VIP notes: big board mover, update on flip target, ’25 visitors

Maryland football is sitting at 14 commitments heading into mid-July with several more targets prime targets, including Khristian Martin and Brandon Jacob, expected to announce by the end of the month.

The next target to commit is Pallotti (MD) three-star offensive tackle Ryan Howerton, who is set to announce his commitment at 4 PM on Saturday among a top five of Maryland, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Howard. Pitt gave the Terps a challenge before the Mountaineers proved to be the final hurdle, but I like Maryland’s chances to land the 6-foot-5 tackle and will upgrade him to ‘hot’ on the Terps’ big board. Maryland had been in the mix for the Pallotti tackle dating back to last fall, keeping tabs on the local target before gradually heating up their pursuit in the spring as they jockeyed for position and worked on official visit dates. If Maryland does indeed win out, Howerton would become the sixth commitment along the offensive line and the Terps could take another one or two more the rest of the way.

Shifting to the other side of the ball, outside of Florida, Maryland is the only school still in touch with Good Counsel (MD) four-star linebacker Aaron Chiles. The 6-foot-3 linebacker took official visits to Maryland and Florida before announcing his commitment to the Gators in the middle of his official visit, a surprise decision over Michigan, who was the longtime team to beat. The Wolverines are now completely out of the mix, with one source adding “that’s a dead end.” Inside linebacker coach Lance Thompson has done well in his recruitment, head coach Mike Locksley has the support of the family but outside linebacker coach James Thomas is the driving force for the Terps’ to become a viable flip target down the line.

Meanwhile, Maryland will host an invite-only recruiting event on July 29 and three local 2025 targets expected to be in attendance are top-150 prospect Iverson Howard, Good Counsel (MD) three-star guard Gavin Crawford, and McDonogh (MD) four-star athlete Jeff Exinor.

Howard, a 5-foot-10 four-star running back out of Quince Orchard, is an early priority next cycle with outside linebacker coach James Thomas doing the heavy lifting in the beginning stages to keep the Terps squarely in the mix. Running backs coach Latrell Scott has been able to chip away at the relationship where Howard has been to campus on at least two occasions this spring, most recently for the 7-on-7 tournament that the Cougars won back during the first weekend of June. Penn State, West Virginia, Michigan, Florida and Virginia Tech are among the schools that give Howard a 20-plus offer list but becoming a routine visitor this spring has given them a chance early.

Crawford, a three-star, 6-foot-3 guard out of Good Counsel (MD) in the 2025 class. Crawford is on track to become a household name within the DMV this fall as the starting guard alongside West Virginia pledge Kyle Altuner and 2025 tackle Eidan Buchanan, but the 6-foot-3, 310-pound lineman has made his way to campus a handful of times in recent months as there’s depth to the early relationship.

Exinor, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound athlete, has been as active on the recruiting scene leading into June, taking visits to nearby schools like USC, Virginia Tech and Pitt but the Terps have been involved with the dual-sport athlete dating back to last summer when former assistant Mike Miller pulled the trigger on an offer. Exinor, who also suits up for Team Thrill, proved himself as a go-to receiver target during his sophomore season. Boston College, Duke, Michigan, Syracuse, Tennessee, USC and West Virginia are among the schools on Exinor’s early double-digit offer list.

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