With a new coaching staff in place, Maryland football will be looking for playmakers to build the Terrapin program into a national power. Three-star linebacker Ruben Hyppolite II has been hearing a lot from the Maryland staff since being offered in December, and believes he can be just that.
“I actually woke up to that offer,” Hyppolite told Testudo Times, and then went on to laud his relationship with new defensive backs coach Cory Robinson, who extended him that offer and had previous communications with him while at Rutgers in 2018. The matching “energy” between Hyppolite, Robinson and outside linebackers coach Brian Williams has things trending in a positive direction for Maryland.
Hyppolite hails from Hollywood, Florida, and plays football at McArthur High School. Listed at 6’0, 225 pounds, many see him as a bit small for the linebacker position, but his speed and physicality overshadow any doubts. To explain his game, Hyppolite labeled himself as an “explosive” player.
“I can read offenses very well. I can adapt in certain situations,” he said. “I’m well-rounded, can play inside, outside, in any defensive scheme.”
Hyppolite loves to blitz, has a very keen sense of where the ball-carrier is, and an ability to quickly close in space, which is something Maryland lacked in 2018. Hyppolite listed Devin Bush, Devin White, Levonte David and Kwon Alexander as players he models his game after and looks up to.
“You got to watch the greats in order to be great,” he said. “I want to be the best linebacker in college football. I want to win the Butkus Award, most definitely. I really want to win it in my first year.”
The drive to be great is something many schools around the country are starting to notice, as Hyppolite has picked up some major offers in 2019. Penn State, Michigan, LSU, West Virginia and Auburn have all joined the race for the South Florida prospect in the last few months, but Maryland has been able to use its early communication to hold a large stake in his recruitment.
When asked what goes through his head when someone brings up Maryland, Hyppolite mentioned the ability to make an impact early.
“One of the things the coaches emphasize to me is rebuilding and building a new culture at the University of Maryland,” Hyppolite said. “I feel that I can come in and dominate the Big Ten Conference, similar to how Devin Bush did.”
Throughout April, Hyppolite will be taking some local visits to schools like FIU, Miami and FAU with his teammates, but planned his first big visit to check out College Park during the weekend of the spring game, April 25-28.
“I feel like everything about picking a school, to me especially, it’s about energy,” Hyppolite said. “I’m looking forward to just meeting the coaches face-to-face, meeting Coach Locksley for the first time and meeting the whole staff. I’m just very excited to see the fan base and how people welcome me.”
Hyppolite won’t make any decisions regarding a commitment or top list for a while, as he plans to take in visits from schools pushing after him, gear up for a college tour this summer with his teammates and play his senior season this fall.