The Terps hosted a pair of committed IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) recruits for official visits Dec. 2-4, receiver Emmanuel Greene (UCF) and defensive end/outside linebacker Bryce Brand (Arizona). Of the two, the 6-foot-1, 235-pound Brand seemed most impressed by what Maryland had to offer.
Brand, who received an offer from UMD head coach D.J. Durkin back in May, has been in contact with the Maryland staff since then, remaining in communication with area recruiter Chris Beatty even after the recruit committed to Arizona in June.
Recently, a coterie of Terps’ coaches, from Beatty to defensive line coach Mike London to defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, trekked through IMG Academy to make another pitch to Brand and the talent-laden school’s elite prospects. Ultimately, it was enough to convince Brand, along with Greene, to give College Park, Md., a look Dec. 2-4.
“Overall, the Maryland visit was great, and I got all my questions answered from a football and academic standpoint. I couldn’t of asked for a better visit,” said Brand, who is a Michigan native but whose family now resides in California. “The thing I liked best about Maryland, really, was the whole football program and how Coach Durkin and his staff are really building something special. You can really tell just from being around them they’re building something there.”
During the official, Brand had a chance to interact with Durkin himself, along with defensive coordinator Andy Buh and London, his position coach. The Terps are recruiting Brand for their BUCK spot, or hybrid defensive end/linebacker. It’s the most versatile and important position in UMD’s defense, which appealed to Brand.
“Coach Durkin thinks I can be like Dante Fowler, who he coached at Florida, so that was cool to hear,” Brand said. “I liked all the coaches I met there and thought they were really knowledgeable and knew what they were talking about. I have a great relationship with those guys and think they’re really good people.”
Brand spent the majority of his stay with the current Terps, however. His host was fellow defensive lineman Adam McLean, and the two hit it off right away. Brand said he enjoyed hanging in the dorms, eating with the team, interacting with them after practice and the like.
“They were all really cool. Everyone I talked to was cool,” Brand said. “They made it seem as if I was already on the team with them.”
Additionally, Brand said the school’s education and location grabbed his attention. During the official, he had a chance to learn about the academics and also tour Washington, D.C.
“The university's academics are top notch,” Brand said. “And the location in relation to D.C and Baltimore really helps with networking, internships, and really taking the next step in your career. I really liked that about Maryland.”
Although Brand left College Park with Maryland on the mind, he insisted his status with Arizona remains the same. He’s set to officially visit the Wildcats Dec. 9-11, and has no other planned trips after the dead recruiting period.
“Right now I fly out to Arizona [Dec. 9], and I’m excited for that,” Brand said. “I’m not sure as of right now about anything else.”