Dickerson Believes in Maryland's Program

Wyatt Dickerson is very interested in Maryland and sees the program improving from last year.

Wyatt Dickerson is looking for his first offer but realizes that there is life outside of football. He has been attending camps with hopes of getting noticed by a program, but has Maryland close to his heart.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound strong safety from Baltimore, Md. attended Maryland's camp last year in College Park. While the Terps have picked up a big recruiting class from the state of Maryland already, Dickerson is still hearing from the coaching staff at Maryland.

Dickerson also has many ties to the Terps. His sister graduated from the University of Maryland this past year and his brother will be a sophomore at the university this upcoming year, according to Dickerson. Former teammate Kenny Goins is a backup fullback on the Terps and teammate Shane Cockerille has already committed to join the Terps in 2013 at quarterback.

“I've got a lot of friends and family there, so it'd be awesome to be really honest,” Dickerson said. “I really like the school and I know a lot about it and it would be pretty cool. I'm still going to probably wind up applying there anyways.”

Another reason for his desire to be a Terrapin is the short distance from home. While distance is not the biggest factor for Dickerson, he admits it would be nice to have his family able to come watch him on a weekly basis.

“For family, it would be hard if I went to a school like say Hawaii, all the way out there,” Dickerson said. “I'll go wherever I think I fit the best and I think my family would appreciate that too. Granted, staying around locally, especially the state of Maryland, like going to the University of Maryland, would be cool for them since it's a quick drive down to see me.”

Last season, Dickerson attended Maryland's 45-21 loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at FedExField in Landover, Md. The Terps' play on the field in that game may not have impressed Dickerson, but their recent moves gives him cause to be excited about the direction of the program.

“I can't remember off the top of my head but I'm pretty sure they got squashed in that game,” Dickerson said. “But that was last year and this year, they've recruited so many good players out of the state of Maryland from this graduating class, so I think for them, it's going to be a pretty good year this year. Last year I don't feel was pretty indicative of the new coach. Anytime you start somewhere new, it's not going to be easy to be a winning program again, but I really think they will have a pretty good shot this year. I can definitely see them being good.”

One thing that Dickerson thinks the Terps did right last season was the debut of the new Under Armour uniforms. Dickerson shares the sentiments on the uniforms with a lot of other recruits, saying that they looked “awesome.”

“I remember I read a couple things on Twitter, I read LeBron James thought they were ugly, but being a kid from Maryland, I thought they were awesome,” said Dickerson. “Not just the flag one but also the turtle helmet one and everything, yeah I thought they were really cool because we're the Under Armour team, just like Oregon's Nike's team, so why not do all that? I talked to some kids going there and they're all excited to wear the uniforms and I think it's real cool.”

Dickerson has played about half of his high school career at the strong safety position and the other half at strong side linebacker based on the team's needs and the body sizes on the team each season. In his senior year, Dickerson will be playing linebacker even though most colleges are recruiting him as a strong safety. Dickerson credits this ability to play more than one position and his versatility as a football player as one of his strengths.

“At safety, I can cover receivers well and I can also come up and make a tackle well, and that right there is the reason I play different positions,” Dickerson said. “I think that reason will also help me make it to the next level because when you're a college football player, you've got to do everything well so I think it's good to have a firm base. I think I've got pretty good feet and pretty good speed and I'm a decent size so I think I'm all right there, so I think my well-roundedness above everything and my ability to play different places well is something I hope that colleges will look at seriously this upcoming year.”

Leadership is also something that Dickerson considers to be a strength as he is going into his senior season with hopes of becoming a captain on the team which he joined in his freshman year. Even when he wasn't a captain, Dickerson has always felt led to encourage his teammates and to lead by example.

“I think it's something a lot of underclassmen appreciate, not just telling someone what to do, but also doing it yourself,” Dickerson said. “I think I'm a big impact for a team in that sense, where I help everyone keep moving along and also improving as a leader.”

While Dickerson believes himself to be a solid and versatile defender and a leader off the field, he acknowledges that there are still many things he needs to work on, including his straight-line speed and his reads.

“One of my biggest problems is my height and there's not really a whole lot I can do about that,” Dickerson said. “But I also need to work on my straight-line speed. I have good lateral movement, but just straight-line speed, like my acceleration and stuff like that is something I need to put work on. I've actually been running track the past couple of years just building that up, but I've also been putting on weight, so that's kind of been a stalemate in I'm improving my speed but also building up my size. Still above everything, it's got to be straight-line speed and you can always work on your reads, whether you're watching film or talking to coaches at length, but I think any player can say that they can work on their reads and recognition of certain plays.”

Living in Baltimore, Dickerson has watched the Baltimore Ravens play a lot and said that he looks up to Baltimore's linebacker, Ray Lewis. He not only admires Lewis' play, but respects his work ethic even more.

“Ray's worked harder than anyone I've ever seen in the whole NFL and just being so intense and through all the time he's been in,” said Dickerson. “It's just really an inspiration. When you work hard and you're thinking, 'Well, what is he doing to come up as the best football player of all time at his position?' It's all because of work, so you can see and strive toward becoming that in any aspect of your life. You got to work hard. That's what gets you far.”

Dickerson has not picked up his first offer, though he has made appearances at other camps this summer, including Boston College at the end of June and Vanderbilt and Cornell in the middle of July, according to Dickerson. With the football season around the corner, Dickerson has turned his attention to working with his teammate and getting ready for another big season in which his team will look to defend their championship title. Dickerson hopes that many of his offers will come during the season.

“A lot of my friends, like Micah Kiser who committed to UVA and Shane Cockerille at Maryland, Henry Poggi who's going to Michigan, a lot of those guys have had their time and I'm very excited and proud of what they've done and everything,” Dickerson said. “But I believe it's my turn to step up and grab some of that collegiate attention for my team.”

Whether he ends up playing college football or not, Dickerson is prepared to make the most of his college career in getting a quality education that can set him up for a future career in the workplace.

“Even as a dream, the NFL, the average player only lasts about two or so years so that right there's not a career,” said Dickerson. “So anywhere I can go and do well in a sports program, but really somewhere that I can get into my trade. Actually right now, I'm probably entering in as an undecided major, so somewhere I can find something that I'm good at and also love doing and also somewhere where the school's reputation will carry weight once I get into the working world because that's really all that matters. And honestly, education throughout my whole college process is the biggest thing for me. I'd much rather go to a school that has an incredible academic reputation than an incredible football reputation.”

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