Hatchling Huddle is a recurring series where we talk to high school players recruited by Maryland or coaches who have Maryland recruits.
Maryland fans' excitement about the 2015 football recruiting class grew earlier this month when the state's second-highest rated recruit, Damascus athlete Jalen Christian, announced via his Twitter account that the Terps made his preliminary top 11 list.
top 11 Duke, Kentucky, Md, Nebraska, OhioSt, Oklahoma, Rutgers, SouthCar, Tenn, Wisc, WVU— Jalen Christian2⃣ (@Thatblasiankidd) March 4, 2014
But Maryland is the only one of those schools that can try and sell Christian on the stay-at-home movement, something that Christian said he can relate to in an recent phone interview with Testudo Times.
"I do believe in [the stay-at-home movement]," Christian said. "It definitely caught my eye because I had the option of going to a private [high] school or playing for my home [high] school and I decided to stay at home, so I guess I can relate to that."
Christian, who said he hears from Maryland coaches at least once a week, said that their main focus when talking to him is the chance to be part of the movement (and that the football program is on the rise). He also said that current players such as Stefon Diggs and Wes Brown were brought in to speak to the recruits at Junior Day and talk about the benefits of staying local.
The Maryland coaches have told him that they would like to use him as a slot receiver and in the return game on both kicks and punts, which he can be seen doing for Damascus High School here. And although most of Christian's communication to this point have been with coach Randy Edsall and coach Chad Wilt, he said he has recently had some good talks with new wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell.
Christian is rated a four-star prospect by the 247sports composite, and is considered the 12th-best athlete in the country as well as the second-best player in the state. He said there have been no changes to his top 11, but that he hopes to start taking visits and narrowing it down soon.