There are several intriguing safety options in the DMV in the 2018 class, including one who Maryland could have an immediate bead on should the Terps’ staff choose to pursue in earnest. Ray Boone (Roosevelt/Greenbelt, Md.), the teammate of 2017 UMD commit Lawtez Rogers, is an emerging 6-foot-1, 190-pound cover-safety who figures to garner his share of FBS attention this offseason.
Boone locked down Roosevelt’s secondary this season, recording six interceptions and close to double-digit breakups. He also had over 700 receiving yards as the Raiders’ slot man.
“For me, I really accomplished everything I wanted to. I had the six interceptions, but it could’ve been 10 since I missed a couple (laughs). But I feel like I made a lot of strides as far as my reads and technique this year,” Boone said. “As far as my team, I think we could’ve done way better, but we did go 8-3 and were alright. We’ll do better next year, though.”
The first major college to take notice of Boone’s play was Pittsburgh, with area recruiter Andre Powell offering shortly before the season ended. Additionally, coaches from Va Tech, UMD, Rutgers, Michigan State, Penn State, Syracuse and Boston College have been in touch with either Boone personally or his coach.
“With Pitt, I was extremely blessed. I was so happy to get my first offer, and I felt real good about it. I’m trying to get up there real soon. I’ve watched them a lot on TV, and I like their team,” Boone said. “But some of the teams I talk to the most are Virginia Tech, Michigan State and Maryland – they hit me up on DM [direct message] all the time. I’d say, right now, Maryland and VT are my two dream schools.”
The Terps, of course, already have a direct connection to Boone through the senior defensive end Rogers. Plus, UMD-area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim is right down the street in College Park, Md., and is establishing a rapport with Boone.
“I’m real cool with Coach Aazaar – he’s a real good guy and easy to talk to. When I go up there, he’s like my family and I feel like he’d be a real good mentor for me. He says it’s just a matter of time before I get the offer. I’ve just got to keep working and it’s going to be there for me,” Boone said. “And Lawtez, he knows the offer is coming soon. He wants me there at Maryland with him. We went to middle school together, so we’re real close and would love to play together. [Rogers] tells me how much he loves the coaches there and how Maryland is going to do big things coming up.”
Boone, though, has already witnessed many of these “big things” firsthand. He’s been at UMD on numerous occasions for games and random visits. Most recently, he attended the Terps’ homecoming game against Purdue.
“I’ve been up there maybe 10 times (laughs). I go up there with Lawtez a lot just to chill,” Boone said. “I was up there a couple months ago, and it was a great game, a great atmosphere. Afterwards, all I talked about was Maryland. I met Coach D.J. [Durkin] and I liked the family feel around the program.”
Besides his forays through College Park, Boone has also seen Va Tech and UVA. Of those, he said the Hokies grabbed his attention after he attended this year’s Hokies-Hoos battle.
“I liked Va Tech a good bit and had a great time at the game,” Boone said. “The coaches showed a lot of interest and I felt a family feel there, just like at Maryland. I have a lot of interest [in Tech].”
Boone isn’t sure where he’s headed this offseason as typically Roosevelt’s head coach, Tom Greene, takes his recruits around to various colleges. The junior safety figures to return to UMD and VT, however, and would like to take in Pitt, Penn State and a few southern locales like Miami.
“I would love to get interest from Miami. I kind of want to do a camp there,” Boone said. “And Penn State, I’ve always liked them and I know a couple people there. I haven’t gotten an opportunity to get up, though, so hopefully I will [this offseason].”