Maryland takes lead for four-star target after official visit

Maryland rolled out the red carpet for Riverdale Baptist (MD) four-star edge Cortez Harris for his official visit, giving them the edge over Penn State and Tennessee in his recruitment.

“It was lavish,” Harris told IBG. “My man Donnell [Brown] hosted me. He went to Riverdale Baptist back in the day, that’s my guy. We went downtown, saw the monuments, went out with the guys. I won’t say too much but they showed me some new stuff that surprised me. Definitely blew my expectations away. And I knew all the guys. My man [Jeff] Overton from [Virginia], that’s my guy. I have family from Virginia, and the number one wide receiver [Matt Outten], I know him real well.”

Maryland has been in pursuit of Harris, a 6-foot-2, 218-pound edge, since his recruitment first began as an underclassman at DeMatha, building on those relationships into his junior season at St. Frances and Riverdale Baptist while making himself a frequent visitor on campus. With assistants James Thomas and Aazaar Abdul-Rahim leading the way through the spring into his official visit, Harris noted the tight-knit bond he has with the Terps’ staff while this weekend gave him a chance to see the similarities between how he’s used at Riverdale and how he fits into the Terps’ defense.

“They broke it down perfectly for me,” Harris added. “They want to use me as a hybrid [defensive] end, outside linebacker because I’m fast enough laterally to get across the field, the quickness, but still have that great pass rush to get under the big ole linemen. And it’s the same playbook. When I was in meetings I understood almost everything, the basic stuff so that was real nice.”

Harris also pointed to his one-on-one with head coach Mike Locksley as one of the highlights from his visit.

“We didn’t talk anything Maryland-wise. He just did such a great job telling me everything that I needed to know. I had no questions for him at the end, but we had a good heart-to-heart talk, black man to black man.”

With his official visit to Tennessee complete, Harris added he still plans on taking his next official visit to Penn State before he wraps up his recruitment with an undecided commitment date.

Cortez Harris is rated a four-star prospect and a 90 overall by On3, checking in as the fourth-best prospect in Maryland.

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