Prep school defensive end Hozey Haji-Badri (Chantilly, Va.) was back in College Park, Md., for a fourth time Nov. 26, and following the trip he’s growing more confident a Maryland offer will materialize. The 6-foot-4, 270-pounder, who reclassed from 2016 to 2017 to shore up his academics, said he spoke extensively to UMD-area recruiter Mike London before the Terps’ game against Rutgers, Haji-Badri believing he knows exactly where he stands with UMD.
“Basically, I was up there with my former defensive line coach from high school, and Coach London came in and said the staff wanted to offer me. But, first, I need to get the qualifying test score, and that’s what they’re waiting for,” said Haji-Badri, who has offers from Buffalo, Delaware, Southern Illinois, Georgia State and Norfolk State. “I just took the SATs again earlier in November, and I find out Nov. 29 what my scores are. If I don’t get the [necessary] scores then, I’m taking the SATs again Dec. 3 and the ACT Dec. 10. And Coach London said if I got the scores, I could enroll early in December, but if not, then he’d be willing to wait for me and take me in the summer when all the other 2017 recruits arrive.
“So that definitely meant something to me. Honestly, not every school is willing to wait for you, but Coach London said he would, and that is something I’m really grateful for. I have a great relationship with Coach London, and we’re really, really close. He’s actually supposed to come to my house this week to see me.”
If the scholarship transpires, either sooner or later after Haji-Badri qualifies academically, the Chantilly product said he would promptly commit to Maryland.
“With where I’m at right now, I’m going to end up committing to Maryland. I’m confident I’ll get the scores,” said Haji-Badri, who can play 5-tech, 3-tech and even some BUCK. “Obviously anything can happen and nothing is certain, but that’s where I’m at right now. I’ve been at Maryland four times now, and I just feel like it’s a great fit and I could see myself there. I grew up 40 minutes from [College Park], I’ve watched them on TV my whole life, and my dad is a huge Maryland fan.”
Haji-Badri’s latest foray only helped solidify those feelings. Although Maryland Stadium wasn’t full, the Chantilly product enjoyed watching UMD defeat Rutgers and become bowl eligible.
“When I went up there, I saw what I expected. The coaches were great, the team played a great game against Rutgers, and it was nice to see them become get to a bowl game,” Haji-Badri said. “There weren’t as many fans, but I understood it was Thanksgiving weekend and all that. It was still a good game, and I’m glad I went up. I always have a lot of fun up there.”
Haji-Badri could return to UMD either Dec. 2 or Dec. 9 if he gets the necessary SAT scores Nov. 29. If not, however, he and London discussed a Maryland official Jan. 27.
For the time being, Haji-Badri is tentatively scheduled to see Norfolk State, whose coaches are coming in to see the defensive lineman Nov. 29, Dec. 2, and then hit Buffalo Dec. 10. But the recruit said neither of those two trips are solidified as both schools want to gauge his academic situation as well.