VIP: Maryland squarely in the mix with former Big Ten pledge

Defensive backs have headlined the local 2025 cycle since the start as Maryland has built its recruiting board with multiple elite targets.

Spalding (MD) three-star CB Jayden Shipps will head to Maryland the last weekend of May for his official visit while St. John’s (DC) four-star Tariq Hayer is set to take his official visit the weekend of June 21 with Maryland squarely in the mix with both. Alabama four-star verbal Zymear Smith has kept an open line with Maryland despite his pledge, while both Deuce Edwards and Brandon Finney remain in the mix for official visits. But one local target officially made a change in his recruitment on Thursday with Maryland expected to be a contender: St. Frances (MD) four-star CB Blake Woodby.

Woodby, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound cornerback, became the first Panther to verbally commit to Ohio State, but rumblings about a potential parting of ways have been brewing through the spring with the Baltimore native long expected to sign elsewhere by December.

So who is in the mix? Oregon, Georgia, Maryland, Auburn and Florida are among the top options for the Baltimore native. The buzz surrounding the Ducks’ chances with Woodby has been persistent since the 2025 cycle picked up with teammate Ify Obidegwu in Eugene, among other DMV natives, while Oregon was among the first schools to visit for St. Frances’ spring practices. Auburn also made the way for spring practice in late April, the same day as Alabama, as they’ve played catch up in the race and they’ll be the first school to host him for an official visit the last weekend in May. Georgia is in the mix as the four-star will head to Athens for an unofficial visit this weekend, but an official visit is set to Maryland.

The four-star prospect will return to Maryland the weekend of June 21 as Woodby gets another chance to reconnect with lead recruiter and position coach, Aazaar Abdul-Rahim. The relationship between the two dates back to before Woodby began his high school career, while some close to Woodby advocate for the Terps’ assistant in the pursuit. Woodby’s relationship with incoming freshman CB Kevyn “Kerm” Humes is another positive in the Terps’ corner with the two close, helping Woodby become one of the most frequent visitors in 2024 with Maryland squarely in the mix. The biggest question for Woodby is whether he wants to stay close to home as Maryland works to change that after a busy month of visits.

While a summer commitment is on the table for Woodby, there’s no firm timeline fresh off his changed recruitment as Maryland looks to capitalize on its longstanding relationships.

“Talking about home is always going to be home. Coach Locks, his pitch to me was being able to do it at home, being able to get success at home in the Big Ten, my hometown. It’s not really a pitch, it’s just the truth. Being able to put my team on the map as far as my hometown team and try to get my hometown guys with me that went to St. Frances, that go to St. John’s, that goes to DeMatha,” Woodby told IBG.

Blake Woodby is rated a four-star prospect and a 90 overall by On3, sitting as the seventh-best prospect in Maryland.

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