There were only a smattering of local recruits in Byrd Stadium for Maryland’s lightly-attended home finale against Indiana Nov. 21, but there was at least one uncommitted headliner who saw the Terps fall to the Hoosiers, 45-28. Oxon Hill (Md.) sophomore receiver Daniel George, who already holds a half-dozen FBS offers, took in the game with his coach and teammates.
“I’ve been up to Maryland a bunch of times, and I honestly wouldn’t say this was a great game, but I did feel [the Terps] did a pretty good job playing with limited depth at key positions,” said George, who counts offers from Maryland, Iowa, Virginia Tech, Virginia, West Virginia and Boston College. “I know it’s been a rough year for them, and I feel that’s in part to the injuries and lost players. [The Nov. 21 game] doesn’t really effect how I view Maryland; it’s a still a good school that I’m considering.”
The 6-foot-1, 197-pounder, who first caught Maryland’s eye during a summer 7-on-7, respected the Terps’ fans who showed out in College Park, Md., as well. Although it wasn’t a packed house like a couple of UMD’s previous bouts against Wisconsin and Michigan, George still had a good time interacting with the Maryland faithful and the other local recruits in attendance.
“The atmosphere in College Park was great, actually,” said George, who also attended a couple Maryland games last year. “A lot of fans showed up even though the team isn't having a great year. The players’ involvement in the community before the game was pretty cool to see too. There was a lot of love shown between the players and fans. And my favorite part was the players’ entrance onto the field. That was a lot of fun and pretty cool, just how all the seniors were honored.”
After the game, George and his teammates went down to Gossett Team House and met with the staff. George has been in touch with his UMD area recruiter, interim head coach Mike Locksley, since the summer, while he knows receivers’ coach Keenan McCardell as well.
“I had a chance to meet Coach McCardell after the game and I really like him. He has a great knowledge for the receiver position and was a great player himself back in the day,” George said. “And I would say that my relationship with Coach Locks is pretty good. From my many unofficial visits up to campus, we have made a great bond. I respect his knowledge of the game and I’m happy to see him in position as the head coach.”
Of course, there’s no guarantee that Locksley will remain coach, or even be on staff. It’s something George, and the other DMV recruits, all realize.
“I think it's very important that Coach Locks stays at Maryland. In my eyes a lot of people are wondering why Maryland has a great local class coming in, and I tell them it has a lot to do with Coach Locks,” said George, who mentioned he saw UMD 2016 quarterback pledge Dwayne Haskins (Bullis/Potomac, Md.) at the game. “I wouldn't say Maryland would be less attractive without [Locksley], because there are other coaches on the staff that are great at what they do. But for the DMV kids it will be a big blow to not have Coach Locks as part of the staff. It would be disappointing if he’s not the coach.”
If Locksley remains, however, George said he’d be giving the Terps plenty of consideration. He’s not claiming any early leaders, but George likes what he’s seen in College Park thus far.
“I think that Maryland is a great school academically, and the current coaching staff in place has great plans for the future of Maryland football. I like the facilities up there and the new indoor facilities they’re putting in too,” George said. “The DMV-to-UMD movement is big too; I know a lot of guys who are going to Maryland or very interested in Maryland, and it would be cool to play with them. “But as of right now every school is equal as I still have to get out and check out other campuses.”
So far, Maryland and Penn State are the only schools George has seen in-depth. He’d like to venture out to Va Tech, UVA and WVU this offseason.
George said there’s no offers in particular he’s looking for and is “blessed” for every verbal he’s received.
The Oxon Hill product racked up more than 30 receptions for 500 yards for a 4-6 squad this year.
“I’ve just got to keep working on my game and get better in all aspects,” George said. “I’ve still got a lot to learn about the position going forward.”