Three-star local linebacker Keith Simms told an Oregon newspaper that Oregon and Virginia Tech are his top two schools a week before National Signing Day, leaving Maryland very much on the outside looking in at him.
"Virginia Tech and Oregon are two that stand out," Simms told The Oregonian's Andrew Nemec.
Simms, from Bethesda, is coming off an in-home visit with Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich and staff:
DUCKS DUCKS DUCKS #WTD pic.twitter.com/BrJa2ey1Je— KS (@kpsyo) January 27, 2016
It increasingly seems unlikely that Maryland will be able to land Simms. The three-star outside linebacker is rated the No .25 player at his position in the 2016 class, and he'd be an excellent alternative to recent Maryland decommit Keandre Jones. But the No. 13 player in Maryland seems destined for elsewhere unless DJ Durkin can mount a late charge. Simms had wanted to commit before his senior year, but that didn't happen.
Maryland might well wind up without a linebacker in its 2016 class. If that happens, Virginia Tech could be largely to blame: The Hokies and Terps are pegged on the 247Sports Crystal Ball as the top competitors for three-star Virginia outside linebacker Tavante Beckett, rated No. 60 at his position and No. 29 overall in Virginia.
Beckett is verbally committed to Virginia Tech, for whatever that's worth, and it's possible that a Simms commitment in Blacksburg would help Maryland, with former Virginia head coach Mike London, to flip Beckett.
Here's our 2016 class prediction for Wednesday morning.