2017 Clairton (PA) cornerback Lamont Wade has been making quite a name for himself this offseason. The 5'10, 185-pound athlete has been heavily pursued by the local Pennsylvania schools - Pittsburgh and Penn State - as well as visiting the defending champion Ohio State Buckeyes. Wade has visited the Buckeyes twice since being offered by them in March. Not only has his recruitment picked up, but so have his offseason camp appearances. The prospect was named one of the top defensive performers at The Opening Columbus regional, and the accolades could keep coming.
"I did the Rivals camp and I have the Rivals 5-Star challenge this weekend," he said.
After receiving his offer from Maryland in April, the Terrapins have been in hot pursuit to establish a rapport with Wade. In the little amount of time Wade has been able to conduct his own research on the university, the results have warranted enough interest to make visiting College Park a priority this summer.
"I'm still doing my research on them, but I do really like Maryland," he said. "I'm interested in Maryland. I just want to get down there and see and the campus and see how stuff is going down there with the football team. I'm planning on making my visit in June or July because Maryland is one of the first visits I want to take in the summer."
The top 2016 recruits in the DMV area have really felt the impact of Dwayne Haskins' commitment to Maryland, but the full affect remains to be seen for prospects in the class of 2017. The decision by Haskins hasn't fully impacted the recruitment for Wade, but possible success within the program could trigger more acknowledgement from Wade.
"I mean not really," said Wade on if Haskins' commitment has impacted his recruitment. "But I think a program getting a big time player like him can really change a program around and later on when it comes time for my commitment, or seeing him play and possibly turning Maryland around then in that case it probably will."
The Clairton high school product has seen his recruitment blossom as of late due to his hard-nosed playing style and imposing frame. His versatility on the field has led Maryland's offensive line coach Greg Studrawa to recruit Wade as an athlete, but favors a specific position.
"(Studrawa) is recruiting me as an athlete, but when I talk to him, he said he is recruiting me as a running back," Wade said. 'Of course, he tells me whatever I'm comfortable with. I'm mostly being recruited as an athlete. Some schools are recruiting me at running back, some schools are for cornerback. It's pretty split."
When a prospect has been dubbed an "athlete" there is always the question on position preference, which Wade stated, "No, not at all. I just want to get there and play."
Ohio State has been actively pursuing Wade, and are one of the schools that have been recruiting Wade the hardest.
"My visit was really good," he said. "I went up to the facilities and I went out to eat with a couple of the would be players and had a really good time over there. They're definitely one of the schools that are recruiting me the hardest." Other schools that Wade has been hearing from more than others are: Penn State, Pitt, West Virginia and Virginia Tech.
The allure of playing stiff competition on a weekly basis is appealing to Wade, and could prove beneficial to Maryland with continued improvement in the Big Ten.
"I'm definitely looking for a school with really good academic programs. I'm planning on majoring in business," he said. "I'm looking for a school that wins games, plays really good competition, good tradition and stuff like that."
Wade has yet to learn about the Robert H. Smith School of business for himself, but has been in contact with coach Studrawa about it.
A piece of good news for Maryland fans is the fact that Wade is making his visit to Maryland a priority before visiting other schools.
"No I don't have anything set in stone, but I do want to take my first visit to Maryland and probably my next one to Virginia Tech and I'll go from there." The Hokies have been making an impression on Wade since childhood. "Virginia Tech has always been a school that I really like and wanted to go to. I watched Marcus Vick play there when I was a kid and have really liked them since I was a little kid."
With an explosive offseason that should get even more colleges involved in his recruitment, and an entire senior season left on the table, Wade still has a way to go before announcing.
"If everything goes the way I plan it will go, I would like to make my commitment in August of next year."