Change of Plans for Top Target

DeMatha (MD) four-star offensive tackle Oluwatosin Babalade has been a hot commodity this week after his initial plan was to make his commitment on Sunday, July 31. South Carolina stormed ahead of Maryland over the last week and the Gamecocks were closing on a commitment with the Terps looking to change his mind. Then after initially saying no visits this weekend, Babalade showed up on Maryland’s visitor list for this weekend’s barbeque.

A notable development on Thursday was Babalade opting to push back his commitment while the expectation remains he decides ahead of his senior year. Now, there’s a change of plans.

Babalade will no longer visit Maryland on Saturday and will head to South Carolina on Friday for the Gamecocks’ barbeque set for Saturday. One caveat is Babalade’s parents won’t be in attendance as his uncle makes the trip down to Columbia but the battle between the Gamecocks and Terps remains tight heading into the weekend. With this development, Babalade has been removed from this weekend’s visitor list.

With social media interaction playing a hand in Babalade’s final decision, Maryland made a concerted effort to let ‘Tree’ know he’s wanted in College Park throughout the day on Thursday and the staff also spent considerable time on the phone with the four-star as the staff continues to make a strong push for the in-state product. With Maryland originally pushing for the potentially last visit ahead of a decision, it sounds like the Gamecocks will get the last word as Maryland works the phones in the coming weeks.

As for timeline, the tentative plan is for Babalade to make his commitment ahead of his senior season but nothing has been set in stone.

The situation behind the scenes remains largely the same: several in Babalade’s circle believe that Maryland is the best option from a football and development standpoint, but Babalade views it as a SEC vs. Maryland battle as the Terps’ staff attempted to tweak the message as a SEC vs. Big Ten vantage point. The two schools remain in a battle as Rutgers and North Carolina have been told they’re out while Ohio State is no longer a factor. I like South Carolina’s chances slightly better than Maryland’s heading into the weekend, but the Terps still have a chance as they weather the storm down the stretch.

Babalade is rated a four-star prospect and a 92 overall by On3, sitting as the third-best prospect in Maryland.

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