Royster Considering Terps

2011 prospect Sheldon Royster likes what Maryland has to offer.

Sheldon Royster, rated a four-star recruit by, has an impressive and growing list of offers from schools like Rutgers, UConn, Pittsburgh, South Florida, Boston College, Cincinnati, and North Carolina. One of the schools Royster is also very fond of is Maryland. Royster is a 6-foot-0, 190-pound safety/running back, from St. Peter's Prep in Jersey City, New Jersey. Many analysts project Royster as being a college safety.

“He has spoken highly of Rutgers, Maryland, Boston College, UConn, and he's got a lot of choices and a lot of places that he is comfortable with,” said Royster's coach, Rich Hansen. “I'm sure his mind will change 100 times between now and next year.”

Maryland seems to have a lot to offer that Royster is looking for in a school. According to Hansen, Royster likes that the Terps are relatively close to his New Jersey home. Also, Royster believes Coach Friedgen and the ACC both offer great reputations, and playing in the ACC would give Royster a lot of exposure and visibility in the college football world.

“Coach Friedgen is a great guy, and Maryland has a great campus. Maryland plays in the ACC, which is a high visibility place. It has good exposure,” Hansen said. “They do a good job of placing their players, and taking care of their players and holding them accountable. It is a good academic situation. Maryland has a lot of plusses, obviously.”

With Ralph Friedgen currently in his ninth year as head coach of the Terps, Maryland also has the stability that few schools on Royster's list can match.

“Ralph's situation has stability. He consistently does the right thing and you can feel good about the future,” said Hansen. “Of the schools he has mentioned, only Rutgers and Maryland can say that. It is something that is very high on his list.”

In addition to the positive impact Friedgen has had on Royster, the Maryland coaching staff has also done a great job of making Royster feel comfortable and welcome to the idea of becoming a Terp. Specifically Maryland's recruiting coordinator, Dave Sollazzo has made a very positive impression upon Hansen and Royster.

“Dave is a guy who has gone out of his way for his. He is very diligent, very organized, and very persistent,” said Hansen. “He's a great football coach and that comes off whenever you talk with him. He's got a good reputation in our area and he works hard at it, so I appreciate that as a head coach and that comes through to the kids.”

Still, there is a lot of time for Royster, a member of the Class of 2011, to make his decision. Royster and Hansen will spend the offseason trying to cut Royster's list of schools to a much smaller number. The Terps are very hopeful that they will end up on Royster's final list next fall.

“We will spend the offseason setting up unofficial visits and trying to whittle it down to 7 or 8 schools,” Hansen said. “Hopefully by this time next year he will have his 5 official visits solidified.”

For the amount of talent Royster has, Maryland would love to be on his official visit list. They can only hope their coaching staff, specifically Ralph Fiedgen and Dave Sollazzo continue to make Royster at ease with the idea of becoming a Maryland Terrapin.

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