The Terps are looking to add at least one more running back in its 2016 class, and on Oct. 13 they extended an offer to a local recruit who has been making a name for himself during his senior campaign. Damascus (Md.) back Jake Funk has piled up more than 1,000 yards and 22 touchdowns thus far, making a serious bid for Maryland state Player of the Year honors.
“When Maryland offered I was really, really excited about it,” said Funk, who also holds offers from Navy, Army, Yale, Ohio, ODU, UPenn, Bucknell and Air Force. “I called Coach [Chad] Wilt during school, and he gave me the good news. I was absolutely thrilled. It’s nothing like playing for your hometown school.”
The 5-foot-11, 198-pound Funk said Wilt began reinitiating contact in late September. Although they hadn’t had much contact prior to that, the local runner called their relationship “really good” and said Wilt is “a great guy.”
“Coach Wilt likes the improvement I’ve made from my junior tape to my senior tape, just in general. He was really happy about that,” Funk said. “They definitely like me at running back, and he said the staff was impressed with my speed and strength. He said [the Terps] are looking to take one, maybe two, more running backs in this class and they’d love to have me.”
Apparently the interest is mutual. Funk hasn’t been in College Park, Md., since his sophomore year, when he attended a game against Boston College. He witnessed the Terps lose 29-26 on a last-second field goal, but doesn’t remember much else beyond that and Eagles’ running back Andre Williams’ 200-plus-yard day.
“I’m getting back to Maryland the day after the Penn State game, though,” Funk said. “So Oct. 25 I should be up there to get a look at the facilities, meet all the coaches and see what Maryland is all about. I know Coach [Mike] Locksley is the coach now, so I’m excited to meet him and see what he has to say.”
Is there a chance Funk could commit while on campus?
“I’d say it’s a possibility,” he said. “We’ll see. Maryland definitely stands out among the offers I have. They’re definitely up top. I don’t have a timetable for my decision, but it could be soon. We’ll see. I’m going to talk it all over with my family.”
In addition to UMD, Funk said he’s also considering offers from Yale and Navy, two schools he’s seen before. Others throughout the Ivy League are also involved, although his early verbal from Wisconsin is no longer on the table.
“The Wisconsin offer is ucommittable,” Funk said. “They wanted me at linebacker, but the spot was filled.”
Thus, UMD is his most significant offer to date. Which, in effect, makes the Terps the team to beat.
“It’s the hometown school, it’s in the Big Ten and it’s a chance for my family to see me play. There’s the whole hometown movement thing going on, which is pretty cool,” Funk said. “I’d say Maryland is in a good position right now.”
So far this season, Funk’s lit up Montgomery County as both a running back and linebacker/safety hybrid. But his future, he believes is in the backfield.
“I just believe I’m a good running back all-around,” said Funk, who clocked a 4.61 laser-timed 40. “I can definitely get to the edge and make people miss. I’m not just a power guy, but I can get inside and move the pile.”