Jermaine Carter has probably paid closer attention to Maryland football recruiting than most prospects on the Terps’ radar. With three high school teammates already committed to UM, it would probably be hard to ignore what Randy Edsall’s program has done lately on the trail.
So over the past month or so, Carter couldn’t help but notice how many linebackers – including two of his three committed teammates – were pledging to the Terps. Carter, a 6-foot-1, 218-pound linebacker from Friendship Collegiate Academy in Washington, could sense that his window of opportunity to go to Maryland might be closing.
The Terps coaching staff “didn’t rush me at all. I wasn’t rushed at all,” Carter said. “[But] ultimately, I just had to make a decision. Nowadays, spots for you could be gone. I had to do what’s best for me.”
What Carter ultimately decided was best for him was claiming a spot in Maryland’s 2013 class. The three-star prospect committed Wednesday, picking the Terps over offers from Buffalo, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Ohio, Old Dominion, Syracuse and Temple.
“It feels good, just to have it done,” Carter said. “I’ve been thinking about it for a couple days. I talked to my dad last night, and he was saying it’s my decision and if that’s what I want to do, do it. … [So] I gave Coach Edsall a call. He was excited.”
Friendship Collegiate offensive lineman Derwin Gray, and linebackers Cavon Walker and Yannick Ngakoue, all committed to Maryland within two days of each other a little more than one month ago. Carter said he thought it might be nice to play with his teammates in college, but they didn’t put any pressure on him to follow their lead to College Park.
“I decided it was the best thing for me,” Carter said. “So it will be good to play on the field at the same time, but they weren’t the deciding factor for me to go to the school.”
Although Carter's decision was independent from his FCA teammates, the Knights’ linebacker corps this fall could be a preview of what Maryland will do at the position down the road. Walker is pegged for inside linebacker, Ngakoue is slotted for the outside, and Carter said Maryland’s looking at him to play on the weakside. Jalen Brooks from Georgia and Derrick Hayward from Wicomico are the Terps' other 2013 linebacker commitments.
The Maryland coaches think Carter is a good fit on the weak side “because of my speed and my athleticism,” he said. “I can get to the ball pretty fast.”
With Carter’s commitment, Maryland has landed five Friendship Collegiate players in the past six months. Running back Albert Reid started the FCA-to-College Park pipeline last January, and will be a freshman there this fall. Carter said it will be nice to know so many players on Maryland’s roster, but he would’ve picked the Terps even if his teammates weren’t going there.
“I’m just excited to be a part of the team,” Carter said. “I’m excited to be a Terp.”