando (IMG Academy/Bradenton, Fla.). When asked if the thought crossed his mind or if he’s coming close to ending his recruitment, though, Morsell said, “I don’t know.”
“I still haven’t talked with my parents, so probably in the next couple days I’ll talk to my parents and then decide what to do,” Morsell said. “As of right now, Dayton is still on my schedule [for Oct. 22].”
If Morsell does indeed opt to commit before the Dayton visit, he’ll be choosing between UMD, Notre Dame and Villanova. He said all three schools sit on an even plane.
“I had great visits to all of them. They all want me, and they all make me feel wanted,” Morsell said. “It’ll be a tough decision.”