Boulware's On Board With UMD

One day before National Signing Day, four-star offensive guard/center Quarvez Boulware (Friendship Collegiate/Washington, D.C.) reaffirmed his intentions to stay home and play his college ball in College Park, Md., during a live telecast on Fox 5 in D.C.

Maryland certainly brought home the beef Feb. 3.

One day before National Signing Day, four-star offensive guard/center Quarvez Boulware (Friendship Collegiate/Washington, D.C.) reaffirmed his intentions to stay home and play his college ball in College Park, Md., during a live telecast on Fox 5 in D.C.

"It's Maryland, and it's a place I am very familiar and comfortable with,” said the 6-foot-2.5, 283-pound Boulware, who held offers from the likes of Florida, Auburn, Miami, Wake Forest, North Carolina, NC State, Iowa, Syracuse and others. “I’ve had a relationship with the coaches there for a long time, I can play early there, and it’s a chance to stay home and stay close to my family. Maryland is a great opportunity for me.”

Boulware’s commitment was much anticipated among Terps aficionados, who thought the Scout 300 recruit had actually given head coach Randy Edsall his word two weeks ago.

He had already taken his official to College Park, Md., Dec. 12, 2014, but returned for an impromptu unofficial Jan. 17, canceling a scheduled trip to Alabama. The FCA product didn't let on he was considering committing prior to his College Park return, but apparently he let the staff know, for all intents and purposes, he would be a Terp come Signing Day.

Boulware then followed through with intended official visits to Wake Forest Jan. 23 and Florida Jan. 30, but his UMD status was never really in question.

“What is different about being here is it's Maryland – it’s home,” Boulware said. “That's my main thing; I feel really positive about Maryland and the direction they’re going. A lot of the local guys are staying home now, and that’s big for [Maryland].”

While on campus Jan. 17, Boulware interacted with one of those “local guys,” Adam McLean (Quince Orchard/Gaithersburg, Md.), who has been hyping the hometown movement for two months now. But Boulware didn’t need McLean’s coaxing since former teammates like Derwin Gray, Cavon Walker and Yannick Ngakoue, in addition to local friend Damian Prince, are all on the current Terps’ roster and have been talking up the Terps for some time now.

“Adam has been talking to me, but those guys [Gray, Walker, Ngakoue], they’ve been telling me for years about Maryland and trying to get me to come there,” Boulware said. “They always talk about Maryland. … just telling he how the coaches are and how they’re real with you. They say how cool it is to play in front of your friends and family, and what it’s like to have them there watching you. It sounds like a lot of fun there.”

The above is one of the main factors that played into Boulware’s decision. Particularly close to both his grandparents, whom he lives with and who both saw the university for the first time during the Dec. 14 official, Boulware wanted the chance for both to witness his home games.

“They’re only like 15 minutes away, too, so they can see all my games,” Boulware said after his official. “[During the official visit], that was their first time seeing the campus and they really liked it. They loved everything, and they were excited to be there. The coaches, the atmosphere, the players – they loved it all. That’s a big thing I’m thinking about.”

Boulware’s Maryland area recruiter, Mike Locksley, had been harping on “family” since he first came into contact with the FCA recruit three-plus years ago.

That … and early playing time.

“Coach Locks keeps telling me how badly [the Terps] need me, and how they really need help along the line,” Boulware said. “He always talks to me about staying home and keeping all the DMV guys at Maryland, but now he’s like really telling me how important I am [to the program].

“But it’s kind of like a father-son relationship. I’ve known [Locksley] since my freshman year. He was the first college coach to really take an interest in me, and Maryland was the first school to offer me. Sometimes we talk about life, sometimes we talk about how things are going, sometimes we just talk about football. It’s been great.”

Boulware probably didn’t need Locksley to tell him how important of a recruit he was. The four-star is well aware Maryland needs help along its offensive line, as he watched the Terps’ line first-hand at several games in Byrd Stadium and believed he could come in and immediately help the group raise its level of play.

“I think there’s an opportunity for me there to play right away,” Boulware said. “Like, the coaches there tell me how they need guys who can step in and produce, and I’m one of their main guys.”

Moreover, during the last few months, Boulware interacted with Maryland’s first-year line coach, Greg Studrawa, meeting him after games and during visits. Boulware took to Studrawa’s personally, while also lauding his energy and track record in developing players.

“I’ve talked to Coach Stud a few times now, and he was just telling me how the O-line has come along, but how they still can do better,” Boulware said. “I think he’s a pretty cool guy. … He’s a great coach and I like how he is with the [linemen] in practice. He really pushes them hard and gets the most out of them.

“I had a long sit down with him [on the Dec. 13 official visit], and we were going over the offensive line, the plays and things like that. He was telling me how you need to get low, explode of the ball and finish through the whistle. … It was good, because he’s getting to know me more personally. He came to my house with Coach Locks and Coach Edsall before, and I like him and what he’s been saying to me. He said I could have a big impact at Maryland.”

Maryland has actually been on Boulware’s mind for a couple years now. He first came in contact with Locksley as a freshman, when former FCA head coach Aazzar Abdul-Rahim let his young tackle know UMD wanted to offer him.

The soft-spoken Boulware didn't quite know what to think or say at the time, but over the next three years he grew closer and closer to the nearby school. Boulware visited College Park on countless occasions, initially for camps, and then junior days, personal trips, games and eventually that official in December 2014.

The latter basically solidified Boulware’s belief that Maryland would likely be his college destination, despite keeping the likes of Florida and Wake Forest in play. (He actually kept Alabama on the radar for a good while too. Bama, where Abdul-Rahim now coaches, never extended an offer, however, and the four-star guard, sensing he wasn't about to get one, wrote the Tide off Jan. 15.)

Raving following the trip, Boulware talked about how much fun he had with player-host Derwin Gray and the rest of the squad. He said many of the Terps, along with 2015 pledges like Gus Little (Massaponax/Fredericksburg, Va.) and Keiron Howard (Potomac/Oxon Hill, Md.) were urging him to commit right then and there. Boulware refrained, but it was obvious the thought had been implanted.

“[Gray] was really cool, and we were hanging out around campus, saw some of the frat houses, things like that,” Boulware said after his official. “I met a lot of really cool people, and talked to like all the other O-linemen. … It was a good time. I had fun.

“Overall, I’d say [the official] was a really good and really different experience. It was a 10 [rating].”

Boulware, who grew up in North Carolina before moving to the D.C. area with his grandparents, began playing football in middle school at the behest of a friend, who urged him to try out since he was so big. A natural given his size compared to his peers, Boulware immediately took to the game, starring on both sides of the line, developing to the point where he was a highly sought-after eight grader.

“It was just something where I was walking down the hallway one day and my friend was like, ‘You should try out,’” Boulware said. “And I said, ‘Great.’ … That’s all there was too it (laughs).”

Like many talented D.C. football players, Boulware opted to attend Friendship Collegiate, which was then under the watch of Abdul-Rahim. Boulware chose to remain at FCA his senior year with new coach Mike Hunter, and earned first-team Washington Post all-metro honors in the process.

“Quarvez is a hard working kid, he's a sponge,” Hunter said. “So whenever you try to teach him something or show him something, well he is going to really work to perfect it. And I know that is kinda cliché, but he is really that guy who will spend the extra time to perfect it.”

Boulware played primarily left tackle for FCA, but he projects as a center, or perhaps a guard, at Maryland. He's quick off the ball, moves his feet well, has aggressive, strong hands, and above-average athleticism. Boulware can block at the second level, pull around end and finish with a pancake. Like all young linemen, he can be a reacher at times, while he needs to consistent maintain leverage and hone his fundamentals.

“My biggest strength is probably my athleticism. I can pull, pass block, run block, get out on the edge,” Boulware said. “And during the game, I try to give people advice of what to fix in the game and keep the tempo cool in the heat of the moment. But what I need to work on is just making sure I just stay low and just finishing blocks all the time – that’s the main thing.”

With Boulware in toe, Maryland now has five offensive linemen in its 2015 class, as he joins the likes of Mason Zimmerman (Anthony Wayne/White House, Ohio), E.J. Donahue (Linganore/Frederick, Md.), Ellis McKennie (McDongh/Owings Mills, Md.) and Will McClain (Middletown, Md.). Isaiah Prince (Roosevelt/Greenbelt, Md.) is still in the mix for the Terps as well and will announce his decision Feb. 4 at 9:30 a.m.

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