Maryland has one punter on its roster in Lee Shrader and supposedly another walk-on coming into the program in Nick Pritchard (New Egypt, N.J.), but apparently the Terps are taking a long, hard look at a third booter. American Heritage (Delray Beach, Fla.) punter Nick Rubinowicz, a 6-foot-4, 215-pounder has drawn increased interest from UMD and several other programs as Signing Day nears Feb. 4.
“Oh, Maryland is really getting involved now,” said Rubinowicz’ personal kicking coach, Tony Bugeja. “Nick is actually going up to College Park Jan. 30 for an official visit, and he’s looking forward to that. Coach [Randy] Edsall is coming down to meet Nick in person, and Nick had already met with an assistant coach from Maryland too. So [the Terps] are highly, highly interested.”
So interested, it seems, that Maryland might present a scholarship offer. Bugeja said Edsall and the staff are still deciding whether to present a preferred walk-on offer with the chance to earn a full ride after a semester or two on campus, or give him the written scholarship now. The latter scenario is not unprecedented, as the Terps gave long snapper Nate Adams a scholarship last year.
“As of right now, we don’t know for sure, but from everything we’ve heard, it looks like they’re thinking about [giving the scholarship],” Bugeja said. “Right now [the Terps’ staff] is saying they have to see how the rest of their  class shakes out and how many guys they’re brining in, and after that they’ll know whether they have any money left over for a punter or kicker. But from the sound of things, I think there’s a good chance they will [offer a scholarship].
“But, either way, I don’t think it’s going to affect Nick’s thinking too much, because he knows he can earn the scholarship after a semester or year up there on campus.”
Bugeja went on to say that Rubinowicz and his family are impressed with Maryland. Rubinowicz is a high-academic, honors student, so Edsall’s emphasis on education would certainly seem to appeal. Moreover, Rubinowicz is aware that Maryland’s former punter, Nate Renfro, graduated and left the program early, so there’s an opportunity for him to compete for a starting job right away.
“For the most part, we’re really looking forward to meeting Coach Edsall. [The staff] has already seen plenty of film on Nick, and they like what they’ve seen on the field, and they’re impressed with what he can do,” Bugeja said. “And I think Nick is highly considering them as well. I’m a Maryland native myself, and I went to Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) for two years before coming to Florida and going to Daytona Beach. I know a few coaches up there, and I love the Maryland area. I think it would be a great opportunity for Nick to be a Terp.”
Maryland isn’t the only school Rubinowicz is considering, however. He just took his first official visit to Princeton, and apparently he has the Ivy institution under consideration due to its academic reputation.
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, has also offered a preferred walk-on and will have Rubinowicz up to campus Jan. 23, one week before Maryland. And Miami, according to Bugeja, would like to bring Rubinowicz in after Signing Day Feb. 4 for a visit, provided he doesn’t commit before then.
“But I think Nick will probably commit well before [the Miami visit],” said Bugeja, who mentioned that Cal has a preferred walk-on offer out to Rubinowicz as well. “I honestly think it’ll be Pitt or Maryland, though Maryland has a lot going for it. He really likes what he’s been hearing from the coaches at Maryland.”
Rubinowicz is coming off a season where he averaged 44.3 yards on 41 punts. He was named a class 3A first-team booter following his senior year.
“Nick is not your typical punter coming out of high school. I mean, he trains with Pat O’Donnell from the Chicago Bears and Ryan Allen from the New England Patriots,” Bugeja said. “He’s a lot more experienced than most high school punters, and he’s a lefty specialist, who can really change field position for you -- kind of like Allen does with the Patriots. I mean, he’s one of the top punters in the nation.”
Terps 'Highly Interested' In Specialist
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