Terrapins Nab Pennsylvania Offensive Lineman

Wexford, Pa., lineman Ryan Schlieper had 10 offers, including a couple from schools he visited this summer in West Virginia and Connecticut. But for Schlieper, Maryland had an advantage the others couldn't compete with.

"The coaching staff," said Schlieper. "They're experienced. They know what they're talking about."

So Schlieper, a 6-foot-5, 280-pound rising senior from North Allegany High School, called head coach Ralph Friedgen and assistant coach Lee Hull – his primary Terps recruiter – last night at 9:30 and told them he would be accepting their scholarship offer. He becomes the 19th commitment is a quickly filling 2009 recruiting class for Maryland.

"They were very excited," said Schlieper, who then further explained his decision.

"They have a beautiful campus, they have great academics, they're in the ACC and they have a great football program," he said.

Schlieper could play guard or tackle at Maryland, though he was recruited mainly at offensive tackle, where he's played his entire high school career. He'll also play defensive line this season and plans to work on his leg strength and pass-blocking. He runs a 5.2-second 40-yard dash and bench presses 345 pounds.

"Definitely my run-blocking [is my strength]. I can definitely move people off the line," he said.

Schlieper, who quietly had been recruited by Maryland for four months, visited College Park three weeks ago. There, he met Friedgen and also spent time watching a slide show with offensive line coach Tom Brattan. Friedgen "knows what he's talking about. He's experienced and he's a great guy," he said.

Schlieper is yet another strong student in the 2009 class. He boasts a 3.4 GPA and tentatively plans to major in education. He'd like to get onto the field early in his career but isn't obsessed with such concerns. He's not familiar with any of the current Terps but his team, which he helped lead to an 11-1 mark last year, does play against Seneca Valley (Pa.), which features Terps quarterback commit C.J. Brown.

"He's a good quarterback and he definitely can find a receiver," he said.

Schlieper, an all-conference selection last fall, said his commitment is solid and he'll only take one official visit, to Maryland.

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