Maryland hosted two of its primary 2018 quarterback targets Oct. 22 for its game against Michigan State, including four-star Old Bridge (N.J.) gunslinger Artur Sitkowski. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder has now been in College Park, Md., four times total, and twice on game day. He has had the chance to interact with UMD’s new staff on two occasions, with the first opportunity coming in mid-March.
“Maryland is really, really high for me,” said Sitkowski, who has offers from Florida, Miami, Rutgers, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa, Pitt, South Carolina, Va Tech and more. “It’s close to home, I love Coach [D.J.] Durkin, I love Coach [Walt] Bell and I just love everything about the program. It’s definitely standing out to me, and I had another great time there [Oct. 22].”
Indeed he did. Sitkowski, who was accompanied by his father, called the Terps’ victory against the Spartans “awesome.”
“I loved how Maryland played,” he said. “They ran the ball effectively, they threw the ball a good amount, and I just loved Walt Bell’s offense. Coach Bell, he’s young, but he’s serious about offense and serious about coaching. He really knows what he’s doing and I could see myself playing under him. And Coach Durkin, he’s a great coach too.”
Sitkowski had the chance to speak to Bell, Durkin and area recruiter Matt Barnes prior to the game. He’s been in regular contact with Bell and Barnes since the winter, when the Terps extended an offer.
“They’re great guys and they said they love me,” Sitkowski said. “They want me to be a Terp and said they have a lot of success coming. They were the first school to re-offer me after my season last year, and that meant a lot. They saw my tape and jumped right on me. So for them to notice me like that and then [prioritize me], yeah, it means a lot.”
Sitkowski went on to talk up the Maryland Stadium fans and the students, who made themselves known during the primetime affair.
“The atmosphere was absolutely outstanding,” he said. “The fans, seeing how much they care and love their team, that was great to see.
“But I’d say the most impressive part was seeing the team after the game. When they won, you could tell how much they cared about each other. In the locker room, guys were going crazy and they were all into it with Coach Durkin. That was great to see.”
While at the game, Sitkowski also spoke to Maryland’s other 2018 quarterback target, Timber Creek’s (Sicklerville, N.J.) Devin Leary. Sitkowski said the two have competed against each other in camps and are aware many of the same college programs are after them.
“I talked to Devin, and we exchange stories a lot,” Sitkowski said. “He likes Maryland a lot too, but also a lot of other schools. We’ll see how things play out.”
The Old Bridge quarterback is unsure what schools he’ll personally be checking out next. However, during the offseason, he said he wants to hit Florida, Miami, North Carolina, Rutgers, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ole Miss, in addition to another look at UMD.
“Those [the schools above] are some of the ones that stand out to me,” said Sitkowski, who has also taken in a Rutgers game this year (against Michigan). “Those are the schools I’m really looking at right now. I’m taking a lot of visits this spring before I make my [college] decision May 1 or June 1.”
Sitkowski said the main factors he’ll be considering when evaluating programs will be his comfort level on campus, his relationship with the staff and, of course, the offensive system.
“I want to go to a school where they use my abilities best,” Sitkowski said. “I can play spread or pro-style, that doesn’t matter, but I want to throw the ball and just feel comfortable in the system.”