VIP: big board mover, Maryland “checks all the boxes” for priority target

Maryland landed three commitments coming out of the weekend with WR Josiah McLaurin, OL Michael McMonigle and OL Michael Hershey all going public after giving their verbals during Saturday night’s boat tour, pushing the number of commitments to ten in the Terps’ 2024 class. Following another big weekend, we break down the latest rumblings out of College Park:

Big Board Mover

I’m moving Evans (FL) four-star SAF Brandon Jacob to hot on the big board. Jacob wrapped up an official visit to UCF then Texas A&M before heading to Maryland this weekend. Colts safety and former Maryland safety Nick Cross was on campus all weekend, also spending time with Georgia DB TyShun White, while the Terps had a five-man player panel hosting Jacob through the weekend. Maryland has made the Florida four-star a top target throughout the process and while Jacob has now visited Maryland five times, the family also made their way back to campus for their third time this past weekend. Coming out of the weekend, I’m hearing Jacob has canceled his upcoming official visit to Miami as he and the family bunkers down into decision mode. Maryland has long been the school that held the edge in Jacob’s recruitment, and one source told IBG on Monday that “he pretty much already had his mind made up.” Outside linebacker coach James Thomas paved the way through Jacob’s recruitment.

Major Strides Made

If there was one biggest mover outside of the Terps’ newest commitments, it’s with Pallotti (MD) three-star offensive tackle Ryan Howerton. Maryland rolled out the red carpet and then some for the priority tackle target as they’re now the team to beat in his recruitment. The strength and connections that the journalism school can offer Howerton were well pitched throughout the visit while veteran DJ Glaze validated position coach Brian Braswell’s track record as a developer. I’m not ready to project him to College Park with Pitt and head coach Pat Narduzzi still left to fend off, but the strength in the Terps’ relationships with Howerton between Brian Braswell, Kevin Sumlin and Preston Brown remain in constant pursuit while Howerton’s parents are very much receptive to the idea of him staying closer to home. West Virginia hosted Howerton first and while Virginia Tech is working to sneak into the mix, Pitt is the biggest competition heading into the home stretch. Howerton tells me the current plan is to give a silent commitment next month before going public in August as the Terps battle for the local target.

Bridgeland (TX) three-star DL Omar Khan didn’t pull the trigger on a commitment, but the Terps made a big move on his first visit with his mom also on campus. Grad transfer Tre Colbert hosted the aspiring business major with safeties coach Zac Spavital by his side throughout. Spavital’s pursuit is reason why Khan opted to switch his originally scheduled visit to Cal for Maryland while he got a chance to spend time with the players. “How driven the players and coaches were to get better and put everyone on notice,” Khan told IBG about the takeaway from the visit. Khan kicked the month off with an official visit to Arizona and will head to Washington next weekend.

Terps commit returns to campus

Cedar Grove (GA) three-star CB Lakhi Roland returned to campus for his official visit this weekend and while he’s kept his recruitment slightly open, a source told IBG that Roland is solidly in the fold as he got extended time with the defensive staff, along with head coach Mike Locksley, during his official visit.

Terps “checked all my boxes” for priority target’s mom

There isn’t a newcomer who draws more praise on and off the field the way former Tennessee DL Jordan Phillips has, so it was only fitting for the Terps’ newest defensive lineman to host the priority Gonzaga target through the weekend. “He really made an impact on DD and I think they chose the correct person for DD,” Holmes’ mother told IBG. “His inspiration and drive to be successful.” Phillips and Holmes even got a chance to get a workout in together, giving Holmes a chance to immerse himself in the day in the life of a Terp before head coach Mike Locksley and defensive coordinator Brian Williams got their crack at the top target. “[Brian Williams] has a great relationship with DD, talking to him about his current game, different things he can change, different things he can do to improve his game for his senior season.” South Carolina held a lot of buzz in Holmes’ recruitment while Florida State and lead recruiter John Papuchis get their crack with an official visit set for this upcoming weekend, but the Terps’ rising defensive star helped leave an impression on the top target. Holmes firmly sits on the big board as ‘warm.’

Top WR target returns to campus

Maryland remains in a good spot for King George (VA) three-star WR Mekhai White, who officially visited last weekend before returning to campus with his brother on Saturday for Stefon Diggs’ camp inside SECU Stadium. White originally planned to officially visit Arkansas before canceling those plans and flirting with Penn State and Michigan for a potential official, but the decision to trim down to a final two of Maryland and Virginia Tech then return to College Park projects a trajectory in his recruitment that other regional contacts have told IBG over the last ten days—the Terps have the edge in his recruitment. Maryland has the support of mom, dad and his trainers while Saturday gave Mekhai’s brother a chance to dive into his possible college destination. White still has his official visit to Virginia Tech set for next weekend, but similar to Maryland with teammate Chanz Wiggins, the Hokies will need to turn the tide with White arguably just as much as Maryland needs to with Wiggins. The possibility remains that the duo suit up together, though that could be viewed more as a potential benefit rather than determining factor when White and Wiggins finalize their decisions, but the Terps should get an answer from their top receiver targets in the coming weeks. An official commitment date has not been set, though is expected next month.

Recent OV visitor sets imminent commitment date

Lastly, Norland (FL) linebacker Jeremiah Marcelin will announce his commitment on Thursday between Maryland, Louisville and Pitt with a realistic chance that the high three-star target lands in College Park. Defensive coordinator Brian Williams has led the way with the Florida target with Maryland up first on his visit schedule, but I’m hearing that Marcelin did follow through on his official visit to Louisville this past weekend and will make it to each finalist prior to Thursday’s decision.

More notes

  • Mountain View (VA) three-star DL Eric Mensah made his way to campus for his official visit and has Virginia, Virginia Tech and Maryland in his top group. Maryland has made Mensah a focus through the spring and has connections around him to solidify their standing in Mensah’s top group, and this weekend the family was able to take a deeper dive into the academic side of Maryland as an aspiring cyber security major. Virginia Tech will get a chance to make a move next week while Ohio State’s interest is something to monitor moving forward.
  • Austintown Finch (OH) four-star edge rusher Brian Robinson had his plans for the Ray Lewis camp canceled this weekend and Maryland capitalized to bring in the out-of-state target. It helped that the Terps hosted the 6-foot-5 edge rusher for an unofficial visit back in mid-May, which set the stage for his official visit, while Robinson’s outlook on head coach Mike Locksley has made Maryland a viable landing spot. Maryland also holds a strong connection to Brandon Collier, founder of PPI, as they now battle Michigan, Kentucky and Penn State. Confidence has been high from each program that hosted Robinson for his most recent official visit with skepticism on Michigan’s involvement in the chase despite hosting him for an official less than two weeks ago, while the Nittany Lions are keeping the Ohio edge rusher warm heading into the heart of summer. Robinson sits as ‘warm’ on the big board with cautious optimism heading into July.
  • Buford (GA) three-star DB TyShun White wrapped up his first official visit but with the longevity of North Carolina’s relationships and NIL concerns with Michigan State, Maryland faces an uphill battle for the Buford (GA) three-star safety. As noted in Jacob’s section, former Maryland safety Nick Cross was back on campus where he and White were able to build a connection but the Terps are in wait-and-see mode with head coach Mel Tucker up next.

Related Links

Maryland “feels like home” for CB Lakhi Roland after official visit (+)

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

Spring Grove OL Michael Hershey commits to Maryland

OT Michael McMonigle announces his commitment to Maryland, breaks down decision

Scheme fit highlights official visit for Virginia DL Eric Mensah (+)

Clinton WR Josiah McLaurin commits to Maryland after official visit