Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football-recruiting roundup.
Class of 2017 Scholarship Breakdown
Quarterbacks (Take 1)
Running Backs (Take 2-3)
Anthony McFarland: HOT (Maryland, Miami)
Receivers (Take 5-6)
Quantino Allen: WARM (Oregon State, Maryland, Louisville, WVU)
Emmanuel Greene: COOL (UCF, Nebraska, WVU, PSU, Tennessee, TAMU, Louisville)
Rodney Scott: COOL (Florida, Miami, Kentucky, Louisville, Syracuse, RU, WVU, UMD)
Tight Ends (Take 2)
Blake Williams: HOT (Maryland, Rutgers)
Sal Cannella: WARM (Maryland, Kansas, Rutgers, Minnesota, UCF)
Offensive Tackles (Take 2-3)
Tyran Hunt: HOT (Maryland, Va Tech, Syracuse)
Jacob Bolton: WARM (Maryland)
Calvin Ashley: COOL (Auburn, Florida, Miami, USC, Maryland)
Cordavien Suggs: COLD (Mississippi State, Florida, FSU, Va Tech, UMD)
Offensive Guards (Take 2)
Defensive Linemen (Take 4)
Lawtez Rogers: HOT (Maryland)
Vic Dimukeje: WARM (Wake Forest, Duke, Va Tech, Maryland)
George Ellis: COOL (Mississippi State, USF, Maryland)
BUCK (Take 2)
Kofi Wardlow: HOT (Maryland, Va Tech, Michigan State, Rutgers, Pitt)
Josh Paschal: WARM (Oklahoma, Tennessee, USC, UNC, Maryland)
Owen Carney: COOL (Florida State, Maryland, Illinois)
Tyree Johnson: COOL (TAMU, Va Tech, Rutgers, Tennessee, Mizzou, Maryland)
Nate Proctor: COOL (Va Tech, PSU, Ole Miss, UCLA, Maryland)
Malik Horton: COOL (Colorado, Wisconsin, WVU, Va Tech, UMD)
Outside Linebackers (Take 2)
Jordan Anthony: WARM (Michigan, Maryland, Oklahoma, LSU, Clemson)
Louis Acceus: WARM (Rutgers, UNC, Maryland, Va Tech)
Inside Linebackers (Take 1)
Ellis Brooks: HOT (Maryland, Va Tech, Michigan)
Marcus Bowman: WARM (Maryland, Marshall, Syracuse, Temple)
Safeties (Take 0-1)
Naytron Culpepper: COOL (South Carolina, Michigan State, Maryland)
Markquese Bell: WARM (Rutgers, Maryland)
Jahmin Muse: COOL (Rutgers, Boston College, Va Tech, Maryland)
Cornerbacks (Take 5-6)
Kenny Bennett: HOT (Maryland, Pitt)
Tancey Richardson: HOT (Maryland)
Alex Woods: HOT (Maryland, ECU)
Tariq Castro-Fields: WARM (Alabama, PSU, Maryland, Va Tech)
O.J. Tucker: WARM (Ga Tech, Maryland, Nebraska, Wake)
Tareke Lewis: WARM (Utah, WVU, Maryland)
Tavyn Jackson: COOL (South Carolina, Oregon State, Maryland)
Special Teams (Take 1)
Checking Out Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.)
I had a chance to check out the state’s No. 1 public school Oct. 29, taking in Wise’s game at Bladensburg (Md.). I mainly wanted to gauge 2018 Pumas’ corner A.J. Lytton, a four-star recruit with offers from schools like Clemson; Wisconsin; FSU; Georgia; Nebraska; Michigan; Ohio State; Penn State and others. Wise also has an elite 2019 receiver in Isaiah Hazel, who the Terps are after and has high interest in the hometown school.
-- Lytton, for his part, is a 5-foot-11, 170-pound dynamite playmaker on both sides of the ball. He projects to defense, however, and has the skills to be a field corner or slot corner at a major FBS program.
Strengths: Athleticism, wingspan, vertical, physicality, speed, quickness, flexibility, agility, awareness, ball skills, hands, backpedal, change of direction
Areas of Improvement: Tackling, strength, hand placement, downhill burst, eye discipline
Before the game, Lytton said the Terps remained under prime consideration. He hasn’t been able to attend a UMD game this fall, but he was on campus on several occasions during the offseason. Lytton has a developing rapport with area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and likes the staff as a whole. He’s comfortable on campus and is keen on the idea of showing out at the hometown school too.
But, at the same time, Lytton admitted a few other programs had his eye. Florida State is his long-stated dream school, and the sense is the Noles do have a decided edge for Lytton’s services. The Pumas’ corner sees himself following in the footsteps of another DMV elite who took his game to Tallahassee, Fla.: Ron Darby.
Lytton isn’t ready to pop yet, however, as he does want to go through the process and check out programs like Clemson, Michigan, Ohio State, Georgia and others. Ultimately, though, the feeling is he’s going to wind up at FSU or maybe in the SEC. But let’s see what kind of traction Abdul-Rahim and Co. can gain in the months ahead.
You can read more about Lytton HERE.
-- The athlete Hazel (6-1, 190 pounds) has offers from Maryland and Rutgers, and should have numerous schools to consider within the next couple years. He’s a long, quick-twitch speedster, who can take the top off the defense and make defenders miss in space.
After the game, Hazel heaped praise on Maryland, mentioning how much he loved the coaching staff and environment in College Park, Md. He talked up the UMD-Michigan State game he attended, speaking to the crowd and live atmosphere for the primetime affair.
But Hazel, like teammate A.J. Lytton, is all about Florida State initially. He said he grew up an FSU fan and is looking for an offer from the Seminoles (the staff is interested).
There’s a ways to go in Hazel’s recruitment, however, and much can change the next couple years.
You can see the interview with him HERE.
Three Imminent Commits
Jayden Comma, WR, Roswell (Ga.): By the time you finish reading this Shell (around 6:30 p.m. if you're an evening reader), Comma could very well be on board with UMD. In fact, he’s been on board for the last month, but didn’t want to make his college decision public until Nov. 4, a date that holds sentimental value for him.
From all we’ve heard since Comma’s Sept. 30-Oct. 2 College Park official visit, he’s still on track to pop and officially become the Terps’ fifth receiver pledge -- and the fourth from Georgia -- in the 2017 class. Even though the Maryland staff has since secured another receiver in Jalen Browder (East Paulding/Dallas, Ga.), they’re still willing to accept Comma’s pledge.
“Maryland is the favorite,” Comma said. “I loved it when I was up there. I loved the atmosphere, the coaches, the players and the fans. Maryland is a program on the rise.”
At one time, Comma was thought to be Louisville or West Virginia bound, but both programs’ coaches have backed off some. Thus, Maryland quickly became Comma’s most attractive option, and his October official for the Purdue game only solidified his feelings. Comma, who was accompanied by his mother, loved the vibe inside Maryland Stadium; how the staff welcomed them in; and how close-knit the players were. Furthermore, the Roswell product liked offensive coordinator Walt Bell’s offense, noting how it’s a similar spread system to what he runs in high school. To boot, Comma likes how the Terps are bringing in several other Georgians, including Comma’s friend, Carlos Carriere (Alpharetta, Ga.).
So, what are the Terps getting in the 6-2, 205-pounder?
Again, we don’t let to make definitive claims based off highlights, but Comma is in the mold of the tall, wide-wingspan receivers the Maryland staff covets. Comma looks to be a long strider who may cover ground faster than he seems to on film. He has decent enough burst, good body control and above-average ball skills. Comma’s also a natural pass catcher, high-pointing the ball and showing the ability to sky over defenders to come down with the tough grab. The Roswell prospect is able to find openings in-between zones and down the field as well.
The knock on Comma is his speed and acceleration, two areas he’ll need to improve to have more of an impact at the next level. He’s not the type of receiver who is going to separate from corners, make defenders miss in the open field or split the seam down the middle. Moreover, Comma must keep honing his route running, as right now he looks a bit methodical coming in and out of his breaks. Finally, he’ll have to pack on the pounds in order to deal with Big Ten defensive backs and defeat jams.
Kofi Wardlow, BUCK, St. John’s (Washington, D.C.): Even though the local defensive end/outside linebacker Wardlow held off on committing to Maryland during his Oct. 30 College Park visit, and despite his recent rash of offers, the Terps look to be in the driver’s seat. Wardlow and his parents were smitten with the hometown school, the recruit acknowledging the trip went “really, really well.”
“It was just a great overall experience for us, and we learning a lot about Maryland and feel it’s an up-and-coming program in the Big Ten. It’s definitely a school I’m considering,” Wardlow said. “My parents were really impressed too. They want me to make the right decision, but they like Maryland a lot as well.”
Naturally, Wardlow saved his highest compliments for the coaching staff. He praised head coach D.J. Durkin, area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, defensive line coach Mike London and Director of Recruiting Marcus Berry. Wardlow and Co. took to the staff’s message and how the coaches got to know them as people. The St. John’s three-star then lauded London’s resume and said he “perfectly” fit the proposed BUCK role the coach envisions him playing.
Wardlow proceeded to extol the coming facility upgrades, the renovated dorms and the campus. He also made sure to note the school’s academics since he is an education-first recruit who wants to major in engineering.
To boot, teammate-turned-Terp Kasim Hill joined the Wardlows Oct. 30, the quarterback urging the BUCK to jump on the Maryland bandwagon.
Which Wardlow may very well do before the end of November.
The local product would like to check out a couple of his other suitors like Va Tech (he was there unofficially in October), Michigan State, Rutgers and Pitt, and that could delay his college decision some. The Hokies and Spartans could give the Terps a run for their money, but we still believe Maryland’s in a good spot at this stage.
It’s a fairly telling sign when the only official visit he’s set is to Maryland Dec. 9, which is when many of the current UMD pledges are scheduled to be on campus as well. We’re keeping Wardlow “hot” on the hot board.
You can read more about Wardlow HERE.
Kenny Bennett, CB, Academy At Palumbo (Philadelphia, Pa.): Nothing really new to report here, except Bennett did confirm his intention to commit Nov. 9. We thought there was a chance he might hold off in order to check out Pittsburgh or perhaps see if another suitor came through, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
So, unless there’s a change of heart, Bennett’s probably Maryland-bound Nov. 9, and he’ll likely return to College Park three days later for the UMD-OSU game. Then, Bennett should be embarking on his Maryland official either Dec. 2 or Dec. 9.
Now, Bennett did miss two straight Terps’ home games (against Minnesota and Michigan State) he intended to attend, which is sometimes an indication a recruit is A) looking elsewhere or B) falling out of favor with a squad’s staff. But it sounds like Bennett legitimately couldn’t make the games, while he remains a “take” for the Maryland staff.
He was last at UMD Oct. 1 for the Purdue affair and came away raving. He talked up the atmosphere inside Maryland Stadium, the UMD defensive scheme, the Terps’ need for corners, and his immediate connection with the staff. Bennett then lauded the school’s academics, mentioning the degree he’d receive should he head to College Park.
The Philly corner has not visited any other locale this fall that we’re aware of -- other than Penn State to watch the Terps against the Nittany Lions.
Given that, all the tealeaves read “Terps,” and Bennett should be on board Nov. 9.
More Recruiting Notes
Quantino Allen, WR, Glades Central (Belle Glade, Fla.): There was some speculation Allen might be getting ready to end his recruitment sooner rather than later after a couple leading Tweets, but that’s not the case. Earlier this week Allen said he has one official coming up Nov. 27 to Oregon State, the school he’s committed to, and is still finalizing trips to Illinois; Louisville and West Virginia. He said he’s intent on taking all five allotted officials before choosing his future destination.
Of course, Allen embarked on his Maryland OV Oct. 1, letting on how much he liked the vibe in College Park; the fans in Maryland Stadium; the environment surrounding the program; the facility upgrades; the school’s location near D.C.; and the team itself. He said he could see himself fitting into offensive coordinator Walt Bell’s offense and readily developing under receivers’ coach Chris Beatty. Allen also loved interacting with the other Floridians on the team, calling Maryland a home away from home of sorts.
That’s all well and good, but Allen said he remained a hard Oregon State pledge. He’s going to give the Beavers’ staff every chance to keep him in the fold.
As for the other schools in play, we’re not sure he sees them all -- at least, not the ones Allen currently lists. West Virginia’s and Louisville’s staffs may have other targets in mind, and it’s questionable whether or not they are pushing for Allen. Illinois’ coaches, though, have been after the Glades Central three-star and have been itching to get him on campus.
We’ll see how it plays out over the next couple months, but for now we’re leaving Allen “warm” on the hot board.
Tyran Hunt, OT, Southampton (Courtland, Va.): Pay attention to tackle Mekchi Becton’s (Highland Springs, Va.) official visit to Michigan Nov. 4-6. If Becton ends up popping to the Wolverines, as many anticipate, Virginia Tech will have lost out on its top offensive-line target.
Which means the Hokies’ staff will then go full bore after another in-state prospect: Tyran Hunt.
Recall, we recently surmised Tech was sitting around third for Hunt since the staff hadn’t prioritized him like Maryland’s and Syracuse’s coaches. But that could be about to change ahead of Hunt’s official visit to Blacksburg, Va., in mid-November. We now expect the Hokies’ coaches, who would have accepted commitments from Becton and Hunt anyway, to put the full-court press on the Southampton product, attempting to coax out a pop before he makes his way to College Park.
It wouldn’t shock us if Hunt opted for the Hokies, but he does seem intent on giving Maryland a shot to win him over when he officially visits Dec. 2. He’s been listing UMD and Syracuse atop his leaderboard for a couple months now, noting each staff’s ardent pursuit. Plus, Hunt absolutely loved his first foray through Maryland in July, pointing to his immediate bond with the coaches (area recruiter Mike London has developed a deep rapport); the atmosphere in College Park; the facility/dorm upgrades; and the academics.
The Orange, for their part, may hold a slight edge for now after Hunt officially visited the New York school in September. But we’ll see how long Syracuse can maintain that lead with Tech and the Terps coming up.
Virginia Tech makes us leery, particularly because when the Hokies are good (6-2, 4-1 ACC this year) they don’t tend to lose the in-state recruits they covet. But the Terps’ coaches have done well with Hunt, and we’re inclined to leave him “hot” on the hot board until we hear the outcome of that Blacksburg official.
Markquese Bell, S/OLB, Bridgeton (N.J.): The four-star safety/outside linebacker Bell is apparently down to Rutgers and Maryland per intel from Scout’s Brian Dohn. Bell cancelled intended official visits to Clemson, Ohio State and Michigan -- all three thought to be vying for the Jersey product’s services -- and instead will pick between the Terps and Scarlet Knights Dec. 1. Evidently the Tigers’, Buckeyes’ and Wolverines’ staffs backed off Bell a bit and have other targets in mind.
Bell officially visited Piscataway, N.J., in early October, and the trip hit home with both the recruit and his grandmother. The Bridgeton product loved reconnecting with head coach Chris Ash, the players he knew on the team, and the other RU commits/targets on campus.
Even though the Scarlet Knights were drubbed during the visit, Bell didn’t care much. He said he likes the direction Ash is taking the program and believes he could help the hometown school rise up in the Big Ten.
If that weren’t enough, Bell’s parents like the RU staff a good deal, and the four-star is very close to numerous current Scarlet Knights whom he competed against in high school.
But the Terps are sitting right there, either right alongside or slightly behind, Rutgers in the pecking order. Bell officially visited College Park Oct. 21-23, and he and his grandmother enjoyed how the coaches; fans; and players received them. The Bridgeton native extolled head coach D.J. Durkin, linebackers’ coach Matt Barnes, and assistant Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, who has had a hand in this recruitment as well. Bell fit in well with the players too, mentioning how host LoLo Harrison showed him a good time and gave him the lowdown on the program. And, like with RU, Bell believes the Terps are on the rise in the Big Ten.
It’s a close race, and things could change in the weeks ahead, but we’ve heard the Scarlet Knights have the trump card. The hometown angle, coupled with Ash and his staff’s relationship with Bell and his family, could push Rutgers to the top of the totem poll.
We’ll try to gather more information before Bell ends his recruitment, but for the time being we’re picking RU.
Alex Woods, CB, Lackawanna (Scranton, Pa.): Woods and West Virginia opted to part ways Nov. 3, leaving the junior college corner free to explore his other options. Which, at the moment, are Maryland and ECU.
“Everyone is in play right now and no leaders, but as of right now I like Maryland’s program and the goals for them,” Woods said Nov. 3. “I also like ECU because it’s so close to home.”
Terps’ defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim has been in Woods’ ear, harping on Maryland’s need for corners. The two have been in contact since early September, and Woods ended up visiting College Park earlier during the fall. The North Carolina native said he enjoyed sitting down with Director of Recruiting Marcus Berry and taking in the school for the first time. Now, he’s pining to officially visit UMD in early December.
Additionally, Woods will probably check out ECU since the coaches have been pushing for him and it does represent a homecoming of sorts for the Durham, N.C., resident. He could also venture up to Michigan State or maybe another locale if a program’s staff chooses to pursue in earnest.
But we like the Terps’ chances here and believe Abdul-Rahim and Co. could have this one wrapped up before Christmas.
Woods has been shifted to “hot” on the hot board.
New Offers Out
Marshawn Lloyd, RB, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) (2020): Lloyd is someone I noted after watching DeMatha earlier this fall, dubbing him “the Stags’ next Anthony McFarland.” The 5-10, 190-pound freshman, who is from Middletown, Del., is a quick-twitch dynamo with home-run hitting speed, and he will have numerous offers to consider in the next year or so.
The Terps became the very first suitor for Lloyd Oct. 30, which should resonate with the freshman down the road. We expect Lloyd to show up in College Park on multiple occasions moving forward, and for UMD-area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim to actively recruit the DeMatha back the next three years.
Jasiah Provillon, WR, Irvington (N.J.) (2018): Terps’ assistant Matt Barnes jumped on the Jersey receiver Provillon Nov. 2, giving the 6-2, 180-pound junior his fourth Big Ten offer. Provillon has steadily emerged as his season has progressed, initially attracting interest from lower Division I programs and now gaining verbals from schools like Penn State; Michigan; Wisconsin; Syracuse; BC; Pitt; and, most recently, Maryland.
PSU, which Provillon has been to before, was a coveted offer and has the Jersey prospect’s attention early. But so does Michigan, the nation’s No. 2 program catching Provillon’s eye.
His recruitment is in its infancy, however, and Provillon is going to attract many more suitors the next couple months. Let’s see where he chooses to visit during the offseason, and if Barnes can convince him to see College Park.
Off The Board
Noah Igbinoghene, WR, Hewitt-Trussville (Trussville, Ala.): The Terps hung in with the receiver Igbinoghene, the four-star placing Maryland among his top-five suitors and suggesting an official visit was possible. But Igbinoghene has long favored Notre Dame and Duke, the sense being he’s going to end up at one of those two institutions.
The Alabama wideout didn’t pop yet, but it’s probably only a matter of time now. Igbinoghene took one visit to Duke earlier in October, and then embarked on an official to Notre Dame Oct. 28-30. Igbinoghene couldn’t say enough about his stay in South Bend, Ind., lauding the coaches; players; atmosphere; and tradition.
Originally, we weren’t sure the UND coaches would accept Igbinoghene’s commitment, but we’ve heard otherwise of late. Thus, an Irish commitment looks imminent. If not, and Igbinoghene holds off, then he’ll probably check out Duke for an official. We do not expect him to head to College Park.