BOWIE, Md. -- Local corner Fofie Bazzie (Quince Orchard/Gaithersburg, Md.) was the very first commitment in Maryland’s 2017 class, and he’s been all Terps ever since. The 6-foot, 187-pounder, who was selected to the annual Crab Bowl all-star game held at Bowie State Dec. 18 but elected not to play, is set to enroll in College Park, Md., right after the New Year. Bazzie is currently one of four UMD commitments who are heading to college early.
"Most definitely I’m excited to get up there and enroll early,” Bazzie said. “It’s going to be an advantage, learning the playbook, getting a feel for the system, playing spring ball -- it’s definitely going to help me get ready. I can’t wait to get started in college.”
Bazzie said he’s had constant contact with both UMD-area recruiter Chris Beatty and defensive backs coach Chris Beatty. He had an opportunity to reconnect with both, in addition to head coach D.J. Durkin, during his Maryland official visit Dec. 9.
“Coach Beatty and Coach Rahim, they’re just telling me to come in with a chip and work hard. They want me to be a workhorse and be coachable,” Bazzie said. “They said get in the weight room, be first in drills, be a leader and show everyone I’m a hard worker. They said if I do that I’ll earn my respect and playing time.”
During the official, Bazzie said he loved being around most of the other Maryland commits and recruit targets. He readily bonded with the current players too and believes he fits in well with the team.
“I really loved the official and Maryland. I’m so happy with my decision, and I’m 150 percent all-in,” Bazzie said. “Just being up there allowed me to become closer with my future coaches and teammates. It was all love up there, and it was really fun and exciting up there just being around the people I’m going to be around every day.”
The Terps’ recruiting class features a number of local stars, all of whom Bazzie knows well. He said he’s pleased with all the DMV players who chose to stay home, and is hoping a few more jump on the bandwagon as well.
“It’s probably one of the best recruiting classes Maryland has ever had. We have a real bright future, and we’re setting the tempo for everyone else in 2018, 2019 and after that. We’re going to be the class that starts the change in this program,” Bazzie said. “With the guys we have, I’m confident, and I feel like we’ll get a Big Ten championship pretty soon. We’re going to do something special.”
This year, Bazzie helped Quince Orchard read the class 4A finals, before losing to Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.) in the title game. Bazzie said he was proud of his team and how he progressed, as a corner, safety and even as a receiver.
“I was a team player, playing wherever the coaches needed me – safety, corner, receiver. Wherever it was, I just got better all-around with my fundamentals, knowing the game, and just getting more experience,” Bazzie said. “I think I got better all-around and just begin a leader on the defensive side of the ball.”
Bazzie said the Terps are recruiting him strictly as a corner, and that’s where he’ll be given a chance to play this spring in College Park. But he did spend a good deal of time at safety this season.
“It was a situational thing and really depended on who we played against. Against, like, Clarksburg that had a couple good receivers, I played safety. I was back there to make sure nothing broke deep. If I shaded to one side of the field, then they’d just throw to the other side,” Bazzie said. “So that’s why I played safety, so I could read and react to the play, and just help the corners. But against a team like Blair, they only had one good receiver, so I played corner and shadowed him. So we watched film and then determined where I’d play.”