The Terps secured a commitment from Trinity Christian (Jacksonville, Fla.) 2018 inside linebacker Eriq Gilyard Nov. 17. Here is our question-and-answer session with him:
Terrapin Times: People want to know Eriq, before anything else, why did you commit so soon? Why Maryland?
Eriq Gilyard: I just felt the timing was right. I just feel like it’s a really good program, the academics are second to none, and it can just help me grow as a person. I just felt it was right to make the decision.
TT: But why now? Why not wait until next year?
EG: After talking to my parents, and, um, I’ve known exactly what I’ve wanted out of a school since the eighth grade. And being recruited by a lot of different schools, and hearing a lot of different things, I just felt Maryland was the first to give me exactly what I was looking for. So I thought, Why wait? My parents and me talked about it and we talked to Coach Barnes, and he said the same exact thing. So I committed.
TT: I understand, but Maryland just began talking to you about two weeks ago. What accelerated the process?
EG: After looking at all the schools talking to me, looking at depth charts and everything, just looking at what other schools had to offer me. I just felt like Coach Barnes and Maryland had it there for me. They need linebackers and they have openings….
TT: Have you ever been up to the school?
EG: No sir, but I plan on getting up soon.
TT: What connections do you have?
EG: I actually don’t have any.
TT: So what did you and Coach Barnes talk about on the phone?
EG: Oh, we talked about Maryland and my role there. Me any my parents and grandparents talked about all that. We talked about playing time, who they’re recruiting, the area, the depth chart at my position and things like that.
TT: And what did he tell you?
EG: Oh, Coach was just telling me the school is second to none in the area in terms of business, and he said the playing time, it’s perfect right now. He said there are a lot of business opportunities there. He told me I could compete for the starting job right away with other guys graduating.
TT: I understand, but anything else that struck you?
EG: I mean, I haven’t completely shut down my recruitment. I still keep in contact with the other schools recruiting me. But now I’m 100 percent committed to Maryland and I like what it’s about.
TT: When do you plan to visit?
EG: Right now, we’re on a playoff run. But as soon as the season is over I plan to get up there. I just want to get the same answers I’ve gotten from Coach Barnes on the phone. I just want to make sure it’s the right environment for me and I fit, and things like that.
TT: Any reason you decided to end you recruitment now as opposed to later during your senior year?
EG: A lot of others schools were recruiting me, but the pitch wasn’t like Maryland’s. The time and the effort, it wasn’t like Maryland’s. That’s what made me choose the Terps. Also, I really like the academics and what they have to offer.
TT: When you called Coach Barnes, what did he say?
EG: I talked to Coach Barnes, and at the end of the conversation I said ,’Coach I’m committed to Maryland,’ And he said he was smiling from ear to ear. And they want to get me up soon and talk to me in the near future. They can’t wait to meet me in person they’re really excited. They think I can do big things there.
TT: What schools have you seen thus far?
EG: I’ve seen Clemson, Va Tech, Duke, NC State, UNC, South Carolina, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Georgia.. and a couple others. But those are the main ones.
TT: Who are you looking to see this offseason?
EG: Maryland, one, Duke, Stanford, and a few others like that. I’m real high on academics so I want to get to those schools.
TT: What if the SEC gets involved? Will that changed your recruitment?
EG: Um, it’s possible. It’s possible.
TT: And what do you bring to the table Eriq?
EG: I feel like I’m a very, very strong linebacker who runs well, moves to the ball and makes plays when they need to be made. I fell like I need to work on being more vigorous and really going at it, but I’m getting there. I’m ready to compete at Maryland.