Woodbridge (Va.) safety Dashaun Jerkins is no stranger to College Park, Md. Living less than an hour from campus, the DMV junior has been able to attend Terps’ games in the past, and back in the winter had his first look at the campus.
The four-star hadn’t returned in several months, reneging on a couple intended trips, but April 18 he finally took in a Terps’ practice and had his first extensive face-to-face conversations with the staff.
“I definitely know of Maryland and have been up there. They’ve been after me for awhile now,” said Jerkins, who has offers from UMD, UNC, Va tech, Pitt, Vandy, Louisville, Wake, NC State and a couple others. “But what I really liked about this [April 18] visit was how the team practices. It was a lot of competition, it was up-tempo and the pace was high. That’s the way I like it; it’s my kind of football. I really like how they do things at Maryland.
“Also, just watching the practice, I can see they need some safeties. I feel like I could play early if I went there.”
During the session, Jerkins watched potential position coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, who had previously been in contact with the Virginia safety. Jerkins also chatted with area recruiter Chris Beatty and head coach D.J. Durkin.
“They all said they love how I play, they love how I come downhill and cover, and how they would love for me to come there,” Jerkins said. “I liked what they were saying; they made me feel wanted.
“Coach Beatty and I, we’re real close. He’s a guy I can talk to about anything and has known me for a long time. He can help me with anything I have questions about. And Coach Aazaar, I can tell he’s a great coach. Just talking to him and the other coaches, they could make me both a better player and a better man.”
Although Jerkins had walked around campus before, he had yet to see the various under-construction buildings. He saw the virtual tour of the coming indoor fields, the renovated weight room and the much-ballyhooed player dorms.
“The new indoor fields are really nice. They should be done by like next spring, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they look like in person,” Jerkins said. “Also, the weight room, the dining area, the dorms and all they do for the players there, it’s great. They take care of the athletes at Maryland.”
Jerkins went on to praise UMD’s academics, location and conference affiliation.
“It’s a great education and the degrees they offer there are really good. I like how it’s close to D.C. too, so there’s a lot of opportunities there,” Jerkins said. “Maryland is close to my home too, and I like how they play great competition in the Big Ten.”
The Woodbridge product isn’t sure when he’ll be returning to Maryland (he’s unlikely to make the April 22 spring game), but said he will be back at some point.
“But I can’t really say where Maryland stands with me yet, to be honest,” Jerkins said. “Right now I don’t have any leaders or anything like that.”
Previously, Jerkins had dubbed North Carolina his clear No. 1. But he admitted the UNC coaches haven’t been ardently pushing of late, so he’s since backed off that statement. Now, Jerkins said coaches from UMD, Vandy, Wake, Louisville and NC State are in contact most often.
As far as visits are concerned, Jerkins has trekked through UNC, UMD, NC State, Clemson, Va Tech, UVA and JMU. He’s unsure where he’s heading next, but wants to see Louisville for the first time and return to Clemson.
“Clemson, I’ve been talking to them and I think they’ll offer. That would be a big offer for me,” Jerkins said. “But I’m not sure about any other [potential suitors]. I’m waiting to see what happens this spring.”
Jerkins has no intention to commit anytime soon, acknowledging he’d like to “go through the whole process” and take official visits.
“The first thing I’m looking for in a school is academics,” Jerkins said. “Then how I fit in on campus, and what coaches really want me and are most interested in me.”