VIP: OV notes • upcoming high school visits • Maryland portal targets

The latest VIP notes…

On the football side, Maryland will welcome its first group of official visitors to campus starting Thursday into Saturday with the first 7-on-7 tournament of the month scheduled for Saturday. While Maryland will host a small group of official visitors this weekend (same batch in the June OV thread), I won’t shocked if we see a portal visitor with a familiar name headed to campus: Oklahoma K Gavin Marshall. I’ve mentioned that special teams is a focus for Maryland to upgrade this offseason and with four years of eligibility remaining, Marshall is viewed as exactly that. The details of his visit remain fluid and Maryland faces competition with Marshall as he’s drawn SEC offers, including Kentucky, but he’s been the guy they’ve zeroed in on to potentially upgrade the room. If Maryland is able to land Marshall from the portal, fans could see the two portal additions take over kicking, punting and kickoff duties in 2024 after Maryland finished at the bottom of the Big Ten in FG % and punting.

Elsewhere on the high school front, early July was the latest expected commitment timeframe for Quince Orchard (MD) four-star RB Iverson Howard, but after going back-and-forth about a decision prior to official visits, the local running back has plans to make his decision on June 18 with Michigan still viewed as the top competition. How Howard’s recruitment ultimately plays out is subject to change with all eyes on the Wolverines with his official visit still on, though his commitment is now set just two days after his official to Tallahassee will end. The ‘Noles have been a continued factor with John Papuchis leading the charge, and while his official visit to Maryland is likely canceled, the four-star will be back on campus for this weekend’s 7-on-7 tournament with Quince Orchard confirmed in attendance.

Elsewhere, the June 21 weekend has long been the target weekend for Dunbar (MD) OT Josh Blackston to visit Maryland, but that’s now up in the air with an official visit now set to Ohio State for that weekend as all eyes now sit on the Buckeyes’ chances heading into summer. While optimism surrounding local lineman Jayvon McFadden has been low through the spring, I’ve heard that the four-star reached out to Maryland interested in scheduling an official visit. Whether that materializes for the June 21 weekend remains to be seen with McFadden expected to take his recruitment into the fall, but I’d keep slightly closer tabs on McFadden with the hometown team while the four-star said he has an official visit to Ohio State this weekend. While Maryland will look to close the gap on the pair of local linemen, one Florida target to know this cycle is Gadsden County (FL) three-star OT Lamar Williams. After decommitting from Miami (FL) earlier in the month, co-defensive coordinator Brian Williams has led the way on the 6-foot-5 tackle through his junior year after making the three-star an early priority. While the Terps’ relationships at Gadsden County remain strong, Maryland has also built a strong rapport with Lamar’s mom through the process as he heads to campus for his official the weekend of June 7.

Heading back to Riverdale on the other side of the ball, I’m also hearing that while Maryland is set to host Riverdale Baptist three-star DL Nahsir Taylor, they have plenty of competition with officials to Notre Dame and Pitt set. Maryland is up first while the Irish have been in hot pursuit through the spring, but Pitt will round out the month of visits and they’ve been a steady contender through his junior season with buzz surrounding their chances. While Maryland has been in hot pursuit of Calvert Hall (MD) TE JT Taggart, there’s a chance he will take his recruitment into the fall as he evaluates his visits through June. I’m also hearing that the offensive staff is high on Jack Moran, a 6-foot-5 QB from the Hun School (NJ), as OC Josh Gattis has tracked him through his junior season. While two quarterbacks are very much on the table this cycle and heading into OVs, all eyes remain on Spalding (MD) QB Malik Washington as the top priority at the position. IBG touched on his status on Tuesday and will be in attendance for Spalding’s 7-on-7 this week.

On the basketball side, the search for who will fill Kevin Willard’s final scholarship has been at a near standstill in recent weeks with the portal frenzy all but over. Maryland was among the long list of schools in contact with former North Florida guard Chaz Lanier, who ultimately committed to Tennessee, while former Georgia State guard Lucas Taylor was evaluated before Syracuse became a growing player in his recruitment. But a new name is on the radar now as Maryland narrows their focus for the final spot: Wake Forest guard Damari Monsanto.

Contact between the two sides began last week before meeting virtually on Tuesday, one contact told IBG. While Monsanto is represented by G.A.M.E. – the same agency that represents former Seton Hall star Isaiah Whitehead – there are connections as the former ACC guard is close with new Maryland guard Selton Miguel and fifth-year linebacker and Florida native Ruben Hyppolite. Monsanto shot 42% from three in 2022-23 and averaged over 40% over the last three years, fitting the mold of how Maryland is looking to finalize the backcourt.

After spending two seasons at ETSU, Monsanto suffered a torn Achilles during the 2021-22 season then a torn patellar tendon during the 2022-23 season that derailed his 2023-24 season, playing in just 11 games while averaging 5.1 points in 12.5 minutes as a redshirt senior. He entered the portal in mid-March with one additional year of eligibility remaining.

Meanwhile, after freshmen Derik Queen and Malachi Palmer enrolled last week, former Belmont guard Ja’Kobi Gillespie made the move to College Park on Tuesday while former Virginia Tech guard Rodney Rice – who became a frequent workout attendee inside Xfinity through the offseason – arrives this week. We’ll have more on how the 2024-25 roster is shaping ahead of a pivotal year three for Kevin Willard.

Related Links

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Maryland men’s basketball adds five games to non-conference schedule
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