The Maryland staff actively recruited and offered numerous St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) 2017 prospects, and while the Cadets’ 2018 crop isn’t quite as star-laden, there are some intriguing talents to monitor. One of them is the team’s starting guard/center, Josh Jefferson, a 6-foot-4, 295 pounder who earned all-conference honors in his first year at the D.C. school.
“I think I had a pretty good season for it being my first year in the WCAC. I came from playing against not great competition at my old school, so to come in to St. John’s and then get my first offer was a big accomplishment in my opinion,” Jefferson said. “I felt like I came in with some good skills and size, but the coaching at St. John’s really helped me. The coaches here are very technical, and they helped me with the little things to take my game to the next level.”
Jefferson, who transferred to St. John’s from Edgewood (Md.), pulled his initial offer from Syracuse in early December. Plsu, several other FBS institutions keeping close tabs such as Wake Forest, Maryland, Michigan State, Pitt and Rutgers. The Deacons, for their part, could be next to offer.
“It was a real blessing to get the Syracuse offer, because I don’t think it would’ve happened if I was at my old school,” Jefferson said. “I had just met the running backs coach, who was down here, and I called him later on and he let me know I had the offer. It was a big deal to me -- my first ACC offer and first offer overall. I don’t really know much about Syracuse yet, but I’m supposed to be going up in January for a visit to meet the coaches and learn about the academics. I’m going to be doing my research.”
So far, the only school Jefferson’s seen is nearby Maryland. He hasn’t toured the campus, attended a game or had formal meetings with the staff in College Park, Md., but he has participated in camps and played in Maryland Stadium.
“Maryland’s got a good thing going,” Jefferson said. “At the camp I was at I met the offensive line coach [Dave Borbely], and we talked a little bit. I didn’t get to work with him, but he was cool and I appreciated him talking to me. And Coach Aazaar [Abdul-Rahim], he’s down here all the time. We haven’t talked a ton yet, but he’s told me he liked my film and showed it to [Borbely]. Then Coach [Walt Bell] came down too, and he also said he really liked my film. So the Maryland coaches are staying in touch and they seem to like me. I’m really hoping I get that offer.”
Indeed he is. Jefferson doesn’t have a dream school per se, but he admitted a Terps’ scholarship would be “real big.”
“Maryland would be a real exciting offer for me, just the opportunity to play close to home and with my teammates who are going there,” Jefferson said. “It would be a great opportunity to stay close to home for the obvious reasons. And knowing so many people there now, and those who are going there next year, it would be great to be able to go [to UMD] too. I’d love to continue the connection I have with the people going there.”
Those “people” are, of course, Jefferson’s senior teammates Kasim Hill and Cam Spence. The St. John’s lineman said both Hill and Spence talk up the Terps on a daily basis.
“They say the Maryland coaches are really building the program up and getting a lot of shocking commits to come in,” Jefferson said. “[Hill and Spence are] telling me it’s a good place to be and it’s a great opportunity to play for the hometown school. They talk about playing against the Big Ten competition and building Maryland up. That all sounds great to me, and I think Maryland really has something going for it. I definitely want to get up there this offseason for a visit.”
Jefferson will also be exploring a few other nearby locales such as Pitt, Penn State, Va Tech and the like. He said, in an ideal world, he’d like to attend a college relatively close to his Edgewood home.