Christchurch (Church View, Va.) inside linebacker Jamar Darboe raved about his first two trips to Maryland for games his sophomore and junior years, and his latest foray through College Park, Md., solidified his feelings. The 6-foot-1, 230-pounder was at the Terps’ first practice March 11, Darboe repeatedly saying he “loved” his experience.
“I absolutely loved it there, loved all that I saw at Maryland,” said Darboe, who holds offers from Maryland, ECU, Howard and UTSA. “I toured the campus, met some academic people, talked to all the coaches, saw the practice and saw everything they’re building there. It was really nice and I loved it.”
Darboe, who was accompanied by his high school head coach, broke down each stage of his stay. He said he began with an academic meeting, talking to several counselors and advisors. Since Darboe is an education-oriented recruit, he said the school’s various majors and academic reputation caught his eye.
“What I really liked that they were saying is how they offer unlimited help to their student-athletes,” Darboe said. “Like, everyone has required study hall, but if you need more time or assistance, they’re always there to help at Maryland. So that was really big.”
After that initial chat, Darboe toured College Park. Although he’d been in town before, he’d never taken in the campus extensively.
“I loved the campus. I like how it’s real close to D.C., which is one of the most places in the world, so that’s attractive,” Darboe said. “Also, the layout is very nice and I liked all the buildings.
“We also got a chance to see the player dorms, and Maryland probably has the nicest freshmen dorms I’ve ever seen. They were sweet.”
The Virginia backer and Co. then went over to Gossett Team House, where they viewed a video breakdown of the new indoor facilities. Darboe had a chance to check out the Under Armour gear too.
“Man, the gear was crazy. They let me try all the different combinations of jerseys, and they were awesome,” Darboe said. “And the visual of the New Cole, that looks great. It’s going to be one of the nicest facilities around. I can’t wait to see what that looks like when it’s completed.”
When Darboe was finished, he caught the last half hour or so of practice. Even though he didn’t see the entire session, the Christchurch prospect was highly impressed.
“The practice was very, very high energy,” Darboe said. “It was real hype and fun to watch. I watched the linebackers and saw Jermaine Carter get a pick-six to end practice. Everyone went crazy; it was great.”
Following the practice, Darboe sat down with head coach D.J. Durkin and linebackers coach Matt Barnes. Darboe was initially being recruited by former UMD coach Mike London, but now Barnes will be handling the Virginia linebacker.
“My coach and I sat down with Coach Durkin and Coach Barnes. They were breaking down my film and telling me things they loved about my game,” Darboe said. “They compared me to Jermaine Carter, actually, and showed film of him and how we’re similar. So I thought that was pretty cool.
“Then Coach Durkin was saying how big-time Maryland was getting and how it’s going to be special there. He wanted me to be part of that. And I loved what he was saying. That’s the first time I really got to sit down and talk to them, and I love how they’re down to earth but also bring so much energy and passion.”
Now that he’s seen Maryland for a third time, where does Darboe stand with the Terps?
“I have high, high interest in Maryland,” he said. “I’m not ready to make a decision yet, but I love what they have to offer there.”
Darboe doesn’t have a clear timetable for selecting a college, but allowed it would be before his senior season.
Besides UMD, he’s trekked through East Carolina and UTSA. He had high praise for ECU, which he saw with his grandmother, since his family is from there. Darboe also complimented UTSA, saying he enjoyed being in Texas and liked what he saw out of the program.
Next, Darboe is hitting Coastal Carolina March 19 and Pittsburgh (interest, no offer yet) sometime in April.