VIP: More Scrimmage Rumblings, Big Board Mover

College football and high school season is just around the corner. After taking in Carroll’s opening scrimmage against Calvert Hall on Saturday, covering Maryland football’s first scrimmage of fall camp, Inside the Black and Gold is set to see Loyola Blakefield and fellow Maryland commit AJ Szymanski take on Good Counsel on Monday afternoon. With recruiting slowed down and the season heating up, the latest premium notes for subscribers:

Scrimmage notes…Maryland’s first scrimmage centered around ironing out the depth with the special teams unit getting ample work. It’s no surprise that newcomer Chad Ryland drew positive comments from Locksley as he’ll extend Maryland’s range compared to Petrino’s 35-yard line limit from last season. We posted a handful of VIP tidbits after the scrimmage: freshman Shaleak Knotts is sidelined with a hand injury; former local four-star Octavian Smith continues to shine at receiver despite initial discussion that he could fill in at defensive back; both Fa’Najae Gotay and Mo Kite were inactive out of precaution; tight end CJ Dippre was able to make a few big plays; both running backs Colby McDonald and Roman Hemby flashed out of the backfield.

I’ve also heard that Quashon Fuller is playing defensive end and showed good support against the run on Saturday while both Henry Chibueze and VanDarius Cowan stuck out in the front seven. Chibueze is primarily playing nose tackle but will be in a better position to also play defensive tackle alongside Ami Finau come conference play, while Cowan is expected to become the starting outside linebacker opposite of Nchami. Transfer additions have been as advertised thus far. Elsewhere, it seems as if it’s just a matter of time until freshman linebacker Jaishawn Barham becomes a starter alongside Ruben Hyppolite. I’ll shift Barham to WILL in my next projected two-deep, but the glowing comments through the offseason have been consistent as he shows no signs of being a first-year player at the college football level. After the team took the weekend off to recover and bond over a barbeque and a get-together at Locksley’s house on Sunday, the team remains healthy and I expect Copeland to be back at practice this week. This upcoming week is when things ramp up and next Saturday’s scrimmage will primarily feature the starters with Buffalo prep heating up.

Big board mover…I’ve shifted Churchill (MD) wide receiver Zeke Avit to WARMER on the big board with Maryland in a good spot. Avit told Inside the Black and Gold this weekend that he’ll make his commitment by the end of the month and though his recruiting profile is largely under-the-radar, he’s someone that’s stuck out to the staff since he camped in June. The two-sport athlete was first offered following camp and returned to campus for last month’s barbeque as wide receiver coach Gunter Brewer and outside linebacker coach James Thomas both lead the way for the 6-foot-2 athlete. His basketball background and potential as an outside receiver stick out to Maryland and while Penn State is actively monitoring Avit, Maryland is in a good position for their sixth receiver this cycle. That will likely be it at the position for now.

CFB portal…we’re starting to see players across the country enter the transfer portal through fall camp. One portal name that raised eyebrows last week was former four-star defensive back Jordan Toles, who leaves LSU with four years to play three. Had it happened in the spring, it may have been a different story but as of now I don’t see Maryland becoming a realistic landing spot for the St. Frances product. I have heard Toles is looking to find a spot soon, but unclear where he will land so far.

Related Links

Latest developments in five-star Nyckoles Harbor’s recruitment (+)

Georgia lineman keeping Maryland under consideration (+)

Mike Locksley reviews Maryland’s first scrimmage

Maryland’s newest commitment breaks down decision

New Jersey safety high on Maryland (+)

Maryland awards pair of scholarships during Ravens game