The Maryland staff has targeted several 2017 gunslingers, and Feb. 22 offensive coordinator Walt Bell extended yet another offer to Don Bosco’s (Ramsey, N.J.) Tommy DeVito. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound pro-style quarterback previously held lower-level looks, so Maryland represented his very first FBS scholarship.
On top of that, DeVito’s already been in College Park, Md., visiting for the first time Feb. 19.
“To me, the thing that really sticks out about Maryland is Coach Bell,” said DeVito, who also holds offers from Temple, Bucknell, Bowling Green, UPenn, Yale and Monmouth. “If I decide to go there, I really feel like I could develop under him. I really like his system and how he goes about quarterback development. The way he described it to me is they find their guy, they identify his strength and weaknesses, and then they work to develop those strength. That sounded really great to me.
“And I really like Coach Bell as a person too. I’d been talking to him on Twitter for a little while, but after speaking to him I can tell he’s a high-energy guy; he really cares about the program; and I feel like I’ll get along with him great. I had a high school coach I had a very close relationship with, and I feel like I could form the same type of bond with Coach Bell.”
DeVito had a chance to meet Bell Feb. 19 and then spoke to him again Feb. 22. The Bosco product said he would have procured the Maryland look while in College Park, but head coach D.J. Durkin wasn’t on campus that day, which delayed the scholarship about 72 hours.
Not that DeVito was complaining.
“It was great to get an offer from a school like Maryland, which competes in a great conference. It’s a great opportunity for me,” DeVito said. “It’s great facilities there, I’m comfortable on campus and it’s not too far from home either – only like 3.5 hours away. There’s a lot to like about Maryland.”
Including the academics. Naturally, for a recruit with offers from the Ivy League, grades are quite important.
“I didn’t realize the education at Maryland was as big as it is,” said DeVito, who is unsure what he wants to major in. “It’s a great school in general, but what I like is there’s a good balance between football and academics. I like that 50-50 balance, how the coaches stress both equally. That’s what I’m looking for in a school.”
DeVito thoroughly enjoyed his stay in College Park Feb. 19 too. He’d been to UPenn, Temple and Rutgers before checking out Maryland, but said the Terps’ trip grabbed his attention.
“Compared to [Rutgers and Temple], Maryland was higher on the totem poll. It was just different at Maryland,” DeVito said. “It was what you imagine when you think about a college campus. It was really clean, a lot of green and just a great atmosphere there.
“And I saw the facilities and the facility upgrades they’re putting in, and they’re going to be awesome. A lot of schools are doing indoor facilities now, but Maryland’s really seem to be better than everyone else’s. The tunnel really makes it cool; you don’t see that too often.”
DeVito plans to check out Maryland for a second time later in the spring. He said he wants to delve deeper into the educational aspects, meet the entire staff and have all his questions answered.
One of those inquiries will inevitably be about Walt Bell’s offense. Evidently the pro-style DeVito didn’t discuss Bell’s up-tempo spread when the two connected Feb. 22.
“We didn’t really get into the system too much yet. We were mainly talking about Maryland in general, what schools were looking at me and things like that,” DeVito said. “But I feel like I can fit into any type of offense. I wouldn’t mind playing in a spread.”
The Jersey native isn’t ready to end his recruitment just yet as DeVito wants to check out a few more schools such as Syracuse, Penn State and a couple of his Ivy suitors. (The Orange and Nittany Lions have shown interest).
But the Terps do have his eye.
“I don’t want to put a label on it, because I haven’t explores all my options yet. But if I had to say right now, yes, Maryland would be the favorite,” DeVito said.
DeVito, who has no “dream school” per se, said he’d likely end his recruitment in the summer. He said he and his family would sit down following a series of spring visits, weigh out the respective options and “choose the school that’s best for me.”
DeVito is coming off a season where he threw for 1,600 yards and 17 touchdowns, helping Bosco to a New Jersey state title.