PA ILB Thrilled About UMD Offer, Set to Visit

Maryland may have uncovered another gem in the Key Stone State. Inside linebacker Brett Zanotto, a 6-foot-1, 215-pounder from Franklin Regional Senior (Murrysville, Pa.), pulled in a Terps offer May 5, his first FCS verbal to date.

Maryland may have uncovered another gem in the Key Stone State. Inside linebacker Brett Zanotto, a 6-foot-1, 215-pounder from Franklin Regional Senior (Murrysville, Pa.), pulled in a Terps offer May 5, his first FCS verbal to date. Zanotto previously held scholarships from Massachusetts and Toledo but said he was especially thrilled when he heard from UMD.

"I was very, very excited about it. It's a blessing to be wanted by a school like Maryland with such great academics and a great football program," Zanotto said. "I called Coach [Greg] Studrawa [May 5] and he told me he loved the way I played the game, how I brought it every single play, how I had high intensity and how he wanted me to come down for a visit."

Zanotto plans to take his first trip to College Park, Md., at the end of June. He said he's looking forward to meeting head coach Randy Edsall and linebackers coach Keith Dudzinski, as well as his recruiter Studrawa.

"I definitely want to see what Maryland is all about. It's my biggest offer so far and I'm very interested in them," Zanotto said. "It's a beautiful school from what I hear. I have a buddy going there and he said it's gorgeous. And I know it's great football and awesome academically. I'm not sure if I'd commit when I'm there, but I'm definitely interested in them."

Zanotto doesn't know too much about the program yet other than the usual Big Ten move and Under Armour affiliation. He said he'll begin researching it more now, though, since he's been offered.

"I've actually seen Maryland on TV before, and I like the defense. I think I could fit in well there," Zanotto said. "And the uniforms are crazy; they're pretty cool too. Everyone knows about Maryland's uniforms. They're going to the Big Ten next year, too, and that's huge – tremendous competition. It's great to have an opportunity to play for a Big Ten school."

While Zanotto just received the offer, he had been in touch with Studrawa previously. He said Maryland's new offensive line coach had come through the school and expressed interest to the Franklin Regional staff.

"Just from the couple conversations I've had with him Coach Stud seems like a very outgoing, exciting coach," Zanotto said. "He obviously has a great background being at LSU, and he sounds like a great coach who brings a lot to the table. It's exciting to be recruited by him."

Besides UMD, along with UMass and Toledo, Zanotto is hearing from Pittsburgh, Kent State, Buffalo, Purdue, Boston College, Temple and Bowling Green. He said the Panthers and Owls might be next to pull the trigger.

"Obviously Pitt stands out because it's the hometown school and I know that program pretty well," Zanotto said. "I've been up there for a visit a couple weeks ago and I'm looking at them a good amount. I wouldn't jump [at Pitt] if they offered, but I do like them."

So far Zanotto has visited Kent State, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and UMass. He will be returning to UMass and Pitt this summer, in addition to trips to Toledo, Maryland and Bowling Green.

"I'll take some visits and see what other interest I get, and then I'd like to make my [college] decision by July or early August," Zanotto said. "I'd like to get it over with before my senior year starts."

Zanotto, who doubles as a fullback, is coming off a season where he racked up 157 tackles and seven sacks. He rushed for 680 yards and scored 12 touchdowns on offense.

"As a linebacker I'd say I have pretty good closing speed, I'm a sideline-to-sideline guy and I'm a sure tackler," Zanotto said. "I have good field awareness and I consider myself a leader. I think I bring a lot to the table as a defender."

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