Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football-recruiting roundup.
Checking Out St. Frances (Baltimore, Md.), Gilman (Baltimore, Md.) & Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.)
I was able to hit two high school games this week, the first between St. Frances and Gilman Oct. 7, and the second Oct. 8 at Roosevelt. The main objective Oct. 7 was to scout new Terps’ defensive line pledge B’ahmad Miller, but I wanted to check out 2018 St. Frances receiver/tight end Tyree Henry; 2018 St. Frances receiver Randy Fields; and 2018 Gilman tight end Thomas Booker too. The next day, I caught up with Roosevelt defensive end and Maryland target Lawtez Rogers after his game against Bladensburg.
-- The defensive lineman B’ahmad Miller plays mainly 3-technique for St. Frances, and that’s where he projects at Maryland, although there’s a possibility he could develop into a BUCK. He’s about 6-feet-2, 260 pounds and has a frame that can take on weight. Miller has to shore up his body and develop more strength, but once he does he could be a solid depth piece in a couple years. The main concern with Miller is he doesn’t have terrific size, nor does he have especially long arms, so he could have trouble keeping Big Ten blockers out of his body.
Strengths: Quickness, athleticism, first-step quicks, feet, lateral agility, tackling, change of direction, toughness, awareness
Areas of Improvement: Power, strength, conditioning, leverage, disengaging ability, rush moves
Following the game, Miller reiterated that he’d been high on Maryland since the spring and was just waiting for the right time to pull the trigger. The Pennsylvania native said he wanted to be part of the UMD family and loves what head coach D.J. Durkin is building at UMD. Miller also said he believes defensive line coach Mike London can help him improve tremendously.
Now that he’s committed, expect Miller to begin hyping the Terps to his underclassmen teammates, namely Henry and Fields.
Note: Interestingly enough, when asked about his commitment status, Miller mentioned he was all about Maryland “for now.” He hinted at the possibility of taking multiple officials, though where he intends to go is a mystery on this end. UMD is Miller’s only legitimate power-five look, so unless another materializes (doubtful), it’s his best bet to play FBS football.
You can read more about Miller HERE.
-- The receiver Tyree Henry has a great frame at 6-4, 233 pounds, complete with long arms and big, strong stands. We’re not sure he has the speed to stick at wideout, but, if he packs on a few pounds, Henry could develop into a tight end (or even a defensive end). Either way, he has a chance to be an impact performer in the FBS given his size, athleticism and natural talent. Henry will need a year or two in a college program before he’s ready, however. Currently, he’s a bit raw and needs to refine his fundamentals.
Strengths: Size, hands, athleticism, body control, open field running, toughness, catch radius
Areas of Improvement: Route running, breaks, change of direction, initial quickness, suddenness, acceleration, awareness
During the third quarter, Henry was actually hurt and had to be taken to the hospital, so I wasn’t able to interview him. But when I spoke to him a month ago, he held the Terps in high regard. (His coaches reiterated that stance Oct. 7). He’s been in College Park before and has taken a liking to the new staff. Henry likes UMD assistant Matt Barnes, who recruited the receiver when he was at Stephen Decatur (Berlin, Md.), and is in the process of getting to know receivers’ coach Chris Beatty and area recruiter Mike London. Henry said he should be able to attend a Terps’ game or two this year as well.
But Henry is looking at his other options and will wad through the recruiting process. He also holds offers from Virginia Tech, WVU, Pitt and Syracuse, while many other programs could be anteing up once the offseason hits. Look for Henry to see numerous different campuses during the winter and spring months.
You can read more about Henry HERE.
-- The receiver Randy Fields certainly looks the part and should be receiving a Maryland offer soon. He’s 6-3, 185 pounds, has a wide wingspan, is very quick and possesses outstanding hands. Fields will be procuring FBS offers in short order (Pitt was first to jump on board), as he could be a significant high-level contributor if he keeps working.
Strengths: Size, hands, quickness, agility, athleticism, fluidity, suddenness, route running, body control, awareness
Areas of Improvement: Speed, burst, blocking technique, strength, high-level route running
If the Maryland offer is presented, expect Fields to give the Terps plenty of consideration. He’s told us a couple times now how much he likes new-look UMD and the vibe surrounding the program. He was in College Park for the Purdue game Oct. 1 and was on campus during the summer too.
Fields couldn’t say enough about headman D.J. Durkin and his assistants, namely Mike London and Chris Beatty. He likes that Maryland isn’t far from his Delaware home, the coming facility upgrades, the campus and the offense as well.
Fields is looking for a Va Tech offer, and, if it’s presented, the Hokies could be a threat for his services. But for now it sounds like he’s fairly high on UMD.
You can read more about Fields HERE.
-- The Gilman tight end Thomas Booker definitely stands out with his 6-4, 230-pound frame. He’s big, thick and muscle strewn, with long arms; a wide wingspan; and strong hands. Booker has the ability, should he continue progressing, to contribute early during his college career, either as a tight end or as an H-back. He might not be SEC good, but Booker has the size and skills to eventually start at many FBS programs.
Strengths: Size, strength, blocking ability, hands, physicality, athleticism, body control, catch radius, toughness, awareness
Areas of Improvement: Route running, change of direction, footwork, initial quicks, downfield speed
After the game, Booker said he likes the local institution a good deal. He’s been to Maryland several times and has had an instant connection with the staff, Booker developing a solid rapport with UMD-area recruiter Mike London and tight ends coach Pete Lembo too. He also likes the idea of representing his hometown school at the next level and the DMV movement that’s taken hold in the area. But, maybe most importantly, Booker knows UMD is a reputable academic school, which is paramount in his college decision.
Indeed, Booker is mainly looking at universities that will provide a top-notch degree. Thus, Duke and Michigan are prime contenders for him, and so are other schools throughout the Big Ten and ACC (Boston College, Northwestern and others have offered). In fact, the Wolverines, which Booker has seen before, are positioned well should the staff continue pushing.
But, at this stage, Booker is claiming no leaders, content to praise each school that’s offered him. That said, we’ve been told Booker really likes what’s going on in College Park.
You can read more about Booker HERE.
-- The defensive end Lawtez Rogers has the necessary size at 6-5, 255-pounds, although he might not have the rush skills and quick twitch to be a true 5-tech in college. Rogers might be better suited as a 3-tech or a point-of-attack end where he won’t be expected to routinely collapse the pocket. Even so, Rogers has enough tools to have success in the FBS, most likely as a rotational piece. It’s going to take him some time to adjust to the next level, but, later during his career, Rogers could move up the depth chart.
Strengths: Size, violent hands, initial quicks, athleticism, closing speed, power
Areas of Improvement: Leverage, arm extension, quicker hands, hand placement, disengaging ability, rush moves, footwork, backside pursuit, closing angles, finishing
Before the game, Rogers reiterated the Terps are his clear leader. Maryland continues to be his one major FBS suitor -- a couple of Rogers’ other offers aren’t committable at this stage -- and he said it’s only a matter of time before he pops to the hometown school.
Rogers is all about the hometown movement, playing near his mom and having his friends/family come see him in action. He likes UMD-area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and defensive line coach Mike London, Rogers developing a close bond with the former. Rogers has been in College Park more times than he can count and loves the energy around the program as well. He hasn’t been able to attend any Terps’ games yet this fall, but figures to see the Michigan State game coming up. He hinted he could commit soon after that Oct. 22 date.
“I could [commit] anytime,” Rogers said. “Don’t be surprised if it happens at any time.”
Sure, Rogers keeps saying he wants to take a few visits before ending his recruitment. Even during the interview he pointed to Louisville as a school he wanted to check out. But the Cardinals don’t have a committable offer out, and Rogers doesn’t have an idea when he might be able to see UL.
Expect the Roosevelt product to be on board with UMD later in October.
You can read more about Rogers HERE.
Oct. 15 Visitors
There will be double-digit recruits in attendance for the Maryland-Minnesota game in Maryland Stadium Oct. 15, but here are the three main names to know as far as 2017 Terps’ targets are concerned:
Owen Carney, DE, Miami Central (Miami, Fla.): Carney elected to move his Maryland official visit up from Oct. 22 to Oct. 15, which really doesn’t mean much, except it guarantees the Miami prospect will indeed show up in College Park.
The three-star has been in consistent communication with UMD defensive line coach Mike London and likes what the assistant has told him about the school. Carney believes the Terps are on the rise and wants to see what the program is all about.
We’ll see what Carney’s thinking after he takes in Maryland, but right now he seems to be favoring schools closer to his Florida home.
Florida State has been Carney’s stated frontrunner for some time now, and his view of the Seminoles only increased after a standout Tallahassee, Fla., visit. Carney loves the FSU prestige and could jump at the chance to play for a consistent title contender.
The other programs Carney will be taking a look at are Illinois, Louisville and Tennessee. He plans to visit all three after UMD since the coaches from those respective schools, in particular Illinois, have all had regular contact.
If Florida State’s coaches back off, each of the other institutions on Carney’s list, including UMD, will have a real shot to bring the end in. Perhaps the Terps can work their way into position following his Oct. 15 trip.
Either way, expect Carney to finalize his recruitment around December. He’s an early enrollee, so he’ll be heading to college come January.
Josh Paschal, DE/BUCK, Good Counsel (Olney, Md.): For the last two weeks we’ve let readers know there was increased Terps’ buzz surrounding the four-star Paschal. And this time around, the buzz gets even louder as the DMV defensive end is set to see Maryland’s game against Minnesota.
The trip, which is of the unofficial variety, will be the first time Paschal’s seen the Terps in action this fall. Paschal said he wants to assess how UMD defensive line coach Mike London deals with his unit and gauge the Terps’ defensive scheme as a whole. He’s also looking forward to chatting with the Maryland staff again, including London; head coach D.J. Durkin; area recruiter Chris Beatty; and assistant Aazaar Abdul-Rahim.
Paschal has had consistent contact with multiple Terps’ coaches, and their overall message and ardent pursuit have made a difference with the four-star local. The Good Counsel edge rusher knows he’s wanted in College Park and believes he could thrive under London. Moreover, Paschal has seen what former teammate-turned-Terp Jesse Aniebonam has been able to do at the BUCK position, the recruit thinking he could have a similar impact.
But, since Paschal isn’t deciding on a school until February, we’re hesitant to forecast him to College Park just yet. He has offseason officials to USC, Tennessee and North Carolina coming up, while Paschal’s September Oklahoma OV had him talking up the Sooners. Of those, Oklahoma could be the most serious threat for Paschal’s services, although time will tell. (Paschal did not list Notre Dame as a school he wanted to officially visit in his latest interview, leading us to believe perhaps the Irish coaches aren’t ardently pursuing. We're no longer considering UND a primary contender unless we hear otherwise).
Considering the above, we’re leaving Paschal “warm” on the hot board, but the Terps are positioned well moving forward.
Tariq Castro-Fields, CB, Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.): The four-star corner Castro-Fields will be heading to his first Maryland game this fall, taking in the Terps-Gophers for an unofficial. He’ll be paying close attention to the UMD defense, how the defensive backs are utilized and how said secondary players respond to position coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim.
Castro-Fields has already heard Abdul-Rahim’s -- and the rest of the staff’s for that matter -- pitch time and again, and he’s been in town so many times it’s becoming redundant. But schemes and depth charts are two primary factors Castro-Fields is monitoring, so it would behoove the Terps’ “D” to show up and make a few plays Oct. 15.
In the grand scheme of things, however, the trip probably won’t “move the meter” all that much considering Castro-Fields’ deliberate, conservative approach to recruiting. But it’s never a negative to have local elites on campus. Plus, it will allow the Riverdale corner an opportunity to reconnect with the staff and other Terps’ recruits.
Of course, Castro-Fields will be taking a couple more in-season unofficials to other locales. He wants to check out a game at Penn State and potentially one at Virginia Tech before heading back to Alabama for the Iron Bowl (the latter will be official).
Then, once the season ends, he’ll hit each of the aforementioned schools for official visits.
Castro-Fields should be ready to end his recruitment sometime in December, following his last jaunt.
The word right now is that Castro-Fields may not turn down the Tide if head coach Nick Saban will accept his commitment. But it’s unclear how long the Bama staff will wait for the DMV corner before moving on to other priorities.
If the Alabama offer no longer stands, Castro-Fields should be choosing between Maryland and Penn State. The two are fairly close in the pecking order, though we’re led to believe the Terps could hold a slight edge over the Nittany Lions. (Virginia Tech, for its part, is running fourth.)
It’s too close to call this far out from decision day. We won’t have a firm grasp on where Castro-Fields is heading until after he takes a couple officials.
Note: A couple more notable recruits who will be attending include 2019 defensive end Brandon Smith (Fork Union/Ashburn, Va.), who projects as a high-FBS talent; 2018 running back Dashaun Jenkins (Woodbridge, Va.), who already holds a Maryland offer; and 2019 running back TyQuan Brown (Freedom/Woodbridge, Va.), who projects as a high-FBS recruit.
More Recruiting News
Anthony McFarland, RB, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.): The four-star McFarland was supposed to take his first official visit to Miami Oct. 7-9, but Hurricane Matthew precluded him from flying into Miami Dade County. Thus, McFarland will be heading to Coral Gables, Fla., Oct. 15 instead.
Miami is thought to be running second in the race, just behind UMD, so we’re interested to see what he's thinking about the Canes following the weekend trip. McFarland is a big fan of Miami coach Mark Richt and his staff, so it’s a good possibility the jaunt will improve his standing with UM.
But, at the same time, we’re not so sure the early Coral Gables trip will resonate into the winter. McFarland has trips to Alabama (Nov. 26), Maryland (early December) and maybe Florida coming up, with the Terps perhaps the beneficiaries of the last official.
Again, we still like Maryland’s position with the four-star local, who has attended one Terps’ game this year and should be back for at least one or two more. Until we hear otherwise, we’ll continue forecasting McFarland to UMD.
Tyran Hunt, OT, Southampton (Courtland, Va.): The 6-6, 275-pound tackle Hunt was all set to see College Park officially Oct. 14-16, but he had to reschedule for Dec. 2 due to family issues.
Regardless of when the visit transpires, the Terps have been gaining steam for the three-star Virginia product thanks to persistent overtures from area recruiter Mike London, in addition to line coach Dave Borbely. On top of that, Hunt’s first trek to Maryland back in July resonated, with the school’s academics; campus; environment; and pending facility upgrades all hitting home. Then, earlier this week, Hunt let Scout’s Mike Clark know UMD and Syracuse both held the edge for his services.
“They’re tied at the top. I like the academics at both schools,” Hunt told Clark. “They also have two of the best communication programs in the nation, and I definitely feel I should use that to my advantage in the process.
“I’ve also looked at both depth charts and believe I could come in and compete for early playing time.”
Syracuse, which Hunt officially visited Sept. 9, is probably a more potent contender than previously surmised. But we’re not so sure the Orange are going to jump the Terps or the Hokies when it’s all said and done. This, despite Hunt’s hints that it could be a UMD-Cuse battle.
Indeed, the key here could be Hunt’s official to Virginia Tech Nov. 5. Remember, we’ve been told the Hokies’ coaches are favoring tackle Mekhi Becton (Highland Springs, Va.) over Hunt. The staff may still accept Hunt’s pledge if he wants in, but we’ve heard they aren’t pushing in earnest for the local three-star.
So, Hunt’s college decision ultimately might hinge on the feeling he gets during his Blacksburg, Va., return in mid-November. If the Southampton prospect readily takes to the coaches and senses he’s wanted, he might just opt in. But if there are some reservations, he could very well be Maryland bound.
Hunt will likely officially UVA in late October, but the Hoos are probably running fourth in the pecking order.
Look for Hunt to announce his future destination shortly after the Dec. 2 Maryland official. Given that it’s his final trip, coupled with his oft-stated pro-UMD comments, the tealeaves read “Terps.” We’ll keep projecting Hunt to Maryland.
Hozey Haji-Badri, DE, Chantilly (Va.): Keep an eye on this 6-4, 270-pound prep school defensive end/BUCK, who has been in regular communication with UMD-area recruiter Mike London. Haji-Badri has been telling me for some time the Terps' staff was "very interested" in offering, although we hear such talk all the time and much of it is exaggerated.
That could be the case with Haji-Badri, who reclassed to 2017 due to academics, too, but it does sound like London has some genuine interest. Perhaps, if the Terps are in need of another hybrid defensive lineman this winter, they'll take a flyer on the Virginia end.
Haji-Badri has been in College Park three times and loves what the program is about, noting the coaching staff's demeanor; the campus; and the facility upgrades. He all but admitted if the scholarship were presented he'd snap it up.
“Obviously I’m keeping every option open. I like all the schools recruiting me. But if I had to choose one I’d love an offer from, Maryland is one that would be ideal. I live like 40 minutes from there and it’s a great school,” said Haji-Badri, who is a December grad and was originally committed to Temple. "When I was up there, there were many, many things I liked about Maryland. I feel like Coach [D.J.] Durkin and the rest of the staff are going in a good direction."
Haji-Badri has also been hearing from WVU and Rutgers. He holds offers from several I-AA schools.
You can read more about him HERE.
Nate Proctor, BUCK, Lackey (Indian Head, Md.): Scout’s Brian Dohn touched base with Proctor once again, mainly because UCLA has seemingly entered the picture for the four-star. Proctor doesn’t hold a Bruins’ offer yet, but apparently he’s in contact with the area recruiter and is considering taking an official visit to Los Angeles, Calif. If so, Proctor surmised the offer could very well materialize.
And if the scholarship’s subsequently presented, we do expect UCLA to become a primary contender. Typically, recruits aren’t overly keen on heading cross country for college, but Proctor’s a bit different. Location isn’t an issue for him, and I always sensed he could look at a program further from home if it represented the best opportunity for him.
But Proctor isn’t going to suddenly end his recruitment if the Bruins’ staff antes up. He’s also looking hard at Va Tech and Penn State, with Maryland somewhat in the running.
As previously mentioned, Tech could be the leader due to Proctor’s relationship with defensive coordinator Bud Foster and the four-star’s affinity for the coach’s defensive scheme. But Penn State has long been involved and remains at the front of Proctor’s mind. The Nittany Lions’ staff has ramped up the pursuit and seemingly has the Lackey backer’s ear.
The Terps are in there too given UMD-area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim’s overtures and Proctor’s fondness for the coaching staff. However, from what we’ve been able to glean, we’re not projecting Proctor to wind up in College Park, although the situation could change down the line.
At this juncture, it sounds like a Tech-PSU-UCLA race, but we’ll see what officials Proctor elects to take before drawing any conclusions.
Naytron Culpepper, S, Miami Carol City (Miami, Fla.): Culpepper, a 6-0, 175-pound three-star, was all set to officially visit Maryland Oct. 15, but he reneged. The Miami Carol City defensive back said the UMD staff wanted him to come after the season so they could give him more personal attention, and now he’s trying to find a new date to check out College Park.
And we are somewhat optimistic he’ll actually follow through on that trip. Culpepper has had talks with UMD defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, who has harped on the Terps’ need for corners and safeties. The Floridian senses a chance to contribute soon after arriving in College Park, which is one of the main reasons he wants to trek north.
Culpepper, though, has South Carolina out in front for the time being. Publicly, he’s keeping all his suitors on an even plane, but it’s clear his two trips to Columbia, S.C., -- one unofficial, the other official -- have left a distinct impression. The three-star raved about the USC staff, the players and the atmosphere on campus. He thinks he’d fit right into the Gamecocks’ defense and potentially immediately impact the SEC program.
Another top contender is Michigan State, which Culpepper was able to see during the summer and will be returning to for an official. Although it’s quite a distance from Miami to East Lansing, Mich., Culpepper loved what he saw on campus and believes he could thrive under head coach Mark Dantonio. Plus, the Michigan State staff been all over the three star, making Culpepper a priority.
The safety is trying to check out Mississippi State as well. The Bulldogs’ coaches are after Culpepper in earnest too, itching to get him on campus.
For the time being, we’ll keep him “warm” on the hot board. But we’ll be watching to see if he ends up popping to one of his other contenders before he makes it to UMD in late November/December.
Tareke Lewis, CB, (Riverside C.C./Riverside, Calif.): The junior college corner Lewis was supposed to take first official visit to Oregon State Oct. 8, but instead he chose to head to Utah. After the impromptu trip, Lewis said the Utes opened his eyes and are now a contender.
But Lewis probably isn’t going to Utah, or Oregon State for that matter, unless he’s not a “take” for his stated No. 1. Lewis will be checking out Maryland sometime in December, and he keeps calling the Terps his top suitor. Lewis has remained in contact with UMD defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, whom the corner calls “a real cool guy,” and has heard all about Maryland from his former teammate-turned-Terp, J.C. Jackson.
Lewis intends to commit to UMD soon after taking in College Park, but we’ll have to see if his transcripts are in order.
If there are some concerns, Lewis could take a closer look at Oregon State, which he’s rescheduling his official to, and new offeree West Virginia. Utah would remain a primary threat for his services as well.
O.J. Tucker, CB, Vanguard (Ocala, Fla.): The Georgia Tech pledge wanted to officially visit Maryland either Oct. 15 or Oct. 22, but earlier this week he said he was pushing his trips back to November. The 6-0, 190-pounder is busy with his senior season and wants to finish strong before heading out on recruiting jaunts.
But the three-star still intends to check out several suitors later during the fall, with the Terps firmly on his radar.
“I definitely want to get to Maryland at some point,” Tucker said. “I’m trying to get there in November. Maryland was an offer I wanted, and Coach [Aazaar-Abdul] Rahim wants me there.”
Yes, Abdul-Rahim and Tucker have had regular communication as Maryland continues to search for pieces for its 2017 secondary class. Abdul-Rahim offered Tucker in mid-September, immediately grabbing the corner’s attention when informed UMD needed playmakers who could contribute soon after arriving on campus. On top of that, Tucker likes the idea of playing in the Big Ten for head coach D.J. Durkin, who the recruit knew from Michigan and Florida.
The Terps aren’t the only program trying to flip Tucker, however. He’s also seeking to see Wake Forest and Nebraska in November, in addition to Georgia Tech. The Wake staff has been in ardent pursuit, while the Huskers, whose coaches continue to recruit Tucker, represented the Floridian’s very first FBS suitor. As for Tech, Tucker sounded a bit on edge about his commitment status since the Jackets have so many underclassmen defensive backs on their current roster. But he’s still going to give Tech a chance to keep him in tow, with Tucker set to officially visit Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 19.
For now, we’re listing Tucker “warm” on the hot board.
Tancey Richardson, CB, South Aiken (Aiken, S.C.): The three-star corner Richardson is visiting Georgia unofficially Oct. 15, Maryland officially Dec. 2 and is in the process of finalizing an official visit date for Michigan State. Of those three, however, only the Terps have an offer out.
Maryland graduate assistant Brawley Evans first contacted Richardson in mid-September, and since then the South Carolina native has been in touch with defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim. But even before Abdul-Rahim made his pitch, Richardson had been eager to see Maryland. The three-star has heard all about the Terps from UMD receiver pledge Sean Nelson (Langston Hughes/Fairburn, Ga.), who has known Richardson for years now. Furthermore, he likes the idea of competing in the Big Ten, with Maryland representing his lone B1G offer.
If the corner does make it to College Park, we’ll put him on “pop watch,” as the Maryland staff seems willing to accept multiple “athlete” types who want in. But if the UMD coaches back off, Richardson could take a closer look at Illinois, Indiana or Colorado State, all of which have committable offers out.
Newsome On Board
Hampton (Va.) athlete Dazz Newsome hinted after receiving his UMD offer Oct. 6 he would be committing to Maryland during his Oct. 9 campus visit. The only question was whether or not head coach D.J. Durkin would be ready to accept his commitment.
Evidently so, because after a day-long stay in College Park, the 5-10, 170-pound Newsome, who projects as a corner but will be given a chance on offense and special teams, followed through with a pledge.
“I went up there and I found a home, just like I thought I would,” said Newsome, who chose Maryland over offers from Marshall, Charlotte and ODU. “Coach [Mike] London believed in me when no other [power-five] school did. So that’s a big reason why I was so confident I wanted to go [to UMD].
“I loved all the coaches at Maryland. And the best thing about them is how honest and real they were. They basically told me I had a chance to place right away there, but I would have to compete and nothing would be given to me. They said I had to work. Then I really liked how they said I could be a corner, a receiver, a kick returner and a punt returner. They think I can help them all over the field, and that’s what I love. I love to contribute in all areas.”
Newsome went on to extol the campus, the facilities, the under-construction new indoor fields and the environment surrounding the program. He praised each staff member he met, namely position coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim; London; and Durkin. Newsome said his mom and stepdad were all about Maryland as well.
“I can’t see myself visiting another school or looking at another school,” said Newsome, who had been hearing from Va Tech (where his older brother attends), UNC, Purdue, Temple and PSU. “I’m 100 percent Maryland. I’m taking my official visit to Maryland in December, and that’s it for recruiting for me.”
Although Newsome doesn’t exactly fit the profile of the longer, taller corners the Maryland staff prefers, he could probably fill a slot-corner role in UMD’s 3-3-5 scheme. Newsome’s size and speed are concerns, but he’s quick; athletic; aggressive; has a plus vertical; and possesses above-average instincts and ball skills.
Moreover, Newsome’s commitment gives the Terps a pledge from the talent-rich 757 and Hampton area. The Maryland staff, with Mike London and Chris Beatty running point, have been attempting to gain inroads into that fertile recruiting ground since last February, so perhaps the Newsome pledge will aid the coaches’ efforts down the line.
Note: We believe Newsome’s a hard Terps’ pledge, but watch out for North Carolina or NC State if either program’s staff elects to ante up.
You can read more about Newsome HERE.
You can read what his coach had to say about him HERE.
New Offers Out
Gavin Holmes, WR, Northwest (Justin, Texas): The Iowa pledge Holmes heard from UMD Director of Recruiting Marcus Berry Oct. 13. Holmes has been pledged to Hawkeyes since June and seems content to stick with them. He's given no indication he's wavering on his pledge.
We'll see if Holmes eventually decides to take officials, but for now he isn't going in the hot board.
Zakoby McClain, OLB/S, Valdosta (Ga.) (2018): This emerging four-star outside linebacker added his sixth offer from the Terps Oct. 11, Maryland joining Nebraska; Tennessee; Cincinnati; Marshall and Charlotte. McClain heard from both UMD linebackers’ coach Matt Barnes and area recruiter Anthony Tucker, who had both had previous contact with the 6-2, 200-pounder.
After exchanging messages with the two Maryland assistants, McClain naturally expressed excitement and said he’d like to see College Park at some point during the offseason. If he follows through, we’ll hone in on McClain to gauge just how interested he is in UMD.
But, at the moment, his recruitment is in its infant stages and he’s bound to gather more SEC, ACC and Big Ten verbals moving forward. More than likely, McClain’s going to be a tough pull out of the South, especially if some of the SEC elites ante up.
Jordan Miner, S, Wiregrass Ranch (Zephyrhills, FL ):We'd been waiting for the Florida safety Miner to finally receive his Maryland offer. Recall, he actually visited College Park back in July at the behest of area recruiter Chris Beatty, Miner thoroughly enjoying his initial UMD stay. He also mentioned how he had family in Germantown, Md., and counted Maryland as a school he "really wanted" to be recruited by.
It took another three months, but finally on Oct. 13 Beatty and defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim followed through with the verbal. (Perhaps Beatty was coaxed into action when Penn State's staff anted up earlier that day, the Nittany Lions becoming Miner's very first power-five look. The 6-1, 180-pounder previously had looks from Bowling Green, Toledo, Tulane and others of that ilk.)
Now that he actually holds the offer, Miner said he's excited to return to Maryland this offseason. He wants to continue building a rapport with the staff and become even more familiar with the program as a whole.
But, as we caution with most every fast-rising Florida star, let's see how his profile develops before gauging his true interest in Maryland. If Miner makes it back to College Park, he's someone we'll pay particularly close attention to.
Off The Board
Carter Warren, OT, Passaic County (Passaic, N.J.): The Jersey tackle Warren visited Pittsburgh Oct. 8 and ended up committing on campus. He had planned to see Maryland at the end of October before selecting his future destination, but the Panthers were the known favorite.
The 6-6, 283-pounder had a close connection to the Pitt staff and really liked the program head coach Pat Narduzzi is building. The four-star then thoroughly enjoyed his latest stay at Pitt, talking up the game atmosphere; how the Panthers play in the Steelers’ stadium; and how the coaches/players welcomed him in.
The Terps may have finished second or third for Warren’s services. Warren had been in regular contact with UMD-area recruiter Matt Barnes and line coach Dave Borbely, the four-star praising both for their approach. Warren also loved his first stay in College Park, lauding the coming facility upgrades, the campus; and the coaches’ energy. He liked that UMD isn’t far from his Jersey home as well.
Ultimately, though, the Panthers had first dibs and closed the deal before Warren could make it back to Maryland.
Deron Irving-Bey, OT, Southwestern (Flint, Mich.): Maryland’s chances with the four-star Irving-Bey, who the staff wanted as an offensive tackle, were slim to begin with, but the Michigan native continued to mention UMD as a school he wanted to officially visit. Even now, he broaches the Terps as a contender, likely thanks to his relationship with the staff and his standout summer visit to College Park.
But the probability of Irving-Bey showing up at Maryland, much less choosing the Terps, are growing increasingly less likely.
Irving-Bey was back at Michigan yet again Oct. 8, and the sense is the Wolverines have the inside track. Both the recruit and his mother loved the Big House, the coaching staff and vibe surrounding headman Jim Harbaugh’s program.
It’s probably only a matter of time before Irving-Bey pops to Michigan, although Michigan State remains in the game. At one time, the Spartans were considered the leaders for the four-star.
Regardless, we’re not anticipating Irving-Bey coming around to UMD unless his two in-state suitors opt to go in a different direction.
Harrison Hand, CB, Cherry Hill-West (Cherry Hill, N.J.): We didn’t sense the Jersey corner Hand was overly interested in Maryland, and this week we confirmed it. There was some thought he might elect to officially visit College Park either for the Minnesota game Oct. 15 or the Michigan State affair Oct. 22, but he has no plans to do so. Instead, the three-star is focusing in on Rutgers, Virginia Tech, WVU and Mizzou. (We’ve heard the Terps’ staff may have backed off for various reasons, so that could have something to do with it).
Hand officially visited Tech in late September, and word is the Hokies currently lead. The Jersey corner loved defensive coordinator Bud Foster, his scheme and the players he met on campus.
Hand then went to Rutgers for an unofficial Oct. 8, and it sounds like the hometown school has worked its way back up the corner’s leaderboard. Although Hand is inclined to leave the Garden State, he’s taken to head coach Chris Ash and Co.
Meanwhile, Hand is intent on officially visiting WVU after a recent offer, and Mizzou has his ear since it’s his lone SEC suitor. There’s a chance other programs could get involved, but more than likely Hand is going to be choosing between Va Tech and RU later this fall, with WVU and Mizzou potentially shaking things up.
Trey Creamer, CB, Cartersville (Ga.): Creamer was supposed to be embarking on his final official to UMD Oct. 14-16, but he told me earlier this week, “I never received anymore information about it and decided not to go.” So, with the Maryland staff falling out of contact, Creamer elected to end his recruitment Oct. 13, committing to Minnesota.
Creamer took one official to Tulane in mid-September and then Minnesota Oct. 8. The Gophers impressed Creamer with how well the staff treated him and how well he connected with the players. He also liked the Minnesota defense and how he could contribute early during his career given the team’s need for corners.
After returning home, Creamer decided he didn’t need to see anymore institutions, choosing the Minneapolis school three days later.