November 3, 2012; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins head coach Randy Edsall prior to the game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Byrd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
The coveted 2014 cornerback Jalen Tabor looks as if he is quite high on the Terps, as he recently announced that Maryland, along with the Florida Gators, are the two schools that stand out the most in his top five.
As we all remember, Tabor embraced the new “Stay Home Movement” fever around the same time Maryland began heavily recruiting local phenom and current Terp Stefon Diggs. Then, Tabor’s recruitment blew up and he began receiving offers from just about every school in the country.
This past fall, Tabor released his top eight schools, and Maryland initially made the list. Almost immediately, conflicting reports surfaced that Tabor may have dropped Maryland. The next morning, Tabor confirmed via text message that he replaced Maryland with Virginia Tech in his top eight schools, and the initial optimism of seeing Tabor in a Maryland Pride uniform turned into a longshot dream. Comparing then to now, it’s safe to say a lot has changed.
We all knew that when Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley was hired, recruiting would immediately improve. Tabor is undoubtedly high (arguably the highest) on the recruiting board for the Edsall and company. Looking at our secondary, it would be an understatement to say Tabor would make a monumental impact on defense. Tabor possesses great size, reliable catching ability, blazing speed, and some of the best footwork in the country, so it’s no surprise he’s among the top in the country. Maryland already has freshman Will Likely and Jacquille Veii, but Tabor would elevate the secondary to a status that would rival even the best in the nation.
Tabor’s 247 profile would indicate that Florida is the heavy favorite. Although the only Maryland prediction is from Terp writer Jeff Ermann, the predictions don’t tell just how much Tabor praises Maryland. It’s difficult to visit Florida’s campus and not be impressed with its abundant palm trees, beautiful campus, great coaching staff, monstrous stadium, and its success in the superior SEC. However, as many fans across the country can attest to, growing up and watching a team religiously your whole life will give you an unconditional love and attachment for that team, no matter how many ups and downs you endure during that time.
I believe this unconditional love is in Tabor. Combined with an abundance of early playing time, the ability to write his own legacy, and proximity to his home, will eventually lead him to College Park, where he’ll wear the Maryland Pride jersey as many have hoped for a long time now. It will certainly be a close, stressful recruitment for Terp fans as well as Tabor, as he has many great opportunities presented to himself. Still, Edsall and Locksley have made it this far coming off of a 4-8 record. With a vastly improved upcoming season, Tabor will certainly take notice, and I would expect his commitment by the Under Armor game in January.