Is it true when you committed to Maryland you had just met with the coaches, walked out, talked to your dad and then went back in and said, "I want to be a Terp"?

Yeah. [Maryland defensive line coach Greg] Gattuso told me to come down and watch practice to see if I like the way he coaches, if that would fit my style of playing. After the practice it was me, Coach Gattuso, Coach [Keith] Dudzinski and my father. We sat there and talked for two or three hours. I had been to a lot of schools, but that was the first time we had a talk like that and we talked as friends, so I could see a future relationship building right there. I just didn't know how to say it. I walked out and asked my father, "How do I say it?" He said, "What do you mean, how do you say it? Walk back in there and say you want to be a Terp." Coach Gattuso was walking out and he was like, "Roman, what's wrong?" I said, "Nothing, Coach. I want to be a Terp." He threw me over his shoulder and ran into Coach Edsall's office like, "We got him. We got him."

Are you a bigger fan of college football or the NFL?


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Probably college football. In the NFL, it’s more showboating and in college football, it’s much more like straight-up football still.

You’ve been on a big roller coaster ride this season with McDonogh and as a Maryland and a Ravens fan. Do you ever get used to the ups and downs as a player or a fan?

As a player, definitely not. The ups and downs, they hurt. Sunday was tough loss, a really tough loss. In college football at Maryland, obviously they’re having a tough year this year. It’s a rebuilding year with a new coach. I think Coach Edsall can pull it out like he did at UConn. He won at UConn. But ups and downs are the way life is.

Do you have a player or players you look up to and try to model your game after?

I look at Jared Allen who had a lot of sacks a couple years ago. I kind of watch everybody. I watch Julius Peppers, Terrell Suggs. Every defensive end I can learn something from I watch. Dwight Freeney and how fast he is off the ball. You watch different techniques and you try to better yourself in the particular area of the scheme you’re playing.

What do you do for fun?

I go fishing a lot. Fishing is one of my great hobbies. Now it's hunting season, so I go hunting in the mornings. I work out, eat, sleep, football and go fishing. I actually do deep-sea fishing when I'm able to. There's a pond down on the farm and I go down to the river [Patapsco].

What are you planning for Thanksgiving?

I'll probably just sit down with the family. Eat a lot of food.

What's your favorite?

Deep-fried turkey. It's unbelievable. And sweet potatoes. I could eat sweet potatoes for every meal.

What are you thankful for?

My opportunities. Going to this school is an opportunity just by itself with the education I'm getting. I've always been able to go to a private school. I honestly thank my father. It was just me and him growing up. My dad was a single parent, and he actually started his business when I was born, so he was starting a business and raising me at the same time.

Do you do a lot of work on the farm?

We breed Charolais cattle. Charolais are all-white cattle, beef cattle. Right now, we have about 30 head of cattle. I’ve been working on the farm since I was strong enough to pick up a bale of hay. I was a weed puller before that.

katherine.dunn@baltsun.com