Joseph Boletepeli (Millbrook/Raleigh, N.C.) posted his latest offer from Maryland March 14, but admitted he actually received the scholarship from UMD-area recruiter Pete Lembo a couple weeks prior. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound 2018 defensive end said he heard from Lembo during the day when he was in school, and it slipped his mind to let the Twittersphere know.
“Hey it happens,” laughed Boletepeli, who has offers from UMD, NC State, Boston College, Louisville, Miami, Georgia Tech and Rutgers. “But that’s nothing against Maryland. I’ve actually talked to Coach Lembo many times since the offer, and we’ve gotten closer. He’s very open, he’s a really good guy to talk to, and he’s really informative in explaining the school and what Maryland has to offer.”
In particular the academics. An education-oriented recruit, Boletepeli’s ears perked up when he heard about UMD’s business school and the internship opportunities with campus being near Washington, D.C.
“Coach Lembo told me a lot about Maryland, their statistics in business, and what they are about education-wise and athletically,” Boletepeli said. “They’re one of the top public schools in business and very diverse, which catches my eye. It’s definitely a school I’m interested in checking out.”
Boletepeli said he’d attempt to trek north to College Park, Md., sometime in April. If not, he wants to attend a game during the fall.
“Of course I want to get up there,” he said. “But it just depends on my folks and when we have time.”
Thus far, the Millbrook product has been to Duke, NC State and UNC. He said each of the programs stood out, although the Wolfpack are the only ones whose coaches have extended an offer.
“But I’m pretty neutral right now,” Boletepeli said. “I’m pretty much open to anyone. I’m not really looking for any offers or anything. If some schools like UNC or Duke offer, then they offer. If they don’t, they don’t. I’m blessed with what I have. But if those schools did offer, it would be exciting and I’d consider them.
"And, honestly, I have no idea what offers will be coming in. I mean, I hadn't heard from Maryland at all before that offer came in, and other schools that have been in contact haven't offered yet. So you never know."
Next up, Boletepeli wants to see Miami for a spring practice or a game, Louisville for a practice or a game, Maryland for a practice or a game, and possibly Ga Tech; BC; and RU.
The North Carolina native has no timetable for selecting a school, though hinted he’d like to wait until after his senior season so he can gauge what offers come in.
“But if I find a place where I click, then that’s where I’ll be,” Boletepeli said. “Academics are a big thing I’m looking at, and also a place where I can focus in and get the job done on and off the field.”