Damir Faison (Zebulon Vance/Charlotte, N.C.) committed to Appalachian State in November, but when his first FBS offer from Maryland came in Jan. 6, it gave him pause. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound defensive end/outside linebacker admitted the chance to play at the top level of college football certainly appealed.
“I am very excited honestly. I committed to App State so soon so I’d have a spot. I’m not really a hard commit; I did it to make sure I’d have a chance to play college football,” Faison said. “But my dream was always to go to a big-time FBS program. So to get an offer from Maryland is big. I’m very excited. It was a huge shock. I never expected to get this kind of offer.”
He did, courtesy of UMD-area recruiter Walt Bell. Faison said he hasn’t personally spoken to Bell yet, but heard about the offer from his head coach.
“What happened was Coach Bell called my head coach, and then my coach called me. He basically said [Bell] liked how I could play a hybrid spot at outside linebacker and end. Coach Bell thought I’d be a great fit in their defensive scheme,” Faison said. “So that sounded great and I’m looking forward to building a relationship with Coach Bell and speaking to him personally.”
Although Faison isn’t overly familiar with UMD, the school does hold appeal. Evidently he has family in the area and used to live in the DMV.
“I have family in Baltimore and I actually used to live in Arlington. I’ve been up there a lot, and it would be kind of cool to go back to the area,” Faison said. “I’ve never been on campus before, but I’ve always driven past Maryland before. I’m looking forward to visiting. When my mom gets back in the country we’re going to be talking about going up there to see the school.”
Faison said he’s watched the Terps on TV before too. Additionally, he’s conducted initial research on the program.
“I don’t know too much, but I know they’re in the Big Ten and I watched them play the bowl game against Boston College. I really like their scheme and how aggressive everybody was on defense,” Faison said. “It’s a school I’m interested in.”
Besides UMD, Faison has heard from App State, Indiana, Wisconsin, Louisville, ECU and South Carolina. He believes the Hoosiers could be next to offer.
Faison plans to see Maryland, Clemson and a few other nearby schools this offseason. He said he’ll take in whatever programs opt to offer him.
“Right now I don’t have a dream school or any offers I’m waiting for,” Faison said. “I’m taking it as it comes and will look at any school that wants to take a chance on me.”
Faison is coming off a season where he racked up 10 sacks, 13 tackles for loss, eight forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.