When the notebooks close shut and the pencils come out, signaling test time in the St. John’s College High School economics class, quarterback and Maryland commit Will Ulmer will often turn to his teammate and begin to whisper.
No, it’s not some cheating conspiracy. Rather, a recruiting pitch. “Hey,” Ulmer tells cornerback Omar Truitt, just softly enough so the teacher can’t hear, “let’s go Maryland.”
Ulmer, a four-star dual-threat quarterback who announced his commitment to the Terrapins in late April, has since assumed the role of on-the-ground hype man, promoting his future program to Truitt, himself a three-star prospect and Washington D.C.’s seventh-best player from the class of 2014, according to 247sports.com.
Ulmer talks about offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, who’s handling Truitt’s recruitment, and the enticing idea of continuing their careers together at the Division I level. His position has become a top priority; the Terrapins are aggressively pursuing several local defensive backs for their next recruiting class, including Friendship’s Jalen Tabor and Gilman’s Troy Vincent Jr.
Maryland offered Truitt after back-to-back visits to College Park, a short 20-minute drive from his high school, on May 20 and 21. Coach Randy Edsall was away that Monday, so Locksley asked Truitt to return the next day.
“We’re talking about life and all that good stuff, the direction they’re going in,” Truitt said. “He was saying, ‘Coach Edsall wants to meet you tomorrow, and honestly he’s not just going to want to meet you for no reason. Most likely you’ll be getting an offer.’”
Truitt had heard that spiel before. Coaches fawn over his talents and rave about his film. But their compliments always came with a catch: We just want to wait until camp before we offer.
So Truitt remained skeptical, 45 minutes into the visit he and his parents had with Edsall. Then Edsall broke out the offer, and Truitt found himself grabbing his father’s leg, fearful of any celebration too obvious.
It’s a recurring non-problem Truitt has these days, especially now that he’s racked up four scholarship offers. When Iowa called Truitt and offered Wednesday, he muted the phone and excitedly yelled to his mother.
“When you first get on the phone with them or first meet them, it hits you,” Truitt said. “You just want to cry, because you know you’ve been working so hard for this moment, that people are finally recognizing your talents and what you can offer to their football program. It’s still a very exciting time.”
Truitt, whose father Olanda retired from a six-season NFL career when Omar was 2 years old, projects as a college cornerback, though his first position ever was offensive line.In youth league flag football.
“So that’s how you know I wasn’t good at all,” Truitt said.
He played cornerback and receiver, his father’s position, the next year after advancing to tackle, but because he was the tallest player got moved back to the line. After that, he started playing quarterback until enrolling at St. John’s.
Twice calling the Hawkeyes a “great fit” after Wednesday’s offer, Truitt has three camps scheduled for a whirlwind early-June tour: Pittsburgh on June 7, Ohio State on June 8 and Tennessee on June 9. On June 21, he plans to visit Iowa for its elite junior day, but just hours before the Hawkeyes phoned was at Gossett Team House, chatting with Ulmer and members of Maryland’s staff.
And if Ulmer gets his way, a commitment won’t be far behind.
“They’re changing things around,” Truitt said of the Terps. “You can tell they’re getting serious about what they want to do with their football program, and thinking about being a part of that process is exciting.
“It’s a different Maryland.”