Maryland rolls out the red carpet during official visit for OL Ryan Howerton

June marked a big month for Pallotti (MD) three-star offensive tackle Ryan Howerton, who has his shortlist of top schools he’s taking a deeper dive into. The 6-foot-4 lineman kicked off the month with an official visit to West Virginia the first weekend of June where the Mountaineers set the bar, but Howerton made his way to Maryland where the Terps rolled out the red carpet.

“Definitely more away from football,” Howerton said about the focus of his official visit. “It was more life after football, how their major is handled in the real world, how they’ll get you through class, how they’ll get you through school. That was what was important to me, what I appreciated the most because they kept it away from football. Football is always going to be there. It was really all about how who you are as a person and how we can develop you.”

The highlight for Howerton and his family was the chance to take a deeper dive into the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, his intended major. “I got to the person who runs that college and I got to look at how they’re living, how the coaches coach, what they do on a daily basis, how they look towards real life towards NIL and business. We got to talk for a little bit then we took a tour of the whole school. It was fun. They’re ranked top 25 in journalism program in the nation for any college and they have a lot of interest because Kevin Blackistone comes back and gives for the school, gives a lot of internship opportunities, job opportunities. They highlighted all of that stuff.”

Veteran tackle DJ Glaze also served as Howerton’s host, who gave the priority local lineman good reason why to give the Terps strong consideration.

“I was talking to DJ because he said if he had the chance to do it all over again, he’d do the same thing. He was getting offers, a lot of different opportunities from different schools for a lot of different reasons and he still chose to stay because he believes in coach [Brian] Braswell and he believes in coach [Mike] Locksley. He told me it’s a good place for me.”

Offensive line coach Brian Braswell has spent ample time with Howerton through the process while tight end coach Kevin Sumlin and offensive recruiting analyst Preston Brown have led the way. “He talked to me a lot. Him and coach Preston [Brown]. It’s definitely strong. They were reaching out to me the whole time, keeping up with me, even coming in my hotel room.”

Howerton isn’t closing in on a decision just yet though. “This is really the period, everyone is even right now. It’s a level playing field then I’ll make a choice,” he added. “I have Pittsburgh next weekend then I’ll make a choice.” The Hokies have tried to sneak into the top group but it’s unclear whether they’ll get a visit just yet. “I already set up my official visit with Pittsburgh so I’m not trying to change on them. I definitely want to get down there but if I feel a strong pull from a school, then I’ll make a choice. Definitely some time in July, but I’m going to announce on the first day of my school year so August 28.”

Maryland will look to outlast the Panthers with the Terps the school in pursuit the longest, and if Howerton does end up picking the hometown team, he knows why.

“It’s the home team. All black coaching staff. I believe in what coach Locksley is telling me, how he wants to make people better. He wants to give back to the people who helped him get there. The way he was talking, I believe he wants to make everybody great and wants to be the first black head coach to win a national championship. I can really see that happening.”

Howerton is rated a three-star prospect and an 87 overall by On3, sitting as the 21st-best prospect in Maryland.

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