Edsall, McCardell Check in on Savage

Signing Day is fast approaching, but with Maryland's 2014 class all but wrapped up, much of the attention has shifted to the 2015 crop. Several new names have popped up in recent weeks, but one junior recruit who the Terps have been pursuing since last summer continues to be a hot target: Caravel (Bear, Del.) athlete Darnell Savage.

Signing Day is fast approaching, but with Maryland's 2014 class all but wrapped up, much of the attention has shifted to the 2015 crop. Several new names have popped up in recent weeks, but one junior recruit who the Terps have been pursuing since last summer continues to be a hot target: Caravel (Bear, Del.) athlete Darnell Savage.

Broken leg and all, Maryland's offer remains firm, according to the 5-foot-10, 175-pound running back/corner, and in fact the UMD staff just made the trek to Caravel Jan. 31 to pay Savage's coach a visit.

"Coach Randy Edsall, Coach [Keenan] McCardell and a third coach from Maryland were all up here. It went real good; it was great to see them all up here," Savage said. "They couldn't really talk to me, but I did introduce myself. I know they told my coach they definitely wanted me back on campus and would love to have me there."

Savage had been in touch with Edsall previously, but Jan. 31 was the first time he saw his new recruiter, McCardell. Former Terps assistant Lee Hull handled Delaware and had been the main contact with Savage up until the last month or so.

"For the brief second we spoke [McCardell] seemed like a really cool guy, just the way he handled himself and all that," Savage said. "I'm looking forward to talking to him more. Coach Hull isn't there, but I feel I have a good relationship with all the coaches at Maryland, not just the guy who recruited me. Coach [Brian] Stewart was talking to me for awhile, Coach Edsall and hopefully Coach McCardell too."

Though Savage didn't have a conversation with Edsall Jan. 31, he praised UMD's head man's recruiting effort. Time and again Savage has expressed appreciation for Edsall and Maryland sticking by him even though he broke his femur early last fall.

"Coach Edsall, I've talked to him on a couple visits, after I broke my left and also at a game. He's not the type of guy to yank your leg," Savage said. "He's going to tell it like it is, and he lets you know to make the right decision and also not to just concentrate on football, but focus on life and schoolwork.

"But I've been thinking about it lately, and I just feel comfortable with Maryland in general. They've been here [with the offer] since the summer of my sophomore year, and I've improved tremendously since then with my football smarts and skills. Then they stuck with me through the injury with wanting me back on campus and keeping the offer out there. I can tell you some schools just stopped talking to me altogether after I broke my leg, so for Maryland to stand by me means a lot, and it makes me feel good."

Naturally, Savage wants to continue staying in touch with Maryland, and he plans to visit College Park in short order. He hasn't been on campus since the UMD-Clemson game last fall, so he's eager to get back, either for a late February junior day or just a random unofficial.

"Coach Stewart and I were talking about a junior day so we'll see about that. I don't have a set date yet but I'm working on it," Savage said. "Baseball season is March 1, and I don't want to miss a game or practice since it's my obligation to be there for my team. So hopefully this month I'll get back to Maryland."

Savage, though, has already seen one school this offseason. He went to Virginia last weekend for a basketball game and believes the Wahoos could be close to offering.

"UVA was a fun time; I enjoyed myself. The coach, they know I broke my leg and they want to see how [I recover], but they're interested," Savage said. "I think they're close [to offering]."

Besides Virginia, Savage said Boston College, Cincinnati and Temple have been in touch, with the former two inviting him to junior days. He's unsure how serious each is about offering, however.

"With my injury, some schools are going to wait and see how I do on the field," Savage said. "So right now I'm thinking I'm going to see how things go this summer and then go through the season before making any kind of college decision. I'm going to take it slowly."

That's probably in Savage's best interest considering he's already close to returning to full strength. He said last week he ran a low 4.5-second 40-yard dash, which is just a tenth of a second or so slower than normal. Savage ran a laser-timed 4.38 at a training facility in Delaware and clocked a 4.4 at Maryland's camp last summer.

"I don't really feel pain anymore. I'm trusting my leg more, and I'm getting back to being able to drive on the ball, getting out of breaks and cuts, and making football moves," Savage said. "I don't think it's going to affect me at all going forward."

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