VIP: Update on Priority Targets, Maryland Assistants On The Road, OVs

With the regular season wrapped up and bowls now solidified, it’s that time of year where coaches balance recruiting and bowl prep. This week, Maryland football will return to its player-run practices as they warm up for the December 30 matchup against NC State in Charlotte, but the on-field staff will also hit the recruiting trail as the look to build on its 21-man recruiting class so far this cycle. A bevy of names that we’ve tracked will resurface over the next two weeks as we delve into the latest:

Update on North Carolina duo…when the clock struck midnight on Friday, Maryland was in to check on NC State verbal Tamarcus Cooley with the staff centered on him for one of two safety spots. Sources tell IBG that Cooley will officially visit Maryland this weekend as the Terps are quietly in a position for a flip. Cooley visited for the Ohio State game and stayed through the weekend, laying the foundation for a flip as he got a chance to get to know the coaches much closer. Maryland will get a chance to close this upcoming weekend, though I’m unsure if there’d be a public announcement prior to signing day. As for Cooley’s teammate, Ohio State verbal Noah Rogers, he’s up in the air as Maryland quietly chips away in his recruitment. Per contacts, an official visit for this upcoming weekend is not set. NC State has also been working to flip him, but he skinny is that Rogers would entertain a flip should Brian Hartline opt for another school. As of now, Hartline looks to stay in Columbus which is now a tough hurdle to climb. As for another committed target, Maryland is still working on Tennessee four-star Cam Seldon down the stretch.

Coaches hitting the road…for the bulk of the staff, Sunday was spent traveling as they fan across the country checking on 2023 targets. Cornerbacks coach Henry Baker is headed to Atlanta to check on cornerback verbal Kevis Thomas, offensive line coach Brian Braswell is headed to Kansas to check on offensive line target Larry Johnson. Meanwhile, safeties coach Wes Neighbors will check out Coffeyville where he’ll get a chance to have an in-home with safety Bishop Fitzgerald. Outside linebacker coach James Thomas, defensive coordinator Brian Williams and inside linebacker coach Lance Thompson will be local. Thomas will get a chance to stop through Good Counsel to check on the status of Ole Miss verbal Neeo Avery, who could be a name to track this week. Thompson will check out St. Frances to see the status of Dashawn Womack, who is a dire longshot as things stand. He’ll also check on Boston College verbal Durell Robinson, someone Maryland likes down the stretch. In addition, Thompson will check on St. John’s (DC) verbal Sean Williams along with a trip to Virginia to check on Elijah Hughes as Maryland continues to battle there. Meanwhile, offensive coordinator Dan Enos will make the trip to New Jersey to check in on St. Peter’s Prep QB Champ Long. Wide receiver coach Gunter Brewer will make his way down to North Carolina as the staff finalizes details to go in-home with Rico Walker and Cooley this week. On Friday, Brewer checked out Good Counsel’s basketball game to check out 2024 WR Elijah Moore. On Saturday, Brewer and Enos were in attendance for Highland Spring’s 19-14 win over Stone Bridge as they scout 2024 QB Khristian Martin and he sits high alongside Mike Van Buren and Brenton Toles on Maryland’s 2024 quarterback board.

OVs…as of Sunday night, Maryland is expected to have five official visitors this weekend. Five-star Nyck Harbor will return for the second consecutive weekend to College Park. Churchill WR Zeke Avit is kicking off basketball season, but he will make his long-awaited official this weekend. He doesn’t have a long history of playing football and Churchill doesn’t pass much, but he’s a prime sleeper candidate in the class with a 6-foot-1 frame and exceptional athleticism. Defensive lineman Markus Strong will make his long-awaited official this weekend as Maryland has stayed right in the mix despite a long list of heavy hitters entering the picture. Strong, Rumph, Hughes are three uncommitted targets who Maryland would love to close on down the stretch. Also coming to campus this weekend is Coffeyville safety Bishop Fitzgerald and I like where Maryland sits with him and wouldn’t be shocked if they can wrap up his recruitment this weekend. As mentioned in the first section, Cooley will be the fourth official visitor and he’s another that I like where Maryland stands.

Next weekend, Maryland is expected to host Cheshire Academy and current commit Lavon Johnson along with Hutchinson OT Larry Johnson. There’s also a strong possibility that IMG outside linebacker Cam Lenhardt takes an official visit to campus. Maryland was in pursuit back in the spring into early summer and with Lance Thompson leading the way, there was a possibility that Maryland would host him for a June visit. What helps Maryland in December is that visit never materialized, giving Maryland a chance late. He’d fill a key need as an outside ‘backer and looked capable of filling that role as he helped IMG control the trenches against St. Frances. It’s important to note that the visitors for the next two weekends is as of Sunday night. Portal opens on Monday and it’s that time of year, so there’s a possibility we see additional names pop up.

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