Joseph Wilkins Jr. (North Fort Myers, Fla.) has a steadily growing offer list, but his latest look from Maryland Jan. 23 caught his eye. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound junior said he heard from UMD assistant Andy Buh earlier in January and finally received word of the offer two weeks later.
“I was really surprised and excited to hear from Coach Buh,” said Wilkins, who previously had offers from Arizona, USF, Akron, Iowa State, Bowling Green, Indiana State and Southern Miss. “Coach Buh said the Maryland coaches liked my film and would love to offer me as a receiver. [Buh] said he’d be in town [Jan. 23], so I actually got to see him, and then after school I called him and heard about the offer.”
Wilkins said although he’s only been in touch with Buh for a couple weeks, he already has taken a liking to Maryland’s defensive coordinator.
“I’ve texted and DM’d him for the last couple weeks. He’s a good dude, he’s kept in touch with me, and is talking to my mom soon too,” Wilkins said. “He wants to get me up there to see the campus, and I plan on doing that.”
For the time being, Wilkins’ knowledge of Maryland extends to his conversations with Buh and the basics surrounding the program. He admittedly didn’t watch much of UMD on TV the last couple years.
“I know they’re sponsored by Under Armour and the Big Ten is a great conference. It’s great competition Maryland plays against, which I like,” Wilkins said. “Definitely down here is SEC and ACC County, but I’m going to go where I fit best, get the best education, and where the coaches really want me. I’m going to go where I’m needed and that could be down here in Florida, out in California or at a place like Maryland. We’ll see how it all plays out. I’m going to be looking at all my options.”
Besides Maryland, Wilkins said two of his other early looks grabbed his attention.
“USF was my very first offer and my cousin goes there. Plus it’s really close to me and where I used to live,” Wilkins said. “So I really like them. And Arizona, they just offered a couple days ago, and it’s a big school and program. But the weather over there is really nice and I like the idea of playing in that setting. I’d really like to go out there and check it out.”
Of course, Wilkins would ultimately like to earn an offer from a program much closer to home. He said he grew up a Florida fan and dubbed the Gators his dream school.
“I talk to Florida and they’ve been on me for awhile. Hopefully I get that offer soon -- that’s the goal,” Wilkins said. “I’ve been to Florida for their Friday Night Lights event, a camp and a 7-on-7. I love it there.”
Wilkins has also trekked out to USF, Tennessee and Auburn. He said he “definitely” wants to see Arizona, Maryland, UCF and USF for a second time this offseason.
The North Fort Myers prospect is coming off an injury-plagued season in which he was limited to six games. He ended up playing the last three games mainly at cornerback, however, and recorded three picks.
“I guess you could consider me an athlete – I’m getting recruited for both receiver and corner,” Wilkins said. “Maryland, Bowling Green and USF offered me at receiver, but Arizona and a couple others said defensive back. And, honestly, the position doesn’t matter to me. I’ll play wherever the coaches want me and need me.”