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Maryland Jumps into Mix for New Tackle Target

The staff pulls the trigger on a longtime target that held interest from the offensive staff

Maryland had been tracking Erasmus Hall (NY) offensive lineman Armon Bethea recently as the staff continues to build out their recruiting board in the trenches and on Tuesday, the Terps became the latest school to jump into the mix. The 6-foot-6, 310-pound lineman added the offer to an already established offer list that includes Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami and Ole Miss as he builds relationships with coaches across the country, but the Terps’ initial interest has them positioned well following the offer.

“I feel like the relationship is getting off to a great start,” Bethea told All Terrapins. “Coach Locks was the one that told me I had the offer, then I hung up with him and talked with coach Reagan.” Maryland noted Bethea’s weight loss this offseason when extending the offer as his improved frame allows him to maintain his athleticism as a tackle. “They told me that I did have improvement during quarantine. They were proud of my weight loss, how hard I work. I lost about 35, 40 pounds so they were proud of me based off that so they told me keep working.”

Bethea admitted that dropping 35 pounds has made an immediate impact on his game. “It really helped my flexibility. I feel like I’m way more effective at tackle now and that’s where colleges see me playing at the next level. They watched my film and even with the weight, they saw the power, change of direction.”

Though Bethea is in the early stages of his relationship with the coaching staff, the New York lineman is familiar with College Park having trekked through campus earlier this offseason with teammates as one aspect sticks out most from that day. “I remember they were building a new part of the facility. They really want me to come down for a visit and I’m looking forward to it.”

Bethea added that Maryland will look to hop on a Zoom call “with the offensive staff” in the coming weeks, but the Terps now join Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Louisville, Ole Miss and West Virginia in the race of schools most consistent in his recruitment. While Bethea is in no rush to make a decision as prospects analyze the potential impact to the recruiting calendar this cycle, the established lineman knows relationships trump distance concerns in his recruitment.

“I’ll go anywhere if the fit is right,” Bethea added. “I really want to have a good relationship with the coach, have a good connection with my position coach. I want to walk in to a college campus and feel like this can really be a top school and I want it to feel like I’m family. I want to feel like I’m a priority for the school.”