The Terps have their class of 2018 quarterback, and now the staff has started identifying potential 2019 signal callers. On April 19, UMD-area recruiter Matt Barnes extended dual-threat Zamar Wise (Barringer/Newark, N.J.) his very first scholarship offer.
“Coach Barnes had called me and we were talking for awhile, and he was saying [the Maryland coaches] were very interested in Zamar,” said Barringer head coach Ronly London. “They were very impressed with his athleticism and his film as a thrower and as a runner. And I told [Barnes] you can’t coach what Zamar has. I said if you offer Zamar, you’re offering a three-way athlete. As good of a quarterback he is, he’s also a dominant receiver and a heck of a defensive back. I said, ‘You can’t lose with this kid.’ But Zamar is a natural quarterback, and the plus is he can run too.”
London said the Terps technically offered the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Wise as an “athlete,” although they’re inclined to give him a look as a signal caller. Apparently they’re intrigued by Wise’s dual-threat abilities, which would fit UMD’s spread offense.
“Coach Barnes said they like him as a quarterback, although they do want to see him throw in person. Coach [Walt] Bell will be coming up to see him, and I’m sure Zamar will go to a camp down there,” said London, who mentioned he knows both Barnes and UMD defensive coordinator Andy Buh well. “But, I mean, Zamar is pretty much one of those kids who comes along only every so often. He’s one of those kids who does certain things you just can’t coach.”
The Barringer coach said Wise should be speaking to Barnes himself in short order. At first blush, though, the dual-threat was “really psyched” about the initial offer from UMD, per London.
“Oh, he was absolutely excited,” London said. “When I initially got the message from Coach Barnes, I let Zamar listen to the voicemail. He was like, ‘Wow, I like Maryland, I was hoping for Maryland.’ I had no idea he liked Maryland that much or how he knew about Maryland, but he was pumped when the offer was from [the Terps]. So he should be calling Coach Barnes soon to find out more."
London went to say, however, that Wise’s stated dream school is Ohio State. (“I mean, he’s like every kid. Of course he loves Ohio State,” London said.) The coach hasn’t heard from the Buckeyes’ coaches about Wise yet, but he has been in touch with staffers from Notre Dame, Va Tech, Rutgers, Michigan State, Kentucky, Baylor, Temple and UNC.
Of those latter programs, Wise has been to Rutgers and Temple. He’ll be at Maryland for the first time April 22.
“He’s excited to get down there for the spring game,” London said. “Then he’ll be at the Elite 11 [April 23] in D.C.”
Wise is coming off a season where he threw for 1,900 yards and 18 touchdowns, adding in several hundred rushing yards. The year before, as a freshman starter on varsity, he threw for 1,800 yards and 19 scores, to go along with six rushing touchdowns.
“He’s a natural. He’s fast, has great size, and has great football IQ. He has a strong arm, he can make plays on the run or in the pocket, and he can run,” London said. “Plus he’s just a terrific athlete. He plays basketball too. He led the team in scoring and really showed his athleticism there.
“But for us, as a freshman, he started and led us to an undefeated season. Then last year we took a dive and went 2-8, but Zamar’s numbers were pretty much the same. During the rough times he was the bright spot. And there were a couple games Zamar started on both sides of the ball and matched up with the best receiver at cornerback. He held one of the top receivers in our league to one catch the whole game. He can really do it all.”
London spoke to Wise’s character too. He said his quarterback boasts a 3.2 GPA and is a model student-athlete.
“If you called the principal, he would rave about Zamar,” London said. “He does his job on and off the field, and he does it quietly. He doesn’t brag, doesn’t care for the publicity, doesn’t care about all the attention that comes with getting offers. He’s the same through everything.”