The Terps hosted one of their foremost receiver targets March 5 in Princess Anne’s (Virginia Beach, Va.) Darryl Jones. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound converted quarterback had been trying to get up to College Park, Md., ever since area recruiter Chris Beatty extended an offer in early February, and March 5 was his first opportunity to do so.
“Maryland was my first visit this offseason, and it’s a school I definitely wanted to see,” said Jones, who has offers from UVA, Va Tech, Charlotte, ODU and Central Michigan. “And it was definitely something to see. Maryland really caught my eye from the time I first got there.”
Jones, who was accompanied by his mother, said the campus immediately grabbed his attention. He toured the school even before meeting the staff.
“The campus was huge, and for that being the first sight when I came it, it was definitely one to remember. Just how nice it looked, that’s what caught my eye,” Jones said. “I liked the buildings, how it was laid out and all the new construction. I saw the dome they’re building, the tunnel, the new fields they’re putting in and how they’re renovating some old facilities. And the dorms where the players stay were real nice. They live good up there at Maryland. Everything there really looks special.”
Jones said the highlight of the visit, though, was taking in the hoops game in Xfinity Center. He watched Maryland down Michigan State at the buzzer, 63-60.
“I loved seeing how the fans were and the energy there. Especially after Melo [Trimble] hit the game-winner, that was really awesome to be in that atmosphere,” Jones said. “I hope the fans are like that for football too, because it was great.”
The Princess Anne product also interacted with numerous UMD coaches. He said he spoke extensively to Beatty and headman D.J. Durkin, while he chatted with offensive coordinator Walt Bell and several others too.
“Coach Durkin is real cool, Coach Beatty keeps it real, and Coach Bell is great too. Coach Beatty said they need me to take the top off the defense. They think I’m a big guy that can run, get down the field and make plays up top,” Jones said. “And Coach Beatty is my main guy. He keeps it real and when we talk. He doesn’t glamorize, he says it how it is. He tells how it’s not going to be easy at Maryland, practice is hard and you have to earn what you get here. Other places will try to sugarcoat things, and I don’t like that. I like guys like Coach Beatty.”
Jones mentioned his mother thoroughly enjoyed herself too. He said she readily took to the coaches and “really like the campus and the dorms.”
“We’re definitely coming back for a spring practice,” Jones said. “Maybe on spring break I’ll come back, and I definitely want to see the new fields when they’re built.”
The only other school Jones has seen besides UMD is UVA, which he took in for a game last fall. He’ll be heading back to UVA soon, plus hit Va Tech and Charlotte.
Jones said he’s receiving interest from programs like Cal and Tennessee, but isn’t pining for any offers in particular.
“I’m just looking for schools that want me and need me there,” he said. “I’m not begging for offers or anything like that. That’s not me.”