Maryland hosted numerous elite recruits for junior days Feb. 22 and 24, but one prospect who wasn't able to attend the first two dates trekked over to College Park, Md., for a personal visit Feb. 25. Franklin (Reisterstown, Md.) offensive tackle Patrick Allen, a 6-foot-4, 270-pounder with double-digit offers, is still in search of a Terps scholarship, but he had quite an enlightening experience nonetheless.
"I still don't have the offer, but I did get a sense of where Maryland stands with me, and I have an understanding with them now," said Allen, who hadn't been in College Park since his sophomore year. "And, honestly, I'm really intrigued. I had a long talk with Coach [Randy] Edsall, and we have an understanding of each other and really got to know each other."
What did Allen mean by "understanding," exactly? Well, evidently the Terps' head coach let the big Franklin tackle know why he didn't have a UMD offer when schools such as Florida State, USC, Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State have extended them.
"[Edsall] was talking about how I played and being very truthful with me as far as my technique, how I should be blocking and how he thinks I should be playing," Allen said. "He was like, ‘This is the way it is in college, and this is what you're going to have to do to be successful at this level.'
"He wasn't criticizing me, but he was just saying what he sees and what I can improve on. It wasn't one particular area, but like getting off the ball, dominating people all the time, stuff like that. And I understood. I admit I don't play as good as I'm capable of every game. So when Coach Edsall, a college coach, pointed that out, it sort of hit home and opened my eyes even more."
Allen could have taken Edsall's comments the wrong way, but instead of dismissing the Terps he actually admitted to warming up to them. In fact, Allen said he's out to prove he deserves a Maryland scholarship.
"As far as getting an offer from Maryland, that's something you have to earn on the field, and I'm doing my best to earn it," Allen said. "I want to show them that I can give it my best every play and I do deserve the offer.
"I'd really like to get [the scholarship] too. No other school has been this truthful with how I play. Any school can recruit you and tell you what you want to hear, but it's the ones that tell you exactly what they think, those are the schools that will challenge you, care about you and will help you become a better player. It shows that they're really recruiting you and not just throwing offers out there. They're doing their homework."
While the Edsall conversation struck home, that wasn't all Allen did while on campus. He also had a chance to see plans for the new practice facility, try on one of the Under Armour helmets and jerseys, and meet his recruiter, Keith Dudzinksi, and offensive line coach Greg Studrawa.
"The buildings, the new facility, it looks really cool," Allen said. "Meeting Coach Stud, he seemed like a cool guy and I want to get to know him more. I can tell he's a great coach, and he has done a lot of great things, so it would be good to learn from him. [And] Coach Keith, I'm comfortable with him, and we were joking around a little bit."
Allen said he might return for a Maryland spring practice depending on his schedule. In the meantime, he's trying to schedule a trip to Ohio State later this spring. When school's out, Allen said he'd like to hit Tennessee, Florida State, Alabama, Missouri and Ole Miss, among others.
He doesn't claim any favorites at this time, though the two schools he most recently visited (before Maryland) have caught his eye.
"I was just at West Virginia, and I felt very comfortable there. The coaching staff there, and just talking to them, they gave a homey feel and were very open and inviting," Allen said. "I really got a good vibe out of West Virginia, and obviously I just had two teammates [Jacquez and Jordan Adams] commit there.
"And Virginia Tech, their coaching staff and academics are very good. I really enjoyed it there as well learning about that school."
Allen does not plan to decide on a school until next winter. He wants to take official visits after his senior season and then go from there.
"I'm just being patient in my recruitment, letting it all develop," Allen said. "It's still early for me."
OL Allen Takes in Terps
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