Eleanor Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.) safety Ray Boone has been in College Park, Md., and interacted with area recruiter/position coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim so much there’s really not much more he could say about the hometown school.
Or so he thought.
On March 11, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound three star took in Maryland’s first practice and received even deeper insight into the Terps, which were the very first school to offer him.
“First of all, I want to say it was a really cold experience (laughs). But I had a really good time and I spent most of the day there learning and taking everything in. I picked up on a lot there that caught my eye,” said Boone, who has verbals from UMD, Pitt, Va Tech, Kentucky and Syracuse. “The highlight of the practice was just the intensity of it; it’s a lot faster than high school and very well organized too. I really liked what I saw out of Maryland."
Naturally, Boone honed in on the defensive backs. He’s seen Abdul-Rahim coach before at games, but the practice afforded the Roosevelt safety a chance to see the Terps’ defensive backs coach up close and personal with his players.
“Coach Aazaar is an outstanding DB coach, and he expects nothing less but perfection from his players. He also expects effort,” Boone said. “I could definitely see myself playing for him. Not only is he a great guy and someone I can relate to, but I know I would develop under him too.”
Boone said he arrived in College Park at 9 a.m. and didn’t leave until 5:30 p.m., so during that time he said he interacted with pretty much every Maryland position coach and staffer. Head coach D.J. Durkin delivered a similar message that Boone had heard during previous trips (read: stressing the hometown movement and how much the Terps covet Boone’s services), but one assistant that gained the local safety’s attention was a new grad assistant. Apparently the new staffer spent plenty of time chatting Boone up during the practice.
“Speaking with him was straight facts and wisdom. He’s a really cool dude and I listened in on everything he was saying,” Boone said. “I could definitely see myself, as a player, going to him for help or questions if I’m unsure of something. They have great support at Maryland.”
Boone also reconnected with his former youth-league coach, Mike Anderson, who was on campus as well.
“I even got to mentor my old youth organizations, Grassroots Youth Football, on their visit up there, and that was really great too,” Boone said. “I spoke at length to the CEO of Grassroots, Mike Anderson (a Maryland alum), who is like a mentor. Right beside the practice we were talking, and it was like the highlight of my day. He broke things down so well about the college recruiting process I couldn’t argue a single word. It also made me feel even stronger about Maryland.”
The Roosevelt prospect mentioned his mother was highly impressed with Maryland too.
But although UMD seems to be trending, Boone isn’t ready to commit just yet.
“I wouldn't say I'm close to making a decision. I just received another offer from Morgan and [coaches from] WVU ,Temple and Minnesota have reached out,” said Boone, who hasn’t visited anywhere else other than College Park. “Also, my mother and I have discussed visiting Virginia Tech and Pitt for spring practices. But I would say out of the offers I have right now, Maryland is definitely one of my favorites.”