Terps ahead for tight end

Hunter Wood is an SEC legacy, but his most recent visit has both he and his family contemplating a future in the Big Ten.

Spanish Fort (Ala.) High tight end Hunter Wood is no stranger to college campuses with his father being an SEC football alumnus, but his latest two visits brought something to the table he hasn't felt before.

The class of 2014 talent was at Rice on Monday and Maryland on Thursday, in search of offer No. 1.

"Rice was great and it really wowed us on the academic side," he admitted. "But Maryland was above and beyond. It's stood out to me above all of my other visits.

"Coach [Randy] Edsall met with me and my family for about an hour and we were very impressed with both the athletics and the academics."

The sit-down with Maryland's head man led the Wood's to believe a scholarship offer may be on the way sooner than later.

"He (Edsall) talked a lot about how Maryland wants to develop the student-athlete and not just the athlete," he said. "They definitely liked that I play a true tight end yet I can be versatile.

"The only thing that is keeping the offer is I didn't catch too many balls last year and that's because not a lot were thrown my way. They want to see my hands just to make sure, so they have coaches coming down in a few weeks to our spring workouts and practice."

"But he had nothing but good remarks and kept hinting toward a very good future," Wood added.

If the Terp offer had been verbally on the table last week, the 6-foot-4, 240-pounder may have jumped on it immediately.

"If they had offered, they probably would have got a verbal on the spot, despite the distance," Wood admitted. "I felt at home and comfortable there, met some players that were from down here and they love it, too.

"It just felt like the match for me."

A prospect's decision is mainly about his own grasp and feel for his eventual school of choice, but with football in the family previously, mom and dad's opinion matters plenty. Russ Wood, Hunter's father, played defensive end at Alabama under Paul "Bear" Bryant, and still envisions his son in the Southeastern Conference though the Big Ten was something to think about.

"He was impressed as well," said the rising senior. "His favorite is still Georgia, but after the visit he has no problem with me going there and supports me no matter where I end up."

Mrs. Wood was also impressed, but something that cannot be changed held her back some.

"The only thing is the distance kind of makes my mom concerned," he said with a laugh.

Despite distance, concern and position preference, the 2012 class 5A state football champion has only good things to say of Maryland -- even when it comes to the state's slogan from a popular movie.

Said Wood, "And Maryland lives up to its title of 'crab cakes and football!'"

Memphis will be next to host the Alabama legacy this weekend.

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