After Visit, Top-150 Prospect Knows Maryland Will Receive Official Visit

Maryland wrapped up its home slate with a convincing 37-0 win over Rutgers to secure its seventh win of the season. While four-stars Mike Van Buren and Jaylen Harvey didn’t end up making it to campus on Saturday, Good Counsel (MD) four-star linebacker Aaron Chiles did. It marked the first and only gameday visit for the 6-foot-3, 220-pound linebacker this season but after visiting Maryland at least three times over the offseason, Saturday’s visit gave him a much different perspective.

“Going through the tunnel, as soon as they opened the door I saw the atmosphere. Guys getting fired up ready to play and then walking down and talking with coach Lance [Thompson] and Navarro Bowman, he introduced me to him. That was a big deal, it was big for me and just the hospitality felt. Watching the guys warm up, seeing the game how they just dominated, it’s a really good look for Maryland,” Chiles told Inside the Black and Gold. But the biggest development came pregame when he and his family got a chance to meet with head coach Mike Locksley roughly an hour before kickoff.

“Before the game I talked to coach Locks with my family. We just talked about how far I lived away, that was the first thing he asked when I walked in. I told him 15 minutes, and he said ‘exactly.’ He just talked about how convenient it’d be for me and my family to, on the business side, the deals I’d be able to get being from Maryland.” Chiles has maintained high interest in Maryland in the early stages of the process and Saturday’s visit only bolstered those chances.

“I’ve been watching previous games and the things that coach Locksley has been able to get done with the guys and the classes he’s brought in is very impressive. I think that was their seventh win, so I read something that said that was the first time they had seven wins since 2014. So you really get to see a change in what coach Locksley is doing and how he’s trying to change the culture and the team around.”

It helps that both his position coach and recruiting coordinator have been in consistent contact, starting with OLB coach James Thomas. “We built a really good connection, really good relationship. I’ve been in communication since I first met him probably back in the spring. We all communicate very well. About a month ago I was on the phone with coach Locks, but it’s really coach [James Thomas] the most. Him and Lance [Thompson] reach out the most.”

With 30 verbal offers, Chiles gave an even more optimistic answer when asked if Maryland would make a top ten or twelve today. “Maryland right now would definitely be in my top five schools. After yesterday, it’ll definitely be there.” He explains why Saturday’s visit moved the needle.

“Just how they treated me. the meeting with coach Locksley and when he explained the opportunity for me there. And how he would also groom me as a football player, but also send me back to my mother as a young man. That talk in his office really changed a lot of things.”

After also visiting Florida, Penn State and Clemson in the offseason, Chiles is in the process of trimming his list down and begin planning his official visits. Aside from Maryland, the Good Counsel linebacker knows he wants to officially visit Florida with head coach Billy Napier checking in on a Gator top target. After becoming a frequent visitor in College Park and familiarizing himself most with the Terps thus far, Chiles explains what he’d like to see more of on his eventual official.

“I would definitely get in-depth about what coach Locksley’s plans are. As long as he’s the coach there, they really have a good chance so I want to see what his goals and plans are if he landed me.”

Chiles is rated a four-star prospect and a 92 overall by On3, sitting as the fourth-best prospect in Maryland and 113th in the country.

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