Tyler Makes It Official, Commits to Terps

2011 defensive end prospect Dontez Tyler made it official this weekend and committed to the Terps.

When something feels rights, you usually get a feeling deep down that confirms it. For Dontez Tyler, a football player from North Carolina, when he committed to attend the University of Maryland next fall, he knew he had made the right choice.


“I’m looking forward to playing at the next level,” Tyler said. “I’ll make sure I put my best in all I do on and off of the field.”


He added after he chose the Terps, he felt “great” and was eager to get there and start working.


Prior to verbally committing to Maryland, Tyler expressed his gratitude for having the opportunity to be a Terps football player.


Tyler, a 6-4, 200-pound defensive end, was heavily sought out after throughout the recruiting process. Other than Maryland, he was getting looks from Clemson, North Carolina, Duke, North Carolina State, Penn State, South Carolina, Wake Forest and West Virginia. However, while the in-state schools made their cases, it was the school up north that really fit Tyler’s bill.


“I really like their academic program and their athletics too,” he said. He also mentioned that he will be a better product when he can get onto the turf than inside the classroom.


Coach Charles Bankins, a second-year assistant coach and special teams and tight end coach of Ralph Friedgen’s staff, was the most involved in speaking with Tyler.


According to Tyler, Bankins told him that he would really like it at Maryland and will enjoy the company of the players and coaching staff. He also mentioned that the close ties between Bankins and coach Dave Sollazzo helped the Terps to stand out in his mind, and really demonstrated their high interest in attaining his talents.


Sollazzo, the 10th-year defensive line coach for Maryland, will be getting quite the product in Tyler. With great size and athleticism, Tyler said he is still continuing the shape his game to get stronger, quicker and faster during his upcoming senior season at Hertford County High School. Nonetheless, Tyler knows it will not be that simple in his journey to the college ranks.


“I have to work hard. I’m going to bring a lot of sacks to the Terps defense,” Tyler said.


On the field, Tyler said he plays a strong side defensive end, and plays like Julius Peppers, the relentless pass-rusher on the Chicago Bears.


Tyler will be one of the big pieces to the puzzle for the Terps as they begin their rebuilding process. After suffering their worst season in the Freidgen era in 2009-2010, having a strong pass rush is essential to a turnaround. Tyler understands the circumstances, and is eager to be a part of a newly vamped Terps defensive line.


“Hey. I said ‘that’s life.’ You have to go through [rebuilding] sometimes.”


While success is on the horizon for the Terps, and Tyler acknowledged the Terps’ period of transition, he did mention he is looking forward to the team winning a National Championship and getting a bowl game ring – two goals he was able to joke around about while likely keeping it in the back of his mind.


Hopefully, Tyler can bring that same forward mindset he keeps on the field in the classroom as well. Tyler is unsure what his major will be, but said he has an interest in criminology and sports management, two of the well-regarded programs at the University of Maryland.


TerrapinTimes Top Stories