For a period of about 1.5 months, Nordonia (Macedonia, Ohio) offensive tackle Terek Zingale was unsure exactly where he stood with the school he pledged to back in the spring, the University of Maryland. In early December, the Terps’ administration had replaced ex-head coach Randy Edsall and his staff, including Zingale’s area recruiter, Greg Studrawa.
UMD’s new staff, under headman D.J. Durkin, however, hadn’t initiated contact with the 6-foot-6, 295-pounder, leaving Zingale in limbo, so to speak.
“It was a dead recruiting period for awhile, so coaches couldn’t really talk to you, and I was just getting nervous,” Zingale said. “The coaches really didn’t have a way to get in touch with me, and they were trying to find out about [UMD’s previous commitments]. But then [Durkin] hired Coach [Dave] Borbely, and he got in touch with me and we’ve been in contact since then. So now I’m all set with Maryland and I’m set to sign with the Terps Feb. 3.”
For all intents and purposes, Zingale cemented his status Jan. 22, when he took his official visit to College Park, Md. It was his third time on campus overall, and his first since the fall.
“I already knew I liked the school, obviously. I mean, not much has changed with the school and the academics,” Zingale said. “But it was a good opportunity to meet the new coaches, and I liked them a whole lot. It’s just a lot of energy and enthusiasm there now.”
Evidently not even snowstorm Jonas could keep Zingale and his family from trekking down to campus. The family wasn’t able to fly in due to the blizzard, so they made the six-hour drive instead.
“I was really proud of the Zingale family, they drove right through the snowstorm,” laughed Nordonia head coach Jeff Fox. “Us being in the snow-belt up here off Lake Eerie, we’re used to blizzards. So the family was completely fine with driving through it (laughs).
“I’m glad they made it down, because they all had a good time down there and got to know Coach Durkin and his staff. It was a really positive experience, and I think the coaches left a great impression on the family.”
Borbely, for his part, visited Zingale in-home prior to the College Park official. Then the offensive line coach returned again Jan. 26, ensuring the big Ohio tackle was ready to sign Feb. 3.
“Everything is on track and we’re ready to go with Maryland,” Fox said.
Said Zingale: “Coach Borbely is a real good guy. He knows a lot about football, he’s put guys in the NFL, and he just knows what he’s talking about. It’s a great opportunity to be able to learn from him. He wants me at offensive tackle and said I have a good tool set and could be great at Maryland.”
Zingale had similar praise for Durkin during the official Jan. 22. The Macedonia native said he enjoyed his one-on-one meeting with the head coach, readily taking to his personality.
“Coach Durkin is awesome, just an awesome guy,” Zingale said. “He went over everything with me and was just very impressive, just talking about how he’s going to change the program around.”
The Ohio product’s player host was Terps’ tackle Michael Dunn. Zingale said Dunn showed him a good time, while he easily bonded with the rest of the UMD players as well.
“It’s a family atmosphere there,” Zingale said. “I fit in well with everyone and had a really good time. I know my parents said the same thing; they really like Maryland a lot. It’s a great atmosphere, great coaches, great people and a great education too.”