The Terps’ coaches continue to make inroads with St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) BUCK Kofi Wardlow, and they had another chance to do so Nov. 26. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder took in Maryland’s game against Rutgers, which was actually his second time in College Park, Md., in four days, as Wardlow also watched the UMD hoops team defeat Stony Brook Nov. 22.
The St. John’s senior is taking a deliberate approach, but it’s clear the hometown school has his attention.
“There’s a lot of positives going on at Maryland, a lot of good things going on there. It’s a school I like a lot,” said Wardlow, who also has offers from Michigan State, Missouri, Virginia Tech, Pitt, Rutgers and Boston College. “I didn’t get to talk to the coaches before the game, since I got there like five minutes before 12 p.m., but after the game I talked to like everyone. Coach Aazaar [Abdul-Rahim], Coach [Mike] London, Coach [Marcus] Berry, Coach [D.J.] Durkin – all of them. Like, whole staff at Maryland talks to me and wants me, so it’s like all of them are recruiting me. I have a great relationship with all those guys.
“They’re telling me they obviously have something going on there, and of course they want me to commit. They said Maryland is going to be doing really well in the next few years with the guys they’re bringing in, and they want me to be part of that.”
Wardlow has seen Maryland in action before, but he said he enjoys taking in the Terps whenever he can attend a home game. On Nov. 26, he once again hung out with UMD commit and teammate Kasim Hill, in addition to a few other St. John’s underclassmen.
“It’s clear Maryland is taking a step in the right direction and Coach Durkin has them moving up. I like what Maryland’s doing, and now they’re going to a bowl game,” Wardlow said of the win over Rutgers. “And I was watching the defensive line and the BUCK position during the game, and just how they were being used. Coach Aazaar, he told me they really needs BUCKs and people who can pressure the quarterback. And that’s what I saw; they need guys who can rush the passer. That’s one of the main things I noticed. They have linebackers who can drop and they have guys who can cover in the secondary, but they need more pass rushers.”
Abdul-Rahim will make another in-person pitch to Wardlow Dec. 1 when the Terps’ D.C.-area recruiter stops by for home visit. Then, Wardlow will head back to UMD for an official Dec. 9, his last trip before the dead period. During that latter foray through College Park, Wardlow will be joined by a coterie of local UMD targets and commits, including teammates Hill and Cam Spence.
“But before I make my decision I want to see other schools. Of course Maryland is my hometown team, and I can go up there right now if I wanted to,” said Wardlow, who also mentioned he attended the UMD hoops game with Hill and Spence to 'hang out and have fun with my teammates.' “But I want to make sure I make the decision for me and not because my teammates are going there. I plan on taking all five of my official visits and then committing around Signing Day.”
Next up, Wardlow will hitting Michigan State for his first official Dec. 2. The DMV product said he’s eager to see East Lansing, Mich., after hearing from the Spartans’ coaches and delving into the program. He said MSU’s tradition and its engineering major have his attention.
Then, after taking in Maryland Dec. 9, Wardlow plans to see Virginia Tech officially in January. He’s also considering two other officials to places like Missouri, Rutgers, Pitt (the Panthers’ coaches will conduct an in-home with Wardlow Nov. 30) and possibly another suitor that emerges late.