Keith Cavanaugh offers perspective on the last three Maryland football commits and what they mean to…
TTDave's Inside the Shell
Tanyi Becomes No. 8
The only mention I was going to make of Mbi Tanyi, the latest Terps commit from Bush (Sugar Land, Texas), was that Maryland was now recruiting him as an outside linebacker as opposed to a defensive lineman. But then Tanyi had to go and pop to UMD the night of June 12, forcing a bit of a welcome Shell rewrite.
So, the 6-foot-3, 260-pounder is on board, as anticipated. He was going to wait until June 29, a day after attending the Terps' June 28 camp, but he opted against delaying the inevitable. A high-character, high-academic kid who valued Maryland's educational opportunities, coaching staff and family environment, he chose UMD over offers from Colorado, UTEP, Houston and LA Tech.
Tanyi played mainly offensive guard last year and projected as a defensive lineman at Maryland, but he'll now have to make the adjustment to outside backer. He's athletic and quick, but he admitted he'll have to get even faster, more nimble, and hone his feet and hips. If he's able to do that, Tanyi has the motor and the get-off to be an effective pass rusher at the next level.
He is the second straight recruit the Terps have landed from Texas, joining Brendan Moore from last year's class. Perhaps more significantly, though, Tanyi represents coach Keenan McCardell's first haul as a college assistant. McCardell has made plenty of inroads into Texas and Florida, and his efforts finally paid off. We'll see if this gets the ball rolling and UMD can land some even bigger fish out of the talent-rich Lone Star State and Sunshine State. (STORY).
The June 7 One-Day Camp
The Terps had five poppers in the last six days, and the first jumped on board following the June 7 one-day camp in College Park, Md. Frankfort's (Ridgeley, W.Va.) Gage Shaffer, a 6-foot-7, 205-pound gunslinger in the Sam Hollenbach mold, picked up a Maryland scholarship after showing out at the camp and committed shortly thereafter, becoming UMD's fourth pledge in the 2015 class. Shaffer and his father both appreciated head coach Randy Edsall's on-the-spot offer, and the West Virginia quarterback thoroughly enjoyed being around the staff and the school. Not to mention he liked Maryland's academic reputation and its Big Ten shift.
The Terps made it known they wanted to take two quarterback this year, and the second of which was forecast as a developmental guy who they could bring along slowly. Shaffer appears to fit the bill, as he's still admittedly raw and needs to hone his footwork and mechanics. He plays in a run-heavy offense at Frankfort and throws the ball maybe a dozen times a game, and he rarely leaves the pocket, which is something he'll have to get used to in Maryland's zone-read. Moreover, Shaffer's head coach, Kevin Whiteman, said the competition from week to week isn't always stellar, so Shaffer will need to acclimate himself to the speed and athletes he'll see in the Big Ten.
But there are plenty of tools to work with here. Shaffer can sling it around a little bit, and he's fairly accurate. He's obviously got the size to go along with the arm, so if he can shore up the mechanics and improve his overall athleticism, well, he could have a bright future indeed. (STORY).
Five days after Shaffer popped, the Terps landed perhaps the second-highest profile commit in this year's crop (after Linganore's E.J. Donahue). Cornerback Kareem Ali (Timber Creek/Erial, N.J.), a 5-foot-11, 170-pound three star, drew out his recruiting process several months longer than he originally anticipated, and it worked in Maryland's favor. Once considered a heavy Penn State (and then Florida and then Louisville) lean, the Jersey defensive back opted for the school that's been pushing for him since last year. Pittsburgh finished second in the running, and Louisville, once his dream offer, came in third.
Ali and his father both felt comfortable with UMD academically, and each loved the staff and the relationships they had formed. First Keith Dudzinski, and then new area recruiter John Dunn, made consistent overtures, while defensive backs coach Brian Stewart and Randy Edsall were heavily involved as well. When Ali, who was on campus earlier this year for a junior day, attended the one-day June 7, he couldn't say enough about the Terps' staff. He said each of the coaches laid out a clear plan for both Ali's and the football program's development, and the Jersey product ate it up.
Ali's pledge means Maryland has now secured Garden State studs in back-to-back years (receiver Juwann Winfree signed in the 2014 class), a testament to the program's Jersey recruiting efforts. With Rutgers struggling a bit with top in-state talents, the Terps and others are taking advantage. Now, Maryland isn't going to land all its New Jersey targets (for example, guys like Joe Giles-Harris, Jamie Gordinier, Grant Newsome, etc. have already opted elsewhere in this class), but if UMD can cherry pick one or two every year, that's not a bad haul.
Ali's commitment alone is significant, because the kid does have some cache among Garden State prospects. A popular presence on the camp scene, he knows plenty of the area's top talents and could be an effective recruiter. He probably doesn't have as much pull with St. Joseph Montvale (Montvale, N.J.) center Tommy Hatton as he suggested in my video interview with him, but if Ali can attract another elite prospect, either in this year's class or next year, well, you've gotten your moneys worth if you're Maryland.
Physically, Ali isn't the lockdown bulldog Will Likely is, and he doesn't have the pure speed of a J.J. Johnson, but he's a solid, all-around cover man who should excel if he's used correctly. Ali is smooth, fluid, transitions well and can stick to receivers throughout their routes. He's not afraid to get physical at the line or to come up for a tackle. His backpedal and footwork are on point, while his hips are loose. Ali does, however, need to work on his in-the-air ball skills, his instincts (from time to time he'll misplay balls over his head) and his make-up speed. If a burner gets a step on him, Ali tends to have trouble recovering. (STORY).
Ali and Shaffer were the two poppers who attended camp, but the Terps played host to a few other intriguing names June 7 as well. Three-star Trinity-Pawling (Pawling, N.Y.) defensive end Austrian Robinson finally made it down to College Park after saying he wanted to visit for a couple months. The 6-5, 265-pounder did not participate in the camp, but he still spent plenty of time with defensive line coach Chad Wilt, area recruiter Lyndon Johnson and Edsall. Afterwards, Robinson rated the trip a "10," saying it was "everything I expected and more." He talked up the campus, the current Terps, the Under Armour uniforms, the Big Ten move, the academics and especially the staff. The New York edge rusher called Wilt "my guy" and said he could see himself excelling in Maryland's defense and learning a lot from his position coach.
Just don't expect Robinson to pull the trigger for the Terps anytime soon. He's currently high on Boston College and Rutgers as well, and has Syracuse, UConn, Ole Miss, Penn State, UCF, Pitt and Miami visits coming up this summer. He does not plan to decide on a school until he takes some official visits this fall, with a college announcement coming sometime after his senior year. (STORY).
Robinson may be a ways away from committing, but St. Stephens/St. Agnes (Alexandria, Va.) outside linebacker Isaiah Davis could pop in less than a month. The 6-foot-1, 215-pounder, who is the brother of current Terps safety Sean Davis, picked up his UMD offer following his camp performance and expressed high interest in the university. Davis admitted his brother is pushing Maryland, and it appears Isaiah thoroughly enjoyed his College Park experience as well. He said he couldn't say "100 percent" he'll pop to UMD, but "it's real, real high for me… I definitely want to play with my brother for a year."
Davis also holds offers from Boston College and Virginia Tech, and has camps coming up at NC State, South Carolina, North Carolina, Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State. He'll make his decision shortly after that, likely in July. (INTERVIEW).
There weren't any other "offer" guys at the camp, but I did run into Palm Beach Lakes (West Palm Beach, Fla.) cornerback Maxwell Howell and Hillside (S.C.) running back Ricquaz Brannon. Howell, recall, had significant Terps interest and camped at UMD in hopes of landing an offer, but he admitted he didn't run well enough to come away with said verbal. Since then, the 6-foot-2, 185-pounder has committed to Ohio over Purdue, Cincinnati, Indiana and Middle Tennessee State.
Brannon, meanwhile, just picked up an offer from NC State not too long ago and said he's hoping the Terps show more interest as well. He enjoyed working with running backs coach Andre Powell and said UMD would vault to the top of his list should it pull through. But at this point, based on his 40 time and skill-set, I'm not sure I see a Terps push.
The June 8 One-Day Camp
A day later, the Terps brought in several more intriguing prospects, including a nationally-rated four star; a stud local defensive end; an emerging offensive lineman who already held a Maryland offer; a top-notch receiver; and an underrated burner. The result? Three new offers; one commitment; two recruits with heavy UMD interest; and one who will give the Terps their due.
We'll start with the underrated burner, because he's the one who popped on the spot, becoming Maryland's fifth class of 2015 pledge. Fort Hill (Cumberland, Md.) slot/returner Ty Johnson has blazed sub-4.4-second 40-yard dashes before, and he put on a show at the June 8 camp. Johnson had already done enough to attract numerous Division I-AA suitors, but the Terps' coaches thought him FBS-worthy after his six-hour performance.
Shortly after head coach Randy Edsall extended the scholarship, Johnson jumped at it, citing the staff, the chance to play for his hometown school, the university's academics, and the opportunity to shine in the Big Ten. He is a versatile, make-you-miss threat in the DeAndre Lane mold, and he has a bright future at kick returner and slot receiver.
But Johnson's commitment was significant because it opened up doors in Western Maryland, an area where football players have a chip on their shoulder and sometimes feel the talent goes underappreciated by top-level college programs. Powerhouse Fort Hill always has a special talent or two in toe, so grabbing Johnson now could certainly pay dividends down the road. Johnson is a special player in his own right, totaling 1,817 yards on offense and grabbing 10 interceptions at cornerback, but his impact goes beyond what he can do individually. (INTERVIEW).
After Johnson's pop, the Terps may have been close to adding a second commitment that day from Anthony Wayne (Whitehouse, Ohio) center/guard Mason Zimmerman, who holds offers from UMD, Cincinnati, Toledo and Marshall. The staff offered Zimmerman back during the evaluation period, and he and his family made it out to College Park for the first time June 8.
Zimmerman lauded his recruiter and position coach, Greg Studrawa, whom he worked with extensively at the camp. Moreover, both he and his parents hit it off with Edsall, who showed them around campus and reiterated his education-first message. Zimmerman also likes that Maryland is moving to the Big Ten, a conference he grew up watching, and said he felt comfortable on campus.
But Zimmerman did return home without popping, and said he does want to take a few other visits before coming to a decision this summer. He has Illinois and Northwestern trips this weekend, and Cincinnati, which just offered, could get a look as well. Zimmerman currently has the Terps sitting in the driver's seat ahead of Cincinnati, Toledo and Marshall (he's visited the latter two already), but we'll know more after this weekend. If the Illini and Wildcats ante up it could throw a kink into things. (STORY).
Zimmerman held an offer coming into the camp, but Good Counsel's (Olney, Md.) Darius Fullwood had to earn it. The three-star edge rusher had been waiting for the hometown program to pull through for months and months, and after his workout the Terps put the scholarship on the table. Fullwood, who does indeed project as a 3-4 defensive end, expressed plenty of gratitude, saying it was an honor to get an offer from a school he'd been watching for years. Maryland's business program, coaching staff and the fact he's friends with numerous current Terps all resonated with Fullwood.
The Terps are firmly in the game now, but they'll have other programs to fend off. He still thinks highly of Rutgers, Miami, Duke, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Virginia Tech and Ohio State (the offer may not be committable) and will visit the Wildcats, Blue Devils, Hokies and the Buckeyes (again) in short order. Fullwood wants to make his decision June 28, and we'll know more about his position after he finishes this upcoming camp/visit stretch. Right now, though, we think Maryland could be in a good spot for him. (INTERVIEW).
Another local recruit who camped and earned an offer was Calvert Hall (Towson, Md.) receiver Lawrence Cager, a 6-5, 190-pound three-star who already held verbals from Oregon State, Rutgers, Wake Forest, UConn, Indiana and others. Cager said he was "blessed" to pull a hometown offer, and he did have positive comments about the staff and the program as a whole. But the feeling here is Maryland has significant ground to make up.
Cager, during previous interviews, was a bit perturbed the Terps really didn't show much interest until after he blew up nationally and was invited to The Opening. He noted how schools like Wake, RU, Oregon State and Indiana had his attention, because they pursued before he hit it big. Wake and Rutgers currently sit atop his list, while he's waiting to see if Notre Dame or OSU pull through.
Cager is indeed receiving plenty of interest from "name" suitors now, and it's possible an Alabama, Oregon, Tennessee, Ohio State, Oklahoma State or Notre Dame – in addition to Kentucky, Duke and UNC – could grab his attention. He will attend camps at all of the aforementioned programs this summer, and would like to choose his college destination early this fall.
Finally, there's that four-star kid we mentioned earlier. Yes, we expected Sickles (Tampa, Fla.) running back Ray Ray McCloud to be on campus June 8. No, we did not expect him to show much interest in the Terps. After all, he has his pick of schools and has suggested that Florida and schools throughout the SEC are on his radar, in addition to the elites from the Pac-12, Big Ten and Notre Dame.
But after speaking to McCloud's party, the Terps could be a player here. We're not saying he's going to end up in College Park, but the 5-10, 175-pound burner was at Maryland all day and connected with his recruiter, Mike Locksley, and the rest of the staff. The chance to be "the man" at UMD from Day One sat well with him, and it at least gave him something to think about. We shall see.
TT Recruit Tour: Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.)
I stopped by Potomac June 11 in order to get the latest Terps commitment, defensive tackle Keiron Howard, on camera, as well as head coach Ron Crump's reaction. In addition, I wanted to see where speedy slot receiver Kesean Strong stood with the Terps, and identify any underclassmen who will be on the radar in the coming years.
First thing's first: Howard. The 6-3, 280 pounder committed to Maryland June 8 over offers from ODU, New Mexico, Buffalo, Marshall and Temple. Howard, who attended Maryland's June 1 one-day camp and hinted a pop was imminent, has been high on the Terps since hauling in the offer back in May -- and, really, even before that. He values being near his family and is very close to both his mother and brother (who is a rising sophomore at Potomac), so he'd been hoping for a hometown scholarship from the get-go.
Howard also has known area recruiter Mike Locksley for years, and the Potomac D-tackle said one of the main reasons he had such high Terps interest was his rapport with UMD's offensive coordinator. In addition, Howard immediately took to defensive line coach Chad Wilt at the one-day camp, and said he was "a real cool dude." The Potomac defensive tackle was considered a Tennessee lock for some time, but the Vols never presented a committable offer.
Of the most recent commitments, Howard's pledge is arguably the most important. Potomac produces top-flight talents every year, but hadn't sent a player Maryland's way since Marlon Moye-Moore back in the late 1990s. The Terps have been in the game for several Wolverines studs, most notably Ron Darby (Florida State) a couple years ago, but have come up empty in each pursuit. Howard, and potentially his teammate Strong, could open up a little pipeline to the Oxon Hill school, which is loaded in the 2016 and 2017 classes. (INTERVIEW.
As for KeSean Strong, we still expect him to be a Terp sooner rather than later. He really doesn't seem to have a good reason for holding out, and neither his teammates nor his coaches are totally sure what the holdup is. Crump and Strong both said Maryland will accept his pledge even though the Terps have Ty Johnson, who has a similar skill-set, on board, so unless something weird happens we do think he'll pop.
Strong currently holds offers from UMD, Temple, Marshall, Toledo, Buffalo, New Mexico and ODU, and he did visit Buffalo before attending camps at Cincinnati, Ohio State and Pittsburgh. The feeling here is he wanted to gauge the interest level of a place like Pitt or a Cinci just to see if he could add to his offer list.
Also, his family has stressed a deliberate approach and didn't want him rushing his decision. By all accounts, though, Strong and his family are comfortable with UMD, and the Potomac slot admitted he'd probably pop upon returning to College Park this summer -- if not sooner.
There is one other class of 2015 name to monitor here: cornerback David Rose, who we've written about before. Rose has scholarships from Buffalo, Toledo, Ohio and several I-AAs, but he said UMD, Pitt and Cincinnati are showing the love following their respective camps. He'll also be attending camps at NC State, Wake Forest and UNC to try and pique those programs' interest as well.
Rose said if Maryland offered, however, he'd almost surely jump at the opportunity. He said the chance to play with his teammate, Howard, be near his family, and represent his home state would be too much to pass up. Rose performed well at Maryland's one-day camp and said Brian Stewart, Locksley and Edsall were all impressed. He indicated that UMD has him next on its offer board, after Kareem Ali and Ashton White (Bishop McNamara/Forestville, Md.). Rose suggested that if White does not commit to UMD, then he could be next in line for the scholarship. Stay tuned.
Beyond those three, Potomac boasts a number of intriguing 2016 prospects, led by free safety Greg Ross (5-11, 170). Ross just added his first offer from Buffalo and has opened eyes at every camp he's attended this summer. Expect Maryland to give him a long, hard look during the next year or so.
Also keep an eye on cornerback Tyler Tobias (5-9, 150), receiver Andre Hall (5-8, 160) and running back Calil Wilkins (5-7, 180). Yes, I realize none of them are very tall, but like KeSean Strong, these guys can run. Tobias and Hall, especially, should draw their share of Division I interest before it's all said and done.
The 2017 class already features a pair of headliners, including a surefire national recruit. Running back Tayon Davis (5-10, 190) has one offer from NC State and will pick up a slew of others after one-day season. Maryland already knows about him, and we expect the Terps to offer this fall or shortly thereafter. This is the type of elite local UMD should be able to snag, no questions asked. You take the Keiron Howards and KeSean Strongs of the world in order to grab potential game-changers like this down the road.
The other name to know here is Keiron Howard's little brother, quarterback/athlete Javonte Howard. He's only 5-10, 170 pounds right now, but word is he's plenty talented and projects to be 6-2 or 6-3 before it's all said and done.
News from the Trenches
Isaiah Prince, OT, Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.): The four-star tackle was back at Maryland yet again June 11, and he called the visit "awesome. I went on a tour, watched [the team] work out, talked to all the coaches again – it was great. I loved it."
Although it's early, we're inclined to name the Terps his current leader. Prince is going to drag out the process into the winter, much like the last Prince Maryland signed, Damian Prince, but indications are UMD is in the pole position. He's been in College Park more times than he can remember now, has a strong connection with area recruiter Mike Locksley, and immediately connected with new line coach Greg Studrawa. Moreover, he's extremely close to his family and has indicated they'd love to see him play regularly in college. He plans to be back at UMD June 28 for the "Under the Lights" camp, and that will give him an opportunity to work with Studrawa one-on-one.
But Prince isn't going to make this easy for Maryland, which is the only school he's seen so far. Florida, Auburn and Alabama round out his top four, and other glitz-and-glamour programs are bound to join the pursuit as well. Prince will begin visiting farther-away locales in July when he takes in Alabama and Auburn July 18-19, and after that he'll try to hit UF. It's likely Prince comes away from these trips raving about each school, so we'll have to see if it changes his thinking about UMD. (STORY).
Will McClain, OG, Middletown (Md.): The local guard target is maintaining a top two of West Virginia and Maryland, and acknowledged he'd be choosing from those two in August -- if not sooner. The 6-5, 285 pounder said both the Mountaineers and Terps are even in his eyes and it's difficult to separate them.
McClain talks to UMD line coach Greg Studrawa every week, and the two have grown close. He also has had plenty of conversations with Randy Edsall and indicated he's very comfortable speaking to Maryland's headman. The school's academics and the chance to be near his family help UMD's chances as well. McClain hasn't been to Maryland since early May, but he would like to return June 28 for the "Under the Lights" camp.
But while he's high on Maryland, West Virginia is right there as well. McClain sopped up the Morgantown vibe the last time he was there, and he's looking forward to returning this weekend. He's in constant contact with recruiter Lonnie Galloway and head coach Dana Holgorsen and said both "want me badly." On June 14 he'll get a look at WVU's academics and the other aspects of the university, so we'll see what's going through his mind after that.
Logic suggests Maryland would hold an edge if education is of paramount importance to McClain (which he's indicated), but as we know with recruiting, it doesn't always follow logic. (STORY).
Wes Annan, DT, Lake Forest Academy (Lake Forest, Ill.): The Canadian native Annan just visited hometown favorite Illinois, and took in Northwestern June 12. Next up he has planned trips to Iowa, Notre Dame and Boston College, with Maryland possibly coming after that. Annan (offers from UMD, Duke, Illinois, Indiana, Miami of Ohio, Rutgers, Syracuse, Toledo, Ball State EMU, CMU and others) has not scheduled his Terps trip yet, but said he's still eager to see the school. Not only has he bonded with UMD area recruiter Chad Wilt, but Maryland's academics (he wants to major in pre-med) and Edsall's education-oriented message resonate. Annan's recruiting could very well ebb and flow depending on what other schools get involved, but the Terps do have a puncher's chance here.
Trevor Brown, DL, Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.): Brown is still sitting on the same offers from Marshall, ODU and a few I-AAs, and at this point we're not so sure nearby Maryland pounces. The Wise lineman was supposed to camp at UMD and several other schools, but a couple issues arose here and he hasn't been able to venture out. That could stunt his recruiting this summer, and Brown may have to rely on standout senior film in order to attract more suitors. At this point, unless Maryland misses on other prime D-line targets like Austrian Robinson, Darius Fullwood and Neville Gallimore (Canada Prep/St. Catharines, Ontario), we're not sure a push is coming.
Micah Dew-Treadway, DE, Bolingbrook (Ill.): Another Illinois defensive tackle Maryland offered, Dew-Treadway actually did make it out to College Park June 6. He said he loved the visit overall and connected with the staff, but we never really considered the Terps to be a serious contender. At least, not after Notre Dame offered. When the Irish pulled the trigger in late May, Dew-Treadway couldn't stop fawning over them and basically admitted he'd be committing to the nearby power when he visited this summer. And that's exactly what Dew-Treadway did, popping while on campus June 11. Moving on.
David Ryslik, DT, The Peddle School (Hightstown, N.J.): I had to scratch the plugger Ryslik from the hot board this week after he said he would not be camping at Maryland. Ryslik, who holds offers from Temple, Syracuse, Duke and Cincinnati, visited Rutgers recently, and said he'll be doing one-days at Penn State, Virginia, West Virginia, Miami, Georgia Tech and UCF. Currently he's considered a Syracuse lean, because the Orange just received a commitment from his friend Dontae Strickland, who has been actively recruiting New York/Jersey prospects for SU.
Tyler Hudanick, OG, Seneca Valley (Harmony, Pa.): I've had Hudanick on the hot board as someone I thought the Terps might pursue, but it looks like they will not do so. The Pennsylvania guard holds offers from Toledo, WMU, ODU, Miami of Ohio, Buffalo and others, and has camped at Pitt -- with NC State, UVA, WVU and Notre Dame one-days on the radar. He has no plans to perform at a Maryland camp, and his desired suitors seem to be Pitt and Virginia.
Tristan Nevotne, OG, Hinsdale Central (Hinsdale, Ill.): This is another guy I recently scratched from the board. Area recruiter Chad Wilt checked him out during the evaluation period, but Nevotne never indicated the Terps were all that interested. He holds a San Diego State offer and several others at the FCS level, and that's probably where he fits best.
Mason Zimmerman, OC, Anthony Wayne (Whitehouse, Ohio): See above.
Keiron Howard, DT, Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.): See above.
Austrian Robinson, DE, Trinity-Pawling (Pawling, N.Y.): See above.
Darius Fullwood, DE, Good Counsel (Olney, Md.): See above.
Defensive Back/Receiver News
Darnell Savage, CB, Caravel (Bear, Del.): Savage just picked up a Rutgers offer to go along with Maryland, Temple and several FCS suitors. He shined at the Scarlet Knights' camp and is planning to visit Piscataway, N.J., again in order to get a better feel for the school. But while Savage seems to like head coach Kyle Flood and Co., we still favor Maryland. Savage continues to mention how appreciative he is that UMD has stood by him through his rehab from a broken femur, and he has a rapport with numerous coaches on staff, including Keenan McCardell, Randy Edsall and Brian Stewart. Savage will be back in College Park, Md., at some point this summer.
The main news here, however, isn't the new Rutgers interest -- it's that Savage has indicated he'll be moving up his college decision date. Rather than wait to see what offers he accumulates based on senior film, he now wants to decide before his senior year, and it could be as soon as this June or July. Savage said he doesn't want to pop too soon, but it wouldn't completely shock us if he pledged to UMD shortly. Now that Ali is on board, we could see the Terps' staff putting on the squeeze play and trying to get the Delaware corner on board as well. There's no telling how Savage will react to the ‘ol squeeze, so stay tuned.
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.): The South Carolina product with a Terps offer visited College Park for the first time June 11. He said he liked Maryland "more than I thought I ever would," and hit it off with area recruiter Andre Powell, receivers coach Keenan McCardell and Edsall. The campus, the new indoor facility, the Under Armour affiliation and the academics all hit home with the 6-3, 208 pounder. Arcega-Whiteside -- holds offers from UMD, Wake Forest, Cincinnati, Virginia, Georgia Tech, UCF and Miami of Ohio -- seemed to be favoring other programs prior to the Maryland trip, but we're inclined to move the Terps into his top grouping now.
The Dorman product stopped by UVA June 12, and after that he's getting to Georgia and Stanford before making a July decision. Arcega-Whiteside has already seen Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Auburn and Duke. He said all his suitors are even in his eyes and he'll start to narrow down his favorites list later this month. (STORY).
Jameel Cook, S, Ridge Point (Missouri City, Texas): We reported last week how Cook still has the Terps riding No. 1, despite a growing profile. His strong bond with area recruiter and family friend Keenan McCardell, the conversations he's had with Randy Edsall, the chance to play in the Big Ten, and Maryland's academics have Cook wanting to visit College Park at some point later this summer. But it's worth noting that Cook was just at Texas Tech June 12, and is receiving solid interest from the primetime Lone Star State program. He's said he won't be wooed by "big name" suitors should they offer, but we've heard that refrain before just to watch prospects pop to one of college football's royalty. We'll see if Cook stays true to his word as his scholarship list continues to expand.
William Harris, S, Choate Rosemary Hall (Wallingford, Conn.): Harris suggested that he'd be camping at Maryland and trying to earn a Terps offer after area recruiter Keith Dudzinski came in contact with him. The Connecticut safety had expressed plenty of Terps interest what with his friend Jalen Brooks letting him know about the school, and Maryland's academic reputation. But Harris never made the CP trip and instead popped to Boston College June 11. He also held offers from UConn, ODU and Syracuse, and said he chose the Eagles because of his long relationship with the staff and the school's educational opportunities.
Marcus Lewis, CB, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.): Oh boy … Something told us we hadn't heard the last from the former Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) cornerback, even though he repeated time and again he was "100 percent committed to Florida." The former Virginia Tech commit, who is still a Gators pledge, just announced he'd be taking official visits this fall. Ole Miss, Miami, UF, Oregon and Maryland are the five chosen ones, and he indicated he'd get up to College Park during his school's bye week. Do we see the Terps getting back in the game? I wouldn't hold my breath, though I guess stranger things have happened. Right now, we'll give this one the ‘ol "eye roll and wake me up in December" routine.
Jay Stocker, S, Coatesville (Pa.): Stocker, a longtime Terps target, will be back in College Park for the first time in several months this weekend. Stocker has continuously sung the Terps' praises, noting his strong relationship with area recruiter John Dunn, how teammate Tyler Burke is heading to UMD, and the chance to play Big Ten ball. However, he's also said he's wide open in his recruitment and has yet to narrow down his extensive offer list.
Stocker tends to talk up most schools he's visited or has verbals from, so he can be a hard read at times. West Virginia, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Duke, UVA, Rutgers, Boston College, Syracuse, Wake, Illinois and others are in play, though the feeling is the Terps, Mountaineers, Badgers and a couple others hold his attention. We'll see how this plays out.
Kelvin McKnight, WR, Manatee (Bradenton, Fla.): McKnight still holds the same offers from Maryland, FAU, FIU and Troy and is in the process of scheduling visits. Recall, he was especially excited when the Terps pulled through in May and was eager to trek North (he was in College Park once before for the Gilman-Manatee nationally televised game). The academics, the offense and area recruiter Mike Locksley have all left an impression on the Florida receiver.
McKnight still doesn't have a firm date yet, but he said he's trying to make the June 28 "Under the Lights" camp, and if not then, he'll likely reschedule another summer trip. There are other programs that could get involved with McKnight -- West Virginia is a personal favorite – but right now this still looks fairly promising for UMD. McKnight wants to have his college decision made by August.
Tyler Green, CB/S, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) Green, who DeMatha coach Elijah Brooks said had the Terps "at the top of his list" following a recent visit to College Park, popped to Ohio State June 8. Green went to OSU's camp with the intention of landing an offer, and after running a 4.41 40, head coach Urban Meyer put the scholarship on the table. And, as he'd indicated several times before, Green snapped it up immediately. Brooks said Green could return home to weigh his options, but the DeMatha corner stuck to his word. Unless something happens down the road (recall, Taivon Jacobs fell out of favor with OSU after committing there early), Green is off the board and will be a Buckeye.
Isaac James, WR, Carmel (Ind.): I scratched James from the hot board this week after he said he likely wouldn't be making the trip East to College Park. James, who area recruiter Chad Wilt checked out, never had a Maryland offer and would've had to camp in order to receive one. But he now has a coveted Northwestern scholarship, to go along with Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and others, and it wouldn't surprise us to see him pop to the Wildcats.
Xavier Nickens-Yzer, CB, Centreville (Clifton, Va.): Nickens-Yzer indicated the Terps were showing solid interest, but we don't see an offer forthcoming. He holds one verbal from ECU, and after visiting there has the Pirates No. 1 on his list. Nickens-Yzer could very well end up at ECU barring standout senior film that attracts a couple FBS suitors. At this time, though, it's probably safe to remove him from the hot board.
Christian Philpott, WR, North Florida Christian (Tallahassee, Fla.): We never included Philpott on the hot board, even after he received his Terps offer in early May. Philpott did not list Maryland on any of his favorites lists, and had been favoring UCF and Georgia Tech for some time. On June 8, the Sunshine State wideout did indeed choose the Yellow Jackets over UCF and numerous others (he claimed some major offers, but I'm not sure which ones were actually committable). Moving on.
Kareem Ali, CB, Timber Creek (Erial, N.J.): See above.
KeSean Strong, Slot, Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.): See above.
David Rose, CB, Potomac: See above.
Ty Johnson, Slot, Fort Hill (Cumberland, Md.): See above.
Maxwell Howell, CB, Palm Beach Lakes (West Palm Beach, Fla.): See above.
Lawrence Cager, WR, Calvert Hall (Towson, Md.): See above.
Other News & Notes
Jamie Gordinier, LB, Red Bank Catholic (Red Bank, N.J.): I removed Gordinier from the hot board last week when he claimed a top three of Miami, Boston College and Duke. The one-time prime Terps target, who visited College Park and had a relationship with area recruiter Keith Dudzinski, ended up popping to the Hurricanes June 9. The school's linebacker tradition, his family connections there, and his relationship with the staff all led him to choose Miami.
Kai Locksley, QB, Gilman (Baltimore, Md.): Locksley's top six remains Auburn, Va Tech, Texas, Oregon, FSU and Maryland. The only real news here is that he visited Alabama June 12 and Florida State June 13; he'll be trekking to Texas later this month. Locksley did say even though FSU, Texas and Auburn have high-profile committed quarterbacks already he would still consider them, calling it an "irrelevant" factor. The Gilman gunslinger still wants to make a late August decision, so we'll see where he's at later this summer, though we still don't see him ending up at Maryland.
Alex Hornibrook, QB, Malvern Prep (Malvern, Pa.): Hornibrook's stock rose considerably this camp season, and he ended up securing offers from Rutgers, UConn and Pittsburgh. He committed to the Panthers June 7, thus ending the recruiting process. The Terps sniffed around a bit, but never pursued in earnest. Perhaps UMD would have given him a closer look at a one-day, but Hornibrook did not made it down for a camp.
Jake Pickard, TE, Millburn (N.J.): The Jersey tight end has once again been removed from the hot board. While he did have some Maryland interest, he would have had to come to camp in order to secure an offer, and that's not going to happen. Pickard just added an Oregon scholarship and has BC, Purdue, Louisville, UVA, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Illinois, Nebraska, Syracuse, UConn and others in play. The Ducks verbal is a potential game-changer, and it's possible Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan and others could get involved as well.
Kareem McDonald, LB, Wilson (Washington, D.C.): McDonald had long been pining for major college offers (Maryland had been one of his stated favorites for months), but he realized the FBS suitors probably wouldn't pull through for him. So on June 8 he jumped on his ODU scholarship after visiting the school. He also held Toledo and numerous I-AA offers. McDonald has been scratched from the hot board.
Ryan Adzima, QB, Wallington (N.J.): The Terps were in contact with the Jersey signal caller, and we had him on our radar as that potential developmental quarterback UMD was looking for. But when Maryland landed Gage Shaffer the spot filled up, and Adzima subsequently came off the board.
Dominic Moore, LB, Briar Woods (Ashburn, Va.): Moore long held interest in Maryland, but we never senses it was reciprocal. Last week he picked up his first offer from I-AA suitor VMI, and that's probably the level he fits best at. He's been removed from the hot board.
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