The local momentum continues for Maryland football recruiting. After landing a verbal pledge from Fort Hill (Cumberland, Md.) athlete Ty Johnson earlier in the day, head coach Randy Edsall pulled in Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.) defensive tackle Keiron Howard June 8 as well. The 6-foot-3, 280-pounder had been favoring the Terps ever since he was offered back in April, and he finally announced his intentions to play for the hometown school a month or so later.
"I knew I was going to commit to Maryland ever since I got the offer. I always wanted to be at Maryland, and when they gave me that opportunity, I knew I was going to take it," said Howard, who also held offers from Temple, Buffalo, ODU, Marshall and New Mexico. "Maryland is a great fit for me, and it's an awesome school. When I'm there, it feels like home."
Howard said he spoke to Edsall June 8, and needless to say the Terps' headman was thrilled to land another emerging local.
"I just got off the phone with him and he's very happy for me and happy I'm part of the family now," Howard said. "He said it's great to have me in the program and he's glad that I'm a Terp. It's really a relief for me, and I feel great – awesome. It's awesome to be committed."
The Potomac tackle said he did consider a couple other programs such as Temple and maybe Buffalo, giving each their due, but neither could compare to the feeling the hometown school gave him. At one point, Howard was thought to be a lock to Tennessee, but the Volunteers had not been in contact for some time.
"It was always Maryland for me. It's close to home, and it's the hometown school. That's big because I'm from here – I live right down the street – and now I get a chance to play there. It means a lot to me and the area. If more [locals] jump on board, Maryland would be straight," Howard said. "And I wanted to be close to my family, too. I'm close with my mom and my brother and now they can see me play all the time. I know they both wanted me at Maryland."
Howard already knows several current Terps, including Sean Davis, Damian Prince and Elvis Dennah, among others. He hasn't spoken to them extensively, but he knows how much they think of the school.
"I know Damian, he loves Maryland and it was huge when he committed there. All those guys say it's a great school and the coaches take care of you," Howard said.
The Potomac plugger went on to laud UMD's Big Ten move, Under Armour connection and coaching staff. He's known area recruiter Mike Locksley for years, and just met defensive line coach Chad Wilt at a one-day camp.
"Coach Wilt is a real cool dude. I loved working with him at the camp. He's real energetic, and he can teach me a lot," Howard said. "And Coach Locksley, he's my man. He's the man, and he's one of the main reasons I love Maryland. Me and him have a great relationship."
It's possible Howard's teammate, slot/running back Kesean Strong, could be joining him in College Park. Strong has a Terps offer as well, but there is a question now whether he'll be accepted with Ty Johnson on board.
"KeSean, we'll see what he does. I hope he commits too; we want to play together [in college]," Howard said. "Right now he's just happy for me and happy I'm at Maryland."
On the field, Howard racked up more than 40 tackles and a handful of sacks last season. He considers himself an equally adept run stuffer and pass rusher, though it's probably the former where he excels.
"I'm a playmaker, for real. I can stop the run, I can get after the quarterback," said Howard, who has been playing football since elementary school. "I work hard and I get after it. I mainly have to work on my hands, getting off the ball and just moving quicker, but I'm going to work at it. I'm just excited to be a Terp and learn from all those [coaches] up there. It's great to be part of a program that's moving up in the Big Ten."
Howard On Board With Terps
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