The Terps have been after Butler (Pa.) offensive guard Jake Kradel since February, with area recruiter Pete Lembo and offensive line coach Tyler Bowen doing their best to coax the three-star down to College Park, Md. The 6-foot-4, 295-pound Kradel has done just that, seeing UMD for the first time back in February and returning again April 13.
And after two forays through College Park, the interior lineman has Maryland among his foremost contenders.
"Maryland is definitely in my top three," said Kradel, who holds offers from UMD, Ohio State, Pitt, Minnesota, Iowa State, NC State, UConn, Syracuse and Rutgers. "I really enjoyed it there and could see myself there in the future."
During his initial stay, Kradel had a chance to see the campus, the facilities, the renovations around the school, the Under Armor gear and more. This time around, he watched the Terps' players practice and the coaches in action. Plus, he had a chance to sit down with UMD's new O-line coach, Tyler Bowen, for the first time.
"I really enjoyed my first visit there, but the main reason I came back is I wanted to see the football side," Kradel said. "And I did really enjoy that side of it. It was a really good visit this time around too. I saw how Coach Bowen coaches and teaches, I saw how the players work and practice, and I saw how the whole team responds to the coaching. It was an awesome practice. Seeing the schemes and the intensity of it was great."
Before the practice, Kradel sat down for a one-on-one with Bowen. He also chatted with his recruiter Lembo, who has developed a strong rapport with Kradel, as well as Durkin.
"Meeting Coach Bowen was great. He was telling me exactly how he'd coach me, what he expected of me, and how I'd fit there as a guard or center," Kradel said. "I really liked what he was saying, and I like him personally. He's a younger guy who I feel like is going to be there awhile, which is comforting. And he's an energetic guy and gets everyone fired up, which I love."
Next up, Kradel is heading back to Ohio State April 15. Then he's hitting Va Tech April 18 and Rutgers April 22. He's unsure where he might head after that, hinting that a college decision could come shortly after his latter foray.
"I'm thinking like mid-May or early June I'll have my decision," Kradel said. "I do like Ohio State, and I really like it up there and all the coaches there. But I don't think I'll commit when I'm up there. I kind of want to weigh my options and see more things. But I'd say Ohio State is definitely up there for me, I like Pitt a lot, and Maryland is up there too."