The Terps don't hand out offers to freshmen too often, but the last time Maryland identified a big offensive lineman that early in the game, it helped UMD secure a commitment three years later. Now, no one is saying McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.) tackle Jordan McNair, a class of 2017 recruit, will be the next Damian Prince (Bishop McNamara/Forestville, Md.), but evidently Maryland thought enough to extend a scholarship in mid-February.
"I was really grateful for the offer; Coach Don [Damico] texted me and told me about it. He said he talked to the Maryland coaches and they're offering me," McNair said. "It means a lot to me to have an offer so early, though I still have a lot to prove on the field.
"I didn't play too much last year, and I was second string because our O-line was so deep. I got to play a lot in the second half of games, and I did pretty well. I'm just a freshman though, and there's plenty of time to work on things."
McNair was humbled by the early verbal and said now the pressure is on him to work even harder.
"When I told my parents about the offer they were very proud, but they told me to stay focused because it can be taken away at any time," McNair said. "I know I have to play harder and continue to work, and next year will be first time playing a lot and starting. I have to earn this offer."
While it's still very early in the game, McNair did have some positive initial thoughts on his first verbal offer. He said he was just in College Park for the Maryland-Florida State basketball game and returned again for the end-of-February junior day.
"I liked the campus when I was down there," McNair said. "It was a nice school. The basketball games were cool; the fans were great and it was a great atmosphere. I was there with my teammate [Ellis McKennie] and we both had fun."
McNair said Maryland is the first school he's had any contact with. He's well aware of the Big Ten move, UMD's previous relationship with McDonogh and the fact the Eagles have sent several players the Terps' way.
But for McNair, the recruiting process really hasn't gotten started yet, though he does plan to see a few college campuses this offseason.
"I grew up liking Ohio State," McNair said. "I like Urban Meyer and the style they play. I'd like to visit up there."
The McDonogh tackle also plays basketball for his school. He said his work on the hardwood has helped him on the gridiron.
"I know I need to get stronger, faster and be more consistent with my blocking," said McNair, who benches 200 pounds. "But basketball actually helps me a lot with football because I'm quick and in good shape since I run a lot. I have a lot to get better at though, a long way to go."
Freshman OL Humbled by Early Offer
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