A 6-foot-5 safety blanket for quarterback Isaiah Black, Wise junior tight end Micah Till regularly hauled in jump balls last season, out-maneuvering smaller defenders deep down field for highlight-reel catches.
But when it came time to put together his actual season highlights to showcase his skills for college suitors, there was little doubt which clip would lead the video.
The Pumas trailed Quince Orchard in the fourth quarter of the Maryland 4A final until Black stepped back and lofted a high pass into the back left corner of the end zone. Two Cougars recovered into fine position to snuff out the play, but it was Till who ended up with the 24-yard touchdown catch that ultimately delivered the Upper Marlboro school a 12-7 victory and its first state title. (See the full 5-minute, 23-second video here on Till’s Hudl page.)
“That play sets me apart because it’s such a big stage, but it wasn’t the most athletic play or the hardest play I made last year,” Till said. “It was just the biggest one, the most important one.”
Till improved his recruiting stock with a banner junior season that included 17 catches for 382 yards and eight touchdowns playing in a run-first offense. On Friday, he began reaping the rewards, picking up his first Football Bowl Subdivision scholarship offer from N.C. State.
The offer didn’t come as a surprise to the 250-pound tight end/defensive lineman as he’d been regularly communicating with Wolfpack assistant Richard McNutt via Facebook, but he was excited nonetheless, taking the offer as a sign of things to come.
“It’s gratifying because I’ve been waiting,” said Till, who also has an offer from Towson. “I wasn’t really nervous, but I wasn’t sure when schools would come out. I knew if one came out, they’d all start to fall into place.”
Till credited Coach DaLawn Parrish with helping him navigate the recruiting process in its early stages. He attended junior day at Pittsburgh last month and will head to another on March 23 at James Madison, where his brother Titus is currently a junior safety.
Till added that he’s had interest from Georgia Tech, Kansas, Duke, Maryland and Old Dominion. (All of those schools except for Kansas have given offers to his teammate Marcus Allen, one of the region’s top-rated safeties in his class. Allen has 18 total offers after picking up Nebraska and Arizona over the weekend.)
For Till, there is at least some question about which sport he’d like to pursue in college: football or basketball.
Some of the same traits that make him a force on the football field translate easily over to basketball. The forward leads Wise on the hardwood, averaging 15.8 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. He’s also third on the team in assists at 4.5 per game.
Parrish said he’s told Till he needs to make a decision, so that college coaches know he’s committed to one sport at the next level.
“I honestly don’t have a preference,” Till said. “When it’s football season, I focus on football. When it’s basketball season, I focus on basketball. Whatever opportunity is out there that’s best for me educationally, whatever sport it is, that’s where I’m going to go.”
Till plays AAU basketball with the 6th Man Warriors, the outfit founded by former University of Maryland forward Byron Mouton. He said he received interest from DePaul and Bucknell last summer about playing college basketball.
Wise boys’ basketball Coach Rob Garner, whose team travels to DuVal on Tuesday for a Maryland 4A South semifinal, said Till has the athleticism to cut a bit more weight and play small forward if that’s the path he wanted to choose.
“The upside for Micah Till is just amazing. …” Garner said. “Last year when I got here I said, ‘Who’s this big, chubby kid?’ This year, he’s stepped up, physically and mentally, to carry our team.”
Recruit Watch: Offers, commitments and signings
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