Two weeks after visiting College Park, Md., for the first time, McKeesport (Pa.) defensive tackle Curtis Harper made his way back for the Terps’ spring game April 16. The 6-foot-2, 291-pounder said he has “a whole lot of interest” in UMD, so he wanted to return for a second look.
“That’s why I wanted to get back, so I could get more information about them and see how I fit in, playing time and things like that,” said Harper, who added a Maryland offer in February, to go along with looks from BC, Iowa State, Toledo and Bowling Green. “I’d say it was a productive trip, because I learned more about them and where I stand. Maryland is one of my top schools right now. They’re right at the top, along with a couple other places.”
Harper said he spoke to his UMD-area recruiter, Dave Borbely, along with defensive line coach Mike London post spring game. The McKeesport product didn’t have a chance to chat with head coach D.J. Durkin, but the two talked for awhile during Harper’s April 1 stay.
“Basically Coach Borbely was telling me he likes me and was really glad I came back down for another visit,” said Harper, who was joined by his father. “He didn’t really talk about playing time, but he said they liked me and would love to have me there. He and Coach London were talking about the defensive linemen they’re recruiting, but I’m pretty sure if I tried to commit there they would take me. I know they like me a lot there.
“My relationship with both those guys is pretty good. I send them messages all the time and they always get back to me. It’s real cool. We talk about all kinds of things, and they’re straight with me, which I like.”
Harper didn’t have a chance to see the Terps practice during his first foray through College Park. So he was excited to sit in Maryland Stadium and watch the team in pads.
“The spring game was great. The defense won, and that’s always great because I’m a defensive guy,” laughed Harper. “I loved their physical style and how they were flying around and just going after it. I think the defensive line was great, and it’s pretty obvious Coach London’s a great coach. He really knows what he’s doing and is a great teacher.”
The McKeesport plugger also saw the renovated player dorms, facility upgrades and tried on the Under Armour gear, all of which he’d done previously. He did not tour the campus, mainly because he took an extensive tour April 1.
“This time I tried on the black Under Armour uniforms. Before I tried on the red ones,” Harper said, chuckling. “I love the gear they have there. And I got to see the weight room this time. I didn’t see it last time, and that’s really nice. The weight room and the new player dorms look great. It’s a great atmosphere down there, just the campus and the new things they have going on.”
Harper’s father has now been on campus twice as well. The Pennsylvania product said his dad has taken a keen liking to UMD.
“My dad is mainly concerned with the academic parts of colleges, and he’s really impressed with Maryland,” Harper said. “He likes what they have to offer there for majors and just the education in general.”
Harper, though, said he’s not ready to end his recruitment just yet. He said he still has to see Rutgers April 23 and maybe one or two more schools after that.
In addition to Maryland, Harper recently journeyed through BC, Toledo and Wake Forest, the latter of which has not offered yet.
“Right now I’d say I like Maryland, BC and Toledo,” Harper said. “But other schools that offer could get in there at any time. I just have to see.”
Harper would like to have his school selected by the summer.