The Terps certainly have the attention of receivers from Georgia.
On Oct. 23, following his official visit to College Park, Md., three-star wideout Jalen Browder (East Paulding/Dallas, Ga.) became Maryland’s fourth receiver pledge and the third from the Peach State to join UMD’s 2017 class.
“It feels great to be a Terp and I’m really excited. After my visit, I knew that’s where I wanted to be,” said the 6-foot-3, 185-pound Browder, who at one time claimed offers from Louisville, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, NC State, Purdue, South Carolina, Kansas State, Mizzou and others. “I told Coach [D.J.] Durkin before I left, and he was very, very excited to have me on board. I was very happy too; I made the right decision.”
Browder did not arrive at Maryland Oct. 21 intending to end his recruitment 48 hours later. In fact, he insisted he wanted to embark on all five allotted official visits before coming to a conclusion sometime during the winter.
“But when I got to Maryland, the players and the coaches all kept it real with me, and that’s really what sold me,” Browder said. “I felt really comfortable around the entire team and I loved the energy from the coaches. Coach Durkin, Coach [Chris] Beatty, Coach [Walt] Bell, all of them. It just felt right at Maryland, and I didn’t need to see anywhere else.”
Indeed, it was Beatty who did the heavy lifting in this recruitment. Browder first received a UMD offer Feb. 15, Beatty being the second assistant from a power-five suitor to identify and offer the emerging wideout.
“Coach Beatty is awesome as a person and as a coach,” Browder said. “He’s been on me for a good minute now, trying to get me up there. He’s got a great reputation for developing guys and he’s just a good guy to be around. I could definitely see myself doing well under him.”
Browder had similar praise for Bell, whose offense he saw in action during the Terps’ victory over Michigan State in primetime Oct. 22. The Georgia three-star said he enjoyed watching Maryland’s receivers work, and believes he could do well in the system.
“It’s a great system, a great spread offense, and I like how it’s up-tempo,” said Browder, who runs a 4.58-second 40-yard dash. “Coach Bell was showing me how I would be used there, and it sounded good to me.
“Also, the fans at the game were great and it was live out there. I can’t wait to play in an atmosphere like that.”
While Browder had plenty of praise for the staff, he spent the majority of the visit with the current Terps. The East Paulding product said Florida corner Antwaine Richardson served as player-host, but he ended up hanging out with numerous Maryland skill players.
“They made me feel like I was at home, to be honest,” Browder said. “I really liked talking to them, and they all had great things to say about Maryland and the coaches. A lot of those boys are from Florida and the South, so I fit in pretty well.
“[Also], I know they have two other receivers from Georgia coming in [Carlos Carriere from Alpharetta, Ga., and Sean Nelson from Fairburn, Ga.]. Carlos is my boy and I’ve talked to him about Maryland before. He’s excited that I’m a Terp.”
Browder went on to praise the campus, the school’s academics and the Under Armour connections. He also wanted the chance to compete in the Big Ten, which he dubbed one of the nation’s best conferences.
“I’ve been watching Big Ten football for a long time, because I have family in Chicago, so it’s a conference I’ve grown up watching,” Browder said. “And when I was at Maryland, I really thought the campus was very nice and I liked the dorms and the facilities they’re building. [The new facilities] are going to be awesome. I like how [College Park] is next to D.C. and near Baltimore too. I liked D.C. and I like all the opportunities I’ll have being close to there.”
Post trip, Browder said he has, in effect, shut down his recruitment. He does not intend to take anymore official visits and will instead turn his focus back to his high school team.
“I’m a tall, fast outside receiver who can go up and get the football,” said Browder, who also plays basketball. “I have good hands, I run well and I can make plays all over the field. I’m excited to show what I can do at Maryland.”