Welcome to our next edition of Inside the Shell, the weekly Maryland-football recruiting roundup.
Offensive Recruiting Notes
-- St. Frances (Baltimore, Md.) receiver Tyree Henry speaks. He’d been silent since February, which is the last time he took a campus visit (Maryland), but the three-star opened up May 2. And Henry proceeded to say . . . pretty much nothing we didn’t already know. Basically, the Eastern Shore native been in a holding pattern all spring, aside from receiving a bit more interest on the recruiting trail. Aside from his current offers Maryland, Va Tech, Syracuse, WVU and Pitt, all of which he insists are still on the table, Henry said coaches from Michigan; MSU; UVA; and UConn are showing interest. Henry wants to see each of the aforementioned schools during the summer, including taking a return trip to College Park, Md. Maryland, of course, is the only school Henry has trekked through. He continues to have a rapport with recruiter Matt Barnes and head coach D.J. Durkin, letting on the hometown school remains a principle option for him. At face value, one would have to consider Maryland the leader considering the staff has stood by him after his spinal-cord injury; Henry’s preference to attend college close to home; and his affinity for the DMV movement. But Henry is keeping an open mind and wants to take more trips; mull his other options; gauge any new options; and then embark on official visits before committing. Additionally, there are a few questions on this end that are giving us pause. We do believe the Terps’ staff will maintain a relationship with Henry regardless, but they could be taking a wait-and-see approach before pushing for a pop. (i.e. Transcripts? Is Henry fully recovered and able to play football?) You can read more about Henry HERE.
-- Erasmus Hall (Brooklyn, N.Y.) receiver Sean Ryan seems to have Maryland somewhat on the brain after failing to mention the Terps in his last interview. At The Opening New Jersey he told Scout’s Sam Hellman the UMD staff, led by area recruiter Pete Lembo and receivers’ coach Chris Beatty, was pushing for him and had his attention. (He wore Terps’ gear to the even, for what it’s worth.) Ryan hasn’t been in College Park, yet, though, and it’s unclear if he’ll actually make it down. Ryan told Hellman he wants to commit soon, which means he could pop without seeing any other campuses. At the moment, Ryan is taking a long look at Nebraska, which apparently has the recruit’s and his parents’ attention. The three-star had a standout Lincoln, Neb., visit and could have the Huskers trending. Nearby Rutgers is in play too thanks to the coaches’ pursuit and Ryan’s solid foray through Piscataway, N.J., in early April. It’s possible the Brooklyn native’s situation could change if he lands a game-changing offer (his Purdue offer May 2 doesn’t cut it), but for now Ryan seems focused on the Huskers and Scarlet Knights, with the Terps running third. We’ll see if he hold of on committing and decided to take in College Park.
-- Curtis (Staten Island, N.Y.) slot receiver Amad Anderson caught up with Scout’s Brian Dohn at The Opening New Jersey, and the three-star has his eye on recent offeree Wisconsin. Anderson told Dohn he wanted to check out the Badgers “as soon as possible.” Rutgers, though, continues to be positioned well after Anderson’s multiple treks through Piscataway. Ryan has a terrific relationship with the Scarlet Knights’ staff, who are pressing for the Staten Island athlete and just landed a commitment from his friend. The Terps are firmly in the game as well with recruiter Pete Lembo on the three-star. Anderson hasn’t been in College Park since the fall, but he said he’ll be back in May or during the summer. Boston College, Wake and NC State are three other schools on Anderson’s mind.
-- Harrisburg (Pa.) receiver Shaquon Anderson-Butts was downgraded to “cool” on the hot board last week after he inferred the Terps may be behind numerous others in the pecking order. Earlier this week, he publically confirmed our assumption. Anderson-Butts told Scout he had Penn State, Florida, Baylor, West Virginia, Arizona, Kentucky and Louisville atop his favorites list. The Nittany Lions, which Anderson-Butts just visited, are considered the favorites. About the only reason the Harrisburg product remains on the hot board is because he told Scout’s Ed O’Brien he “might” take a return trip to College Park this summer. Thus, maybe there’s a glimmer of hope for UMD if Anderson-Butts does come back to campus and some of the other favorites drop off. Just don’t bank on it.
-- Mays (Atlanta, Ga.) tight end Maleak Bryant landed a coveted offer from Tennessee in late April. Bryant now has the Vols as a prime contender and is planning out a May/June visit date. Furthermore, other SEC programs such as Florida, South Carolina and UGA have been stopping by Mays to gauge the big pass catcher. If any of those institutions enter the mix, they’d promptly vault up Bryant’s leaderboard. The Terps are still in a strong spot for Bryant, who visited College Park with teammate and UMD offeree Amir Abdul-Rahman April 4 and subsequently called Maryland his clear leader. Terps’ offensive coordinator Walt Bell even stopped by Mays to make sure the tight end knew he was still a priority recruit. But it sounds like Bryant’s new suitors/interest will give the tight end some pause. Bryant may elect to push back his imminent spring college decision date so he can explore more of his options. He’ll be at Iowa State, another top option, June 8 and should be in Rocky Top shortly thereafter.
-- ASA College (Brooklyn, N.Y.) junior college offensive tackle Malik Besseck has been steadily adding offers since the spring began, with Colorado; Washington State; and UCF coming through. But it was his Minnesota offer in late March that could prove to be a game-changer. The 6-5, 280-pounder grew up in Minneapolis, Minn., and now the Gophers’ staff is giving him a chance to return home for his final two years of college eligibility. Nebraska, Iowa, Kentucky and Kansas are four more programs on Besseck’s radar. Maryland remains involved too with area recruiter Pete Lembo and line coach Tyler Bowen on Besseck, but we’ll see if the big tackle actually follows through with an intended College Park visit. Our gut is it’s unlikely to occur.
-- American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.) offensive center Zack Zambrano remains in a holding pattern two months after he visited Maryland, his lone power-five suitor, for the first time. He still has the Terps No. 1, he still hasn’t picked up more major verbals, and he’s still in close contact with UMD-area recruiter Chris Beatty. “As of now, they’re my top school. Things can obviously change, but as of now it’s my top school,” said Zambrano, who has offers from Marshall, App State and a host of Ivies. “They’re coming up, they’re building a strong program, it’s great academics and I feel like I got along with the coaches really well there. Overall, I could see myself being there the next four years, which is most important.” But Zambrano can’t commit to UMD right now, even if he wanted to. He readily admitted the Terps’ staff is waiting to see how its recruiting board plays out before making a move on the Florida three-star center. (Maryland is taking four offensive linemen overall, and preferably three tackles to go along with guard commit Evan Gregory. But if the Terps’ staff can only land two tackles, they’ll take another interior lineman such as Zambrano). So, in the meantime, Zambrano is gauging his various Ivy offers and seeing what new opportunities may materialize this spring/summer. Coaches from Georgia Tech, Vandy, TCU, Duke and even Stanford have been in touch or trekked through American Heritage, although Zambrano isn’t sure if he’s close to landing a scholarship from any of them or not. Either way, Zambrano plans to take a few summer visits, attend a couple camps, and then commit before his senior season. Maybe by that time the Terps’ coaches will have a better idea where they stand with their tackle targets, and whether they should push for Zambrano or hold off. But, if the picture is still murky on Maryland’s end, Zambrano may just opt for an Ivy school and be done with it. You can read more about Zambrano HERE.
Defensive Recruiting Notes
-- P.J. Mustipher, DT, McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.): There isn’t much new to report after last week’s Shell, except Mustipher surprisingly left Ohio State off his list of standouts in an interview with Scout’s Brian Dohn. Instead, the four-star said he’s focused on PSU, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Va Tech, Maryland and Michigan State (the Spartans were the lone surprise). The exclusion of the Buckeyes, which Mustipher visited in April, likely means Notre Dame -- where his older brother attends and the McDonogh product visited for the umpteenth time April 22 -- Penn State (April visit) and Tennessee (April visit) hold the edge for the recruit’s services. The Irish should still be considered the frontrunners, but there’s a chance the Nittany Lions and a couple others could make this interesting. With Maryland, the Terps likely sit in the middle or towards the back of the aforementioned six contenders. Mustipher was last in College Park in mid-April and has a solid rapport with defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh. He also loves the direction headman DJ Durkin is taking the program. But will UMD’s strides/hometown appeal be enough for a four-star who has seemingly sought to play for a nationally-known institution from the jump? Well, we’re not predicting it to happen. Either way, don’t expect Mustipher to keep readers in suspense long. It sounds like he’ll be a late-summer popper.
-- Copiah-Lincoln (Wesson, Mass.) junior college defensive tackle Jonathan Lolohea has seen his recruiting take off as the spring has moved along. The 6-3, 315-pound Samoan native is up to 16 offers, with the latest coming from Colorado and Kansas. As his profile has grown, Lolohea has backed off his top-three leaderboard of Maryland, Iowa State and Oregon State. He’s now keeping his options open as more and more programs’ coaches trek through Copiah-Lincoln and show interest. Once he knows which schools’ coaches truly want him, the defensive tackle will begin taking unofficial visits this summer before scheduling official visits. He said two locales he “definitely” wants to see soon are Colorado and Kansas, and he’s unsure where he’ll head after that. But Arizona, Maryland, Iowa State, Oregon State and possibly more are all on the radar. The Terps may get a look thanks to Lolohea’s relationship with defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh and UMD’s need for interior defensive linemen. But our gut is the Hawaiian is going to end up somewhere closer to home -- in the Mountain West or the West Coast.
-- Dominion (Sterling, Va.) defensive tackle Jayde Pierre had been sitting on ACC/Big Ten looks for quite some time, but May 3 he landed an offer from Arizona. We don’t envision the 6-1, 295-pound three-star heading across the country for college, but the Pac-12 verbal could open up Pierre’s recruiting. He has offers from Maryland, Purdue, UVA and Boston College, but several more FBS programs have stopped by Dominion to monitor the budding plugger. And considering defensive tackles always seem to be in short supply, we could easily see Pierre nabbing an eye-opening offer or two down the line. For now, though, Pierre’s situation is status quo. He likes the Terps and UVA a good deal, with Maryland trending following winter/spring visits to College Park. Pierre has taken to defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh, likes that UMD is less than three hours from home, and loves the environment surrounding the program. We’ll see if Pierre’s thinking is altered if more scholarships come in, but, based off his prior comments, he could be bound for either Maryland or Virginia at some point this summer.
-- Western Branch (Chesapeake, Va.) defensive tackle Jalen Alexander is staying on the hot board because UMD recruiter Chris Beatty is on him, and the recruit told me he “might” make it back to Maryland this summer. (Alexander saw UMD for the first time back in February). But the 6-4, 280-pounder has been fading from the Terps’ staff’s grasp for some time. Va Tech continues to trend after Alexander’s April Blacksburg visit, and West Virginia could be running second after a jaunt through Morgantown. Maybe the only reason Alexander hasn’t committed to the Hokies yet, though, is his desire for big-time looks. The three-star said he’ll be heading out to Florida State and Georgia -- he’ll hit offeree Ga Tech since it’s in the area -- coming up since both staffs have had communication with him. It’s possible he’ll walk away with the coveted offers in tow, but that would probably mean Maryland would finish fourth or fifth for Alexander’s services rather third.
-- South Pointe (Rock Hill, S.C.) linebacker Elijah Adams hasn’t been out all spring, but he’ll be hitting the road in earnest with the school year coming to a close. Some of the trips on his radar include returns to NC State, ECU and South Carolina and an initial trek through Maryland. The 6-0, 230-pound Adams has been in communication with UMD-area recruiter Walt Bell since February, which is when the Terps’ assistant anted up. Adams also said the school’s Big Ten affiliation is attractive. But there are a couple red flags that suggest Adams probably isn’t going to wind up in College Park -- even if he does visit. The South Carolina native said although he’s in touch with Bell, “we don’t talk that often.” That’s typically an indication the recruit isn’t a top priority for the staff. Moreover, Adams hinted he was most excited about his upcoming NC State foray, leading us to believe the Wolfpack hold the edge in this recruitment (despite the three-star’s insistence to the contrary). Plus, Adams admitted he was seeking offers from Va Tech, Tennessee and UGA, with the former staff the most likely to ante up. At one time, Adams was considered a South Carolina lock, but the Gamecocks’ coaches probably aren’t going to “take” the Rock Hill native at this time. Which means he’s probably NC State’s to lose unless the Hokies complicate matters. The Terps may have a shot should Adams follow through with a trip and Bell ups his pursuit, but for now we’re leaving the three-star “cool” on the hot board. You can read more about Adams HERE.
-- Tottenville (Staten Island, N.Y.) outside linebacker Zihir Lacewell caught up with Scout’s Brian Dohn at The Opening New Jersey. But the four-star Terps’ target didn’t really have much to say. Rutgers is the one school he’s visited, and the Scarlet Knights, whose staff has been pushing for Lacewell in earnest, have been in the pole position for a few months now. The Scout 300 recruit might get around to some of his other suitors like Pitt, Syracuse and Maryland, but he seems like someone who prefers playing close to home. It is possible, however, that some Big Ten mainstays could alter Lacewell’s thinking if they toss out offers. The four-star is hearing increasingly from the bigwigs and could potentially pull a game-changing verbal or two before the spring is out.
-- Vineland (N.J.) safety Isaiah Pacheco is the teammate of UMD pledge Nihym Anderson, and we were led to believe Maryland-area recruiter Anthony Tucker and Co. would be actively recruiting the versatile Garden State safety/running back. Perhaps that’s the case, but Pacheco didn’t broach the Terps in an interview with Scout at The Opening New Jersey. Rather, the three-star mentioned the new interest from staffers from Ohio State and Clemson, while noting the presence of coaches from Iowa and Minnesota at his school. He spoke highly of hometown Rutgers too, and the Scarlet Knights could have an edge. Maybe the Maryland omission was simply an oversight on Pacheco’s part, but it could signal the recruit’s mind (or, more likely, the Maryland staff’s) is elsewhere. After all, Pacheco did visit College Park in April, so we would’ve though he would’ve at least brought the trip up. Either way, look for Pacheco to go through the rest of the evaluation period and maybe camp season before announcing his college decision. Note: Pacheco has expressed a desire to play running back at the next level. The Terps offered him at safety.
-- Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Ohio) safety Nate Bauer said he could be closing in on his college commitment, and the vibe is Syracuse will be his destination after taking in the campus for a second time April 22. Bauer, who is a “take” for the Orange staff, raved about his latest New York foray, talking up the coaches; players; campus and spring game. Now, Bauer did visit College Park April 21 for his first look at the Terps. He offered up his share of praise for recruiter Andy Buh, defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and head coach D.J. Durkin. But the three-star acknowledged that Durkin “wants to see me in camp even though I have an offer from [UMD].” Which Bauer may or may not be inclined to do. He ideally would like to commit later this spring, meaning, if he sticks to that timeline, he’ll be part of the Orange program before camp season begins. Boston College is in the running too, and Bauer will attempt to return to BC in the coming weeks. You can read more about Bauer HERE.
-- Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.) safety Ray Boone’s profile has grown since the evaluation period began. On May 2, he added an offer from UNC and on May 4 NC State pulled through, giving the three-star DMV defensive back more enticing option to explore. Boone, who added a Va Tech offer recently as well, now would like to check out Raleigh, N.C., Chapel Hill, N.C., and Blacksburg, Va., this summer. It’s possible some of those trips (should they actually occur) could entice Boone, although he isn’t thought to be a top priority for either the Heels’ or the Hokies’ staffs. (It’s unclear where NC State’s coaches stand at this time). He is, however, a foremost option for hometown Maryland’s coaches. So, as we wrote last week after Boone told us he had UMD and Va Tech ion the brain, we’re going to keep projecting him to College Park until we hear otherwise. It just might take Boone awhile to jump on board, a la former teammate Lawtez Rogers, who needed a few months to figure out the local university sought his services more than any other suitor.
-- McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.) cornerback/slot DeJuan Ellis decommitted from Virginia Tech May 2 and is taking a step back to gauge which programs’ coaches pursue him as a corner or receiver. The Hokies remain a foremost option for the 5-11, 160-pound whirling dervish, and the staff figures to stay on the four-star athlete. Maryland should be a primary contender as well. The Terps’ former staff actually offered Ellis way back in August 2015, when ex-offensive coordinator Mike Locksley became the very first coach to ante up. Now, expect UMD-area recruiter Matt Barnes and Co. to hop on the local product as a cornerback. Ellis has journeyed through College Park on several occasions, speaking highly of the school’s close proximity to his home and the coaching staff. But it’s too early to make any predictions this soon after Ellis’ decommitment. He has more than a handful of schools interested in adding his speed and athleticism to their offense or defense, including Penn State; UNC; Clemson; Notre Dame; Syracuse; Maryland; Va Tech and more. We’ll have to see how much Ellis’ profile expands, and what locales he chooses to visit, before drawing any conclusions.
-- Bayside (Virginia Beach, Va.) cornerback/receiver Armani Chatman landed a significant offer from WVU in late April. He’s been in Morgantown, W.Va., a couple times and has always had plenty of positive comments for the Mountaineers and their up-tempo offense. It’s now thought WVU resides alongside Maryland and Va Tech atop Chatman’s initial assumed favorites list. We say “assumed” mainly because Chatman is nowhere close to forming a true set of leaders. A few nationally known programs’ coaches have been in contact (namely Florida State), and Chatman, who has been starry-eyed from the jump, is hoping they come through with offers. But our gut is Chatman’s not going to pull those coveted looks -- if he does, they may not be immediately committable -- meaning he’ll likely revert back to the Techs, UMDs, WVUs, NC States and UCFs (another recent offer) of the world later this summer. Then, after taking a couple officials during the fall, he’ll choose from one of those latter five or six institutions, depending on who still has room for him. The Terps, who will likely take Chatman as a corner, should remain in the thick of things throughout thanks to the three-star’s relationship with area recruiter Chris Beatty. Chatman was last in College Park back in April and should be returning during the summer/fall.
New Offers Out
Drew Pyne, QB, New Canaan (Conn.) (2020): Maryland quarterbacks coach Walt Bell tossed an offer Pyne’s way May 1, the 2020 recruit’s 13th to date. Pyne, who stands 6-1, 160-pounds, projects as one of the nation’s top signal callers in his class. He boasts early verbals from Alabama, Auburn, FSU, Ole Miss, Tennessee, South Carolina, Penn State, Va Tech, TAMU, Mizzou, BC and now UMD.
Aaron McLaughlin, QB, Buford (Ga.) (2021): McLaughlin is already being called the class of 2021’s No. 1 quarterback, and UMD’s Walt Bell tossed the Terps’ name into the hat for the 6-4, 205-pound incoming freshman May 2. The Georgian previously had looks from UCLA, TAMU, Ole Miss, Mizzou, Indiana, Georgia State and FAU.
Hometown Georgia is an offer McLaughlin is seeking, and Southern Cal and other SEC programs hold early interest for him too. But it’ll be interesting to see how the budding signal caller develops the next few years -- and how his recruitment ebbs and flows.
Jeremiah Payton, WR, Fletcher (Neptune Beach, Fla.) (2019): UMD-area recruiter Chris Beatty identified this emerging 2019 receiver May 4. It was the 6-3, 180-pounder’s 17th offer to day, with notable programs such as Florida; UGA; Miami; Louisville; UNC; Mississippi State; South Carolina; and Tennessee anteing up prior to the Terps’ look. Payton likes in-star UF a good amount early, but there’s a ways to go before he forms any sort of leaderboard.
Malik Washington, WR, Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.) (2019): Washington is a dynamic 2019 slot receiver, whose speed and make-you-miss moves has attracted early offers from Auburn, Tennessee, Vandy, Duke, UVA, Wake and now Maryland. The Terps’ area recruiter, Walt Bell, saw Washington work out during his trek through the Peach State and extended the verbal May 4.
Chris Mayo, OT, The Peddie School (Richland, N.J.) (2020): This 2020 tackle has attracted plenty of attention this spring, which isn’t a surprise considering he’s 6-5, 325 pounds. On May 3, Mayo pulled his fourth offer from Maryland and area recruiter Anthony Tucker. Mayo previously had verbals from Syracuse, Tennessee and UVA. He’ll have more; coaches from Notre Dame, Penn State, and others throughout the Big Ten are already sniffing him.
Chris Hinton Jr., DL, Greater Atlanta Christian (Norcross, Ga.) (2019): If the surname “Hinton” raises an eyebrow, it should. Chris Hinton is the son of the 13-year NFL Pro Bowler by the same name.
And as readers may have guessed, the 6-4, 265-pound Hinton Jr. is already a major college prospect. Before UMD-area recruiter Walt Bell anted up May 3, the four-star had looks from Alabama; Michigan; Stanford; Clemson; Florida; LSU; MSU; Miami; Auburn; Georgia; Notre Dame; UNC; Ohio State; Ole Miss; Tennessee; Va Tech; Northwester (father’s alma mater); and more.
Needless to say, this won’t be an easy pull for the Maryland staff.
Myles Hinton, DL, Greater Atlanta Christian (Norcross, Ga.) (2020): Myles Hinton is, you guessed it, the younger brother of Chris Hinton Jr. And the 6-6, 300-pound 2020 recruit might be an even better prospect than his older sibling.
Myles Hinton, who actually projects as an offensive tackle, has pretty much the same glut of early offers Chris Hinton Jr. does. His Terps’ look also came in May 3.
Ahmad Craig, DE, Buford (Ga.) (2019): Maryland assistant Walt Bell has been quite active in Georgia, and while at Buford he offered both the quarterback Aaron McLaughlin (discussed above) and the 2019 edge rusher Craig. Craig, who stands 6-6, also has an offer from Wake. He should be receiving many more in the months ahead.
Thurmon Geathers, BUCK, North Cobb (Kennesaw, Ga.): Geathers received a Maryland offer from Walt Bell May 1, and after speaking to the UMD-area recruiter, the three-star placed the Terps among his top-five contenders. The BUCK target said Bell left him impressed and he “definitely” wanted to visit College Park this summer.
But don’t read into those comments yet. Geathers is a “praise every program” recruit, and the sense is he’s open to anything at this stage. At the same time Geathers said he’s focused on offerees like TCU, Indiana, NC State and Maryland, he allowed verbals from Wake Forest, Arkansas, UNC, South Carolina Tennessee could change his thinking.
Additionally, Geathers has only been to South Carolina thus far. He really won’t be in position to make a call on standouts until he actually ventures out to a few more locales. The three-star would like to see most of his offers and potential offers, but we’ll see which campuses he actually make it to.
Our gut is Geathers isn’t going to wind up in College Park, but we’ll include him on the hot board as “cool” in case the UMD foray does materialize.
You can read more about Geathers HERE.
Osman Savage, OLB, St. Frances (Baltimore, Md.) (2020): Savage is the next big thing at St. Frances, and April 27 he landed his first offer from Maryland. He’s a 6-2, 225-pound sophomore, who lines up at outside linebacker and running back for St. Frances. Savage will play defense at the next level and figures to be a highly-sought after edge rusher. Maryland and recruiter Jimmy Brumbaugh will develop a rapport with him the next few years.
Quendarius Jefferson, S, Hillcrest (Simonsville, S.C.) (2019): UMD-area recruiter Walt Bell was in South Carolina April 28, and during his trek through Hillcrest he was the first to offer the 2019 safety Jefferson. Jefferson is a 6-1, 190-pounder who projects as a top-level recruit. He should have numerous options once the evaluation period is through.
Steven Gilmore, CB, South Pointe (S.C.): The three-star Gilmore pulled a Maryland offer April 28 from area recruiter Walt Bell. Gilmore appreciated the look and said it was good to see Bell at his school. But we’ll see if the 5-11 185-pounder makes it up to College Park for a visit. He didn’t say UMD was a school he “definitely” wanted to get to, instead bringing up schools closer to home such as Duke; Louisville; and ECU. Plus, Gilmore has an offer from hometown South Carolina and seems to be leaning towards the Gamecocks after multiple campus stays. He’s high on UGA as well, while Louisville has him intrigued too.
More than likely. Gilmore is going to stick in the South -- and probably at South Carolina. You can read more about Gilmore HERE.
Rachad Wildgoose, CB, Northwestern (Miami, Fla.): Wildgoose committed to Rutgers back in mid-April, but he’s been generating plenty of attention since the evaluation period began. In the last week-plus alone he’s picked up offers from Oregon State, NC State, FIU and Maryland. Others in the ACC and SEC are monitoring the 5-11, 190-pound three-star as well.
Per our contacts, Wildgoose, like many Florida recruits, can be a bit mercurial. Thus, it wouldn’t shock if he opted to reopen his recruitment at some point. So, it’s possible UMD defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim could make some inroads here.
But we’re not adding Wildgoose to the hot board unless he actually decommits and decides to visit College Park.
Off The Board
Leddie Brown, RB, Smyrna (Del.): As expected, Brown committed to longtime favorite West Virginia April 30. He’d been projected to WVU since his sophomore year, when the Mountaineers became Brown’s very first suitor. He visited Morgantown numerous times and was last on campus April 15.
Brown also considered Florida and Tennessee. The Terps were among his top-five leaders, and he did trek through College Park, Md., on a couple occasions, but we never envisioned Brown winding up at UMD.
Darian Kinnard, OT, St. Ignatius (Cleveland, Ohio): The four-star offensive tackle Kinnard visited Kentucky April 29 and promptly committed to the Wildcats a day later. It was a somewhat surprising move considering Kinnard expressed a desire to embark on multiple summer/fall college visits, had just picked up new offers from Penn State and Mizzou, and sought to see if some Midwest bigwigs like Ohio State or Michigan showed interest. (What was even more perplexing was Kinnard’s insistence on attending a well-regarded academic institution. The SEC isn’t exactly known for that). But evidently Kinnard connected with the Wildcats’ coaching staff and loved Lexington, Kent., so he decided not to delay his decision.
With Maryland, UMD-area recruiter Andy Buh offered Kinnard way back in January. Since then, Kinnard had been in touch with the Terps’ staff and continually mentioned Maryland as a school he wanted to check out.
But that will no longer the case. He said he’s content with his college decision and ready to focus on his high school team.
Jayson Oweh, DE, Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.): The big defensive end Oweh was added to the hot board after he added a Maryland offer in early April. At the time, we were told the Terps’ staff might have a shot if Oweh predictably fell through the cracks.
But Oweh isn’t falling through any cracks anytime soon.
The 6-6, 240-pounder has gained steam during the spring evaluation period, and in late April he landed a coveted Penn State verbal. Oweh has been in State College, Pa., a couple times, and most analysts believe he’s going there so long as the PSU coaches keep pushing.
Wisconsin, Va Tech, Georgia and hometown Rutgers are three more contenders to watch out for.
Isheem Young, S, Imhotep (Philadelphia, Pa.): Young participated in The Opening New Jersey, and in a post-event interview with Scout’s Brian Dohn he didn’t even bring up his two spring visits to Maryland. Instead, he kept talking up Penn State, the presumptive favorite after the four-star took in the Blue-White game. Meanwhile, Young will be hitting primary contenders WVU and Ohio State soon, with both likely ranking among the four-star’s main two or three suitors. Young then wants to get to Bama, LSU and Clemson this summer, even though neither the Tide nor CU have offers out. (The coaches are showing interest, and Young believes he could add the verbals once he steps foot on campus).
Maryland does reside on the four-star’s current top-six leaderboard, and Young does like UMD defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim a good deal, but it seems like all the bigwigs and WVU would have to fall off for him to wind up in College Park. The likelihood of that happening at this current juncture is slim.
Way Too Early Class Projections
Quarterback (Take 1)
Running Back (Take 1)
Receivers (Take 3-4)
Darryl Jones (imminent)
Dontay Demus (imminent)
Tight Ends (Take 1)
Offensive Tackles (Take 2-3)
Justin Johnson (imminent)
Offensive Guards (Take 1-2)
Offensive Centers (Take 0-1)
Defensive Tackles (Take 2)
Defensive Ends/BUCKs (Take 3)
Outside Linebackers (Take 2)
Inside Linebackers (Take 1-2)
Safeties (Take 1)
Cornerbacks (Take 3-4)