After a junior season in which Milford Mill wide receiver Tyrek Cheeseboro caught 38 passes for 732 yards and 13 touchdowns, it was clear he would become a legitimate Division I recruit.
But did Cheeseboro, 6 feet, 180 pounds, see any of this recruiting hoopla coming?
"No, no, no. Not at all," Cheeseboro said. "It really caught me off guard. ... I know it's always been a lifelong dream to play college football. But it's rolling now and sitting there in front of me, so I just want to make the best of it. Everything's just going great. It's a tremendous blessing."
Cheeseboro holds offers from Maryland, Pittsburgh, Virginia, West Virginia, Rutgers, Syracuse, UConn, Temple, Buffalo, Towson and Villanova. The Terps were the first program to offer Cheeseboro.
"It was tremendous," Cheeseboro said of receiving the UM offer. "I was smiling from ear to ear. I was just excited about me potentially playing college football. I just couldn't stop smiling when I went home to my parents. Just to know I could play college football [was unbelievable]. [Maryland offensive coordinator James] Franklin sat down and talked to me and said that I had a full scholarship to the University of Maryland. It was a tremendous day."
Cheeseboro visited Virginia last weekend and has also tripped to Pittsburgh. He also plans to check out UConn, Syracuse, West Virginia and Rutgers at some point this summer. Cheeseboro, who will likely make his decision during the season, said he'd like to stay within a five- or six-hour drive from Baltimore for college.
"Once I visit all my schools, that's when I'll narrow it down to my top five," Cheeseboro said. "Right now I'm just visiting all the colleges to see what they're offering and how much I can contribute to their team."
Milford Mill coach Reggie White said it's no surprise that Cheeseboro has developed into such a coveted recruit.
"We knew when he was a ninth grader [that he had DI potential]," White said. "He was just so fast. [We thought], 'this guy's got a chance.' ... He gets to full speed very, very fast. ... We've had some good skill players in the last couple years, but this guy, we kind of knew. His personality is just so good. He's just a good kid. A lot of coaches see it in him and gravitate towards him."
• Timothy Adams will be Milford Mill's featured running back after spending his first three high school seasons at St. Paul's.
The 5-foot-10, 190-pounder said he rushed for eight touchdowns as a junior, playing running back and slot receiver. He said he transferred to Milford Mill, in part, to raise his recruiting profile.
"I've talked to a good bunch of schools. They want me to come to one-day camps," Adams said. "I've talked to Pitt, UConn, Syracuse, Temple, Villanova and a couple other IAA schools."
Adams, who plans on joining Cheeseboro for several visits this summer, said a couple Big East schools have particularly piqued his interest.
"The ones that stood out so far [are] UConn and Pitt," Adams said. "[Wide receivers] coach [Bryan] Bossard at Pitt is really cool. He just wants to see my speed [at camp]."
• Wide receiver Jamar Atkinson, 5 feet 8, 175 pounds, tore a ligament in his leg during training camp last August and missed his entire junior season.
With no 11th-grade film, Atkinson said this year will be crucial for him in terms of landing a scholarship.
"I just have to give it my all," Atkinson said. "Last year hurt everything. But my coach said I'm capable of going DI, easily. So I'm just going to work hard."
Atkinson plans on attending camps at Rutgers, Maryland, West Virginia and Bowie State. He projects as a slot receiver in college, but he's also excited to play free safety for Milford Mill.
"I'm a small guy," Atkinson said, "but I like to hit."
• Telvin Peterson, a 6-foot-3, 280-pound offensive guard prospect also starts at defensive tackle for the Millers. White said Peterson's receiving mail from Louisville and several other Division I schools.
"He's going to play left tackle for me this year," White said. "He's athletic for a big guy. He's strong, and he's got a little nastiness to him. That's what I really like."