Gilman (Baltimore, Md.) School three-star linebacker Melvin Keihn took his official visit to Maryland over the weekend, and the experience certainly left an impression.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker caught up with some of his old teammates, spoke with the coaches, and soaked in the game day atmosphere during Maryland's homecoming game against Clemson. However, the most important aspect of Keihn's visit actually took place off the field.
"I have been to Maryland a lot but I never really got a chance to look into the Engineering program as much," said Keihn, who plans to major in Engineering. "We met with the assistant director of the engineering program. It was great to actually talk to someone about what programs they have to offer and just learn more about the program in general. I never really had a chance to do that even though I have been to the school a lot, so that was great."
Keihn also got a chance to catch up with some of his former Gilman teammates, Maryland quarterback Shane Cockerille and fullback Kenny Goins. Cockerille, who hosted Keihn during his visit, gave Keihn the inside scoop on what it's like to be a Terp.
"I asked him how he liked the school, what he did like and what he didn't like, but he told me he pretty much liked everything," Keihn said. "We spent a lot of time talking before the game when we were down on the sideline. He told me they were obviously missing some players, but he knew that the guys replacing them would play really, really hard because they all go so hard in practice everyday. "
Cockerille's assessment proved to be accurate as Maryland gave Clemson all it could handle on Saturday night, despite eventually falling to the Tigers' 40-27. Even though the Terps couldn't pull out the win, Keihn was impressed with what he saw on the field.
"I thought they played really well and they fought back. They never gave up, and they never stopped fighting so it was great to see the team show so much heart," Keihn said. "It was a great atmosphere too and just a really good game. Even though they didn't win I thought it showed that they were still a really good team."
Throughout his visit, Keihn sat down several times with various members of the coaching staff. He spoke extensively with his recruiter Andre Powell, defensive coordinator Brian Stewart and head coach Randy Edsall, among others.
"Obviously Maryland is a hometown school but besides that I have a lot of love
for what the coaches are doing up there, like Coach Edsall and the other coaches, they are really building something special up there," said Keihn, who made the trip with Gilman head coach Biff Poggi. "It is paying off because they are already getting better and, obviously, they are having a better season this year than they did last year. You can just see how much work they have put in, and it's showing the as the season goes on and they continue to get better."
One coach Keihn has developed a particularly close relationship with is his recruiter Andre Powell.
"Most of my conversations with Coach Powell aren't about football, he is just a really nice guy. I feel like I can talk to him about anything," Keihn said. "He asked me how my brothers were doing and he just shows that he cares about me as person not just a football player. It is just really nice to see that he cares about me on and off the field."
Keihn also got the chance to do some sightseeing down in the Nation's capital during his visit.
"On Sunday after breakfast we went down to Washington D.C. and just took some pictures and drove around," Keihn said. "It was cool, getting to know the area and seeing how close it is to Maryland and stuff like that, and we the White House."
Keihn's 48-hour trip to College Park ended late Sunday night, and he will take his next official to Virginia Tech on November 15, coincidently the same weekend the Hokies host the Terps in Blacksburg, Va.
The three-star linebacker already took an official to Virginia, so how did his Maryland visit measure up?
"Both visits really well, I actually like what both schools have to offer me," Keihn said. "Even though UVa is having a rough year this I am not really going to make my decision based on that it's more about academics, and at this point I like both schools really equally."
Keihn doesn't expect to make a decision until late November or early December, however he could make up his mind a lot sooner if his visit to Blacksburg proves to be extremely convincing.
"To tell you the truth I like Virginia Tech a lot. If I'm there and I feel like that's were I belong and that's were I need to be at, then I would commit there," Keihn said. "But after taking my officials to UVa and Maryland, It's probably something I am going to want to come back and think about. It is going to be a hard, hard decision."
Academics Hit Home With Keihn
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