VIP: what’s next after Donta Scott’s return, roster update, four-star target

The Donta Scott decision is in as Maryland has its second senior back in the fold after news broke on Monday evening that Scott will return to College Park for a fifth season. To say it was the longtime expectation wouldn’t be accurate, but the tide turned over the last ten days with a return becoming more likely than both the pro and portal route. Now, he gives Maryland a proven scorer in the frontcourt to pair alongside Julian Reese.

But depending on what else happens along the roster, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Donta play more of the three as that was a point of discussion during offseason meetings between he and Willard. If Maryland is able to land another piece in the frontcourt through the portal, then Scott enjoys a bit more roster flexibility where he’s able to showcase himself more frequently as a reliable scorer outside of the paint. His return also officially puts Maryland one over the scholarship, but the expectation remains that the roster suffers expected attrition in the frontcourt to make it all work. Should that happen, that will also leave space for Maryland to land one more in the portal and there’s little doubt who the focus is: Hunter Dickinson.

Both Georgetown and Kansas continue to circulate as viable contenders partly thanks to their NIL resources. Arkansas and Villanova also also been linked to the Michigan transfer, but Maryland has remained in touch with Dickinson through the weekend as he bunkers down to take the next step in the process. He’s remained quiet about the process while he and his family were on vacation through the weekend as a timeframe for a decision remains unclear. Dickinson was reportedly expected to visit Georgetown last weekend before postponing for this weekend, though specific visits have not yet been confirmed. I expect Maryland to get a visit once plans are set, giving Willard and the staff a chance to turn the tide.

On the football side, fans have long awaited an official announcement from WR Jeshaun Jones for his plans for the upcoming season, though Monday may have been the closest we’ve seen to an official statement from the star receiver. Still, Jones will join the rest of the team for practice #7 on Tuesday as he’s been back with the team for spring ball, offseason workouts and lifts. There was a concern earlier this calendar year that Jones didn’t have both feet in for another season as he and Locksley routinely met to discuss their plans. Still, the buzz gradually built into February that Jones was more likely to be back than depart. That belief continued heading into spring ball and while I’m unsure if fans do get another official announcement, I continue to expect Jones to lead the WR room this fall.

Just like every other player, Jones will meet with Locksley after spring ball but one contact with knowledge of the situation told IBG that “the portal is an option if spring ball, for some reason, goes left.” The same contact also added “as long as things remain mutually beneficial there is no reason to leave.” In other words, something would need to go wrong for Jones to head elsewhere. Inside the building, the sentiment has remained that Jeshaun is expected to lead the Terps again this season. I mentioned on pro day that Jeshaun was slated to attend yet another TBIAF event for NIL as the foundation continues to prioritize the sixth-year senior. Based on everything I’ve heard dating from January through Monday, until someone tells me to worry, six is back for year six.

Meanwhile, I’m hearing Virginia four-star LB Kris Jones has kept Maryland in the mix despite the Terps battling the heavy hitters with Florida drawing buzz. A source told IBG that Jones was a tentative visitor for this upcoming weekend, but he won’t be able to make it as a return visit for a spring practice remains on the table.

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