Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland football-recruiting roundup.
Updates On 2018 Offensive Targets
-- Timber Creek (Sicklerville, N.J.) quarterback Devin Leary visited West Virginia Feb. 12 and saw enough that he wants to return to Morgantown, W.Va. The spread offense and WVU’s up-tempo attack apparently have his eye. Besides the trip, Leary picked up a Minnesota offer and will check out the Gophers, in addition to jaunts through Rutgers; Syracuse; and Boston College. Leary should also make it back to Maryland at some point before selecting a school in late summer. The feeling here is the Terps could have the inside track for the four-star’s services, although hometown RU and WVU are making the situation interesting.
-- Woodson (Washington, D.C.) running back Mychale Salahuddin visited UVA this week and came away complimentary the Wahoos. Virginia is not thought to be a prime contender, however. But Va Tech, Penn State and Oklahoma could be, and Salahuddin is heading to Blacksburg, Va., Feb. 18; State College, Pa., Feb. 25 (the Nittany Lions’ staff likely won’t press); and Norman, Okla., sometime in March. The Terps are positioned well for Salahuddin, but he is vetting all his options thoroughly.
-- Oxon Hill (Md.) four-star receiver Daniel George visited Penn State Feb. 11, but he did not commit and said he had no intention to. That’s a relief for the Maryland staff, which just hosted George and left a major impression the week prior. But the Nittany Lions do look to be a real threat here and likely lead for George’s services. We’ll see how long that remains true considering George doesn’t want to end his recruitment anytime soon. There’s likely some twists and turns to come here -- will the PSU staff back off if they secure a receiver or two before George is ready to pick a school? Will another suitor like Va Tech emerge? -- before we know exactly where the wideout is headed.
-- Erasmus Hall (Brooklyn, N.Y.) receiver Sean Ryan is in the process of attending junior days. He’ll be at Rutgers, one of his stated top suitors, Feb. 18 followed by UConn Feb. 25. UNC, Maryland, Pitt, Penn State, Va Tech and BC are also on his radar for trips, although, of those, only the Terps and Eagles have offered. UMD is one of Ryan’s most ardent pursuers and he seems to have taken a liking to the Terps, but there’s a ways to go before we can forecast him to College Park, Md. We’ll have to see what schools choose to ante up and what Ryan’s thinking after several offseason visits.
-- Bayside (Virginia Beach, Va.) receiver Armani Chatman is in close contact with Maryland receivers’ coach Chris Beatty and wants to see College Park. The Terps intrigue him since Beatty was able to pull in fellow 757 native Tahj Capehart in the 2017 class. Expect Chatman up sometime in March for a spring practice. Chatman was supposed to be at WVU Feb. 11, and should be heading to NC State Feb. 18 and Alabama Feb. 25. Chatman holds offers from Va Tech, NC State, Maryland, Rutgers and ODU, and currently it sounds like the Terps could have his eye. We’ll see how hard Beatty pushes, however, and gauge Chatman’s profile before making any predictions.
-- Mays (Atlanta, Ga.) receiver Amir Abdur-Rahman added Iowa State and Georgia State offers to go with his first FBS look from Maryland. Abdur-Rahman isn’t priority No .1 for the Terps’ staff, but he would like to see UMD and is in touch with the staff.
-- Princess Anne (Virginia Beach, Va.) receiver Darryl Jones added in-state offers from UVA and Va Tech and was in Charlottesville, Va., Feb. 11. Both the Hoos and Hokies have his ear, but it’s early. Jones said he wants to check out College Park and multiple other locales at some point.
-- Freedom (Chantilly, Va.) receiver Robert Mayo has an offer from Maryland and took a visit to College Park Feb. 4. The Chantilly native talked up the Terps’ coaching staff, the vibe surrounding the program and the atmosphere on campus. For now, the only other visit on his docket is to ODU Feb. 25, but he wants to check out NC State and Duke after that. Mayo holds offers from the Monarchs, Terps, Wolfpack and Charlotte. He’s not the main target for UMD’s staff, but is someone to monitor if others fall off.
-- Gilman (Baltimore, Md.) four-star tight end Thomas Booker continues to see his recruiting rise. He added an LSU offer Feb. 9, and before that picked up Ohio State and Notre Dame. The Terps are involved here, but the feeling is Michigan; OSU; and the Irish could have the upper-hand. Stanford, which Booker visited last summer, is also an intriguing option for the academically-oriented recruit.
-- Marist (Atlanta, Ga.) tight end John Fitzpatrick landed a Vanderbilt offer and basically called the Commodores his leader what with the school’s academic reputation and SEC affiliation. He’ll probably visit Vandy in March, and it wouldn’t shock if he committed. Missouri came through with an offer Feb. 14 too. The Terps remain in the game, however, and Fitzpatrick said he’ll be in College Park this spring.
-- Mays (Atlanta, Ga.) tight end Maleak Bryant picked up offers from ECU and Iowa State to go along with previous looks from UMD and Rutgers. He’s in a holding pattern in terms of visits, but it seems like he’s steadily gaining steam on the trail.
-- St. Frances (Baltimore, Md.) offensive tackle Jaelyn Duncan has exploded as expected. In succession, he’s secured offers from Michigan, Kentucky, UCLA, NC State, Ole Miss, WVU and Florida. Michigan and previous suitor Ohio State are on Duncan’s mind, and Maryland, which hosted Duncan Feb. 4, remains in the thick of things. We like the Terps’ spot, but Duncan’s not going to be a slam-dunk pull with the bigwigs in his ear.
-- North Point (Waldorf, Md.) tackle Rasheed Walker keeps adding offers and recently picked up another from Ole Miss. He’s visited Penn State, Maryland and UNC recently and will likely embark on a tour through ACC/SEC country coming up. Ohio State and WVU are on the four-star’s visit radar too. The Terps are heavily involved, but the Nittany Lions have a bead, while the Buckeyes and SEC programs like Florida have Walker’s attention as well.
-- Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) tackle Aiden Rafferty has watched his stock rise considerably. The 6-6 local picked up offers from UVA, Pitt and Va Tech, with the Terps and Syracuse coming in prior to that trio. Maryland is in a strong position with Rafferty after hosting him, but the Hokies are sitting right alongside UMD in the pecking order. Rafferty loves Blacksburg, has a sister who attends school there and has taken to the coaching staff.
-- Maret (Washington, D.C.) four-star tackle Devonte Gordon took in his lone suitor, UVA, Feb. 15. Afterwards, it sounds like the Hoos are firmly on the radar thanks to the coaching staff’s pitch and the academic reputation. Maryland’s staff still hasn’t offered yet, but Gordon has plenty of interest in the hometown school.
-- Belle Vernon (Pa.) offensive tackle Blake Zubovic picked up a UVA offer Feb. 10, giving him four to date. Hometown Pitt, Maryland and Buffalo are on the 6-5, 295-pounder too. Zubovic has been to Pittsburgh and is in the process of setting visits to UMD and Virginia. The in-state Panthers are going to be tough to top.
-- Imhotep (Philadelphia, Pa.) tackle Justin Johnson caught up with Scout’s Brian Dohn this week, discussing his recent visits to Syracuse; Rutgers; and Boston College. Johnson also said coaches from UMD, UVA, Vandy, Pitt and Wisconsin were in touch a good amount and wanted him to visit. Given Johnson’s positive comments about the Maryland program, we do expect him down at College Park at some point. But Johnson, the top tackle in Pennsylvania, seems like a recruit destined for a Big Ten bigwig or maybe a school with a lineman-rich tradition like Wisconsin. He’s “cool” on the hot board for now.
-- St. Ignatius (Cleveland, Ohio) tackle Darian Kinnard landed two more Big Ten offers from Purdue and Minnesota. Maryland was his first B1G look, and Iowa State and Cincinnati have offers out too. Kinnard projects to a Midwest program, and if Ohio State or Michigan get involved, that’s where he’s going. But the Cleveland native has expressed interest in foraying through College Park.
-- North Carolina (Ridgeley, Md.) guard Ja’mion Franklin pulled two big offers from Duke and Louisville, and both are programs of interest. Look for Franklin to check out both at some point this offseason, with the Blue Devils of particular appeal. UVA, meanwhile, hosted Franklin for a junior day and seems to have made solid inroads. Maryland’s staff still hasn’t offered the local guard, who is seeking a hometown look.
Updates On 2018 Defensive Targets
-- St. Frances defensive end Eyabi Anoma was at Maryland for a second straight weekend Feb. 11, although he said it was more to see the Terps’ hoops game than to get a deeper look at the football program. Even so, Anoma admitted Maryland was on the brain and a school he’s considering. Anoma has a developing rapport with area recruiter Brawley Evans, is heeding the DMV movement, and likes that former teammate and friend B’Ahmad Miller is now in College Park. Plus, he knows he could play early at UMD, which is a primary factor for the 6-4.5, 230 pounder. But Anoma is going to take his time with the process as his profile rises. Coaches from Alabama, Michigan and Penn State are all making a run and should be hosting Anoma at some point. He’s visiting Pitt Feb. 18 and will plan the rest of his schedule after that. You can read more about Anoma HERE.
-- DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) defensive tackle Evan Gregory was at WVU Feb. 11, UVA Feb. 15, and is on his way to Rutgers. After that, he’s hitting UNC, Va Tech and Wake Forest. Maryland is thought to have the inside tack, but we’ll see what he’s thinking after seeing the Hokies and Heels. The Wahoos and Mountaineers don’t figure to be top contenders for Gregory’s services.
-- DeMatha defensive end John Morgan should be back at Pitt either Feb. 18 or the weekend after. The fact the three-star wants to take in the Panthers again is an indication of his interest in the program. Morgan is also looking hard at Va Tech, Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse and Penn State, all of which he’s seen recently. The Nittany Lions’ staff isn’t expected to push, however, meaning this could be a Terps-Hokies-Panthers race. Of course, Morgan’s situation is bound to ebb and flow as he moves through the process.
-- Western Branch (Chesapeake, Va.) defensive tackle Jalen Alexander snagged an offer from West Virginia Feb. 11 after a campus visit. Following the Morgantown jaunt, Alexander sounded just as high on the Mountaineers as he did the Terps post College Park foray. Maryland should remain in play thanks to area recruiter Chris Beatty’s overtures, but it’s fairly clear Alexander is going to keep an open mind as his offer list keeps increasing.
-- Sandy Creek (Tyrone, Ga.) defensive end Nick Fulwider is blowing up. After the Terps and Purdue became his first two major offers, the Georgia native landed Minnesota, Iowa State, Vanderbilt and Louisville in mid-February. Fulwider has no early leaders, but the Commodores are of intrigue due to the academics and SEC affiliation.
-- Dominion (Sterling, Va.) defensive tackle Jayde Pierre landed his second Big Ten and third offer overall from Purdue. He previously had looks from Maryland and UVA. Beyond that, Pierre took his first visit this offseason to College Park Feb. 4, dubbing it a “real fun time.” He readily connected with the staff, including defensive coordinator Andy Buh, head coach DJ Durkin and recruiter Walt Bell. Pierre also spoke highly of the coming facility upgrades, the academics and the school’s close proximity to his home. Pierre is going to be on the road plenty coming up, though. He was at UVA Feb. 15 and plans to foray through BC, Duke, NC State, Pitt, Va Tech and maybe Notre Dame. We’ll know where he truly stands with the Terps after that. (You can read more about Pierre HERE).
-- Paint Branch (Burtonsville, Md.) BUCK Durell Nchami took his second college visit to UVA Feb. 15. The Hoos’ staff offered Feb. 2 and Nchami was intrigued enough to give Virginia a look. But although Nchami enjoyed himself in Charlottesville, Va., Virginia is not going to surpass Maryland in the pecking order unless the Terps’ coaches back off. Look for Nchami to visit the Terps for a third time this offseason sometime in March. Syracuse and Pitt, whose staffs have offered Nchami, could receive trips as well. But UMD is trending here.
-- Tottenville (Staten Island, N.Y.) BUCK Zihir Lacewell returns to the only school he’s previously seen, Rutgers, Feb. 18. The Scarlet Knights have a bead on the four-star New Yorker, although it’s still early. Lacewell is open to taking in other contenders such as Maryland, Pitt and Syracuse, although no dates have been finalized yet. Lacewell also figures to see his recruiting expand once the spring evaluation period hit.
-- Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) BUCK Tyler Baylor still doesn’t have a Maryland offer, but his interest in the program hasn’t waned. Baylor said he likes UMD-area recruiter Chris Beatty and what head coach D.J. Durkin is building in College Park. At the same time, Baylor may be honing in on the schools that have anted up, including Kentucky and Pitt, each of which he wants to see this spring. Ohio State and Notre Dame are in mind too, although neither program is involved as of yet.
-- Christchurch (Church View, Va.) inside linebacker Jamar Darboe will be in College Park Feb. 18 for his first look at Maryland after receiving the offer. Darboe, who has been on campus before, has high interest in UMD since it’s his lone FBS offer; it’s not far from home; and his affinity for the coaching staff. Darboe will visit Charlotte Feb. 25, UTSA March 3 and Pitt (interest, no offer yet) sometime later in March. The Terps could be the team to beat so long as the staff pushes.
-- Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) inside linebacker Keshon Artis is visiting Maryland Feb. 18. The Terps are one of a handful of offers for the 6-0, 200 pounder, and area recruiter Chris Beatty has made early inroads. In-state programs Va Tech and UVA are involved too, with the Hokies considered the leader for Artis’ services. Maryland should remain in the game, however, and could have a shot to land Artis if the Va Tech staff backs off and Beatty keeps pushing. Note: Artis’ teammate, defensive tackle Kyle Thomas, will be joining him in College Park. Thomas has one offer from Buffalo so far, but is on the Maryland staff’s radar and could land a verbal on campus. Thomas is under the radar for now, but figures to procure his share of looks during the spring evaluation period/camp season.
-- Bishop Sullivan (Virginia Beach, Va.) four-star linebacker Tejada Mitchell is expected in College Park Feb. 18. But despite Chris Beatty’s overtures, this is not a recruit who figures to keep Maryland under legitimate consideration. Mitchell is honing in on the nation’s elites like Michigan, Ohio State, Clemson, FSU, Penn State and others. He’s not going on the hot board. Note: Numerous standout Bishop Sullivan underclassmen, including elite 2019 corner Tayvion Land, will be in College Park as well.
-- Calvert Hall (Towson, Md.) outside linebacker Chance Campbell now has some options other than Maryland. Last week the DMV backer added Rutgers, and Feb. 15 he picked up his first ACC offer from Pitt. The Terps are still the team to beat due to Campbell’s affinity for the stay-home movement and the chance to represent at his hometown school, but he’ll probably check out a few other options before ending his recruitment.
-- Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.) safety Ray Boone insists he’s not leaning towards Maryland, but his interviews ring of former teammate’s, Lawtez Rogers’, last year. Remember, Rogers’ commitment to UMD was deemed inevitable, and after months of deliberating, he finally came around to the hometown program. Likewise, Boone isn’t going to commit too soon so he can trek through suitors such as Va Tech, Pitt, Kentucky and Syracuse, but it’s clear the Terps have a bead. He dubbed his most recent trip to College Park “eye opening,” hinting head coach D.J. Durkin’s stay-home message is resonating. (You can read more about Boone HERE.)
-- Woodbridge (Va.) safety Dashaun Jerkins should be at North Carolina sometime this month. The Tar Heels are considered the early leader for the four-star’s services. Jerkins also wants to see Vanderbilt and NC State at some point. Maryland is involved, but let’s see if he makes it to College Park.
-- Woodson (D.C.) corner Noah Boykin was at Virginia Feb. 15, and next he’ll be at NC State; Penn State and possibly others. Boykin returned to Maryland Feb. 4 and gave glowing comments about the program. The Terps are in the thick of things, but Boykin admitted the Carolina schools were intriguing since his mother lives in the area. The Woodson corner will take his time with the process.
-- Woodson corner Vincent Flythe joined his teammates at UVA Feb. 15, leaving impressed with the program and atmosphere. Flythe isn’t going to Virginia unless he falls through the cracks, however. New offer Vanderbilt is on Flythe’s brain due to the academic reputation, and so are Maryland; Wisconsin; and NC State. The Terps, which hosted Flythe Feb. 4, are positioned well at the moment, but there’s a ways to go before Flythe picks a school.
-- Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.) corner A.J. Lytton is going to Florida State Feb. 25, and the sense is he could commit on campus. If not, it’s probably because Lytton wants to see Penn State and Michigan before doing so. Sure, Maryland area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim is involved with Lytton, who always speaks highly of the hometown school. But this isn’t a recruit who has actively bought into the hometown movement.
-- Jones (Orlando, Fla.) corner Sevyn Banks now has a dream school offer from Florida and another big-time look from Ohio State. Needless to say, both programs have his attention in a major way. Banks insisted he’s going to thoroughly evaluate all his options, but we’re not sure Maryland’s going to stay in the game unless the elites fall off. Banks is staying on the hot board, though, because UMD was the first to offer, he’s already visited College Park once, and he has a relationship with assistant Matt Barnes.
-- Sickles (Tampa, Fla.) corner Jordan McCloud touched base with Scout’s Corey Bender this week. The 6-0, 175 pounder said USF was standing out, with Toledo running second. McCloud then said he’d be visiting Florida and UCF, but had no other trips in mind. That makes us question whether the Terps’ staff, which became the first to offer McCloud way back in June, has stayed in contact with the recruit. We’ll continue to list McCloud “cool” on the hot board, but the interview suggested the Maryland coaches may have higher-priority corners in other locales.
New Offers Out
Casey Holman, OT, Brookwood (Snellville, Ga.): The tackle Holman has an increasing offer list that includes suitors from the SEC, ACC and the Big Ten. Maryland, with area recruiter Walt Bell running point, became the latest look for Holman Feb. 15.
Holman, though, has taken a liking to Duke due to the school’s academics and a subsequent campus visit. He also has his eyes on Vanderbilt, Miami, UNC, Florida and a couple others.
He’s not going on the hot board unless Holman makes it to College Park.
Nick DeNucci, ILB, Pope John XXIII (Sparta, N.J.): The Terps became the fourth offer for DeNucci Feb. 13, joining Rutgers, Boston College and Syracuse. UMD linebackers coach Matt Barnes is on the Jersey three-star, who has expressed interest in checking the program out.
“Maryland was a big offer for me. They just had one of the top recruiting classes in the country in 2017, and they are really getting known because of it,” said DeNucci, who noted that his linebackers coach, Cole Farrand, is a UMD alum who is hyping his alma mater. “Their staff is all over the place, and they have the program on the up-rise. They’re becoming a big program, and I’m sure they’re going to have a big year with the guys they have coming in.”
Hometown Rutgers, meanwhile, has made inroads, leaving DeNucci impressed after a junior day visit, and both Boston College and Cuse are on the brain as well. DeNucci will have plenty other options to evaluate down the road too, including Pitt and Temple, both of which are expected to offer after the prospect’s upcoming visits.
The feeling here is DeNucci isn’t going to be easy for Barnes to land what with an offer list expected to expand exponentially. But first thing’s first: Getting DeNucci down for a spring practice in March. You can read more about DeNucci HERE.
Jacquez Jones, OLB, Hillcrest (Tuscaloosa, Ala.): The Terps identified the three-star Jones Feb. 15 with area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and linebackers coach Matt Barnes jumping on him. We’ll see what kind of pull the two have, but for now we’re not projecting Jones to make it to College Park.
The Tuscaloosa native is seeking an Alabama offer, and just may get it during summer camp season. If not, Jones has other attractive options from Michigan, LSU and more, with a boatload of other verbals (FSU, Georgia, Miami, Oklahoma, Penn State, Kentucky, etc.) about to come in.
Sammy Faustin, S, Naples (Fla.): The 6-2, 175-pound Faustin is a rising star in Florida and should eventually have the Sunshine State mainstays on him. For the time being, however, he has offers from Arizona; Kentucky; Iowa State; FIU; UVA; USF; and now Maryland. The Terps’ look came in Feb. 15 after area recruiter and defensive coordinator Andy Buh extended the verbal.
Faustin only briefly responded to inquiries about his UMD offer, saying, “I hear it’s a great school… It looks like a great program.”
That’s fine, but it’s probably safe to say Buh and Co. will have to battle just to get the Naples product to visit. This is the type of recruit who eventually gets scooped up by the crème de crème down south.
Isaih Pacheo, CB, Vineland Senior (N.J.): UMD-area recruiter Anthony Tucker gave Pacheo his fifth offer Feb. 14. The 5-11, 190-pounder previously had looks from RU, BC, Syracuse and Pitt.
Pacheo hasn’t directly commented on his latest scholarship, but it’s possible Tucker can coax him down to College Park for a visit.
The Vineland Senior prospect has been through nearby Rutgers a couple times and has taken a liking to Chris Ash’s program. But from what we’ve been told, Pacheo is fairly open to all suitors at this time and will wad through the process. He’s someone who could blow up on the trail.
Ronnie Hickman, CB, DePaul Catholic (Wayne, N.J.) (2019): Hickman is a steadily rising sophomore who already has offers from Rutgers, BC. Michigan, Penn State, Wisconsin and now Maryland. The Terps’ Aazaar Abdul-Rahim tossed UMD’s name into the mix Feb. 14, but we’ll see how much traction he can gain. Hickman’s going to be a national name with his pick of programs.
Off The Board
Michael Barrett, WR, Lowndes (Valdosta, Ga.): Barrett said he wanted SEC offers, and the first came in from LSU Feb. 9. Expect him to grab a few more too, and possibly commit to some southern suitor. If Barrett doesn’t go the SEC route, it’s probably because an ACC mainstay swooped in and scooped him up.
Dejmi Dumervil, OT, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.): Dumervil, the nephew of pass rusher Elvis Dumervil, landed an offer from Louisville, his uncle’s alma mater. Although Dejmi Dumervil didn’t immediately declare the Cardinals a leader, it’s clear he’s intrigued. Louisville and the SEC should have the upper-hand here.
Michael Harris, OLB, Lovejoy (Ga.): Harris pulled a coveted offer from hometown Georgia during a campus visit, and now he has SEC on the brain. Plus, the Lovejoy product is likely to see his recruitment increase in the wake of the Bulldogs’ verbal. It would be somewhat of a surprise if Harris made it to College Park for a visit.
Shayne Simon, S, St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.): The Maryland staff made a pitch to Simon, but this is not a recruit we envision winding up in College Park. Stanford is on the four star, and Notre Dame; Ohio State; Michigan and Penn State are prime destination spots too.
Jaycee Horn, CB, Alpharetta (Ga.): Horn secured a Tennessee offer and was ecstatic about it. Moreover, he’s planning to visit Duke Feb. 18, Alabama Feb. 25, Ole Miss and UT coming up. Horn didn’t broach Maryland in his latest interviews.