The Terps hosted Riverside (Calif.) junior college inside linebacker Nick Underwood for an official visit Dec. 8-10. Afterwards, the 6-foot-2, 230-pounder dubbed the College Park, Md., trip a "10" and said Maryland is up top with a decision coming in mid-December. Underwood raved about the Terps' staff -- linebackers coach Matt Barnes is handling the recruitment -- the atmosphere in College Park, the school's location near Washington, D.C., and more.
The Oregon native, who will have three years of eligibility once he enrolls in January, will take one final official to Washington State Dec. 10-12 before ending his recruitment.
Hear what he had to say in the interview above, or read the transcript below:
On How Maryland Became Involved
I've been talking to Coach Brawley Evans. He hit me up on Twitter about a month ago. We've been talking, then I got in contact with the linebackers coach, Matt Barnes, and defensive coordinator Andy Buh. We've been building a relationship. I had some academic things I had to come through to make sure I could come there, and then Coach Matt Barnes flew out last week and took an in-home visit this week.
On Getting A Maryland Offer and Academics
Yes, I got the offer [during the official visit]. I'm all cleared up [academically].
On Whether He Thought About Committing To UMD On Official
Yeah, I thought about committing. I really like it out here, but I have one more visit to take to Washington State. I'm on my way there [Dec. 10] and flying in tonight. I'm visiting with the Washington State coaches [Dec. 11] and then flying back home [to Oregon] Dec. 12. But I really like it [at Maryland], and I'll talk to my parents after I get back home and make my decision.
I'll probably decide later this week, probably, and I'll be a January enrollee. I'll have three years eligibility remaining.
On What He Liked About UMD
I was really impressed with the coaches and the facilities they have. It's a great staff, and the strength and conditioning program is amazing. I think Coach Rick Court has a great resume and does a great job with his players. The nutrition program they have there is off the charts. And then just all the facilities they're building there, I was blown away by those and just all the things they have there for football with Under Armour. And the campus was beautiful too; I really liked it.
On Coach Meetings
I talked to Coach Barnes a lot, and he told me I could come in and compete, play right away if I earn my spot and work for it. He was talking about the competition there and things like that.
They want me at inside linebacker. I like Maryland's defense a lot -- they run a 4-3 and 3-4 and it's based off a pro system. I really liked that. It will help me get exposed and get me right to play at the next level.
On Being Near D.C. and The Area
It is a little different [from the West Coast]. I've been out here one time a couple years back. I like it out here a lot. I could definitely see myself living out here.
That's a big part of it too. Academics are huge at Maryland, and it's a great school. I'm thinking about going into business, and it's a great business program.
The players were great, and we had fun at Dave & Buster's. It was fun to hang out with all of them. My player host was the tight end Avery [Edwards], and he showed me a good time. It was a lot of fun.
I asked them how it is there and playing big teams like Ohio State, and [the players] said it's very competitive, good football in the Big Ten, and how they're right there on the verge of being really good at Maryland. I'd love to come in and help them out. They're on the come-up.
On Where UMD Stands
I'd say Maryland is the leader right now. The official, I'd rate it a 10 [out of 10].
On Washington State
They're close to home, and growing up on the West Coast, every kid's dream is to play in the Pac-12. That's a big thing. I mean, a lot of my teammates and friends are [playing in Pac-12 schools], and it would be kind of cool to play against them. But at the same time I have to do what's best for me.