VIP: rumblings from the trail, another big local visitor

A few more notes that I’ve gathered from the recruiting trail and more:

Portal search continues…Maryland hasn’t been as active now in the transfer portal with the next window set to open to March 26, but one target they still had on the board was Georgia CB Jaheim Singletary. Miami was expected to be the first stop with a trip to Maryland at the end of the month, but that changed on Tuesday when Singletary signed with Arkansas. I still expect Maryland to remain on the lookout for a third cornerback alongside Tarheeb Still and Ja’Quan Sheppard, but with Singletary off the board, the target list will grow once the portal reopens. What can help Maryland’s transfer pursuit is the performances from Deonte Banks and Jakorian Bennett, who’ve emerged as possible day one and day two selections in the upcoming NFL Draft. I mentioned it in the forum earlier in the week, but along with their performances at the combine, both have received good feedback from NFL GMs and execs from their meetings.

The development of Banks and Bennett under Henry Baker, along with the possibility of three defensive backs drafted in the third round or higher in two years, and the staff has some ammo to sell on the trail.

In regards to ‘Tank’ Booker, it was a quick exit where both sides moved on due to differences with the coaching staff. Booker was undoubtedly in line for, if not a starting spot, ample snaps in the rotation but now Maryland is left searching to fill out the position. His younger brother, Bam Booker, is still expected to remain in the program. I’d expect Maryland to take at least one, if not two, defensive linemen ahead of the fall to replace both Booker and Mo Kite. Cornerbacks and the trenches are the biggest focus.

Don’t sleep on…four-star wide receiver Jonathan Paylor. The North Carolina four-star released a top eight last month excluding Maryland, but I’m told he’s maintained contact with the staff since then. Paylor has also brought up the possibility of an official visit to Maryland ahead of his summer commitment, a sign the Terps may not be out of it. South Carolina, Colorado, NC State and Florida are also in that top group, but don’t be surprised if the speedster makes it back up to campus. Paylor visited last fall and the staff has stopped through his school every window possible to make their interest known.

Another to keep tabs on is Flowers (MD) four-star cornerback Braydon Lee, who is also expected to officially visit Maryland the same weekend as teammate Mike Williams. The four-star target visited on Monday night, as reported, where he got one-on-one time with Mike Locksley and Henry Baker. Maryland has made Flowers a huge emphasis this cycle with DL Herb Gray becoming the latest target on Tuesday night, but the staff will need to keep chipping away in his recruitment. Elsewhere in terms of visitors this week, I’m not sure that I see Maryland becoming a big player for four-star defensive end Ernest Willor after this week’s visit.

Another visitor later this week…sure, he’s a 2025, but he’s a big one. Archbishop Spalding (MD) quarterback Malik Washington will unofficially visit campus later this week. When you talk about Mike Van Buren’s impact on the 2024 class, Washington has the same impact or better next cycle. The dual-threat quarterback is shifty in space despite his 6-foot-3 space, but even in his first scrimmage as a starter against DeMatha, showed the ability to fit the ball in tight windows on the run. He’s going to command significant attention heading into the spring with offers already from Arkansas, Penn State, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. I’m also hearing that a crew from St. John’s (DC) could slowly make their way to campus later in the week, though not optimistic right now that four-star lineman Jordan Seaton will make it given communication has been subpar.

Buzz heading into spring ball…both Josh Gattis and Zac Spavital are in the building getting adjusted with spring ball roughly three weeks away. With the team in the midst of conditioning and agility drills, all eyes will be the offensive line when it comes to the offensive side of the ball. They’ll get a chance to work a number of rotations in with someone like Amelio Moran, who played all 13 games last fall, or Coltin Deery, who gives the unit positional versatility as a possible guard. Quarterbacks and receivers have done their part staying consistent inside Jones Hill-House building on their connection, so we’ll see how that translates once the lads come on. I continue to hear Ryan Manning as someone excelling among the freshmen, so he’ll get that opportunity to put it all together in the spring. In regards to the staff, the biggest focus aside from recruiting is navigating the on-field transition, but I’m told it’s been smooth through the first few weeks with the staff ironing out terminology, signals and scheme ahead of camp. First practice is set for March 28.

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