Editor's note: Each week, InsideMdSports.com provides this blog with a Maryland recruiting feature that previously appeared as premium content on its site.
Shaker Heights (Ohio) forward Esa Ahmad has been a priority for Maryland for much of the 2015 recruiting cycle. He's already been to Maryland twice, spoken with the coaches a number of times and learned about the school. So what's the one big thing he wants to see as he takes the first of his official visits, to College Park, this weekend?
"We get to finally see the team, see the guys they've got coming in, get to see the talent," said Ahmad's father, Ibby Ahmad.
Esa Ahmad, ranked No. 55 in the Class of 2015 by 247Sports, hopes to play pickup with Maryland's players to get a feel for the sort of talent that would surround him at Maryland.
The visit will feature the standard fare — video presentations, campus tours and the like — but he's seen much of that already, during previous unofficials.
Getting to know the team, on and off the court, is the one thing he hasn't done yet.
"That's very important, because you want to compete in the Big Ten and make the tournament," Ibby Ahmad said, who said he spoke to Terps assistant Dustin Clark on Wednesday.
Maryland, Ohio State, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Oregon are the remaining contenders for the 6-foot-7 forward from Cleveland, his father told InsideMDSports on Thursday. Ahmad has added an additional visit to West Virginia on Sept. 20 — he originally had eyed a trip to Wisconsin that weekend — but likely will visit all five schools.
Many have speculated that the recent decommitment of former Ohio State pledge Mickey Mitchell might make the Buckeyes more attractive for Ahmad, who would like to play immediately.
"Not really," Ibby Ahmad said. "It's still evaluating the talent, the chances of winning, things like that."