The Maryland staff held their first major prospect visit day Feb. 4, and one of the recruits who attended left campus with an offer. Six-foor-6, 285-pound junior offensive tackle Aidan Rafferty (Gonzaga/Washington, D.C.) pulled his second verbal from the hometown school at the end of his day-long stay in College Park, Md. He previously had a look from Syracuse.
“I mean, it was awesome. It was especially awesome since I grew up watching Maryland sports. My mom went there and all, and she was there with me, so it was a really great experience,” said Rafferty, who was also accompanied by his father. “What happened was, we went into Coach [D.J.] Durkin’s office and he told me I had the offer. He said he liked tape, my size and would love to offer me. And when he said that, I was speechless and I told him, ‘Thank you so much. I’m really honored.’ It was great.”
Since Rafferty is a noted Maryland fan, he readily took to all Durkin and the staff showed him. He loved being around the coaches, seeing the campus and interacting with the other recruits and the 2017 signees in attendance.
“The whole day the coaches were talking about DMV-to-UMD and the recruits they just signed. They talked about how if guys stay local good things will happen at Maryland. And playing high school football here, and knowing the talent here, I think that’s great. It’s something I’m thinking a lot about,” Rafferty said.
Additionally, Rafferty mentioned some of the aesthetics surround the school caught his eye. Namely, the new $156 million facility upgrades.
“We saw a virtual tour of the new facilities, and that was just awesome,” Rafferty said. “What they’re building there is just great. Also, the other thing I really loved was just the coaches’ overall energy and enthusiasm. I met generally with all the coaches, and they were very energetic.”
Mostly, though, Rafferty interacted with line coach Dave Borbely. He said Borbely had a meeting with all the O-line recruits and addressed each individually.
“Coach Borbely was awesome. I really liked how honest he was and how he wasn’t trying to sell me anything,” Rafferty said. “I loved him. He was kind of helping the O-line kids there decide what college was best for them. He was giving us good information and letting us know how we have to determine what our interests are and how we need to line those up with the priorities of the schools we’re looking at. …. I really appreciated what he said and what he talked about.”
Rafferty went on to talk up the campus, Gossett Team House and the vibe in College Park.
He said his parents “loved” the trip too, noting how his mother was already infatuated with Maryland since she went to school there, while his father was “really impressed” with the entire presentation.
Of course, Rafferty personally already has a peer connection at Maryland. Teammate Johnny Jordan just signed with the Terps in the 2017 class.
“Johnny loves Maryland and talks about it all the time. He says Coach Borbely is great and is like the best O-line coach he’s seen. He thinks the talent with the talent they have coming in, Maryland is going to be awesome,” Rafferty said. “I don’t want to say that’s influencing me yet, but what Johnny says sounds good.”
Maryland was the first campus visit Rafferty has taken. Next up, he’d like to get to Syracuse, and will then wait to see what other offers materialize before venturing out to more locales.
“And I definitely want to get back to Maryland,” he said. “When Johnny goes up for a practice or whatever I’ll probably tag along. I really liked what I saw there.”