Intel: Virginia four-star update, blue chip buzz in the ’26 class

The latest rumblings from the recruiting trail:

Virginia four-star update…the buzz continues around Maryland’s chances with both Virginia four-stars – Messiah Delhomme and Jaylen Gilchrist – heading into the rest of the month. While Delhomme’s official decision date remains up in the air, I’m told that Gilchrist plans to make his commitment on either August 3 or August 10. There’s still a ways to go in his recruitment with Maryland coming off an excellent official visit the weekend of June 21, doing well to check the boxes on and off the field, while Jaylen’s relationships with both the staff and players has made the Terps a continued threat down the stretch. It also helps that the current commits, like Iverson Howard and Malik Washington, have been vocal recruiters to add to what’s long been tabbed as a potential program-changing cycle.

Just like Malik Washington was important to lock down the QB position, as was Jenkins along the DL, Gilchrist is the top target at the position where Maryland continues to be a threat in his recruitment. While there was no doubt about who led heading into OVs, I’ve heard through the weekend into Monday that the Gamecocks lead has slipped with some close to the blue-chip OL preferring his other finalists – Maryland and Georgia. The Bulldogs remain in the mix, though more of a wildcard roughly one month away from a decision, as I continue to keep close tabs on Maryland’s chances. I’ve since removed my low-confidence South Carolina prediction in the thread with more buzz on the Terps’ chances than the field as things currently stand.

As for Delhomme, there’s buzz that Maryland has a slight edge over Virginia Tech as the main two schools in focus. Maryland has pitched the four-star in Dante Trader Jr.’s role where he has an opportunity at early playing time, and while the Hokies have done well prioritizing and landing their in-state talent so far this cycle, that might not carry the same weight for Delhomme.

’26 blue-chip update…while Maryland is already putting the final pieces of their 2025 class together with 20 verbal commits and more targets on the cusp of their decisions in the coming weeks, the staff has been able to lay the groundwork for its 2026 class with several regional targets expected to make their way to College Park for an on-campus recruiting event on July 27. Archbishop Spalding (MD) cornerback Sean Johnson already told IBG he plans to attend as the local DB has already surfaced as a top target at the position with Maryland expected to be a major player in his recruitment. While a handful of 2025 targets and regional 2026 targets make their way to campus, one target not expected to visit following the dead period is Georgetown Prep (MD) five-star OT “Manny” Iheanacho, who is finalizing his first visit to Oregon on July 27. Iheanacho told IBG that Maryland has been in contact “a lot” in recent weeks as assistant James Thomas leads early efforts on the nation’s third-best prospect, according to On3, but the heavy hitters are abundant in his recruitment with his eyes set far and wide.

As for blue-chip safety Jireh Edwards – I’ll have my story on him in the AM – but he’s also expected to be in Eugene on the 27th, though a visit to Maryland is on the table after the dead period. The arrival of Aazaar Abdul-Rahim plays a big role in Edwards’ interest in Maryland, but it’s been a collective effort from the staff early on with the four-star also citing head coach Mike Locksley involved heading into his junior season. Edwards has already drawn a long list of heavy hitter interest with Ohio State, USC, Georgia, Tennessee and Miami (FL) on his list, but he’s a blue-chip target that will keep the Terps in the mix until the end just like Woodby.

And speaking of blue-chip updates in the ’26 class, one move that was made official on Monday was top-ten prospect, DL Zion Elee officially transferring to St. Frances. Blake Woodby initially looked to be the first Panther to suit up for Ohio State, but there’s a chance that Elee might claim that title after the five-star made his way to Columbus last month where he got to work with DL coach Larry Johnson during camp. I continue to expect Maryland to be a factor for him despite the heavy hitters involved, but I’d watch out for Ohio State for him early in the race.

Related Links

Four-star Jordan Scott includes Maryland in final three, sets OV
2024 Maryland football position preview: quarterbacks
Local ’26 defensive back planning to visit Maryland after July dead period
Three third-year players who need to shine for Maryland football in 2024
Maryland football’s 2025 class now consensus top-35