Hatchling Huddle is a recurring series wherein we talk to high school players recruited by Maryland or coaches who have Maryland recruits.
After focusing on tackles in the class of 2014, Maryland is looking to bring in some interior lienmen in the class of '15. One such lineman is St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.) High School Tommy Hatton, a 6'3", 280 pound three-star prospect who has recently received an offer from the Terps.
Hatton is ranked as the tenth best player in the state of New Jersey and the 19th best offensive guard in the country by the 247Sports composite. Last season he played on the best team in New Jersey and the 15th ranked team in the nation. He was personally awarded first team all-state, first team all-metro and second team all-American, one of only two juniors to earn all of those distinctions.
Hatton received an offer from Maryland on Friday, giving him a total of nine offers, he said, with the others coming from Rutgers, Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, Georgia Tech, Boston College, Duke and Temple. In addition, Hatton has been in talks with North Carolina, Michigan State and South Carolina, he said. However, he was thrilled when he was officially offered by Randy Edsall.
"I was in the gym and Coach Keith (Dudzinski) hit me up on Facebook and said to call him," Hatton said. "He put Coach Edsall up on the phone and he offered me. I was ecstatic."
While Hatton said he thinks very highly of Maryland.
"I always liked Maryland a lot, but when they officially offered me it was great," he said. "I've (visited Maryland) twice and that alone says something."
He said he likes Edsall and Dudzinski and plans on making a third trip to College Park on March 8 for spring ball. Hatton enumerated some of his favorite features of Maryland.
"As a football program they're up," Hatton explained. "They're bringing in good prospects and they're doing better and better. I have two uncles who are legacy there, academically they're good and their campus is beautiful."
Hatton stressed that while he likes Maryland, he is yet to make a list of his favorite schools.
"I don't have any leaders," Hatton said. "They're all equal to me right now. After spring ball I'm probably going to cut down my list."
Hatton listed his strengths to be run blocking, quickness and strength, and said the main word to classify his play style is physical. However, sometimes his physicality can be a drawback.
"Sometimes I get too physical and lose technique, which is something I need to fix," he explained. "I just need to stay with my technique and stay with my footwork."
He said he is working on correcting those mistakes.
"I have a position coach in the offseason," Hatton added. "I'm projected at center so I'm working on that."
Hatton explained he always plays with a chip on his shoulder.
"Everyone tells me I'm not big enough and not good enough, but I know in my mind who the best offensive lineman is and I'm always trying to prove that to people," Hatton said. "I'm not the biggest offensive lineman but I'll finish you and I'll play every play 110 percent."