Where Maryland Football Recruiting Stands Heading into February Signing Period

With the Under Armour All-American game now in the rearview mirror, there’s a clear group of targets down the stretch with the transfer portal aiding the recruiting efforts. Two weeks after inking 24 signees, the February signing period is now less than a month away as the Terps enter the homestretch with a handful of prospects.

It took longer than expected, but Carroll (DC) five-star ATH Nyck Harbor has been able to largely finalize what side of the ball he wants to play on and how he and his family will attack the recruiting process with things heating up. With official visits already complete to South Carolina, Michigan and Maryland, Harbor will take a fourth and final official visit to Oregon the weekend of January 27. The Ducks were a school that sat high on Harbor’s list as a junior and their combination of track and NIL high on their list. After Harbor revealed during Tuesday’s game that he has a private top four, it’s expected these are the four finalists. The sigh of breath comes from Miami likely not securing the fifth and final official as the ‘Canes were a longtime intriguing destination for Harbor to visit. As for Oregon, distance was an initial reason why the Ducks faded even after the coaching change so that’ll be a hurdle, but they’ll become a contender down the stretch. What Oregon doesn’t have is the relationships that Harbor and his family share with Maryland, Michigan and South Carolina. The Terps have been able to generate ample buzz over the last two months, amplified with three visits including his official over a two week span. Harbor had the full attention from the staff even during the final weeks leading into the early signing period with running backs coach Elijah Brooks leading the way and head coach Mike Locksley playing a heavy hand. Michigan remains a primary factor with mom’s stamp of approval given her family’s presence roughly an hour from Ann Arbor, while South Carolina has gone all out over the last six weeks to maintain buzz. Both Maryland and South Carolina have preserved in-home visits with their respective head coaches for January, giving the staff another chance. Confidence remains high in College Park with the Terps generating the most buzz down the stretch and it helped that four-star signee Rico Walker was with Harbor for much of the weekend at the UA AA game. Still, Harbor’s recruitment is far from over with a visit looming.

Then there’s the four-star duo–Lake Brantley (FL) linebackers Michael and Andrew Harris. There was uncertainty about whether they’d pull the trigger and announce a verbal commitment during the All-American game, but they held off and will now announce on February 1. Maryland will look to send the full defensive staff to Florida once the dead period wraps up in order to finalize his recruitment. The situation remains the same—Mike Harris and mom are on board with Maryland, while Andrew remains a work in progress. While the Twins revealed that Nebraska and Florida have reached out, others will work to cloudy the field but the longer the recruitment goes on, the longer Arkansas becomes a factor. The relationship between the Harris twins and new Arkansas DC Travis Williams looms large as the Razorbacks iron out their situation. The positive feedback is that, like Harbor, the Twins were around both Walker and Dylan Gooden through the weekend and relayed confidence that the Terps were a serious player to land them. Even when Williams was at UCF, outside linebacker coach James Thomas and defensive coordinator Brian Williams were close to pulling off the flip and I wouldn’t bet against the Florida duo. But with the delay, they’ve been downgraded to ‘warm’ on the big board.

The offensive line remains a big focus and after resetting the board, offensive line coach Brian Braswell reignited contact between he and Dundalk (MD) four-star OT Chimdy Onoh. After considering an official visit to Maryland, Onoh told IBG on Tuesday evening that he won’t alter his visit schedule and the Terps were too late. Maryland will look elsewhere to find tackles and with Onoh off the board, finding another portal tackle with multiple years of eligibility isn’t out of the question. Elsewhere in the portal, Stanford OT Walter Rouse told IBG that he’s mapped out his visit schedule and the Terps didn’t make the cut. The Terps are fighting for Florida guard Ethan White and Baylor guard Micah Mazzccua, but neither have set visits to Maryland yet. Maryland will get Jackson State guard Willis Patrick on campus the weekend of January 13 as the relationship between he and OLB coach James Thomas looms large, but TCU is the primary competition. Terps will get their crack and early intel says they’ll get a fair shot during the visit.

In the secondary, Florida cornerback Jordan Young has entered longshot category but ETSU nickel cornerback Marquez Henry tells IBG he’s locked in to visit Maryland the weekend of January 13.

And then there’s West Virginia WR Kaden Prather. Frankly, Maryland has been the heavy favorite since the day he entered the transfer portal and confidence remained high even heading into Tuesday. Multiple staffers have been in daily contact with Prather and his camp since he became available in the transfer portal. But there’s buzz that the visit to Oklahoma beginning Wednesday will indeed happen, which makes them a threat. It’s important to note that Prather and his camp haven’t confirmed they will follow through, but local contacts told IBG the visit remained on the table as of Tuesday afternoon. Prather and his camp have a strong rapport with offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby and the presence of emerging star receiver Jalil Farooq aides their chances. Miami is also kicking around, though no visit is set. Once he hit the portal, Prather’s camp entertained the idea of multiple official visits due to the fact that the former four-star prospect was unable to do so out of high school due to COVID restrictions. While Prather has earned that, Maryland will need to close once again.

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