Florida Lineman Talks First Impression of Maryland, Next Official Visit

Maryland will need to replenish both sides of the trenches this offseason with now two holes along the starting defensive line. Union County (FL) defensive lineman Markus Strong was a target that gradually rose on Maryland’s recruiting board through the fall with his midseason film flashing his versatility. After the staff made the trip down to Florida to see him during the bye then again last week, Strong and his parents made the long-awaited trip to College Park for their official visit this past weekend.

“It was amazing. I loved everything about it. I got to see pretty much everything. Campus, facilities, different parts of where the players stay and hang out,” Strong told IBG. This weekend’s crew of visitors also got a chance to take in the Under Armour headquarters on Saturday night where they enjoyed a tour. “It was really nice. They toured us through there, kind of like the background and how it got started, different jerseys and things like that. They had a basketball court, but they had it closed off for events, but it was really cool seeing that.”

Strong had already been able to build relationships with the bulk of the defensive staff with defensive coordinator Brian Williams and safeties coach Wes Neighbors in pursuit, but this weekend gave him a chance to meet everyone. “I kind of already knew a lot of them but it was good to meet and talk with them. Me and [Brian Williams] already had a great relationship but I got a chance to hang out with everyone, really. At one point it was just me and the wide receiver coach,” Strong added. But Strong still got time to watch film with Williams to learn more about his fit.

“They showed me a couple of things about who I would fit. With the defensive coordinator, he puts in a lot of work. They said they’d play me, depending how my body develops, but I can start at end but if I do get bigger like north of 300 [pounds], I can play inside.”

After wrapping up the weekend at head coach Mike Locksley’s house on Sunday morning, Strong also got a chance to meet with Locksley one-on-one. “He said Maryland is essential for building great connections for the rest of life. Going there could really help you for the rest of your life, not just four years. He talked about the power of the DMV.”

Defensive lineman Tank Booker hosted Strong and got some feedback from a player’s perspective. “We just talked about how things operate, especially the coaches. The teammates are a brotherhood, and these guys actually look out for each other.”

Despite over twenty verbal offers, Maryland remains a prominent contender heading into the home stretch. “Going in, they were a top school and going out they’re still a top school.” Strong has one official visit left for Oklahoma next weekend but adds he’s unsure whether he’ll sign this month or wait it out.

“I’m thinking about signing early but at the same time, I want to sign in February.”

Strong is not yet rated by On3.

Related Links

VIP: What I’m hearing coming out of OV weekend (+)

Willard breaks down loss vs. Tennessee

Cincy CB Ja’Quan Sheppard commits to Maryland

Preview: Maryland faces Tennessee in top-15 matchup

Early look: Maryland vs. NC State

VIP: ‘crootin week, Harbor headlines OVs (+)

Name to remember this offseason (+)

Maryland makes top eight for four-star QB