Potomac Falls (Sterling, Va.) outside linebacker/defensive end Grant Misch had been pining for a Maryland offer even since he first visited College Park, Md., back in February for the program’s first major offseason prospect day. The 6-foot-5, 235-pounder, who lives about an hour from campus, considers UMD his hometown school and loved what he saw from head coach D.J. Durkin’s program.
Some three months later, Misch finally has that coveted look May 10.
“I thought the Maryland offer was great. I’d been talking to them for months now and I was getting skeptical anything was going to happen. But it was a relief and really exciting to finally hear I had the offer,” said Misch, who claimed prior verbals from Purdue, Temple, ODU and Army. “Coach [Walt] Bell, who recruits our area, was at our workouts [May 10], and I got to talk to him a little bit. Then, later on that day, my coach let me know I had the offer.”
Although the offensive coordinator Bell recruits the Sterling area, Misch has mostly been in contact with UMD linebackers coach Matt Barnes. Misch said he and Barnes have been talking several times each week since February.
“I like Coach Bell and it was cool to see him at our workouts. I think he’s a good coach and a nice guy. But Coach Barnes is who I talk to the most from Maryland. He’s amazing,” Misch said. “I love his personality, how he coaches and how he handles his linebackers. It’s like something I haven’t seen before from a coach. When I was last up there for a practice in April I sat in on team meetings and Coach Barnes was just so full of energy and really passionate. It was great, and I loved it.
“I actually got a chance to talk to him a little bit after I got the offer [May 10], too, and he was just as excited as I was. He’d been wanting to offer me for awhile, but he had to wait to the staff OK’d it.”
Although Barnes is Maryland’s linebackers coach, Misch was actually offered for the Terps’ BUCK spot. That means defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh would be his prospective position coach.
“Most schools think I’m going to grow into a defensive end, and Maryland talked to me about the BUCK spot,” Misch said. “I love that hybrid role. I love being versatile. I’ve only played outside linebacker in games, but I’ve practiced at D-end. Hopefully I get to play it some in games this year.”
Bell and Barnes aren’t the only UMD coaches Misch has spoken to. During that April practice he attended, he sat down with head coach DJ Durkin and defensive coordinator Andy Buh. The Potomac Falls product had also spoken to Durkin during his February foray as well.
“I enjoyed talking to both those guys. I really like Coach Durkin and what he’s doing at Maryland. He really has them moving in the right direction,” Misch said. “He’s been talking about ‘The Movement’ for awhile now, trying to get all the local guys to stay home. I consider myself part of the DMV, so it’s really cool what he’s trying to do and now I’m [a recruit] he wants too. It’s great to be wanted by your hometown school.”
Misch went on to praise Maryland’s coming facility upgrades, the campus and the school’s renowned academics.
“It’s a great place,” Misch said. “It’s unbelievable what’s going on there with all the new construction. It’s going to be great.”
So, now that he has the offer, where do the Terps stand for the 6-5 hybrid?
“I don’t really have a leaderboard yet,” he allowed, “but they’re standing really high. Maryland is up there for me.”
One reason Misch doesn’t have a leaderboard is because Maryland and Purdue are the only two visits he’s taken this offseason. (He said he “really liked” Purdue as well). He wants to get out to more locales this summer before forming any type of favorites list.
For now, he wants to return to College Park, and then hit Duke; Va Tech; Penn State; UVA; WVU; and possible more. He’s been in contact with coaches from the Hokies, Mountaineers, Wahoos and Nittany Lions, in addition to staffers from Pitt; NC State; and Michigan State.
“I’m not looking for any specific offers, though,” Misch said. “I’ll take them as they come.”
Misch would like to have his senior film evaluated, gauge what offers come in, and then take official visits before ending recruitment. He’s in no rush to come to a decision and doesn’t feel pressured to commit this summer.