Saine Pulls UMD Offer, Ready To Be A Terp?

After several of their targets went by the wayside, it seems the Terps may finally have uncovered their third defensive line recruit in the 2015 class. Post-grad end/tackle Oseh-Lie Saine, a native of Silver Spring, Md., who spent the 2013 season at Worcester Academy (Worcester, Mass.), pulled an offer from UMD Jan. 7 and let the staff know he wanted to join the program.

After several of their targets went by the wayside, it seems the Terps may finally have uncovered their third defensive line recruit in the 2015 class. Post-grad end/tackle Oseh-Lie Saine, a native of Silver Spring, Md., who spent the 2013 season at Worcester Academy (Worcester, Mass.), pulled an offer from UMD Jan. 7 and let the staff know he wanted to join the program.

“I just talked to like three different coaches from Maryland, Coach [Randy] Edsall, Coach Keith [Dudzinski] and Coach [Chad] Wilt. It was kind of funny, they were all passing around the phone, and after I talked to them all, they told me I had the offer. And then I told them, ‘I’m coming,’” said the 6-foot-4, 275-pound Saine, who is eligible to enroll at UMD in three weeks for the spring semester. “I told them Maryland is where I want to be. The other schools recruiting me aren’t bad, but I see myself fitting best at Maryland. Just hearing what the coaches were saying, and knowing about the program already, I already know that’s where I want to be.”

Now, the Terps haven’t quite accepted Saine’s commitment just yet. The burly, athletic edge rusher will have to officially visit College Park, Md., first in order to finalize everything, but the way Saine made it sound, it’s probably just a formality. (Of course, the same was said about Ulric Jones, who gave UMD a verbal before his commitment fell through following his official. He ended up committing to South Carolina instead).

“I’m flying down there on Jan. 16 for my official, and I plan on making everything official then,” said Saine, who also held one other offer from Wake Forest. “And, actually, Coach Keith, who recruits my area, he’s coming up [Jan. 15] to see me so he can meet me in person when the open period starts again. I’m looking forward to that, definitely.”

Although Saine has never been to College Park before, he’s seen the Terps play on TV and has already learned about the program. He’s well aware of Maryland’s history in the ACC and transition to the Big Ten; the school’s academic reputation; the football program’s back-to-back bowl games under Randy Edsall; the Under Armour connection; and more.

“There’s so much to like about Maryland,” Saine said. “I know this year they had a really good year and went to a bowl. I watched them play a couple times, and I feel like they have a really good defense with the 3-4 [scheme]. I feel like they really get after it and play my type of style. I like how they compete in the Big Ten, and how they held their own their first year in that conference.

“Also, just from talking to the coaches, they all sounded so upbeat and welcoming, like they really want me there. I want to go somewhere where I’m wanted, and I know Maryland needs me. They need help on the defensive line, so there’s a great opportunity for me there.

“Then the coaches were telling me about their academics and how they graduate like 98 percent of their football players. That’s something that my family really appreciates, and I do too. They really help their athletes in the classroom and make sure grades get squared away first, so I really appreciate that about them.”

Saine wasn’t finished. He went on to discuss Maryland’s UA connection and the opportunities that presents, as well as his intended major.

“I want to major in communications, because I love to talk to people and get to know people,” he said. “And I know Maryland has a great communications program, and that will really fit me. They also have that Under Armour connection – everyone knows about that. I feel like that would be a great chance for me to get internships and things like that. I love the uniforms they make too (laughs).”

Finally, Saine delved into the nitty-gritty of the Terps’ defensive line. He said Wilt and Co. want him as a weak-side defensive end, although his versatility should allow him to move all over the line.

“We spoke about my role there, and they see me as a left-side end, which is awesome, because that’s my primary position,” Saine said. “They think I can step in and help out right away. I’m definitely explosive, I can get to the quarterback and I can defend the run too. I look at myself as a good overall lineman. I’m kind of like Justin Tuck in a way in that I can play inside and outside – a little of everything.

“Obviously I’ll have to work on a lot of things, but I feel Maryland can help me get better. I’m going to go in there and work hard, but I feel like I can make a major impact there. I’m going in, working my tail off, and I’ll be ready to contribute.”

He’ll have to work his tail off, because Saine hasn’t laced on a helmet and pads since the 2013 season at Worcester. And during that season, his lone prep year, Saine played in just five games due to a shoulder injury that forced him to miss half the campaign.

Now, he’s actually enrolled at a local community college in Lincoln, R.I., just to “stay in school mode.” He said he’s been training extensively with two different fitness specialists, however, just to remain in football shape.

“What happened was I was committed to Boston College last Signing Day out of Worcester, but I couldn’t go [to BC] in the fall because of SAT issues, and some other problems I had with my grades,” Saine explained. “So Boston College said they had to think things over, and they kind saw me as kind of a high risk and thought I might not be able to keep my grades up there. They said they needed to review everything, but I decided to back out of my commitment, because I just got the feeling it wasn’t going to work. It was kind of a tough situation.”

So, how did Saine reenter onto college programs' radars after backing away from BC and leaving Worcester? Well, it turns out his mentor, Norm Kelly, did a heck of a job selling the estranged defensive lineman. Saine said Kelly, who took him in during his junior year of high school at Lincoln, began sending e-mails to assistant coaches all over the country, letting them know the Worcester product was back on the open market.

Several programs showed interest, including Wake Forest, Maryland, Rhode Island, Michigan State, UConn and a few other regional and ACC schools. But Saine didn’t receive any firm offers until just after the New Year.

“Wake, as soon as they found out I was qualified [academically], they offered on the spot, like [Jan. 3]. Then Maryland, once they found out I was qualified, they just offered [Jan. 7],” Saine said. “Norm Kelly, he was in contact with Maryland for a long time, but I think the coaches there wanted to make sure I was cleared first before talking to me. They didn’t want me to get too excited, and then have to step back if they couldn’t take me. But now they can [take me], so they immediately got in touch with me and said they wanted me down there.”

That’s quite a path to take to the top levels of college football, but it’s only part of Saine’s story. The emerging lineman actually was born in Silver Spring, Md., but when he was 2.5 years old his parents separated, and his mother sent him to live in their native Africa with Saine’s grandparents. So for the next eight years, Saine stayed in Gambia in West Africa, an experience he called “wonderful.”

“It was actually really cool there for me personally,” Saine said. “The weather was always warm, and I basically played sports every single day. I realize for most people there it was a tough life, and I did see some of that, but for me it was pretty easy. We lived in a good area, a safe area, and I went to a good school. I just played soccer all the time and just had a good time.”

When Saine was 10, however, he was summoned back to the United States to live with his father in Rhode Island. However, Saine said his dad didn’t live in the best area, and the local schools weren’t great, so he ended up moving in with his older brother’s family in nearby Lincoln, R.I.

While there, Saine attended Lincoln High, and he took up both basketball and football, sports he began playing in the seventh grade. He said he was having a great time, but the problem was his older brother wasn’t able to keep the house in Lincoln.

But rather then force Saine to move again he was allowed to stay with his mentor’s family, the Kellys. He’s lived with them since his junior year at Lincoln, and they’ve aided Saine both academically and athletically.

“I’m just thankful for all they’ve done for me and my family,” Saine said. “Now I’ll have the opportunity to go to college and get my education. I can’t wait to get to Maryland and start the next stage of my life.”

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