The Maryland staff hosted a pair of rising star 2018 Jersey signal callers Oct. 22 for its game against Michigan State, including Timber Creek’s (Sicklerville, N.J.) Devin Leary. It was the 6-foot-2.5, 185-pounder’s third time in College Park, Md., overall and his second visit since the Terps’ new regime took over.
“The game was awesome, and the visit was a lot better than I expected,” said Leary of the Terps’ victory in primetime against MSU. “The atmosphere was amazing. Just walking around the stadium, the people were excited, into the game and just really nice. They really treated myself and my father well. The coaches were the same way; great people, great guys.
“Then just watching the game, the tempo of the offense, defense and special teams really caught my eye. I was really impressed with the team overall, especially the offense.”
The latter is good news for the UMD coaches, considering Leary is in fact a quarterback. The Garden State product and his father both felt like offensive coordinator Walt Bell’s spread would fit Leary well.
“I really liked the intensity and tempo of the offense. Just from watching in the stands, you could see the urgency they had. No one was falling behind and everyone was into it,” Leary said. “Also, it’s almost the same offense I play in high school, and even during the game, my dad turned to me and said, ‘It looks like I’m watching you down there.’ We run the exact system. It would seem like I could fit very well into their offense.”
Before the game began, Leary had a chance to interact with Bell. The Terps’ coordinator has been after the quarterback since May, and the two have developed a deep rapport since then. Leary has taken to Bell personally, calling him “someone I can really relate to,” and Oct. 22 the Timber Creek recruit had a chance to learn even more about the coach’s spread system.
“When I was talking to Coach Bell in the recruiting center, he said they had a lot of big things planned for the game, and I definitely saw some of those exciting things. It’s a really great system to play in if you’re a quarterback,” Leary said. “Then after the game, the next day actually, Coach [D.J.] Durkin texted me and I called him. I was telling him about how much I loved the atmosphere and the game itself. I like Coach Durkin a lot too; he’s a really good coach and a great guy.”
Leary didn’t have a chance to speak to any current Terps, but he took note of how the team came together.
“I liked how everyone on the sideline, whether they were going in or not, was excited and cheering for each other,” said Leary, who lauded Maryland’s academic reputation; campus; and upcoming facility upgrades during his August stay in College Park. “That says something about the team and how much they care about each other. That showed me a lot.”
So, after a summer sit-down and a fall game, where does Leary stand with the Terps?
“Maryland right now, I definitely have built a great bond with Maryland, their football team and their staff,” Leary said. “It’s a really great school for me, and I’m excited to see what they have planned in the future.”
Leary stopped short of calling UMD a “leader,” however. In fact, he said he has no clear leaders and is still in the research phase in terms of schools.
He’s been to Rutgers twice this year for games and seems to have taken a liking to the hometown school. Leary has also been to Temple and Penn State this fall, and had previously trekked through BC; WVU; Syracuse; UNC; NC State; Wake Forest; and Va Tech.
Of the above, Leary has offers from Maryland, West Virginia, Rutgers, Boston College, Wake and Syracuse, in addition to Iowa.
“I definitely want to see Maryland again, WVU again, Rutgers again, Boston College again and Syracuse again -- all the schools that have giving me opportunities so far,” Leary said.
Leary also mentioned he has no set timeline for selecting a college. He said he’ll make his decision “when it feels right” and after he’s vetted all his options.
“I think the three main things I’m looking for [in a school] are, one, the degree and education. That’s really big in my family,” Leary said. “The second thing would be how I’d fit into the offense and the opportunities I’d be given. And three, the players on the team and the relationships I build with them and the coaches.”