McKeesport (Pa.) defensive tackle Curtis Harper made his way down to College Park, Md., April 1 for his first look at one of his foremost suitors. The 6-foot-2, 291-pound Harper had been eager to check out UMD ever since landing the verbal back in February.
“It was just great. I loved it down at Maryland. My dad and I both loved it,” said Harper, who holds offers from the likes of UMD, Iowa State, Kent State, Boston College and others. “I loved the environment there and how everything was set up there. It was just a great place to be. That’s a school I like a lot.”
Harper didn’t arrive in time to see the Terps practice, but he did have a chance to meet with various coaches, check out the campus and learn about the upgrades. He said he was able to speak to head coach D.J. Durkin, Director of Recruiting Marcus Merry, offensive line coach Dave Borbely and defensive line coach Mike London.
“Basically, they were telling me how much they wanted me there. They were asking where I came from and things like that, and then they asked how much I wanted to be at Maryland,” Harper said. “I told them I liked it a lot there, and I liked the school a lot. The way they are, it’s not just about football, but about life and just chilling too. It’s a real positive atmosphere, and I liked how they broke down my game and told me where I needed to improve. They were real with me. I liked that about the school. I like what they’re about at Maryland.”
Harper went on to describe the Durkin meeting. He said the UMD headman hit home with both he and his father.
“Durkin was saying how I could come in and be apart of something big right away,” Harper said. “Then he told me I need to make sure my grades are right and I don’t have anything to worry about there. Things like that, he just wants to make sure I’m straight. But he’s a really great guy and really straight with you.
“Then we got to tour the campus, see the dorms and see the facility upgrades. I really liked it all. The dorms are really nice the way they’re set up, and the upgrades are going to be swee.”
The Pennsylvania tackle went on to call UMD a family, while he loved the Under Armour affiliation as well. In fact, he tried on several different uniforms during his stay March 28.
“The Under Armour gear is great,” laughed Harper. “It’s great there, and the uniforms are awesome. I love the different things they do there with Under Armour. I loved the all-black and the all-red. Those were my favorites.”
Harper’s father enjoyed the stay as well. Harper said his dad readily took to the staff as well as the intensity of the practice.
“My dad is mainly worried about me graduating and academics,” Harper said. “But I will say he really liked the professors there and what the football program has in store for me. I know he likes Maryland a lot.”
Harper just visited Michigan State and will be retuning to Maryland April 16. He’ll also hit BC, Toledo, Wake and others.
“It’s been great so far,” Harper said. “I’m just taking everything in and seeing what’s up. But I like the school’s I’ve seen and I like the schools that have been in touch with me. But we’ll see. A lot can change.
“I know I probably still have a few more offers coming. There are other schools looking at me. But I like Maryland now, and I’m going to see what I like about these other schools. Right now I like a lot of places I’ve been.”
Harper plans to end his recruitment during the summer, before his senior season begins.