Almost three months after receiving an offer from Maryland, receiver Evan Fairs (Foster/Richmond, Texas) finally made the 1,300-mile flight to College Park, Md., July 29-31. The 6-foot-2, 182-pounder, joined by his father, former NFL receiver Eric Fairs, couldn’t say enough about the Terps’ program and the coaches.
“It was an awesome time. It definitely changed my perspective of Maryland. I thought it would be different, but this changed my perspective, definitely,” said Fairs, who holds verbals from UMD, Texas State, Sam Houston and New Mexico. “I didn’t really know a lot about Maryland, how it looked or felt, but it was good. I’m comfortable here. And the coaches here were awesome too. I met most of them [July 30], because they’re all leaving for vacation before camp starts [July 31], and they were really great to talk to. Me and my dad were both really impressed.”
Fairs spent most of July 30 touring College Park with his area recruiter, Keenan McCardell. The UMD receivers’ coach has had a relationship with Fairs since the spring, the two staying in contact on an every-other-day basis. Fairs said one of the main reasons he took the flight East was his interest in learning from McCardell.
“Coach McCardell is like my favorite college coach to talk to; he’s great,” Fairs said. “On the visit he was taking me around in the golf cart and telling me like everything. We were mainly just going around and he was telling me about the buildings and the history behind the program. That was cool to hear; I learned a lot and we had a great time. The buildings were really pretty, the campus was beautiful, but it was just really interesting talking to [McCardell].
“My dad really hit it off with [McCardell[ too. They played against each other in the NFL, so they were going back and forth about their playing days and people they knew, saying how it was a small world. My dad has a really good relationship with Coach McCardell too.”
In addition to McCardell, Fairs said he met assistants Darrell Perkins, Greg Studrawa and Terry Richardson. Head coach Randy Edsall was not on campus, however, since he had to attend Big Ten media day July 30.
“Me and my dad really liked the coaches, because of how straightforward and honest they all were. They’re really cool people, but they get down to business and make sure their players are on point. It’s very structured and I like that,” Fairs said. “They’re also really big on grades. Coach McCardell, he was telling me how Coach Edsall is a real stickler on grades and they have sessions where everyone sits down and does their work. He said they’re hard on you there, and tell you what you need to hear and not what you want to hear. That’s what you want from your coaches, in my opinion.”
Speaking of academics, Fairs wants to major in business. While on campus July 30 he had the opportunity to learn about UMD’s program and chat with a business professor.
“I learned a lot about my major. The academic people were telling me all about how good the program was there, and how many people succeed coming out of [the business school],” Fairs said. “It sounds like I can get a really good degree in my field of study there.”
After getting the lowdown on the academic side of Maryland, Fairs met with McCardell for a film-study session. The Texas wideout said the two went over UMD’s offense and explained Fairs’ potential role in it.
“We were watching film and he was testing my football IQ and stuff, which was pretty neat,” Fairs said. “[McCardell] was telling me about their offense, the concepts, the route running. And the things they do, it’s pretty similar to what we do at Foster in terms of using the tight end and receiver on one side and a single wideout on the other side. They want me to play the ‘X,’ the single-side receiver, and Coach McCardell thinks I’d do well there because I win most of my one-on-one battles on the outside.”
Following his July 30 stay, Fairs and his father trekked over to Washington, D.C. The Lone Star State product thoroughly enjoyed the nation’s capital as well.
“D.C. is really cool. I’ve been there once before, and it’s a neat place to be,” Fairs said. “I didn’t know it was only like 15 minutes from College Park, so if I come here I could easily get down there. There’s a lot to do right there in [College Park] and around there too.”
While Fairs didn’t have a chance to meet Edsall in person on campus, he said Maryland’s headman set up a FaceTime call with his family July 28. The Fairs’ evidently spent a good while asking Edsall questions and vice versa.
“[Edsall] answered everything we asked,” said Fairs, who noted that UMD is taking three receivers this year and the staff wants him to be one of those three. “I liked him; he’s real up front and straight up with you. He was telling me what you have to live up to at Maryland, and was very honest. Then he was telling me some things about Maryland too and what to expect there. It was pretty cool. He told me they need a longer receiver like me and he thinks I can contribute there, definitely.”
Since Edsall wasn’t present in College Park, Fairs left campus July 31 without committing. But he said his decision is imminent and could come in the next few days.
“It’s definitely close. It’s something I’m definitely leaning towards doing. I guess you could say I just want to talk to my coaches some and just think things over,” Fairs said. “There’s really nothing that’s keeping me or preventing me from committing. I saw everything I needed to see at Maryland and I loved it. But, like maybe during the week or in a few days I’ll probably commit.”
Fairs Talks Up Terps Visit, Set To Commit?
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