Baltz Commits to Maryland

The University of Maryland football program's latest commitment came to fruition because someone did an excellent job of early evaluation and persistence throughout the recruiting process. That somebody is Travis Baltz.

Baltz, a kicker-punter for Anthony Wayne (OH) High School, just outside of Toledo, decided almost a year ago he wanted to be a Terp. At that time, no one on the UMD staff had talked to him -- or even heard of him for that matter.

But Baltz contacted special teams coach Ray Rychleski and provided some film. He then visited College Park on Spring Break, falling in love with the campus as well as Baltimore and D.C. Still, Baltz said, he had no offer and didn't seem to be a priority.

Then summer came and Baltz made the 500-mile trip to attend camp at Maryland. He kicked well enough to earn praise from former Terps kicking star Nick Novak as well as the staff.

"[Novak] said I transitioned pretty well from punting to kicking to kickoffs," said Baltz.

Still, no offer. He was starting to wonder where else he might go. Eastern Michigan and Northwestern were possibilities, and Ohio State had shwon interest but wanted to see senior film first. And, above all, he wanted to be a Terp.

He and his father had spent time looking at every college in the country, with academics being a primary concern along with football Baltz carries a 4.39 GPA and scored a 29 on the ACT. When his dad said they should cross Maryland off the list, he refused.

"Every school could have offered me and I still would have chosen Maryland," he said.

Finally, a few weeks ago, the offer came. Today he accepted, making him the 16th Terps commitment in the Class of 2007. He is most likely to be a punter -- he averaged 42 yards per punt last year -- and sees he could start there next year, with no scholarship punters on the team right now besides senior standout Adam Podlesh. He did also make a 47-yard field goal last year.

Either way, Baltz, who had a tough time getting recruiting exposure in the small town of Waterville, Ohio, was extremely persistent in chasing a scholarship at his dream school, and it paid off for him today.

"I keep saying it, that it just felt right," he said, "but it fits."

Travis Baltz Profile

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