Three weeks after he committed to the University of Maryland sight unseen, defensive tackle Jeffery Pooler (Chaminade Julienne/Dayton, Ohio) trekked down to College Park, Md., for an overnight stay. The 6-foot-4, 272-pounder arrived at Maryland the afternoon of June 4 and spent a good portion of June 5 on campus as well.
“Maryland was great; it was everything I thought it would be,” said Pooler, who committed May 16 over offers from Uconn and numerous MAC programs. “It was really nice there, and I had a really nice time. I know for sure I made the right decision in choosing Maryland, and I’m ready to spend my next four to five years there.”
Pooler said the most memorable part of his trip was meeting the Maryland coaches. He had his first in-person extensive talk with area recruiter Greg Studrawa, in addition to chatting with head coach Randy Edsall, defensive line coach Chad Wilt, defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski and others.
“The meetings were actually my favorite part, just going over all the football stuff and learning about Maryland,” Pooler said. “The defensive line meeting with Coach Wilt was great. We watched a lot of film, and he showed me how I’d fit into Maryland’s 4-3 scheme, the plays he runs, the steps you take, where I go in certain situations – all that good stuff. He was saying how I can play both defensive end and defensive tackle, that I have that kind of versatility to make plays up and down the line. But overall I loved meeting with him; he’s a smart guy, a personable guy and he’s going to help me develop a lot.”
Pooler offered up similar praise for Edsall, Dudzinski and Studrawa.
“Coach Dudzinski, he was real cool too, and he was saying how I can have a big impact on the defense and how I could potentially play my freshman year. He actually wants me to enroll early so I can get there before the other freshmen and get a head start,” Pooler said. “So I’m definitely going to do that [enroll early]. My school allows it and I’m going to do it. And Coach Stud, I’d seen him before when he was up at my school, but it was great to talk to him in person. He was taking me around, showing me different things and just talking to me like a friend. I love that guy.
“And it was the same with Coach Edsall. He was almost like a father figure in that he really related to me and wasn’t giving me a lot of coach speak. He really got to know me as a person, and he said he’s even coming up to see one of my AAU basketball games, which I thought was pretty cool.”
Pooler had a chance to interact with numerous current Terps as well. He said he talked to Damian Prince and Will Likely the most as he stayed in their dorm overnight.
“They were great, great guys and they really welcomed me in,” Pooler said. “They were telling me how Maryland is like no other program out there because it really is all about academics and then football. They said it’s a really challenging school in the classroom and on the field, and how the coaches there really make sure you stay on top of your classwork. They said they loved Coach Edsall and all those guys, and how they get the most out of you.”
The Ohio native went on to laud the player dorms, the campus itself, the Under Armour gear, College Park’s location near Washington, D.C., and the new facility upgrades. He said he took numerous pictures of the UA jerseys and helmets, posting them on social media, while calling the indoor fields; improved weight room; and underground tunnel, “really awesome. The new facilities are going to be great and I can’t wait until they’re ready. They’re going to help get recruits in here, for sure.”
Pooler spoke highly of the academics as well. He said he wants to major in sports management, but will be begin in the kinesiology program.
“I was talking to a lot of academic advisors and they were saying how the sports management program will be in place my sophomore year, so I’m doing kinesiology my freshman year,” Pooler said. “Like I said, Maryland is great academcis and a great education, so that stands out a lot too.”
Following his stay, Pooler said he was “100 percent sure” he’d be signing with UMD. He plans to return to College Park July 4 and then take an official visit in the fall.
“I can’t wait to get back and see my future home again,” Pooler said. “I’m coming back the weekend of July 4, and I heard Trevon Diggs [Avalon/Gaithersburg, Md.] is committing then, so hopefully I’ll be in town and he joins the Terps’ family too (laughs). But, yeah, I loved Maryland and I made the right choice.”
Pooler Raves About UMD Visit; 100 % On Board
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