The Terps hosted a local cornerback Feb. 18, and the 6-foot-2, 170-pound junior walked away with a hometown offer. Jermaine Waller (Avalon/Gaithersburg, Md.), who played quarterback up until last fall, pulled his latest verbal after speaking to head coach D.J. Durkin and defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim.
“I loved the offer,” said Waller, who had one prior offer from UVA. “The coaches are great people, It’s close to family here, my family can easily get to my games, and I like the environment. Every time I go up there it’s good vibes and things like that. I like how I can go up whenever I want and it feels like family. This was an offer I was waiting for.”
Waller spoke to multiple Maryland staffers, including area recruiter Chris Beatty, but he spent the most time with Abdul-Rahim. The Avalon product said he and Abdul-Rahim had been speaking for some time, but Waller wasn’t sure whether he would offer or not.
“Coach Aazaar and Coach Durkin really liked my tape, and how even though I’ve only been playing corner for one year I have great ball skills,” Waller said. “I had six or seven interceptions this year, so I think I proved that. [The coaches] think I’d be a great fit as a safety or corner at Maryland. They think I can be a playmaker for them.”
Beyond handing Waller the verbal, the corner mentioned he and Abdul-Rahim connected on a personal level.
“Coach Aazaar is just a good person,” he said. “We’re the same religion, so we’ve bonded over that. And my DB trainer is his brother, so I understand where he’s coming from. I’ve known Coach Aazaar for a good while now. We just connect.”
Meanwhile, Waller said Durkin, like he’s done during Maryland’s previous visit days, kept harping on the hometown movement. The corner said the Terps’ headman stressed the importance of staying local and representing the nearby university at the next level.
“I definitely think that’s a great thing,” Waller said, “I definitely look forward to helping [Durkin] with what they’re trying to do with the hometown movement.”
In terms of the visit itself, Waller mentioned he was on campus for a couple hours Feb. 18. He’d already toured the campus before, so much of what he saw was a refresher, but he did enjoy seeing the construction of the new indoor fields and meeting the academic advisors.
“It was a good time and I learned a lot. I like what they’re doing with the things they’re building,” said Waller, who was last at Maryland during a summer camp and had previously attended prospect days his sophomore year. “It looks like Maryland is on the way up.”
But while Waller is highly interested in Maryland, he’s not ready to commit anytime soon. He said numerous schools are showing interest, so he wants to see what offers he can procure. Plus, he has many trips to take coming up.
So far, Waller has visited Penn State, Temple, UVA and Towson. He’ll head back to PSU and Temple in March, along with treks to Wake Forest, Pitt, Va Tech and NC State.
Each of the above schools have shown interest in Waller and could be anteing up soon.
“I do like Maryland a lot, but I don’t really have any leaders yet,” Waller said. “I’m not really looking for any offers in particular, but right now I’m looking to get whatever I can get and weigh my options.”