Spencer Myers

Defensive end Spencer Myers, left, warms up during the Terps' first practice of the preseason. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun / August 4, 2014)

COLLEGE PARK  For four years, Spencer Myers' fall Saturdays usually played out the same way.

Maryland wrestling practice was in the morning. After that, Myers was unreachable.

"My parents would joke that if they tried to get hold of me on a Saturday, there was no way they could get hold of me," Myers said. "I have to be at wrestling practice from 10 to noon. After that, I'm gone for the rest of the day, sitting in my room watching football."

Myers came to Maryland in 2010 to wrestle. He was an All-American and Atlantic Coast Conference champion as a freshman, defended his league heavyweight crown as a sophomore and went 24-6 last season, his first since redshirting a year to rehabilitate his knee.

But he never lost his passion for football, and now the 6-foot-4, 275-pound rising senior is hoping to do more than just watch the sport on Saturdays.

Myers joined the Terps' football team in July, and the start of preseason practice last week marked his his first involvement in organized football since he was named the Pennsylvania Football News Class AAA Defensive Player of the Year as a senior at Selinsgrove High School for the 2009-10 season.

Maryland lists Myers at defensive end, his primary position in high school. He has worked mostly with the third-team defense through the early part of preseason practice, but coach Randy Edsall likes what he has seen.

"I see a guy that's got high energy," Edsall said. "He's got a really good motor. He's relentless and chases the ball. He plays with good leverage. … I've been pleased with him so far."

Myers' plan always had been to wrestle in college and try out for the NFL after his senior year. But he never thought he would play at Maryland.

An assistant coach from Ralph Friedgen's staff approached Myers about playing in 2010, but Myers was focused strictly on wrestling.

He said he received scholarship offers in football after a standout senior-year all-star game. By then, though, he already had signed to wrestle at Maryland.

"I'm a big person on sticking to your word," Myers said.

Then this opportunity came about.

Myers expressed interest in playing to some Terps players and assistant coaches. Word reached Edsall, who thought highly enough of Myers to give him a scholarship and a place on the team.

Edsall knew about Myers in high school. But, as the coach noted, Myers weighed only 212 pounds as a senior at Selinsgrove. Now he looks less out of place on a college defensive line.

"I had seen him around campus prior to him even joining the team," Terps cornerback Jeremiah Johnson said, "and I just remember always thinking, like: 'He's huge.' "

Myers likens his body type to that of Bane from "The Dark Knight Rises," a hulking villain with large, muscular arms and defined back and shoulder muscles. He even went as Bane for the past two Halloweens, complete with the character's signature mask.

"It's been fun," Myers said. "I scared a few teachers, almost got kicked out of a couple classes for it. I'll walk up the side of the road with that costume real quick and people will walk to the other side real quick."

Myers said he has tried to model his body after Bane, Maryland wrestling coach and former Olympian Kerry McCoy, and wrestler and former mixed martial artist Brock Lesnar. Following workout routines McCoy and Lesnar used, he went from being a 212-pound college freshman to weighing as much as 290.

Myers said he typically spends six to eight hours a day either lifting weights, wrestling, playing football or preparing for one of his two sports.