The Terps’ staff became the first school to offer numerous budding 2018 recruits Jan. 6, and Florida center Zack Zambrano (American Heritage/Plantation, Fla.) was particularly smitten with the look. The 6-foot-3, 290-pounder couldn’t say enough about UMD-area recruiter Chris Beatty and the Maryland program.
“It’s really exciting and it feels great to get this offer,” Zambrano said. “You put in a lot of hard work, and when you finally get that first offer, you realize all the hard work is worth it. Coming off a great junior season, we won states, and now to have this is icing on the cake.”
Zambrano said he and Beatty conversed for about five minutes. That was his first contact with the Terps’ receivers coach, although Zambrano had previously heard from offensive line coach Dave Borbely and assistant Marcus Berry.
“It was a great, short conversation with Coach Beatty,” Zambrano said. “We started with an introduction; moved on to how I was doing; then we talked about the offer and Maryland. We talked about setting up a visit, which I’m scheduling now. It was good. I’m getting to know him and the rest of the Maryland staff.”
With the offer in tow, the American Heritage product has already begun to delve into the school.
“I don’t know a lot, but I know it’s a great academic school, I’ve heard the campus is beautiful, and it’s close to the capital,” Zambrano said. “Those are all pluses. I’ll know more when I talk to Coach Beatty and get up there for a visit.”
Zambrano mentioned he’s watched the Terps on TV before too. The Under Armour uniforms naturally appealed.
“I’ve seen them play plenty of times. Plenty of times,” Zambrano said. “It’s one of those schools I’ve just always liked and paid attention too.”
The fact the Terps were the first to offer resonated as well. Zambrano said he's always going to keep that in mind moving forward.
"That's something that I'm going to be thinking about," he said. "They were first to recognize my abilities and offer me. That's always going to mean something to me."
In addition to UMD, Zambrano has been hearing from coaches from Duke and Georgia State. He’s been to Miami, FAU, Alabama, LSU, Mississippi State and Tulane. This offseason, Zambrano wants to see Maryland and many programs in and around Florida.
“I mean, staying close to home in Miami would be nice. But while staying close to home is nice, location isn’t a deal breaker. It’s not going to impact my recruiting,” Zambrano said. “I’m mainly just looking for the best fit for me personally in terms of finding a great football program, great academics and having a bond with the coaches and players. I don’t really have a dream school or any offers I’m looking for.”
The Floridian is coming off a standout junior season in which he helped guide his team to a state title.
“I’m a pretty good pass blocker. I take pride in that. I do need to work on my run blocking, lowering my hips and finishing,” Zambrano said.