The Camper: Demetrius Hartsfield

Every summer, hundreds of football hopefuls come to College Park hoping to garner some attention and perhaps even an offer from Maryland. Campers perform multiple drills to show the football staff what they've got.

Some campers are relative unknowns, and others are prospects who the staff has told could receive a scholarship offer with a stellar performance.

One camper who the Terps staff felt was on the fringe for an offer is 2008 linebacker commit Demetrius Hartsfield. Hartsfield had received interest from Maryland, but former special teams coach Ray Rychleski told the Raleigh, North Carolina native that he would likely get an offer if he came to camp.

Hartsfield was, like many prospects, a tweener, on the verge of an offer if he made the trip to perform in front of the coaches. His offer arrived the day after he left in the form of a phone call from Rychleski.

"[I committed] the same day. I went ahead and compared everything, and if I got an offer I'd go ahead and take it. I was just waiting on it, and I knew I was going to get it," he said.

Hartsfield camped briefly—only half a day of the Terps' four day-long experience—but his performance was impressive enough to merit a scholarship.

"It was real intense—a lot of drills," he said. "It was a camp with shoulder pads, so there was hitting going on. [Coach Rychleski] took me around campus, and I met the coaches."

College Park was the last stop on the Hartsfield tour this past summer. He visited Wake Forest, East Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Duke prior to Maryland. Most of the schools he visited gave him an offer, but Maryland's was the one he was waiting for.

"It was between Wake [Forest], Georgia and Maryland, and I was waiting on the ones from Georgia and Maryland. When I got the [offer] from Maryland, I compared the [offers] I had and saw their environment and made my decision," the 6-foot-2, 210-pound linebacker said.

Hartsfield used his time in Maryland to tour the campus and see the team's facilities. Though the staff only needed to see him play a bit in person to make the offer, Hartsfield put more thought into his decision.

"One of the big things was how many linebackers they have put into the NFL in the past six or seven years, and the fact that they are going to be losing a lot of linebackers after this upcoming season," he said.

Hartsfield also decided to enroll in the spring semester, a tactic some use as a way of getting in well with the coaching staff.

"I started [college] early, so I have a chance to play as a true freshman," Hartsfield explained.

Hartsfield, who ran a 4.68 40-yard dash at a combine in Charlotte, developed friendships while at camps over the summer. He enjoyed his time with the recruitment process as well as camping.

"I met a whole lot of players I had seen at camp. I met players I knew were local who I played against from where I'm from," he said.

He has also developed a close friendship with two commits who have elected to enroll early as well, freshman wide receiver Kevin Dorsey and freshman tight end Matt Furstenburg.

"Most of them I met on my official visit. We just keep in contact on the computer. I met Kevin and Matt when we came up early, and we have been hanging out a lot."

There is no doubt that the Terps coaches believe that Hartsfield will develop into a special player in the upcoming years. They just needed a little visual evidence to confirm it.

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