Maryland hosted a couple top targets from North Carolina for its April 22 spring game, headlined by a rising-star defensive end who turned the coaching staff’s heads. Six-foot-5, 245-pounder Joseph Boletepeli (Millbrook/Raleigh, N.C.), who earned a UMD offer in early March after speaking to area recruiter Pete Lembo, made his first trek through College Park, Md.
“It was a real nice visit; a really great trip to be honest,” said Boletepeli, who has offers from UMD, BC, Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Miami, Louisville, NC State, Tennessee and Wake. “As far as the campus, coaching staff and the environment, I really liked it. The highlight for me was definitely touring around and talking to the coaches, who made me and my family feel welcome.”
Boletepeli said he spoke extensively to defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh and defensive coordinator Andy Buh. He also met head coach D.J. Durkin.
“Coach Brumbaugh and Coach Buh showed me some plays and explained how I could use what I do at my high school and implement that at the next level. They were very informative,” Boletepeli said. “Then they said they’re really interested in me, I have good size and I have a lot of potential. I enjoyed talking to them both and feel like they’re great people and coaches.”
The Millbrook end spoke highly of College Park and the surrounding area as well.
“I liked how everything on campus was together, and everything you need is right there,” Boletepeli said. “I thought the player apartments were awesome, and also I liked the area around there and Washington, D.C., too. I liked the city-like feel of it.”
Boletepeli commented on the spring game too, although he noted the rainy weather put a damper on things. That said, he still enjoyed himself.
“The defense looked pretty good,” he said. “They seemed pretty aggressive and the one rush linebacker they had was real nice and making a ton of plays. I liked what I saw.”
Boletepeli made sure to note UMD’s academics too. He didn’t learn about the different majors and degrees per se, but he was informed of Maryland’s strong business program, which has him intrigued.
“So, overall, honestly, Maryland was very interesting,” Boletepeli said. “It was all positives things I saw there, and the coaches kept it real. I can’t really say exactly where they stand, because I don’t have a leaderboard or anything yet, but I liked it.”
The North Carolina end has also been to UNC, NC State, Louisville and Duke. Neither the Blue Devils nor the Heels have anted up yet, but Boletepeli believes both will eventually comes through. He’s also hearing from South Carolina and thinks a Gamecocks’ offer might transpire.
“But right now I’m keeping things open,” said Boletepeli, who is unsure what schools he might see next. “I’m still waiting to see what offers come in, and then determine what place fits me best educationally and athletically. I want to find the place where I can be an all-around student-athlete at the next level.”
Boletepeli, who contradicted various reports that NC State may currently lead for his services, said he’s inclined to go through the official visit process before committing. He said he’d like to watch some college games this fall and get a true feel for the campus life and the vibe around the program on game day.