VIP: second scrimmage buzz, portal OL, two New Jersey visitors

Maryland football enters the final week of spring practice ahead of this upcoming Saturday’s spring game.

One week after the offense was able to pop the top off the secondary, Maryland’s defense won out on Saturday and did well eliminating the big plays. Cornerback Jaquan Sheppard was among the first names mentioned as a standout from Saturday, a big reason why Maryland’s confident in their starting tandem, while second year outside linebacker Kellan Wyatt had another productive outing to reinforce himself as a player in the outside linebacker rotation. Meshing the new and returning talent to bridge the gap was a point of emphasis during the second scrimmage as the defensive side of the ball has watched key underclassmen like Jordan Phillips has provided credence to a rising defense under second-year coordinator Brian Williams.

Maryland is still mixing and matching its starting five and there are other portal needs, but the offensive line has been the undoubted top priority as the staff hosted Texas A&M transfer Matthew Wykoff for a visit beginning Friday. Wykoff, a 6-foot-6 lineman, started nine games at center last season for the Aggies before being named an SEC All-Freshman selection. With Maryland looking for a guard and center out of the portal, Wykoff fits both positions well and steps into a clear starting role. Wykoff heads to Louisville on Sunday where the Cards would love to add the experienced lineman. Louisville is also squarely in the mix for former App State OL Troy Everett, who both he and his family were ‘very impressed’ with the Sooners coming off this weekend’s visit. Sounds like the Cards were open to taking both Wykoff and Everett as well before Louisville landed portal tackle Willie Tyler, though Wykoff gives Maryland a good chance at replenishing their interior line through the portal. Holding pattern for now as Wykoff wraps up his second visit, but with Josh Gattis and Zac Spavital teaming up with Braswell for Maryland’s pursuit, the Terps have a viable target as Wykoff sits as ‘warm’ on the big board.

Elsewhere…

  • Another who’s trekked through campus this month is Camden (NJ) four-star receiver Jaylan Hornsby. The 6-foot-3, 201-pound athlete, who hails from the same school as 2023 signee Josh Richards, has been a consistent target for cornerbacks coach Henry Baker while Hornsby was able to sit in position meetings like the rest of the priority visitors this spring. With offers from Georgia, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Rutgers, Penn State and Illinois among others, Hornsby has the Terps under consideration while one contact adds that West Virginia, Rutgers and Syracuse have done well recruiting the four-star thus far.
  • DeMatha (MD) three-star defensive tackle Emmett Laws is set to announce his commitment on Tuesday with Maryland, Pitt and Virginia Tech in his top group. I like the Hokies to land the 6-foot-2, 265-pound interior lineman with Tech assistants Tyler Bowen and Elijah Brooks making the DMV a priority after their spring game.
  • Maryland will welcome its first commit back to campus this summer when German three-star LB Justin Okoronkwo makes his way to College Park for his weekend set for the last weekend in June.
  • I’m not expecting a lot of local visitors for next weekend’s spring game, mainly due to the OT7 camp in Baltimore set for that Saturday. That crosses off Pallotti (MD) four-star Gabe Williams, though he was able to make it to campus earlier this month with the Terps entrenched in his top group. Another out-of-state target confirmed for this upcoming weekend is Timber Creek (NJ) defensive end Brahim Wynn. This marks his second visit to campus and after his mom made the trip the first time around, Wynn’s dad will make the short trip to campus this time around. He’ll unofficially visit on Friday before taking in the spring game on Saturday.

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