Sophomore defensive end DeAndre Jules (Northwest/Germantown, Md.) is only 16 years old, but he already stands 6-feet-3, 240 pounds and boasts an 82-inch wingspan. He can dunk a basketball with both hands, run stride for stride with receivers, and run right through offensive tackles on his way to the quarterback.
“He’s real old school, physical and very tough … and a tremendous athlete,” said Northwest coach Mike Neubeiser of his highly-sought-after 2019 recruit. “He’s been on varsity since ninth grade and played tight end, defensive end and defensive tackle for us last year. He’s a great blocker and has great hands, but I see him as a D-lineman in college because of his size, length, athleticism and explosiveness. He’s probably going to be 270, 280 pounds when he’s done high school.”
Jules first grabbed college recruiters’ eyes before last season, when his size alone commanded attention. He then received his first offer when the Northwest staff took him to a camp at North Carolina, the Tar Heels’ coaches presenting the verbal on the spot.
Jules proceeded to shine on the field, prompting coaches from Maryland, Pitt, Purdue and ECU to ante up. And this offseason, with assistants streaming through for the spring evaluation period, Jules has attracted the eye of the country’s elites, including Big Ten mainstays Penn State and Ohio State.
Jules will be attending camps at both of the latter institutions in hopes of culling out offers.
“Those are the two we’re definitely taking him to. One of DeAndre’s goals is to get those big offers, and those two schools we’re sort of highlighting to get him to [for camps,” Neubeiser said. “If he gets those offers, then others will probably start to pile [on]. But, really, any camp we take him to I feel he’ll get an offer. There’s some coaches out West that I know that said, ‘Man, if you can just get him out here, we’ll offer him.’”
Jules was able to take in a Penn State game last fall, which he thoroughly enjoyed. The only other school he’s been to thus far is Maryland, which he’s seen multiple times. He was at a game during the season, a prospect day in February and then for a spring practice in April.
“He really likes it at Maryland. He likes the coaches a lot, and he has a good relationship with [area recruiter] Coach [Chris] Beatty,” Neubeiser said. “The Maryland coaches have treated him well up there, and he’s enjoyed what he’s seen and what [the program is] about.”
Neubeiser said the hometown movement that’s taken hold in the DMV area is on Jules’ mind as well.
“Coach [DJ] Durkin is pushing hard to keep the local kids here [for college], and DeAndre likes that,” he said. “Also, the push for academics and Coach Durkin’s message about academics first is a big thing for him and his mom. It’s really resonated with them.
“Maryland could be a chance for him to play early too. [Early] playing time is going to weight into things for him. If he feels he can go to Maryland and start for three years, that might be more enticing then someplace else. But we’ll see when the time comes.”
Neubeiser said his Northwest team will be back at Maryland this summer for a 7-on-7. That will give Jules, who will be playing tight end and linebacker at the event, even more exposure to the Terps’ staff.
“But it’s still very early for him,” Neubeiser said. “He’s just getting started. There’s a lot coming his way, so we’ll see.”