St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) inside linebacker Darrell "Rocky" Shelton has been making the rounds to his various suitors, and his last stop before honing in on spring workouts was to College Park, Md. The 6-foot, 210-pound three-star visited UMD April 21 at the behest of recruiter Matt Barnes.
"I decided to go to Maryland, because I wanted to see as many school as I could that have offered me and then compare them to each other," said Shelton, who claims verbals from UMD, Duke, UNC, Kentucky, Louisville, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan State, Minnesota, LSU, Auburn, NC State, Oregon, Rutgers and more. "And I thought the trip was great. The new facilities they're building are going to be awesome, and the coaching staff was terrific. I really had a good time there."
Shelton didn't see the team practice, but he was able to interact with Barnes and head coach D.J. Durkin. The Fort Lauderdale native also toured the campus and surrounding area and learned about academics.
"I like the linebackers coach, Coach Barnes, a lot. He recruits me and is in touch all the time," Shelton said. "I talked to him for a long while [at UMD], and he was just explaining my role there, how i'd fit into the defense, and how I could really help them. He's a great guy to talk to and is someone you can relate to.
"And Coach Durkin, I talked to him for like 30 minutes. It was a greta chat about everything, and we talked about how I'd be a perfect fit for Maryland; about what he expects of student-athletes there; about colleges; and things like that. I really liked Coach Durkin too."
Shelton went on to say he liked walking around the school with assistant Marcus Berry. He thought it was "cool" that Washington, D.C., is right down the street from College Park too.
"Definitely the campus and location caught my eye," Shelton said. "It's a real college town there, and everything you need is right there for you. The new facilities they're putting in are going to be awesome too. And D.C. is right around there, which is great. There's so much to do around there and so many opportunities there."
Besides UMD, Shelton has been to Kentucky, UNC, Louisville, UCF, FSU, FAU, FIU and a couple others. He has no other trips planned, however, and isn't sure what schools he might see down the line.
"So far all the schools I've seen have had their ups and downs, goods and bads," Shelton said. "But none of them stood above another for me. I don't really have any leaders right now or anything like that."
Shelton did acknowledge, though, that coaches from UMD, Iowa State, Iowa, Duke and UNC were in touch the most.
"There's a couple more, but off the top of my head those are the main ones," he said.
Shelton has no timetable for selecting a school.