Dominion (Sterling, Va.) defensive tackle Jayde Pierre is steadily gaining steam on the recruiting trail after releasing his junior film. The 6-foot-0.5, 295-pound plugger registered around 40 tackles, five sacks and three forced fumbles last fall, while displaying a fast first step and a powerful point-of-attack punch.
Hometown Virginia became the first FBS program to offer the 2018 recruit in December, and then another nearby school, Maryland, followed through Jan. 4.
“I felt great about the Maryland offer. It was my first Big Ten offer,” Pierre said. “My mom always wanted me to go there, because it’s only 45 minutes away from where we live. Back in like the seventh grade, I was playing basketball at the time, and my mom was like, ‘Get that offer from Maryland for basketball and go there so I can come to all your games.’ So it’s kind of funny, I got the offer, but now it’s for football (laughs). So she’s really happy about it, and so am I. [My mom’s words are] something I’ll be thinking about come commitment time.”
Pierre said he heard about his second scholarship from new UMD-area recruiter Walt Bell. He said Bell had messaged him earlier during the day, and Pierre then called Maryland’s offensive coordinator after school let out.
“Coach Bell, he texted me about the offer, and I’ve talked to him before on the phone. He was telling me how he likes how I move, how well I get off the ball and things like that,” Pierre said. “And Coach Bell actually came up to the school in December, and after that I talked to him on the phone for 30 minutes about recruiting and visiting and all that stuff. He’s a really cool and energetic guy. I’m looking forward to getting to know him better.”
Since the Pierres live less than an hour from College Park, Md., they’ve been up to campus a couple times before. Pierre didn’t attend a Terps’ game last fall, but he did participate in a summer camp, and, before that, attended a UMD hoops game.
“At the camp, I talked to the coaches and Coach [Mike] London, the D-line coach. Coach London knew a lot about the game and was full of excitement and just really energetic,” Pierre said. “The way he demonstrated things was great and really informative. It was a great camp overall. I haven’t talked to Coach London since then, but I just got his information from Coach Bell and I plan to be in touch with him too.”
The Dominion prospect said before the basketball game he went to two years ago, he and his friends toured around College Park. Pierre, naturally, was impressed with what he saw.
“I really liked the campus, and the atmosphere was cool inside the arena. Maryland’s a really cool place,” Pierre said. “I’m excited to get back up there for another visit. I’m planning to go sometime soon this winter.”
Besides UMD, Pierre has also participated in camps at UVA, Duke and UNC. This offseason, he wants to return to Maryland and Virginia, in addition to treks through WVU, Va Tech, Pitt, Penn State and some southern locales.
“UVA offered and that was a big one. I’ve been there before and liked it. It’s a real good academic school,” Pierre said. “But I want to get out to a bunch of places around me this offseason. I want to see who [offers] and then go from there.”
So far, Pierre has generated interest from Duke, Rutgers, Notre Dame, Va Tech, Pitt, Wake Forest and Purdue. But if he had his wish, he’d begin hearing more from Florida.
“My dream school was Florida, and I actually had an opportunity to go to IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) this year, so I would’ve been right there. But I denied it because I couldn’t leave my mom,” Pierre said. “But I feel like now that I’m on the radar, an offer from Florida could actually be a reality eventually. So that would be huge.”