The Gilman football program, perennial contenders for the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship, struggled through an uncharacteristic 2-9 season last fall.
Senior and Hampstead resident Vince Reilly was one of the few bright spots for the Greyhounds.
"He was the anchor on a young offensive line for us," Gilman football coach Tim Holley said of the 6-foot-1, 290-pound guard. "He was a terrific leader. We had a tough season, but he continued to stay positive and really encouraged his teammates."
Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., saw that same talent and leadership, so the Hawks offered him a football scholarship.
Reilly gladly accepted and signed a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday with the Division II school.
Reilly, who also started a few games on the Gilman defensive line last year, said he was also aggressively recruited by Assumption College in Massachusetts, Towson and Stevenson universities.
"I have a good chance of impacting the program right away," Reilly explained. "I will start their workout program soon. I think can get bigger soon and go in there and have an awesome (summer) camp."
Reilly said the opprtunity to learn under Saint Anselm head coach Joe Adam was a big draw for him.
Adam served as offensive line coach at Syracuse University for two seasons.
"He took me in like a son," said Reilly, who also wrestled at Gilman. "He is for the offensive line through and through. He will be there for me and my offensive line brothers. He will be a great teacher."
Patrick Reilly, Vince's father, said his son's decision to attend Saint Anselm went well beyond football.
When he visited the institution, Vince loved Saint Anselm's small-school feel.
Reilly, who attended middle school at Gerstell Academy, plans on majoring in criminal justice and wants to be an FBI or CIA agent.
"Majoring in criminal justice is what he really wants to do," Patrick said. "They have small class sizes similar to Gerstell and Gilman. They have about 2,000 kids there and after his first year, the classes will have 10 to 20 kids in a class. That was appealing to him."
Holley said the 18-year-old Reilly, who played football growing up for the Hampstead Ravens, will be successful in the classroom and on the field.
It was Reilly's toughness that impressed Holley more than anything. He played last season with a lingering injury.