Maryland got a big win last Saturday, beating West Virginia 37-0, but the Terps scored an even bigger victory for their future off the field as well. Six days after his official visit, Dwight Morrow (Englefield, N.J.) four-star athlete Juwann Winfree verbally committed to the Terps.
"I just thought it was the school that fits me the best in terms of as a student and a person," Winfree said. "The way that coach Edsall spoke to me about becoming a better person just stood out to me, and I know the playing time will handle itself."
Winfree left College Park late Sunday night and after a few hours of sleep and talking with his parents, he had already made up his mind.
"I actually told coach [Randy] Edsall on Monday," Winfree said. "I just told him this is going to be a great decision for me and I thought [going to Maryland] benefits my future the most and I am going to attend the school for the next four years."
Maryland head coach Randy Edsall more than excited to secure commitment number 12 for the 2014 class, "He was happy for me and congratulated me," said Winfree, who had offers from the likes of Georgia, NC State, and Pittsburgh among others. "He knows I had a lot of others school on my plate so the fact that I chose Maryland meant a lot to him."
Winfree's parents, who were with him during his official visit to Maryland, played a key role in his decision.
"They felt that was the school for me as well," Winfree said. They were really happy for me as well, and they really trust coach Edsall so they knew that that was going to be the best decision for me."
So what can Maryland fans expect from Winfree?
"He is a special player," said Dwight Morrow coach Barry Harris. "He is one of those talents that is very rare."
"He always wanted to be a good wide receiver so he put a lot of work into running routes and catching the ball at different types of angles," Harris said. "He has great hands. He will catch the ball one-handed, behind his back, he will catch the ball anyway you throw it."
Harris said it is not just luck that helps Winfree catch the ball in any situation it is a skill he works on every day in practice, and he is constantly pushing himself to improve.
"I think one of the reasons why he was so highly recruited is because of his highlight film, and the things that he has done in several games, " Harris said. "He works on it over and over, so now he just makes those hard catches look easy.
Harris said several factors contributed to Winfree decision, including: Stefon Diggs, the coaching staff, and the academic opportunities available at Maryland.
"Stefon is a big influence on him. He believes in the things that Stefon talks to him about, and knows he can learn from him because obviously as a young man his aspirations are to play at the next level to get the chance to play with someone he looks up to with that kind of talent, I think that played a big role."
The Raider head coach spoke very highly of Maryland assistant Keith Dudzinski, who was responsible for recruiting Winfree.
"Coach Dudzinski did a great job when Juwann and his family went down for his visit last weekend," Harris said. "I think what really turned him was the academic part, and the support they were going to give him when he gets there. They were talking about how they would make sure Juwann graduates with a degree from and that's what ultimately its all about.
"I know his parents they felt very comfortable with the school after the visit and its very close in proximity so to go and see him play would be easy, and they are going to be playing in New Jersey next year."
Winfree won't have much time to celebrate his decision, Dwight Morrow (2-0) hosts
River Dell (Oradell, N.J.) on Friday night, and the Raiders hope to avenge an overtime loss to the Golden Hawks last season.
"I enjoyed the whole recruiting process, but I am excited to just focus on my senior season and my team," said Winfree, who hopes to get back to College Park at some point this fall. "Now I am trying to get some other people down with me, like Jalen Tabor and some others as well."
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