Coatesville (Pa.) athlete Amir Ealey is already squared away with his grades and SAT scores, but that didn't stop the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder from sitting in a classroom Saturday morning and taking the standard aptitude test yet again.
"I got a 1260 the first time I took the test, and I just wanted a higher score so I took it again," Ealey said. "I thought it couldn't hurt to take it again and try to do better, and I think I did pretty well. I think I did better than the first time."
With Ealey's transcripts in order, he's made himself that much more marketable to college recruiters. Ealey, who just moved to Pennsylvania from South Carolina last November, began the process by securing early verbals from Rutgers, Cincinnati, UConn, Temple, Virginia and Syracuse, and just last week he pulled in Maryland and West Virginia. The Terps offer, in particular, caught Ealey's eye.
"That was definitely one I was looking for," Ealey said. "Maryland was one of the first schools that actually started recruiting me. Coach [John Dunn] knew about me after he came up to see [current Terps signee] Tyler [Burke], and we've been in touch for awhile now. He came up to the school [this spring], and I like him. I've been to Maryland before and I think it's a great school and a program on the rise."
The Pennsylvania product went on to say that Maryland's conference shift and his former teammate, the linebacker Burke, make the Terps an appealing option.
"Tyler, that boy is always in my ear about Maryland," Ealey said, chuckling. "He loves it there and he wants me to play next to him, and I do think that would be kind of cool. And, you know, Maryland is moving to the Big Ten and that's a real good opportunity to play against great competition."
Ealey was last at UMD for a recent junior day and plans to return to College Park, Md., May 12 in order to meet the academic advisors, tour the campus again and talk to the staff again.
"I've already met everyone down there and I think Maryland has great, down-to-earth coaches," Ealey said. "I want to learn more about the school, though, and find our more about my major, sports medicine. I enjoyed myself the last time for the junior day, so I'm looking forward to getting back."
Ealey plays both ways for Coatesville, and he said some recruiters want him for tight end, while others are saying outside linebacker. Maryland apparently wants him at the latter position.
"Coach Dunn said outside linebacker," Ealey said. "I'm definitely cool with that. As long as I get a chance to play I'll play anywhere. I'm fine with defense, rushing the passer, getting after it."
After taking in College Park, Ealey wants to visit Cincinnati, West Virginia and Syracuse. He also may trek to other locales depending on whether or not a program offers. Ealey had previously taken in Temple, UConn, Virginia, Rutgers and Syracuse.
The Cavaliers' trip evidently caught his eye.
"Right now I'm pretty wide open and looking at all my options, but I do like Virginia," said Ealey, who is hearing from Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Clemson, Vanderbilt, ECU, Penn State, UNC, Boston College, South Carolina and NC State and said Pitt might be closest to offering next. "Coach Fairchild has been on me, and the coaches all want me there. I've been down there before and I had a real good time."
Ealey does not plan to make his decision until after his senior season.
"I'm having a good time getting these offers and taking these visits," Ealey said. "I want to see what all happens during my senior year and then take some officials. I'm not in a hurry."
Ealey Lands Coveted Offer
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