The Terps are casting a wide net in search of offensive line recruits, and one of the primary areas they’ve mined this offseason has been Ohio. Which makes senses considering Maryland’s O-Line coach, Greg Studrawa, recruits that state and is familiar with many of the programs.
Most recently, Studrawa stopped by Berea High (Berea, Ohio) to check in on offensive center Zach Bycznski, a 6-foot-4, 295-pounder with several Big Ten offers to his name.
“Maryland actually just offered me [May 12] after Coach Stud stopped by for a workout,” said Bycznski, who holds verbals from UMD, Illinois, Minnesota, Akron, Toledo and several Ivy programs. “I was ecstatic to get that one. Maryland is a great program all-around, it’s a Big Ten school, and it’s very good academics. It was awesome to get that offer.”
Bycznski said Studrawa first initiated contact at the beginning of April. Apparently the line coach trekked through Berea at that time and spoke to both Bycznski’s head coach and his father. Later that month, Studrawa stopped by again, this time to watch the team work out. Finally, on May 12, following yet another Studrawa sighting, the offer was extended.
“It meant a lot that Coach Stud kept coming out here and had that much interest in me. He really did his research, so it’s an honor that he thought enough to want to offer,” said Bycznski, who noted that UMD, along with most programs, envision him as a college center. “I’ve only known him for about a month-and-a-half, so [the relationship] is nothing too extensive yet, but we’ve been in constant contact on Twitter for the last few weeks. He seems like a nice, straightforward coach and very energetic. Just from my couple conversations with him, I love his energy.”
Bycznski is well aware of Studrawa’s reputation as a coach as well. Evidently Bycznski’s father spoke to Studrawa quite extensively, with Dad relaying some pertinent information to his son.
“I know Coach Stud has produced quite a few quality linemen and won a championship at LSU,” Bycznski said. “So that definitely stands out to me. I’d love to play for a coach that can help develop me like that.”
Bycznski went on to laud Maryland’s academic reputation and Big Ten affiliation, noting how he’d ideally like to play in that conference given that he’s lived in B1G country all his life.
“But besides the basics, I’m still learning about Maryland,” Bycznski said. “It’s a relatively new school to me, so I have to look more into them. But I’m really excited to learn more, and my father and I are definitely going to visit sometime this summer. That’s a school we’ll definitely hit up.”
Bycznski has seen a number of programs already, including the majority of the Midwest schools. He said he and his father have trekked to Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Akron, Toledo, Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, Northwestern, Minnesota, Syracuse and West Virginia.
“All the schools I’ve seen so far were very nice. I don’t want to say any of them stand out, though, because I’m still going through the whole process and doing research,” Bycznski said. “I’m open to anyone right now. No leaders.”
That may be so, but Bycznski did admit two of his more significant offers, Illinois and Minnesota, both caught his eye.
“I really enjoyed both schools. Both are putting in plans for new facilities that should be really nice,” Bycznski said of the Illini and Gophers. “The staffs are great at each school, the atmospheres were cool and both are good schools too. I like both Minnesota and Illinois.”
Bycznski was most recently at Toledo for a visit, but that’s his last one for the spring. He’ll resume trips this summer, likely hitting the Ivy League and several East Coast schools like Maryland, Pitt, UVA and others.
Bycznski said academics is his primary focus when researching colleges. He noted that most Big Ten programs have solid educational systems, further drawing him to that conference. He then mentioned player-coach relationships as another important factor for him.
“Hopefully I’ll find the right fit before my senior season,” Bycznski said. “I’d like to get this recruiting taken care of before September so I can help my boys win a state title.”
Bycznski is coming off a junior campaign where he played just one game. He explained that he tore his ACL during the very first contest while attempting to execute a block.
“I tried to plant my foot, and my ankle just gave out. It was all me,” Bycznski said. “So it’s been a long road to recovery, and it’s nice to see the work I’ve put in to get back is paying off. I took [the injury] with grace, and it was a humbling experience. But now I’m back and it looks like I came out alright. I’ve got some great options on the table already and hopefully more to come.”
Bycznski 'Ecstatic' About Maryland Offer
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