Brennon Dingle did not play a single down of high school football last year. The then-sophomore receiver had just transferred from St. Frances Academy in Baltimore City to Spalding in Severn, Md., and due to league-wide rules had to sit out a year before suiting up with his new team.
But that didn't stop the 5-foot-10, 172-pound class of 2016 burner with 4.4-second 40-yard-dash speed from adding his first scholarship offer June 25 while at Maryland's one-day camp.
"[The offer] was definitely a great honor and it meant so much to me, because all the hard work I put in while sitting out paid off," Dingle said. "The whole year I had to sit on the sidelines and watch, but that didn't stop me from working out, lifting, running hills, doing ladders, downing protein shakes and just working, working, working. Coach [Randy] Edsall saw the potential in me and the work I put in, and it was an honor to receive an offer from him."
During the camp, Dingle said he caught Edsall's eye during receiver drills, prompting the head coach to ask him to try defense as well. After Dingle performed equally when as a cornerback, Edsall invited him to his office.
"At that point I was really excited, but I had to buckle down and finish the camp strong," Dingle said. "Then when it was offer me and my dad went and met with Coach Edsall. He said he liked the way I competed, how I was always eager to go again in drills, how I ran my routes, my speed – everything. Then we talked a lot about what was expected of student-athletes at Maryland, what it would be like if I went there, and what the program is about.
"It was a nice little talk. Coach Edsall is a real good guy, and I like the way he coaches and what he tells his players. My dad talked to him as well, and they had a nice conversation too."
Dingle, who said he's being recruited as an "athlete" ("they'll figure out my position later, they just like my athleticism right now"), also had a chance to talk and work with receivers' coach Keenan McCardell. He said he could tell McCardell knew plenty about the position and was eager to impart his knowledge.
"I really like the way Coach McCardell goes about things. I mean, he was on me," Dingle said. "If I was a little off in drills he was all over me, and I loved that. I want to be the most dynamic, technically sound, explosive receiver out there, so the fact that he was on me and wouldn't let up, I loved that. That's the kind of coach I want to play for in college."
The Spalding receiver toured College Park, Md., for the first time as well. He enjoyed seeing the meeting rooms, position rooms, locker rooms and more. He saw the new indoor facility plans, too, and said "they look really nice, I'm really looking forward to that in 2017."
Dingle had a terrific experience overall, and he said the offer was icing on the cake. It did hold significance for him, though, not only because it was his first verbal, but because it came from the hometown school.
"Me and my dad, we're Maryland fans. I grew up watching Maryland," Dingle said. "I've been to games there and seen them on TV. So to get an offer from a team I watched, that's a great feeling."
The Spalding product isn't ready to name any favorites this early in the game, however. He's content to sit back and let the recruiting process take care of itself while he concentrates on improving as a player.
"You know, it's early, and more opportunities are going to come. But I'm just going to continue to work," Dingle said. "Then during my senior year, I'll start looking into all this [recruiting]. But honestly, I'm just blessed to have a chance to go to college for free, and I'm just trying to prove I deserve it this year."
While his main focus is working out, Dingle, who has drawn looks from Ohio State, Pittsburgh and West Virginia following one-days at each, does have plans to visit Penn State in July. He's also trying to get to Florida and Tennessee as well, attempting to draw attention with that signature speed.
"Definitely speed is what I bring. I think I can separate from the defense and force the defense's hand," Dingle said. "The one thing I'm really working on now is disguising my routes and footwork. That's a big thing, just trying to keep the defense guessing."
Dingle Shines at Camp, Lands Hometown Offer
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