Mackall finally makes the call

David Mackall had known for a while where he wanted to play college football. There was never much doubt really, but he let the recruiting process play out a bit. Then it started giving him a headache, so it was time to end it.

On Wednesday, the 6-foot-3, 245-pound defensive end from Edmondson-Westside in Baltimore orally committed to Maryland.

"I've been wanting to go to Maryland for the longest time," Mackall said.

After talking to his parents, Mackall called his recruiter, offensive coordinator James Franklin, and coach Ralph Friedgen, and made the pledge.

"What I wanted to do, I didn't want to go far from home. Maryland was just the right place to go for me," he said. "I feel good about staying home and playing in front of my family and basically everybody that knows me in the city. That's what made me make my decision. There wasn't no use in me to keep on waiting and I was ready to get this process over with."

He was also drawn by the coaching staff's honest approach, which is often cited as a plus by recruits.

"I feel like I can trust the program and the coaches. They keep everything real, tell you the truth," Mackall said. "They don't tell you something just to get you there. If there's something going on, they're going to let you know. They're just upfront and I like that."

Friedgen set up a face-to-face meeting for early next week before Mackall leaves for a team camp in Alabama. Tripping to Maryland's campus is nothing new, though.

"I've been to a lot of games. I can't keep count how many times I've been on campus because I've been on campus since I was a freshman," he said.

Maryland's staff plans to use Mackall at either defensive end or LEO, a linebacker-defensive end hybrid. His athleticism—he runs a 4.7-second 40-yard dash—makes him a versatile player who could adjust to either position. Unlike defensive end, LEO will allow him to drop back into pass coverage and play in space more.

"There's not too many recruits that got recruited for [LEO]," Mackall said.

In guiding Edmondson-Westside to a 9-3 record last year, Mackall had 147 tackles and 13 sacks.

When he arrives at Maryland, both positions will be up for grabs. LEO Trey Covington and defensive end Mack Frost—both presumptive starters—are seniors this season.

"I'm a real big competitor. When I go in I want to compete for a position," Mackall said. "I know it's gonna be real tough but that's the type of guy I am. I don't like sitting on the side. I want to be on the field at all times."

Even off the field, when just hanging with teammates, Mackall's got football on the mind. "We got out bowling, we go out eating, he said. "I feel like a team must get that bond to be successful on the field."

With his decision out of the way, Mackall's working on swaying Dunbar running back Tavon Austin, one of the Terps' top targets.

"We're real cool. He's talked about going to Maryland," Mackall said. "Tavon is real open. I don't really know. He doesn't want to be far from home."

Now, though, Mackall's commitment has Maryland's coach plenty content.

"Ralph Friedgen said he can't wait until I get up there," Mackall said.

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