VIP Notes: Second Scrimmage Rumblings, DMV Target, Upcoming Visitor

Maryland wrapped up its second and final live scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday and after a day off on Sunday, the team turns to Buffalo preparation next week. Chad Ryland, Maryland’s portal addition, drew praise again from head coach Mike Locksley for the second consecutive week after drilling a 58-yarder in the scrimmage. Additional notes from Saturday’s scrimmage and more:

Scrimmage Notes

  • We’re hearing that WR Marcus Fleming is not currently with the team with his status questionable heading into the season. IBG is awaiting an official update on Fleming’s status with the team. Fleming, a former four-star prospect who transferred to Maryland following the 2020 season, had a chance to make an impact in the slot as a rotational piece heading into this fall. Freshman receiver Octavian Smith is capable of filling that void.
  • In regards to health, so far so good. Both receivers in Dontay Demus and Jeshaun Jones were full-go on Saturday as Maryland increases their workloads. A good sign as the expectation appears set for reality with both 100% good to go ahead of week one.
  • Maryland was able to run some situational football during Saturday’s scrimmage with the redzone part of the focus for the second straight week. Freshman quarterback Cam Edge drew praise from head coach Mike Locksley during his press conference while I also heard portal addition Billy Edwards was efficient with his reps. Of course, this is Taulia’s job and with the experience protecting and at wide receiver, there’s ample confidence in Maryland’s 2022 offense—a sentence that doesn’t surprise many folks so far.
  • Saturday’s scrimmage had high intensity and there’s a lot of confidence in the effort displayed by the team in the second and final scrimmage. We’ve heard that both sides of the line looked really good and veteran defensive lineman Austin Fontaine stuck out today as a defensive end as he’s had an impressive fall camp.
  • Linebacker Gereme Spraggins has worked to become more consistent as an inside linebacker through camp but heard he had a productive day, as did junior linebacker Ruben Hyppolite. Hyppolite enters the season as a full-time starter with Maryland excited for the experienced and young talent in the linebacker room.
  • When it comes to the freshmen, the same names normally come up: RB Ramon Brown, LB Caleb Wheatland and LB Jaishawn Barham. Barham is a special piece that’s continued to draw praise since enrolling back in January and it’ll be tough keeping him off the field down the line. He continued to make plays on Saturday, generating pressure off the edge as well. Two other names I’ve heard that have played well: CB Lionell Whitaker and IOL Coltin Deery. Whitaker has flashed as a boundary corner and despite entering his first season of college football, he’s impressed with his feel for the game and instincts. He’ll be leaned with Maryland’s cornerback depth littered with inexperience behind the three starters. Deery, meanwhile, has a veteran offensive line ahead of him but he’s proven himself capable of becoming a starting center or guard down the line.

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Football Recruiting Note

  • Maryland held the edge for months when it came to Unity Reed (VA) linebacker Amare Campbell but contact between Amare and Maryland has waned over the past ten days or so with North Carolina trending heavier in his recruitment. I now fully expect Campbell to land with the Tar Heels. Next step? Maryland will monitor Virginia verbal Kamren Robinson through the rest of the cycle with the door cracked open for the staff. Beyond him, it’s looking like the transfer portal could be the route to fill needs next offseason but how big of a need will it be? With both Barham and Wheatland proving themselves as consistent standouts since enrolling, Maryland has high expectations for both as long-term difference makers in the room.

Basketball Recruiting Note

  • The visit is now set. Paul VI (VA) four-star guard DeShawn Harris-Smith is set to unofficially visit Maryland on Sunday with his mother as Maryland now works to close. I shifted Harris-Smith to WARMER on the big board last week with momentum building for the Terps and local buzz pointing to Maryland as the destination spot. An official decision has not been revealed and with a decision expected by the end of the month, Maryland will once again sell the local four-star on his ability to run the point as a freshman in an effort to secure the backcourt. If Harris-Smith does indeed join Maryland’s 2023 class with Jamie Kaiser and Jahnathan Lamothe, the Terps will be able to shift their attention to the frontcourt. Again, the Terps are in heavy pursuit and in the mix for four-star center Papa Kante with confidence waning for Prolific Prep (CA) center Mike Nwoko. Tallahassee CC Okechukwu Okeke  is the other primary frontcourt target right now. Elsewhere, Maryland made the top five and is expected to officially host Putnam Science four-star wing Mouhamed Dioubate in the coming weeks ahead of an early fall decision.

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Logan Delizio contributed to this report