Larry Mazyck, a 6-foot-7, 320-pound offensive tackle, had always used size to his advantage on the basketball court. But it wasn't until last fall that he strapped on the pads for a high school football season.
The fact that Maryland offered Mazyck after just one varsity season at Friendship Collegiate Academy in Washington is certainly noteworthy. But it's a fact that doesn't seem to faze Mazyck.
"It means something, but I still have to work," Mazyck said. "It's like a jumpstart. Basically, it's like I just put one foot forward, but it's motivation to work harder." Mazyck said he played Pop Warner football when he was younger. His high school career didn't start until last fall for a couple different reasons, most notably because Cesar Chavez High doesn't have a team. Mazyck attends the Washington public charter school and plays for the basketball team. For football, however, the Friendship Collegiate team presented the best opportunity.
Cesar Chavez basketball coach Malcolm Battle and Friendship Collegiate football coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim have both played integral roles in Mazyck's development thus far.
"I give [Abdul-Rahim] all the credit for getting me in shape," Mazyck said. "All the other credit, I have to give to my basketball coach. He's been on me since before I was [a Division I prospect]. He's always been working with me."
Mazyck made his commitment to the Terps six days ago, just hours before witnessing the Maryland basketball team upset Duke at Comcast Center. Mazyck, who averages about eight points and 12 rebounds per game, was excited to see the game. But he was already sold on his future at Maryland.
"I had always had interest in Maryland," Mazyck said. "But what sold me was I got to speak to the coaches and see how it's family with the program. And the school has one of the top business schools, and that's what I want to do if football [doesn't] work out."