Five-Star Athlete Feels Love During Latest Visit to Maryland

Friday night gave Maryland basketball fans their first electric atmosphere of the Willard era as Maryland took down Illinois, 71-66, in front of a packed Xfinity Center. As basketball head coach Kevin Willard has placed an emphasis on local recruiting, so has football head coach Mike Locksley as both programs had local visitors on campus.

For Locksley, the big fish was Archbishop Carroll (MD) five-star athlete Nyckoles Harbor as he and his dad made their way to College Par. After arriving on campus shortly after 7 PM, Harbor and his father got a chance to spend time with head coach Mike Locksley and running backs coach Elijah Brooks before making their way to the game.

For Harbor, he expected it to be his first college basketball game but instead, the spotlight shined bright on the priority local target with the student section in full force. After stopping along the sidelines to take pictures with students, Harbor then got a chance to meet Scott Van Pelt and Gary Williams before sitting with tennis star Francis Tiafoe. “I thought I knew who it was, I just had to make sure about that,” Harbor added. “I was surprised he knew who I was.” Head coach Mike Locksley, of course, was standing with Harbor with the increased attention clear as the staff enters the homestretch of his recruitment. As the student sections dispersed notes on the five-star’s visit to chant Harbor’s name, he admitted it was the first time he’s felt the direct love from the Maryland fanbase.

“That is the first time. I was surprised, I thought I was going there just to watch a basketball game but it turned into all of that.” Locksley and Harbor were able to spend one-on-one time as well, but it didn’t center around recruiting the five-star to College Park. “He just wanted to get me up there and have a good time. A lot of times, he’s not trying to recruit me. It’s just building a relationship off the field, finally getting to see a basketball game.” Running backs coach Elijah Brooks is running point in Harbor’s recruitment and were seen walking together alongside Harbor’s father during the game. While Locksley is involved, defensive coordinator Brian Williams will also play a bigger role in his recruitment with Mike Miller off to Charlotte. But Friday night also gave him a chance to spend time with Leron Husbands, his former teammate at Carroll. “Great seeing him,” Harbor added.

With Maryland recruiting Harbor as a tight end, that’d mean the two would get a chance to continue their playing careers together in the same room. “That’s something that we talked about. We always go back and forth who is the better receiver, who is the better overall tight end. I feel like I’m the better receiver tight end but he’s still got me in blocking.” While the two friends spent time together, Harbor’s dad came away impressed with his one-on-one time with Brooks.

“Coach Brooks and my dad were chopping it up for the past two hours so whatever they talked about, it must have been good because he was coming back saying some pretty good stuff about it so that’s always good.” Harbor’s next visit is back to Maryland for his official visit next weekend where he’ll get a chance to see the program and resources in a different light. In his mind, Harbor doesn’t have any questions left to answer from the staff. “Just seeing what Maryland is offering and then go from there.”

After that, Harbor planned to visit Georgia the weekend of December 16 then LSU in mid-January, but now, he’s unsure if those will materialize.

“Most likely. With those two visits, we’re setting them up now. They might not get set up, there’s still time before I make that decision about if I want to go to those other schools or not.”

Harbor reconfirmed he still plans to sign in February.

Harbor is rated a five-star prospect and a 98 overall by On3, sitting as the 26th-best player nationally.

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