Latest Maryland football rumblings from the recruiting trail

The latest notes heading into Tuesday:

If there’s a school making it tough for Penn State when it comes to four-star Jeff Exinor, it remains Maryland, but the day-after buzz still points to Penn State being the team to beat here. The confidence with Maryland’s chances stem from not just a productive visit, but one where the four-star got a chance to strongly consider the possibility of teaming up with Malik Washington. That resonates, but the McDonogh-Penn State connection remains very much alive while confidence in Happy Valley hasn’t wavered with a decision looming. There’s a chance that the Nittany Lions will keep the McDonogh pipeline alive with upcoming announcements from Exinor and four-star Brandon Finney, whose interest in Maryland faded fast once his stock rose through the spring.

There remains good buzz on Maryland’s chances on a pair of targets out of Virginia: Warwick (VA) four-star safety Messiah Delhomme and Norcom (VA) four-star Matt Outten. For Delhomme, the four-star safety is expected to make his decision in the coming weeks and it sounds like three schools are separating themselves with another regional battle brewing: Maryland vs. Virginia Tech with Ohio State lurking. The Buckeyes hosted Delhomme for an official visit the weekend of June 14 in what feedback said was a productive visit, but there remain questions whether the Buckeyes are going all-out for the four-star coming off his spring injury. Delhomme was able to make his way back to College Park as assistant Latrell Scott has made the Terps a top player throughout the race, while one contact added the Terps did well hitting both the on and off-field aspects of the pitch and felt at ease around the other visitors and players. Delhomme, who fits Dante Trader’s role in the safety room, is expected to make a decision in July though he hasn’t confirmed a set timeframe for a commitment date.

If there’s one recruit who’s done a great job of playing things close to the vest, it’s Matt Outten. The priority target is coming off his fourth and final official visit with a decision expected in the coming weeks, though no firm timeline has emerged coming out of the weekend. Outten kicked off the month with a trip to Syracuse before heading to Penn State then Maryland, where both schools have done an excellent job in his recruitment. Virginia Tech wrapped up the month with an official visit on what I’ve heard was a productive visit, but there’s skepticism about whether the Hokies are a top threat and more of a courtesy contender at this stage. One source close to Outten pointed to Maryland and Penn State separating themselves from the pack, while the Terps had a slight edge based on efforts to win mom over with the presentations on and off the field. Veteran wideout Robert Smith hosted Outten during his Maryland official and assistant Latrell Scott has been all over this to keep the Terps entrenched in the top group and now into the finish line. Meanwhile, a source said Maryland remains well-positioned with Pa. three-star WR Jalil Hallheading into this weekend’s announcement with West Virginia trying to change that.

In the trenches, how Milford Mill (MD) OL Amory Hills’ recruitment plays out will be interesting to watch with a decision expected within the next 7-10 days. Hills is coming off official visits to Penn State, Maryland and Virginia Tech though the latter two schools appear to be pushing a bit harder for the potential interior guard target. On the other side of the trenches, I’m hearing that Maryland and Iowa are battling for Mainland (FL) three-star defensive tackle Christian Hudsonwith a decision date set for July 6. I wouldn’t discount the Terps here.

One note I didn’t hit on over the weekend: recent Maryland pledge Iverson “Rocket” Howard really turned up the notch as a recruiter this weekend, staying active with the visiting targets to help get on board in a weekend that’s produced ample confidence. Maryland enters the rest of the week with 12 verbal commits currently in the fold.

“Being that it’s Maryland, most of the guys that are already there, I grew up around so it wasn’t nothing different. It’s like playing with my teammates again. I’ve definitely got a crew coming with me,” he told IBG after his official visit.

While we’re set to see a flurry of 2025 action through the week into the weekend with multiple commitment dates already set around the corner, Maryland is expected to officially have one new addition to the staff: Jonathan Haden, who is expected to join as a defensive analyst. Jonathan, the brother of former Florida and NFL cornerback Joe Haden, gets a chance to spend more time Aazaar Abdul-Rahim after playing for him at Friendship Collegiate out of high school before learning from him on the coaching side as a defensive GA at Boston College during the 2023 season. In addition to other analysts who’ve come up with recruits like David Brownlee and Derek Kief, Haden gets a chance to chip into local recruiting efforts.

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