The Terps are after yet another IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) product, the latest offer going out to defensive end/outside linebacker Bryce Brand May 31. And the 6-foot-1, 240-pounder, who projects as a BUCK linebacker at UMD, already has Maryland on the brain.
“Maryland was an offer I’ve been waiting for for awhile now. I was real excited about it,” said Brand, who previously held offers from Arizona, Louisville, Mississippi State, Temple, Southern Miss, Bowling Green, FAU, Miami of Ohio, Toledo and Air Force. “I’ve been talking to the staff for a good minute now, so it was great to finally hear that they offered me. Coach [Chris] Beatty, who recruits me, he contacted me and I gave him a call [May 31]. Then he put Coach [D.J.] Durkin on the phone and he was the one who offered me.
“[Durkin] told me he watched my film and thought it was one of the best he’d seen this year. He was saying how he saw me in their defense, and how I reminded him of Dante Fowler, who [Durkin] coached at Florida. [Durkin] said he could see me doing similar things to [Fowler] at Maryland. So I was just real excited about that.”
That May 31 conversation was not the first time Brand had spoken to Durkin. In fact, he said he’d has communication with a number of Maryland staffers, noting how “the Terps are always in contact.”
“I can’t even really tell you who my lead recruiter is there,” laughed Brand. “Coach Beatty, Coach Durkin, Coach Brawley [Evans], Coach [Mike] London, I talk to all of them. I have a great relationship with that staff and like all those guys. I think they’re all really personable people and great recruiters.”
Brand, who is from Detroit, Mich., said towards the end of the Durkin chat, the two discussed a summer trip to College Park, Md. The hybrid defender said he’d likely make it north sometime in late June or early July, depending on his mother’s schedule.
“I’m definitely getting up there; I definitely want to visit Maryland,” Brand said. “I’m trying to go up with Cam [Spence] and Josh [Kaindoh] when they go back.”
Speaking of Brand’s teammates Spence and Kaindoh, who are both pledged to Maryland, they each have been hyping the Terps to their fellow defensive lineman. Truth be told, Brand said the duo have been talking up UMD well before May 31.
“Yeah, they’ve been on me for quite a minute,” said Brand, chuckling. “They’ve said all positive things about Maryland, like how great of a coach Coach London is, how it’s a great staff up there, and how it’s a really good program on the rise. They’ve talked up the new facilities there, how cool of a place it is to be and just things like that. So that’s something that definitely has my attention.”
So, now that the offer’s in tow, where does Maryland stand for the emerging rush end?
“They’re pretty high up there,” said Brand, who isn’t concerned with conference affiliation or a school’s location. “I’m keeping things open, but they’re up there for me.”
Although Brand has an open mind about the process, he admitted there were a few programs he had at the forefront of his mind. He said he’d likely be releasing a top-five favorites list “soon,” but wasn’t ready to publically declare who would be included beyond one school in particular.
“Arizona will definitely be there,” Brand said. “I just see a great opportunity there, their coaches are in contact a lot, and it’s close to where I live now out in California. I’m from Detroit, but my mom got a job out in California last year, so that’s where I live now. But we’ll see; I’m keeping my options open. I have to see some schools before I can say who else is definitely going to be on that top five.”
Thus far, Brand has not been on any formal college visits. He said he would be conducting all of them this summer before selecting his future destination before his senior year begins.
“I’m going to Arizona soon, I know that,” said Brand, who mentioned there’s not one offer he’s hoping for. “Then I want to see Maryland, Mississippi State, Temple, Louisville and Southern Miss. We’ll see if any other offers come in, but for now those are the schools I’d like to see. Then after that I should be able to make my commitment.”