Boys’ Latin (Baltimore, Md.) has had a nice mini-surge of special-teams aces the last couple years. In the 2016 class, the small Baltimore school sent kicker Dom Maggio to Wake Forest. And in this 2017 crop, long snapper Brock Sassler just landed a preferred walk-on offer from Maryland and could be College Park, Md., bound later in August.
“I was really, really shocked and really excited. Maryland is my No. 1 school, obviously,” said the 6-foot, 215-pound Sassler. “To get an [walk-on] offer from the hometown school and a Big Ten school, it got me really excited. Coach [Pete] Lembo, the special teams coach, he gave me a call and I tried to stay as calm as possible. I actually thought about committing right there (laughs). But I’ll give it some time, talk to my parents, and then go from there.”
Sassler, who can also play linebacker and defensive end, drew Lembo’s attention during a June one-day camp. The Boys’ Latin senior has actually attended UMD’s camps three years in a row, but this was the first time he drew a serious look from the team’s special teams coach.
“I really performed well this year and ended up being the best snapper there. There was a competition at the end, and I won that,” Sassler said. “Afterwards, Coach Lembo said he liked the way I snapped and we’d stay in touch. It wasn’t much, but he told me about a month-and-a-half ago to be patient and things would work out.”
They certainly did, although Sassler wasn’t expecting the scholarship to materialize so soon.
“I was hoping to get an answer [from Maryland], but I thought it would be later, like closer to Signing Day,” Sassler said. “So I was shocked when I heard I got the offer now. But Coach Lembo said he felt like I could fit in with the program and that I really impressed him at the camp. He said he wanted to offer me a scholarship.
“Then I talked to Coach [D.J.] Durkin, and he said the same thing. He said I have the qualities he wants in a student-athlete. Like, it wasn’t just about how I snapped, but he likes my character too. It was awesome to hear.”
Sassler has also been speaking to UMD area recruiter Mike London. The Terps’ defensive line coach has been in contact with a couple Boys’ Latin prospects, including UMD D-line target Vic Dimukeje.
“Coach London has visited our school and I’ve talked to him as well,” Sassler said. “He’s a really good guy and I like him a lot too.”
Now that Sassler has the offer, he and his parents are planning a return trip to College Park. If all goes according to plan, Sassler could be a Terp by the time he leaves campus.
“Yeah, you could say that,” laughed the Boys’ Latin product. “I love the new staff at Maryland. They really focus in on special teams and really care about that aspect of the game. Some schools, they kind of neglect special teams, but at Maryland it’s a priority. So that’s one main thing I like.
“And then the campus is beautiful, I love that it’s my state school and I really like the academics there. I know they have a great journalism program, but I want to get up there and talk to a counselor to learn more. It’s a great school.”
Sassler has been a frequent College Park visitor, but his next trip will most likely delve deeper into the educational aspects. He and his parents will also familiarize themselves more with the staff and their plans for Sassler.
“We just want to look more in-depth into everything,” Sassler said. “We have to work it out with the coaches when we can get up there. I’m excited about it.”
In addition to UMD, Sassler has heard from nearby programs such as Towson, JMU and Delaware, all of which he camped at.
The Baltimore native said he’s been snapping since eighth grade and has continued to refine his craft each year since then.
“I saw it as something so cool and I really fell in love with being the leader of special teams,” Sassler said. “I then submerged myself in the practice and I continue to practice.”