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Pair of Big Ten Teams Vying for JuCo Tackle

Maryland and Michigan State are the first two Power Five offers for the 6-foot-7 junior college offensive tackle.

Spots remain tight in the 2021 class for Maryland, but offensive line remains a key focus between now and signing day. The staff turned to the junior college market a season ago to round out positional needs in the trenches as Maryland is involved with another name from a familiar school.

Independence (KS) offensive tackle Brandon Baldwin added his first Power Five offer back on September 3 when outside linebackers coach Brawley Evans connected with the 6-foot-7, 305-pound offensive tackle. They’ve taken the subsequent three weeks to build on the relationship as Baldwin spoke highly of the Terps.

“[Brawley] is just a real dude, I can relate to him and he knows how to relate to me. He knows about the Detroit area too,” Baldwin told All Terrapins. Maryland dipped into the Detroit region last cycle to ink running back Peny Boone as the Terps prioritize Baldwin down the stretch.

“They told me I’m one of the top priorities and they’ve been on my head, so I’m real interested in Maryland. The guys from Indy last year, they got four of them that signed, some people I was cool with. I’ve talked with them since they got there and since I got the offer.” Maryland has pitched the strength of the Robert H. Smith School of Business as Baldwin conducts his own research online. “They’re really great with business and that’s going to be my major.”

UMass, Missouri State and Eastern Michigan have already extended offers while Florida State, Penn State and Rutgers show interest, but Michigan State pulled the trigger on an offer Monday as Baldwin is plenty familiar with the hometown school. “Coach [Chris Kapilovic] followed me on Twitter then hit me up. Then my high school coach called me too because he’s been talking to them too,” Baldwin added. “I’m blessed. I’m excited, my whole family is excited. This is a big one.”

While Baldwin is backing off from naming favorites or front-runners, the familiarity with Michigan State leaves minimal doubt about what the Spartans have to offer. “I mostly grew up going to basketball games there. I love the team, they’ve always had a great team go far in the tournament and basketball used to be my favorite sport, my main sport, then I got into football.”

Baldwin does not have a timetable for a commitment and with the junior college season moved to spring, he potentially has four years of eligibility remaining.