Around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Jacquille Veii case study began. Everything — his choice of wardrobe, the order of the hats lined up in front of him and even the way he fidgeted in his chair — was under scrutiny as time ticked closer to the Avalon senior defensive back’s college announcement.

History said that Veii would choose Maryland, the school he first committed to in June before re-opening his recruitment in November. Intuition settled on Veii’s all-black attire, which perfectly matched the Iowa cap resting to his left. But logic screamed for Nebraska, the program that remained fresh in his mind following an official visit this past weekend.

Ultimately, Veii expelled all suspense surrounding his much-hyped decision, reaching for a red-and-black Terrapins hat as the crowd of 100 gathered at the Gaithersburg private school screamed in support.

“Everything I need is here in Maryland,” Veii said. “It was a tough decision because I had a great time at Nebraska but in the end, I knew Maryland was the right place for me.”

Veii said he came to the decision late last night after turning off his phone and escaping from the social media hysteria leading up to National Signing Day. The 5-foot-10, 175 pounder then called Maryland Coach Randy Edsall Wednesday morning to share the good news.

Veii’s signing marked another big get for Maryland, which also landed Suitland’s Taivon Jacobs and Friendship Collegiate’s Yannick Ngakoue and Derwin Gray, and a historic day for Avalon. For the first time in its nine-year history, the program boasted Football Bowl Subdivision players in Veii and Pittsburgh signee Rachid Ibrahim. To mark this moment, Black Knights Coach Tad Shields announced Wednesday that the duo’s No. 3 and No. 5 jerseys would be retired within the program.

“These two really blazed a trail by coming out of Avalon, where the odds are against them getting a major Division I scholarship,” Shields said. “The records and stats are just one component of them both as a total package. They are also leaders, good students and an inspiration to their classmates.”

After transferring from Richard Montgomery in 2011, Veii quickly made his mark for the Avalon Black Knights, recording 18 touchdowns on just 56 touches as a defensive back, wideout, running back positions and kick returner. As a senior, Veii recorded 14 touchdowns as well as 61 tackles and four interceptions in leading Avalon to its third straight Capital Area Football Conference title.

View Photo Gallery: Avalon senior Jacquille Veii elected to stay close to home when he signed with Maryland on Wednesday. Veii joined teammate Rachid Ibrahim (Pittsburgh) as the first Avalon players to sign with Football Bowl Subdivision teams. (Brandon Parker/For The Washington Post)

Story: Veii, Ibrahim put the Avalon School on recruiting map

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