DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) cornerback Judson Tallandier has been busy with offseason workouts and track, but that hasn’t kept him from venturing out on the recruiting trail. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound three-star has been to Maryland (twice), Syracuse, West Virginia and Temple the last couple months, and now that he’s on spring break he’ll be hitting Pitt; Rutgers; and Temple again from March 21-24.
“Well, of course Maryland, Temple and Syracuse stood out to me since those schools have offered, all the coaching staffs are enthusiastic, they treat me well, and they make me feel wanted,” said Tallandier, who has offers from UMD, Cuse, Pitt, BC, NC State, Temple, Rutgers and Kentucky. “There’s a lot of energy over there at Temple, Syracuse is a school I’ll always have love for since it was my first offer, and Maryland is a school that’s always open to me and it’s the hometown school.
“Then I’m getting to [RU and Pitt] because those schools have been talking to me a lot and showing a lot of interest. I have great relationships with Rutgers and Pitt, so I want to check them out.”
Tallandier’s most recent trip, March 17, was to a school he’d already seen on multiple occasions. The DeMatha corner was back in College Park, which he’d previously taken in for games, camps and a February prospect-day trip, along with teammates and UMD targets Evan Gregory; Austin Fontaine; and John Morgan.
“Maryland is a school I can go to anytime I want. It’s really close by and it’s a place where the coaches say we can come up whenever we have a chance,” Tallandier said. “The coaches there, I wouldn’t say they’re friends, but they’re really close. They’re great guys and easy to talk to.”
Tallandier has built a strong bond with area recruiter and position coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim. The three-star has known Abdul-Rahim for several years now, while noting the defensive backs coach’s attention to detail and coaching methods as well.
“Coach Aazaar is my guy. We talk a lot and he’s always up at DeMatha,” Tallandier said. “And when we talk, it’s not always from a football standpoint. He’s someone you can really connect with. He has your back. He’s also a great coach and knows what he’s doing out there.”
Abdul-Rahim isn’t the only Maryland staffer Tallandier has a rapport with. He knows Director of Recruiting Marcus Berry quite well too, along with a new graduate assistant Tallandier was familiar with from a previous stop.
“It’s like I know all the coaches up there, and am just comfortable with everyone up there,” Tallandier said. “I also think Coach [D.J.] Durkin is great too, and I like what he’s doing up there.”
What Durkin is doing, first and foremost, is stressing the DMV movement to incoming local recruits. The Terps’ headman has prioritized nearby prospects, in particular those at powerhouse DeMatha, from Day One, and it’s something that’s resonating with Tallandier and his teammates.
“We were all just up there [March 17], just chilling – me, Evan, John and Austin,” Tallandier said. “It’s always cool just to go up there and talk to the coaches. It’s a great atmosphere up there and it’s just chill.
“And with the DeMatha guys there [at Maryland] now, and the [local] guys they’re bringing in, that’s definitely a factor for us. It’s easy to talk to some of the [former DeMatha] guys there now like Tino [Ellis], D.J. [Turner], Lo [Harrison] – I can talk to those guys about anything and they tell me how it is. That’s definitely a plus.”
Tallandier isn’t ready to call Maryland a leader yet, however. He said he’s vetting all his options thoroughly, and although he’s satisfied with the offers he has, said there’s plenty more that could come in. Tallandier said coaches from Duke, Clemson, Penn State, Purdue, UNC, Minnesota, South Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Louisville have been in touch.
It’s possible, if multiple power programs come through, Tallandier will take an even more deliberate approach. But for now Tallandier wants to have his school chosen “probably between the spring and summer, and definitely before my senior season.”
As for what he’s looking for in a college, Tallandier said:
“A school that helps me accomplish my goals now and in the future. I want to find a place that’s easily accessible to my family so they can see me play. Also, a place with a good, meaningful degree and a coaching staff that makes me feel comfortable.”