Back on Jan. 6, Ware County (Waycross, Ga.) offensive tackle Jalynn Strickland received his very first power-five offer from Maryland when recruiter Anthony Tucker anted up. Since then, the 6-foot-6, 310-pounder has added about 19 more offers, but UMD remains firmly in mind.
“With Maryland, that was my very first big offer, and that means something to me,” said Strickland, who now counts verbals from Arkansas, Minnesota, Memphis, Marshall, UCF, Army, Navy, Cincinnati and a host of other non-power five programs. “I like what they bring to the table in terms of their education and their football program. It really looks like they’re on the rise. They play in the Big Ten too, which is a very competitive conference. I’m always keeping Maryland in there.”
Strickland doesn’t speak as much to Tucker anymore, but he and Maryland offensive line coach Tyler Bowen are in regular communication. The Ware County product estimates they exchange messages multiple times each week.
“I talk to Coach Bowen the most, and he was at my practice [May 8], and it was great to see him there. We talk all the time, and it’s a great relationship,” Strickland said. “I see that he takes the offensive line seriously and really cares about his players. He’s younger too, and I can relate to him. He’s been telling me a lot of good things about Maryland and has been trying to get me up there for a visit.”
The Terps are actually one of three programs on Strickland’s radar. He said of his 21 current offers, Maryland, Arkansas and Minnesota have his eye.
“Those are the ones I’m sort of focusing on,” Strickland said. “Arkansas, I’m big on them because it’s my first SEC offer, they play good football there, and they’ve done well with offensive linemen. I was real excited about that offer.
“Minnesota, I like what their offensive staff is saying to me. I talk to their line coach and head coach like every day. They tell me all about the program, what’s new up there, and how I’d be a great fit there. It’s cool that the head coach contacts me like that; it shows they really want me. And they play good football there and it’s in a great conference like the Big Ten. I’d like to get up there for a visit.”
Strickland said he’s not exactly pining for more looks, either. That said, if some major SEC programs come sniffing, he could be swayed.
“I mean, I’m really thankful for what I have. If more come in I’ll look into them and see if they catch my eye, but I like those three right now,” Strickland said. “But I am in touch with South Carolina, LSU, Kentucky, Auburn, Oregon State, Georgia and Georgia Tech.”
The Georgian went on to say that most of the latter programs have sent coaches to Ware County. Additionally, the Terps, Gophers and Razorbacks have trekked through as well.
The question is, when and where exactly will Strickland be venturing out to? He’s only been to spring games at UGA and Ga Tech thus far.
“I’ve been really busy, and this summer I’m going to be busy too with our football program’s schedule. So I’m really not sure what schools I’m going to be able to get to. But once I do get some free time, I’ll be sure to head out,” Strickland said. “I’d like to get to Maryland, Minnesota and Arkansas, and I’m looking into getting to South Carolina too since they’ve been in touch.”
Strickland has no plans to commit soon. He’d like to take multiple officials and perhaps commit towards the end, or after, his senior season.