Intel: change of plans for top in-state target

Maryland is working to reel in the rest of their top targets through July with four-stars Jaylen Gilchrist, Blake Woodby and Messiah Delhomme still on the board among others. But an in-state target entrenched in that top group remains North Caroline (MD) four-star Zymear Smith, who made a change in his recruitment earlier this month.

Roughly two weeks after taking his official visit to Maryland beginning June 21, the four-star backed off his spring pledge to Alabama where the Crimson Tide were expected to fight to keep him into the fold with July pegged as the month to watch. It didn’t take long for those plans to materialize and even with schools working to get into the mix with Smith immediately after his pledge, there was little concern about who held the edge in his recruitment.

Maryland had been working on the flip since the day Smith committed with confidence emerging through the spring and solidified during his official visit as buzz continued around the Terps’ chances. It didn’t take long for the buzz to center around Maryland coming out of his commitment, while Penn State has been the school working to change that the most.

But the expectation was that the four-star wanted to keep his recruitment slightly open to make a “splash” at the end of the cycle, potentially giving Maryland a marquee way to end a program-changing 2025 cycle. That has now changed.

I’m hearing that Smith is planning to make his decision within the next week with visits elsewhere now an afterthought. I’m also hearing that the four-star is expected to unofficially visit Maryland on July 27 as lead recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim spearheads efforts on his priority target.

Smith emerged as a clear top target for Maryland since the 2025 cycle picked up with the in-state program quickly grabbing his attention ahead of his stock rise into the spring.

“It’s a couple of other schools but I feel like Maryland just blew everything away. The way I feel about them, the relationships I’ve been building with the coaches. I definitely want to meet coach [Mike] Locksley, meet coach Rahim because I haven’t met them before but I’m always talking to them on the phone. It’s just now about putting a face to the name,” Smith said in January.

The four-star target remains ‘hot’ on the big board as Maryland maintains its local momentum, a surge that’s continued through official visit season, as they work on flip targets toward the latter half of the season.

Zymear Smith is rated a composite four-star prospect, but was dropped to an 88 overall by On3 and a three-star prospect.

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