When Maryland got a commitment from quarterback Perry Hills from Pittsburgh’s Central Catholic, it may not have known it was getting a package deal.
Hills talked up the school to his close friend and high school teammate – defensive back Anthony Nixon. Nixon committed to the Terps after Hills did.
Even more surprising: both are starting in their freshman seasons.
Nixon did a capable job filling in last week for injured strong safety Matt Robinson (groin). We’ll learn more about Robinson’s status when Thursday’s injury report comes out. But suffice it to say Nixon may be summoned again for Saturday's game at Virginia.
“It feels great to see another Central Catholic grad out there playing with me,” Hills said.
Sometimes, players can be the most effective recruiters because they recruit peer to peer. Hills certainly was successful in Nixon’s case.
“I was like, ‘Hey man, we can have four more years together. Instead of going to Pitt or something, maybe come with me, we’ll know each other already,’ ” Hills said he told Nixon. “I kind of helped Maryland out by getting him a little bit. We brought him here to see the campus and everything. I think he really liked it."
Nixon learned a day or two before last week's Wake Forest game that Robinson would be unable to play. As he prepared to be a first-time starter, it helped that he rooms with Eric Franklin – the other starting safety.
“Any questions I needed to know I just asked him,” Nixon said.
Nixon ( three tackles, one credited pass breakup) held his own against the Demon Deacons. “After the game (Robinson) texted me and said I played well,” Nixon said.
Said defensive lineman A.J. Francis: “Nixon’s biggest thing is he doesn’t make mistakes. That’s what you’ve got to like out of a young guy.”