In the past, Maryland football had a hard time bringing in prospects from the local powerhouse DeMatha Catholic High School. The Terps would extend offers to players but they decide to go to other top Division I schools.
Since 2011, Maryland made offers to nine DeMatha football players and only got one commitment. Players like Tyler Green (Indiana) and rising senior Shane Simmons (Penn State) was being recruited by Maryland but wanted to go elsewhere.
At one point it looked like it would be a while until the Terps saw a Stag suit up for them but that all changed when running back Lorenzo Harrison made his commitment to play for Maryland after his senior year. After Harrison committed, wide receiver Darryl Turner Jr. announced he was committing to the University of Maryland. Darryl commitment to Maryland was big for the Terps because Turner is one of the top receivers in the area and he was at The Opening in Oregon.
Recently, four-star wide receiver Tino Ellis went on Comcast Sportsnet and verbally committed to play football at Maryland over schools like Virginia Tech, West Virginia, and Rutgers. Tino is the No. 9 receiver in the state of Maryland and No. 46 in the nation. More importantly, Ellis is the third football player from DeMatha that will be coming to Maryland in the 2016 class alone.
So how did Maryland went from a school that struggled bringing in local talent to a school players want to go to? In an article from 247sports.com, DeMatha head coach Elijah Brooks said, “I think they have convinced the kids they don’t have to leave home to be successful.”
Besides DeMatha, Maryland has done a good job recruiting players locally. The Terps has 10 commits from the state and four of them are ranked in the top 10 of 247sports.com state rankings. Linebacker Keandre Jones (Good Counsel), and quarterback Dwayne Haskins (Bullis) are two of the four players in that state’s top ten that Maryland has brought in.
When Maryland brings in some of the local talent, it makes the school more appealing to other football players around the area because they want to play to the guys they grew up with and played together.
“You get one. It turns into a snowball effect and guys are close in this area,” Coach Brooks said according to 247sports.com. “They’ve been playing with each other since they were small.”
Maryland had extended offers to other top DeMatha football players like running back Anthony McFarland, defensive end Chase Young, defensive tackle Austin Fontaine, and offensive lineman Terrence Davis. Seeing their fellow teammates go to Maryland may convince them to follow.
Outside of DeMatha, Maryland is trying to bring in some of the area’s top talent like wide receiver Trevon Diggs. Trevon is the brother of former Terp Stefon Diggs and he is being heavily recruited by Maryland. Diggs is also friends with Haskins and Ellis so, there could be a chance he will join them.
This whole “DMV to UMD Movement,” is starting to pick up steam. And if things play out in the Terps favor, big things could be happening in College Park.
Ryan McFadden is the founder of Inside The Locker Room, and alumni from DeMatha Catholic High School. He will be a freshmen at IONA College in the fall and plans to major in Mass Communications. Follow him on Twitter @RMcFadden15.
Follow Inside The Locker Room on Twitter @lockerroom2015