VIP: Latest Following Official Visit Weekend for Maryland Football

Maryland wrapped up its first big recruiting weekend of the offseason and it yielded immediate results with former Cincinnati cornerback Ja’Quan Sheppard announcing his transfer to College Park. He was one of a handful of visitors over the weekend as head coach Mike Locksley and the staff chipped away with their priority recruits.

With Sheppard’s decision, he helps fill a critical need the secondary. Maryland will still scour the transfer portal to find another cornerback this offseason should the right fit turn up, but the staff was able to capitalize and turn up the heat for a decision by the end of the weekend. That didn’t yield the same result for former FIU tight end Rivaldo Fairweather taking his first official visit to Maryland. The dynamic target would serve as a major boost in the passing attack as Maryland needs to replenish its pass catchers, but they know it’ll be a battle with heavy hitters pushing and an Auburn visit lurking.

As for the highlight target, multiple contacts believed this weekend’s official visit with five-star Nyck Harbor and his family couldn’t have gone any better. Confidence is high from Maryland’s end in Harbor’s chase as they will still preserve their in-home for head coach Mike Locksley to make his final pitch in January. Just like last weekend, Harbor was hosted by his former high school teammate Leron Husbands and spent the bulk of the weekend with the players where he got a chance to enjoy College Park. A big point of emphasis was showing Harbor’s early impact potential at tight end as the family spent time making sure he isn’t flipping sides of the ball and there’s a concrete plan in place. Maryland continues to resonate well with Harbor’s parents, one contact added and of Sunday night, I expected Harbor to follow through with his official visit to Georgia next weekend. However, sounds like that won’t be the case as Harbor’s family comes out of the weekend. This primarily remains a Maryland-South Carolina battle with Michigan and LSU lurking, but this weekend was highlighted by the Terps cementing themselves as arguably the team to beat now.

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Maryland is in a good spot with NC State verbal Tamarcus Cooley but there’s still work left to complete the flip. Maryland will go in-home this week, likely Tuesday or Wednesday, as they work to get him aboard but all signs point to Maryland trending with one week left. Maryland is also in a battle with Oklahoma for Union County (FL) three-star defensive lineman Markus Strong. The staff couldn’t have made it any more clear the need for immediate playing time while dissecting the fit along the line depending on his development, but they’ll go back in-home this week ahead of Strong’s official to Norman this weekend. Some in Strong’s camp are advising him to sign in February, but he’s expected to sign on December 21.

The staff will hit the road this week and hit the local schools, Pennsylvania and Florida once again to make sure their current 2023 class is locked in. They’ll also check on four-star Rico Walker this week, though a date has not yet been set, while Maryland will check back in with Coffeyville safety Bishop Fitzgerald ahead of this weekend’s official visit. Plans for the rest of the week remain fluid as the staff works the phones to become active players in the portal so we’ll have more on that through the week. Meanwhile, former UTEP offensive tackle Jeremiah Byers will be on campus through Monday as the staff pulled out an unexpected visit.

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