Maryland in “footrace” against ACC school for NJ athlete

Maryland dropped its first home game of the season with a long list of primarily local recruits along the sideline, but Camden Eastside (NJ) athlete Willy Love enjoyed his latest visit to College Park as the 6-foot-2, 195-pound three-star made the trip to campus alongside several of his teammates.

“It was intense, definitely intense. We were going pretty crazy still in the recruit section,” Love told IBG. “Even though Maryland didn’t pull out the win like we wanted to, I got to talk to a couple coaches, it was a good time.”

Along with a postgame conversation with offensive coordinator and area recruiter Josh Gattis, Love connected with his former head coach and offensive analyst Preston Brown who has driven much of the contact for the Terps through the process.

“Coach Preston has been the main guy. We caught up on some things he missed up at the high school and then some things on what’s been going on at Maryland.” Love was always familiar with the Terps having made his way to campus for camps and spring practice over the last year, but with Brown on the staff, the Terps have been monitoring the athlete with his senior season winding down.

While Rutgers was the frontrunner over the summer, both parties have gone separate ways as Love says Maryland is it’s now a “footrace” between Maryland and Syracuse down the stretch. The connection between Love and Brown is what will keep the Terps in the conversation with a return visit on the table.

“The main reason has been coach Preston. Coach Zac [Spavital] has been in the loop too here and there, making sure I’m OK, making sure I’m staying healthy. They’ve talked about a visit in the offseason. An official date hasn’t been set yet but it’s been in talks.”

Love is drawing evaluations as a linebacker at the next level where he kept close tabs on how Maryland’s linebackers fared against the Illini.

“Some schools call it that rover or star position. Basically a safety but certain downs you come down in the box, cover slot receivers so I feel like that’s where the spot I’ll end up at,” Love added. “I definitely have a great size and the way I play definitely fits their scheme. I’ve got the size to play linebacker and the ball skills to play safety, so that’s definitely keeping me around. For now they want to see how I progress because we’re about to go into playoffs, but they’ve been watching.”

With another visit to Maryland possible before his postseason commitment, Love has at least one more unofficial visit planned.

“I know I’m going down to Syracuse in the next couple of weeks.”

Love is rated a three-star prospect and an 87 overall by On3, sitting as the 24th-best prospect in New Jersey.

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