Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland-football recruiting roundup.
Offensive Recruiting Notes
-- St. Xavier (Cincinnati, Ohio) quarterback Chase Wolf landed a coveted SEC offer from South Carolina March 30 after visiting Columbia, S.C. Afterwards, Wolf was ecstatic, promptly placing the Gamecocks among his principle contenders. If the USC coaches press in earnest (questionable), they could gain the inside track. The other program on Wolf’s mind is Boston College, which he saw in mid-March. BC’s proximity to Wolf’s home, coupled with the academics and the staff’s potent push, have his attention. Maryland is still on Wolf’s radar in terms of a visit, but we’ll see if it comes to fruition. At this stage, the Ohio signal caller seems to be focused elsewhere. Which, really, is true of the Maryland staff as well. The Terps’ coaches are hot on the trail of Tyler DeSue (Bishop Sullivan/Virginia Beach, Va.) and Devin Leary (Timber Creek/Sicklerville, N.J.), who seem to be the two main priorities. So, we’ve shifted Wolf to “cool” on the hot board.
-- Smyrna (Del.) running back Leddie Brown updated his recruitment in an interview with this reporter April 1. He didn’t say much we didn’t already know, with Brown basically calling West Virginia his leader, and Florida and Tennessee right in the thick of things following trips to both. But he was more complimentary of Maryland than I thought he would be. Brown spoke glowingly about UMD-area recruiter Anthony Tucker and the direction the program is heading. He likes being close to home and the idea of locals showing out at their nearby universities too. That’s all well and good, but Brown is still probably going to WVU or an SEC school. We’re keeping him “cool” on the hot board. You can see the interview with Brown HERE.
-- Harrisburg (Pa.) receiver Shaquon Anderson-Butts returned to Maryland April 1 and seems to have the Terps among his top suitors. The four-star has a tight-knight rapport with UMD-area recruiter Pete Lembo, likes receivers’ coach Chris Beatty and believes he’d fit well into Maryland’s offense. Anderson-Butts has enjoyed his two treks through College Park, Md., praising the coaches’ demeanors; the area; and the campus. The Key Stone State product, who has family in Baltimore, said he’d like to see Maryland a third time too, which is an indication of genuine interest. What’s more, we’re not so sure Anderson-Butts is going to be a “take” for stated leader Penn State at this current juncture. It’s possible Anderson-Butts could fall to some of his other suitors. At the moment, he’s saying PSU, UMD, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Oregon, WVU, Minnesota and Louisville are in mind. He’s going to Oregon and Nebraska coming up, and has already seen PSU (multiple times) and the Terps. Anderson-Butts is looking to make a July college decision. He’d probably choose the Nittany Lions if he had to pick today, but we’ll see if his situation changes down the line. You can see my interview with Anderson-Butts HERE.
-- Bayside (Virginia Beach, Va.) receiver Armani Chatman is supposed to see Maryland April 8 after reneging on a previously-intended trip. It’s a key visit for the 6-0, 180-pounder, because our sense is Chatman is starry-eyed and may need to be wowed by the Terps and receivers’ coach Chris Beatty. Chatman has given UMD its due in interviews, but hasn’t been quite as complimentary as he was after, say, Auburn’s staff offered or Va Tech’s coaches pulled through. Plus, Chatman is pining for more looks from the nation’s elites, although our hunch is he won’t reach the top levels of the SEC, ACC or Big Ten. Ultimately, the Hokies could be the team to beat here, but we’ll see what he’s thinking after seeing College Park.
-- Woodson (Washington, D.C.) receiver Ed Hendrix will be taking in his first Maryland spring practice this offseason either April 7 or April 8. Hendrix had been on campus twice before during the winter and wants to see the Terps’ offense in action. He continues to maintain a rapport with recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and has a keen interest in the hometown movement and sticking around D.C. for college. But Hendrix, as we’ve mentioned in previous Shells, isn’t going to be an early popper. He’ll drag out his recruitment, evaluating and visiting multiple suitors during the summer, fall and beyond. Syracuse, UNC (visited), Va Tech (visited), Pitt (visited) and WVU (visited) are all on Hendrix’s radar. Note: Friendship Collegiate (Washington, D.C.) wideout Dontay Demus, who claims a UMD verbal, will be joining Hendrix at a Maryland spring practice April 7 or 8. Demus may or may not be an immediate “take” for the Terps’ staff with so many other wideout options on the board.
-- Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.) 2019 receiver Isaiah Hazel talked to this reporter at a 7-on-7 event at his school, and the vibe is the Terps are the early frontrunners. Hazel loves UMD-area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, the coaching staff’s energy, the College Park environment, the hometown movement and more. He said every time he’s on campus he feels comfortable and part of the program. Hazel acknowledged, however, if interested SEC suitors like Clemson, Florida State, UF and more came through it could change his thinking. But the Terps’ coaches have done well here and are positioned well for the 2019 local wideout. You can see my interview with Hazel HERE.
-- Mays (Atlanta, Ga.) receiver Amir Abdur-Rahman trekked up to College Park April 4 along with teammate and Terps’ target Maleak Bryant (discussed below). Afterwards, the 6-4, 200-pound Abdur-Rahman gave Maryland high marks, although he didn’t quite declare the Terps a leader a la Bryant. More than likely, that’s because Abdur-Rahman may not be an immediate “take” for the UMD staff, which has numerous wideout options on its board, including some prioritized locals. (Some evidence of this can be found in Abdur-Rahman’s comment that he wants to find a coaching staff, “that really wants me.”) Even so, Abdur-Rahman had a standout visit, extolling Maryland’s welcoming coaches; offensive coordinator Walt Bell’s spread offense; the campus; the player dorms; the coming facility upgrades; and the academics. “The visit really surprised me,” Abdur-Rahman said. “I really had fun up there. I didn’t think it would be like that. It was great being around the players and the coaches.” Abdur-Rahman also mentioned he’s in constant contact with his Terps’ recruiter, Brawley Evans, who has evidently let on how much the team could use the Mays product. Maybe so, but that might be Evans’ pitch to keep UMD on Abdur-Rahman’s mind in case the Terps’ staff needs to make a move down the road. In the meantime, Abdur-Rahman will be checking out his two other power-five offers, Iowa State and Wake Forest. The Cyclones, in particular, have been pressing hard for Abdur-Rahman and are on the Mays receiver’s brain. Abdur-Rahman said he doesn’t intend to commit until around mid-season, but we could see him popping earlier if he finds the right fit and spots begin to fill. You can read more about Abdur-Rahman HERE.
-- Mays (Atlanta, Ga.) tight end Maleak Bryant finally made it to Maryland April 4, joining teammate Amir Abdur-Rahman (discussed above) in College Park. Following the trip, the 6-6, 215-pound Bryant dubbed UMD his leader and hinted at a commitment later in April. “I really loved Maryland and I could see myself going there. It left a big impression on me. Everyone at Maryland made me feel wanted. I talked to like every offensive coach there and the head coach, Coach [D.J.] Durkin,” said Bryant, who has power-five offers from UMD, Iowa State and Rutgers. “Coach [Walt] Bell, Coach [Pete] Lembo, Coach [Chris] Beatty, I met them all. They were all saying how they need a big, athletic tight end like me, because they don’t really have that right now. They made me feel needed there, and I loved that. Also, I have a great relationship with Coach Lembo. Me and him, we talk like every day. He’s been trying to get me up there for awhile now and has really been pushing for me.” Besides the coaches, Bryant praised Maryland’s campus, its location near Washington, D.C., the renovated player dorms and the academics. He wants to major in communications, so UMD’s nationally-recognized program in that field held appeal. Moreover, Bryant believes he’d fit seamlessly into the Terps’ spread offense and could fill a position of need. Now, it’s possible Bryant will give Iowa State, whose staff has been pressing for both the tight end and Abdur-Rahman, a look coming up, but UMD seems to be trending. We’ve shifted the Mays prospect to “hot” on the hot board. You can read more about Bryant HERE. Note: Both Bryant and Abdur-Rahman said they’d love to play together in college. There’s a chance the Terps’ staff will give them that opportunity if it’s the difference between securing Bryant’s commitment or not, but we’ll have to see if that package deal actually materializes. Iowa State seems to be the one power-five program willing to accept both Mays prospects right now.
-- Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.) tight end Kyle Pitts saw College Park for the first time April 1. The trip moved UMD up the favorites list too, with Pitts lauding the Terps’ staff; offensive pace; and scheme. Pitts had a chance to reconnect with area recruiter Anthony Tucker, whom he speaks to often; offensive coordinator Walt Bell; tight ends coach Pete Lembo; and headman D.J. Durkin. The tight end bonded with each, calling the staff in general “real good guys.” But while Maryland seems to be a prime player, they’re not exactly atop the totem pole. Virginia Tech continues to trend after a March 24 visit, and he’s in close contact with coaches from Florida; Georgia; Tennessee and Miami. All of those four programs are on Pitts’ leaderboard, and he seems to be honing in on each. “I’m looking at the SEC or ACC the most,” Pitts said. Given that latter statement, Pitts doesn’t sound like he’ll be Maryland bound. But perhaps if some of those SEC suitors back off a bit (we’re guessing that’s a good possibility), the Terps could inch their way up in the pecking order. You can see my interview with Pitts HERE.
-- East Allegheny (North Versailles, Pa.) tight end T.J. Banks hasn’t visited College Park yet, but he does have UMD among his foremost suitors. He said earlier this week he was in regular communication with area recruiter Anthony Tucker and tight ends coach Pete Lembo, who have the three-star wanting to at least give Maryland a look. Pitt, however, remains the clear No. 1. Banks was back at Pittsburgh once again recently, and he keeps talking up the hometown school. He has a terrific rapport with the coaches, has fun each time he’s on campus, and knows plenty of players in the program. West Virginia and Syracuse are two other contenders, and more could materialize during the evaluation period. The Terps should be in the thick of things until Banks is ready to choose a school later during the fall, but we’re not sure any school, unless it’s a bigwig (read: Penn State), is going to top Pitt right now.
-- St. Frances (Baltimore, Md.) offensive tackle Jaelyn Duncan was supposed to take in Maryland’s spring practice April 1, but he didn’t make it up. He’ll try to be in College Park April 8, however, or maybe for the spring game. Either way, Duncan is comfortable in College Park, has taken to the staff, is building a bond with line coach Tyler Bowen, and likes being near his family. He’s keen on the hometown movement and believes he could contribute early during his career at Maryland as well. The foremost threat to UMD for Duncan’s services is Ohio State, whose coaches have the four-star’s ear. Duncan has been in Columbus, Ohio, before and is set to return later this offseason. Michigan has a chance to become more involved too, and Florida; Penn State; and Florida can’t be discounted. Duncan previously wanted to end his recruitment sometime before his senior year, but we could see him dragging things out as more national programs enter the fray. But the Terps are positioned well and should remain so throughout the process.
-- Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) offensive tackle Aidan Rafferty should be back in College Park either April 8 or sometime next week. Regardless when he makes it in, it’s imperative the Terps’ staff roll out the red carpet for the DMV lineman and his family. Why? Because Rafferty is returning to Virginia Tech a week later, with a commitment possible shortly thereafter. The Hokies have been trending for Rafferty ever since his first foray through Blacksburg, Va., and the Tech coaches have been on the big Gonzaga tackle hard since then. The fact Rafferty’s sister is already in Blacksburg only helps the school’s appeal. Now, the Terps, who have area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and line coach Tyler Bowen after Rafferty, are heavily involved as well. The coaches have left the family impressed with their stay-home/academic oriented/energetic pitch, and they’ll have a shot to give the D.C. tackle some pause before he heads back to Tech. Note: Rafferty received his first Pac-12 offer from Arizona April 4, but we don’t envision the Gonzaga tackle playing his college ball on the West Coast.
-- Alpharetta (Ga.) offensive tackle Onyenwen Uzebu visited UGA April 1, but didn’t come away with an offer. His next trip could be a key one, however. Uzebu is heading to Minnesota, whose staff offered in mid-March, and there’s some sense the Gophers could win the Georgia tackle over. Minnesota just snagged a commitment from Uzebu’s teammate, running back Nolan Edmonds, and apparently the staff has the lineman’s ear too. Uzebu will be staying overnight in Minneapolis, Minn., April 13-14, so we’ll see just how much of an impact the visit has. But Maryland offensive coordinator Walt Bell and line coach Tyler Bowen are also involved with Uzebu and likely have the Terps among the prospect’s two or three leaders. Lending credence to that, Uzebu said he still wants to check out College Park with 2017 Terps’ signee Carlos Carriere, although that hasn’t been planned out yet. It’s worth noting Uzebu will likely have a few more options to explore following the evaluation period, so we won’t truly know where he stands until his profile is fully realized. But currently it seems like the Gophers and Terps are on the brain, with the Mountaineers possibly poised to make a move now that they’ve offered.
-- North Point (Waldorf, Md.) offensive tackle Rasheed Walker snagged another major offer from Michigan April 4. He hasn’t publically commented on it yet, but it’s a good bet the Wolverines will shoot to the near the top of the DMV lineman’s unstated leaderboard. Michigan is on par with some of Walker’s other principle contenders in terms of national prestige, academics and standout coaching. It wouldn’t surprise if Walker opted to visit Ann Arbor, Mich., when he returns to Ohio State, another prime suitor, during the summer. Others in play for the four-star include Penn State, UNC, Va Tech, Maryland and maybe one or two more. But the North Point product isn’t tipping his hand in any one direction yet as he intends to deliberately wad through the process. The Terps, however, are going to be in the thick of things due to Walker’s relationship with recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and line coach Tyler Bowen.
-- DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) offensive guard Evan Gregory returned to Maryland with a couple teammates April 1, and the four-star continues to laud the hometown school. The DMV movement, the idea of joining his former teammates in College Park, the school’s close proximity to home and UMD’s academics all have Gregory smitten. Moreover, Gregory has a terrific rapport with UMD-area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and a developing one with line coach Tyler Bowen. “The hype at Maryland is real,” Gregory said. “I really like it there.” Gregory has also been to Rutgers, UVA and WVU, and said each caught his eye, but we don’t see any of those programs trumping UMD. It is possible a spring offer from the likes of UCLA (coaches interested), Va Tech (interested) and/or Tennessee (interested) could give the DeMatha guard more to think about, but there’s a reason we have Gregory listed “hot” on the hot board. Look for Gregory to make a late summer college decision.
Defensive Recruiting Notes
-- Gilman (Baltimore, Md.) defensive end Thomas Booker visited Notre Dame for the first time April 1, and the trip probably cemented the Irish as one of the four-star’s top two or three suitors. Booker went on and on about the UND coaches, the school’s tradition, the academics and more. He noted how a couple former Gilman stars have showed out in South Bend, Ind., as well, making it more appealing. Besides Notre Dame, Stanford continues to trend for Booker, with a summer return to Palo Alto, Calif., imminent. In all likelihood, the Cardinal, with their elite education and standout football program, is in the drivers’ seat. Michigan is making some noise too, and Ohio State is in the game. Maryland seems to be sitting around fourth or fifth in the pecking order at this juncture.
-- Zebulon B. Vance (Charlotte, N.C.) defensive end Damir Faison is on track to visit Maryland for the first time April 8. The 6-2, 240-pounder and former Appalachian State commit pulled a UMD offer from area recruiter Walt Bell way back in early January, and he’s been eager to see College Park ever since. Faison has family in the Arlington, Va., area and used to live in the DMV, so he’s always had interest in UMD. Provided the Terps’ staff pushes for him (there are probably a few targets ahead of the Carolina native on UMD’s board), Maryland could become the leader for Faison’s services. ECU, which Faison visited April 1, is also a contender, as is Rutgers, which Faison is checking out April 10. For now, those three programs represent Faison’s most significant suitors, but it’s possible others could emerge during the evaluation period.
-- DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) BUCK John Morgan was back at Maryland April 1. The local edge rusher always insists he’s keeping an open mind, but it’s clear the Terps are moving up his unstated leaderboard. Morgan and his family are coming around to the hometown school and seem to have connected with the coaches. UMD-area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh, linebackers coach Matt Barnes and headman D.J. Durkin have all done their part with Morgan, moving Maryland to the forefront of the DeMatha prospect’s mind. Furthermore, Morgan reportedly loved what he saw at practice April 1, extoling the Terps’ defense; the up-tempo pace; the coaches’ mentalities and more. He sees himself seamlessly transitioning into the BUCK role in UMD’s defense, with the coaches taking advantage of his pass-rush skills and athleticism. The DeMatha-to-Maryland pipeline doesn’t hurt UMD either, with Morgan easily reconnecting with his former teammates now in College Park. Thus, we’re encouraged by Maryland’s position and believe Morgan could very well wind up a Terp. Yes, Morgan does love Penn State, but he’s probably not a “take” for the staff at this time. Meanwhile, our gut is the Terps have the edge over Morgan’s other suitors like Syracuse, Pitt, Rutgers and Temple, all of which he’s visited. Virginia Tech, however, could be a threat due to Morgan’s affinity for the Hokies’ staff and defensive reputation. The DeMatha product also saw the Carolina schools recently, but didn’t pull coveted offers from them. Morgan does want to take a deliberate approach moving forward, but we could see him ending his recruitment earlier than anticipated this summer, perhaps choosing between Maryland and Va Tech.
-- Woodson (Washington, D.C.) inside linebacker Juan Wallace is taking visits, and during the last two weeks he’s seen Syracuse and Rutgers. The D.C. native raved about both stays and now has the Scarlet Knights and Orange included among his favorites. Of the two, SU may have a real shot with Wallace considering he’s set to return to New York for the Orange’s spring game April 22. The two main players, though, continue to be Maryland and Duke. Wallace should be back in College Park for the fourth time this offseason coming up, and he wants to return to Durham, N.C., later in April/May as well. The Terps’ involvement has been discussed on numerous occasions -- connection with the staff, rapport with Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, high on hometown movement, strong degree -- and Duke’s on the mind due to its standout education and academic/athletic balance. Look for Wallace to pick the Terps, Blue Devils or maybe the Orange sometime in May. Our gut? We like Maryland’s spot, but Wallace isn’t yet a lock to wind up in College Park.
-- Pope John XXII (Sparta, N.J.) inside linebacker Nick DeNucci was at Rutgers yet again April 1, and it sounds like the Scarlet Knights are trending. DeNucci lauded his latest stay in Piscataway, N.J., talking up the defense; coaching staff; and vibe around the program. Although DeNucci is considering Boston College, Pitt, Syracuse, Maryland and Temple, he may be leaning towards staying home for college. So far, DeNucci has taken in the Eagles, Orange, Owls and Scarlet Knights, but has yet to see the Terps. DeNucci, who is in contact with UMD linebackers coach Matt Barnes, keeps saying he’d like to get down to College Park, but has reneged on a couple opportunities to do so. It wouldn’t shock us if he ended up popping to Rutgers before giving Maryland a look.
-- Calvert Hall (Towson, Md.) outside linebacker Chance Campbell pulled a Michigan State offer March 30. The Spartans’ verbal may or may not change Campbell’s recruitment -- he’ll likely visit East Lansing, Mich., at some point -- but it’s an indication he’s about to see his profile expand during the upcoming evaluation period. The Terps remain positioned well for the local backer, who loves the Maryland staff and the idea of representing the hometown school at the next level, although we’ll have to see if any game-changing offers materialize this spring. It’s possible some more prominent Big Ten and ACC programs enter the fray before it’s all said and done. Until we hear otherwise, though, we’ll keep projecting Campbell to College Park. Pitt and Rutgers, both of which Campbell has seen, are the other players at the moment.
-- Vineland Senior (Vineland, N.J.) outside linebacker Nihym Anderson should be in College Park for the spring game April 22. Anderson has visited UMD once before and raved about his early-March stay. He has a close connection with linebackers coach Matt Barnes and likes the direction head coach D.J. Durkin is taking the program. Anderson is taking a close look at Rutgers (visited multiple times), Syracuse, Pitt and BC too, but the Terps have a real chance here. We thought Anderson might be a “blowup” candidate, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. He could very well wind up at one of his current offerees.
-- Imhotep (Philadelphia, Pa.) safety Isheem Young didn’t make the trek down to Maryland with teammate Justin Johnson March 25, but a week later, while his 7-on-7 team was in town April 1, the four-star did venture over to College Park. The five-star is in close contact with UMD defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim (thus, why Young has Maryland on his top-12 leaderboard), and the assistant, along with the rest of UMD’s staff, left an impression during practice. Young, who is good friends with current UMD receiver and former teammate D.J. Moore, has now been at UMD twice and seems to have taken a liking to the program. But it would be a mistake to overstate his interest at the present date. The Philly prospect is deadest on Clemson, Ohio State, Penn State, Florida State, Alabama, Michigan and maybe a couple other bigwigs. The Nittany Lions could hold the pole position, but it’s possible an SEC school or Clemson could swipe Young away. That is, if he remains a “take” for those programs. From what we’ve heard, there’s a chance Young could fall through the cracks just a bit, which could allow programs such as Maryland to become more involved. Granted, it’s an outside shot (we don’t envision the Nittany Lions’ coaches ever taking him off their board), but a shot nonetheless. You can see my interview with Young HERE.
-- Woodson (Washington, D.C.) corner Noah Boykin will be back in College Park for the first time since February April 7 or 8. Boykin has yet to see a spring practice and is taking the opportunity to watch his position coach and area recruiter, Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, in action. Boykin has the Terps under prime consideration and will keep the local university at or near the top of his favorites list throughout the recruiting process. The D.C. defensive back isn’t a UMD lock yet, though. His offer list keeps growing and visits to other locales have left Boykin impressed. Clemson (offered, visited), WVU (offered, visited), UNC (offered, visited), Va Tech (offered, visited), Louisville (offered) and Pitt (offered, visited) are some contenders Boykin is considering. Thus, we’re keeping Boykin “warm” on the hot board, although we get the feeling the Terps are in a good spot for the local product.
-- Woodson (Washington, D.C.) corner Vincent Flythe saw Rutgers April 1, and he’ll be returning to Maryland April 7 or 8. It will be the local defensive back’s third time on campus this offseason. Flythe, like his teammates, has a tight-knit bond with recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim; likes the direction UMD is heading; and wouldn’t mind continuing the hometown movement. But Flythe is content to wad through his recruitment and delve into all his options. He took a liking to RU after that trip and now has the Scarlet Knights in contention. Plus, Flythe wants to see offers like Wisconsin, BC, Wake, NC State, Pitt and maybe Kentucky at some juncture. It’s not entirely clear how Flythe’s situation will unfold, or which programs’ coaches will have room for him down the road, but we believe there is enough mutual interest between the D.C. native and the hometown school to at least list him “warm” on the hot board.
-- DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) cornerback Judson Tallandier saw his recruitment expand to the Pac-12 March 30 when Arizona came calling. It’s possible the three-star checks out Tucson, Ariz., since he’s more apt to venture out than some other locals, but we don’t envision Tallandier playing his college ball on the West Coast. Even so, the Arizona verbal may be an indication more Pac-12/Big-12/ACC/Big Ten offers are coming during the evaluation period. We don’t see the national programs getting heavily involved, but you never know. In the meantime, Maryland is still a frontrunner after Tallandier’s numerous treks through College Park and his tight rapport with area recruiter/position coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim. Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse, BC, Temple, Kentucky and Purdue are also in pursuit, but could be trailing UMD at this time.
-- Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.) cornerback A.J. Lytton gave obligatory interviews at a 7-on-7 event April 1, and it sounds like he’s going to drag out his recruitment. Lytton was supposed to be a Florida State lock, but a few factors have given him some pause. Now, he’s considering FSU, Clemson, Alabama, Penn State, LSU and maybe a couple others. Lytton intends to embark on multiple trips, narrow down his leaderboard to a top five during the fall, and then take all allotted officials. Then, in the winter, he said he’ll pick a destination. Unless his situation drastically changes down the line, though, the Terps aren’t going to be a main option. Lytton barely mentioned Maryland when interviewed, and seemed to bring them up only out of courtesy to the coaches and recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim.
-- Dudley (Greensboro, N.C.) cornerback D.J. Crossen is set to visit College Park April 8, and perhaps the Terps can work into the three-star’s top group of suitors following the trip. Crossen is in communication with UMD defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, who has convinced the recruit to trek north. But it’ll be a tough row to hoe for Abdul-Rahim and Co. Crossen has basically called Va Tech his leader, while hometown UNC is right there for him too. Kentucky, South Carolina, and in-state NC State are on the brain as well.
New Offers Out
Isaiah Williams, RB, Trinity Catholic (St. Louis, Mo.) (2019): The 2019 athlete Williams claimed a Maryland offer April 2. It was his 28th to date, with some of the larger ones being Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Mizzou, Arkansas, Miami, Iowa, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, UNC, UCLA, Texas, Wisconsin, LSU and more.
Needless to say, the Terps’ staff is going to have difficulty recruiting Williams out of America’s heartland.
Chris Tyree, RB/Slot, Thomas Dale (Chester, Va.) (2020): The 2020 athlete Tyree is one of the most electric runners in his class in the mid-Atlantic, and April 4 Maryland-area recruiter Chris Beatty handed him an offer. It was the 5-7 dynamo Tyree’s fourth verbal, following Va Tech; UVA; and Marshall. Tyree’s bound to attract even more interest as he grows and his game develops.
Ramel Keyton, WR, Marietta (Ga.) (2019): UMD-area recruiter Walt Bell was active in Georgia once again this week, and one of his offers went out to the 2019 receiver Keyton March 31. The 6-2, 180-pounder is a fast-riser in his class, previously landing offers from Tennessee, Florida, Syracuse and UCF.
The Terps figure to have an uphill battle for Keyton, but Bell is connected in the area. Let’s see if the Terps’ offensive coordinator can convince Keyton to at least visit College Park.
Tommy Tremble, TE, Johns Creek (Alpharetta, Ga.): The Terps’ coaches are intent on adding multiple tight ends in this year’s class and have been tossing out offers right and left. On April 3, UMD offensive coordinator Walt Bell gave a verbal to the emerging 6-4, 220-pounder Tremble.
Tremble had nary a power-five look entering April, but, in rapid succession, pulled in Vandy; Maryland; Tennessee and Minnesota by April 3.
“I love their coaches and what they’ve been telling me,” Tremble said of Bell and tight ends coach Pete Lembo. “It sounds like a great school and great football too. I know Carlos [Carriere], who is right down the street at Alpharetta, he’s going there, so that’s cool. And I remember watching the Terps on TV growing up and seeing all those crazy [Under Armour] uniforms (laughs).”
Tremble may make it to College Park at some point, but, if the SEC keeps calling, that’s probably where he’s headed. The Johns Creek product raved about the Tennessee look (he’s visiting April 15), and said if hometown Georgia -- where his father, former NFL player Greg Tremble, attended -- comes through during a campus visit April 8, it would be a needle-mover.
If Tremble chooses not to go the SEC or legacy route at UGA, it might be because an academic elite won him over. The Georgian is particularly keen on education, so Vandy and Duke (interested, no offer yet) have his attention.
You can read more about Tremble HERE.
Andrew Tuazama, TE, Knightdale (N.C.): The Terps entered the game for the 6-6, 225-pound Tuazama March 31, with position coach and area recruiter Pete Lembo doing the honors. Tuazama said the UMD look was a “good offer to get,” noting the school’s academics and Big Ten affiliation. Tuazama is also in the process of developing a rapport with Lembo, who had been in touch with the Carolina native before the offer materialized.
But we’ll see if Tuazama follows through with an intended College Park visit. He’s seeking looks from some nearby programs like Wake, NC State and UNC, while he’s eager to check out offerees such as Miami and Tennessee (his cousin plays for the Vols). It’s possible Tuazama will have even more suitors to explore after the evaluation period.
We’ll list him “cool” initially, but our gut is Tuazama’s going to stick in the South.
You can read more about Tuazama HERE.
Bryce Effner, OT, Metea Valley (Aurora, Ill.): Terps’ offensive line coach Tyler Bowen dug into the Midwest April 4, offering the three-star tackle Effner.
The 6-5, 275-pounder has already declared Penn State his leader following a late March visit and subsequent offer from the Nittany Lions. But the thought is if Effner doesn’t jump on the scholarship quickly, the PSU staff will move on to other targets. If so, Maryland and other offerees such as Minnesota, Syracuse, Kansas, Kansas State and Duke could work into the mix. (Northwestern and Illinois could be anteing up soon as well).
Effner, for his part, didn’t know much about Maryland and will have to do more research before deciding whether or not to trek out. He seems more focused on schools closer to home at the moment like Minnesota, Northwestern and Illinois.
We’ve listed Effner “cool” initially since his attention is elsewhere at this juncture, but we’re keeping a close eye on a summer visit to College Park.
You can read more about Effner HERE.
Darnell Wright, OT, Huntington (W.Va.) (2019): Wright is a rising-star tackle in West Virginia with offers from Florida, WVU, Louisville, Nebraska, UNC, Tennessee, Oklahoma and now Maryland. Terps’ line coach Tyler Bowen tossed the Terps’ name into the hat April 4.
The 6-6, 275-pound Wright won’t be an easy pull for Bowen and Co.
William Putnam, OL, Glenwood (Chatham, Ill.) (2019): The Terps entered the mix for the big-time 2019 Midwest lineman Putnam April 5, with line coach Tyler Bowen handing out the offer. The 6-4, 280-pounder already has an Ohio State verbal, however, and has the Buckeyes up top initially. Others in play include Georgia, LSU, Iowa, Penn State, Nebraska, Pitt, Mizzou, UCLA, Michigan State and a few more.
T.J. Bradley, OT, Lackawanna C.C. (Scranton, Pa.): The junior college tackle Bradley is a 6-9, 290-pounder who, for whatever reason (transcripts?), had flown under the radar until April. But as soon as the month started, he began landing offers left and right, with the first three being from Syracuse, WVU and Maryland.
The Terps have line coach Tyler Bowen, offensive coordinator Walt Bell and recruiter Pete Lembo on the former Heritage High (Leesburg, Va.) lineman. It remains to be seen how much traction they can gain here, however.
Bradley doesn’t say much in regards to recruiting, but it seems like he’s blowing up on the trail. We’ll leave him off the hot board until we hear he’s giving College Park serious consideration.
Patrick Joyner, BUCK, South Dade Senior (Homestead, Fla.): The Terps were the 13th school to enter the mix for Joyner April 4. The hybrid edge rusher has been in touch with UMD-area recruiter Chris Beatty, who has Joyner thinking about visiting College Park.
There are a couple other schools who have had a head start on the Terps, however. Joyner has been in regular contact with coaches from Syracuse, has visited the Orange and is set to return. He backed off declaring SU his leader, but it’s obvious the New York program has his eye. Hometown UCF and USF, meanwhile, are all over the South Dade prospect, and it’s worth mentioning Florida State has a verbal out (our guess is it’s not committable right now).
Given the above, we’ll list Joyner “cool” on the hot board, though it’s possible UMD could surge with Beatty anchoring the recruitment.
Allan Tisdale, OLB, Page (Greensboro, N.C.): The Terps entered the game for the four-star Tisdale March 31, although the Javon Leake connection (Leake also went to Page) may not mean a whole lot here. Tisdale is wide open in his recruitment, but he has a growing offer list that includes Notre Dame, UNC, WVU, Va Tech, Louisville, NC State and more. The in-state Heels are going to be a player, and UND was a game-changer of sorts.
We’ll see if Maryland linebackers coach Matt Barnes and Co. can coax Tisdale up for a College Park visit, but we’re not sure the Greensboro native is going to fall through the cracks a la Leake.
Azeez Ojulari, OLB, Marietta (Ga.): Ojulari saw his recruitment take off March 31, first landing an offer from Oklahoma and then soon afterward snagging Maryland. He had looks from NC State, Georgia tech, Wake Forest and a couple more prior to the Sooners and Terps coming through. (South Carolina’s staff anted up April 3).
Ojulari was thrilled with his OU offer, lauding the Sooners’ tradition; coaching staff; and rise up the national ranks.
He knew a little less about the Terps, but did his best to offer up some positives. “I know it’s Big Ten, I know it’s a good school, and I know they’re coming up,” Ojulari said. “But I’m still learning about them. I really don’t know that much.”
In other words, we figure Ojulari is going to end up someplace other than College Park, but we’ll list him “cool” on the hot board just in case.
You can read more about Ojulari HERE.
Kevin Harris, OLB, Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) (2019): The 2019 Georgia linebacker Harris is gaining steam on the trail and figures to have his pick of schools by this time next year. The 6-5, 205-pound athletic backers already has offers from UGA, South Carolina, Tennessee and, most recently, the Terps. Maryland came in April 5 courtesy of linebackers’ coach Matt Barnes.
In all likelihood, Harris is going to wind up at an SEC school before it’s all said and done.
Off The Board
Jake Kradel, OG, Butler Area (Pa.): Kradel landed his coveted Ohio State offer April 5, and now it’s probably only a matter of time before he pops. He visited Columbus in late March and came away raving about the program.
The Terps, who had area recruiter Pete Lembo and line coach Tyler Bowen on Kradel, impressed the three-star during a College Park foray. But we never sensed Maryland was going to top hometown Pitt or the bigwigs. In reality, if Kradel winds up at OSU, it’s a bigger loss for the Panthers, who were trending before the Buckeyes came in.
Trent Pennix, OLB, Sanderson (Raleigh, N.C.): The athlete Pennix visited Virginia Tech April 1, afterwards calling the Hokies his No. 1. Pennix loved the coaches, the campus environment and the program in general. About the only reason he didn’t pop in Blacksburg is Pennix wants to check out Louisville, his stated No. 2. Perhaps the Cardinals’ coaches can wow Pennix during his upcoming trek through campus, but, regardless, it doesn’t seem like the Carolina native is going to make it to Maryland. Pennix is in touch with UMD-area recruiter Pete Lembo and said he wanted to see College Park, but we’re not so sure that’s going to happen.
Jordan McCloud, CB, Plant Senior (Tampa, Fla.): Scout’s Corey Bender caught up with McCloud, who claimed a Maryland offer months ago, and the converted quarterback didn’t mention UMD as one of the programs after him. He said USF, UCF, Toledo and Oregon were on him the hardest, with the Bulls perhaps sitting on top.