Virginia Four-Star Target Has Strong Connections to Maryland

Manchester (VA) four-star defensive lineman Makai Byerson has transitioned from football to basketball after the 6-foot-3.5, 235-pound edge rusher ended his season named Virginia’s 6A defensive player of the year. While the four-star prospect would love an opportunity to play basketball at the next level, his combination of size and athleticism has jumped out through the fall as a handful of regional schools have made a push.

One of those schools is Maryland as wide receiver coach Gunter Brewer leading his recruitment and stopped through the school earlier this month. “He’s definitely a cool guy. He keeps it real, I appreciate that,” Byerson said of his relationship with his lead recruiter. He wasn’t able to make it to College Park for a game this fall, but his last visit came in late July where he was able to meet the coaching staff more. “It definitely was a cool experience. Getting to see everyone outside of the football mode was good to see. I really like the area and how they’re focused on being a better person after football. That was one of coach [Mike] Locksley’s main messages.”

It also helps that he has two close friends in RJ and Ramon Brown and another familiar face in Leon Haughton with the Terps’ program. The positive feedback has provided Byerson a sense of third-party validation from the recruiting pitch he so often hears. “We’ve definitely talked about it. You know it’s really real, the players are the ones really going through the experience. I don’t really have questions to learn more about them. Most of the questions I had were either answered by the coaches, or a couple of the players.”

Byerson said he doesn’t have any visit plans set after the dead period but knows if he does visit somewhere, it will be local. “I’m mainly hearing from mostly some of the in-state schools and Maryland,” he added.

Byerson is rated a four-star prospect and a 90 overall by On3, sitting as the 256th-best prospect nationally and sixth-best in Virginia.

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