The Terps dipped into Alpharetta (Ga.) in the 2017 class to pull receiver Carlos Carriere, and now they’re after another recruit from the Georgia mainstay. Maryland area recruiter Walt Bell extended an offer to emerging tackle Oyenmwen Uzebu March 10, giving the 6-foot-6, 296-pounder his first Big Ten verbal.
“Man, that was a big one. I was so excited and so blessed,” said Uzebu, who previously had looks from East Carolina, Georgia State, West Kentucky, Buffalo, Arkansas State and others of that ilk. “I’d been talking to their coaches for about a week, but I didn’t think they’d actually offer. And when they did, man, it was great. It’s awesome to get my first Big Ten offer.
“I’d actually had thoughts of becoming a Terp for a little while now because my teammate is going there next year. So after talking to Carlos, I was thinking, ‘Dang, it would be really cool to go there.’”
Uzebu just spoke to Bell March 10, but he’d been talking to line coach Tyler Bowen for about a week. Although they’re just starting to build a rapport, Uzebu had high compliments for Maryland’s new line coach.
“Just from talking to Coach Bowen I can tell he’s a cool guy and he likes to joke, but he’s also very straightforward. I love to have a bond that’s straightforward, like he tells it like it is and doesn’t sugarcoat,” Uzebu said. “And, also, one of the first things he asked me when I spoke to him was how I saw myself getting better this offseason. That’s when I knew I really liked him, because I could tell he was about pushing yourself to get better and improving. I know that if I were to learn under him he’d really push me. Not everyone who recruits you will say things like that, so I respect Coach Bowen for that. It was really impressive.”
Uzebu had equally high praise for Bell.
“I only spoke to Coach Bell for a few minutes, but he’s funny and a great guy too,” he said. “He seems like a really nice guy.”
Right now, Uzebu’s knowledge of Maryland is limited to what he’s heard from Carriere. But the Alpharetta product said he’d be trekking to College Park, Md., sometime in April to meet the staff firsthand and learn more.
“I’m excited to see the school. I’m definitely getting up there, maybe when Carlos goes back up,” Uzebu said. “He’s said it’s a great atmosphere there, the coaches are great, the players are like brothers and the fans are into it. Plus, the jerseys are real nice. I love the Under Armour gear (laughs).”
So far, Uzebu has visited Purdue, Georgia State and Auburn. Next, he’ll be hitting Louisville, Florida State and Maryland.
Uzebu has received interest from each of the above programs and could potentially land offers from the Boilermakers, Noles, Tigers and Cardinals. Coaches from Georgia Tech have also been in contact.
“I mean, every kid down here dreams of going to SEC or ACC schools. But, honestly, I really don’t care if the program is big, if it’s a power program, if it has a shiny new weight room and all of that,” Uzebu said. “For me, personally, I want to find a place that’s the best fit for me. I want a school where it’s a great program, the coaches are there for you, the team has you back and it’s great academics. That program could be a place like Auburn or it could be a place like Georgia State, just looking at two ends of the spectrum.”
Uzebu has no firm timetable for selecting a college, but expects to go through the official-visit process.